264 – Will Virtual Reality Eventually Replace Technical College?

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What if there is a way for you to train your tradies on how to fix electrical wiring without running the risk of electrical shock? What if you get to learn how to install a solar panel without having to be on site? As sci-fi as they may sound, with the digital transformation taking place all around us, it’s no longer hard to imagine these changes occurring in the workspace. Virtual reality is slowly creeping its way towards vocational education and training, and it’s making life for us tradies so much better!

This week, we’ll have another incredible and informative episode as we chat with Doug Donovan, CEO and Founder at Interplay Learning, about how VR and AR technology is slowly paving its way towards a better way of skills learning and training. Here, we’ll get to hear more about how this technology can make learning faster and safer as well as give us a sneak peek into what the future of the trades industry may look like.

Hop on to this episode as we take a deep dive into the fascinating world of virtual reality.

What’s Discussed in This Episode:

  1. Why schools should slowly tap into VR technology [05:37]
  2. A brief background on Doug and Interplay [08:42]
  3. VocEd requirements in some states in the US have slowly disappeared [10:37]
    1. Most European countries are way ahead in terms of R&D and VocEd [14:15]
    2. The effect of the decreasing number of tradies in the US and AU [15:55]
  4. Simulation training condenses learning time [17:41]
    1. The advantages of  VR and AR training for tradies [18:50]
    2. Most skills required in running a business are not taught at schools [22:16]
    3. Most companies prioritise attitude over aptitude [25:01]
  5. Startups are starting to adapt sim training to improve business processes [28:11]
  6. What makes virtual reality the best and safest technology as a tool for learning [31:44]
    1. VR and AR make it possible to conduct community learning [36:58]
    2. Book knowledge has yet to creep its way into VR learning [39:52]
    3. Interplay’s secret way of handling new technology [41:19]
    4. Most of their training are based on current market demands [42:56]
  7. The adaptability of tech-based programs are what makes them great to use [46:32]
  8. The future of VR and AR technology in the workspace [49:31]
    1. Virtual reality vs augmented reality [51:58]
    2. The value of experiential learning [53:45]
    3. How VR tech can make construction work faster and more efficient [54:32]
    4. The possibility of VR and AR making quoting easier [56:57]

About the Guest:

Doug Donovan has been in the VR space for more than a decade. He is the Founder and CEO of Interplay Learning which is based in Austin, Texas. Realising the lack of hands-on experience of some tradies, it has lead him to build a more efficient way of conducting trainings. A global leader in online and VR training, he has assisted several company trainings ranging from HVAC, Electrical, Auditing, to name a few.



Connect with me on LinkedIn. For more podcast episodes, you may also visit my website. Tune in and subscribe to The Site Shed: You can also listen to The Site Shed on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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The Site Shed | Listen Notes


The Site Shed is one of the best online communities and podcasts for tradies out there. The free content provided to members is unbelievable - offering invaluable advice to run a successful business, and the community of tradies is truly awesome. Do yourself a favour and check it out.

Peter Cox Business Man

Great work Matt with all the podcasts and the site shed facebook community group. The amount of information that you can learn for free in this space is unbelieveable. It's great to see like minded contractors and trades trying to improve their businesses and also share ideas and help others. Highly recommend. Thanks!

Ben Hern Business Owner

I have been listening to the pod casts for a few months now, I can't get enough of all the awesome content that you guys provide. Especially when you guys deliver it from a trade perspective which helps out a lot. Keep up the good work and hopefully one day I can afford one of the trade training trips.

Ché Henton Customer

I own a construction company,and i love learning how to make my bussiness more competitive,profitable and how to better serve my clients. The site shed is a wonderful place to get invaluable knowledge no matter your trade .

Michael Mullinax Construction Company Owner

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