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8 - Be Careful What You Virtualize; Take Your Web Site in for an Oil Change and Checkup: Free!

1) Be Careful What You Virtualize! Classrooms or Experiences? This is just a quick thought/question to TechLearn Trend Readers: What are we virtualizing with on-line learning efforts? The answer to this question is deeply intriguing. Are we attempting to virtualize the classroom, the instructor, the textbook, or something else? I believe that we should be careful in overly modeling or copying the classroom model.

The more we work with on-line learning, the more I believe that we are attempting to create an alternative EXPERIENCE for the learner. We will never do a great job in virtualizing a wonderful instructor, or supportive peers or chocolate doughnuts during the breaks. However, we can CREATE new and engaging environments for learners.

As this evolves, that may not look anything like classrooms or have any of the labels we use in instructor led classes. In other words, we might not want to brand our learning as a virtual classroom or campus, anymore than we brand the internet as a virtual newspaper or library. Each is different and unique in their own right.

2) Take Your Web Site in for an Oil Change and Checkup: Free! There is a cool website that will perform a free check on your site for basic elements like quickness of loading of graphics, integrity of links and even spelling errors. The folks that sponsor this site also sell tools to fix and upgrade your pages. We checked The MASIE Center site and as a result we're doing a number of overhauls in the next few days. Very cool and free.

3) 1998 On-Line Learning & Training Conference: Focus on The Business of Learning! The MASIE Center is announcing the 3rd Annual On-Line Learning Conference. This year, the event will have two components:

The Business of On-Line Learning: An executive conference to be held at the beginning of April on the West Coast, focusing on the business, industry and economic issues related to the emerging field of on-line learning. For companies developing products in this field and senior corporate managers interested in the cost and budgeting issues.

TechLearn Live! For all training and technology professionals! A free satellite and internet broadcast at the beginning of April, from the briefing, hosted across the country, providing an update on approaches to
On-Line Learning. We will walk the talk, by using multiple emerging technologies to conference on the technology. Watch for a formal announcement here and on our website:

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