Add to Google

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Virtual Classroom Getting More Students

While Google and Wikipedia have long been ‘teachers’ to students doing school reports the virtual world is now being integrated into a more hands on approach, when it comes to education.

Australian Miners Learn in Safety

Mining is one of Australia’s largest industries and unfortunately one of the most dangerous. Until now that is; the new virtual reality (VR) mine has just opened at Redbank, west of Brisbane in Queensland.

Conducting training in a mine comes with an inherent amount of risk – all of which will be avoided by training in the virtual mine instead.

ABC news reports that the virtual, underground coal mine will be used to train new miners as well as training current miners on how to deal with emergency situations. Costing the State Government a cool $500, 000 the mine is an exact 3D replica of an existing coal mine and will be made available to overseas mining companies, wishing to improve safety on their mines, for training too.

Kingsley Smith, company director of VR Space who helped develop the simulator, explains; "The mine was developed in partnership with Vale and it's the Carborough Downs coal mine in the Bowen Basin. The whole mine was developed using Vale's mine plans and real data, so it's not a fictitious mine. It's a real mine so that just adds more to the realism and the experiential learning aspect of the facility."

Engineer Martin Watkinson told the network that the concept is spot on, saying that training people in low-hazard situations was the way to go.

Med Students Practice using a Robotic Rear

Medical students not only spend years of learning the theory, they need many hours of practice before obtaining their medical licences. Up until now a lot of those practice sessions have needed to take place using real people as patients.

Thanks to the work of Dr. Benjamin Lok and Dr Carla Pugh of the University of Wisconsin, there is now at least one assessment that can now be done virtually: the dreaded prostrate exam.

Patrick’s Prostate

Patrick is essentially a mannequin, complete with prostate sensors that Dr Pugh’s students used to learn with. Dr Lok then developed a simulator to go along with it – enabling students to go through the entire consultation experience – virtually.

Dr Lok explained the rationale to Geekosystem; “Intimate exams (including the clinical breast exam and prostate exam) are extremely high stakes and high impact scenarios for medical students. However, currently there are few tools to enable the practice and acclimation to what are very anxiety generating interactions.”

It is hoped that Patrick and simulators like him will dramatically improve not only doctors’ education, but also their empathy skills and bedside manner.

Innovations like the simulated mine and Patrick are starting to unite the virtual world with the real one in ways that are far more beneficial for humanity than video games and are poised to elevate the level of education currently available in all in many spheres of life.
Featured images:

Jani le Roux is a freelance journalist and tech geek with a special passion for virtual reality issues and apps; it started with her virtual desktop and she's never looked back.

Grab my RSS Feed for updates and more

Enhanced by Zemanta

Here Are Some of My Most Popular Posts Since Day One.

If you like my blog Please Subscribes to my RSS Feed for updates and more


↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Your Email Will never be shared or Made Public

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...