"虚拟学校"的现象产生了很大的骚动。很多人认为有革命性的方式教育是传递和访问在信息时代的数字时代，虚拟学习在美国有可以追溯到 18 世纪后期的根源。当代的虚拟学校的现代前体是基于邮件的函授学校，据说发明在 1891 年在芝加哥大学。从基于邮件的系统，交付机制很快演变成的基于互联网的虚拟学校的今天的电视和卫星广播的电台节目。在上世纪 90 年代发起了使用互联网作为媒介的虚拟学校但其基金会成立之前这一时期。1988 年，联邦的明星学校计划开始特别侧重于提供通过电信建立伙伴关系对小型乡村学校的远程教育技术。1993 年 8 月，一所特许学校建成由地平线教学系统在林肯，加利福尼亚州，提供包括混合家庭基础计算机与卫星技术和远程教育"以电子方式辅助的学生教学"程序的程序。K-12 虚拟学校出现在 1995 年时推出了九个区教师基于俄勒冈州尤金市的 CyberSchool 项目夏季中有体现。到 1996 年，虚拟学校的炒作了地面实验 WebSchool 在佛罗里达州奥兰治县; 建立网络学院在华盛顿州;在康科德虚拟高中被修造通过 $ 750 万补助;和内布拉斯加-林肯大学。什么使具体化，K-12 虚拟学校的存在是出现了的大型、 多状态的程序，例如佛罗里达虚拟学校，成立于 1997 年和虚拟高中 （绿道 & 瓦尼奥雷克，2006年）。
The phenomenon of the "virtual school" has generated much excitement. Considered by many to have revolutionized the way education is delivered and accessed in the digital era of the Information age, virtual learning in the United States has roots that go way back in the late 18th century. The modern precursor to the contemporary virtual schools is the mail-based correspondence school, said to have been invented in 1891 at the University of Chicago. From mail-based systems, delivery mechanisms soon evolved to radio programs to television and satellite broadcasts to the Internet-based virtual schools of today. Virtual schools using the Internet as medium were launched in the 1990s but its foundation established before that period. In 1988, the federal Star Schools program was started with particular emphasis on providing distance-education technologies through telecommunication partnerships to small rural schools. In August 1993, a charter school was built by Horizon Instructional Systems in Lincoln, California, offering programs that include an "electronically assisted student teaching" program that blended home-based computers with satellite technology and distance education. The K-12 virtual school appears to have materialized in the summer of 1995 when the Eugene, Oregon-based CyberSchool Project was launched by nine district teachers. By 1996, the hype of the virtual school took ground with the establishment of the experimental WebSchool in Orange County Florida; Cyber-School Academy in Washington State; the Concord Virtual High School which was built through a $7.5 million grant; and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. What concretized the presence of K-12 virtual schools is the emergence of large, multi-state programs such as the Florida Virtual School, founded in 1997 and the Virtual High School (Greenway & Vanourek, 2006).