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  • 1.  Virtual PDI

    Posted 04-02-2020 07:54

    I hate to say it, but a virtual methodology is the only way I will get to PDI this year due to quota limitations. 


    I will always believe that the in-person PDIs are much more meaningful, unless those same PDI classrooms were to become actual classrooms on screen with actual viewing and audio interaction.


    For example, in SOCOM, language instruction is through a SOF Teletraining System (SOFTS).  Phenomenal; both my Norwegian instructor and I were absolutely astonished at the ability to view, hear, and  interact between students and instructor, the instructor's ability to use a whiteboard and provide students with a hand-out in real time, and the instant fixes by a team of experts who "popped" into the classroom, whatever time of day the fix was needed.  But that's specific to contracting with a group of experts who engage 24/7 with instructors and students via live classrooms using their IT platform out of Syracuse, NY.


    Another much simpler example is the court reporting/captioning school that I currently attend by logging into the GoTo website or app that takes me into each of the other 16 students' and the instructor's homes and allows us to communicate and share our screens and the instructor to share her screen whether showing a PowerPoint presentation or displaying steno strokes. But I'm sure that didn't happen overnight and took a team of IT experts who ALSO made the instructors IT-savvy. 


    I honestly doubt that there's enough time to make either of these types of methods happen between now and the end of May. 


    I say this from observing all the exhausting IT effort that my daughter (as the technology manager for a school here in Florida) is putting in with educators, administrators, parents and students via computer and phone from her telework location here at home.  Her school, for one, did not have all the up-front prep work and training that should have happened, but they are making it happen by the seat of their pants because educating our young people must go on.


    All of the Universities I work with in SOF ED are in process of postponing/replacing/cancelling all in-class courses that start in April, May and first part of June. 


    I am still getting continuous updates from students, SOF Ed POCs across the SOF Enterprise, and the Educational Institutions (Harvard, Sanford, Duke, Wharton, Kellogg, etc.) who are making some sort of shift.  I have yet to find out what online course substitutes will look like on the computer screen.   





    Kat White  (CDFM-A)

    Program Analyst, SOF Language/Education Branch

    U.S. Special Operations Command, J3-T&E

    Comm: 813-826-8001

    DSN: 299-8001

    NIPR email:


    Cellphone: 813-767-3926

    Home Phone:  813-835-9440