FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gregory Bortolin,
Director of Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org (775) 687-9917
February 1, 2023
CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Supporting Advancing Nevada’s Dislocated Individuals (Project SANDI) virtual reality programs can now be accessed through WorldCat-OCLC, the world’s largest library catalog.
Administered through the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation (GOWINN) and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), Project SANDI’s priorities include full virtual reality experiences that function as a supplement to training programs leading to industry recognized credentials. Gina Johnson, BSN, RN and the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program Coordinator for Great Basin College (GBC) in Elko, was the subject matter expert and determined what curriculum elements would be the best fit for virtual reality. In tandem with virtual reality publisher, Lifeliqe, they’re credited for covering human body organs, body system monitoring and infection control in headset virtual reality.
Carson City Senior Librarian, Kelly Robertson cataloged the first virtual reality (VR) course companion into WorldCat-OCLC, the world’s largest library catalog. In 2019 former State Librarian Tammy Westergard, now Governor’s Office of Economic Development Project SANDI Coordinator, and Robertson led first of its kind cataloging of virtual reality into WorldCat, resulting in a collection of more than 1,000 3D interactive virtual reality objects – akin to very high tech ‘flash cards’.
Building on success, one of Project SANDI’s priorities includes full virtual reality experiences that function as a supplement to training programs leading to industry recognized credentials. Introduction to SANDI’s career pathways through specialized 3D interactive objects and virtual reality experience enhances understanding of program requirements, competencies, professional behavior and will help explain the world of work in Nevada’s in-demand fields. Scholarly research indicates VR also increases proficiency with basic science technology engineering math (STEM) concepts and principles.
“Project SANDI’s virtual reality assets are not off the shelf. We publish virtual reality content through a guarantor process,” says Lifeliqe’s Co-founder and President Mark Andersen. “Great Basin College is a widely recognized leader in Nevada’s distance learning space and has been eager to bring virtual reality assets into its instructional methods. Gina Johnson’s leadership and subject matter expertise is second to none. GBC students are benefitting.”
Listings in the library catalog raises awareness among faculty and students about the availability of instructional virtual reality.
“Instructors can assign students to go to the library and check out a virtual reality headset to be worn as a mobile classroom. Virtual reality CNA content will enhance the textbook theory content, adding an additional layer of immersive visual learning. What is learned in the classroom is accentuated with a dimension, like guided anatomy and physiology and active clinical judgement lessons. This really enhances learning by appealing to all learning styles: visual, auditory, reading, and kinesthetic learners. Improving clinical judgement before going to the clinical setting improves confidence and safety,” says Johnson. “Also, the content applies across many kinds of health science courses, so instructors teaching related concepts can have their students use this too, creating course reserves available from the academic library.”
“Kelly Robertson is one of the finest original catalogers in the state and as this innovative workforce project continues to stand up, the need to create original MARC records that could then be copy cataloged by other libraries into their local catalogs was something we could contribute to the project as a professional courtesy. We were glad to help,” says Carson City Library Director, Joy Holt.
“As educational technology continues to evolve into formats that are increasingly visual and allow students to learn by doing, the ability to manipulate and interact in a simulated lifelike environment becomes a key component to understanding the why behind the work on a practical level,” says Robertson, “Making these records available through WorldCat serves as a model all libraries can follow for creating access to these virtual learning tools.”
In October 2020, under the Reimagine Workforce Preparation Discretionary Grants Program (CDFA Number: 84.425G) GOWINN was awarded $13.8M from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. Nevada’s charter is to scale, enhance and further develop digital components in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, logistics, IT and construction trades. Enhanced features include precision career navigation elements that ‘decode’ skills and award college credits and / or competency badges for prior experience. Virtual reality and 3D interactive training enhancements are focused on short term industry credentials through distance learning, to reskill and upskill folks for in-demand jobs within Nevada’s resilient STEM industries. The Project SANDI grant requires virtual reality and 3D digitally interactive STEM education materials in these specific Nevada career pathways. The content is oriented to those who have a particular STEM interest, or their interest is waiting to be sparked. Digital tools are for broad use by multiple levels (high school, college, adult), include many topics or disciplines relative to middle and higher-level STEM and are accessible through Nevada’s public libraries in partnership with Nevada community colleges and partners within the workforce ecosystem. Application of these scientific principles through devices and procedures demonstrated in virtual simulation and through in person training supports student success in earning nationally recognized industry credentials in:
1) Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician credential (CCHT)
2) Manufacturing Technician 1 (MT1)
3) Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
4) Refrigerant Handling (EPA 608)
5) Computational Thinking (CT)
About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and the Governor’s Office to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development.
About Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation
GOWINN helps drive a skilled, diverse, and aligned workforce in the State of Nevada by
promoting cooperation and collaboration among all entities focused on workforce development.
Its chief objectives are to prepare all K-12 students for college and career success, increase the
number of Nevadans with postsecondary credentials and increase labor force participation.