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Friday
Jul241998

55 - Special Report from Dublin, Ireland

1. Lucent Develops Cool Projects Including Persyst Classroom On-Line. Lucent Technologies, the high flying Bell Labs, has a number of very cool multimedia projects in the works. These projects include Persyst, a new player in the real-time on-line classroom technology market segment. Check out their various projects, including Persyst at: http://www.multimedia.bell-labs.com/projects/

2. Late Night Learning: Cricket Knowledge Via The Web & TV. It was 11:30 p.m. last night and we had just gotten back from a reception at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin. My wife and I turned on the TV to watch for a few minutes as I checked email (yes, I know, but I am a bit compulsive.) We found ourselves watching a match of Cricket on the television. It was fascinating, but neither of us knew anything about the rules. At first glance it looked a bit like baseball but the language, logic, rules, strategy and even pace of the game were big knowledge gaps for both of us.

In times past, we would have been stuck there. Clearly a TV sports broadcaster does not explain the sport each time they cover a game. Who
would tolerate a basic lesson of football or golf during the each Sunday's game? So, we had to map our own pathway to knowledge. Ah, I was already on the web, so let's do a bit of on-line learning.

Success! After a quick search on Excite.Com, we found a master web site for the sport of cricket: www.cricket.org For the next 60 minutes, using their on-line briefing, the real-time game on the television, numerous links to graphics and a collaborative approach to learning, we got it. In fact, we both felt after one hour that we had made it across the finish line of Cricket 101. Not fans, couldn't hit a ball or understand the strategy, but we had eliminated the sense of ignorance. In fact, we both turned to the Cricket news in the Times at breakfast.

Lessons learned? On-line learning works when the learners are motivated, have access to multiple sources and styles of information and have a
collaborative learning partner. If either of us had this strange learning urge while alone, we probably would not have finished. If we didn't have the combination of the text and graphics of the web combined with the active stimulation of a live game, we would not have completed our task. It really was a true learning moment of the new world of knowledge access. If you ever stumble on a cricket match on one of your higher numbered cable stations look in the stands, you might find 2 people with MASIE Center sitting with the fans.

3. Get The Manager Involved! During the recent IFTDO meeting, one of the conversations that I had over and over again was about the role of the learner's manager. This is a person that has to be in the middle of our radar screens as learning professionals. The engaged manager makes all the difference in the world. Here were some of the strategies that people were using around the world to bring the manager actively into the learning process:

* Learning contracts before training! Some organizations require a manager and the worker to sign a learning contract prior to any training (classroom or on-line). This focuses both parties on the performance outcomes and makes the learning a sponsored event.
* Manager assigned practice! Rather than using invented exercises in class, one alternative is to provide the learner with a real assignment created by their manager. It changes the class from a theory oriented session to a support process for a real task. The learner gets evaluated not on their activities in class but rather on the performance on the task.
* Manager debriefing upon return! Cut the learner off at the pass, said one senior trainer from Finland. If the manager immediately debriefs the
learner as they return to the workplace, it creates an opportunity to direct the newly acquired knowledge to the job. Manager debriefing is a real
reflection of the organization's interest in the application of training.

4. Forbes Covers On-Line Learning for IT Certification. Today's Forbes Magazine On-Line includes an article on the role of on-line learning in the IT Training and Certification. We were used as one of many sources for this article that looks at the economic impact of the IT certification received via on-line or mixed media format. If interested, go to http://www.forbes.com/tool/html/98/jul/0724/feat.htm

5. 25 Free TechLearn Dollars Available Until 9/1/98. We have had a mind-boggling early registration for TechLearn '98, with over 916 people
registered prior to even mailing the brochure. We are extending our offer of 25 Free TechLearn Dollars to everyone that registers prior to September 1st. These TechLearn Dollars can be used for audio tapes, books, Behind The Scene's Tours of Disney, drinks at the TechLearn Disney Party or other materials. You don't need to pay when registering, we can send you an invoice for corporate processing. But, to receive your TechLearn Dollars please register prior to September 1st. Just go to http://www.techlearn.com

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