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12 - 10 Training & Technology Predictions for 1998

Just one topic this issue and a very happy holiday greeting from the staff at The MASIE Center. See you next year, Elliott Masie.

10 Training & Technology Predictions for 1998. Each year The MASIE Center takes out it's training and technology crystal ball and predicts a few of the trends on the horizon. Here are our picks for 1998 (in no particular order)

Skills Gap Grows: The rate of technology absorption within our organizations will create a skills gap of even larger proportions than reported by the media. Watch for serious slowdowns in the ability of organizations to implement new technologies unless they can find ways of rapidly growing new skilled employees.

On-Line Learning Shifts to Interaction: The next strong demand from users of on-line learning will be for higher levels of interaction and simulation. Learners may reject static courses with a bit of chat. They will want on-line learning to be more a virtualization of a coach than a teacher.

In-Class Use of Learning Technology to Soar: Trainers will reach out and embrace the use of technology in the classroom. Exercises and activities will include more technology as will pre- and post class technology outreaches.

Authoring Systems in the Business Units: Business units are the next wave of authoring systems purchasers and users. Watch for a demand from business units to mount quick courses and learning content on their intranets, without having to go through central training departments. Look for very easy, highly templated and non-instructionally appearing authoring front ends.

Home Servers To Blossom: As more devices become internet enabled, watch for the rise of low cost home servers. These devices will serve as the hub for multiple devices and will allow for downloading at off hours and mixed media usage. These servers, combined with web/television combinations will help launch a vital push in the home based learning market.

Web Word to Ebb in Learning Language: Watch for corporate rejection of the phrase web or web-based training. Webs sound like things to get caught in rather than corporate valued resources. Also, web-based training brings up images of computer-based training. Newer phrases to include on-line learning, intranet resources or just ´┐Żlearning".

Trainers to ReTool: Look for serious re-tooling of training professionals. As technologies become more prevalent in our organizations, the need for human contact and facilitation is also growing. Watch for trainers to be deployed outside of the classroom to add the interaction aspect, as well as reskilled in the art and science of on-line learning.

Middle Level Technology to Grow: Watch for the growth of a middle level technical role in organizations. These people will live in business units and be charged with the organization and delivery of content. They won't have either the trainer or techie title, but will need to know both areas. Middle level technical staff will watch the business unit's intranet content and enterprise databases.

Communities of Interest to Grow: Look for a focus of building and maintaining communities of interest for professionals. Using technology, these communities may cut across departments (eg. people interested in corporate intelligence) or even across companies ( eg. what we have historically seen as association memberships.). Communities of interest will be facilitated by collaborative technologies such as video conferencing and push based publishing. Events such as conferences will be more and more focused on community building.

Larger Classes and Shorter Lengths: Watch for a break in the tradition of the constant teacher/student ratio. Look for much larger classes for some topics, followed by technology enabled one to one coaching and mentoring. Likewise, look for pressure to reduce the length of classes to one half day for many topics now taught in a two day format. More information transfer via technology, more interaction in the actual class event.

If you care to add to the list or to send comments: mail me at

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