Symposium focuses on improving Army learning
July 6, 2011
FORT BENNING - GA. The challenge of information overload and how to teach people differently was the concept for the two-day Learning and Technology Symposium.
Co-sponsored by the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Columbus State University, the symposium’s theme, Implementing the Army Learning Concept for 2015 at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, looked at using technology to improve Army training.
Maj. Gen. Robert Brown, MCoE commanding general, spoke about the challenge of breaking the current training paradigm and how to effectively apply the Army Learning Concept, which is the Army’s vision of how to train and educate Soldiers and leaders in individual knowledge, skills, attributes, and abilities to execute full-spectrum operations in an era of persistent conflict.
The challenge for this generation, every day, is the overwhelming amounts of information, Brown said, and the ALC is about changing the way the Army teaches.
“You can’t teach it by lecturing on a podium,” he said. “You teach it by immersing students, letting them try and letting them fail. You have to be student learning-centric, not instructor-centric. You have to use simulations. … We have the technology today to immerse people and to integrate them into an environment.”
Using the video game Call of Duty to illustrate his point, avatars are one way to link virtual and live, Brown said.
“Everyone is a superstar in the virtual world,” he said.
Soldiers will be issued an avatar that replicates their qualities, with their marksmanship and PT abilities. If they’re eating doughnuts and are behind their buddies, they will be behind in the game. It’s linked, he said.
What still needs to be figured out is how much should be blended training and how much should be live, Brown said.
See the July 20 edition of The Bayonet for more on the symposium.
About the Army Learning Concept:
The Army Learning Concept 2015 is an important component of our effort to drive change through a campaign of learning. It describes the learning environment we envision in 2015.
It seeks to improve our learning model by leveraging technology without sacrificing standards so we can provide credible, rigorous, and relevant training and education for our force of combat-seasoned Soldiers and leaders. It argues that we must establish a continuum of learning from the time Soldiers are accessed until the time they retire. It makes clear that the responsibility for developing Soldiers in this learning continuum is a shared responsibility among the institutional schoolhouse, tactical units, and the individuals themselves.
The Army Learning Concept 2015 does not focus on any particular technology, but rather focuses on the opportunities presented by dynamic virtual environments, by online gaming, and by mobile learning. It speaks of access to applications, the blending of physical and virtual collaborative environments, and learning outcomes.
The Army Learning Concept 2015 is nested within our Army’s framework of concepts. The core pillars of this framework are the Army Capstone Concept, the Army Operating Concept, the U.S. Army Training Concept, and the Army Leader Development Strategy. The Army Learning Concept recognizes and addresses the arrival of a new generation of Soldiers in our ranks who have grown up in a digital world.
" Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, written in the forward for TRADOC Pamphlet 525-8-2, dated Jan. 20, 2011