About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5764-5774
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain


J. Hautamaki, S. Hirvimaki, M. Vatanen, M. Rantonen, J. Siltanen

JAMK University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
The aim of this paper is to describe the benefits of virtualization in learning environment of data network. The most common problems in these kinds of learning environments are costs of teaching facilities, rapidly changing technologies, and to offer isolated and unrestricted learning environment for students. Traditional method is to use physical computers with single operating systems on changeable hard disks. Alternative and more effective method is to solve these problems with use of virtualization.

Virtualization provides means to create several virtual computers on one physical computer, therefore number of physical computers can be reduced radically. Students can connect to virtual computers using remote connection. With virtualization teachers can utilize new technologies such as the newest operating systems in teaching, even if those are not used in physical computers. One of the advantages of this method is to provide totally isolated and unrestricted learning environment for students, who will gain the administrative rights for the virtualized operating system. Virtualization promotes also the idea of lifelong learning where students are equal regardless of the time and location. In addition, the needs for continuing professional development in working life have been rising up and the companies are looking for effective possibilities to promote and update the skills of their employees with the help of ICT and open education resource (OER).

Virtualization is widely used in School of Technology of JAMK University of Applied Sciences education to minimize cost and to imitate real life scenarios and use cases as in working life. The base of our education environment is production network LabraNet and the data network laboratory SpiderNet in which virtualization is utilized in several ways. In LabraNet virtualization is implemented using Vmware ESX- servers which provide different virtual computers for education. SpiderNet consist of several network operator level equipments, which need different kinds of systems for verification of configurations. These systems have been implemented by use of virtualization. SpiderNet has also been utilized in several education projects, including international project EdiNet (E-learning in Distributed Data Network Laboratory). During the EdiNet there have been identified the number of important pedagogical dimensions which have been used in virtualization; constructivist approach, self-directed learning, reflective approach,
individual learning styles and experiential learning.

A hypothesis of this study is to explore if the use of virtualization in learning environment is more effective than traditional teaching method. The aim of this study is to find out the success factors and possible disadvantages of virtualization. This paper is based on student inquiry which was arranged after courses in where virtualization was used as a part of implementing teaching. The results of the student inquiry are presented and analyzed to clarify the benefits of virtualization in educational environment. This study illustrates that virtualization does not reduce the real practice in learning situation. In addition, students found the learning situation useful and effective which virtualization enables. Noticeable finding was that compared with the traditional learning methods, virtualization enables the individual learning path.
author = {Hautamaki, J. and Hirvimaki, S. and Vatanen, M. and Rantonen, M. and Siltanen, J.},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {5764-5774}}
AU - J. Hautamaki AU - S. Hirvimaki AU - M. Vatanen AU - M. Rantonen AU - J. Siltanen
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 5764
EP - 5774
ER -
J. Hautamaki, S. Hirvimaki, M. Vatanen, M. Rantonen, J. Siltanen (2009) VIRTUALIZATION IN LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 5764-5774.