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58 - Continuous Development Required for Continuous Learning; MetaData Update; United States Congress Passes Job Training Bill

1. Resources for Innovation: This morning we received a note from a TechLearn reader (Marla Newman), pointing us to a cool site with resources for innovation. It is directed byJoyce Wycoff, author of books on Mind Mapping and Transformation Thinking. The content is about life-long learning, with lots of resources and articles about corporate creativity and innovation. Check out

2. Continuous Development Required for Continuous Learning: This thought has been rummaging around my brain for the past week: "How do we create continuous development for continuous learning?" It all started as I was thinking about stories. A good story evolves. As one tells the same story over and over again it changes. It gets shorter or longer, funnier or more targeted. The telling of the story evolves it, or in training terms: continuous development. However, most courses, once they are developed, only evolve in the instructional dimension. Few organizations have a process for the continuous improvement of a course. As we move our instructional resources on-line, there are great opportunities for us to be able to keep the development process alive for the duration of the course. Anyone with ideas or comments on this, send me an email to

3. MetaData Update: In earlier TechLearn Trends we pointed readers to the work that is going on in the MetaData field. The core idea is to develop an industry wide standard for how we will label learning objects or chunks, so that they can be stored and deployed with greater ease and flexibility. Good work has been done by the IMS and the IEEE groups in this area. Wayne Hodgins has notified us that the latest paper on the MetaData project is now on-line. Warning...this is a technical paper and it drills down to the detail that a standard requires. However, it is worth checking out and supporting the process of building the equivalent of a Learning Nutritional Labeling System. The paper is online at:

4. United States Congress Passes Job Training Bill. The House passed a job-training bill on Friday that consolidates dozens of programs and gives states and local governments more flexibility in designing them. The bill passed the Senate Thursday night. President Clinton said he will
sign it into law. ``This bill will modernize job training to fit the needs of today's economy, and I appreciate the bipartisan spirit that prevailed in getting that done,'' Clinton said in a statement after House passage. Clinton said the bill was modeled after the ``G.I. Bill for American Workers'' he proposed three years ago.

Under the bill, states and local governments would be given more authority in carrying out job-training programs. At the same time, the bill calls for such programs to have performance standards,such as job placement and retention, so that a person considering a particular job-training program would know its track record. The federal government could cut off or reduce funding for unsuccessful programs.

The bill also calls for local businesses to get involved in training programs, and includes a $1 billion ``youth block'' to target at-risk 14- to 21-year-olds. Funding would remain at the current level of about $10 billion a year.

5. TechLearn Volunteers Sought and TechLearn Cruise Announced: This is an exciting week in the planning for TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th in Orlando, Florida). We will take our 1,000th registration for this unique conference in the next couple of days and we are announcing two high involvement aspects of the event:

- TechLearn '98 Cruise Announced: Continuing a tradition we started back in 1990, there will be a low-cost cruise immediately following the TechLearn '98 Conference. The cost is only $342 per person, for a 3 night. 4 day cruise to Nassau, sailing from Port Canaveral (1 hour from Disney) on the day after the Conference. This will be both a fun and learning filled 3 days. Join a collection of faculty, experts and colleagues for informal dialogues, discussions and non-stop networking aboard the Carnival's Fantasy. For details and to register for the conference go to

- TechLearn Volunteers Sought: TechLearn is built on the premise of action learning and high involvement. Last year, over 100 participants were volunteers helping out in a wide range of areas, including facilitating Problem/Solution Brainstorming Sessions, being docents in the Exploratorium Lab and helping with orientation. If you would like to volunteer at TechLearn, requiring just a few hours of your conference time, please send me an email to and let me know how you would like to be involved. Complete details about TechLearn '98 are available at

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