Desktop virtual reality

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Desk-top virtual reality refers to computer programs that simulate a real or imaginary world in 3D format that is displayed on screen (as opposed to immersive virtual reality).

Please refer to other pages for more technical information,:

For all 3D-related articles in this wiki, see the 3D category

Technology links

Some popular standardized file formats (see also 3D file format):

Special purpose engines for education

In education

Areas of application

Biology and Chemistry
  • Living structures are three-dimensional objects living in 3D space. So it is naturally to learn about them in 3D space. Everybody is familiar with models of human organs of gypsum or plastic from the school. Now it is possible to establish similar virtual models which can be manipulated by individuals on their computer. (Amon, 1999).
Virtual arts, geography, archeology, etc.
  • 3D technology that reproduces "natural" 3D objets as exhibits for classroom presentation or self-exploration are fairly popular.
Visualization and visualization of mathematical functions
3D-chat rooms / Virtual environments
Architecture and other engineering areas


Links pages and journals

  • VR in the Schools, a peer-reviewed publication of the Virtual Reality and Education Laboratory, has been distributed in both print and electronic versions.



  • Ott, David, Collaboration in 3 environments, MA thesis, TECFA. PDF
  • Bell, John T., and Fogler, H. Scott. The Application of Virtual Reality to Chemical Engineering Education. In Proceedings of the 1997 International Conference on Simulation in Engineering Education (ICSEE '97), January 12-15, 1997, Simulation Series 29 (2), Society for Computer Simulation, San Diego. PDF Reprint
  • Brady, Seamus & Carol O'Sullivan, 3D Training Environments, VRML and its use in Interactive Task-based Simulations. PDF
  • Amon, Tomaz (1999), VRML - A new tool in biomedical education, Educational Technology & Society, Vol: 2, Issue: 1, HTML
  • Dickey, Michele D. 3D Virtual Worlds and Learning: An Analysis of the Impact of Design Affordances and Limitations in Active Worlds, blaxxun interactive, and OnLive! Traveler; and A Study of the Implementation of Active Worlds for Formal and Informal Education. Ph. D. Dissertation, Ohio State University, College of Education, 1999. HTML