Embarking on their yearly pilgrimage to the far west to give staff an eye opening experience into the wider world of learning technology, eLC sent 6 brave souls for I/ITSEC 2013. I/ITSEC promotes the cooperation among the Armed Services, Industry, Academia and various Government agencies in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues and development of multiservice programs.
Despite doing a BAR (Before Action Review) with members of the previous trip, nothing was able to prepare all of us for the arduous 24 hours journey. The flight plan to Orlando was an adventure in itself although being in an A830 does have its perks. Stopping over at Frankfurt and having a nights' stay in New York allowed many of us first timers to see up close scenes and sights that we have only seen on TV.
Arriving in Orlando, the first thing that stunned a few of us was the weather which was surprisingly similar to that of Singapore during this period. After picking up our rental car and ensuring we remember to drive on the correct side of the road (right side!!), we made our way to Marriott Vacation Club Grande Vista.
The conference was held at the Orange County Convention Centre which was a massive arena and provided a conducive and welcoming atmosphere. together with a larger exhibition floor than previous years, the committee put together an excellent array of tutorials and paper sessions to allow all participants to be immersed in the experience.
As a team, we decided to "divide and conquer" and spread ourselves and attend as many sessions as possible to seek a deeper understanding as to what the techno drivers put out. The gallery walk through the exhibition floor was extremely beneficial as the various exhibits and displays set up by the different exhibitors highlighted technology that is driving the learning process in the military. It allowed many of us to get a realisation that eLC is on the right path with our R&D efforts and also prompted us to think of many innovative ideas of improving things back home. The paper sessions were insightful, though technical, leaving many of us wondering how we can aggregate and assimilate what we had learnt for our purposes. Overall, the entire conference was an eye-opening and confidence boosting experience as it showed us that eLC is not only well placed to continue doing well but has the potential to grow in the right direction.
After the conference closed on each day, the team took the opportunity to enjoy the glamour of the destination. From various restaurants to sights and sounds (not forgetting the shopping!!), we were able to immerse ourselves in what Orlando had to offer. At the end of the fruitful trip and with everyone on a high, we embarked on yet another 24 hours journey back to sunny Singapore.
"In short, a worthwhile trip in all aspects!" said Ahelan, Instructor, POWERdrive.
"I can see why the management think this is a good eye-opener for our staff to attend annually. It really helps to see what others are doing and where we are in the scheme of things" Ronnie Sng, Consultant, eLC reflected.