Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

US Army Moving to Embrace iPhones, iPads, and Blended Learning

The official US Army video on YouTube, “Army Learning Concept 2015,” dramatizes a vision of learning for the future soldier filled with iPhone and iPad use which reminds me of Abilene Christian University’s video “Connected” which was published several years ago. The music reminds me of the battle scene music in trailer for “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

The NPR report, “Army Tests Smart Phones For Battle Readiness” in December 2010 cited an Army Times article, which reported:

In February [2011], the Army plans to begin fielding phones, network equipment and applications to the first Army brigade to be modernized under the brigade combat team modernization program. That test will not be limited to smart phones but will include any electronic devices that may be useful to troops… ‘We’re looking at everything from iPads to Kindles to Nook readers to mini-projectors,’ said Mike McCarthy, director of the mission command complex of Future Force Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss.

The U.S. Army Learning Concept for 2015” report is a 72 page document (available on the open web as a PDF) which outlines ways the US Army is seeking to embrace blended learning for its soldiers worldwide. I’ll be sharing a short presentation next month at Fort Sill, here in Oklahoma, at the 1st Biennial Intellectual Warrior’s Conference (IWC). This event will provide an opportunity for Army leaders at Fort Sill to learn more about “Army Learning Concept 2015” and how it can be operationalized to better educate today’s military leaders and troops.

This video is among 2900 others on the US Army’s official YouTube channel. Is your school still blocking YouTube access for students, by the way? The video was posted in October 2010.

The US military is moving pro-actively to embrace blended learning in multiple forms, including mobile learning. What about your school? Are your teachers learning how to effectively talk with media? Our school leaders need more opportunities to develop and refine a vision for blended learning in schools in the 21st century. It’s interesting and instructive to learn how the US Army is doing this now.

We’re living in the formative years of the learning revolution, which is a fundamental shift in the ways ideas are created and shared around the world. If your school leadership is NOT embracing the opportunities available for blended instruction and learning in today’s connected media landscape, it’s time they got on board. As the theme song for “Meet the Robinsons” declares, “The Future Has Arrived.” It’s a GREAT day for learning!

Virtuoso iPad Teacherphoto © 2010 Wesley Fryer | more info (via: Wylio)

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4 responses to “US Army Moving to Embrace iPhones, iPads, and Blended Learning”

  1. Mark V Avatar
    Mark V

    As an Army trainer I can definitely attest to the positive effects of blended learning. The introduction of technology has help overcome boundaries that usually come from being in the Army. In addition, the training programs are viewed as more relevant since they utilize the latest technology available in the marketplace and not outdated materials.

  2. Brandon Caten Avatar

    Hi Mr. Fryer,

    It’s me again, Brandon from Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class. Thanks for posting this! I really do like the idea behind the Army trying to implement technology on the battle field, and while I am concerned that soldiers might use the technology for the wrong reasons at the wrong time, I think it’s a good move by the Army!

    I can also see this being a good idea when it comes to communication with family members. Soldiers go for months without seeing their family, but with the help of FaceTime, a soldier might be able to see their family more regularly.

    Thanks for this great post!

  3. […] in college, how many of us work and learn in the professional world, and per this post in the blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity, how the Army is approaching learning and battle readiness. Tags: blended learning, career […]

  4. Joel Heinrichs Avatar
    Joel Heinrichs

    “Blended Learning” really does describe how students already learn in college, and how many of us work and learn in the professional world. One of the arguments for more blended learning in K-12 (in addition to opportunity to improve student engagement, individualized instruction, etc.) has been “college readiness” – as most colleges now have substantial online learning elements to their programs. Given the direction the Army is going – maybe the argument should be “college or career readiness” – as this model is beginning to appear in a broad spectrum of the work world.