Over time, more and more academic instructional materials will be delivered to students electronically. While there is a definite place for physical textbooks and educational labs and we don’t see them going away entirely, there are many distinct advantages to electronic distribution of “virtual textbooks” and "virtual laboratories".
The virtual laboratory brings computer simulation techniques that are familiar to researchers into the classroom. Traditionally, these techniques have been the most useful for the "hard" sciences: physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, biology etc. In time, we will see these techniques branch out into "soft" areas of study such as history and archeology and economics.
Virtual Interactive Textbooks Virtual, electronic textbooks with interactive 3D simulations are more effective at keeping kids engaged. In addition, the web based delivery of virtual textbooks makes it easier to keep them maintained and up to date.
Virtual Laboratories Virtual labs allow students to play around and experiment. By encouraging experimentation, we are also encouraging more effective and memorable learning. Virtual labs have the additional benefit over physical labs that they can be made available 24 / 7 and that they allow the student to learn at their own pace. Virtual labs can make concepts easier to see and understand than their real world counterparts. In some cases, such as in the field of astronomy, virtual labs allow you to perform experiments that could never be done in any physical lab.
Visual Teaching Aids 3D simulations make great training aids because they are so visually and dynamically captivating. While no teaching aids can replace a great teacher, a great teacher can be even more effective with the aid of effective and captivating demonstrations.