preparation pose challenges for using games and simulations to support learning. Simulations have been taken up more in higher education than in elementary or secondary education.

There are different models of implementing games and simulations in schools. In an evolutionary model, they can be designed to increase the productivity of learning without dramatic changes to current science teaching approaches. In other models, they can be designed to more dramatically transform science teaching and learning, advancing science process skills as well as conceptual understanding. The more transformative models require greater support for schools and teachers, and they may infuse technology into the whole instructional environment.

Conclusion: There are currently many obstacles to embedding games and simulations in formal learning environments. However, alternative models for incorporating games and simulations in classrooms are beginning to emerge.

Science educational standards that include many topics at each grade level pose a constraint to increased use of simulations and games in K-12 science classrooms. Simulations and games are often designed to support learners in thinking deeply about selected science concepts by engaging them in active investigations, but teachers and administrators may avoid using them because of the pressure to cover all of the topics included in current standards within limited time frames.

Conclusion: Well-designed and widely accepted science standards, focusing on a few core ideas in science, could help to reduce the barriers to wider use of simulations and games posed by current state science standards. Such standards might potentially encourage the use of simulations and games.

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