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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

The Trends and Problems of Virtual Schools

The Trends and Problems of Virtual Schools
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Author(s): Glenn Russell (Monash University, Australia)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch605


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Until recent times, schools have been characterized by the physical presence of teachers and students together. Usually, a building is used for instruction, and teaching materials such as books or blackboards are often in evidence. In the 20th century, alternatives to what may be called “bricks-and-mortar” schools emerged. These were forms of distance education, where children could learn without attending classes on a regular basis. The technologies used included mail, for correspondence schools, and the 20th century technologies of radio and television. Virtual schools can be seen as a variant of distance education. Russell (2004) argued that they emerged in the closing years of the 20th century and can be understood as a form of schooling that uses online computers to provide some or all of a student’s education. Typically, spatial and temporal distancing is employed, and this results in students being able to use their computers at convenient times in their homes or elsewhere, rather than being subject to meeting at an agreed upon time in a school building.

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