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38 - Special Report from Appleton, Wisconsin - Higher Education Consortium Meeting

1. Learner's Wish Lists for the Perfect Trainer. I have been compiling a collection of wish lists that people have for their perfect trainer. Here are a few of the top items:

* A trainer who knows how to tell a great story without drifting from the learning objectives of the course.
* A trainer who remembers how difficult it is to be sitting in a classroom, while they walk around.
* A trainer who dramatically reduces my need to take notes.
* A trainer who asks us a question that keeps me thinking for the next week.
* A trainer who puts all of the resources on a web page.
* A trainer who actually did the tasks they are teaching.
* A trainer who smiles and shows their love of teaching.
* A trainer who is available during the breaks for contact and questions.
* A trainer who is a learner.

Add to the list! Send me a note to

2. Two Types of Pilot Programs: On our recent TechLearn Collaborative call, our 40 corporate members discussed types of pilot programs for emerging learning technologies. Here is a key distinction in two types of pilots:

* The Learn It Pilot: The purpose of this pilot is to create a learning experience for their training professionals. The pilot's objectives are to test new technology and learning approaches. This pilot does not have an outcome target of learning accomplishments, but rather is focused on the learning of the group that is exploring this learning technology.

* The Prove It Pilot: The purpose of this pilot is to make a business and performance case for the effectiveness of the proposed learning approach. This pilot is focused on learner outcomes. Prove It pilots are deeply observed and should attempt to key as many of the variables constants (e.g.. content and audience) while testing the key new variable (learning technology).

It is critical that the organization agrees on which of these models is being implemented when conducting pilot programs!

3. Video-Conferencing at the Desktop for Learning! We have been testing a wide range of $100 to $120 cameras, that we are using in The MASIE Center lab at bandwidths from 28.8 to T1. The opportunities to enhance and expand our definitions of learning through continuous video-conferencing and collaboration are awesome. Grab your camera and get ready for an explosion of video conferencing at the desktop and in the classroom, using the LAN, WAN, Intranet and Internet.

In the next six months this field will gain dramatic brainshare as new technology and consumer acceptance focuses on low cost desktop videoconferencing. Learning will be one of the hot applications (after on-line retailing and X Rated content). Watch for major announcements later this summer on Desktop Videoconferencing Learning products and services. We are adding a Vidcon Learning component to TechLearn '98 ( At Vidcon Learning we will provide 60 desktop video units in our Exploratorium. These will provide a non-commercial opportunity to try teaching and learning over video conferencing. Stay tuned for details!

4. Free On-Line Learning Trials. We have another offer for TechLearn Trends Readers for a free trial to get personal experience with learning over the internet. Bill Rosenthal, Ziff Davis Education writes: "Training professionals can get a free, hands-on experience with on-line learning models by going to: " This site contains a wide range of IT training courses that will give you another look at the power of technology delivered learning. As trainers we have to experience this technology ourselves to gain perspective.

5. Colin Powell, Robert Reich and Don Tapscott to Keynote TechLearn '98. TechLearn '98 is pleased to announce a few of our keynote speakers. General Colin L. Powell, USA (Retired) will give the 1998 TechLearn Address on the critical tasks of developing our workforce for a new world. He will share his own experiences as a trainer in the Army and the challenge of training young people to work. General Powell is one of the most admired leaders in the world, identified as a strong role model of ethics and honesty.

Robert Reich, former Secretary of the Treasury, will provide the Skills Gap Keynote, focusing on the challenge of matching workers to jobs in the information age. Don Tapscott, author of the Digital Economy, will provide a view of the impact of technology on the roles of managers, trainers and knowledge brokers.

Over 575 managers and trainers have already registered for TechLearn '98. Go to for information and on-line registrations.

(I have been attending a meeting of higher education training and technology professionals in Appleton, Wisconsin. It is exciting to explore the role that technology will have in the changing nature of higher education. There are lots of powerful connections that we need to make between the corporate and education fields as we both tackle technology as a learning tool in the digital age.)

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: (
- Skills for On-Line Trainers
- The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar

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