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16 - Get Ready for MetaTags; Tips for Balance! Staying Fresh as a Trainer

To TechLearn Trends Readers: I've been travelling a lot these first weeks of 1998. Keynotes at IBM and Oracle Education Meetings and future of learning sessions at a number of Fortune 500 Companies. Learning and technology will be hot topics in 1998, the skills gap is growing and the pressure to align business issues and training is increasing. We'll cover a few major companies' efforts to re-design learning in future issues of TechLearn Trends... Regards, Elliott Masie

1. Get Ready for MetaTags...The Scanning Codes for Learning. By the end of 1998 there will industry agreement on a metatagging standard. There are a number of standards groups that are now working on the development of a simple way of placing a tag on each element in a learning plan, for ease of storage, use, reuse and even sale. Think of it as a sort of scanning barcode. These standards would allow you to 'tag' each module, content piece, picture and question. The tag would contain information about the type of element, context of use, copyright ownership and even expiration date. Corporate specific elements could be added as well.

These tags would be placed using a wide range of tools from Authoring Systems, to HTML editors and even word processors. It would then be very easy to reassemble content, as objectives changed, mix content from various sources and even track usage on a very module level. There are still a number of organizational and ownership issues to be worked on with tagging. But, it is coming and will be on the radar screen of training organizations by the end of 1998. (Note: Standards and Tagging will be discussed at our upcoming Business of On-Line Learning Conference in Seattle on March 30th and 31st and on the TechLearn LIVE! broadcast on April 1st. for details.)

2. KnowledgeSoft Acquires Acquires Kobixx Systems. KnowledgeSoft, one of the major players in the learning management systems field has acquired Kobixx Systems to broaden it's internet delivery capabilities. See their
site for information:

3. A Teacher's View of Teaching On-Line: Check out a teacher's interesting perspective on their experience of teaching an on-line learning class. at

4. Regional TechLearn Network Meetings to Be Held! A large number of TechLearn Trends readers have asked about organizing regular local meetings of folks interested in training and learning. Many of the host sites for the TechLearn LIVE! free satellite broadcast will be serving as hubs for regional TechLearn Network meetings. If you would like to be a host site go to: We anticipate several thousands attendees are regional meetings throughout North America and overseas. Later in February we will post a listing of all local sites if you would like to attend.

5. Tips for Balance! Staying Fresh as a Trainer: Whenever I have to teach a course that I have taught a zillion times before, I do these prep activities to stay fresh and prevent burnout: a) I change the sequence slightly. b) I add a new activity, even if the course was great the time before. c) I update my content with an additional resource, handout or web page link. d) I change my location in the room...moving my teaching position to a new default position. e) I take an instructional risk. When we feel like the class is getting to be old or boring, our learners have felt that for some time already.

6. Registrations are now open for the next Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar to be held in Saratoga Springs, New York on April 14 and 15th. This is an intensive, 14 hour lab and seminar that has been attended by over 1,200 technology and learning professionals. It is a VENDOR-NEUTRAL event. For registration information:

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