Virtual reality, or VR, used to be a thing people talked about in the movies and dreamed about for the future. Well, folks, the future is here now, and we are living and breathing VR like it has always been around.
And we are pretty excited about the applications of virtual reality on the training industry and other business in general example such as stainless steel banding manufacturers who are already using Google Glass within the factory’s. With the ability to place ourselves in any location, any situation, any experience, we can learn and do things like never before. In considering that the VR space is only going to continue to expand, training institutions need to work fast to start incorporating VR into their curriculums and to start using it as a way to train students for the jobs of today and not tomorrow. Here’s how VR can change the training landscape across the globe.
First to market is not always the best in the market, but when it comes to being and staying competitive in the training industry, the best institutions are going to jump on the VR bandwagon sooner, rather than later. Imagine being able to train a dentist or doctor using virtual reality training simulators. Sporting clubs are already using such technologies and have been for years: think golf, baseball, and hockey. As VR continues to make its way deeper into the training world, institutions are going to have to start investing in these technologies because students are quickly going to come to expect to have some kind of virtual reality training component.
VR is going to create an unlimited amount of training opportunities for students. Where students might have had to travel to work with some of the world’s best educators, virtual reality, coupled with online learning, is going to create an incredible opportunity to get hands on learning from people around the globe. While online learning is amazing and continues to be improved, the component that has been lacking has been the hands-on component that so many learners need to learn a concept or technique successfully. For example, you can take a class from a university process across the country, but you had to wait to take your labs in the summer when you could travel to the school and do them in person. Imagine if lab components could be completed through virtual reality classes! Students could get the full range of benefits from the instructors, as well as the hands-on components that are so important to lock in learning experiences.
From a training institutes perspective, making money is an essential part of staying operational. In order to provide the kind of education people need to get access to the best jobs, they need to charge a certain amount for their services. This amount differs depending on location and course offerings, but at the end of the day, money does make the education system go round, so let’s not start a debate about whether education for money is right or wrong; let’s talk about how training institutions could actually charge more money for courses that offer virtual reality components. Because this kind of equipment is not cheap, training organizations will need to be able to recoup the cost of implementing this kind of training opportunity, and should they choose to do so, make a little extra money as a result of offering VR learning. It will cost institutions more money to hire qualified instructors to run the VR labs and to keep the equipment operational.
Students Can Co-create Content
MOOCs (massive open online courses) hit the world by storm offering high-quality content for low prices, and the beauty of MOOCs was that the content was open-sourced, which means it was created by a number of people or people from different locations. Anyone can build and market a MOOC, and you’ll start to see the same thing happen with virtual reality courses. Students can have a hand in teaching other students from around the globe through VR courses. Everyone loves a good peer to peer relationship, but imagine how robust the training world will be when students are sharing experiences with each other instead of just getting information from instructors, professors, and trainers. The unlimited nature of VR is complicated to comprehend, but it is also amazing to imagine how people can start to impact the learning experience by sharing what they know through VR simulations. This will take Youtubers to a whole new level. Instead of demonstrating how to do something online, students will be able to walk VR users through simulations and ensure they are learning how to do a specific task. The level of engagement goes through the roof; instead of passively watching a video or reading a lesson, students will be able to learn as they do.
Virtual reality has hit the scene much faster than people anticipated. Much of the technology advances of the last 20 years have come much more quickly than people expected, actually. The human race is evolving so quickly that is seems hard to imagine that we have anything left to achieve. But VR shows us that really, we are just getting started. Soon, VR will be like it is in the movies, and while it seems like that stuff is just hokey pokey, just think back to when you were a kid and all the cool stuff you saw in the movies…it’s here now. The real and radical implications of virtual reality will be right at home in the training world, where innovation and change is imminent. The question remains then, just how quickly will training institutes pick up this new technology and how quickly will they be able to stay current with it. Many public training institutions have to abide by strict government regulations when it comes to education, and their hands are tied as to how quickly they can introduce new ways of teaching into the classroom. How will they stack up against the private training corporations who can change on a dime? It’s an interesting question to consider and one that will be interesting to watch play out in the industry.