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Learning Geosciences in Virtual Worlds: Engaging Students in Real-World Experiences

, , , New York City College of Technology, United States

AACE Award

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Jacksonville, Florida, United States ISBN 978-1-939797-07-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


An educational research study explored the use of virtual worlds to facilitate student learning in the geosciences. A Second Life island was designed, and we programmed modules covering concepts related to mountain weather and sea breeze to be used in middle and high school classrooms. These virtual world modules engaged students, via their avatars, in real-world virtual experiences. Participants reported gaining a better understanding of and interest in these concepts. Students improved their knowledge of these concepts with statistical significance. While the use of Second Life proved to be successful overall during the study period, issues arising from the resources and requirements of public schools have prompted us to move to an OpenSimulator that allows for greater customization of virtual worlds.


Lansiquot, R., Liou-Mark, J. & Blake, R. (2014). Learning Geosciences in Virtual Worlds: Engaging Students in Real-World Experiences. In M. Searson & M. Ochoa (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2014--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 658-664). Jacksonville, Florida, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved February 22, 2019 from .

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Cited By

  1. Facilitating Interdisciplinary Studies Using Open-Source Virtual Worlds

    Reneta Lansiquot, New York City College of Technology, United States

    EdMedia + Innovate Learning 2014 (Jun 23, 2014) pp. 1084–1086

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