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41 - Special Report from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada

1. Net-Knowledge Skills. Some of our definitions of knowledge acquisition may change as we enter the Digital Age. How does one cope with the amazing increase in the total quantity of available information? How do we filter the valuable from the trivial. And, how do we coach our employees in the process of learning in this new environment.

We have been toying with the concept of Net-Knowledge Skills. Imagine a set of skills that a person learns (in school or at work) that helps them with the processing of knowledge. A updated view of Learning How to Learn. I could imagine that some of these skills might include:

* The ability to ask for a high level view of information and being able to quickly extract a valuation of the content, rather than a retention of the content. I hear about a new drug for a rare disease. I get the top 2 facts and also know how important it is to me or my family. And, I know where the bookmark for the information is.

* The ability to search for information. If I had to teach only one internet skills, it would not be the downloading of files. I'd focus on the process of building successive searches for information.

* The ability to take referenced notes rather than digested notes. Note taking is changing in the age of word processing and the internet. What will be the new models of note taking? What is the next generation yellow

We will be expanding this list in the weeks ahead. I'd be interested in getting your additions to this list. What are the knowledge acquisition and retention skills of the future? Send me an email to

2. An Entire Region Dedicated to Technology & Learning. I was blown away by what I saw in Miramichi, Canada. After taking 4 planes to get to this rural region of Canada on the Atlantic, my mind was blown by the technology and learning focus that has been built by a visionary government, community college and corporate supporters. The Province of New Brunswick has made IT their major thrust for development. It is seen in the region wide network that has been built to connect every home, school and business. Trailer park houses have full bandwidth ATM connections of at least 10 mps for $20 a month. This technology is then made the focus of a unique educational program at the Miramichi Campus of the New Brunswick Community College.

They have built a program to create the next generation of employees and companies in the learning technology field. In two years, a student builds instructional design skills, animation skills, on-line learning concepts and is targeted towards the creation of new models of learning delivery. I was the keynote speaker at their annual conference and saw a dozen student "companies" that were developed by second year students. Each had a new product idea and business plan. But, these plans don't stop there. There is a business incubator process in place to provide funding and office space for these new companies the next year. And, to guide them to market. This region is dead serious about learning technology products as their next generation of export products. Impressive! We will feature the faculty and students of Miramichi College at TechLearn '98. Their web site is

3. Women in Training Symposium at TechLearn '98 We have had a number of requests from women in the training and learning industry to create a series of sessions looking at the unique challenges and opportunities in our field. We are pleased to announce that there will be a special "Women in Training & Learning Symposium" at TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18, 1998 in Orlando, FL). The topics will include:

* Career Paths After Training... Is Training a Glass Ceiling
* Women Executives in Service Roles
* Success Stories and Hurdles
* Technology Professionals....Impact of Training Assignments in Your Career
* Learning Technology....Creating Options in the Workplace

If you would like to help with the design of these sessions, please send an email to Information about the entire conference is at

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