Educators Weigh In: 5 Ways to Use Virtual Reality Welding Simulators in the Classroom

By now, you’ve probably heard that that virtual reality welding simulators like guideWELD® VR can save you time and money while engaging students and training them more efficiently. And it’s true – studies like this one have been published that support the effectiveness of these teaching tools.

To help you get started with virtual reality welding simulators so you can see these results for yourself, we asked seasoned users from across the country how they were using these tools in their programs. Keep reading for 5 ways to use virtual reality welding simulators in the classroom.

5 Ways to Use Virtual Reality Welding Simulators in the Classroom

1: Use them to recruit students for your welding program

“We can’t bring students into the actual shop because of the liability, but with the simulator, students can get the feel for it and kind of see what’s going on before enrolling,” said George Karr, IT Administrator and Welding Instructor for the Hollenstein Career &
Technology Center in Fort Worth, TX. “Before school started, we had kids come in with their older siblings during  orientation who remembered using the simulator last year and were excited to show their younger brother or sister. They really like it – it’s a great recruiting tool.”

2: Use them to provide welding and manufacturing career exploration opportunities

“A lot of these kids have never touched a welder or turned a lathe in their life,” said Mobile Manufacturing Lab Technician John Paulus, who uses the guideWELD VR welding simulator in the Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Mobile Manufacturing Lab to provide middle- and high-school students from across Western Wisconsin with manufacturing career exploration opportunities. “We’re trying to get these kids excited about getting skilled and getting into manufacturing careers. This equipment is enhancing our ability to do that.”

3. Use them to engage students with classroom competitions

“We had competitions with the guideWELD VR unit… everyone was trying to beat each other’s scores and kept taking more turns. Everyone was really excited about it,” recalled Rodian Manjarres, a second-year student at the J. Harley Bonds Career Center in Greer, SC. “I liked it a lot because I could beat the guys at it. There are only a few of us that can get the gun to turn gold.”

4. Use them to keep more students productive – and safe

“When students asked why they were having to slow down or speed up or whatever, I’d walk through their weld with them,” stated Karr. “Once they got going, I could walk away from them and oversee other students in the shop who were working on something else. The kids using simulators didn’t need as much help as those working alone – it told them what to do so I could go help someone who needed it.

5. Use them to generate community support for your program

Harlan Community High School Agriculture Education Teacher Dan Leinen recalled one specific reason why his was able to fundraise money relatively easily: the welding simulators themselves.

“We had one here already, and if people wanted, they could come here and see it,” said Leinen. “When people got their hands on it and saw what they would be supporting, and experienced what the kids would do in the classroom, it was a huge seller.”

Leinen recalls one company owner who had an FFA background but had never welded. He sat down and tried the simulator and almost instantly committed to donating funds.

“In today’s economy, it’s hard to get funds from companies,” stated Leinen. “But if you can  show them what they’re supporting, that makes a difference.”

Ready to learn more about the guideWELD VR welding simulator? Click here.

Realityworks Introduces the guideWELD™ LIVE Real Welding Guidance System

EAU CLAIRE, Wis., September 15, 2014 – Realityworks, Inc. announces the guideWELD™ LIVE real welding guidance system, a new product in their Real Career® Welding Solutions line. Realityworks has taken the step from simulation to real life with a live welding guidance system that helps users establish proper welding position and technique while welding.

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Realityworks’ newest welding education product is the guideWELD LIVE real welding guidance system, which provides in-helmet feedback during live welding.

Considered the future of welding education, Realityworks’ guideWELD LIVE system provides immediate in-helmet feedback on three core aspects of welding technique: speed, work angle and travel angle. This real-time feedback occurs inside the welding helmet and set in the user’s periphery vision, so both the feedback and the weld puddle can be monitored simultaneously. By monitoring that feedback, the user can see – while they weld – whether they need to correct their speed, work angle or travel angle.

“After using guideWELD LIVE, students were providing me with feedback first, which was great – in a real-world situation, your boss is going to ask you why it’s this way or that way,” noted George Karr, Welding Instructor at Hollenstein Career and Technology Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

The guideWELD LIVE system was showcased at the American Welding Society’s (AWS) Instructor Institute in July and will be on display to over 27,000 FABTECH Conference attendees in Atlanta, Georgia November 11-13. Another opportunity to view this new product will be at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2014 conference in Nashville, Tennessee from November 20-22. This conference hosts over 4,000 educators, education influencers and corporate representatives from around the nation.

For more information on Realityworks and the guideWELD™ LIVE system visit us at www.realityworks.com or call 800-262-3806.

About Realityworks, Inc.
Established 19 years ago to better address parenting skills, teen pregnancy prevention, child abuse and neglect through educational products, Realityworks, Inc. is dedicated to creating experiential learning tools that engage students while improving the human condition. Most famous for their RealCare Baby infant simulator (formerly known as Baby Think it Over or BTIO), Realityworks has developed several other programs over the last decade that address career preparation areas like business management, finance and entrepreneurship, as well as a RealCareer® Welding Solutions line that includes the guideWELD™ LIVE real welding guidance system and guideWELD™ VR welding simulator. With products in 62 percent of U.S. school districts and programs in more than 90 countries around the world, Realityworks has made a worldwide impact. For more information, visit www.realityworks.com, or call toll-free 800-830-1416.