The ITEC 2018 Conference theme is “Readiness 2025: Innovating Education and Training for the Next decade and Beyond” – what does this mean to you?
We need to train today’s workforce where it resides—cognitively speaking. For example, people today spend a lot of time on their Smartphones, on console gaming systems, on Steam. As a result, in order to reach today’s work force, we need to meet them there—or somewhere similar. We need to bring the training to these locations where they play games—where they conduct a large amount of cognitive work on a daily basis. In order to do this, we will need to get over traditional ideas of where learning occurs. We need to break out of the comfort zone of traditional pedagogical training models, and go to these cognitive places where adults learn best.
2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Smart Phone. This remarkable device not only provides a technical means of communication, but its impact is far broader as it continues to shape the ways in which we interact. How do you think such devices are impact the way we train and educate?
Smartphones have extended our brain capacity and our social capacity. And that if we lose our Smartphone, we feel an extreme sense of loss; as if we’ve lost a part of ourselves. Smartphones are no longer an accessory to our lives; they are integral to our actions, our relationships, and the creation of an individual’s sense of “self.” But by understanding that Smartphones are not a distraction, but an extension of the contemporary human experience, we can then open up to using them to their fullest capacity for training.
Readiness is a function of how people and machines are prepared, and kept ready, for missions and tasks – how best do you think this can be achieved?
Elon Musk recently admitted that, “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake… Humans are underrated;” its Moravec’s paradox. In the government and military sectors, we must also remember that people will always be needed for certain jobs, and to ensure that technology is operated properly. Therefore, training people will always be paramount to any organization’s operational strategy.
Where do you expect to see the biggest developments and trends in the next 10 years?
The biggest development in the adult training and education arena will be game-based training. And the reason behind this lies in the fact that game design as an academic discipline, has grown immensely in the last five years. “Game Designer” is an exact vocation with academic pedigree; therefore, we will finally begin to see game-based training designed by people with the proper skill set and knowledge to do so. So many “training games” over the past decade have been designed by people without any game design training or education. As a result, there have been a lot of bad “training games” on the market. Unfortunately, this has done a huge disservice to game-based training, and it is an unfair reputation that needs to be overcome.
What can delegates expect to take away from your session?
That “game” is not a “four-letter word.” Games are not child’s-play. Games are not something one does to avoid work; games are work. And, the act of playing a game is an act of learning. Games naturally align to andragogy—the way that adults learn. Therefore, we can harness this natural alignment, and create cognitively effective training systems for the adult workforce.