Special Report

Virtual World of Learning

E-Learning Is Evolving Around the Globe, Prompting U.S. Schools To Forge International Partnerships
February 1, 2012
The United States has many lessons it can learn from how other countries are deploying virtual education and how it might partner up with those countries in different ways to offer a wider range of educational and cultural experiences to its students. This report, part of Education Week’s ongoing series on virtual education, draws out many of those lessons to be learned from other countries and highlights some of the more distinctive virtual education partnerships emerging between schools in the United States and those outside its borders, while noting the difficulties that arise for educators and schools when taking on such initiatives.
  • International International Initiatives Fuel Growth of Open Ed. Content
    Experts say the real power of open education resources comes not from the fact that they are free, but from the ability to customize the content.
    Katie Ash, January 30, 2012
    8 min read
    A primary school student in Kenya uses an e-reader supplied by the Worldreader organization.
    A primary school student in Kenya uses an e-reader supplied by the Worldreader organization.
    Worldreader
    International Mobile Devices Address Tech. Equity in Africa
    The use of mobile technology and online content on the continent in various forms is gaining steam as a way to bypass some countries' most significant education hurdles.
    Michelle R. Davis, January 30, 2012
    10 min read
    International Canadian Virtual Ed. Dips Into For-Profit Realm
    While there may not be much involvement by private companies in the Canadian online education sector, that doesn't mean the idea of earning profits in this arena is being ignored.
    Michelle R. Davis, January 30, 2012
    2 min read
    Students at Ningbo Secondary School in China’s Zhejiang province (shown on the computer screen) ask questions of teenagers in teacher Fan Li’s Chinese-language class at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich. The January teleconference, which was the class’s first with its Chinese counterparts, saw both groups performing and conversing in Chinese and English.
    Students at Ningbo Secondary School in China’s Zhejiang province (shown on the computer screen) ask questions of teenagers in teacher Fan Li’s Chinese-language class at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich. The January teleconference, which was the class’s first with its Chinese counterparts, saw both groups performing and conversing in Chinese and English.
    Brian Widdis for Education Week
    School & District Management U.S., Chinese Schools Build Virtual Ed. Partnerships
    Several schools aiming to better prepare students for a global economy and foster cultural understanding between the United States and China have established online student exchange programs.
    Katie Ash, January 30, 2012
    6 min read
    International Quality Concerns Slow E-Learning Growth in China
    The Chinese government has set a goal of creating digital learning environments for all the country's students by 2020, but the growth of virtual education has lagged behind that of the United States.
    Katie Ash, January 30, 2012
    7 min read
    International Virtual Teachers Deploy Skills Across Countries
    While there are drawbacks—such as technological glitches that interrupt instruction—online educators say the opportunities to build alliances with colleagues worldwide allow them to strengthen their own teaching.
    Robin L. Flanigan, January 30, 2012
    7 min read
    School & District Management U.S. Virtual Ed. Companies Court Global Clients
    But, despite the flexibility of online delivery, barriers due to geography and regionalism are slowing plans for future international growth.
    Ian Quillen, January 30, 2012
    6 min read
    Fourth grader Rachel Quansah works on a reader-response assignment at Discovery Public School in Vaughan, Ontario, just outside Toronto.
    Fourth grader Rachel Quansah works on a reader-response assignment at Discovery Public School in Vaughan, Ontario, just outside Toronto.
    Nicole Frugé/Education Week
    International Virtual Ed. in Canada Favors Centralized Programs
    The country's e-learning initiatives are more standardized than those in the U.S., and they tend to shy away from using private companies to deliver content.
    Michelle R. Davis, January 30, 2012
    8 min read
    Six-year-old Maria shows how to learn Spanish on a mobile phone to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and then-Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, left, at a technology fair in Hanover, Germany, in 2010.
    Six-year-old Maria shows how to learn Spanish on a mobile phone to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and then-Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, left, at a technology fair in Hanover, Germany, in 2010.
    Focke Strangmann/AP-File
    International Europe Seen Leading the Way in Hand-Held Computing
    While hand-held mobile learning is viewed in the United States as a recent trend, its roots go further back in the United Kingdom and Western Europe, revealing different approaches.
    Ian Quillen, January 30, 2012
    7 min read
    International U.S. Schools Forge Foreign Connections Via Web
    American students are teaming up online with classrooms around the world to learn valuable lessons about current events, economic trends, and cultural norms.
    Robin L. Flanigan, January 23, 2012
    7 min read