Online and Virtual Schooling in Europe

Glenn Russell []
Centre for Educational Multimedia, Faculty of Education,
Monash University, Victoria, Australia.


The development of interactive online technology has enabled the development of online and virtual schools in Europe, North America and elsewhere. These forms of school education challenge conventional schooling modes characterised by the physical presence of teachers and students in a building using experiential modes of learning. This paper considers examples of online projects for European school students. It also discusses the reasons for the development of online and virtual schools, and differentiates between available choices. Some of the key issues associated with virtual schools are explored, including flexibility, reaction to industrial modes of schooling, socialization, students' suitability for online environments, teacher training and professional development, the emergence of new educational paradigms, and the reduction of empathy between teacher and student. The paper concludes that virtual schools are likely to become increasingly attractive for school students and parents in Europe, but their characteristics may vary from those in other countries. A consequence of the growth of virtual schools is that there is likely to be an increased focus on the advantages and issues associated with interactive online learning.

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e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, MOOCs, ICT, information and communication technology, collaborative learning, internet, interaction, learning management system, LMS,

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