Virtual reality is an artificial environment where a user is fully immersed in an experience. Putting on a VR headset transports a user to a new location where they can look around themselves, walk up to close computer-generated objects and interact with items and people.
Nevada's Innovative Approach
Libraries in Nevada are about more than just about checking out books and providing access to the internet. Libraries have become an asset to help patrons find a new career. Libraries will help patrons navigate a career decision with precision with the help of these collaborative partnerships with the community of practice using Nevada Career Explorer and new virtual reality tools. These critical elements of innovation consist of 3D tools, 360-degree videos, and virtual reality embedded within this dynamic.
Imagine how helpful it would be to help an individual confronted with launching a NEW career using virtual reality? Suppose a patron, after completing their Nevada Career Explorer assessments and assignments, grows an interest in healthcare specifically for a career as a dialysis technician. However, they still find themselves unsure if that environment is right for them. Imagine how much time they will save in their decision-making process after immersing themselves in a virtual field trip to a dialysis clinic and completing a virtual job shadow simulation as a dialysis technician to experience the work environment. Also, with this new tool to explore careers, a participant is exposed to what they DON'T like in a career path, in this case, working with blood. This can be a deal-breaker for someone, something that in many cases can be overlooked when considering a new career. Visiting a real-life clinic for a job shadowing experience and being around patients can never be done due to HIPPA laws. Imagine how helpful this tool, combined with your coaching, can do for a participant's Individual Career Plan (ICM). Below is a video highlighting the Dialysis Technician's VR experience.
There will be a total of 35 different digital "field trips" available to users via their Nevada Career Explorer account soon. Further sparking a patron's curiosity to explore STEM Careers. The Nevada Career Explorer and how to access these field trips will be covered in a later module called 'Using the Nevada Career Explorer.'
35 Digital Field Trips
VR Job Shadowing
Community of Practice members will have access to VR headsets to use as a recruiting and career exploration tool with curious patrons. There will be a total of five VR job shadowing simulations available for users to experience and explore. Project SANDI has explicitly selected these experiences to highlight Nevada's five resilient industries of in-demand jobs that require nationally recognized credentials. Details on in-demand occupations in Nevada will be covered in the 'What is a Resilient Industry in Nevada?' module.
VR Job Shadowing Opportunities
This approach responds to developments accelerated by COVID-19 on decentralized learning (e.g., nonclassroom, hybrid classes, on-site training, open-entry/open-exit models) in conjunction with a geographically dispersed workforce and geographically dispersed learning. All five VR training courses will be accessible as a distant online learning option to all interested Nevadans NO MATTER where they live. Courses are pre-loaded to the headsets no need for continuous wifi connection.
Below are the community colleges overseeing VR courses:
Success Stories and Testimonials
Going the Distance in Distance Learning
Natasha is the first-ever distant learning student for CSN's 12-week Dialysis Technician Program. As a student, Natasha lived on the Paiute Shoshone reservation and worked as a librarian for McDermitt Library in Northern Nevada. Natasha used the Lifeliqe virtual reality simulation as a study aid to fully understand and grasp fundamental lessons and components of the Dialysis Technician course. Natasha experienced firsthand the benefits of virtual reality and how much of a helpful learning tool it became for her. With the help of virtual reality, Natasha completed the course in May 2020. Natasha is a prime example of how Project SANDI can provide access to remote learning no matter where an individual lives. In Natasha's case, this opportunity provided her with access to remote learning where too often traditional education doesn't reach. Natasha did not have to worry about leaving her community for 12 weeks to pursue her education or plan for expensive travel costs. More importantly, she did not have to worry about finding childcare. Since completing the course, Natasha is now enrolled at Western Governor's University and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Deposit collections will be in all public libraries. Any community of practice member can check out headsets from their local library to hold their own recruiting events to showcase the VR headsets to potential Project SANDI participants. Community of Practice members can also partner with a library to organize, promote and host a recruiting event together.
Students will be issued VR headsets through their community college once enrolled in a SANDI VR training program.
Detailed instructions on how to get a loaner set from the libraries are covered in an upcoming module called ' Programs in a Box'.
Training Opportunities are NOT Exclusive to VR
Although the above courses will use virtual reality as an educational tool and 2nd teacher, patrons interested in in-demand STEM careers will not be limited to training with VR. Project SANDI understands that VR training may not be suitable for everyone.
Participants will have 100 other training programs options using traditional training models with private training providers partnered with Project SANDI. You will learn more about the SANDI catalog and what training options are available in a later module called 'Using the SANDI Catalog to ensure the Recruit Becomes the Student.'
Learn how to handle, set up, troubleshoot, and sanitize VR headsets. Learn basic headset operations, safety protocols, equipment protection, and other best practices when using VR.