As technology develops, the ways in which people learn also continue to develop. Today, a lot of the focus is on digital technology, with online classes and training being a good example. Digital learning exposes students to methods that allow them to learn in many innovative ways and understand things from a different perspective, which is part of a healthy thought process.
Students can go at their own pace until they understand the material. This makes learning more engaging and fun.
Mobile apps are another good example of using digital technology for education and training. As everyone knows, young people today are driven toward using their smartphones and other mobile devices for many purposes, accessing information at anytime from anywhere. Mobile apps can boost engagement while also making the learning process fun and easy.
More and more, the metals fabricating industry is embracing this new digital approach to learning, and a new mobile app from Fronius serves as a great example. The new Welducation Basic App supports virtual learning by offering welders a fun way to build up their know-how. It has two parts – a game function that enables users to experience welding interactively and a quiz section that conveys useful information on the welding process.
Available for free for Android and iOS, the app is geared toward new welders and students to supplement formal training. Experienced welders can also take advantage to brush up on their welding knowledge.
Welducation Basic helps with the demanding task of memorizing theoretical content for welding. The quiz portion is a fun way to learn the theoretical principles. Users are shown a standard welding question and must choose an answer from four options. If they get it wrong, the app tells them what the correct answer is and why it’s the correct answer.
To complete a round of the game, users must answer 10 questions. The goal is to accumulate as many points as possible. It’s time based so the longer it takes to answer, the less points the user accumulates. Each time the user opens the app, a new set of questions appears.
The team at Fronius developed the questions, which range from theoretical questions on welding and metallurgy to basic questions such as who is responsible for developing a process.
Sample multiple-choice questions include:
What is the maximum resistance of a material to the ingress of another body called?
Choices: Resistance force, Strength, Density or Hardness
Answer: Hardness is the resistance of a body against the ingress of another body.
Which shielding gases are used in metal active gas welding (MAG)?
Choices: Helium, Argon, Argon-rich shielding gases with active components or Propane
Answer: The shielding gas for MAG primarily consists of the main component argon with mixtures of carbon dioxide or oxygen.
Scores are then shown in order of ranking. An international high score ranking allows users to compare themselves with all app users worldwide.
“If you make an online profile, you can post your score online and can get bragging rights for having the best score,” says Shaun Relyea, technical support manager, Fronius USA LLC.
Users don’t have to make an online profile, though. Anyone can download the app and use it without having to reveal their scores online.
Do the drag
The other part of Welducation Basic is the game section that allows users to learn through practice and gain experience with virtual welding. The touchscreen becomes a workpiece and the user’s finger becomes a welding torch. The user drags their finger across the screen to practice their welding skills. The virtual trainer supports the user by showing them the ideal welding speed and position using color signals – the greener the better.
The aim is to score as many points as possible through consistent and accurately welded seams. Users can also save their points from the game in the online rankings.
There are different levels to the game – the higher the level, the more difficult the welding task. Users can weld melt runs or fillet and butt welds, for example.
“The game part of Welducation has two levels,” Relyea says. “One with the guide and one where it is a ghost and the guide is completely off. That way, the user can practice with the guide feature and then go to the ghost level as they improve.”
The virtual welding feature is only MIG welding at this time, with other processes possibly being added later. Welducation Basic has only been out for a few months and already has 10,000-plus users and quite a few positive reviews. A quick search on the internet reveals there are no other apps that do what Welducation does. Users can download the Welducation Basic App for free via Google Play Store or Apple Store.