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36 - Special Report from Workplace Learning Conference, Wisconsin

1. Labor Unions Focus on Learning & Training in Workplace. I am writing this column from the Workplace Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There are over 1,000 international labor union leaders, along with representatives from business, educational institutions and government agencies. As I looked out at the crowd during my keynote address, I was impressed with the intensity of commitment shown by labor leaders to the skills and training component of work. Key research has been conducted on the nature of the changing workplace and the needs for a changing workforce. The labor leaders that I met with are looking at how technology can be leveraged as a force for lifelong and workplace learning. Continuous learning will allow workers in low-paying jobs to develop a pathway to higher-paying jobs. On-line learning is being developed as a benefit for both workers and their families, jointly administered by labor/management alliances.

We heard reports on Learning and the Economy from Canada, England, Mexico and the United States. The linkage between learning resources and economic development is a clear and clarion call from government and labor unions to build training infrastructures that will serve the next several decades. The United Kingdom is moving rapidly towards a national grid of technology resources that will jumpstart the availability of technology delivered learning.

The coalitions that are being developed for workplace learning...the siting of learning alongside work, focusing on both basic skills and technical skills, is a powerful development in our field. For details on the outcomes of the symposium, check their web site:

2. Tips for Trainers: In-Class Web Page for Running Items. Every trainer has used the running list technique. Write down follow-up items on a piece of poster paper. It is a great way to store open issues in a course and make sure that the trainer can address these later in the class. Add technology and it gets very cool and effective. I've been using a technique that involves the development of a web site as the class progresses. Using Microsoft Front Page, I add links, resources and items to the web page throughout the class. This is posted live on a server, so that learners can access it during class or on the breaks. It is then a perfect follow-up device to use for post-class learning. Training departments or vendors can add marketing of future events to the list. Check out the in-class web that we just used in our On-Line Learning Lab and Seminar:

3. Time to Try It! Experiment With Free Hybrid Training Model. There are lots of trainers that I meet whom have never taken an on-line learning module. And even a smaller percentage have never tried a hybrid offering, blending on-line content with access to a live instructor resource. We are pleased to point TechLearn Trends readers to the offer by

This course, which lasts for 2 weeks from when the person enrolls, is titled "Internet Concepts" and enables the person to take advantage of all the benefits of a regular Scholars course. These benefits include access through online chats, email and newsgroups to Learning Advisors who are online 24hrs a day, 7 days a week plus daily personalized email containing course related questions, supplemental information etc. Students also gain access to the Scholars' Community; several thousand students who are pursuing similar goals. The actual courseware can be downloaded from the Scholars web site. Enrollment is continuous so you can start anytime.

This is a free offer, which can be found at


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