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37 - Special Report From Disney's Animal Kingdom Opening, Orlando, Florida

1. Three Trends That Are Around The Corner for Training & Learning. The MASIE Center has finished it's quarterly view of the three trends that are about to impact in the training, learning and technology fields:

a) Home Based On-Line Learning: Many of the technological advances have been boosted by home computing patters. For example, home PC use of CD's paved the way for their wide spread adoption at work. On-Line Learning will get a similar boost with the impending explosion of home base, personal interest learning and training programs. Retailers are gearing up to deliver classes that will go to the heart of your hobby interests, associations are targeting on-line learning as a new delivery channel, churches and temples are excited about building digital connections to their congregations and even health care groups are aiming at post-treatment courses to lower patient rebound levels.

b) Training Departments as Newsrooms: Let's imagine what the training department will look like in the near future. If we can move the bulk of the administrative side of training to the intranet and we see a continued use of outsourcing of instruction to external providers, what is the role of the internal training group. In addition to the management of the process and conducting needs analysis, we see a newsroom in their futures. Knowledge Management will bring a demand for instant publishing on a deeply narrowcast and personalized basis. We are working with a few training departments to build a newsroom model, where they will assemble and publish electronically delivered magazines and newsletters to the workforce, combining breaking news, professional development information and links to key on-line learning resources. "Stop the Presses" may be one of the chants we hear in the near future.

c) Skills Portfolios: The percentage of training and education that we receive AFTER completing our secondary and higher education is growing. In the future, we will have a need to provide workers with the ability to document and validate their training and skills. This is a challenge as organizations get gun-shy of lawsuits and cut back on what they can or will provide as details on a former employee's experience. Skills Portfolios may be kept by a professional association, a labor union or a third party body. We see a model for digitally validating experience, much the way we can digitally sign an email message. Organizations will be discussing skills portfolios and validation in the next 12 months.

2. Corporate PC's Below $600? Lots of conversation this week at COMDEX about low cost computers. Will prices drop below $600? Yes! MidWest Micro Corp. took the idea of the sub-$1,000 PC to a whole new level yesterday as the company announced a line of computers that will be tagged at less than $600. The Fletcher, Ohio-based firm said the NJ-200X Workstation PC is targeted at business users, is network-ready and is the first PC in its price range that is based on a 200-MHz Intel Corp. Pentium MMX processor. It costs $599.

3. Animal Kingdom Opening Report & TechLearn '98 Special! I had the delightful honor of seeing the new Disney Park, Animal Kingdom on it's opening day yesterday. This is a $800 million dollar tribute to design and also training. The experience is both a fun and educational journey. Everything that we know about how to capture the learning imagination is embedded into the design of this new "land". Great attention has been paid to the comfort and health of the animals, contrary to the press reports. In discussions with several trainers (our animal counterparts), it was clear that there is an organizational and personal commitment to making this an awesome experience for the full range of creatures. Technology also plays a fascinating role in the structuring of the animal and human interaction.

We are proud to announce that TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th in Orlando), will offer special discount tickets to Animal Kingdom for participants and their families. In addition to being able to visit Animal Kingdom on the Saturday or Sunday prior to TechLearn, we will also have a presentation from one of the team members involved in the design of this enterprise. And, a few special elements from Animal Kingdom may pop up at the Conference. Over 500 of your colleagues have already registered for TechLearn '98. Reserve your spaces today by going to

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