Think Academy, an international virtual school in Chile
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
By Paul Bacsich, Sero Consulting Ltd., UK
A new interesting addition to our public research wiki, is the Think Academy International Virtual School in Chile, founded in 2007 with the aim to establish a platform for virtual education.
The school is based in Santiago, Chile, but students of the Colegio Virtual Think Academy are taught through online course materials delivered through Moodle and video conferencing, so they can study and do their assignments from their own homes.
The model is based on the education system in Finland which is often considered the best in the world as it would allow young people to learn more and to socialize better, in addition to bringing the cost of education down: according to the University of Memphis, USA, the system allows students to socialize up to 9% more while learning 6% more compared to traditional parameters.
Likewise, the students aged 13-18 share their education and experiences with peers from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, England and Portugal, using a method that combines adventure and entertainment and provides a large amount of information using current technology to its maximum potential.
In the case of disabled people, classes are subtitled for the deaf and spoken for the blind. For logistical reasons, the only class that is not taught is physical education. To overcome this limitation, students are authorised to go out and play with their friends or do sports after 1:30 PM. At the end of the year the youths must take open exams and they can even obtain a certificate from a school in the United States.
In December 2011 the school will have the chance to engage in a more concrete analysis of the results, when the first generation of graduates will take the University Selection Exam (PDU).
Enrollment to the Colegio Virtual Think Academy has grown from 10 students in 2007 to almost 60 this year and the area of virtual education in Chile has experienced a significant boom over the last few years with initiatives like the implementation of a virtual catalogue with the best technological tools for education, the development of educational video games and the creation of virtual platforms to improve reading comprehension.