Virtual Laboratory Environments in Chemistry Education
Various virtual laboratory environments have been developed during recent years, but upper-secondary school chemistry education has been missing a clear need for using them. The current reform of the upper secondary-school frame curriculum and the matriculation examination require upper secondary schools to increase the use of information and communication technologies. Virtual laboratory environments are ideally suited for this as they are affordable, interactive, free from the restraints of classroom space and time, as well as able to visualize difficult concepts in concrete ways. Simulations and virtual laboratories can be utilized to diversify the type of questions used in exams. Several virtual laboratory environments are available for comprehensive and upper secondary schools for free, but most of them cannot be utilized in classroom education without modifying them to suit the objectives of the lesson. It is the responsibility of the teacher to figure out how to use them to support learning.