Virtual Schools – The Development and the Benefits It Brings

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1. Introduction: Virtual Schools

A virtual school or cyberschool describes an institution that provides courses taught entirely or partially through online methods. Although there are hundreds of thousands of commercial and non-accredited and which are available online, the term “virtual school” is used for accredited schools that offer full-time courses designed to lead to the receipt of a diploma. All or most of the services for students led by Internet technology. Virtual schools differ from traditional schools through physical media that connect administrators, teachers and students. Virtual schools are public schools about distance learning.

There are different models of virtual schools. And teaching models range from fully independent (asynchronous) semester courses with teachers facilitating virtual (synchronous). The size of virtual classes varies from some 25 students per class to about 200 students in a class section depending on the technology used for communication. Students establish contacts with teachers and collaborate with other students through web communication devices provided by the exchange distribution platforms like Blackboard, or other options that facilitate the commission of a lesson.Communication can often be made by phone. To help with communication many virtual schools have implemented their programs to assist in building maintenance courses and student profiles. There are also many books and training manuals to assist in the development of these schools and educational courses.

Most virtual schools today are descendants of correspondence schools. Often called as schools with long-distance correspondence they offer students an alternative compared to traditional form of tedious meetings and boring inside a school. These schools used the postal service for student-teacher interactive komunikin or use two directional radio broadcasting, television tapes ever with pre-recorded. Students were expected to learn the appropriate materal individually and sometimes meet with a supervisor to be tested. Modern virtual schools offer more or less the same alternative for students with a greater range and often interactive.

Virtual schools already exist around the world. Some of them are integrated into public schools where students sit at computers in labs and do their work online. In other situations students can be totally “home educated” or may pursue any combination of private schools, public or virtual.

2. Who use the distance learning networks?

Imagine learning with friends online, expertise and resources that are available at any time you want or need. These classmates are from urban or rural areas or from countries very remote and forgotten. They, like you do not need to leave their home. You can learn all together without being in the same place, in the ordinary sense, but in a virtual space, a “cyberspace”, using systems of networks that connect people anywhere around the globe. Students can enter a virtual classroom, wherever located, just have to own a laptop and a modem, a phone line, satellite or radio tapes. Network connection using one of the mediums mentioned above turns your computer screen into a window to the world of learning.

Networking is the name used for these shape spaces that have broken the barriers imposed by gjografike spaces. Satellite and telephone signals create a web or a wide network that can connect one computer to another anywhere in the world. Based on these nets educators create a learning environment where effective teachers and students in different locations work together to hewn their skills of understanding about a particular issue.

Most systems that support networks in distance learning are based only on the text (some may support the communications and audio and graphics). The written word is a typical tool of learning as learning fits, repeat group and sharing knowledge. Practically the entire teaching is built around books and records, written and communication networks mediated by computers (Computer-Mediated Communications CMC) using exactly the text as a means to share information and build knowledge of the group. Shumiva networks are asynchronous CMC. This is because by using nature-based text (text-based) communication allows all participants to work in their own space individual learning and take as long as they want to read, reflect, write and share repeated before questions, knowledge or information with others.

So learning networks are groups of people remotely using CMC networks to learn together in time and space that suits you and you need them for a particular issue. Use of these computer networks in education at various levels from kindergarten to university presents new ways of teaching and learning by bringing an increase in feedback. Users of these networks is generating enthusiastic response of teachers and students who think that networking technologies can improve the traditional way of learning and teaching and education at the same time to enter a new era of new possibilities for communication, collaboration and construction of knowledge. In a world where learning throughout life is simultaneously made possible and necessary social and technological changes staggering, comfort and efficiency that provides this new way of learning makes it a great educational force for the 21st century.

The historical view of computer network and distance learning

Computer-based communication networks originally occurred in the 1960s with the email address in the time-sharing computers (media sharing at the same time). People communicate by sending messages using the same mainframe computers through terminals connected to mainframe or dial-up telephone lines (for long distance). In 1969, ARPANET was developed as a U.S. government experiment in multiple sites that used the technology packages (dedicated phone lines for data communication). It was originally developed to connect researchers with central computers to share hardware and software resources, as disk space, the power of the processor, database, etc..Users soon realized that they wanted more than that. They wanted nets which allow them to send messages to each state tjetran about their projects. So in the 1970 was added the possibility of sending the e-mail, which became menjehre used in service with the network. Mail lists (or distribution lists) were those which were implemented later after users realized that there would have to send e-mail but only one person against a particular group. In 1983 ARPANET split into ARPANET and Milne (an unclassified military network), but kumunikimi between the two continued. Bond between them became the basis of the Internet (the largest network in the world nowadays).

At the beginning of academic networks and educators had limited access to them.ARPANET access was limited to the Army and we are working with universities to protect research. Networking with other applications such as UUCP, a worldwide communication network Unix decentralized and cooperative, and USENET (User’s Network-Network users) took place years later in 1970, initially to serve the university and then to commercial organizations. BITNET (Because It’s Time Network) and CSNET (the Comp Science Network) was spread later to create a national network for academics and researchers. These networks were not originally part of the Internet, but later he developed some special connection to make possible the exchange of information and sending messages between different communities. This connection between the networks was that the basis was laid for the creation of the Internet further. NSFNET (National Science Foundation Network) was another network that was created to link researchers and academics around the U.S. with five supercomputer centers. NSFNET, which is the backbone of the Internet replaced the ARPANET and CSNET.

Conference report of the first computer system (virtual conference) was held in 1970.Computer or virtual conferences provide the opportunity of communicating to a group of temporary and usually supports the roles of the group, such as leader or moderator. The first system included 20 people around the U.S. and developed over a period of 13 weeks. This was the Emissary (Emergency Management Information System and Reference Index), which evolved in a conference system to a high degree and complete with the possibility of sending personal messages, involvement in discussions and communications with real-time messages.

These computer systems used for conferences Conference was originally used for the delivery of courses and activities in early 1980 when the availability of networks based on the use of packets (packet-switching) as Telenet and Tymnet U.S. did the cost of access to these systems with affordable by teachers and students, so the general public. Interest in distance learning networks grew conference presentation and computer skills bulletins boards, with sophisticated media communication in the group, which offered teachers better ways to determine the structure of learning and groups. The first usage of computer in teaching conferences were without credit mini courses and executive training programs and courses in the form of a class at the college level. Today networks of education / distance learning have been adapted with success at all levels of learning.

Over the past two decades have developed two educational aspects of computer networks at remote locations. They are developed in a traditional courses which pengjasojne with a real classroom, in the form of forums for njohurike nets, for participation in discussion groups or sharing information with friends or experts as well as access to online resources.

Distance 4.E-learning

Distance Education or Distance Learning (distance learning) is an area of education that focuses on methods and learning technologies with the goal of learning delivery, usually on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in one form or location, traditional learning: a classroom. He is described as a process to create and provide access to learning when the source information and students or pupils are dispersed in time or distance, or both together. Distance education courses that require physical presence for any reason ( to make examinations) are called hybrid or mixed courses of study.

4.1.History and development

Distance education dates back rreth1728 when a notice in the Boston newspaper, Caleb Phillips, teacher of new methods of shorthand, demanded the students to send in weekly lectures.

In modern times, distance education was initially supported the development of postal service in the 19th century and was practiced at least since Isaac Pitman taught shorthand in Great Britain via correspondence, circa 1840. University of London was the first who has given us distane teaching degrees, creating the External Programme. We first U.S. president of the University of Chicago developed the concept of extended learning, where university research had departameti satellite colleges of education in the wider community. He also kurajoi concept courses at remote locations, an idea was put into practice from Columbia University.

Carnegie Foundation funded Wedemeyer’s called Articulated Instructional Media Project (AIM) which brought a variety of communication technologies in order to provide conditions for learning a population which was not developed in terms of education.Depending on Moore’s law, AIM impressed by England, which imported the idea when we built the 1969 Open University, which initially relied on radio and television broadcasting for most of its distributions. Already has many institutions around the world with the name Open Universities. All these technologies use distance learning as a methodology of dissolution.

American Open University was a pioneer in the use of computer conferences to communicate remotely. This was used as a way to enhance and develop student teacher communication. Later it was adopted and the British as part of a massive exchange-based distance education. Open University in England, he brought the number of accounts in computer conferences up to 1300 students in a course.

Further development of computers and networking technologies to the largest network in the world today, the internet has been its undisputed influence and distribution of distance learning, making it easier and faster. This development has led before all virtual universities and other forms of education that take place online. In 2006, Sloan society, a body which may have a conflict of interest in the matter, reported that: More than 96% of large institutions have some online offerings, which is more than twice the rate for institutions with smaller. Also about 3.2 million American students are taking at least one online course during the first semetrit 2005. A study published in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Education found that “From 2000 to 2008, the percentage of undergraduate students enrolled in at least one distance education class has been expanded from 8% to 20%, and the percentage of students enrolled in a degree program has increased from 2% to 4%. Today there are many private and public institutions, non-profit and profit organizations worldwide which offer distance learning courses from basic level up to higher levels of achievement than taking the diploma degree and doctoral programs.

4.2.The technologies used in Distribution

Types of available technologies used for distance communication are divided into two groups: synchronous learning and asynchronous learning.

Synchronous Learning 1.Teknologjia consists of such distribution, where all participants are at the same time. It resembles modekin of traditional learning in the classroom despite the fact that participants are located in different countries. Requires time to organize. Web conferencing, videoconferencing, educational television, et. Are examples of synchronous technology as are direct satellite broadcasting (DBS Direct-Broadcat Satellite), Internet, radio, live communications, telephone and Web-Based VoIP.

The Learning 2.Teknologjia Async is such that participants access the course materials available in their personal skedulen. This makes this technology more flexible. Students not required to be together at the same time. Mail correspondence, which is the oldest form of communication at a distance, using an asynchronous distribution technology.Other examples are various forums, planks messages, e-mail, video and audio recordings, printed materials, e-mail and fax-voice.

Both methods can be combined in a single course. Eg some of the courses offered by open universities using regular teaching sessions daily for residential and distance learning completed. Other technological methods used in the delivery of distance learning include three dimensional virtual world (3D) online. A 3D virtual world famous, worldwide active, used for synchronous and asynchronous learning. They provide opportunities for students to work bashkarrisht.

4.3.Advantages and Disadvantages

Diana G. Oblinger, has identified four broad reasons why educational institutions can embrace distance learning:

a.Aksesim wide: in distance education can help satisfy the demand for education and training for people and businesses in general, especially because it offers the possibility of a flexibility to accommodate the limitations of how much the times imposed by the commitments and responsibilities personal.

b.Lehtesim limited capacity: being mostly or entirely off-site (in different countries / outside the field of view), the system reduces demand on institutional infrastructure, such as buildings.

c.Marrja money from emerging markets: it claims a growing acceptance by the population of the value of lifelong learning, beyond the normal school age, and that institutions can benefit financially from this by adopting distance education. She sees education sectors such as courses for business executives as more profitable than traditional markets.

d.Katalizator for institutional transformation: a modern competitive market requires rapid change and innovation, for which she believes that distance learning programs can act as a catalyst.

Casey and Lorenzen have identified another financial benefit for American institutions, stating that distance education provides young graduates, who may be willing to donate money for the school that has never been associated with the school under the systemtraditional.

But on the other hand there and criticism. Express such a concern that students who use adult distance education can be found such as obstacles, distractions inside the house and the incredible technologies that will do the end of a difficult course in the distance.

5.What can expect teachers and students from participating in virtual schools?

Early experiences with distance learning networks have shown the potential for significant educational income. Networking technologies can be easy to learn and their use makes learning and teaching with rich and effective.

Networks offer students and teachers were new ideas, new perspectives, culture and local resources available to the rich with information. Lobby group provides multiple perspectives on a theme. Gross intercultural communication and global understanding are also facilitated. A good understanding of intercommunication between peoples of the world can contribute to learning how to respond to problems – global, political, social and environmental.

With distance learning networks, time, place and pace of education are expanding and have become more individual, and interaction and collaboration between colleagues is highlighted. Pupils and teachers, having a computer, modem, telephone line and service network can have access to expertise, resources and colleagues whenever they want or desire.

Quality of interaction is also improved. Interaction through networks helps to break down communication barriers and obstacles that often stifle the open exchange of ideas in traditional classrooms. There are also significant benefits motivating. Users of the network is very motivating for both parties, students and teachers: children interact with computer networks with energy and enthusiasm, which is often lacking in traditional classes. Pupils and teachers are stimulated by the ability to share ideas, concerns and solutions with colleagues across the country, so much easier if they were in another room.

Distance learning networks are also used effectively by students and teachers who are blind and / or deaf. Handicapped, as they learn basic technologies, can participate equally with their disability being invisible. A network such as real-time konferencal system enables students to be included in the written language, as they may be involved in spoken language. Writing on the Internet can be used for many purposes, ranging from informal requests for texts up to read texts for discussion or compositions of students in composing extended texts together online.

Some of the main reasons that teachers have put their nets in the class activities are to expand students’ opportunities for social interaction or appropriate with colleagues, to enable or enhance opportunities for students work in groups, either face to face or in distance education, and to ensure the students in accessing online resources and information appropriate.

In summary, some advantages of the use of distance learning networks are:

• Communication with teachers becomes equally and directly.

• Relationships between teachers have been increasing.

• Education becomes centered on students, teaching is done by the colleagues.

• learning opportunities for all pupils are equal: student-student interactions between the group have been increasing.

• Personal communication between participants is increased.

• Teaching and Learning is collaborative.

• There is more time to reflect on ideas, students can explore in the nets, exchange ideas and opinions is expanded; class becomes global.

• teacher-student hierarchy is broken. Teachers become students and students become teachers.

There are disadvantages to online learning. More preparatory work needed for teachers and students need to work hard to stay updated on the topic in order to participate fully and actively in learning. Networks encourage, even require active participation rather than passive. In order to be “present”, users should make some comments and be much more interactive. Students report information overload, communication anxiety about delayed responses in an asynchronous environment, increasing labor and responsibility, difficulty navigating the Internet and follow the topics of the discussion, the loss of virtual tracks and concerns about health issues associated with computer use.

6.Technologies of distance learning Networks

Technologies that support distance learning networks are simple and straightforward to be used. Although advanced technology and the complex are available, this is not an issue that complex systems to be better than simple systems. Some of these technologies are:

6.1. Bulletin Boards

This technology is an appropriate starting point for teaching groups of 20-50 people, who are placed in a local phone, otherwise the communication area. Bulletin board systems are also appropriate resources to support specific communities or clubs in public schools and can be used to support counseling and tutoring.

New generations of personal computers may support more species than the type of computer communication in previous systems. Since the population size and the amount of communication increases, there is a need, however, for rich communication structures (such as Conferencing systems) to support a wider range of learning activities.

6.2. Mail Systems

An e-mail system is a means of electronic transfer of data to send or receive messages through the network. Moreover, the most advanced e-mail have increased the ability of units to be attached binary file messages to facilitate the exchange of large amounts of information.

Today most universities are part of a worldwide network that allows anyone from any university to send messages at any other university. In general, these networks with hardware-ike-mail software allow communication between individuals anywhere where the network extends to lower rates than phone or mail. In many cases, local school systems are associated with universities and basic networks through their international network.

Large proportions of the population and geographical spread of these academic networks enable new and unique communities of learning and application of distance learning. Systems E-mail are useful for achieving specific individual communication and information exchange in time between small groups. However, any active use of message systems quickly leads to the problem of information overload. Another limitation of the message systems is the difficulty of learning activities to facilitate group work online. Systems and e-mail does not automatically organize messages according to topic or group, a common object and registered are not available to coordinate and online communication to unify the group.

6.3. Topic News Service

Many networks have created databases to post messages on a particular topic, giving individuals the ability to decide whether they want to enter them to access the information or to register for regular referral of information about a theme or message group.

The ability of group messaging enables a dynamic group newsletter, in which any member can add information to other members. Benefits for the groups are visible; network provides a mechanism for continuous and interactive exchange among colleagues that motivates and increases professionalism among educators and fulfillment. The problem of geographical spread of public school teachers from specialized fields can be solved with networking technology in distance learning.

Computer 6.4. Conferences

The model of electronic mail system has no mechanism to enable a group to collaborate on a joint, except for isolated exchange of information items. Computer conferencing is based on the concept that program facilities can be built in computer to allow groups to coordinate and organize material in a manner appropriate to their communication objectives. It thus provides specific groups within the software space that can be tailored to their needs. For better understanding, it is also called virtual reality, as in group communication structures are in fact created by a particular social system.

A computer conference is a transcript of a discussion guarded by a group in an easily accessible format. Each conference has level access privileges set by the person who opens (creates) conference, specifying, for example, which may be a member of the conference. Each conference provides a membership list that allows participants to show who has read the material, so you can know where are all discussed. Some systems allow the people to make changes in their contribution to the first and inform members about any changes. Other systems are structured to allow several individuals to edit the same contributions to login or anonymous contributions. Conferencing systems can allow functions such as different types of voting. In more advanced computer systems Conference, the person who opens a conference may be scheduled at a special conference. Some systems can provide sophisticated tools or information management skills, so that material can be rearranged to reflect different requirements for review.

Conference Computer Systems can be used in face to face classes or serve as an environment for classes offered entirely online. A class may be face to face using a computer conference to increase the time available for discussion in class or for group work. The conference can also be used to connect students in different classes or schools. Conference report a computer system that serves a community education can be designed and established to serve specific needs of this community.

6.5. Directory

Networks of Distance Learning need a directory service to identify other members of the network, the types of conferences available, and topics that are explored by groups of common interest. When someone starts talking about education population of several hundreds or thousands, the computer should facilitate the ability of individuals to find those groups in which they wish to participate.

There are some promising advances in the field, such as websites that offer electronic directory of addresses and a brief description of all Internet resources. Also, a public domain software, Web, and provides direct access easier for all websites.

7. Distance learning network in Albania

Today the future of education regards to distance learning schools. This for the reason that interntit development platform, which has increased the speed of communication.Adoption of online distance learning has become the trend of the moment today in schools around the world. Albania is part of a global shift towards knowledge-source material and intellectual resources as a basis for economic growth. Educators across Albania are aware that students must have an education that enables students to successfully participate and contribute to the construction of knowledge. In order to benefit from e-learning, higher education institutions in Albania must perform considerable analysis before in order to assess their readiness.

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