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Technology and the Internet Enable Virtual Schools, Ranging from Virtual Public Charter Schools to Virtual Universities, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Virtual Charter and K-12 Schools:  Distance learning is not limited to college-level classes.  In fact, a small number of charters are entirely virtual, with students learning online, typically from home.  Home schooling has been growing in popularity in the U.S. for decades.  In a way, virtual charters are an alternative to the traditional, parent-led home school methodology.  One of the most significant aspects of such schools is that students typically learn in a self-paced manner.
An intense 2015 study of 166 virtual, online-only charters was published by CREDO, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, based at Stanford University.  Unfortunately, the study found that students attending these schools had, on average, slightly lower academic growth in reading and in math than traditional school students.  A more recent Wall Street Journal review of 468 full-time virtual schools in 34 states and the District of Columbia found sub-standard performance and low graduation rates when compared with public schools overall.  Nonetheless, some of the schools were shown to have significantly higher levels of achievement than traditional schools.
As a public school, FLVS serves students in all 67 of Florida’s public school districts.  The vast majority of students use FLVS to supplement courses that are available at their local, physical schools.  FLVS has an administration building in Orange County, Florida for administrative and technical staff.  However, its teachers are home-based and may live anywhere in the state.
Alternative Universities:  The Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute is part of an attempt to build a non-traditional university with Ivy League standards.  Minerva’s hope is to build valuable relationships and a true community among students by eventually building dorms in major cities around the world.  By 2021, the school had residential locations in San Francisco, Seoul, Hyderabad, Berlin, Buenos Aires, London and Taipei.
Elsewhere, The University of the People is a tuition-free, four-year university that operates as a nonprofit.  The founder is Shai Reshef, an Israeli entrepreneur who has invested millions of dollars in the organization, with the goal of providing a high quality, accredited university education to people worldwide.  By early 2019, the program had achieved accreditation by the Distance Education and Training Council.  Students pay a small application fee, but the fee may be waived for students with low incomes.  Backers include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Microsoft agreed to provide mentoring and job opportunities to 1,000 students in Africa. 
At a long list of other universities, including publicly-funded Arizona State University and for-profit University of Phoenix, students may enroll for a wide range of online-only degrees, or may take some of their classes in physical classrooms.

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