Our second szenaris Letter of 2015 again brings you interesting facts and news from the world of e-learning. In this issue we report on a learning program on loading and operating a fire engine for fighting forest fires, on the initiative “IT und MENSCH” and on the innovations and advantages of HTML5. We also attended ITEC 2015 for you.
The szenaris team
Developed for you ...
Fire engine to fight forest fires
Fire engines are equipped with complex technology, enabling firefighters to efficiently perform the tasks required to fight fires and rescue people in danger.
Not everyone knows that the German Armed Forces have their own fire brigades; in fact, the Federal Armed Forces Fire Brigade is the second-largest professional fire brigade in Germany. The fire brigades of the Federal Armed Forces use innovative and sophisticated technology and are equipped with a large number of specialised fire engines to perform tasks including rescuing people from life-threatening situations, fire prevention, and fighting building fires, forest and moorland fires, and ammunition, aircraft and ship fires.
To maintain the technology for this wide range of duties in excellent condition, vehicles and equipment are regularly checked, modernised and newly procured. To fight forest fires, the Federal Armed Forces have purchased 26 new vehicles.
These vehicles have an integrated water tank with a capacity of 4,300 litres. A particular feature of the vehicles is that they can also fight fires while they are moving. This is known as pump-and-roll operation: the pump can be used while the vehicle is travelling slowly, allowing a second firefighter to operate the roof turret, which can be reached through an integrated roof hatch, from the driver’s cab while the vehicle is in motion. A set of controls that is almost identical to that on the pump in the rear equipment cab is located in the driver’s cab and can be operated by the driver. To ensure the safety of both firefighters, a self-contained air supply is integrated into the driver’s cab. Rapid response equipment with a C pressure hose of 30 metres’ length is also provided for firefighting, and the vehicle’s front and rear axles are equipped with protective gear to protect the wheels in ground fires.
Alongside a rope winch and a chainsaw used to provide technical assistance, the vehicle carries a wide range of equipment.
In an emergency, every move must be automatic – human life and health are often at risk. Firefighters therefore have to be well trained and practise regularly.
In addition to the standard training courses, the Federal Armed Forces’ training institutions for firefighting personnel are increasingly using computerised learning programs to prepare and assist in practical training. The learning program for the new fire engine for fighting forest fires was developed by szenaris GmbH.
In addition to displaying the vehicle parameters, an especially large part of the learning program deals with operating the firefighting installations and correctly loading the vehicle with equipment.
The program provides insights into all the equipment lockers, the driver’s cab and the pump room, and describes where and in what numbers the equipment items are loaded, giving learners an excellent overview of all vehicle components and instructing them on their correct operation in numerous video segments. A wide range of exercises and underlying simulations help train users in the use of the vehicle’s central controls.
The learning program will be delivered to the Federal Armed Forces in June, and will then be available for all future training courses at the Federal Armed Forces training institutions. In addition, every Federal Armed Forces Fire Brigade location will receive the program to use as self-learning material.
Contact: Heike Kißner
Researched for you ...
IT und MENSCH
Never before has technology developed as rapidly as it does today. Never before have businesses been required to put so much effort into remaining competitive. Employees are inundated with changes and new technologies.
Does the efficiency and performance of a business necessarily increase with its use of modern IT? The initiative “IT und MENSCH” (IT and HUMANS) says “No!”
Why not? Because too little attention is paid to the needs of human beings. The initiative therefore sees itself as an ambassador for humans. It spreads knowledge through surveys, the IT und MENSCH blog and its lectures. An expert network of ambassadors from various areas of expertise is available to respond to the individual needs of interested companies. The initiative also cooperates with universities, identifies limits and potential conflicts, conducts surveys and makes its knowledge available to people in companies. To this end it observes technological developments and their consequences, companies, and most importantly the people in those companies. The ambassadors raise awareness through talks, moderated discussion panels and experiential learning.
The initiative’s aim is to resolve areas of conflict experienced by people using IT, focusing on terms such as efficiency, change, preventive healthcare, and, last but not least, motivation and enjoyment.
Keynote speeches on “E-mail and Communication Management”, “Virtual Teams”, “Demographics as a Driver of Ideas” and “Learning with Digital Media” can be booked free of charge.
Examples for subjects of lectures include “E-mail Overload – Where’s the Off Switch?”, “Communicative Autism through Mobile Working – A Cause of Decreasing Employee Loyalty?” or “Can Computers Replace Chalkboards? E-Learning Jungle Camp”.
Ambassadors include Andreas Peters of Fluctus IT GmbH, Martina Kobabe of Companies in Motion, Mario Dobernowski of the Kooperationsstelle Hamburg IFE GmbH, Dirk Platzek of Wunschfeld Design and Klaus Bock-Müller of szenaris GmbH.
szenaris supports the IT und MENSCH initiative in the area of digital learning media. In addition, official partners are providing significant support for the initiative. For example, geeconcept (www.geeconcept.de) designs attractive, professional experiences – such as operating the command bridge of a container or cruise ship or landing an Airbus A380 – for conferences, employee incentives, workshops and presentations.
A further official partner is the association Contact & Cooperation Lüneburg e.V., a non-profit student consultancy which was established at Leuphana University in Lüneburg in 2001 and now operates at four different sites in Germany. The work of the association focuses on bringing students and companies together on consultancy projects.
The initiative “IT und MENSCH” says of itself: We “shine a light” and examine the effects of IT in many places. Technology has to be made for people, not the other way around. We create awareness of the fact that we must act now, before it’s too late and technology can no longer be controlled. The result are successful companies with a healthy, safe and future-proof working environment.
Further details:IT und MENSCH (only in German)
Contact: Klaus Bock-Müller
On the road for you ...
szenaris at ITEC 2015
The annual European trade fair for training and simulation ITEC took place this year from April 28 through 30 in Prague. For szenaris, the fair was premiere for the newly designed trade booth with light effects. For ITEC, the fair was premiere for the newly structured conference programme, which was for the first time designed based on a comprehensive survey of the participants. The result was a highly interesting variety of topics that exactly met the expectations of the conference participants.
ITEC was very well attended, enabling many high-quality discussions at the szenaris booth. The simulation system for remotely controlled robotic vehicles, the team training platform for bridge building systems, diverse learning programmes on Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) and many other topics for which szenaris has developed learning programmes were sought after frequently. szenaris stands out through a comprehensive didactical and methodical approach based on imparting knowledge through learning software and imparting competencies through acting in a simulation. The exhibitors intensely utilised the last day for networking and the exchange of ideas.
Next year’s ITEC will take place in the international Exhibition Centre London, ExCeL for short. szenaris has already booked a booth to continue successfully presenting it‘s solutions to an international audience.
Contact: Klaus Bock-Müller
Investigated for you ...
HTML5 is the fifth version of the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) standard. HTML was developed from 1989 onwards by British physicist and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. His aim was to facilitate the exchange of information between researchers through clickable links in texts.
As a hypertext markup language, HTML is used to format content such as text, images or hyperlinks for the Internet, i.e. the purpose of HTML is to make web pages machine readable. HTML gives text a structure based on which it can be interpreted by a browser. Simply speaking, every part of the text is assigned an identifier that tells the browser what the precise significance of the segment is.
An example is the “h1” tag used to identify headlines. It stands for Heading 1. Tags are opened with the “<” character and closed with “>”. The closing tag is also identified by a slash. So the HTML code
“<h1>HTML5</h1>” would enable your browser to interpret the text segment “HTML5” as a heading and display it accordingly.
HTML5 is a significant advancement on the previous version of HTML (4.01) and offers a vast range of advantages. For example, it was optimised for use on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet PCs, making the creation of mobile websites significantly easier. HTML5 can also be used to write web apps, that is, applications that run directly in the browser. Its many functionalities make it a serious alternative to native platforms such as iOS or Android.
HTML5 also makes it significantly easier to embed media files such as videos. In older HTML versions this required third-party plug-ins such as Microsoft Silverlight; now these files can be embedded directly into the code. HTML5 also allows certain elements of websites to be used without being connected to the Internet. To make this possible, such elements are stored in the browser during prior visits so they can later be made available offline. A further fundamental advantage of HTML5 is that it supports all common browsers, whether Internet Explorer (soon to be Spartan), Firefox, Chrome or others. This also reduces development costs because websites only have to be programmed once and then work in all browsers and on all end devices. Of course these advantages are only a small sample.
HTML5 is of great interest to szenaris as a producer of e-learning applications. Its optimisation for mobile end devices is particularly important for us, as HTML5 makes developing mobile learning applications significantly easier. We also love the option to more easily embed media files. We are excited to see what possibilities will arise in the future, and will keep you posted.
Contact: Malte Rathjen