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Sunday
Nov081998

85 - Merrill Lynch, Fujitsu and Clarke American Checks Training Case Studies On-Line

------ Countdown to TechLearn '98 -- 7 Days to Go! -----1. Merrill Lynch, Fujitsu and Clarke American Checks Training Case Studies On-Line: ComputerWorld recently carried five case studies of corporate technology based training efforts. They profiled the
Wednesday
Nov041998

84 - General Colin Powell: Cars and "Leadership Suggestions"

1. General Colin Powell: Cars and "Leadership Suggestions: General Colin L. Powell, USA (retired) will be giving the 1998 TechLearn Address in just 13 days http://www.techlearn.com In order to prepare for his keynote presentation, we are supplying several elements of his writing and philosophy:

* General Powell, in addition to serving as a trainer for several years in the Army, has a life long hobby of fixing cars. Here are his thoughts about the car thing:

"Cars, unlike people, lack temperament," he wrote in his autobiography, "My American Journey." "When working on them, I was dealing not with the gods of the unknown, but the gods of the certain; not the gods of abstraction, but the gods of the concrete. If something malfunctioned in the engine, and I proceeded logically, I could identify the problem and fix it, the only area in my life where I had that kind of control. I found these mechanical puzzles absorbing and relaxing. I had found my true hobby."

* General Powell has been using a set of personal rules to coach leaders and lead.


1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
2. Get mad, then get over it.
3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego falls with it.
4. It can be done!
5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
7. You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.
8. Check small things.
9. Share credit.
10. Remain calm. Be kind.
11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
12. Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

General Powell's presentation at TechLearn '98 will focus on how we develop the 21st Century Workforce, his history as a trainer and the need to engage the youth of the country.

1. Bunch of Announcements in On-Line Learning Field: In the past several weeks, there have been a flurry of announcements in the learning marketplace. Here is a quick summary with links for more info:

* Asymetrix Learning Systems Inc. has announced the availability of Ingenium 4.0, a skills-based training management system intended to automate instructor- led training, logistics and tracking of individual and group competencies. http://www.asymetrix.com

* CBT Systems has extended its interactive, computer-based training programs for SAP America Inc.'s R/3. The 10 new courses are a series of Business Process Introduction programs developed in conjunction with SAP and announced in September at Sapphire '98, the annual SAP North America user conference http://www.cbtsys.com

* DigitalThink Inc. recently announced an agreement with Cambridge Technology Partners Inc. (CTP) to offer custom Internet-based training to corporate customers. http://www.digitalthink.com

* One Touch Systems Inc. distance learning equipment developer, has announced it has started shipping its new Network Management System (NMS) software. http://www.onetouch.com

3. Trends Readers Spark Debate with On-Line Voting/Learning Issue: We hit a new record yesterday. My short paragraph about the possibility of on-line voting/learning resulted in over 231 emails in just 10 hours. I guess our time in voting booths made this one very personal. The dialogue ranged from fascination with the idea to legal issues to a big NO vote. We will put a summary together and circulate this to readers after TechLearn.

4. Your Own Survey, Ode to Y2K Fireworks, Management Simulations and Brandon Hall @ TechLearn '98: We will be taking a number of audience polls during TechLearn '98. If you would like to suggest a question to be asked to the 1,756 learning and training professionals registered for the Conference, just send me an email to emasie@masie.com.

* Disney has a sense of humor. As we were writing the copy for the activities at the TechLearn '98 Masie/Disney Party I asked what we were going to call the special fireworks over Cinderella's Castle. The answer came back as "Ode to Y2K". Why Not! So, we will dedicate the sky bursts to what may or may not happen in 2000 with technology and learning. And we will address it the following morning during a panel dialogue.

* Peter Jones from Chase Manhattan will be leading two simulations at the Conference focusing on the decisions that organizations have to make as they implement technology in learning. During the simulations, participants will engage in small group decision simulations, with folks representing diverse roles like the resistance MIS manager, the quick to implement business unit leader and the like. We will use audience response technology to debrief the process and focus on the key issues confronting organizations as we "reinvent training"

* Brandon Hall, expert researcher and author in the world of multimedia and online learning will be presenting at TechLearn '98 on the key factors we face as we select learning technology systems and approaches. Brandon provides practical, down to earth perspectives on the confusing world of learning technology.

There are about 100 spaces left at TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th). Affordable flights and hotels are still available. Complete information and on-line registration is available at http://www.techlearn.com or call 800-98-MASIE and we will reserve a slot for you. See you in Orlando!
Tuesday
Nov031998

83 - Voting/Learning On-Line?

1. Voting/Learning On-Line? Implications and Opportunities: 74% of the readership of Trends is in the United States and today is our election day. I was called by a journalist this AM with the question: Could On-Line Learning and On-Line Voting Work? Interesting question...had never thought of it. But, we talked for a while and it became quite intriguing.

I went to the voting booth in Saratoga Springs as a relatively learning needy voter. While I had read and heard much about the candidates for the top jobs, I still needed to know a lot more about the people and issues on our ballots. What if I could have gone to an on-line voting booth, assuming that we could guarantee identity, and be able to cast my ballot over the internet and be able to access a broad set of information while voting. Hmm. Isn't that on-line learning? What would be the impact on voter turnout? We could still have the option of voting at the polling place, but the booths might contain network PC's with similar functionality. Comment? Send them to emasie@masie.com

2. Distance Learning Scams: National Public Radio Clip. Distance learning scams have been here for a while, but they now are including bogus offers for on-line learning components. People will pay serious money for the chance to earn a degree and diploma mills are looking at on-line learning as one of their target areas.

Kudos to National Public Radio for doing an investigative report on this topic on a recent "All Things Considered" show. You can hear the streamed audio replay of the report by going to the following URL with a Real Player installed on your system: http://www.npr.org/programs/atc/archives/1998/981030.atc.html The story is called Diploma Mills.

3. Help Desks, Training & Knowledge Management: Many of our colleagues are reporting that organizations are taking a new look at the roles of Help Desks. There has been an ongoing dialogue about ways in which training could be assisted via the Help Desk. The growth of Knowledge Management systems is placing Help Desks in a new light. If your organization is re-designing their help desk to play larger roles with learning, training or knowledge management, please send me an email at emasie@masie.com

4. Growing Up Digital: An Assignment: Don Tapscott, one of our keynote speakers at TechLearn '98, has asked us to refer our participants (and Trends readers) to his new site to prepare for his presentation. Don will be talking about Growing Up Digital and the kinds of changes we can expect in the next generation of workers. His site has a wealth of info and resources. Go to http://www.growingupdigital.com/ and check it out.

5. Resource Backpack for Learning and Technology @ TechLearn: In just 12 days, TechLearn '98 will commence in Orlando, Florida. The first things you will receive when you get to the Conference are a complete Conference Guide with over 200 sessions and dialogues and a Blue Resource Backpack. What's in the Backpack? CD's, literature and resources from the 76 TechLearn Learning and Technology sponsors. We affectionately call this our Bag 'o Expo Stuff, as an alternative to the old model tradeshow. But it really is a great resource and contains a wide range of resources that you can use and distribute to your organization, without getting tired feet. Want to catch a look at the backpack? A picture and a list of sponsors can be found at http://www.techlearn.com/backpack/ (Sorry, only participants at TechLearn can receive the backpack.) To register (there are still 100 spaces available for the event that starts on Sunday, Nov 15th, just go to http://www.techlearn.com



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Sunday
Nov011998

82 - HDTV Goes Live Today; Training Burnout Lowered With Method Diversity

1. HDTV Goes Live Today: High Density Television went live in the United States today, November 1st. While there are a few stations broadcasting in the HDTV format it will be a while before the average viewer will be tuning into a higher definition view. HDTV has great potential for the convergence of media formats, including the futuristic single viewing wall device in the home of tomorrow. But, watch for some training applications to evolve out of HDTV. Just as the recent Trends article pointed to DVD for new training titles, we will also start to see broadcast stations leveraging HDTV in the coming years for broader multi-image screens of content.

2. Women in Training Panel @ TechLearn '98: We are pleased to announce that there will be a high level panel at TechLearn entitled: Women in Training and Technology. Diane Hessan will host this panel, which consists of Marsha Kabakov from Microsoft; Marjorie Blanchard from Blanchard Training and Development; and Charlene Reiss from Paine Webber. These women will be joined by TechLearn participants for an open dialogue on the roles, hurdles and opportunities that face women in the training, learning and technology fields. Is there a "glass ceiling" for women in our field and what are tips from experienced female executives will be included in this dialogue.

3. Training Burnout Lowered With Method Diversity: A simple tip for lowering trainer burnout. Reach for multiple models of delivering the same class. The content may be the same but the class feels very different from the trainer point of view if the modules, sequences or learning activities get changed slightly. When I was a training manager, I developed a class planning form in which I had each of my trainers list at least one CHANGE they would implement each time they taught a class. It worked. Managers, be advocates of diversification to keep your trainers fresh.

4. Investing in Learning Market Session @ TechLearn '98: Lots of money is flowing into the training marketplace and Wall Street is watching. At TechLearn '98 we will have a session dedicated to a discussion of how people and companies are approaching the learning marketplace. We will get some views from analysts and also have a chance to share our best bets for riding the crest of the much touted hot market in learning and training products. There are still about 120 seats available at TechLearn 98 (Orlando, FL - November 15 to 18th). Just go to http://www.techlearn.com or call 800-98-MASIE. Affordable flights and hotels also available. See you in Orlando!
Saturday
Oct311998

TechLearn Trends Favorites

TechLearn Trends - Technology & Learning Updates
------ Countdown to TechLearn '98 -- 9 Days to Go! -----

1. Flash: TechLearn Seminars, Case Studies and Showcases Posted. If you are coming to TechLearn '98, or still trying to decide how big a team to bring, we have the Version 1.0 listing of our seminars, case studies, showcases and problem solutions sessions. We will post complete descriptions and faculty names on Tuesday, November 10th, 1998. Schedule can be found at http://www.techlearn.com/update/

2. Favorite Learning, Training or On-Line Learning Examples: For both the Conference and for our readers, we want to make sure that we have the largest collection of learning links and on-line learning examples. I have put together our own list of several hundred which will be at the TechLearn Exploratorium and later on the web. If you have a favorite site, link or example of on-line learning, would you send me a note with it to examples@masie.com We will post these later in December and live at the Conference.

3. Last Minute Registrations: Available & Flexible: In these days of "just in time" everything, it seems that many of our colleagues are deciding just in time to attend TechLearn '98 in 9 days (November 15 to 18th). We have reserved a block of spaces for last minute deciders, so get ready. If you go on line to http://www.techlearn.com we can process last minute (or even walk up) registrations. There are very affordable flights and hotel rooms still available at Disney. Join the 1,765 paid registrants for the event. Questions: Call 800-98-MASIE or 518-587-3522
Saturday
Oct311998

TechLearn Annual Report on the Learning & Technology Industry

TO TechLearn Trends Readers
FROM: Elliott Masie, The MASIE Center
DATE: November 5, 1998

RE: 1998 TechLearn Annual Report on the Learning & Technology Industry

Each year we issue a "bullets of importance" summary on the key trends, issues and technologies at the core of the learning and technology field. These bullets will be at the core of the TechLearn '98 Conference to be convened in 11 days in Orlando, Florida (http://www.techlearn.com) We will issue a manuscript expanding on these bullets in December 1998.

1. Major Trends in Learning & Technology
* 92% of large organizations are implementing some form of network (intranet, internet) training in 1999.
* 41% currently have placed at least one course, mainly from external content vendors, online for employees.
* 516 products, systems and new service offerings are now on the market for on-line and technology mediated learning.
* Collaboration (real time and asynchronous) capability is rapidly growing as a component of learning technology and content offerings.
* Organizations are focusing on two parallel tracks: technology for administration of training and technology for content delivery and process. These two tracks are often separate and unrelated projects.
* Knowledge Management is on the radar screen of most major corporations.
* The conversation has shifted from content delivery and management rather than authoring, reflecting an increasing outsourcing of the authoring process.
* Content is the highest desire of major organizations. They are waiting for large collections of technology mediated and delivered learning from suppliers. Demand is ahead of supply in November 1998, particularly outside of the IT zone.
* Workers are starting to have higher computing and on-line learning capacity at home than they do at work.
* IS groups are continuing to place serious internal blocks to mounting on-line learning on corporate networks, with challenges ranging from bandwidth fears to unreasonable demands for charge-backs and centralized control.
* Business units are developing independent and often competitive expertise (to the training department) in the technology and learning arena.
* Core training processes are now emerging as components of learning systems and technologies: mentoring, coaching, continuous assessment, diagnosis, needs analysis, contracting, remediation and collaboration.

2. Drivers in Organizational Approaches to Learning and Technology
* Reduction of cycle time.
* Globalization and enterprise wide delivery of consistent training content.
* Addressing the non-instructional costs of training (travel and lodging).
* Greater modularization and just-in-time capacity for the delivery of learning to the workforce.
* Extending the reach and time impact of instructor led sessions.
* Desire to choose from best of breed training and learning suppliers on a case specific basis.
* Need for performance support capability at the point of work, shifting learning to work environment.
* Learners are experiencing training alternatives outside the workplace.
* Financial officer support for alternative approaches to allocating training investments.
* Desire to drive most training transactions to browser based processing.

3. Technologies on the Learning and Training Cutting Edge and Radar Screen
* Content Production: Template based development
* Content Production: Shifting content "authoring" to subject matter experts
* Content Production: Rapid development (hours and days vs. weeks or months)
* Content Production: Reusable and redeployable content in object format
* Content Production: Learning "clip art" from suppliers
* Content Formats: Streaming video and audio
* Content Formats: Annotated books for learning processes
* Content Formats: Learner input or control of scope and sequence
* Content Formats: Multi-language and learner tracks
* Management Systems: Linkage of training management to enterprise wide systems
* Management Systems: Complete on-line training registration, marketing and administration
* Management Systems: Single storefront for corporate learning
* Technologies for 1999: Form factors such as handheld (palm) computers and hybrid
* Technologies for 1999: Increased push to browser based and push components
* Technologies for 1999: Collaboration and communities of practice supported
* Technologies for 1999: Voice and speech recognition and input
* Technologies for 1999: New fixed media formats and hybrids (e.g.. DVD)
* Business Models: Component reselling of content from training providers
* Business Models: How to develop on-line training in a profitable fashion
* Business Models: Advertiser supported learning
* Business Models: Emergence of consolidators and reseller channels
* Topic Areas to Watch: Linked use of on-line learning for customers with e-commerce
* Topic Areas to Watch: Explosive growth of K-12 homework sites
* Topic Areas to Watch: Virtual association and communities of practice models
* Topic Areas to Watch: Social interfaces for learning
* Topic Areas to Watch: "Zero-Latency" role for on-line learning and training
* Topic Areas to Watch: Performance Consulting and Knowledge Management

4. Questions on Corporate and Government Learning Managers
* What should be our 3 year plan for adding learning technology to our organization?
* How do we choose the most appropriate content for each training topic or project?
* With technology changing so rapidly, what is a relatively safe investment strategy?
* When will we have industry wide standards for learning content to protect our investment?
* How can we integrate our training management systems with HR enterprise wide databases?
* What can be done to allow learners to operate in a high interruption environment?
* Are we going to need to provide technical support for learning technologies? Who provides it?
* When will we be able to see highly motivating, simulation based corporate learning content?
* Show us best of breed examples of learning that we can use as role models!
* With the learning marketplace at high volatility, which providers will make it, merge it or disappear?
* When will be able to deliver high quality video and audio to our desktops over our corporate networks?
* If we build it, will they come?
* Who should drive and lead the push to technology mediated learning?
* What are the role, skill and attitude changes needed for training professionals?

These "bullets of importance" are not meant to be all inclusive. We will expand on them at TechLearn '98 and through TechLearn Trends in the coming months. Our industry is rapidly changing and we invite you to be at the center of the dialogue.

Respectfully submitted:
Elliott Masie, The MASIE Center

There are 100 spaces available for TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th), Disney World, Orlando Florida. Affordable airfares and hotels available. Join 1,756 of your colleagues for 4 days of "Reinventing Training". Go to http://www.techlearn.com or call 800-98-MASIE.
Thursday
Oct291998

81 - Robert Reich on The Company of the Future; Taking the Distance Out of Distance and On-Line Learning

1. Robert Reich on The Company of the Future: Robert Reich, the former U.S. Labor Secretary and one of the TechLearn '98 Keynoters, has just published a great article entitled: The Company of the Future. Secretary Reich has asked that TechLearn '98 participants read the on-line version of the article as a prep for his keynote speech. The article makes a series of persuasive points about the role of learning in a knowledge economy and the impact of technology on learning. The complete article can be found at http://www.fastcompany.com/online/19/comfuture.html I would love to collect some comments about the article to share with Secretary Reich before his speech on Tuesday, November 16th. Send them to emasie@masie.com. and we will pass them along to him.

2. Taking the Distance Out of Distance and On-Line Learning: We are pleased to announce that we have just added two free 2 and 1/2 hour pre-conference workshops at TechLearn '98 on Sunday, November 15th. David Arch, from Bob Pike's Creative Training Techniques group, will be presenting a new seminar called: Taking the Distance Out of Distance and On-Line Learning. David will address strategies to make sure that distance learning isn't as boring as some of our worst fears. Creative training techniques can be applied to alternative delivery, so we can focus on learning processes rather than the experience of the technology. If you are attending the TechLearn '98 Conference, just go to the convention center at either 10 am or 2 pm. No need to pre-register for this free session. If you would like to attend TechLearn, info is at http://www.techlearn.com We will provide a summary of this skills workshop in a future edition of Trends.

3. Response to USA Today Article Hitting Training: Readers will probably remember the note in Trends about an USA Today article that took a big slam at the world of training. I received about 100 emails from readers that ranged from anger to support for the position. Clearly, there are lots of training programs that are way off base from a performance and effectiveness position. But, most readers were alarmed at the tone of the article and wanted access to the original researcher's study. We recently received a note from John Mailin at Owens Corning, that shed some light on the article. DDI, a training vendor, did an extensive follow-up to the article and John quoted their message:

DDI contacted the Rutgers researcher cited in the article, Cary Cherniss. His response was as follows: "The point we wished to make (and that we make in the technical report, is that training, including training in the "soft skills," can be extremely effective if it is done well. The core of our report is 22 guidelines for effective training, based on an extensive review of the research literature. I also should add that we have identified 14 'models' that incorporate many of the guidelines and that have a strong research base, and DDI's Interaction Management program is one of them!"

More information about the report can be found at http://www.eiconsortium.org/guidelines_for_best_practice.htm. Cherniss also agrees that the tone of the article was alarmist. Rather than focusing on factors affecting training success, the article emphasized the results of poor choices and implementations. As always, research can be quoted strangely.

4. TechLearn '98 Exploratorium Unveiled: We are putting the final touches on the TechLearn '98 Exploratorium in the next several days. We are excited to announce that this year, conference participants will have 200 PC's to use in this unique hands-on vendor-neutral learning lab. Each workstation will be hooked up to a multiple server network and have T1 access to external sites. The TechLearn intranet will have dozens of examples of on-line and technology delivered learning for attendees to take as learners (since we rarely have time at our desks to be learners of the products we choose). In addition, there will be full functioning editions of major authoring tools and real time on-line learning systems. In addition, 73 TechLearn Sponsors will have resource pages that link to their services and products. Finally, the participants will be getting text and video summaries of sessions as they occur as well as real time streamed editions of the keynote sessions. We are also experimenting with business television and will broadcast several of the sessions to each hotel room at our Disney hotels, including a morning television show: TechLearn TV. To register for this event, just go to http://www.techlearn.com There are 150
spaces available. See you in Orlando (November 15 to 18th)
Tuesday
Oct271998

80 - Special Report From Buffalo, NY: Training & Employment Conference

1. Microsoft NT To Change Name to Windows 2000: Say goodbye to the name NT. Microsoft today announced that starting with NT 5.0 the operating system, workstation and server technology will change it's name to Windows 2000.

NT Workstation 5.0 will become Windows 2000 Professional and will be designed for notebooks and desktops. NT 5.0 server will become Windows 2000 Server and will have features such as Active Directory and Kerberos security, which provides a secure mechanism for verifying the identity of E-mail users. NT 5.0 Enterprise Edition will be dubbed Windows 2000 Advanced Server and will include clustering technology and TCP load balancing.

"While we plan to ship the product in the Year 1999, the year 2000 is a big issue for our customers," said Brad Chase, Microsoft's vice president of Windows marketing and developer relations. "We want to signify that it's ready in a way that shows our customers that we're ready for Y2K. And we want to show that we're ready for the new millennium."

2. High Tech and High Touch Orientation Models: One of the most low expectation training activities is corporate orientation. Almost every training manager I have ever met has expressed frustration with orientations, wishing that they could be very different. Well, we decided to experiment on a few new models of orientation, ranging from high tech to high touch.

We will use 2 different models at TechLearn '98. As each participant arrives in Orlando, they will be asked to participate in two orientation programs for the Conference. The first will be a unique program that we have designed with the Disney Improvisation Comedy Troupe and Diane Hessan, a training veteran and co-author of "Customer Centered Growth". You will have a 45 minute improvisational theater experience covering the core elements of the TechLearn Conference and the strange world of trying to learn and stay fresh at a complex event. Participants will shape their expectations and build learning contracts in a high energy and even entertaining environment.

The other orientation model will be a cutting edge use of streamed video learning objects. Using the latest technology for building meta-tagged video objects, each participant will be able to get a briefing on the core learning components and Exploratorium resources on one of our 200 multi-media computers. Searchable and highly modularized information can be selected that will explain various elements of the Conference.
We will explain both models and their results in a future TechLearn Trends after the conference.

3. Street Technology to Deliver On-Line Learning to AOL Customers: In another indication of the growth of the commercial sector of On-Line Learning, Street Technologies today announced that they have been selected by AOL to be its primary anchor tenant for delivering online tutorial learning to its 14+ million members.

"AOL focuses on consumers, as well as the small business market. Street's extensive catalog was seen as having applicability for both segments, and as a result, can be seen in the Computing Channel for individual consumers, and on the WorkPlace Channel for small businesses that need day to day support. Users can also access the tutorials using Keyword: Computer Tutorials.", said Steve Gott, Vice President of Street Technologies.

Streets' Internet learning business model allows corporations to pay only for the courseware (pay-as-you-go), hosting and administration reporting are included free of charge. For more information see http://www.streetinc.com OR http://www.learninguniversity.com.

4. TechLearn '98 Annual Report to Be Released on Thursday. We will be sending out our annual TechLearn Annual Report to all Trends readers on Thursday. This will be a special edition of the report and will also serve as background dialogue for the upcoming TechLearn Conference. In it we look at 10 key trends in the training, learning and technology fields. Watch for the report tomorrow as a text file and link on the website. If you would like to register for TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th in Orlando) just go to http://www.techlearn.com. There are 175 spaces available and lots of inexpensive flights and hotels available.
Monday
Oct261998

79 - Honoring the Informal Learning and Education Process; Tips for Keeping Eyes Alive While Computing

1. Honoring the Informal Learning and Education Process: During a conversation with training colleagues from around the world, a heated discussion erupted about the difference between FORMAL and INFORMAL learning and training. My colleague from Pakistan, Anita Ghulam Ali, from the Sindh Government Education Foundation, made the passionate point that the bulk of learning is INFORMAL, yet the bulk of the world's training efforts in distance and on-line learning are targeted at the FORMAL side of the equation.

INFORMAL education includes the smaller chunks of learning, the key skills and information sets that are smaller than formal courses, learned from peers and experience and rarely have a structure surrounding them. While distance learning efforts that provide degree and certification courses are helping those in search of that dimension of training, there is a much larger and often unmet need for the INFORMAL side. Even the language of administration may need to be changed to attract the informal learner. When we ask them to "register" for a class, even a short one, we are providing the feel of the formal institution. Different terms like "member" rather than student or "tips" rather than "classes" are powerful substitutions.

One tip was to make a list of the characteristics of the people from within your organization that are NOT attending your classes or on-line offerings. In all likelihood, these folks are involved in parallel INFORMAL learning programs. By monitoring the demographics of the non-participants we can better target the entire workforce with new offerings.

2. Tips for Keeping Eyes Alive While Computing: The more we sit in front of our computers, the more at risk we place our vision. Here are some great tips from a recent story in Knight Rider Newspapers:

* Top of screen should be placed at or slightly below eye level. Looking down at the screen at an angle of 10 to 20 degrees prevents straining.
* Sit with your eyes 20 to 26 inches from the screen.
* Arrange lighting to reduce glare. Placing a regular incandescent lamp next to the screen can minimize focusing changes that occur in rooms with florescent lighting.
* Keep reference materials as close to the screen while keyboarding to reduce frequent head and eye movements with dramatic focusing changes.
* Frequent blinking is important. High intensity computer users should consider lubricating eye drops.

3. TechLearn Problem Solution Sessions Unfold: The design of TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18, 1998) involves a special learning model we call the Problem/Solution Sessions. There will be over 100 of these sessions at this year's conference. The Problem Solution Sessions are highly interactive dialogues and brainstorming sessions, led by a TechLearn participant, aimed a hot topic or question. We intentionally program these as close to the conference as possible, to make sure we are aligned with the breaking news topics in our industry. Each of these sessions lasts 1 hour and will be fully documented with both notes and a video interview with the facilitator, so they can be viewed by all TechLearn participants. Here is the first batch of Sessions. We will announce additional sessions in each of the upcoming Trends newsletters:

* Corporate Culture and the Shift to Non-Traditional Models of Training
* Busting the Myths about Online Learning in your Organization
* It's a Whole New Ball Game: Moving Training to the Internet - What Works, What Doesn't
* Getting the Picture: Using and Improving Videoconferencing in Training
* Borrowing "Training Wheels" for Software Rollout Training
* Facilitating the Shift to Self-Directed Learning
* The Corporate Knowledge Base: From Data Storage to Shared Learning
* A Technology Endeavor: One Third Technology and Two Thirds Getting People to Use It.
* Reinventing the Measures of Training Effectiveness
* Technology Training: How Many Approaches Does it Take?

There are 190 spaces left at TechLearn '98. Orlando has many low priced air fares left and we have room at our Conference Hotels. Go to http://www.techlearn.com for details and instant registration.



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Thursday
Oct221998

78 - Special Report from Tokyo, Japan - Learning & Development Futures

1. Learning and Technology as Tools for Economic Development: I have been in Tokyo for the past several days attending the Learning & Development Futures Search Workshop, sponsored by the Asian Development Bank Institute. It has been an incredible learning experience, with representatives from countries as diverse as China, Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Pakistan, Philippines and Kazakjstan (former Soviet Union). The questions that we have been tackling with center on the potential for LEARNING (formal and informal education) and TECHNOLOGY to be used as tools for Economic and Social DEVELOPMENT. Here are a few lines from the notes that I have been taking during our dialogues:

* Almost 80% of the world's population has never made a telephone call. One must keep this in mind as we talk about the information superhighway in truly global terms.
* Rural schools without paid or professional teachers are key problems in several of the countries. The potential for on-line or distance learning has enormous potential to supplement community mentors in these schools.
* Our colleague from China reported on a distance learning program with 1/2 million participants and sketched the size of the educational reform efforts in a country with 230 million learners in K to 12.
* The desire to run learning via technology through cultural metaphors to create regional models that are appropriate to each area.
* Governments' struggles with the loss of control brought on with information technologies.
* Awareness of the need to address national IT skills gaps and to integrate IT training into educational policy.

The MASIE Center will continue our participation in this dialogue. At TechLearn '98 we will invite you to join in a discussion on how learning technology can (or cannot) address development issues throughout the world. We will also post a link to the proceedings from this event, including audio interviews with the delegates early next week.

2. Silence Ads on Web Sites via Filter: On-line marketers won't like this new technology! If you have wondered when there would be an "advertisement filter" available, check out this new one. Go to http://www.intermute.com and see a new filter that will shelter the viewer from a range of on-screen ads. Matt Frazer in our lab has tested this software and deems it "deeply effective". You have a range of options of filtering and the software can be downloaded and tested before purchase. (Price is $19.95)

3 Oops: URL Correction for Learning Market Site. Writing Trends from the road after a 13 hour flight led to a bit of typo on my part. The correct url for the Learning Market site mentioned in the last issue is http://www.learningmarket.com Sorry!

4. Current Training Practices Collected at TechLearn '98. When we asked some participants in the upcoming TechLearn '98 conference for their wish list of outcomes, they all stated wanting to come away with a sense of what other organizations are doing in their efforts to "reinvent training". During TechLearn '98 we will collect and disseminate a broad set of practices from all of our participants. We will ask each participant to complete a quick Current Practices survey, using our Exploratorium Lab (200 PC's). This information will be posted in real time and will allow you to connect with organizations using similar practices and at different stages of experimenting with learning and technology.

We will also collect data at each of our General Sessions using over 1,000 audience response keypads to gather the largest set of Benchmarking Data. Finally, every one of our Problem Solutions Sessions will be led by a TechLearn Coach who will document the brainstorming and data collected for posting on our intranet and will be videotaped for dissemination on our Exploratorium intranet.

To register (there are about 200 spaces left), go to http://www.techlearn.com or call 800-98-MASIE.

Hotel Update: We have rooms available at the Dixie Landings and one other hotel on our continuous bus shuttle.



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Monday
Oct191998

77 - Special Report From Tokyo, Japan: Learning & Development Workshop

1. Zero Latency Concept & Training. Watch your CIO's emails for use of a new term: Zero Latency. This concept, introduced by the well-respected Gartner Group, is focused on using the latest technologies and business processes to reduce toward zero the amount of time it takes for vital information to reach applications and people that can act on it. It was the buzz of their recent CIO conference and you will see it rapidly appear in IT strategy memos.

Zero Latency creates a strong role for a flexible learning department. As the emphasis is placed on integrating technology and business processes, it is a green light for training approaches that can assist with productivity. will be addressing Zero Latency and Training in my opening keynote at TechLearn '98 next month. We believe that training departments can use the Zero Latency analysis to position their services as aimed at both reducing cycle times and integrating the power of data and business processes.
To read an article about Zero Latency: http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/news/0907/09egart.html

2. Fingerprint Logon Now $99: Another advance in the verification of users via biometrics has ht the market at a very affordable price. For as little as $99, a user can verify their identity by scanning their fingerprint with a small peripheral that is attached to a PC. Check U.are.U is a small profile fingerprint recognition technology that can be used as a front end to Windows applications. In the future, watch for this genre to be used to continually verify the identity or remote learners or test takers. Check out their website at www.digitalpersona.com

3. New On-Line Store for Learning Products Opens: A new store has opened up on the internet carrying a wide range of CD-ROM and technology delivered learning resources. The LearningMarket www.learningmarket.com has opened with a collection of disks, videos and books from well-known publishers and authors. This is another example of the maturation of the training industry, as distributors go on-line with offerings. Watch for a burst of activity as digital distributors hit the street.

4. Trainers: Don't Forget Carpal Tunnel and Repetitive Stress Syndrome. The other night I had a major nightmare. I dreamt that it was 20 years down the line and we were just finding out the physical impacts of being the first generation to spend thousands of hours at the keyboard and inches away from a screen. It is so important to keep addressing the ergonomic considerations of workplace computing. For one, I am concerned that a large majority of my typing is now on a laptop, where the angle of my fingers is even more severe than on my office keyboard. Trainers, be sure to keep raising these issues with your learners. Even experienced IT professionals need to be reminded that we are working at angles that might be fairly dangerous to our health.

5. TechLearn Collaborative Partners with PCWeek for Wireless Shootout: The TechLearn Collaborative, a project of The MASIE Center has been assisting PCWeek Labs in their most recent shoot-out, focusing on the role that wireless handheld computing would have on the learning and productivity of field based workers. Judy Brown, a Collaborative member and a PC Week Corporate Partner, spearheaded our involvement. Check out the results at: http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,360947,00.html

6. Learning & Development Dialogue in Japan. We are in Tokyo for a three day dialogue on the role of learning, training and technology on economic and social development in the Asia region. 38 of our colleagues from countries throughout Asia (Vietnam, China, Laos, Japan and more) and learning resources from other parts of the world will be tackling the question: How Does Training & Learning Impact Economic and Social Development? If you would like to have input into this conversation, send me an email to emasie@maise.com and I will share your comments with the folks at the meeting. We will post a summary of the dialogue later this month.

7. Scratch 'n Sniff Learning @ TechLearn '98: I've always like the concept of scratch 'n sniff advertising. Remember those little cards that smelled like watermelon when you scratched them. Anyone my age remember Scent 'o Rama Movies? Well, we will take the concept to a new level at TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18, 1998 in Orlando, FL). We have built a 200 PC Exploratorium that will be your scratch and sniff learning lab. Imagine taking an hour or more to just sit and be a learner with a wide range of new models of on-line approaches. No salespeople in sight. Just you and your fingers to really get under the hood of more than a hundred classes and courses. It is a rare opportunity to be in an interrupt-free zone to scratch and sniff your way to better understanding the Good, The Bad and the Ugly of new learning models. To access the TechLearn '98 site for information and on-line registration: http://www.techlearn.com
Thursday
Oct151998

76 - Special Report From Hartford, CT - Meetings of the Future Meeting

1. Starbright Links Children's Hospital Units Via Technology - Spielberg Project: There are many different applications using on-line learning and collaboration. Starbright uses these new tools in a unique way: to link children with serious illnesses to their peers Sick children can be lonely and scared. They are often isolated and forced to learn a vocabulary that should burden no child� "chemotherapy", "transplant," "isolation." Through the creation of projects that encourage children to overcome the challenges that accompany prolonged illness, STARBRIGHT gives them something back�their childhoods.

We are pleased to announce that The MASIE Center will make a $25,000 donation on behalf of the attendees of TechLearn '98. In addition, we will give each attendee 25 TechLearn Dollars that they may donate to Starbright to support their many projects.

STARBRIGHT is chaired by filmmaker Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. To hear Spielberg describe the impact of STARBRIGHT World, which we will feature at TechLearn '98, go to http://www.starbright.org/press/screening.html Starbright is also releasing multi-media training programs on CD-ROM for helping kids deal with upcoming hospital procedures and the impact of diabetes. Technology and learning at work!

TechLearn '98 will address how our industry can support this important project via local and national corporate sponsorships. The systems will be demonstrated and Starbright staff will address how the training and learning industry can build a new coalition of training and technology groups to support these efforts. What a great way to extend our collective belief in learning and collaboration!


2. Survey Results: PCs and Sound: Here are the preliminary results from our most recent TechLearn Trends Survey. We asked readers to indicate the percentage of the desktop PC's in their organizations were equipped to deliver audio. Here are the percentages of desktops with soundcards and speakers or headsets in organizations:

23% of Readers Report 100% Sound Ready PC's
22% of Readers Report 75% Sound Ready PC's
17% of Readers Report 50% Sound Ready PC's
32% of Readers Report 25% Sound Ready PC's
6% of Readers Report No Sound Ready PC's

There were 1,554 responses to this survey. In follow-up dialogues, a good number of readers indicated that while many PC's had sound cards, there were a limited number of speakers or headsets distributed. A few organizations had "pulled" sound after managers complained about workers listening to music or playing games at their desktops. Once again, the home based PC is more likely to be sound enabled than the work based PC. Final results and more analysis will be posted on our website in the next week. Thanks for the responses!

3. Centra Positions Tools for Sales Applications: As a sign of the evolution of the on-line learning world, we are starting to see tools that are aimed at vertical applications, such as sales. Centra announced yesterday the release of their new version of the Symposium Software. They now have customized their collaboration and teaching tool for use by organizations wanting to add technology to their sales process. Centra has created solutions aimed at events such as Product Launches, Virtual Sales Team Support, Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning.

I spoke by telephone yesterday with their CEO, Leon Navickas. He said their targeting of the sales function was the natural evolution of on-line learning tools from generalized applications to business related processes. It makes lots of sense, as sales is a key process that organizations want to address for reduced cycle time, higher responsiveness and lower expense. Check out their announcements at http://www.centra.com

4. Fixing Cadillacs and Fixing Missiles: TechLearn '98 Working Examples: TechLearn '98 is based on active learning models. In the lobby of the conference you will find Cadillacs and Missiles. What do they have in common? Both require trained, skilled mechanics to fix complex electronic laden devices. We will provide a up-close demonstration of how technology is being used to teach and coach staff working with these devices...and how the skills could be transferable between the military and government sectors. Join the Department of Defense's ADL Project and General Motors to see a glimpse of how speech recognition and performance support technology will change the face of learning in the future. To register for TechLearn '98, please go to http://www.techlearn.com or call 800-98-MASIE. Please register soon, as space is limited!
Monday
Oct121998

75 - Observations on DVD as Multi-Path Learning Format; Triggers for Computer Training Shift from Products to Business

1. Duke's On-Line/Residential Executive MBA for Only $85,800: Anyone who thought that On-Line Learning was going to be a low-priced commodity offering should check out the new The Global Executive MBA Program from
Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Over the course of 18 months, participants will participate in a wide range of distance learning activities, as well as convene for briefings in 5 different locations around the world. Technologies will include ICQ for collaboration and faculty access, live lectures via Real Audio and other web oriented resources. Oh, by the way, the $85,800 includes a laptop and printer, but not the travel to the 5 international locations. Details at: http://www2.fuqua.duke.edu/admin/gemba/index.html

2. Observations on DVD as Multi-Path Learning Format: The Masie household added a new gadget over the weekend, a SONY DVD Video Player. This $475 player hooked up to our TV and opened up an intriguing world of "Multi-Path Learning". We inserted a DVD disk (looking like a CD), of the recent movie: "As Good As It Gets", starring Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson. In addition, to great video and audio quality, the intriguing stuff were the "extras" that were included on the disk. Background notes on the movie, multiple languages of sub-titles and a unique feature called "audio track alternatives". After watching the flick, you can take a second pass through the film and hear the stars and director comment on each scene. It was a gas to hear Helen Hunt talk about how she set up the motivation for a dialogue line and to hear the director's decisions about how to film a scene.

This is a unique model of Multi-Path Learning. Take a subject and allow a learner to take multiple paths through the content, each from a different perspective. Imagine a customer service incident on video showing both sides of the interaction. Using DVD, one could add five or six perspectives on five different audio tracks. For example, with the press of a button a learner could hear the perspective from the customer's, staff's, manager's and even an academic point of view. As DVD becomes more popular at home, consumers will come to expect multi-path learning and it will become more of a reality in our workplaces. If you get access to a DVD player, check out the James Taylor at the Beacon Theater concert...awesome! (A good FAQ list for DVD is at: http://www.dvdexpress.com/consumer/faq-tech.asp )

3. Microsoft Partners with Multiple Resources for On-Line Learning: To see the diversity of on-line resources that are being developed in the field, take a peek at Microsoft's partners. Over the past two years, Microsoft has been aligning with a wide range of content, integration, tool, delivery platform and training providers in the on-line learning field. Check out a view of this partnership collection at their web site: http://www.microsoft.com/train_cert/olic/partlist.htm Take a tour of their various partners and you will get an immediate sense of the growing sophistication and diversity in this market. Hats off to Sam Adkins and Marsha Kabakov for weaving these relationships.

4. Triggers for Computer Training Shift from Products to Business: The end-user computer training field is shifting dramatically as it de-emphasizes product releases and focuses on business goals. A few years ago the bulk of computer training classes were "triggered" by new products and major upgrades. Remember when news of the release of the next release of a desktop package like word processing sent hordes of learners to corporate training classrooms. Four years ago, the key "triggers" were:
* Release of Upgrades
* Waves of Users Converting from One Platform to Another
* Waves of First Time Computer Users
* Organizations Computerizing Functions for the First Time

Now, many of these conditions are hard to find at corporate locations. Most workers have their PC, most have a core set of applications and the rate of dramatic upgrades has decreased. In their place are a new set of "triggers" for end-user computer training:

* New Business Processes (e.g.. Sales Force Automation - changing the process for remote sales force)
* Productivity Objectives (e.g.. Using Spreadsheets to Track Inventory - targeted at closer alignment of applications with specific job tasks)
* Platform Integration (e.g.. Accessing SAP From Your Spreadsheet - targeted at integrating the corporate data bases with PC applications)
* Content Development (e.g.. Posting Reports on Corporate Intranets - targeted at harnessing the "net" for content and transactions)

This is an exciting shift. While there are lots of learners taking core classes, the WAVES of training are now being "triggered" by these business drivers rather than the release of a new piece of software.

5. TechLearn '98 Opens Second Hotel - Adds Sessions on Performance: We are pleased to announce that we have opened up a second hotel for TechLearn '98. Blocks of rooms are now available at Disney's Dixie Landings with continuous bus shuttles for the short ride to the sessions at our convention center.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that industry leaders Lance Dublin, Marc Rosenberg and Diane Hessan will be presenting major sessions on topics including Training to Performance, Women in Technology and Under the Hood of a Performance Solution.

Complete information and on-line registration is available at http://www.techlearn.com We would encourage TechLearn Trends readers to make their reservations as soon as possible. (TechLearn '98 will be held on November 15 to 18th in Orlando, Florida).
Thursday
Oct081998

74 - Special Report from Seattle, WA - Boeing Corporation

1. USA Today Report Slams Corporate Training Programs: Yesterday's USA Today carried a short article that took a hard swipe at corporate training programs. Citing several studies, without details, the paper claimed in the headline that shouted: "Experts: Billions wasted on skills training". While one could never deny that there are significant quantities of poor training, the article was quite unbalanced. I received several emails from readers of this newsletter who had the article thrown at them by senior executives.

We are compiling a detailed analysis of the survey mentioned in the article and will issue an alternative view in a future press release.

2. New York University Creates For-Profit Subsidiary for On-Line Learning: Moving to become a major player in the emerging market for education on the Internet, New York University plans to create a for-profit subsidiary that will develop and sell specialized online courses to other colleges, corporate training centers, as well as students who simply prefer to attend class at home.

The move is a direct response to what many educators see as the biggest challenge to higher education: the rise of profit-making institutions, like the University of Phoenix, which threaten to use the Internet to siphon off some of academia's most profitable courses -- continuing education for adult learners -- and leave universities only in the expensive business of undergraduate education. They are even flirting with taking the new venture public through a future IPO. For the details of this story, go to New York Times at
http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/98/10/biztech/articles/07nyu.html

3. Finance IQnet, Corporate Financial Training Site Wins Award: Finance IQnet has won a major award at the New York Festivals, a competition for multi-media and web based programs. Strategic Management Group (SMGnet) is the developer of this innovative program.

The FIQnet is an integrated site that includes learning modules, real time business simulations, interactive job aids, assessment and mastery tests, application tools, on-line expert video and audio clips and many other value-added features. The Financial IQnet helps users learn about financial management and better communicate more effectively with financial managers, accountants, business planners, investors and bankers. This product is an example of the next generation learning and performance integration. Information on SMGnet and a demonstration of their Java Based Simulations can be found at http://www3.smginc.com/smgnet/

4. Audio Beams to Deliver Sound to Individuals Without Headphones: Beth DuPont, The MASIE Center's Research Director, sent along this item:
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab are vying with acoustical engineers at American Technology Corporation to be the first to deliver an addressable audio beam that can carry a narrowly focused sound to a specific recipient. The technology under development uses a parametric array to send sound through the air in a tight beam. The result could one day be a public address system that could target a specific worker on a shop floor, for instance, or a museum loudspeaker that could describe an exhibit only to the people standing right in front of it.
Imagine this as an alternative way to deliver coaching and learning support to a worker without the need for headphones or speakers.

5. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin Debuts at TechLearn '98: While TechLearn '98 is loaded with content, sessions, dialogues and technology/learning demonstration, this item is all about fun. (Hey, that's a part of the fun on throwing a learning festival for the training industry!).

Yesterday, Disney informed us that their latest interactive attraction will be opening right before TechLearn and will be part of your night at our special Disney/MASIE Center Party at Tomorrowland. Here is their email to us: "TechLearn participants and their families will be among the very first folks on earth to participate in our new Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. They will enter the playful world of toys where they join Buzz Lightyear on a daring mission to save the universe. Piloting your own XP-38 Space Cruisers, you spin though various scenes scaled to the size of toys. Vehicles are fitted with a joystick steering mechanism and twin laser cannons. It's an interactive outer space adventure taking trainers and technology folks of all ages "To infinity and beyond!"

While I wouldn't include this in your memo to justify attendance at TechLearn, this is a cool side benefit. Plus, we have the whole park to ourselves that night..no lines at Space Mountain! TechLearn '98 will be held in Orlando, Florida from November 15 to 18th. Web site: http://www.techlearn.com

(I have had the privilege of working with training leaders from several groups within Boeing Corporation over the past few days. They are taking a hard look at how technology and learning will fit together in the years ahead. It is key to get cross-company cooperation on the process of inventing the future of learning and technology. Hat's off to Boeing on this effort!)
Tuesday
Oct061998

73 - Special Report from Corning, New York - Schools & Technology Events

1. Managing the Demand Side of Knowledge Management: The more we look under the hood at the Knowledge Management products and services coming to the marketplace, the more the focus seems askew. Most Knowledge Management efforts seem focused on increasing the amount of information that will be available to employees. Sure, we need to make sure that the RIGHT information is available to the RIGHT people to make the RIGHT decisions. Yet, the bias towards increasing the supply side of knowledge and information worries me.

Most folks are complaining about having TOO MUCH information already. Many are overwhelmed by the flow of information to their desktops already, before major knowledge management systems are dropped into place. A colleague of mine that is in the top echelon of knowledge management consultants shared this fear with me off the record. He is more concerned with impacting the DEMAND side of the knowledge economy within an organization. We share the worry that some of the IT focus of the knowledge management industry is ignoring the weakening appetite for additional bits of information, no matter how helpful.

2. New On-Line Learning System from ReCor and Free Course: ReCor has launched a new on-line learning system entitled SkillSpace. This is a java-enabled system that allows organizations to deliver and administer courses on-line without the learner having to download the contents to their desktop. To demonstrate the functionality of SkillSpace, ReCor is offering a free on-line class. With four lessons from ReCor's Network Based Training for Netscape Communicator 4.0, the course provides interactive training in a simulated Netscape Communicator environment. Check out this new product and sample course at http://www.skillspace.com

3. Schools & Technology: It is Not About Wiring!: I spent a wonderful day on Monday with several hundred school administrators, teachers and community leaders in the Corning, New York area. They are tackling the critical issue of how to proceed with technology in the schools. Here are a few items that surfaced during my presentation and dialogues:

* It is not about wiring or hardware. The conversation in schools needs to switch to content, collaboration, community and learning models for technology. The power of the internet is shifting the dialogue to a vision of how information will be used in the lives of the students and their families, not just about dropping in a few PC's into the back of the classroom.
* Technology will shift twice in the next six years. Nobody can really predict the pathway of future technology. Will wireless LAN's replace Ethernet in schools? Will Palm-like devices be the form factor of choice? Will voice recognition make its way into classrooms? Yet, schools don't need to make these bets. They do need to have a value base of how to evaluate new and emerging technologies for their benefit to the learning mission and to develop a process for experimenting short of the bleeding edge.
* Community leaders can help shape the technology decisions. I was impressed with the role that community groups, like the Corning Corporation are playing in this process. Schools cannot make these decisions in isolation. There are great resources waiting to be invited into the process that can bring strong IT and management visions to the table.

At TechLearn '98 we will add a session to look at the ways in which training and technology professionals can assist school districts with their computer and learning planning.

4. Disney Behind the Scene Tours Now Open at TechLearn '98: With just 6 weeks until TechLearn '98, we are pleased to announce that there will be 4 special Behind the Scene's Tours of Disney and a one day trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. On Sunday, November 15th, participants in TechLearn and their families can choose an optional 1/2 day or full day tour of the inner workings of Disney or the launch site for America's space program. The MASIE Center has arranged for these tours which will take you under the tunnels at Disney, explore Disney's approach to design or focus in on the gardening methods used at the parks. Or, you can hop on a bus and visit the launch site for the Space Shuttle (which will be carrying Senator Glenn in just a few weeks). These tours are open to TechLearn '98 participants and their families and have an admission fee. For information about these tours or to register for TechLearn '98, just to http://www.techlearn.com

5. Trends Adds 20,000 Reader: TechLearn Trends is proud to announce that we now have over 20,000 readers. This publication started at the end of November 1997 with just 935 readers. It has grown steadily and we thank our readers for their involvement, emails and thank you notes. In the next year we hope to continue this model of a short, targeted and opinionated update for the learning and technology field. Thanks! Elliott Masie