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30 - Industry Groups Announce Consensus on Labeling of Education Materials on Internet

1. Industry Groups Announce Consensus on Labeling of Education Materials on Internet. As we predicted in an earlier TechLearn Trends, a growing consensus is building towards a standard for publishing learning and training content on the internet and corporate intranets. Educom released today the specification for the technology that software companies and publishers can use to label educational resources on the Internet. The "metadata" technology makes it easier for people to find educational resources, to individualize learning experiences, and to manage the resources within an electronic marketplace. Educom's Instructional Management Systems (IMS) project, an industry, academic and government cooperative, has been working with experts in software, publishing, digital libraries, teaching, training, and all phases of learning to refine the specification.

A wide range of software publishers have either endorsed this standard or hailed it as a good first step towards an industry wide consensus on how to "mark" content so that it is easily usable in a variety of technologies. Think of this as a bar coding system for learning, similar to the ones used within the grocery industry. Until there was a standard for marking grocery products there could not be a universal approach to adding technology to the retailing process. Complete details about this project is available under the metadata section of the IMS website: at

The standards issues will be discussed in depth at the upcoming Business of On-Line Learning event next week in Seattle. see:

2. Daily News Article about Michael Milken's Role in Training & Learning Marketplace. There was an in-depth article on the efforts of Knowledge Universe, a major player in the learning marketplace, funded by investments of Michael Milken. This is a new, one billion dollar (and growing) venture that will touch every aspect of learning from cradle to grave. If you are interested in reading the complete text on line, go to the Daily News Site today at then, select News and Views, followed by a selection of Media & Business. After March 23rd, you will need to use the SEARCH feature on their site to find this article.

3. Question from a Reader About Culture and Learning. Here is a note from Martha Ullrich, Program Manager of Distance Learning at HP: "We are currently prototyping on-line learning products throughout the world. We are finding disparity between countries in their ability to adopt on-line learning from outside their firewall. We are also finding various organizational cultures are not ready to adopt on-line learning, or learning at the desktop. We have found that the employees are interrupt driven and when they are at their desk, whether "attending training" or not, they are interrupted with the latest emergency. This makes on-line learning difficult to say the least. Have you come across this issue?"

If you have any comments to share with Martha and the other readers of TechLearn Trends, just send a note to Thanks!

Personal Note: We are back in the United States after our 3 week tour of international efforts in learning and technology. You will be seeing several new projects from The MASIE Center involving the global perspectives of training, learning and the culture of technology.

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