Saturday, April 7, 2012

A "Virtual Reality" Persuasion

Through the course of this week, I've been able to investigate virtual realities and how they are utilized in education. In my personal opinion, I believe the use of virtual realities are wonderful tools to promote technology and 21st Century Skills. However, many do not agree with me. As I stated in my most recent post, it is easy to understand why so many are against the use of virtual environments. VR users have the potential of becoming addicted to the virtual worlds and are unable to function in the real world. Not to mention, VR's have been thought to increase aggressive behaviors; many people debate they are the cause of school bullying and students killing other students.  Despite the potential of negative impacts, I still believe that virtual realities can be a great tool in education!!

Virtual Realities can provide motivation to students. The allow opportunities for students to become immersed and completely engaged in the content. Not to mention, VR's allow educators to teach students the required standards as well as NET standards and 21st Century skills. In addition to investigating my opposing side, I took some time to "play" on some virtual reality sites. I'll admit that some sites were so fun that I felt myself becoming addicted! Some of the sites I investigated seemed to be for pleasure while some really could be educational. Through my research, I was able to find quite a few sites that are appropriate for all ages. As a way to model Marzano's strategy by using an Advanced Organizer, I created a tree on

Out of the sites that I investigated, I find four sites that I plan to use with my own students:
Discover!Science Simulations
PhET Simulations

Discover!Science Simulations are more for elementary level, but some of these simulations would be great to use with some of my lower or ESL students. However, the other three, I do plan to utilize a great deal, so I took some extra time to really investigate them. Below is a link to the summary of these virtual realities:

Summary of Virtual Reality Examples

To further prove how strongly I feel about the use of VR's in class, I created a lesson plan that I will use with my Forensics class:

Virtual Reality Lesson Plan

Overall, this week has been enlightening. I've been able to see both sides to a tool that could be good to use and possibly has some negative impacts. However, I still believe that the positive outweighs the negative. It is up to you to decide....

Bickford, R. (2010). Youth access to violent video games on trial: The supreme court takes the case. (Communique ed., Vol. 39, pp. 11-13).

Ethical Issues in Clinical Neuropsychology.Eds: Bush, S.S., & Drexler, M.L., Lisse, NL: Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers, 243 - 280 (2003). Retrieved from

Kommers, P. (1997). Virtual reality for education. Retrieved from

Pantelidis, V. (2000). Reasons to use virtual reality in education. VR in Schools, 1(1), 9. Retrieved from

Tan, G. (2009, August 03). Virtual reality games an addiction for local gamers. The Brunei Times. Retrieved from

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