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Preparing citizens or emergencies by using ubiquitous methods

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Author: Theunissen, N.C.M. · Emmerik, M. · Berlo, M. van · Beijl, I. van der
Type:article
Date:2007
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:World Conference on Disaster and Emergency Medicine, Amsterdam, May 13-16, 2007., 1, 22, s122
series:
Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
Identifier: 22951
Keywords: Defence Informatics · Preparing · Citizens · Emergencies · Ubiquitous Learning · Mobile Learning

Abstract

During the first minutes of an emergency, when no professional rescue workers have arrived yet, citizens are mainly thrown on their own resources. As a result, their self-management capabilities directly influence health outcomes of terrorist attacks or (natural) disasters. Governments acknowledge the importance of self-management of citizens during emergencies. However, traditional information campaigns that should motivate citizens to prepare themselves often seem to fail this goal. One of the underlying causes might be that these campaigns are seldom adapted to the specific knowledge, skills and motivation needs of the individual citizens. Ubiquitous learning principles may be useful in this context. Ubiquitous learning means ‘learning whenever and wherever you want’ and is facilitated by a flexible mix of mobile technologies (PDAs, smart phones, game consoles e.g.) and interactive, adaptive didactical strategies. Instead of providing everyone with the same information, this approach aims to offer a wide range of content varying from games and simulations, to checklists, and elaborate background information. As such, citizens are encouraged to actively search information or entertainment that matches their interest. Once downloaded to a mobile device, the information is available even when networks go down during an emergency and can be used for actual last minute learning. During the conference we will demonstrate how these ubiquitous learning principles may help to increase self-management capabilities of citizens.