Welcome to southern Israel’s “City of Training Bases,” the IDF (Zahal)’s largest military base. This is where most of the IDF (Zahal)’s training courses take place. We’ve equipped it with our most advanced technologies to provide the ideal environment for teaching soldiers. Here’s a look into the future of education.
Smart Classroom Technology
Each classroom in the base is equipped with a computer connected to four screens. Each computer is loaded with interactive videos and games to help get the teaching material across. To make it even more immersive, some of the videos are made in 3D.
For example, the medics course created videos of different medical scenarios. One simulates a damaged lung, and teaches how to treat it. Every student receives 3D glasses and a remote control to answer questions on the board. The course commander can then get the results to better understand the comprehension level of the class.
High Tech Simulations
Some subjects demand hands-on learning. The safest and most effective way to train combat drivers, for instance, is with a room full of simulators. The armored personnel carrier simulator has an open view and doors that sometimes open while traveling at high speed. The simulator operators can surprise students with interesting challenges to prepare them for any situation they might face – snow, rain, fog, and, of course, a flat tire.
In the medics course, there are dolls that breath, scream, and bleed, and a room that simulates a multi-casualty event. The room lights up and plays loud noises (ambulance sirens, helicopters overhead) from the moment the drill starts.
Apps and Videos
To help the soldiers improve their skills, and for the commanders to better track their progress, the training base also developed its own educational apps.
Two different apps were developed specifically for the medics course. One visualizes the ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support), a training program for medical care providers for managing acute trauma cases. The second app films the students’ training exercises and allows their commanders to directly comment on their decisions.
Videos also help keep all of the soldiers at the same skill level. A month before drafting, soldiers who will join the programming course receive a video that teaches them the basics. It saves money and manpower, and efficiently gets everyone on track.
Even if soldiers will be encountering them during their service, some objects can’t enter the classroom. Items like guns, hand grenades, and body parts are too dangerous, too expensive, or unrealistic for training. A 3D printer solves this problem. We can quickly create any object we need on the spot and inexpensively, making them available for every student to learn from.
City Management System
In a base as big as this one, organization is key. The base has a single system that controls all the base’s logistical needs – it’s a “smart city” based on ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, which keeps track of and controls every electricity source on the base. The system also manages all the courses and allocates classrooms based on hours, lesson requirements, and numbers of soldiers attending.
Every soldier on the base has a military ID card that functions as a smart card. In the future, there will be information stations around the base that will allow the soldier to view their daily schedule, public transportation schedules, a map of the base with their current location, and the ability to print out medical forms and exam grades.