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Virtual Schools: A Global Perspective

  • Niki E. Davis
  • Richard E. Ferdig
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

Each year, millions of K-12 students study one or more courses at a distance. Although the highest participation has been from learners in the USA, online flexible and distance K-12 schooling has become available to students from many countries around the globe. Its implementation and evolution is due, in part, to the varied ecosystems in which it appears. It began as a sharing economy; it now includes for-profit, nonprofit, and mixed business models that impact whole education systems and may continue to spread globally. Virtual schooling (VS) research overlaps in some ways with research in both traditional K-12 schooling and postsecondary online education. However, given its unique nature, research also specifically addresses virtual schooling’s benefits, challenges, strategies, services, and varied impacts on educational systems. This chapter provides an organizational perspective on K-12 online distance education. It includes a synthesis of the research and a discussion of the misconceptions of roles and responsibilities. The chapter concludes with a detailed illustration of a nonprofit service, depicted within (Davis 2018, pp. 99–127) Global Arena Framework to clarify its complexity and potential.

Keywords

Virtual Schooling K-12 distance learning Organisational culture Blended learning Online learning Distance education 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge all our collaborators, particularly Gail Wortmann and Iowa Learning Online. The research informing this chapter was funded in the USA by FIPSE, in New Zealand by the Ministry of Education and by the European Commission, as well as by participating universities including Iowa State University and the University of Canterbury.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.e-Learning LabUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Learning Technologies; RCETKent State UniversityKentUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Roumen Nikolov
    • 1
  • Kwok-Wing Lai
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Library Studies and Information TechnologiesSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.University of Otago College of EducationDunedinNew Zealand

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