This chapter discusses the role of distance education in K-12 education. Distance education is used as a general term for teaching and learning when teachers and learners are separate in terms of space and time, in which information and communication technology (ICT) are used to facilitate the teaching and learning process. It is believed that because of developments in ICTs distance education can serve as a catalyst of a new global educational reform in schools aimed to break the monopoly of the print and paper based educational system. To realize such ongoing educational reform distance education should make use of virtual learning environments which do not put clear boundaries between physical and virtual worlds. A key factor for success of distance education is to design virtual learning environments which apply relevant instructional design strategies based on a current learning theory. Research on the effectiveness of distance education is discussed. The future of distance education is considered in the context of Web 2.0 schools.


Distance education Educational reform Learning spaces Learning theories Virtual learning environments Web 2.0 schools 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roumen Nikolov
    • 1
  • Iliana Nikolova
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Mathematics and InformaticsSofia UniversitySofiaBulgaria

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