Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter - June 2011 Issue

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Welcome to the June edition of the Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter

The June edition of our newsletter contains a variety of articles and reports related to the use of ICT in secondary and post-secondary education for 14-21 year olds in Europe and elsewhere. It includes a report on ICT take-up in Finnish schools, recommendations about relevant resources and events and information about projects and initiatives related to the concept of Virtual Schools.


This newsletter is an outcome of the European project VISCED which is carrying out a systematic review of virtual schools and colleges at international and national levels including a study into operational examples of fully virtual schools and colleges.  


You are very welcome to send us news about developments related to virtual schools and colleges in your region or country, share this newsletter with your colleagues and join us on the Virtual Schools and Colleges wiki.


Controlled assessment in England represents a challenge to Virtual Schools

Controlled assessment replaced coursework in most GCSE subjects in September 2009, and last year for English and ICT. The intention was to improve public confidence in the rigour of GCSEs.  Instead of developing coursework at home, students must now work under supervision.

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Study into the use of ICT for the assessment of Key Competences

This study being carried out by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies will look at how ICT can support modernising schools and education and training practices by exploring assessment strategies that adequately capture all dimensions of the key competences for the 21st century, for all learners.

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Factors predisposing towards virtual schools in a country

This is a set of preliminary observations on what factors prevalent in a country might predispose that country towards having virtual schools – schools which do their teaching online to students at home.

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Agreement on the new Government Programme in Finland

On Friday, 17 June, the negotiators to form a new government reached agreement on the new Government Programme entitled An Open, Fair and Bold Finland.

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US study highlights significant increase in teachers take-up of technology

A recently published report in the US entitled “The New 3 E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged and Empowered – How Today’s Educators are Advancing a New Vision for Teaching and Learning” presented findings from the large scale Speak Up 2010 Educators survey.

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ICL conference in Slovakia includes schools benchmarking forum

This year the annual ICL conference taking place from 21-23 September will include a Benchmarking Forum on “school by playing”  in order to identify best practice and trends. The main current task of the SCHOLA LUDUS is to build up a virtual science centre. For more about the forum, visit the ICL conference site.

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EDUsummIT 2011: moving education into the digital age

This summit which took place from 8-10 June was organised by UNESCO (Teacher Policy and Development Section) and a variety of other organisations including Kennisnet from the Netherlands. It brought together some 120 prominent stakeholders to examine the impact of evidence and dissemination strategies on future ICT policies and practices globally.

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The OLC-EDEN organisation or: 'Own Language and Culture European Distance Education Network' is a network of 4 agencies closely linked to the Ministries of Education in Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. Find out more from this slide presentation.

This project funded  under the EC's Safer Internet Programme is carrying out original empirical research across member states with national samples of children aged 9-16 years old and their parents.

The Assessment and Teaching of 21st-Century Skills (ATC21S) is a research project that proposes ways of assessing 21st-century skills and encourages teaching and adopting those skills in the classroom.

Featured Virtual School Initiative

Think Academy, an international virtual school in Chile

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.

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New on the wiki

Swedish virtual school for Swedish students in and outside of Sweden

The Swedish virtual school Sofia Distansundervisning (in English: Sofia Distance Learning) offers full-time e-learning to students in grades 6-9 through the virtual learning environment Firstclass. It complies with the compulsory school curriculum and assessment criteria.

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Paul's Blog

In order to begin planning for some of the WP3 and WP4 tasks - in particular to get a global overview of the "virtual school" phenomenon, especially its research and taxonomy aspects, I have done a "dawn raid" on the Mendeley database for literature on virtual schools and colleges. Completely unlike our recent experience at Sero with literature on OER, where there is plenty of literature but little of it on Mendeley (till we started), I discovered lots of material - 155 items to be precise.  Now there are 173 items in this group -

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website of car loans reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.