Futurist and technology guru Dan Burres once observed that to play the average video game such as Halo or Sonic the Hedgehog, a child must learn and master no less than 70 new rules or skills. These 70 skills do not increase the player’s likelihood of success in the game, rather these 70 skills are the bare minimum to negotiate the first level of the game.
Dan also noted that in this virtual reality or immersion simulation environment, the child is monitoring no fewer than 100 individual incoming streams of data from 360 degrees in all three planes of three-dimensional space (X, Y, and Z axis). In addition, the most recent generations of these game systems provide text, audio, and video conferencing, allowing players to collaborate in real time with individuals not only within their country but across the internet in other countries.
These collaborations are not bounded by language differences. As a result, to work collaboratively within a given group and have that group work collaboratively against other groups, the players must learn a new language either one unique to the game or one utilized in common by all players within their team.
But what does this have to do with education or business process enhancement?
What would happen if the much ballyhooed Common Core curriculum was handed over to video game programmers and utilized as the rules, processes and systems of a series of role playing adventure video games?
What if the same level of mastery of scholastic skills were required achieve success within the various levels of these games?
It is estimated that the entire K through 8 educational curriculum would be learned and mastered within a short two and a half years!
Further, the remaining four years of high school would be completed within 18 months. Given that this sophistication of video games require a certain level reading and fine motor skills, students would not be ready to begin such a program until age seven or eight (third grade). These students would therefore complete high school by the end of seventh grade.
Military and civilian applications of immersion simulation and virtual reality training have found that application and retention of information and skills learned maintain greater than 90% recall and greater than 90% proficiency in real world application. This means that students learning in an immersion simulation / virtual reality environment would not only master their K through 12 education, but would recall it with over 90% accuracy and apply it with over 90% proficiency. This exceeds even the best educational programs anywhere in the world by over a two to one margin.
Given this level of retention and proficiency, these seventh graders would be able to augment their education with the first two years of college (Liberal Arts studies) which they would again complete within a year. A well-rounded education could be further augmented with Music and Literature, which of course would be part of the immersion simulation rather than separate courses, lending little or no additional time to the program.
In such a technology augmented education, by the time an average child graduates from middle school and enter their adolescent years, they would have completed the equivalent of two years of college in a Liberal Arts program, again with a mastery level greater than 90% or in collegiate terms, a Magna Cum Laude level of expertise.
Toaster or Technology:
The problem with the application of such a model within our current educational system is that for a preadolescent or adolescent, the xBox 360, PlayStation 3, or similar device is not technology, rather it is a tool not unlike a toaster. To those of us who provide education, either in the postgraduate or in the secondary school environment however, this self same device still represents significant technology with “cutting edge graphics” and “blazing speed.” For those of us raised in the Pong and Atari generation, the xBox 360 and PlayStation 3 were not only unimaginable, but had they existed in our adolescence, they would have cost tens of millions of dollars and been referred to as “super computers”.
The cultural clash between today’s educators and the educational technology represented by the xBox 360 and PlayStation 3 is a chasm almost too wide to forge.
Business Can Lead the Way:
Perhaps the trickle down of effect would be more readily accepted. Instead of revamping the modern classroom into an educational video arcade, what would happen if currently available technologies such as the xBox 360, PlayStation 3 or even Second Life were applied to immersion simulation training of employees?
Role-playing games designed around literary works, movies, or even fantasy could be modified or even built from the ground up to incorporate the new skills and processes needed in the business environment or even a manufactured environment. Fire safety, workplace safety, disaster preparedness, disaster response, or even such mundane activities as packing for trips, preparing for a doctor’s visit, or maintaining your own health could be incorporated into the mythical world of virtual reality role-playing games.
Modern-day Dungeon Masters could tap into the vast bodies of knowledge and work cooperatively with professional organizations and trainers, academic institutions, and advocacy groups to ensure that evidence-based processes were incorporated into the games allowing the games not only to maintain the laws of physics but the laws of business, Medicine, and even real world legal considerations.
Imagine entering Second Life online and “volunteering” at a hospital that is responding to an earthquake (or the attack of Godzilla). Nurses, doctors, administrators, laboratory technicians, x-ray technologists, healthcare providers, and professionals of every ilk could practice their cooperation, collaboration, policies, and even procedures in this virtual space until these skills became second nature in Second Life.
When a real event occurred, the self same individuals who trained in the immersion simulation / virtual reality environment would find that they apply these new skills with military precision and virtual reality realism. Life will truly imitate art.
Let the Games Begin:
So what would it take to move theory into practice?
The will to do it!
The technology exists. The programming algorithms exist. The procedures and best practices in each industry that could benefit from immersion simulation / virtual reality training exist. The only thing that is lacking is a simple collaboration between programmers who are masters of this new world and professionals who are masters of both the new and the old knowledge.
Perhaps like in the video game Cameo, these modern-day digital alchemists can come together with the wizards of ancient wisdom and forge a new world for all.
Griffin Works offers Pawsitive Interactions with Service Dogs During Response Operations©, an audience-customized training that breaks down barriers by offering hands-on handling training and demonstrations with working service dogs for fire departments, EMS agencies, and public safety organizations.
Part of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium and home to the National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center, TEEX has been leading homeland security training since 1998. The major TEEX programs include fire and rescue, infrastructure and safety, law enforcement, economic and workforce development, and homeland security. As a member of The Texas A&M University System, TEEX is unique in its ability to access a broad range of emerging research and technical expertise. Beginning with course design and development all the way through hands-on instruction and national certification testing, TEEX delivers comprehensive training through both classroom and hands-on instruction and as online courses.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) was created by Congress in 2000 as part of the Children’s Health Act to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events. This unique network of child-serving professionals, caregivers and young adults, researchers, and national partners is committed to changing the course of children’s lives by improving their care and moving scientific gains quickly into practice across the U.S. The NCTSN is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and coordinated by the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS).
The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The EMI provides national leadership in developing and delivering training to ensure that individuals and groups having key emergency management responsibilities possess the requisite skills to effectively perform their jobs.
The High Alert Institute maintains a list of reviewed courses provided by governments, universities and professional organizations. This list is geared towards the non-emergency management person who participates in disaster planning, preparedness, response, recovery or mitigation as part of their job responsibilities.
The High Alert Institute has partnered with Shutterstock to distribute stock images from the nature images donated by our supporters. For eligible stock images, Shutterstock will donate a portion of the royalty to the High Alert Institute. There is no cost to charitable organizations or to Shutterstock customers.
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Koi need forever homes, too! For pond enthusiasts, freshwater exotic and ornamental fish may not be available through pet stores or rescues in their area. The High Alert Institute Aquatic Pet Shelter Rehoming Program will be happy to assist you in stocking your new pond or adding a new finned friend to your school. Coming soon – when you adopt a Koi from the High Alert Institute Aquatic Pet Shelter Rehoming Program, we can arrange for delivery to your door anywhere in the continental United States.
Have you always wanted a Koi pond but don’t have the space one? Sponsor a Koi in our community shelter pond and we send you photos of your sponsored animal. Coming soon are live Koi Cameras above and below the water to enjoy your sponsored Koi anytime.
Dumping of freshwater non-native species and exotic aquatic pets into wild habitats is a man-made disaster that is truly preventable. The Institute’s Aquatic Pet Welfare Partnership works to raise awareness and reduce the impact on healthy ecosystems through education, as well as rescue and rehoming. Joined by champions of animal welfare and environmental stewardship, this association of aquatic pet rescue operations and aquatic pet shelters across the United States aims to save our finned friends and preserve our waterways together.
Want to share our cause with family, friends, and colleagues? Looking for a non-traditional way to celebrate a birthday or honor someone special? Support the Institute by starting your own Peer-to-Peer fundraising challenge! Let your contacts know why our mission is important to you and what they can do to support your cause. START YOUR OWN FUNDRAISER for the High Alert Institute.
From the staffing pool to the shelter ponds, from the boardroom to the classroom, and from reading the science to writing the analyses, High Alert Institute programs and services benefit from the experience, expertise, and generosity of our volunteers. Put your talents to use for good and to good use – VOLUNTEER TODAY.
Make your donation twice as nice by rehoming aquatic pets and providing a rehabilitation companion pet to a deserving person, family, or facility. Sponsor part or all of a Joy of Koi Program pond installation – complete with rehomed koi – and give the gifts of love and recovery.
Professional photographers, amateurs, and legal copywrite holders are all welcome to participate in the High Alert Institute Nature Photo Donation Program. Sales of the images benefit the Institute and donors are eligible for tax deductions equivalent to the fair market value of their photos. Landscapes, seascapes, animals, flowers – all may be accepted – whether new or vintage images. People may be included in the photo but only if unidentifiable (i.e., blurred figures at a distance).
Did you know that unused patents and copyrights can be donated to charity? Intellectual Property (IP) just sitting on a shelf will lose value as it becomes obsolete. The High Alert Institute IP Donation Program seeks to rescue stranded, technology-related IP with the potential for development into marketable products. Once accepted by the program, the owner/inventor is eligible for a tax deduction equivalent to the fair market value of the IP. The Institute receives the patent licensing fees or revenue from the sale of the IP to businesses, helping us to fund our mission. In turn, businesses are able to advance their markets and create jobs for less money than starting a project from scratch.
Disasters are defined as situations in which needs exceed or overwhelm available resources. Some disasters affect an entire community, while other disasters impact individuals and families. Crises of physical or psychological health can be very personal disasters.
The therapeutic value of pets during illness, trauma, and recovery is well established. And Koi fish may be well suited for people who are not able to provide verbal pet commands or physically care for pets like dogs and cats. Koi ponds are also a source of beauty and peace, providing an ideal setting for quiet reflection or meditation.
We are working to partner with pond installers and aquatic pet rescues/shelters to offer free or reduced-cost ponds with rehomed Koi fish to people seeking this type of pet therapy.
Disasters disrupt life and impact our sense of personal, family, and community safety. Survivors and responders alike often are not aware of the emotional, psychological or spiritual challenges that they may face from disaster onset through recovery. With two decades of experience training responders and communities to prepare for the behavioral health aspects of disasters, we will continue to provide education and a curated list of resources to groups or individuals.
Non-medical factors that impact overall health are termed Social Determinants of Health or SDoH. Noise pollution, poor air quality, and poor water quality are three environmental factors known to have a strong link to overall health. And the same environmental factors that impact humans impact their pets and other animals in their care. We continue to assist in advocacy, education, and technology development to mitigate the impact of SDoH on humans and animals alike.
Our efforts in shelter and rescue are the main focus of our environmental stewardship, reducing the environmental impact of non-native aquatic animals being dumped into public waterways. The High Alert Institute also assists innovators with the design, development, and evaluation of green and renewable energy technologies. Reducing the carbon footprint associated with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery furthers our continued mission to mitigate risk and improve resilience.
We partner with public and private organizations, sharing resources and fostering partnerships to improve disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, and mitigation.
The High Alert Institute team has over a century of combined research experience in medical, nursing, behavioral health, and disaster sciences. Our team provides support to researchers and technology developers through comprehensive literature searches and reviews, as well as failure mode database searches and adjudicated reviews.
When disaster strikes, most aquatic pet owners have limited options to secure the safety of their pets. Sheltering in place may not be possible if there is no power to provide aeration and “pet-friendly” shelters do not include ponds or aquariums. Our goal is to provide an option for aquatic pet owners in need of rescue and shelter for their finned friends.
Our goal is to share our two decades of disaster readiness experience with animal welfare organizations, shelters, caretakers, and pet owners, as they implement contingency plans for natural and manmade disasters.