This chapter proposes that the use of virtual worlds for science education is warranted and fits well with contemporary learning theory in the context of constructivist instructional approaches being desirable and that learners learn best when they are engaged in active mental processing. Over recent years, games have become increasingly social, supporting massively multi-player online game experiences and then evolving into virtual worlds, such as Second Life, which show significant promise for educational uses. This chapter introduces the field of virtual worlds, and then discusses relevant theory and research. The authors describe the potential of virtual worlds for education by emphasizing how they can be leveraged as an effective tool for constructivist teaching techniques. In addition, the authors present some of the literature that supports their use for science education. This chapter concludes with practical concerns and some possible solutions in the context of future research directions.
|Title of host publication||Multiple Literacy and Science Education|
|Subtitle of host publication||ICTs in Formal and Informal Learning Environments|
|Publisher||IGI Global Publishing|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2009|