- Training programs already offered in 22 states
- Upending traditional approach to delivering education and training
- Employing VR technology to cut costs and improve accessibility
Taking Francis Bacon’s aphorism ‘if the mountain will not go to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain’ to heart, ProBility Media Corp. (OTCQB: PBYA) plans to deliver its extensive suite of technical training programs nationwide through virtual reality and a host of other cutting edge technologies. At present, the company offers programs in 22 states, so it is already halfway to realizing its ambitious goal. Partnering with developers of three-dimensional (3D) technology, ProBility will create virtual reality and interactive media content designed specifically for education and training purposes. The innovative edtech company wants nothing less than to create the first full service training and career advancement brand for technical vocations and trades.
Recent innovations in information technology have expanded the bounds of countless industries, and the field of education is no different. Historically, delivering educational services meant the construction of costly infrastructure such as schools, colleges, and laboratories, as well as funding emoluments for teachers and instructors. In addition, this model placed the provision of services in one fixed location. Like a mountain, a college or training facility cannot move, which means that not only Mohammed but students must oftentimes travel for long distances, perhaps relocate, if they wish to attend a particular school.
This traditional approach affects the market for education from both the demand and the supply ends. Supply quantity is curtailed, since building schools and community colleges is expensive. Likewise, demand quantity is dampened because of high tuition costs and the inevitable barriers to availability and accessibility, both adverse outcomes resulting because schools can’t go to students. That’s why ProBility’s approach, which takes schooling to students, is such a big deal, killing, as it does, two birds with one stone. With ProBility’s eLearning VR educational programs, a student can sit in the comfort of his or her home and enjoy all the benefits of a classroom or lab environment.
The potential for a nationwide expansion of ProBility’s eLearning programs is promising. The market for employer-based formal training is estimated at around $177 billion annually. Most of that (52%) is in service industries, with manufacturing accounting for 14%; transportation and utilities another 11%; finance, insurance and real estate 9%; and retail 9%. Construction and mining together account for 4% of total spending on employer-based formal training.
A recent New York Times piece (http://dtn.fm/d4G3b) detailed how West Virginia ‘is now leading the way in turning vocational education from a Plan B for underachieving students into what policy makers hope will be a fuel source for the state’s economic revival. Simulated workplaces, overseen by teachers newly trained in important state industries like health, coal and even fracking, are now operating in schools across the state. Students punch a time clock, are assigned professional roles like foreman or safety supervisor, and are even offered several vacation days of their choice in addition to regular school breaks.’
VR technology is currently employed to deliver ProBility’s crane training programs. ProBility has collaborated with GlobalSim, a VR Crane industry leader, to offer a cutting-edge VR simulation platform that combines a comprehensive training program with superb realism, all at an affordable price. The GlobalSim VR simulator comes equipped with a headset that offers an unlimited field-of-view in a mixed reality setting, allowing for a completely immersive experience. Just as with traditional simulator systems, the GlobalSim VR platform uses real equipment controls, joysticks and buttons, so operators can become familiar with the actual equipment they will use in the workplace.
As part of its strategy to offer training programs in crane operation, ProBility also signed an exclusive publishing and distribution deal with All Purpose Crane Training (AP), which provides nationwide crane-rigging training and certification that meets OSHA-ANSI requirements. OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; ANSI is the American National Standards Institute.
The courses, customized to meet the specific needs of customers, can be taken either at the customer’s site or at AP’s training centers around the country. They include aerial lift operator training, forklift operator certification, crane rigging instructor courses, mobile crane operator certification, crane operator training, overhead crane training, and rigging and signal-person qualification training.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ProbilityMedia.com
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