The United States Distance Learning Association recently named USJFCOM's Joint Knowledge Development and Distribution Capability and Joint Knowledge Online as the winners of their 2008 "21st Century Best Practice" Award.
By MC2 (AW) Nikki Carter
(ST. LOUIS - April 24, 2008) -- The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) awarded Joint Knowledge Development and Distribution's (JKDDC) Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) their 2008 "21st Century Best Practice" award for exemplary work in advancing the field of distance learning.
JKDDC Joint Management Office (JMO) personnel received the award Tuesday at the association's annual meeting here.
Joe Camacho, JKDDC JMO program director, said USDLA is a national organization that promotes the development and application of distance learning for training and education across academia, industry, military and the government.
"It's a huge achievement for our program to be recognized nationally as having the best practices in the 21st century for the application of distance learning," Camacho said.
USDLA's Award Chairman Reggie Smith III said the award looks across several areas of criteria for judging comprehensive programs or organizations for best practices in distance learning.
"This award is given to an agency or institution that has shown outstanding leadership," Smith said. "It's not just one thing [they are judged on]. Its how organizations plug in multiple things, looking at where their vision is and how they use multiple pieces of media."
According to Smith, the 21st Century Best Practices Award for Distance Learning represents USDLA's highest award bestowed upon an organization in the industry, recognizing extraordinary achievement in distance learning.
The award comes on the brink of JKO's one-year anniversary since it was first made available to joint warfighters.
Camacho said over the last year JKO has had 60,000 individual user accounts activated and has grown from 100 courses to 185 courses online with over 2,000 hours of online instruction.
"In our first year, over sixty thousand people have logged on to receive training, get information or to engage in a collaborative environment with other people in the joint enterprise," Camacho said. "JKO has communities of interest and collaborative tools where the joint warfighter anytime, anywhere can log onto multiple levels of secure and unclassified networks and get access 24/7 - any information in the joint enterprise that we have available for them."
"Also, we have a very active partnership with NATO for mutually beneficial courses for NATO and the partnership. Our collaborative relationship has meant the delivery of training to the International Security Assistance Force. That training is being delivered through NATO's Allied Command Transformation to multi-national forces." Camacho said, "That was one part of the USDLA judging criteria, that we had a global capability reaching a national and international audience."
Camacho said JKO is implementing new capabilities this year to better serve the joint warfighter.
"[JKO] is now incorporating advanced technologies into training such as intelligent tutors - avatars ---- computer generated images that will talk to students, providing more interactive as well as immersive learning environments and gaming technologies for online training," Camacho said.