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Resources,  January 08, 2008

Simulation Nation: The Promise of Virtual Learning Activities

In a recent article in Edutopia, Marc Prensky writes about "how and why yet another technology that could be enormously powerful for our kids' learning is getting short shrift in our educational system -- despite the successes we can, in fact, find and cite. Simulation is not just another in the long line of passing fads (or short-term opportunities) in educational technology. It is, rather, a real key to helping our students understand the world.

Computer-simulation technology is a way of looking at objects or systems that encourage a learner not only to wonder, 'What would happen if . . . ?' but also to try out those alternatives virtually and see the consequences. It is a way for learners to acquire experience about how things and systems in the world behave, without actually touching them. I call it interactive pretending....

It is my strong sense that in America's K-12 educational system, simulations are being used only in isolated and nonsystematic ways compared to other teaching tools such as textbooks, videos, and traditional science manipulatives. This meager usage is detrimental to the education of our twenty-first-century kids, and must change."

URL: http://www.edutopia.org/simulation-nation
Posted by wrivenburgh on January 08, 2008 | Resources
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