How Can Virtual Reality Improve Vocational/Technical Education?
Virtual reality education in the vocational/technical environment brings stability, trackability, safety, and an unforgettable learning experience. Here’s how.
People will need to both train and be trained forever, either to learn new skills or to brush up on skills they may already know. Why make it harder and more expensive than it needs to be by putting someone through a full physical program with others when you can streamline efforts with a manageable and trackable system? Why risk injury to both personnel and expensive machinery when you can teach just as well from the comfort of your own environment? That is what virtual reality brings to this area of education.
Vocational/technical training is critically important in our modern day world. With new technologies being developed every second, someone needs to be trained to use, understand, and care for that technology. Things continue to be manufactured, people continue to eat at restaurants, home appliances continue to break, and so on and so forth. The way you train these future workers is the way you develop the future. Without proper training in this field, people can get truly hurt. The number one important factor of technical training is the effectiveness of the program. At the end of the day, if the program is not effective, it is simply a waste of time and money.
Virtual Reality allows for proper time management and proper result-tracking due to reactionary decisions to simulations.
A vocational education is one that prepares people for a specific trade or craft. Technical education “emphasizes the understanding and practical application of basic principles of science and mathematics” (Britannica) and takes a much more hands-on approach to teaching. This is why there is often danger in teaching these skills. A beginner welder in a class for welding may know their destination, but not understand their path and how important the safety measures are. A virtual reality based education offers a solution to this by being the middle ground between education and field-training. It does not aim to replace field training, but prepare one for field training so that the student feels fully prepared before handling the actual equipment and machinery.
Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation that replaces and sometimes enhances the reality of the user with the use of special equipment that creates an immersive three-dimensional environment to exist within. The enhancements can range anywhere from adding questions to answer in the simulation to allowing users to experience actions they may not be able to do in real life. This is why VR is such a valuable asset to the education world.
There are three telling reasons to use virtual reality for this kind of education:
- It’s safer to use than in-field training. This has already been touched on in a previous paragraph, but needs more stressing. People in the healthcare industry are utilizing immersive technology to see and understand their patients better without causing their actual patients any harm. Why wouldn’t that be applied anywhere else where harm can be done. Often the risk of training and working may lead to serious injury and/or fatalities. Some of these can’t be avoided, but minimizing the risk is very important. It is both a waste of life and potential to train ineffectively and send your students or employees into a field they weren’t properly prepared for.
- It’s time efficient. Once you have a virtual reality program that teaches a specific trade that can be used over and over again, you can cut down the responsibilities of a teacher to let them spend their time teaching among weak areas guided by the data from the software. It allows for proper time management and proper result-tracking due to reactionary decisions to simulations. Multi-user virtual reality is also an option with VR where students can work together, much like they might in any field.
- It is cheaper to use virtual reality as a form of education. The actual goggles and software is really all you need to get started. Once you have the equipment and highly customizable software, every move forward will be much easier and cost-efficient.You don’t need to hire an excessive amount of trainers and spend time reteaching workers because you don’t know what they already know. Refreshing the minds of current workers is also both easier and cheaper with VR because you don’t need to put them through a program again. You can simply test them in the actual simulation.
Immersive technology has already been applied to many areas of both education and actual performance. Some manufacturers use augmented reality tools to get a better understanding of their machinery, and some architects use virtual reality to be able to visualize the project before actually beginning the building process. These tools have existed for years, but are just now being utilized properly.
Going forward, new technology will continue to have large and beneficial impacts on most, if not all industries. You choose how this technology will help you move forward or you get left behind. Don’t lose money, time, and effort. Move forward with virtual reality as a highly adaptable tool in your toolbox.
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ARSOME Technology is an Augmented & Virtual Reality company based in Manchester, Connecticut. ARSOME Technology is a highly established and driven company that works for and with companies interested in bringing an AR, VR, or Mixed Reality experience to their businesses. Contact us at ARSOME.com to learn more.
Written by Lola Oretade, Marketing Manager at ARSOME Technology