AECT and NATO-ACT partnership continues to deepen

The AECT and NATO-ACT teams

Bloomington, IN.  AECT President Xun Ge addressed a session of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Allied Command Transformation Training Technology Conference that was held September 14-16 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The event was a hybrid conference attended by 485 NATO members and affiliates, 425 online and 60 in-person.
“The NATO Training Technology Conference was a wonderful experience for me and many who attended it,” said Ge, professor of learning sciences at the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma. “There were attendees from around the world, all seeking innovative pedagogy and best practices to use technology to enhance learning and instruction to help NATO members achieve their mission. It was certainly an honor to represent AECT at this global event.”
Despite the impact of the pandemic made to every individual in every aspect of life, Ge’s speech emphasized the affordances, opportunities and possibilities for future education and training due to the challenges of the pandemic. Given a variety of options available, Ge discussed how to select most appropriate tools, resources, and instructional methods not only to overcome the challenges and address the needs during the pandemic, but also to create conducive learning environments to support the development of the 21st century skills and provide innovative solutions for future education and training.
“One of NATO’s core responsibilities is to train its members around the world,” said Tonya Amankwatia, AECT representative to NATO and assistant vice provost for distance education and extended learning at North Carolina A&T State University. “AECT’s members are the leading researchers in best practices in remote teaching and learning. Both organizations have much to learn from one another. I’m gratified to see the relationship deepening.”
The event provided NATO members from around the world the opportunity to consider the many profound ways the pandemic has impacted their work.
“NATO is like many global organizations,” said Salih Cem Kumsal, NATO-ACT’s staff officer for training technologies management. “Our members had to adapt quickly to the new realities caused by the pandemic while continuing to provide the best training possible to our members. It’s been quite helpful to have the expertise that the AECT partnership has provided for us.”
One of the AECT members who worked in detail with NATO and attended the conference was Aleshia Hayes, assistant professor in the Department of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas. She consulted specifically on the NeNA (NATO elearning Network Application) project, developing a microlearning tool for NATO civilian and military staff to create and share microlearning content (engaging content that is generally consumable in less than five minutes).
“I was so excited at the possibility to work with NATO when Dr. Amankwatia sent out a call to faculty to help with the design, development and testing of their new mobile application and authoring tool,” said Hayes. “Not only was I able to work with NATO staff and interns to generate content, but we also worked with the developers to iterate on the design and evaluate content against microlearning guidelines driven by literature. The opportunity provided by AECT and NATO have helped me to engage with the international community and expand my experience in industry, all of which make me a better faculty member.”
AECT and NATO recently signed a three-year extension of their agreement.
About the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT)
AECT is an international organization that values diversity of thought, culture and people whose activities are directed toward improving learning. AECT members may be found in colleges and universities; in the armed forces and industry; in museums, libraries, and hospitals; and in any other places where educational change takes place. AECT members include instructional designers, researchers, professors and teachers, educational technologists and other professionals united by a passion for improving teaching and learning. AECT members serve in many different settings including education, business and industry, non-profits, military, health care and other environments.
Website: www.aect.org
Twitter: @AECT
About the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
NATO’s purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its 30 members through political and military means. Allied Command Transformation is NATO’s Warfare Development Command to enhance the Alliance’ posture, military structures, forces, capabilities and doctrines to improve its military effectiveness.
Website: www.act.nato.int
Twitter: @NATO_ACT
Media Contact:
James Shea
AECT Media Consultant


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