Interplay's CEO, Doug Donovan, gives insight into the company's history of using simulations to prepare better a skilled workforce and why Virtual Reality will change the way people learn a trade.
One of the most studied – and interesting aspects of human psychology relates to how we learn. As a child, your mind captures and processes information in a simplified way. However, learning becomes a much more complex process as you age, which is a challenge VR helps address.
Our CEO, Doug Donovan, was asked to participate in some event activities at Dell Technologies Trailblazers Live taping. We wanted to share with you Doug's insight on how Virtual Reality is a critical technology to helping the workforce prepare for the jobs of the future. This video helps further show why our partnership with Dell is so important. VR is such greenfield, yet massive opportunity for our customer base that it takes support from tech leaders like Dell to help companies take advantage of this game-changing technology.
Our Solar Training Program just launched, and we are excited to help companies grow and support their employees through improved training. The Solar Training Program is the first industry-specific training program using sim based learning via both computers/tablets and virtual reality headsets. We believe the hardware should support the learning environment in the best way possible. Sometimes doing sim activities at home is best done via a computer. Other times when a small group is hanging in the warehouse, it is a perfect time to put on the VR headset to train. Because immersive, virtual reality training is so new, we take every chance to show people what it is like to learn new procedures in Virtual Reality. Last week at the NABCEP 2018 Solar Conference, we grabbed a video of a new user trying out the AC Disconnect Installation Simulation. We thought this encapsulated the immersive learning experience. Click below to watch the video. Take note of the procedure guide used for instruction, full body movements that help with information retention, and detailed elements added to the installation. Reach out anytime with questions, and we hope to get you in a VR headset soon!
Learning new skills is difficult. I’m reminded of this every day with my 6 year old son Nolan; he’s my home R&D learning center. Even though kids, in comparison to adults, are learning machines, they still need a ton of guidance and encouragement (and of course the occasional bribe or threat).
Interplay Learning Introduces On -The -Job -Training 2.0
Hands on training is very beneficial and is a critical part of an effective training program, but often hands-on training is perceived as the only option. This traditional mindset of “hands-on training is the only way” can lead to a longer ramp-up time and potentially less effective employees.
Interplay Learning’s concept of OJT 2.0 (On-The-Job 2.0) has been developed based on research on the traditional on-the-job training process. To understand OJT 2.0, we should discuss the inefficiencies, or areas for improvement, to discover where technology and slight adjustments in the process can deliver a better-trained employee in a shorter period of time.
Education systems, both formal and in the work place, have long been a topic of debate through all levels of their structures. They are debated in governments, through administrations, managers, and teachers, finally bottoming out with the students. It is the students who in the end feel the weight of the system’s decisions for better or worse. Pink Floyd’s popular song “Another Brick in the Wall” paints a somber picture of students turned out of the education system, factory style. They are just bricks, faceless, mindless. It doesn’t matter whether they learned, or what they learned, only that they went through the system! Fortunately, most education systems are not nearly as bleak and meaningless as this song paints them, this doesn’t mean however that they can’t be improved. The power of experiential learning, and simulation, are two potential solutions for improvement. Educators and employers preparing workers for skilled trades have much to benefit from these two approaches to learning.
Our methods of teaching have been constantly evolving. A common practice we probably experience today is sitting at rows of tables, receiving information from an instructor (could be a teacher, could be a solar instructor). Good trainers try to include hands-on activity to break up the lectures, but usually time is short, equipment is scarce, and all you get is a taste of what it’s really about.