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IPads Improve ALS learning environment

Tech. Sgt. James Jackson, 460th Space Wing Airman Leadership School instructor, uses an iPad to teach an ALS class Nov. 9, 2015, on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. ALS instructors and students utilizes the capabilities of iPads in order to improve teaching techniques and reduce resource costs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Tech. Sgt. James Jackson, 460th Space Wing Airman Leadership School instructor, uses an iPad to teach an ALS class Nov. 9, 2015, on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. ALS instructors and students utilizes the capabilities of iPads in order to improve teaching techniques and reduce resource costs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Airman Leadership School Students use iPads to better interact with instructors during class Nov. 9, 2015, on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. ALS instructors and students utilizes the capabilities of iPads in order to improve teaching techniques and reduce resource costs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Airman Leadership School Students use iPads to better interact with instructors during class Nov. 9, 2015, on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. ALS instructors and students utilizes the capabilities of iPads in order to improve teaching techniques and reduce resource costs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Airman Leadership School is an important course taught to perspective Non Commissioned Officers in the Air Force. ALS teaches Airmen how to take on leadership roles within their workspaces and within the Air Force. This six week long course teaches Airmen how to lead and communicate effectively while exhibiting the Air Force core values.

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, and wing leadership understand the importance of this leadership course and allocated 460th funds towards obtaining iPads for the course, in order to provide a more comprehensive learning experience for the students who attend ALS.

The wing only has a certain amount of money within the budget each year for base projects but with the understanding that this course is highly valuable to base operations, money was set aside to put towards the enhancement of the course.

"With the upgraded operating system, it is much easier to share information from lessons," said Master Sgt. Imari Motely, 460th Space Wing Airman Leadership School commandant. "By using the airdrop function we can now send a whole lesson or just a specific passage to all 14 students at the same time. That time saving feature allows us to go more in depth when required without using any additional time that may be allotted for another lesson."

The iPads have saved an estimated $8,000 because ALS no longer has to reproduce study guides that use paper, toner and a printer.

As well, the instructors at ALS find it easier to show and share information with the iPads. 

"We no longer have to thumb through hundreds of pages of course material to get through lessons or carry bulky binders with us to ensure we have what we need to effectively deliver course materials," Motley said. "With the iPads we now have everything that's needed for class in a very compact and user-friendly package, virtually eliminating all the excess clutter."

The initiative to improve classroom interaction and ease of information sharing came about in 2013 when the Barnes Center made a push for ALS schoolhouses to go electronic, said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, 460th Space Wing command chief. Motley was pushing for iPads because they can improve the students learning experience. The Air Force holds professional military education in high regard, so funds were allocated toward the iPads to ensure the wing continued to have the ability to produce positive, professional young leaders.

The iPads symbolize a step towards the future learning experience students will have when attending ALS.

"These upgraded iPads are just the tip of the iceberg, with an integration of more modern interactive and communication system currently being worked," Kruzelnick said. "They are trying to build the schoolhouse of the future by exploiting technology to better reach a digital generation.  Our ALS team is comprised of incredibly motivated Airmen, and I couldn't be more proud of their efforts."                     
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