All About Playground Labs
Hands-On Labs have become an integral part of learning for higher impact, especially for the digital technology learning. The demand for talent in digital technologies, the short supply of talent, the great resignation, job hopping, heart burns of recruiters, billing leakages of enterprises is a well-known and documented story.
Hands-On Labs or Cloud Labs or Virtual Labs as it is called is emerging as the savior for organizations who are looking for talent with some hands-on skill. These labs offer the learners to experiment to their heart’s content in a real-world environment and be ready for deployment on real projects.
There are various types of labs, such as playground labs, guided labs, and challenge labs. In this article, we will focus on the playground labs.
What is a playground Lab?
So let us see what a playground lab is. The playground lab as the name suggests is a place or a platform where a learner can experiment with what they have learned in theory so far. assume that you are a cricket player. You finished your drills, understood the basics of how to play cricket and the rules of the game. It’s time to hit the nets where you can put all your learning to practice and see how each shot works.
Here is the best part – even if you get out, you still get another chance until you master the shot or the type of ball you were trying to bowl.
A playground lab in the technical learning world works as a net practice. You have a pre-configured environment that is aligned with your course. In a nutshell:
“A playground lab is a pre-configured and controlled sandbox environment with all the tools and packages as per the course requirement, where learners can practice and experiment their skills.”
The playground labs provide a controlled and safe environment where one can practice without worrying about crashing the environment or overspending. Even when crashed, one can recreate the environment within a few clicks. In fact, the entire purpose is to crash and learn until you master the technology.
Who is it for and why should one use playground labs?
Short answer – Playground lab is for everyone who is directly or indirectly involved with technology learning. It is to improve the overall skill level of the learner.
Long answer – Eventually, a playground lab is used by the learner. However, the use-case can vary for the learning provider to enhance the learning experience of the learner.
Here are various players and use-cases for the playground labs.
A technology learner is a primary consumer who, at a time of their choice can use the labs to practice what they’ve learned. Playground labs help the technology learners in the following ways:
- Makes the learner gain practical knowledge about working on a technology
- The real-world environment makes the learner ready to be deployed on a project rather than warming the bench
- Accelerates the learning time as the learner can do the theory and practical in parallel
- Improves the learning quality as the practice would help them ask relevant questions
- Operationally, the labs are pre-configured and hence the learner can just start working on the labs instead of worrying about installation
Next in the food chain comes the trainer. A majority of trainers are good subject matter experts; however the training effectiveness comes under question as the practice is missing. The playground labs help trainers to complete the missing piece and offer the entire learning experience at one place. Playground labs help the trainers in the following ways:
- Improves the effectiveness and experience of the overall learning process
- Offer a complete learning package rather than learner fending for themselves and searching for the labs provider
- Pre-configured labs will not take any bandwidth away from the trainers
- The in-parallel practice sessions help trainers to improve their courseware
EdTech companies are revolutionizing learning, especially in the tech learning space. Millions of learners and enterprises across the world are depending on EdTech companies for their learning needs. Just like trainers, the EdTech companies can take advantage of playground labs to provide a comprehensive learning experience to the users. Playground labs help the EdTech companies in the following ways:
- Attract more learners as the overall quality of learning improves
- Seamless integration of Hands-on Labs to deliver a unified learner experience
- Insights and analytics on user learning patterns and effectiveness
- Additional revenue source with integrated labs
- One-stop-shop for all technical learning needs
The phenomenal rise in the hiring of freshers denotes the importance of the talent that the tech universities are producing. There is even more pressure on universities to produce talent that is as per the expectations of the enterprises. The playground labs help universities to make students more employable by giving them practical exposure to real-world situations. Playground labs help the Universities in the following ways:
- Make students more employable and ready-to-hire
- Enable students to create digital portfolios
- Stay ahead of the curve by teaching the latest tech to students
- Make students industry ready-to-hire
- Minimal cost in designing, setting up the labs, and managing them
All roads lead to Rome. If the playground labs are for the learners, the final beneficiary is the enterprise as they get access to ready-to-deploy talent and meet all their hiring demands. Playground labs help Enterprises in the following ways:
- Ready-to-use course design and aligned hands-on labs
- Align all your technical learning with hands-on labs
- Improve learner participation through engaging assessments
- Cost-effective and higher ROI compared to internal setup
- Improve certification completion rates
How does it work?
- Pick a course
- A lab is created and made pre-configured as per the course requirement
- The learner gets access to the lab and gets to practice as per the rules/policies set
That’s it. The same process is replicated for a wide range of labs. It doesn’t get simpler than this.
What are the labs available under playground labs?
|Applications (Tableau, Matlab, PowerBI etc)|
|Full Stack Development|
Learning happens best when a learner gets to experiment in a non-threatening environment. When a learner is left alone in such an open environment with playground labs, the exploration will lead to many innovative applications and importantly an abundance of confidence.
Talk to our team to get access to a playground lab. firstname.lastname@example.org