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46 - Special Report from ITTC Conference, Newport, RI

1. Turning Conference Rooms Into Technology Learning Centers. There are only a few classrooms in any company, but there are hundreds of conference rooms. Imagine a technology that would affordably turn these rooms into hubs for on-line and distance learning and collaboration. I recently visited Intel headquarters in Oregon with our chief technologist, Matt, to get a briefing on their new product line aimed at conference rooms. The latest Intel Team Station System for conference rooms has a range of interesting features, including the ability to use 3 different transports (ISDN, Dedicated Lines and IP), function with a blend of internet/intranet collaboration as well as videoconferencing and also be used as a presentation tool for single room events.

The ability of organizations and training vendors to use this genre of technology to provide scheduled and impromptu distributed learning sessions is exciting. The price point of this system, which allows speeds of 384 kps and high bandwidth IP video, is in the $9,000 to $14,000 range. We were impressed with the ability of meeting participants to "send" presentation documents to the conference room and to use the IP connectivity for pre-meeting and runtime meetings, reserving the higher speed video for prestige events. Check our their site at

2. Next Wave of Computer and IT Training Topics. I just delivered the opening presentation at the ITTC Conference in Rhode Island. This is the 21st year of this user run conference for the computer and IT trainers in the Northeast. It is intriguing to notice several changes, including the shift of a large, majority segment of instructor led training to outsourced business partners. Many colleagues that used to work for banks, insurance companies and other organizations in the New England area are now doing similar jobs for private training centers and other learning service providers. Here were the topics that I focused on as the next wave of computer training we will see in the next 12 months:

* Document Management with Intranet Connectivity. The upcoming release of next versions of office suites from Microsoft and Lotus both focus on user capability for the creation, publishing and management of information on corporate intranets. For example, Office 9, Microsoft's upcoming release, gives users enormous web document publishing and sharing capabilities. Training will be needed in both procedures and processes for leveraging this exciting capability.

* E-Commerce Demands Training. Every business unit will be in the e-commerce business. Not just the retail version of on-line selling. Think of the wide range of business unit transactions that can be moved to browser based access. This will require a wide scale skill building effort to create, manage and quality control internal e-commerce.

* Departmental Enterprise Databases and Development: There will be a great demand for business units to have access to IT skills to manage the departmental side of enterprise wide databases. This will drive the demand for more application developers with core business skills.

These topics will be the focus of the *** Computer Training @ TechLearn '98 *** focus are at our November Conference. IT and computer trainers will be able to refocus for the next waves of training opportunity and demand.

3. Accounting and Consulting Giants Get Serious About Training Business. What we used to refer to as the Big Six is focusing deeply on the training business. For example, yesterday Deloitte Touche announced that Dave Ehlen, the former CEO of Wilson Learning Worldwide would head their Training Services Group Integrated Cost Reduction Strategies. Pricewaterhouse Coopers has unveiled its on-line training and knowledge management tool, along with a services focus to help clients implement enterprise wide learning. More major announcements are planned for the next several months from every major consulting and accounting group.

4. TechLearn Focus Topics Announced The detailed curriculum development for TechLearn '98 kicked into high gear this week with the announcement of a wide range of Focus Topics. Each of these Focus Topics will be led by a corporate or governmental learning manager and will feature discussions, panels, simulations and problem/solution sessions. Here are a sample of Focus Topics:

* Skills Gap @ TechLearn '98: Focused on meeting the rapidly growing gap between available and required skills in the workplace.
* Government @ TechLearn '98: Focused on the learning needs of Federal, state and local government, military and intelligence community training managers and developers.
* On-Line Learning @ TechLearn '98: Focused on the difficult decisions of when, how, and when not to use on-line learning as part of a corporate training methodology.
* Knowledge Management @ TechLearn '98: Focused on the intersection of Knowledge Management and Training in the organization.
* ROI/Assessment @ TechLearn '98: Focused on a series of simulations and discussions of effective and proven assessment and ROI strategies.
* International Training @ TechLearn '98: We are pleased to announce that Khaled Al-Zamel from Saudi Arabia will lead a global dialogue on how training differs as we move around the globe.
* Learning Careers @ TechLearn '98: Focused on the development of a career plan for learning and training professionals as we move into the digital age.
* Training Marketplace @ TechLearn '98: Focused on the changing world of buying and selling learning and training products and services. Special price and budgeting simulations and studies.
* Benchmarking @ TechLearn '98: A detailed process to compare your organization's implementation of varied learning approaches as compared with over a thousand other companies and agencies.
* Failures and Disasters @ TechLearn '98: Yes, we are going to go public with a variety of failed projects and corporate efforts. Learning professionals must learn from our common mistakes!
* Orientation Prototype @ TechLearn '98: We will be designing over 100 new models of how to conduct employee orientations using emerging technologies.
* Classrooms and Technology @ TechLearn 98: The classroom is here to stay! How can technology supercharge and extend the classroom learning and training experience.
* Philosophy & Methodology @ TechLearn '98: Organizations and learning professionals are developing and adapting philosophies and methodologies to leverage technology in the organization. Here is a chance to reflect and expand your approaches.

To reserve your space at TechLearn '98 and to be eligible for the free
on-line class for all participants that starts on July 15th, go to


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