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72 - Extreme Training Measures Needed; IT Skills Gap Attacked with Loan Program

1. Extreme Training Measures Needed: We need to try some very different and even extreme measures in the world of training and learning. The other day I was interviewed by a reporter doing an article on the future of training. Her first question has been rattling in my brain: "How has training over the past 40 years?"

While we can point to innovations in CBT, On-Line Learning and Performance Support, she kept drilling down to see if there were any RADICAL or EXTREME approaches to training that she could report. Hmmmm.

It is time for the training industry to look at Extreme measures. What can we do, as a field, to develop extreme new models for delivering workplace training and performance. At TechLearn '98, we will host a session called Extreme Training. The purpose of this brainstorming session will be to explore dramatic new models for training. We'll publish the results after the Conference. If you would like to highlight your projects or even just dreams for Extreme Training, please send an email to

2. IT Skills Gap Attacked with Loan Program: Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Skills 2000 IT Career Loan Program has distributed > more than $55 million in loans in under seven months. Launched in February 1998, the Skills 2000 IT Career Loan Program is designed to assist people seeking training and resources to begin careers in the information technology (IT) industry.

The program is part of the overall Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative aimed at addressing the IT work force shortage. The more than $55 million in loans, disbursed by Servus Financial Corp., is being used by students to finance technical training at Microsoft Authorized Technical Education Centers (ATECs)and at Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program (AATP) institutions, as well as to purchase course materials and computers.

Programs like this are growing in the industry as indicators of the depth of demand for certified IT Skills.

3. Trends Readers Flock to Hollywood Simulation: We received a notice from the folks at the Hollywood Stock Exchange that they received a flurry of new players after our note about this on-line simulation. Quite a few readers wrote in about their experience with this concept of on-going simulations. Give it a try at We even heard from a number of technology vendors interested in developing wider sets of on-line learning simulations. It is the future!

4. TechLearn '98 Cruise and Hotels Filling Up: If you are planning on attending TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18, 1998 in Orlando, Florida), this is the time to reserve space at the main hotel. We are also about to close out our block on the Post-Conference Cruise. The main Conference Hotel, Coronado Springs, is about to fill up. While we have a second hotel for additional registrants, if you want to be at the main property, please contact Walt Disney World at 1-407-939-1020. If you have not registered for the conference, go to

Our 3 Day Post-Conference Cruise has only a few cabins left. If you would like to join a group of TechLearn attendees and faculty, go to our web site at and call our travel agent at 800-283-2929.

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