VISCED and the wiki
The VISCED project (which formally started on 1 January 2011) has now reached the stage where those following the project will notice a lot of new material appearing in the next few months on the wiki it is using. The VISCED project has decided to build on the success (both in wiki terms and more generally) of the Re.ViCa project on Virtual Campuses. Here are some details.
VISCED will put its content on the same underlying wiki as the Re.ViCa wiki but there is a new URL - http://virtualschoolsandcolleges.eu - by which to access it.
Some of the content will be visibly separate - like many new entries on Virtual Schools and the agencies that foster them. Other content will be seemingly more integrated with Re.ViCa content - in particular for 22 countries (including many in the EU) the Re.ViCa country reports will be upgraded (with a new template) to include information on e-learning/ICT in schools and virtual schools in particular. Additionally, as a way of covering vast swathes of the world in a more "helicopter" way, VISCED will also have a number of regional reports - regions in Europe including Eastern Europe and the Yugosphere and outside Europe including (but not only) Central Asia, Hispanic America, Middle East, North Africa, Anglophone Africa and the English, French and Dutch linguistic zones of both the Caribbean and Oceania.
The full title of VISCED is Virtual Schools and Colleges - and Colleges will not be neglected. They were covered partly in Re.ViCa, especially major exemplars like NKI, but this coverage will be vastly broadened and deepened, within the project remit of the "teenager and young adult" age range.
Where possible, definitions and concepts will be integrated and in particular the VISCED taxonomy of the "virtual school" will draw deeply on the Re.ViCa taxonomy of the "virtual campus" - but where there are clear differences then separate groupings of material will be made.
Another difference of emphasis was that Re.ViCa was very focussed on just one wiki - with due attribution from and links to Wikipedia, of course. VISCED still has a strong focus on wikis and on the VISCED content wiki in particular, but the project wiki is separate - and far more links will be made to and from other related wikis such as WikiEducator (for OER in particular) and national wikis such as BenchmarkWiki and ALT wiki in the UK. You will also see VISCED making more use of other web 2.0 tools including blogs (like this) and Twitter - check out #visced
There is a particular issue with the literature database. A related project is investigating Mendeley for literature databases (check out our pilot), but semantic wikis are also under study - watch this space for our conclusions later this summer on how and where to deploy our literature resources.
We do not want to make all our decisions just within the project - so via this channel and others (such as the IAC) we are soliciting your views.
And we do not want to create all the content ourselves. In fact for over two years the wiki has been open to contributors from outside the projects our partners run - we welcome e-learning experts from other communities to contribute material. In recent months a small start has been made with updating the countries of sub-Saharan Africa using volunteer labour under the e-World scheme - and we hope that more can be done. Only by such means can we obtain truly global coverage.
I look forward to hearing from you
Paul Bacsich, VISCED Project Manager