Abstracts

 

THE VIRTUAL EXPERIMENT IN THE SCIENCE CLASSROOM

Konstantinos Karampelas, Greece
 

This paper presents findings from a study about the potential of enhancing science classrooms with virtual experiments. Considering the widely claimed benefits of using information technologies and multimedia, along with the importance of experimental tasks in a science class, this action research process took place in a Greek primary school science class. The focus was on the following questions: (a) Which units or concepts of science curriculum can be assisted by the use of virtual experiments? (b) How can the use of virtual experiments enhance pupilsí skills both for the subject of science as well as information and communication technologies? (c) What barriers can be surpassed by these experiments? (d) What challenges arise? The data were gathered through documents such as the official curriculum, observations, pupilsí notes or work, as well as individual or group interviews with the pupils, parents and teachers. Findings show that there can be both benefits and risks with using the virtual experiment. The role of the teacher or mediator, along with appropriate lesson planning should not be neglected.
 

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