About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2651-2659
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain


V. Leone

Catholic University of Milan (ITALY)
One of the latest international challenge of the educational field can be identified in the definition of the perfect “virtual school”. To describe it is necessary to step back and reconstruct the evolution of virtual education through the last two decades. During this period of time many educators and researchers, around the world, have started their “Gold Rush” to find the best way to turn the growing market of technology into a means to improve the quality of learning and teaching as well as to bring school closer to the learning mode which best suit to students’ needs. The aim of this paper is to investigate the wide world of virtual education and to compare the different models. They evolved from the first attempt to turn the distance learning system, based mainly on postal service, radio and television broadcasts, into a web-based system to the highly technological advanced platforms which can rely on the most recent innovation of web 2.0.
One of the main reason to start a virtual school is usually based on overcoming the difficulties that people can face to be physically present at school, e.g. worldwide residents, expatriates, living too far from a local school, being unsatisfied with local provision; having health difficulties, e.g., disability or health issues; problems with the school environment, e.g., bullying or other issues. Virtual learning is supposed to have a lot of advantages: e.g., much spare time to spend as the student wants, choose the courses that he/she wants, positive effects of the development in education, thanks to the use of innovative learning strategies. On the contrary the opponents of this type of education highlight the lack of socialising opportunities, lack of behaviour rules to respect, physical distraction during the lessons, such as music, lack of checking of exercise books because the work is mainly performed using digital tools, and, in many cases, the high cost to sustain.
This is the most widespread model of virtual school, but the main question is if it is possible to limit the definition of “virtual school” to this type of education system which tends to substitute the in-presence school standard system or it should be enlarged, including any attempt to improve the quality of traditional school learning through the use of virtual means of communication. Can be “virtual school” considered a fact of today education or we have to work on to find a most suitable model able to satisfy the request of a larger market?
author = {Leone, V.},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {2651-2659}}
AU - V. Leone
SN - 978-84-616-0763-1/2340-1095
PY - 2012
Y1 - 19-21 November, 2012
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2012 Proceedings
SP - 2651
EP - 2659
ER -
V. Leone (2012) VIRTUAL SCHOOL: PRESENT PRACTICE OR FUTURE PERSPECTIVE?, ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 2651-2659.