What Corporate Training Can Learn from Military Training – IITSEC Recap


If you don’t work in the government, or with a company that does, then you’ve probably never heard of I/ITSEC. Most people just refer to it as ITSEC. It’s a huge military training conference held in Orlando, Florida. 2016 is the 50th anniversary of ITSEC and so it seemed like a good year for me to go back. I haven’t been to ITSEC in over a decade. Technology has changed, but training has not.

The military has always been innovative with their training. Mostly because their training involves expensive equipment and life or death situations. So the cost of expensive, and sometimes experimental, training solutions is justified. IITSEC is the one place you can see the future of corporate training gathered in one place. And yes, there are many private companies that create training for expensive equipment, and life or death situations, but they most likely have government contracts as well.

One thing I can assure you is that IITSEC is a foreshadowing of future corporate training environments. It always has been. Think of our industry’s current heavy reliance on SCORM. That all started with the military and the Advanced Distributed Learning initiative.  A better understanding of the history within your chosen profession is always a good thing. Understanding why SCORM was created will help you understand the massive government machine that is slowly driving the need for, and acceptance of, xAPI.

Four Trends from IITSEC

There is a lot to learn from an event like IITSEC. There are 4 trends that I felt were strongly represented this year:

  1. Virtual Reality is the future, period. Because once everything is simulated, nothing else is necessary.
  2. Intelligent Systems will soon do the work of instructional designers.
  3. The future of authoring is gaming engines like Unity3D, or UNREAL. And more are coming.
  4. xAPI: It’s A) gaining significant momentum, and B) will not replace your LMS but integrate with it.

There’s a lot more. But those stand out the most for me. And honestly, I’m certain I missed a lot. IITSEC has a large expo and each time I became engaged in a conversation, or demo, I instantly killed an hour or more of the day. And that was a good thing. Just remember, if you go, you need at LEAST 2 days to tackle the expo floor. Each conversation was enlightening in many different ways. Check out what the Navy training team is doing with Sailor 2025.

Live Mobile Video Production

When I attend an event I often try to up my content production game. At IITSEC I forced myself to keep the laptop closed and do everything on my iPhone. I live streamed a few periscope sessions and produced the 2 videos below. They are short. You will quickly notice the elements that went well and those that didn’t. Like the added music audio track with auto-ducking that didn’t duck while I was talking, and other issues. But for being produced completely on a mobile device, while on the move, I was pleased.  Watch them once for the content and then again for the production. I’d love to hear your feedback on both.

I will produce a more polished video with VO and other elements to make it more instructional, and you can look for that next week.

Technical Info About These Videos

I have several different video editing apps on my iPhone but I always end up going back to iMovie. It just works the way I want it too.

The intro graphics were done with IntroMate for iOS. I LOVE THIS APP! There are others. But this one is the best.

iMovie allows for simple text graphics but is quite limited in its flexibility. IntroMate has simple templates but also gives me the flexibility to be creative an make pixel perfect adjustments.

Horrible Connectivity and Bandwidth is Always a Problem

As much as I love live streaming and uploading recorded/edited videos, there is nothing more frustrating than NOT being able to do so because of connectivity/bandwidth issues. It is a consistent issue at ALL conference venues and hotels. I’ve had a mifi for many years which sometimes helps but even cellular connectivity is problematic at these venues.

Even with the technical issues, it’s quite easy to see how mobile video production has improved over the years. You can create some really fantastic and engaging training content with just your mobile device if you put your mind to it.