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CHIPS Articles: Sailor Creates, Implements Revolutionary e-Learning Program for the Next Generation of EOD Students

Sailor Creates, Implements Revolutionary e-Learning Program for the Next Generation of EOD Students
By DON Innovation - January 9, 2017
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Master Chief Michael Lentz, Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal (NAVSCOLEOD) Training Technology Development (TTD) lead, spearheaded and has diligently advanced the Scalable Mobile Applications and Ready Training (SMART) pilot program, achieving significant milestones toward modernizing NAVSCOLEOD’s learning environment.

The SMART pilot was established in 2014 and vetted in 2015 as part of the Secretary of the Navy’s Task Force Innovation (TFI) program. The SMART team, led by Master Chief Lentz, is comprised of over 50 members/staff including joint service instructors, Information Technology (IT) leads, videographers, and other key catalysts that have transformed training by employing mobile, encrypted tablets and remotely accessible instructional videos and content.

Lentz said “prior to the effort, students had 2 hours daily of structured study hall time in the school house, and now students can study anytime off premises, which is a significant opportunity for those hard-working students most challenged by the course.” Using SMART, Master Chief Lentz and his team have shown almost a 10% reduction in academic attrition using “YouTube-style” learning with today's Sailors. Additionally, they are modernizing EOD training methods through TTD methodologies using a phased approach, leveraging industry, government, and academic resources.

“When I first took over as Commanding Officer I’ll admit I was somewhat skeptical as to what impact SMART could have, but after over a year of positive results it is clear we are moving in the right direction, and I attribute all success to Master Chief and his team,” said Capt. Charles Andrews, NAVSCOLEOD Commanding Officer.

As a result of the SMART initiative, over 800 joint service EOD students annually are provided with mobile, encrypted tablets while assigned to NAVSCOLEOD. The SMART program’s concepts capitalize on available technology that will continue to modernize and improve training methodology at NAVSCOLEOD and other commands for decades to come.

“Master Chief Lentz’s achievements have truly mobilized learning, bolstered students’ quality of work, and ultimately increased their chance of surpassing academic standards,” said LCDR Troy Lawson, NAVSCOLEOD Executive Officer.

Master Chief Lentz and his team successfully demonstrated the value of SMART and ready, relevant learning through their student tablet pilot, which stands to remain as an enduring capability. NAVSCOLEOD is taking aim next on improving processes for instructors by transitioning from paper grading to connected electronic grade books, evaluating the benefits of Avatar learning methods, and ultimately optimizing the Information Technology environment to synchronize SMART capabilities.

Master Chief Lentz extends his thanks to all those who got the SMART program where it is and where it will be in the future. Lentz said, “There are many hands in our success, both inside and outside of NAVSCOLEOD, and although we are much farther along, we must keep innovating this to the next level to truly achieve a premier learning environment.”

For additional information on the Naval Education and Training Command, visit the NETC website: https://www.netc.navy.mil.

Join DON Innovation on https://www.facebook.com/NavalInnovation or @DON_Innovation or visit the SECNAV/DON Innovation website at http://www.secnav.navy.mil/innovation/Pages/Home.aspx

EGLIN AFB, Florida (Dec 16, 2016) A NAVSCOLEOD Instructor demonstrates a Study Application on a student’s tablet. NAVSCOLEOD, located on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. provides high-risk, specialized, basic and advanced EOD training to U.S. and 97 partner nation military and selected U.S. government personnel each year. U.S. Navy photo by Billy P. Martin/Released
EGLIN AFB, Florida (Dec 16, 2016) A NAVSCOLEOD Instructor demonstrates a Study Application on a student’s tablet. NAVSCOLEOD, located on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. provides high-risk, specialized, basic and advanced EOD training to U.S. and 97 partner nation military and selected U.S. government personnel each year. U.S. Navy photo by Billy P. Martin/Released
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