British Army takes the lead with new application for Apple iPad 26 May 2010
Army training with the iPad
The British Army is one of the first organisations in the UK to develop an application for the new Apple iPad.
Currently in the testing stage, the Fire Control Orders application will be used by soldiers at the Royal School of Artillery in Larkhill, Wiltshire, replacing more conventional training methods.
Using interactive individual and multi-user exercises, the iPad application aims to provide a more engaging - and therefore more effective - training experience.
Before and after the classroom-based training, the application will be available for practice via the MOD's Defence Learning Portal, a computer-based resource with access points at almost every military establishment. Instructors will then be able to focus their time on correcting errors in exercises and dealing with specific training requirements.
The learning technologies team within the Army's Directorate of Training worked closely with the Royal School of Artillery in developing this application. This is the first of a number of new applications developed by the team, which is tasked with improving the delivery of training through the use of learning technologies.
"A lot of our training is directed at young soldiers who don't respond well to the 'traditional Powerpoint Lecture' training method," explains Major Richard Gill of Training Development Branch. "So our solutions are developed very much with the 'iPod generation' in mind.
"Mobile touch screen devices are second nature to most of our younger people, and they lend themselves to the kind of applications we need. Using them, we can develop training on devices which keep the trainee engaged and focused."
The team is also working with the Army Aviation Centre to provide vehicle recognition training for Army pilots, using a 3D recognition application on the Apple iTouch. The application will be incorporated into the helicopter pilots' course and evaluated for wider exploitation.