Building a Kinder World: How Maker Education Can Solve Problems and Foster Empathy

May 4, 2019 | 102 views

To help students on the path toward empowerment and empathy, we can start by incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) into curricula. The five core competencies of SEL include self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relationship skills and social awareness. SEL can be built into the curriculum through student journals that reflect upon the impact on their communities or collaborative service-learning projects. SEL encourages conflict resolution, good citizenship, and resiliency.

Spotlight

Portland Community College

Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and 19th largest in the nation, serving approximately 80,000 full- and part-time students. PCC, which is roughly the size of Rhode Island, has three comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area.

OTHER ARTICLES
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

3 Ways to Recession-Proof the Education Technology Department

Article | August 4, 2022

Schools are an integral part of society, with roots entrenched in the economy and an unquestionable role to play in building the future of the country. The Great Recession in the mid-2000s demonstrated that while federal stimulus can promote the adoption of technology in public education budgets, during recessionary periods it becomes a challenge to continue building and maintaining technologically well-equipped schools. As we move into another recession, educational technology leaders will have many tough decisions to make as they attempt to keep the impact of an economic slowdown away from the classroom. Technology leaders in schools must understand that the surge in demand for technology to maintain remote learning will not mitigate the decision to cut costs. To avoid affecting critical pieces of the technology department, here are three ways to recession-proof the technology department. Outline the Costs Well in Advance Technology isn’t cheap and it can make a dent in your education budget if not planned for. This is why it’s necessary to outline the costs, and maintain a budget for the renewal of standard hardware and software in order to leverage bulk buying discounts later. Determine the Must-have Tech Positions An economic slowdown will undoubtedly lead to some difficult conversations about which positions are crucial for the school. To avoid making the wrong moves, develop a clear blueprint of the roles and responsibilities of the positions that support every program. This will ensure you are able to anticipate the impact of a budget cut on the IT team. Avoid Yearly Renewal Contracts During a recession, many tech vendors experience an increase in operating costs that are then passed on to schools and districts. Consider signing multi-year contracts to lock-in costs at stable pricing. You might want to think about multi-year contracts for tech partnerships in areas like data management systems, assessment and student information, and teaching programs. The recession is inevitably causing uncertainty, and the technology budget will remain a live wire, especially considering the fiscal aftermath left by the pandemic. For technology leaders, the goal must be to avoid the lasting effect of budget cuts on the technology department. Investing in multi-year pricing contracts, identifying critical team roles, and budgeting for renewals well in advance can alleviate some of the impacts.

Read More
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

How to Counter Teacher Burnout in Education?

Article | July 11, 2022

Teacher burnout has become a massive challenge for many educational institutions. According to the National Education Association, 55% of the teachers surveyed are considering quitting their profession much earlier than planned. Over 600,000 teachers have already quit in the span of 2020 and 2021. Educational institutions must prepare to identify burnout and ensure teachers successfully create an inclusive, engaging learning experience. Recognizing the Signs of Teacher Burnout Laurie Santos, a professor at Yale University and a cognitive scientist, says that burnout has three major symptoms. Being Emotionally Exhausted Emotional exhaustion is when a person feels exhausted and burned out even after a full night’s sleep. Depersonalizing Santos equates depersonalizing with feeling high levels of cynicism towards others. Individuals who are depersonalizing often feel annoyed at people requesting them to doing something that is part of their regular role. This frustration signals burnout. Reduced Personal Efficacy When an individual feels like she isn’t making a difference or she isn’t doing her job well, a sort of disenchantment sets in. To the individual, it may feel like they aren’t being effective at their work, and this is a sign of burnout. How Teachers Can Reduce Burnout Teacher burnout must be treated as a serious issue. Educational institutions and teachers should team up to ensure they don’t undergo burnout. Here are some ways to do that: Don’t Ignore It Organizations must have a system in place so teachers can seek the help they need to treat their burnout symptoms. A lot of teachers tend to ignore negative emotions in order to keep working, but this is the wrong approach. Just as screen time must be regulated for children, teachers need to regulate their workloads. Instead of sweeping it under the rug, acknowledge it and treat it so you can bounce back higher. Don’t Attach Your Identity to Your Job Santos says that burnout is sometimes a result of being unable to separate your identity from your job. This is something that happens a lot with educators. A way to treat it is to spend off time with friends, engage in hobbies unrelated to your profession, or invest more energy in other life roles, like being a parent. To Conclude In the age of remote learning, teachers and educators must be careful not to let their love of teaching hurt their physical and mental health. As a profession, teaching tends to take its toll. When you combine that with teacher shortages and cases of overwork, education becomes a high risk, high turnover industry.

Read More
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

L&D and Higher Education: A Long Overdue Partnership

Article | July 20, 2022

When it comes to staying competitive in an ever-evolving market, workforce management is a significant contributor. And what keeps a workforce agile and transformation-ready? A Gallup study revealed it’s learning and development. L&D that encompasses reskilling, upskilling, strength-based learning and higher education support result in a 73% attrition rate, according to Gallup. At the same time, it yields a 23% higher employee engagement rate and 18% higher productivity. So there’s no doubt that L&D initiatives are a win-win for companies and their employees. And there might be a way to get the most out of the benefits by working with colleges and universities. Here are just a few collaborations in the educational space that aim to meet demand for skills and talent in their local and regional communities. The Marion Community To break down organizational barriers, a powerful partnership between Marion Technical College, Tri-Rivers Career Center, Ohio State University at Marion, superintendents of all local school districts, Ohio Means Jobs, Marion CANDO! economic development, the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, and industry partners is working together to address the needs of the local labor market. LED FastStart’s Approach to L&D LED Fast Start is a top-ranking workforce recruitment and training program in the U.S. The organization is renowned for pioneering acclaimed training programs to fulfill the demand for an ongoing workforce pipeline. It has also partnered with multiple organizations, including the Southern University at Shreveport for aviation programs, and the Grambling State University for programs in computer science and cybersecurity. LED FastStart is also driving a partnership with the Nunez Community as well as NASA and Boeing. For example, students at the college are working at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility to build rockets in collaboration with Boeing. Training a Workforce in the Western NY Wilds Alfred University offers the best undergraduate and graduate programs in advanced ceramics technology, glass technology, and renewable energy. A fantastic resource for highly specialized employers in New York State's Advanced Ceramics sector is the university's Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT). Through education in ceramics, glass, renewable energy, and materials science, the CACT creates a pipeline of talent. Through funded student internships, they can minimize businesses' expenses by providing experiential training with research and manufacturing-grade equipment. To Summarize Where one-size-fits-all L&D programs fall short, higher education fills the gaps. There is an emerging trend of educational institutions that offer tailored partnerships to help businesses train their workforce in new and upcoming skills. Forward-looking businesses must grab the opportunity and tap into these learning and development partnerships to fulfill their workforce upskilling and reskilling needs.

Read More
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Metaverse: A New Dimension and Disruption for Education

Article | July 5, 2022

Imagine a virtual world where people socialize and work, and are represented by their virtual avatars. The concept may date back 50 years as part of sci-fi stories. Thanks to advancements in digital technology, it is seeing the light of the day in the form of Metaverse. The concept has been contemplated by many scientists, writers, and artists alike. However, the release of Metaverse proved to be the pinnacle of the many possibilities that digital transformation holds in store. The most exciting part is innovating powerful applications of Metaverse across industries, and Facebook is already on it. Not just employees, but any institution that no longer requires its stakeholders to be present physically, from banking to socialization to education, will discover the biggest opportunity for transformation. Learning in 2-Dimension Online education has received a shot in the arm in the past couple of years, more out of necessity than anything else. From K-12 to higher education, children are affected and protected by online learning in educational institutions. Inclusive online education is the biggest challenge faced by educators. Next, engaging students in an environment that does not employ their full sensory capabilities hampers learning. Despite these challenges, virtual classrooms remained the bastion of academics and learning at a time when many industries came to a standstill. The phase allowed software providers and institutes to identify challenges, assess their needs, and contribute to driving innovation in the edtech space. Thanks to the exponential increase in the demand for better solutions, edtech can now consider moving from a virtual classroom that shoots up screen time to a classroom simulation that is much more immersive, engaging, and effective. Virtual spaces have been around in some form for some time now, especially in the gaming world. With games like Second Life, Minecraft, and The Sims, many children and young adults are already familiar with the use of technology to live and play virtually. Metaverse will only make it easier to transform education completely. Anywhere Classrooms Although both online learning and virtual spaces have been around for a while, the conflux of both will engineer a new dimension and disruption for education. The blurring of physical boundaries and geographies is one of the most significant advantages of the Metaverse.While access to virtual classrooms still remains a big hurdle, the value addition from VR-based classrooms could solidify the case for virtual only classrooms. Compared to reading and lectures, which have a knowledge retention rate of 5% and 10%, respectively, VR has a retention rate of 75%. The high retention rate can encourage educational institutes to redirect their teaching equipment budget to educate more children, say, at the NASA space station or in the Amazon rainforest, all without them having to leave their homes. Anywhere classrooms may just be the detour that education needs to leverage the current landscape and create a powerful transformation for the industry. To Wrap Up Education is heading for a rebranded future with classrooms being replaced by virtual reality in the pursuit of remote learning. Anywhere classrooms will help eliminate virtual walls that are currently nowhere near providing the experience that a real classroom can. With children being well-versed with virtual reality ecosystems, Metaverse will further simplify the seamless adoption of a two-dimensional learning space that offers better education, near hands-on experience, and actionable knowledge.

Read More

Spotlight

Portland Community College

Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and 19th largest in the nation, serving approximately 80,000 full- and part-time students. PCC, which is roughly the size of Rhode Island, has three comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area.

Related News

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, ONLINE EDUCATION

New Training Program Uses Virtual Reality Simulations to Address the Electrical Construction Skills Shortage

Transfr | September 23, 2022

Transfr, a skills training platform best known for pioneering the use of virtual reality to simulate on-the-job training, today announced the launch of a new package of simulations that harness the power of virtual and augmented reality to help organizations of all kinds create pathways to careers in electrical construction. The virtual reality simulations are designed to equip learners with the foundational knowledge and skills to prepare them for apprenticeships and jobs in the fast-growing electrical construction industry.The latest collection of simulations was built in collaboration with TRIO Electric, a Houston, Texas-based electrical design, construction and service firm that has been using the simulations as part of their own workforce training programs. The COVID-19 pandemic spurred us to think creatively about how we can train the next generation of electrical construction workers in a scalable and cost-effective way," said Beau Pollock, president and CEO of TRIO Electric. "Finding electrical instructors is difficult and time-consuming, and training requires us to use the same materials that technicians use on the job. The virtual simulations not only offer learners real-world experience and hands-on practice before they go into the field, they also help us to conserve resources in the process. According to the National Electrical Contractors Association, electrical construction represents a $202 billion industry that provides Americans with power, light, and communication technologies, employing more than 650,000 workers. Demand for electricians is expected to grow by 9% through 2030, with an average of 84,700 openings for electricians each year, on average, over the decade. The median annual wage for an electrician is more than $60,000–a well-paying career path that does not require a four-year degree. The simulations are being used by high school and community college students as well as adults looking for careers and apprenticeships in electrical construction. Students cover key topics such as workplace safety, material and tool recognition and usage, wall rough-in, overhead box installation, wire pulling, conduit bending, and other foundational skills required to become a trained, productive and safe electrical worker. Delivered in concert with employers, colleges, and workforce development organizations, these simulations enable learners to feel as though they are embedded in the physical environment and experience of an actual worksite. Transfr's innovative approach guides trainees through hands-on skills sessions with the assistance of a digital coach that adapts to their performance, all in a fully-immersive, 360-degree environment that is distraction-free and safe from many of the risks of traditional electrical construction learning. "To keep pace with the complex demands of the electrical industry, employers are in search of new and creative ways to develop the skilled workforce that this dynamic industry demands—and meet our country's light, power and connectivity needs,This is about harnessing the potential of virtual and augmented reality to help more aspiring tradespokepeople not only learn about careers in electrical work—but gain the invaluable on-the-job experience they need to launch their careers." Bharani RajakumarCEO of Transfr The electrical construction simulations are the latest addition to a series of fully immersive training modules from Transfr, in fields that include some of the country's fastest growing jobs and industries: automotive, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, health care, and construction. To date, more than 10,000 incumbent workers, job-seekers, and students have already accessed the company's virtual reality simulations, which simulate the on-the-job training and experience needed for individuals to prepare for new career opportunities. About Transfr: Transfr's mission is to train the future of every industry by opening up new opportunities for people across the globe. We create unique pathways to well-paying jobs available now in high-demand fields, enabling learners to find job security and economic prosperity, facilitated by immersive, hands-on training.

Read More

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, ONLINE EDUCATION

Google for Education Partners with Instructure to Simplify Integration and Extend Digital Classroom Capabilities

Instructure | September 22, 2022

Instructure, the maker of Elevate Data Sync, has entered into an agreement with their partner, Google, that bridges the integration gap for Google Classroom users with a robust and comprehensive solution. With the integration, educational institutions can now keep course data and rosters synchronized between their student information systems (SIS or MIS) and Google Classroom. This means that educators no longer must set up their courses manually or have students use a join code. Teachers can now simply click "accept" when their course is automatically created.Instructure, the maker of Elevate Data Sync, has entered into an agreement with their partner, Google, that bridges the integration gap for Google Classroom users with a robust and comprehensive solution. With the integration, educational institutions can now keep course data and rosters synchronized between their student information systems (SIS or MIS) and Google Classroom. This means that educators no longer must set up their courses manually or have students use a join code. Teachers can now simply click "accept" when their course is automatically created. Elevate Data Sync, Instructure's standards-based interoperability solution that enables secure sharing of student, staff and learning data, will create classes with all the right students ahead of the first day of school and keep them updated if a student changes classes. This automated and adaptable integration can hopefully save teachers, students and the professionals who support them significant amounts of time. Through our partnership with Elevate Data Sync by Instructure, we have added the ability to sync the rosters from your student information system to Classroom, so classes can be automatically created and updated, launching in 15 countries," said Alisa Sommer, head of edtech partnerships at Google. "Education data integration is a complex problem, so we wanted an enterprise-class partner with deep expertise and a cloud-based platform that supports multiple standards and integration methods. "This partnership with Google Classroom is an ideal example of how Instructure's Learning Platform empowers partners and institutions to innovate and integrate faster,We're proud to be able to work with Google to find a solution that makes the job of educators easier while maintaining the highest level of privacy and security for student data." Kevin Turco, vice president of product management at Instructure Schools with Google Workspace for Education Plus that are interested in trying out the integration can sign up for the beta and can find onboarding help on Instructure's Community page. Schools can request more information about Google Workspace for Education Plus if they don't have a subscription already. Once signed up for the beta, admins will be able to integrate class lists and timetables (rosters) directly with most major student information systems or can opt to connect using OneRoster or CSV files. The solution is available and localized in Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. ABOUT INSTRUCTURE Instructure ( NYSE: INST) is an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. Today the Instructure Learning Platform supports tens of millions of educators and learners around the world.

Read More

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Saritasa Develops Virtual Reality Training Program for Loadstar Railcar Inspecting & Loading

Saritasa Technology Solutions | September 21, 2022

Saritasa Technology Solutions, a software partner delivering innovative products and solutions to clients, has developed a new virtual reality (VR) training system for Loadstar, a provider of logistics and product handling services. The system provides a safe, interactive training environment that is faster, more efficient, and safer than previous training programs.Loadstar is the first logistics and product handling company to deploy VR for staff training. In an industry that emphasizes on-the-job training and keeping workers in the field, Loadstar has adopted a different strategy. They put safety and education at the forefront by bringing the on-site experience to trainees using VR. Saritasa developed a comprehensive general purpose railcar inspection & loading application. Trainees can practice completing all the steps required for a standard inspection without the need to travel on-site or work with trainers. Using VR, trainees get hands-on interaction, including visual quizzes and realistic animations. VR provides a more realistic experience and shortens the training process from weeks to days. We believe that our employees' overall safety and well-being start with training, said Stephen Williams, Manager of Operational Excellence.Traditionally, our industry has relied on classroom sessions and manual field training. Some employees have described it as 'death by powerpoint,' and they're not wrong. Loadstar is always looking ahead, and we wanted to bring the latest technology to our training program to create the safest environment possible. By working with Saritasa, we have designed a state-of-the-art training program that is more cost-effective and efficient. Before adopting VR for railcar inspection & loading training, Loadstar used extensive classroom training with lectures, presentations, and study materials. Once the classroom training was complete, new employees needed to apply the material they just learned to real-life field operations. This process could take several weeks as training was entirely dependent on how many and what kind of railcars came on-site on a particular day. Now, they are able to onboard and qualify operators in a fraction of the time. Using VR not only speeds up hands-on training but also standardizes training procedures. On-site, the quality of training can vary due to any number of factors; the manager on duty, the amount or type of railcars on-site, and environmental hazards. VR training eliminates any variance and provides a solid basis for every employee. It emulates field training to provide pre-site training experience, reducing the time and cost required for on-site training. "Developing a virtual training program for Loadstar is the ideal project for Saritasa's creative and skilled technologists, There are many steps in railcar inspection training, including examination around, under, and on top of different types of railcars. Our 3D design team was able to replicate a realistic environment while optimizing headset performance, and we are extremely pleased with the outcome." Aaron Franko, VP of Immersive Technology at Saritasa About Loadstar Loadstar provides product-handling services to refineries, chemical plants, barge lines, terminals, and distribution sites, loading and unloading cargo of all classifications into railcars, trucks, barges, and ships. Loadstar operates docks, tank farms, terminals, and warehouses, managing marine, rail, truck, and pipeline logistics. The company has its headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. About Saritasa Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, Saritasa aims to empower global brands with innovative, customized solutions that fit their needs and support an ever-evolving technology ecosystem. Saritasa specializes in custom software development, mobile development, augmented reality and virtual reality development, IoT solutions, web, database development, and DevOps. Founded in 2005, the Saritasa team employs over 140 employees and has delivered thousands of successful software, hardware, and mobile app projects to a range of clients across multiple industries.

Read More

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, ONLINE EDUCATION

New Training Program Uses Virtual Reality Simulations to Address the Electrical Construction Skills Shortage

Transfr | September 23, 2022

Transfr, a skills training platform best known for pioneering the use of virtual reality to simulate on-the-job training, today announced the launch of a new package of simulations that harness the power of virtual and augmented reality to help organizations of all kinds create pathways to careers in electrical construction. The virtual reality simulations are designed to equip learners with the foundational knowledge and skills to prepare them for apprenticeships and jobs in the fast-growing electrical construction industry.The latest collection of simulations was built in collaboration with TRIO Electric, a Houston, Texas-based electrical design, construction and service firm that has been using the simulations as part of their own workforce training programs. The COVID-19 pandemic spurred us to think creatively about how we can train the next generation of electrical construction workers in a scalable and cost-effective way," said Beau Pollock, president and CEO of TRIO Electric. "Finding electrical instructors is difficult and time-consuming, and training requires us to use the same materials that technicians use on the job. The virtual simulations not only offer learners real-world experience and hands-on practice before they go into the field, they also help us to conserve resources in the process. According to the National Electrical Contractors Association, electrical construction represents a $202 billion industry that provides Americans with power, light, and communication technologies, employing more than 650,000 workers. Demand for electricians is expected to grow by 9% through 2030, with an average of 84,700 openings for electricians each year, on average, over the decade. The median annual wage for an electrician is more than $60,000–a well-paying career path that does not require a four-year degree. The simulations are being used by high school and community college students as well as adults looking for careers and apprenticeships in electrical construction. Students cover key topics such as workplace safety, material and tool recognition and usage, wall rough-in, overhead box installation, wire pulling, conduit bending, and other foundational skills required to become a trained, productive and safe electrical worker. Delivered in concert with employers, colleges, and workforce development organizations, these simulations enable learners to feel as though they are embedded in the physical environment and experience of an actual worksite. Transfr's innovative approach guides trainees through hands-on skills sessions with the assistance of a digital coach that adapts to their performance, all in a fully-immersive, 360-degree environment that is distraction-free and safe from many of the risks of traditional electrical construction learning. "To keep pace with the complex demands of the electrical industry, employers are in search of new and creative ways to develop the skilled workforce that this dynamic industry demands—and meet our country's light, power and connectivity needs,This is about harnessing the potential of virtual and augmented reality to help more aspiring tradespokepeople not only learn about careers in electrical work—but gain the invaluable on-the-job experience they need to launch their careers." Bharani RajakumarCEO of Transfr The electrical construction simulations are the latest addition to a series of fully immersive training modules from Transfr, in fields that include some of the country's fastest growing jobs and industries: automotive, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, health care, and construction. To date, more than 10,000 incumbent workers, job-seekers, and students have already accessed the company's virtual reality simulations, which simulate the on-the-job training and experience needed for individuals to prepare for new career opportunities. About Transfr: Transfr's mission is to train the future of every industry by opening up new opportunities for people across the globe. We create unique pathways to well-paying jobs available now in high-demand fields, enabling learners to find job security and economic prosperity, facilitated by immersive, hands-on training.

Read More

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, ONLINE EDUCATION

Google for Education Partners with Instructure to Simplify Integration and Extend Digital Classroom Capabilities

Instructure | September 22, 2022

Instructure, the maker of Elevate Data Sync, has entered into an agreement with their partner, Google, that bridges the integration gap for Google Classroom users with a robust and comprehensive solution. With the integration, educational institutions can now keep course data and rosters synchronized between their student information systems (SIS or MIS) and Google Classroom. This means that educators no longer must set up their courses manually or have students use a join code. Teachers can now simply click "accept" when their course is automatically created.Instructure, the maker of Elevate Data Sync, has entered into an agreement with their partner, Google, that bridges the integration gap for Google Classroom users with a robust and comprehensive solution. With the integration, educational institutions can now keep course data and rosters synchronized between their student information systems (SIS or MIS) and Google Classroom. This means that educators no longer must set up their courses manually or have students use a join code. Teachers can now simply click "accept" when their course is automatically created. Elevate Data Sync, Instructure's standards-based interoperability solution that enables secure sharing of student, staff and learning data, will create classes with all the right students ahead of the first day of school and keep them updated if a student changes classes. This automated and adaptable integration can hopefully save teachers, students and the professionals who support them significant amounts of time. Through our partnership with Elevate Data Sync by Instructure, we have added the ability to sync the rosters from your student information system to Classroom, so classes can be automatically created and updated, launching in 15 countries," said Alisa Sommer, head of edtech partnerships at Google. "Education data integration is a complex problem, so we wanted an enterprise-class partner with deep expertise and a cloud-based platform that supports multiple standards and integration methods. "This partnership with Google Classroom is an ideal example of how Instructure's Learning Platform empowers partners and institutions to innovate and integrate faster,We're proud to be able to work with Google to find a solution that makes the job of educators easier while maintaining the highest level of privacy and security for student data." Kevin Turco, vice president of product management at Instructure Schools with Google Workspace for Education Plus that are interested in trying out the integration can sign up for the beta and can find onboarding help on Instructure's Community page. Schools can request more information about Google Workspace for Education Plus if they don't have a subscription already. Once signed up for the beta, admins will be able to integrate class lists and timetables (rosters) directly with most major student information systems or can opt to connect using OneRoster or CSV files. The solution is available and localized in Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. ABOUT INSTRUCTURE Instructure ( NYSE: INST) is an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. Today the Instructure Learning Platform supports tens of millions of educators and learners around the world.

Read More

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Saritasa Develops Virtual Reality Training Program for Loadstar Railcar Inspecting & Loading

Saritasa Technology Solutions | September 21, 2022

Saritasa Technology Solutions, a software partner delivering innovative products and solutions to clients, has developed a new virtual reality (VR) training system for Loadstar, a provider of logistics and product handling services. The system provides a safe, interactive training environment that is faster, more efficient, and safer than previous training programs.Loadstar is the first logistics and product handling company to deploy VR for staff training. In an industry that emphasizes on-the-job training and keeping workers in the field, Loadstar has adopted a different strategy. They put safety and education at the forefront by bringing the on-site experience to trainees using VR. Saritasa developed a comprehensive general purpose railcar inspection & loading application. Trainees can practice completing all the steps required for a standard inspection without the need to travel on-site or work with trainers. Using VR, trainees get hands-on interaction, including visual quizzes and realistic animations. VR provides a more realistic experience and shortens the training process from weeks to days. We believe that our employees' overall safety and well-being start with training, said Stephen Williams, Manager of Operational Excellence.Traditionally, our industry has relied on classroom sessions and manual field training. Some employees have described it as 'death by powerpoint,' and they're not wrong. Loadstar is always looking ahead, and we wanted to bring the latest technology to our training program to create the safest environment possible. By working with Saritasa, we have designed a state-of-the-art training program that is more cost-effective and efficient. Before adopting VR for railcar inspection & loading training, Loadstar used extensive classroom training with lectures, presentations, and study materials. Once the classroom training was complete, new employees needed to apply the material they just learned to real-life field operations. This process could take several weeks as training was entirely dependent on how many and what kind of railcars came on-site on a particular day. Now, they are able to onboard and qualify operators in a fraction of the time. Using VR not only speeds up hands-on training but also standardizes training procedures. On-site, the quality of training can vary due to any number of factors; the manager on duty, the amount or type of railcars on-site, and environmental hazards. VR training eliminates any variance and provides a solid basis for every employee. It emulates field training to provide pre-site training experience, reducing the time and cost required for on-site training. "Developing a virtual training program for Loadstar is the ideal project for Saritasa's creative and skilled technologists, There are many steps in railcar inspection training, including examination around, under, and on top of different types of railcars. Our 3D design team was able to replicate a realistic environment while optimizing headset performance, and we are extremely pleased with the outcome." Aaron Franko, VP of Immersive Technology at Saritasa About Loadstar Loadstar provides product-handling services to refineries, chemical plants, barge lines, terminals, and distribution sites, loading and unloading cargo of all classifications into railcars, trucks, barges, and ships. Loadstar operates docks, tank farms, terminals, and warehouses, managing marine, rail, truck, and pipeline logistics. The company has its headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. About Saritasa Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, Saritasa aims to empower global brands with innovative, customized solutions that fit their needs and support an ever-evolving technology ecosystem. Saritasa specializes in custom software development, mobile development, augmented reality and virtual reality development, IoT solutions, web, database development, and DevOps. Founded in 2005, the Saritasa team employs over 140 employees and has delivered thousands of successful software, hardware, and mobile app projects to a range of clients across multiple industries.

Read More

Events