Military Gets It !
by Alex Hutchins
There are many ways the information in this article could have been approached but for me, drawing on immediate past experience is where I would like to begin followed by an article that was read prompting me to reflect upon this immediate past experience.
Monday and Tuesday of last week, I attended a training session hosted at the UT (University of TN) Conference Center, sponsored by ILS (Innovative Learning Solutions), Inc. to become a trainer for Marketplace LIVE, a business simulation that was authored by Dr. Ernest R. Codotte. Needless to say, it was an awesome experience and an awesome two days.
Dr. Codotte’s simulation is based upon the Constructivist Learning Model (see below).
The percentages listed represent the average amount of information that is retained through that particular learning method. Note what method produces the highest retention rate.
- Lecture = 5%
- Reading = 10%
- Audiovisual = 20%
- Demonstration = 30%
- Discussion Group = 50%
- Practice by doing = 75%
- Teach others / immediate use of learning = 90%
While Dr. Cadotte’s simulation literally “sucks in” reluctant students to reach beyond expectations, there are other training opportunities that continue to push the envelope, which brings up what I read.
For Col. Anthony Krogh, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a toll, but they have also left the US Army battle-tested. As peacetime draws nearer, the Pentagon is grappling with a vital question: How can the military keep its soldiers engaged and fighting fit, both physically and mentally?
Krogh thinks he knows one answer: video games. Short of building fake villages "with goats wandering and smells and all that," video-game training is the only way consistently to put soldiers in environments like the ones they have operated in since 2001, says Krogh, head of the Army's national simulation command. "If your thumb-eye dexterity as an X-box player is better than mine, you're going to appear to be a better soldier than I am," Krogh says. This is particularly true if a soldier is overweight, for example.
And so Krogh approached the entertainment industry with a plan: From now on, the Army wanted avatars to mirror the actual abilities of the soldiers.
What an amazing concept - the military get it!
But, what is Virtual Reality and more importantly, what is Digital Game Based Learning?
Virtual reality (VR),is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds.
Digital game-based learning (DGBL) is an instructional method that incorporates educational content or learning principles into video games with the goal of engaging learners. Applications of digital game-based learning draw upon the constructivist theory of education.
Drawing from the constructivist theory of education, digital game-based learning (DGBL) connects educational content with computer or video games and can be used in almost all subjects and skill levels. Proponents of digital game-based learning contend that it provides learning opportunities that engage students in interactive instruction and helps prepare them to participate in the globalized, technological society of the 21st Century.
Remember these Virtual Reality movies?
The Lawnmower Man
Tron & Tron Legacy
The Thirteenth Floor
The Matrix Trilogies
All is not lost for education as long as Marc Prensky is around. Marc Prensky is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, and innovator in the field of education and learning.
Marc is the founder and Creative Director of Spree Games (a K-12 curricular games company), the founder and CEO of Games2train (a business games company whose clients include IBM, Nokia, Pfizer, the US Department of Defense and the L.A. and Florida Virtual Schools) and creator of the sites DoD Game Community and Social Impact Games.
Marc has created over 50 software games for learning, including the world’s first fast-action videogame-based training tools and world-wide, multi-player, multi-team on-line competitions. He has also taught at all levels. Marc has been featured in articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and the BBC, and was named as one of training’s top 10 “visionaries” by Training magazine. He holds graduate degrees from Yale (Teaching) and Harvard (MBA).
Our future is going to be very exciting!