Posts tagged ‘Virtual Learning Environments’

The Many Virtues of the Virtual Lab

Very interesting article on virtual labs and their uses in science classes with limited lab equipment:

“Thanks to rapid development in information technology, all real life situations can be simulated on your very computer screen, loaded with programs such as Java, Flash, Real media etc. With increasing number of e-learning companies and academic websites offering virtual laboratories, it is easier today than ever before, for a science teacher to use virtual lab. He simply needs to download the virtual experiment from the World Wide Web or buy it as part of an e-learning package from product manufacturers. Virtual labs can help the teacher and the taught, to a significant extent. Let us visit a few virtual classrooms.”

Author: P.R. Guruprasad, TechLearning, 1st April 2008

Full article available here.


April 7, 2008 at 2:38 pm Leave a comment

How To Spark Remote Learning

“Second Life,” the online world that brings players together from across the globe to socialize, shop and even fly, is developing a second career as a hot spot for learning English as a second language (ESL).

It’s a classic innovation–a novel way to use a tool created for an entirely different purpose, namely to have a good time. That’s still the reason why most players come to “Second Life,” but English-language instructors who spend time with students there say they’re combining fun and learning–and getting excellent results.

Author: Bonnie Ruberg, Forbes Innovations, 19th March 2008

Full article available here.

March 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

UK unis, colleges & academics in Second Life

The latest Eduserv Foundation funded study into UK universities,
colleges and academics developing “stuff” in Second Life, and using
this for teaching and learning, is underway. Fuller details are
blogged here:

As we visit these developments, we’ll be taking screen dumps and
adding them to this picture set in Flickr:

If you’re in UK Higher or Further Education and you’ve developed
something in Second Life then get in touch:

It’s an opportunity to promote what you’ve done, and also for like-
minded academics to find you.

If you are aware of other developments in UK universities and colleges
– be they at the institution, department, group or lone academic level
– then we’d appreciate word of them too; thanks.

Author: John Kirriemuir, Silversprite Helsinki, 4th March 2008

March 4, 2008 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

Another defence of VLEs

Paperwork up to the eyeballs, and a to-do list somewhat longer than my arm, mean that writing my own defence of VLEs is still on the backburner. So here’s a link to recent posts on this topic – with particular relevance for the Scottish schools (5-16) sector…

John Connell answers “Why not just use Skype?“. There are benefits of single-sign on and collaboration with other authenticated users within a large scale environment. Again, this does not mean that other systems cannot be used, but a common system shared by all schools brings benefits that might not be realised by large numbers of teachers each using their own preferred subsets of Web 2.0 technologies. As one of the comments notes:

Glow isn’t going to offer a huge amount that’s not available to those teachers who are already using Web2.0 tools with pupils, but such teachers are a tiny minority now, and even their use of the tools in the learning and teaching process is often sporadic.

Web 2.0 technologies allow schools, classes, teachers and pupils to communicate and collaborate online. Glow gives Scottish schools, classes, teachers and pupils a place to do this – hopefully making it easier not just to conduct these activities but easier to make the connections required before such things can happen at all. There is also an extra hurdle in introducing new technologies if each one requires a new log in, and has the appearance of a new service, new brand and new UI. By collecting a range of features inside one environment, Glow has the ability to introduce new ways of working gradually and without teachers thinking they are using a new product each time they use a previously untouched feature.

Additional debate on .

Author: Daniel Livingstone, 4th March 2008

March 4, 2008 at 6:43 pm Leave a comment


The purpose of this blog is to provide insight into the impact of computer games and pop culture, and effective ways of incorporating the positive surplus into learning experiences.

Please feel free to add comments and email me with any queries. I am also interested in relevant project collaboration.

Name: Alexandra Matthews
Location: UK

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