What are Virtual and Remote Laboratories?

Virtual and remote laboratories reflect a movement among education institutions to make the equipment and elements of a physical science laboratory more easily available to learners from any location, via the web. Virtual laboratories are web applications that emulate the operation of real laboratories and enable students to practice in a “safe” environment before using real, physical components. Students can typically access virtual labs 24/7, from wherever they are, and run the same experiments over and over again. Some emerging virtual lab platforms also incorporate reporting templates that populate with the results of the experiments so that students and teachers can easily review the outcomes. Remote laboratories, on the other hand, provide a virtual interface to a real, physical laboratory. Institutions that do not have access to high-caliber lab equipment can run experiments and perform lab work online, accessing the tools from a central location. Users are able to manipulate the equipment and watch the activities unfold via a webcam on a computer or mobile device. This provides students with a realistic view of system behavior and allows them access to professional laboratory tools from anywhere, whenever they need. Additionally, remote labs alleviate some financial burden for institutions as they can forgo purchasing specific equipment and use the remote tools that are at their disposal. INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar). Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012 ==(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?== * Science is expensive and it is hard to find people who really have a passion for science who can put together quality science instruction. Having virtual laboratories makes it possible to bring quality science experiences into all classrooms. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Feb 1, 2014 * add your response here ==(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?== * Mobile - tablet virtual labs. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Feb 1, 2014 * Virtual Field Trips. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 5, 2014 ==(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?== * More and better science. My observations are that schools just do not do science. Since my own children are "advanced" they can use the remediation time that other students have to use for reading a science textbook... wheeeee. - mrskeeler mrskeeler Feb 1, 2014~ * add your response here ==(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?== * The OpenScience Labs from the Open University offer opportunities for students to undertake lab learning to supplement their other work http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/open-science/ Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project Sharing Form.