Subscribe: Learning TRENDS

« 91 - Enters Training Distribution Field | Main | 89 - Implications for AOL/Netscape »

90 - Watch for Virtual Labs and Equipment & Handheld Devices ARE Happening for Productivity and Transactions

1. Watch for Virtual Labs and Equipment. When people are learning new technology, their highest interest is to be able to "play" or "touch" it. Learners want to be able to work with the actual technology, regardless of their ability to purchase or access the real thing. For example, if you were learning how to set up a network router or manage a nuclear power plant, you'd have a high need to experiment with the equipment. We might not want to give you a real one (especially the atomic example). This is the up and coming segment of on-line learning.

In the next six months watch for the growth of virtual labs and equipment that can be accessed and operated via a browser. We have seen several examples that are about to come to market. Keep an eye on Mentor Labs , which is building a CISCO router simulator. You will also start to see authoring tools that allow for a more "drag and drop" building of simulations. This is going to be a hot and high impact arena in the on-line learning industry.

2. Handheld Devices ARE Happening for Productivity and Transactions. Several months ago we predicted an increased interest in the use of handheld devices (Palm Pilot and Microsoft's CE) for corporate transactions and even learning. At COMDEX and TechLearn '98, we saw major emphasis on the handheld segment. Here is a case study that was most impressive:

Goldman, Sachs & Co. has been able to improve the productivity of 20 floor brokers by 300% by making their handheld devices even simpler than the pads of paper they once used to scribble down all-important "looks," or bids on stock prices.

Floor brokers for the venerable Wall Street brokerage have been using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE pen-based systems since August to provide looks based on requests from stock traders perched above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Historically, the floor brokers would receive such a request, say, for the going price on 10,000 shares of General Electric Co. stock, scribble down a response from a market maker and run it back to the trading desk.

But that process took at least five minutes, and the stock price information wasn't always accurate. Now, floor brokers can write down those responses on a Casio Inc. PA 2400 device running Windows CE 2.0 and transmit them to a trader within a few seconds over the Big Board's 2.4-GHz spread-spectrum network.

Using the handheld devices, Goldman Sachs floor brokers now can generate 450 to 500 looks per day, up from the 100 to 150 daily looks they averaged with conventional paper and pens. "We're in the information business, and if you can move information about the market faster than the next guy you're doing a good job," said John Hewitt, vice president of equities at Goldman Sachs.

3. Reinventing Learning & Training Briefing Announced by The MASIE Center. We are pleased to announce a new service...a customized one day briefing and survey conducted by Elliott Masie at your site. "Reinventing Learning and Training Briefing" has been created in response to requests for opportunities to bring executives, business leaders and training professionals up to speed on changes in the world of learning, training and technology. We will book 15 of these in 1999. To get complete details: or call Cathy Masie at 800-98-MASIE

4. A Learning Quote: Alvin Toffler: We begin a new element of TechLearn Trends today. We will include interesting quotes that we have located that related to the world of learning and training. We used these at our opening session of TechLearn and folks asked for copies of them. So, we will sprinkle them in future Trends. If you have any, just send them to

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. " Alvin Toffler

5. Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar: 10 Spaces Left. If you would like a complete, in-depth at the choices and decisions that organizations have to make as they step towards On-Line Learning, think about our hands-on lab to be held in Saratoga Springs, NY on December 14 and 15. Complete information and on-line registration is available at

Future MASIE Center Events:
- TechLearn '99: October 31 to November 3rd, 1999 - Orlando, Florida (523 registrations for '99 already received. To pay with 1998 dollars, just call 1-800-98-MASIE)
- Business of On-Line Learning Conference: March 1999
- Learning and Training Decisions '99: For Managers and Executives ONLY: Spring 1999

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Editor Permission Required
You must have editing permission for this entry in order to post comments.