What are Virtual Laboratories?

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. Examples include an optical networking virtual lab and a virtual lab for programmable logic controllers. 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.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Distance and blended learning students will be able to practice as much as they want without being afraid of taking harmful decisions. The virtual lab won't break.
    - Sergio Sergio Jul 21, 2012- Sam Sam Aug 17, 2012
  • Students can try to design experiments by their own & show their innovation even if they do not have facilities in the real world. http://www.youtube.com/user/spacelab/spacelab
    - Zeinab.El.Maadawi Zeinab.El.Maadawi Aug 19, 2012

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on STEM+ education?

  • The use of virtual labs are very good tools for preparing students to physical sessions of the laboratory. They have been previously interacting with similar (virtual) equipment and thus they feel more confident in the initial sessions and take more advantage of the activities. - Sergio Sergio Jul 21, 2012 Agree & virtual labs are cost efficient, so students are able to perform virtual experiments repeatedly using different dosage & formula without wasting chemicals, equipment,etc.. - Zeinab.El.Maadawi Zeinab.El.Maadawi Aug 19, 2012
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects via our NMC Horizon Report project submission form.