VIRTUAL LABORATORIES – REMOTE LABORATORIES
ONLINE VIRTUAL LABORATORIES FOR THE TEACHING OF DISCIPLINE OF SCIENTIFIC AREA IN THE SECONDARY SCHOOL WORKSHOPS ONLINE
Anonline workshop is a hardware / software system that allows users to interact with simulators or physical processes located in other places across the Internet or via mobile devices. The possible applications of these workshops are varied and range from the remote programming of robots and machine tools, the use of laboratory instruments for teaching and for conducting practical exercises. ONLINE WORKSHOPS: ADVANTAGES The spread of this type of laboratory allows to solve many problems related to the management of traditional workshops: Logistical problems: online labs are always open and working. Safety and security: the school reduces the costs related to the use of hazardous chemicals, radiation, waste disposal, … Costs: laboratory equipment are exploited in a more rational and shared by many users. Maintenance costs are no longer borne by the School. Spaces Dedicated: : schools can increase the range of experiences and laboratory spaces without having to subtract the classroom. Qualified Staff: available online during the course of the experiments that require the policy. Main advantages: Full accessibility. Unlike traditional laboratories, a remote laboratory can be used 24 hours a day and from any terminal connected to the Internet. The spread of the Internet has allowed the creation of real-controlled remote laboratories are available in many nations, and are becoming part of the normal teaching practice. Although there are still some limitations, they offer a good potential to improve the lessons with hands-on activities while reducing organizational problems and reducing costs. In addition, the workshops are ideal for online learning activities carried out at a distance. REAL AND VIRTUAL LABORATORIES The laboratories equipped with real equipment are able to provide experimental data to students and researchers but are often very expensive. Virtual laboratories, however, are based on mathematical models, simulators, software and databases. They can simulate the behavior of real equipment at a lower cost, but often fail to effectively reproduce many aspects not covered by the models but essential in teaching the scientific disciplines. A Laboratory Online (or even Remote Laboratory) can contain both real and simulated equipment. These are useful in training, to prevent damage to real equipment. WORKSHOPS ONLINE The laboratory equipment can be used for experiments of short or long (hours or days) duration: The laboratories are suitable for short (a few tens of minutes) and interactive. They are often based on streaming video and other communication technologies capable of supporting a level of interaction satisfactory preserving the safety of the equipment even in case of failures or network problems. A telescope remotely controllable in real time is an example of synchronous laboratory; The workshops are useful for asynchronous long-term experiments (hours or days). They are based on programmable devices capable of automatically controlling laboratory equipment and collect the required data. A camera that takes a picture every hour of a plant to document the growth (time-lapse photography) is an example of laboratory equipment for use asynchronous. In both cases, the laboratory management entails the need to reserve online equipment and materials needed. The platform e-learning developed by IT-Mobility simplifies the most of these tasks to technicians and teachers. REMOTE LABORATORIES IN THE WORLD FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, SCHOOLS AND RESEARCH Massachusetts Institute of Technology – U.S.
The Labshare Institute – Australia
Labster Advanced Biotech Experiments – Denmark
WebLab – University of Deusto – Spain
iLabCentral – NorthWestern University – U.S.
AN EXAMPLE: ILABCENTRAL
In iLabCentral users share real laboratory devices via the Internet. The workshops are divided by subject (chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology) and provide various types of equipment with which you can perform a wide range of experiments. Each experiment is characterized by: Pre-Lab activities necessary for the understanding and execution of each experiment Laboratory activities (with video demonstration annexes) Post-Lab indicative activities to check comprehension. WORKSHOPS ONLINE: THE DIDALAB The DidaLab University of Salento, directed by prof. M. Bochicchio, is responsible for more than 10 years of new technologies for teaching and working with the DOL (Diploma Online – Politecnico di Milano), with the Master IDIFO (Physics Education – University of Udine), with the online magazine and Matematicamente.it with numerous other national institution for innovation in the teaching of science and technology. Since 2012 the DidaLab joined the Consortium Golc (Global Online Laboratory Consorzium), in which he collaborates with renowned international institutions for the expansion and improvement of online workshops. Since 2006, the DidaLab triggered MicroNet and AstroNet, two labs online that allow you to remotely control a scanning electron microscope Zeiss EVO series and a 60 mm refractor telescope for advanced educational initiatives in collaboration with numerous schools Puglia. Since 2012 collaborates with the DidaLab “Mobility IT” for the construction of new laboratories Online student of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Earth Sciences for the Italian schools.