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77 - Special Report From Tokyo, Japan: Learning & Development Workshop

1. Zero Latency Concept & Training. Watch your CIO's emails for use of a new term: Zero Latency. This concept, introduced by the well-respected Gartner Group, is focused on using the latest technologies and business processes to reduce toward zero the amount of time it takes for vital information to reach applications and people that can act on it. It was the buzz of their recent CIO conference and you will see it rapidly appear in IT strategy memos.

Zero Latency creates a strong role for a flexible learning department. As the emphasis is placed on integrating technology and business processes, it is a green light for training approaches that can assist with productivity. will be addressing Zero Latency and Training in my opening keynote at TechLearn '98 next month. We believe that training departments can use the Zero Latency analysis to position their services as aimed at both reducing cycle times and integrating the power of data and business processes.
To read an article about Zero Latency:

2. Fingerprint Logon Now $99: Another advance in the verification of users via biometrics has ht the market at a very affordable price. For as little as $99, a user can verify their identity by scanning their fingerprint with a small peripheral that is attached to a PC. Check U.are.U is a small profile fingerprint recognition technology that can be used as a front end to Windows applications. In the future, watch for this genre to be used to continually verify the identity or remote learners or test takers. Check out their website at

3. New On-Line Store for Learning Products Opens: A new store has opened up on the internet carrying a wide range of CD-ROM and technology delivered learning resources. The LearningMarket has opened with a collection of disks, videos and books from well-known publishers and authors. This is another example of the maturation of the training industry, as distributors go on-line with offerings. Watch for a burst of activity as digital distributors hit the street.

4. Trainers: Don't Forget Carpal Tunnel and Repetitive Stress Syndrome. The other night I had a major nightmare. I dreamt that it was 20 years down the line and we were just finding out the physical impacts of being the first generation to spend thousands of hours at the keyboard and inches away from a screen. It is so important to keep addressing the ergonomic considerations of workplace computing. For one, I am concerned that a large majority of my typing is now on a laptop, where the angle of my fingers is even more severe than on my office keyboard. Trainers, be sure to keep raising these issues with your learners. Even experienced IT professionals need to be reminded that we are working at angles that might be fairly dangerous to our health.

5. TechLearn Collaborative Partners with PCWeek for Wireless Shootout: The TechLearn Collaborative, a project of The MASIE Center has been assisting PCWeek Labs in their most recent shoot-out, focusing on the role that wireless handheld computing would have on the learning and productivity of field based workers. Judy Brown, a Collaborative member and a PC Week Corporate Partner, spearheaded our involvement. Check out the results at:,4153,360947,00.html

6. Learning & Development Dialogue in Japan. We are in Tokyo for a three day dialogue on the role of learning, training and technology on economic and social development in the Asia region. 38 of our colleagues from countries throughout Asia (Vietnam, China, Laos, Japan and more) and learning resources from other parts of the world will be tackling the question: How Does Training & Learning Impact Economic and Social Development? If you would like to have input into this conversation, send me an email to and I will share your comments with the folks at the meeting. We will post a summary of the dialogue later this month.

7. Scratch 'n Sniff Learning @ TechLearn '98: I've always like the concept of scratch 'n sniff advertising. Remember those little cards that smelled like watermelon when you scratched them. Anyone my age remember Scent 'o Rama Movies? Well, we will take the concept to a new level at TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18, 1998 in Orlando, FL). We have built a 200 PC Exploratorium that will be your scratch and sniff learning lab. Imagine taking an hour or more to just sit and be a learner with a wide range of new models of on-line approaches. No salespeople in sight. Just you and your fingers to really get under the hood of more than a hundred classes and courses. It is a rare opportunity to be in an interrupt-free zone to scratch and sniff your way to better understanding the Good, The Bad and the Ugly of new learning models. To access the TechLearn '98 site for information and on-line registration:

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