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50 - Always On Learning Signal via Cable Modems; Skills for On-Line Trainers: Linking; Tips for No-Show Students

1. Always On Learning Signal via Cable Modems. Over the past several months, we have had a cable modem at the Masie household. This wasn't an easy sell at first, as our office is loaded with bandwidth, in all shapes and forms. But, in the name of "research" and my fascination with gadgets, we sprung for the $49 a month cable modem hookup. At speeds between 400 kps and 2 mps, this thing really zings (most of the time). But, what has been most interesting is the impact of having an "Always On" internet connection in the house.

Last week, my wife and I came back from a jazz festival where we heard a musician and could not agree on how old he was. Several minutes after coming in the door of our house, we were looking at his bio (he was ten years older than either one of us guessed), listened to clips from other albums, and were considering ordering the CD. Every day we find ourselves wandering over for that well talked about "just-in-time-learning-session". It is incredible how the "Always On" connection changes your use. We find ourselves learning on demand every day. As cable modems become more available and cheaper, and as ADSL matures as a high bandwidth delivery system, we will start to view the IP signal of the internet as an "Always On" learning utility in our homes. Imagine its impact on every aspect of home learning, from workbased, to home schooling, to homework support, to e-commerce and hobby related learning. Hmmmm.

2. Show & Tell Displays and Problem/Solution Sessions. We are very excited to announce a unique way for you to become involved in learning with your fellow training and technology colleagues. At TechLearn '98 (Orlando in November), we will introduce the "Show & Tell Displays" and bring back our popular, "Problem/Solution Sessions". These are neat ways to share an approach to learning, training, knowledge management or technology. The Show & Tell Displays will provide participants with almost 100 approaches to solving organizational challenges. The Problem/Solution Sessions will provide 50 brainstorming and problem sharing opportunities. We invite the readers of TechLearn Trends to volunteer for these activities. You will not only share your experiences with the folks at TechLearn, but we will also post these ideas and approaches on our web site for the industry to share. Just go to: and get the details.

3. Skills for On-Line Trainers: Linking. How do trainers increase the sense of resources that they share with the learners? How do they use linking, to everything from web sites to key resources, as a core of their approach to training. That is one of the most critical questions dealt with in our popular Skills for On-Line Trainers Seminar. Here are some tips from the class:

* Develop a group of web pages, located on the intranet, aimed at different types of learners. For example, I may get some folks that want examples from other companies, not just ours. I would have a few pages, already posted, that could be the basis of a link for each of these learners. Over time, trainers will have dozens of links that can be strategically deployed.
* Develop an on-going intranet for each class, live or on-line. We use this in our seminars. One of my staff builds real-time pages, based on questions and answers from the group.
* Create Knowledge Maps of key people in the organization. Draw routes to colleagues that have resources and are willing to share them with learners.

(Skills for On-Line Trainers will be offered next in Washington, DC in August - )

4. Tips for No-Show Students. We often focus on "punishing" the no-show student. In fact, it is rarely their fault. We found that 74% of no-shows were triggered by the manager or supervisor of the learner. I believe that we need to focus on how do we reach the no-show with alternative learning strategies. When someone cancels from a class, let's send them a wide range of resources that might be more available. They may have a smaller question than the agenda of the class or they may be on a mission critical task that keeps them from the classroom. Rather than looking at how do we levy no-show fines, let's concentrate on how we can provide them, and their manager, with alternative learning strategies. Whenever I have done this, I always end up seeing the learner in the future at another event.

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