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27 - Special Report From Melbourne, Australia - AITD Conference

1. A Great Digital Camera for Trainers. Most folks have waited to buy a digital camera until they got better, cheaper and more functional. Your wait may be over. We have been testing the new SONY Digital Mavica Camera on our international tour this month. It is an awesome piece of equipment that could be used quite nicely by training departments. It has several features that we found to be a big plus. Zoom: It includes a zoom lens that will go up to 10x magnification. Pictures on a Disk: The camera uses a standard 3 1/2 diskette to store pictures in the popular JPEG format. You can take the disk out of the camera, pop it into a desktop or laptop and transfer the photos with a simple click. Long Life Battery: We got more than 200 photo's on a single charge the battery, and it recharges quickly. Macro: It has a macro feature that lets you get very upclose to take a picture. Cost: Street cost is under $675.

Training Departments can use a camera like this to take lots and lots of pictures in the workplace that can be easily integrated into presentations, learning materials and brochures. It has been wonderful to use the camera on this trip and send back photos for our staff, colleagues and families to view over the web. It could be used in a safety class by having learners work in teams and take 10 pictures of at risk sites on a factory floor. Then, bring the disks back, project them on the screen and chat about real time safety procedures. This is a super camera and great bargain. Check out their web site at:

2. Barrons Focuses on Training Marketplace. Barrons, the financial magazine published by Dow Jones, featured a cover story on the Learning Marketplace. The copyrighted story, written by Eric Savitz, is the most comprehensive coverage to date of the training marketplace by a mass media publication. The story focused on the economics of both classroom and on-line learning. It paid close attention to how stocks in the learning sector have fared on Wall Street, including CBT Systems and Learning Tree. The writer also delved into the interests of high profile investors like Michael Milken, Larry Ellison and Paul Allen in the training marketplace. It was the presence of these high profile investors as a vote of confidence in the power of the learning industry in the years to come. I was interviewed for this article and a similar one about to run in the Daily News, and had a
sense of the journalists' intrigue with the world of learning from a financial perspective. Check out a copy at your library or at the paid subscription site of the Wall Street Journal. (Note: Our Business of On-Line Learning Conference will be held in Seattle on March 30 and 31st:

3. TechLearn Trends Goes LIVE on April 1st @ 1,500 Sites. On April 1st, TechLearn LIVE! will be broadcast via satellite, video-conference and Real Video to over 1,500 sites. The free three hour show will be hosted by The MASIE Center and will contain content from a wide range of organizations and leaders in the training, learning and technology industry. Guests will be interviewed by myself and respond to questions from the audience and viewers around the world. Topics to include: Learning in the Digital Age, The Skills Gap, Roles of Instructional Design, Learning and Technology, The President's Focus on Training via Technology and the Pentagon's ADL Efforts. The satellite broadcast can be received via KU Band, C Band, Armed Forces Satellite Networks and the TEN Network. Videoconference equipped sites can receive a bridged feed. Any individual with an internet connection can also hook up via a live feed by Real Video. A good number of these sites are opening their doors to colleagues in their communities for this free broadcast. Complete information is available at our web site:

Report from Australia's AITD Conference: There were 250 training professionals from across this continent at the recent training and development conference. I was joined by keynoters Curtis Plott via ASTD, John Prokop from Lotus and colleagues from the Philippines and other countries. It is clear that the training profession in this country is focusing deeply on the appropriate use of technology. Some of the most provocative conversations were about how to use technology without losing the personal interactions and relationships that are so highly valued by trainers. There were also heated conversations about the need to create localization and regionalization of training materials to avoid focusing learners on the spelling of color as colour. The organizers of this event did a great job in bringing a global perspective to the field of training and also threw a wonderful event and party. If you ever are headed over here, send me an email and I will hook you up to some wonderful colleagues in this part of the world.

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