Floreo Blog

Teaching Situational Awareness with Floreo

By Rita Solórzano | May 29, 2024

Teaching Situational Awareness with Floreo: Floreo is a powerful tool for working on situational awareness with Learners. Situational awareness starts with the ability to observe the environment and the elements in the environment as well as understand the context of that environment. Our ability to be situationally aware allows us to predict what might happen in that place and eventually, how we can have agency over what happens there. When people can't predict what is likely to happen in an environment, the tendency toward anxiousness and anxiety can heighten. In contrast, when someone is able to predict their environment, those anxious feelings can diminish.

Floreo gives the Coach the ability to place a Learner in a stationary environment at the beginning of the lesson, and, before tapping the START button, ask the Learner a variety of questions that can help improve situational awareness. The unique ability to transport a Learner to an engaging location, but slow the Learner down long enough to help the Learner develop this situational awareness is something that real-life situations can't always offer. 

When using Floreo to develop situational awareness with more highly verbal and analytical Learners, the Coach can ask the Learner to make observations about what the Learner is seeing and predict what kinds of things could occur in that situation. The Coach could encourage the Learner to think about whether they had been in a similar situation (for example, traveling in the community, in a grocery store, in a school cafeteria, etc.) The Coach could also direct the Learner's attention to incidental potential problem situations in the environment (for example, someone walking away from an open locker) and discuss why that could be a problem and discuss solutions.  

For Learners who need more direct instructions, asking them "wh" questions (such as: Where are you? What do you see here? Who do you see here? When would you find yourself in this place?) can simplify the analytical task, but still help orient them to the space. 

For Learners with very limited language skills, Coaches can consider taking screenshots of the Floreo scene to show the Learner before placing the headset on the Learner's head and ask the Learner to locate specific elements within the scene once the headset is on and the scene has been loaded.

In addition to teaching situational awareness, all of these kinds of probing questions help the Learner develop extremely practical language and vocabulary skills. Furthermore, a Coach's ability to understand what elements in a situation a Learner is attending to and what elements a Learner may be missing gives the Coach a valuable avenue to recognize gaps in a Learner's understanding of a situation and provides guidance for the development of future goals.