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The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that some of the fastest growing jobs are in fields like healthcare, welding, automotive mechanics and animal care. To help prepare students for careers in these fields, many schools are offering Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses that provide realistic, hands-on preparation for the workplace.

Advance CTE writes that in the United States “about 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE,” and these courses prepare “learners for the world of work by introducing them to workplace competencies, and makes academic content accessible to students by providing it in a hands-on context.”

Virtual training can be a powerful supplement to CTE courses that require skills like dissection, mechanics, circuitry, and more. Tools like zSpace, which uses elements of virtual, augmented and mixed reality, allow students access to realistic, virtual learning environments. While not meant to be a substitute for working with real materials, a virtual environment gives students hands-on practice with a skill or technique until they feel confident and comfortable performing it.  

Today zSpace prepares students for careers with applications designed to provide interactive, hands-on learning experiences. These applications provide training in a variety of fields, such as

  • Allied Health training, including:
    • Interactive dissection and high quality visualization with VIVED Anatomy and VIVED Volume
    • Encyclopedic reference and self-study quiz questions with Visible Body’s Human Anatomy Atlas
    • ECG practice with Vizitech ECG
  • Hands-on training with welding procedures from MIMBUS NG WAVE
  • Detailed interactive dissections for large and small animal sciences with VIVED Science
  • Automotive training with the Automotive VR Training System by GTA, including:
    • Automotive assembly and disassembly with GTAFE VR Automotive Mechanic
    • 3D interactive study guide for automotive training with GTAFE VR Automotive Expert

What other areas of study would benefit from virtual training? Would you use a virtual training tool like zSpace in your courses?

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Learn more about zSpace's offerings for CTE here

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With tablets replacing some textbooks and courses being taught online, it is clear that the educational landscape is rapidly evolving. The steady development of dynamic learning systems has been a major factor in this change. Many schools have adapted to these technological advancements, recognising they are essential steps to cater to the learning process of younger generations. The positive effects can be seen as recent research shows that middle and high school students learn more using alternate reality.


Independent Education Today identified some of the different technologies emphasised in the changing education model. They include device proliferation, app usage, and the onset of the Internet of Things (IoT). All of these involve some form of new tech or updating traditional methods. As students become increasingly mobile, it is expected that these demands will become increasingly standard.

Students typically use a laptop or computer throughout school and in their careers. IBISWorld notes that most students have a working knowledge of technology, so it’s only natural for it to be used more in the classroom. Learning management software and online systems allow teachers and pupils to collaborate remotely, which has even led to the popularity of online learning.

The Internet has allowed students to learn practically anywhere. Maryville University claims that 33.5% of students in the US took at least one online course in the duration of their education. This number will likely continue to grow given that tech has become an intrinsic part of learning.

Even so, there are a lot of things that are best learned in K-12 classrooms and university lecture halls. Arguably some of the most exciting introductions to a smart classroom environment are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). It's been explored in other industries but proves to bode well for education. zSpace makes it easy for educators to adapt the tech into their schools by streamlining intuitive software and functional hardware and aligning it to curriculum standards. For instance, the application “Human Anatomy Atlas” gives insight to what goes on inside our bodies, while chemistry is more easily understood with an interactive periodic table and atom builder. zSpace strengthens the dialog between teachers and students by inciting them to ask relevant questions, test different methods, and form sound conclusions. This is where imagination gets cultivated and applied learning can be measured. The interaction proves to be more engaging compared to only listening to lectures or staring at slideshows.

Additionally, AR/VR programs and simulations create  sensory learning experiences and breed fearless learners. Being able to undo or pause a lesson removes anxiety from students who feel the pressure to do things right the first time. After all, making mistakes is a huge part of the learning process, too. The intuitive technology engages students, builds their confidence, and satisfies their curiosity.

Creative spaces are another trend in the smart classroom movement. Global Citizen featured Danish Kurani and Zoe Balaconis' mission to reinvent classroom layouts, incorporate shared discussion areas, one-on-one learning zones, galleries, viewing areas, and more. All of these can use smart tools like projectors, digital textbooks and tables, and AR/VR equipment. This not only spells out progress, but adds to the overall value a school provides to students as well.

As people see the optimisation of smart software for the academe, it's exciting to think about all the possibilities. It won't be long before the traditional classroom setup gets replaced by an advanced model filled with high tech tools that keep students engaged. (Ricci Juliette) 

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The technology integration between Tinkercad and zSpace is, according to Tech and Learning, “a big step forward in making 3D design more accessible and social.” Using zSpace, students will be able to view their Tinkercad models as if they were already printed: lifting, turning, and flipping the design with ease. Students can even record a video or combine their models with zSpace Studio’s vast 3D model library of STEAM content.

In order to use this new technology, students must first create a model using Tinkercad. During this process, users should be aware that zSpace will render a colored and hollow image. This means users should be mostly focused on external geometry.

After creating this model, one should select the part meant to be exported. When an image is selected in Tinkercad, it will become blue or purple. Selecting “Design” then “Download for 3D printing” and finally “.obj” will automatically begin the download process. Once the download is complete, a zip file with the same name as the Tinkercad file will appear in one's downloads folder.

The end product will appear to be this same model with any color and surface details added in Tinkercad. This model is disectable and hollow, allowing users to move pieces as a group when they are the same color. With studio view, users may lift, turn and move their model while viewing the dimensions available during the design process.

This technology integration will allow users to examine their projects more closely before the building process, encourage spatial reasoning and save unnecessary printing costs.

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