Virtual reality bridges the gap between dangerous workplaces and the classroom.Virtual reality technology is being used to teach refrigeration students in South Australia how to identify workplace hazards in real-world environments from classroom safety.
Virtual reality technology importance in education :
Students studying Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration at the Tonsley campus of TAFE SA will test the new Lenovo Mirage Solo virtual reality headsets with VR tours designed specifically for hazardous environments.
TAFE SA has partnered with the startup Lateral Vision, based in Adelaide, also located within the Tonsley Innovation District, to create virtual tours and environments that students will use as part of their training.
The VR pilot program:
The VR pilot program includes three refrigerant safety courses, including a next-generation CO2 refrigeration plant operating in a new supermarket, an ammonia plant operating in an ice factory and flammable refrigerants.
Professor Shannon Baldock said that virtual reality content would allow students to respond as if they were at a live job site.
“The refrigeration industry is undergoing a small change in terms of the use of new refrigerants / gases that are more environmentally friendly, so these headphones will give students the opportunity to learn about them and identify the risks and Safety hazards in the safety of a classroom. learning environment, ”said Baldock.
Students will be able to access the plant equipment and the areas that we currently cannot take due to restrictions on security and ease of access. ”
Side Vision Director Alex Tolson has been working closely with Baldock to find and develop innovative solutions to the limitations and complexities of training students to work safely with these materials.
“Virtual reality will allow students to gain an additional level of experience by visiting and interacting with sites that would otherwise be beyond the reach of most students,” Tolson said.
Virtual reality 360-degree camera :
- “We use a special 360-degree camera that records stereoscopic images: when students see the content in a VR headset, they can see things as if they were there.
- “The use of stereoscopic images gives the viewer depth on what they are looking at, giving them a better representation of the size of the machinery and equipment.”
- Lenovo CEO Matt Codrington said Mirage Solo was the first of its kind, an all-in-one with Google Daydream and World Sense.
- “Seeing that virtual reality offers results in learning is exciting and being able to put people in a virtual environment to provide a better perspective and access to instances that would normally be out of reach is just one of the areas where we believe it has real benefits. “, said. .
- Baldock said that the use of VR on a class scale was “very new for training” and he believed it was the first time it was used for air conditioning and refrigeration.
- If successful, he said that TAFE SA would aim to have a headset for each class by the end of the year.
- “I think the pilot will be implemented in other trade courses at TAFE SA as staff becomes more familiar with the technology,” he said.
- “In the long term, we would expect the use of VR in the classroom to be as common as the use of laptops.”