Following the theme of my previous couple of posts, today we published a paper written by Michael Barbour (with a little help from me) titled Virtual Learning as an Impetus for Educational Change: Charting a way forward for learning in New Zealand.
This paper has been a while coming, and is the product of a visit to NZ early last year by Michael Barbour during which he visited many of the schools involved in NZ’s virtual learning network, and extensively researched the background of the development of virtual learning in NZ over the past couple of decades.
The purpose of the paper is to examine the current state of virtual learning in the schools sector, as well as chart a vision for the virtual learning in 2016 and beyond. In this document, first, we trace the history and development of the main types of providers of distance education to establish the context for the current provision of online distance and blended learning in New Zealand. Second, we examine the organisational models designed to allow for the continued development of these initiatives. Finally, we consolidate and expand these two organisational models to chart a specific vision for the future of education in New Zealand’s school’s sector.
For anyone who takes the time to read this document, I’d be interested to hear your reaction to the models we propose, and your ideas on how we might enact this to make it a real option for learners in 21st century NZ?