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TechLearn Trends FLASH

TechLearn Readers... FLASH.... July 29, 1999 From: Elliott Masie

A major announcement was made today in the learning and training industry.

IBM's Lotus Development Division today announced that they are purchasing
Macromedia's Pathware learning management system. In addition, Lotus will
distribute Macromedia's Authorware, Director, Attain Objects for
Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash products.

This brings Pathware into the same group at Lotus that currently develops
and market's Lotus Learning Space. I recently met with IBM's Learning
Services Group and this announcement adds fuel to the perception that
they are taking the learning services opportunity very seriously.

The learning industry continues its consolidation evolution. Details on
this deal at

NOTE: Both Macromedia and Lotus are Sponsors of our TechLearn '99
Conference (


136 - A Story from Brazil: A Teaching Moment; Laptop Clicking in Class?

1. A Story from Brazil: A Teaching Moment - One of our colleagues from
Brazil, Eduardo Ramos -
Instituto de Formacao Internet - Infnet sent us this story which has a great
message for trainers:

"Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took
her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted
a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the
opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose
and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE." When
the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother
returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly,
the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on

"In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard,
innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." At that moment, the
great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and
whispered in he boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then leaning over,
Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part.
Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he
added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice
transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience.
The audience was mesmerized."

2. Questions about Language Training: A reader of TechLearn Trends is in
need of some benchmarking information about the extent of Language Training
in organizations. Here are her questions:

1. What is the average cost of teaching a language to an employee?
2. What percentage of corporations currently offer language training?
3. What percentage of multinationals offer English training in their
non-English speaking offices?
4. What is the current length of time required to learn a language?
5. What percentage of language training is directly related to relocation
6. What percentage of companies offer internal language learning?

If you can help her with answers to any of these questions, just send an
email to and we will pass it along.

3. Laptop Clicking in Class? One of my own trainer nightmares is when
someone arrives in a class and sets up their laptop for note taking. Now, I
know that in the Digital Age, laptops are critical for capturing
information. Yet, as a trainer, I am still a bit in fear of them (in a
non-IT or computer training class). The sound of clicking sometimes drives
me crazy! I recently taught a seminar where there were 15 laptops going,
all with the most aggressive typists. The noise was almost funny. Anyone
have any experiences or policies on laptops in class? Send them to us at

4. Kristin Barton Joins The MASIE Center as Director of Development: We
are pleased to announce that Kristin Barton has joined The MASIE Center as
our new Director of Development. Kristin comes to us from Achieve Global in
Florida, where she worked on a range of projects including research,
marketing and development. Kristin will be leading the Business
Development and Research area at The MASIE Center. In the coming months, we
will be adding additional research and publishing projects, and focusing on
how to best serve the readers of TechLearn Trends. Kristin can be reached

5. Structured Case Studies : We have developed a structure for the Case
Studies at TechLearn '99. Each of the one hour case studies will be
presented by a corporate training or business representative (not a supplier
or vendor). The sessions will be facilitated by a member of the TechLearn
Collaborative and will focus on a SPECIFIC approach to implementing a
learning or training solution. These are the five questions that will be
explored in each TechLearn Case Study:

* What was the business problem or challenge?
* What were your choices for solutions and why did you choose this one?
* What happened - the nuts and bolts! Cost, resources, steps and decisions.
* What were the positive and negative results?
* If you were to do it all over again, how would you do it differently?

We believe that an intellectual format for case studies adds enormous value
for the attendees, focusing on going "under the hood" of colleague's
organizational approach to learning. There will be about 25 TechLearn
Case Studies. We have spaces available for 9 more Case Studies. If you
would like to explore being a case study presenter and would be comfortable
with this format, please send a note to Summaries of
Case Studies will be posted after TechLearn. Information on TechLearn '99
(Oct. 31 to Nov 3 in Orlando, FL) is located at

135 - Instant Messaging Battle Shows Key Role of Digital Collaboration; Tips for Trainers: Rotational Note Taking - Medical students do it!

1. Instant Messaging Battle Shows Key Role of Digital Collaboration - At
the end of last week, a war broke out between AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo over
the format and business models for "instant messaging". Microsoft launched
a new messenger application that could integrate with AOL's installed base.
AOL changed their technology to block it. Microsoft changed it. Yahoo
entered the scene with their messenger. And the heat rises. How this will
all work out in the courts and the court of public opinion remains to be
seen. But, from a TechLearn perspective, it highlights the importance of
the trend towards Digital Collaboration.

People don't want to rely solely on asynchronous email for communicating
with key people. They want to know if YOU are on-line NOW and to touch you
digitally NOW. If I am going to collaborate with a colleague on building a
proposal for a project, being able to SENSE their on-line presence and to
have a granular, short communication with them is vital for moving the work
forward. In the next several years, you will see this arena of
collaboration move forward dramatically. We will have groups of colleagues
in communities of learning, of practice, of collaboration and of production.
And, the field will evolve with new standards, new business models and new
tools for shaping the levels of access that we allow people into our moment
to moment lives.

We will be raising the issues of Digital Collaboration at the upcoming
TechLearn '99 event and at future conferences and telecasts in partnership
with ASTD. The MASIE Center and ASTD believe that Digital Collaboration is
a core topic for businesses and will be the focus of future events and
activities in our partnership.

2. ITTA to Co-Host TechLearn '99: We are pleased to announce that ITTA, The
Information Technology Training Association, will be a co-host of TechLearn
'99. I have been a former Board Member and long time member of ITTA and we
are very excited that they are joining us as a co-host of TechLearn '99.
Here is the announcement from Doug Upchurch, the Executive Director of ITTA:

"ITTA's decision to co-host TechLearn and more importantly the Computer & IT
Training Convention was a strategic decision on behalf of our membership.
Many ITTA members have benefited from the insights and information that past
TechLearn conferences have brought them. With the addition of the Computer
& IT Training Convention, more opportunities for insight and information are
available to ITTA members. As well, we welcome the introduction of our
international network of IT Education professionals to the TechLearn
attendees in hopes that they will also find value in our mission and work
of, 'Shaping and Supporting IT Education for the Future.'

ITTA members will receive a $100 discount at TechLearn. Sign up now at

3. Portal Sites Launched: Last week, two portal sites opened up on the
Internet for purchasing learning. Asymetrix launched the Click2Learn
Portal Site. It is a content authoring
and selling focused site, with early entries in a wide range of topics from
established training companies.

Seventh Street renamed itself and launched a new learning portal
site at They are running a storefront model for
aggregating content for on-line delivery.

Watch for at least 10 more portal sites to be launched between now and
January 1st.

4. Knowledge Management and Business Alignment of Learning Themes at
Microsoft Fusion Conference: I gave several speeches and keynotes at
Microsoft's FUSION and CTEC Conferences that just ended in San Francisco.
The key themes of Knowledge Management and
Business Alignment of Learning were echoed in many of the sessions and
keynotes. Bill Gates presented his view of the next wave of technology
impact and focused on the need to enhance the skill base of integrating
technology with business processes and to leverage technology as a knowledge
management capability. The conversations were clearly aiming towards an
expanding role of learning, extending the impact beyond traditional
classroom offerings focused on a specific software package to an emphasis on
the competencies needed to create a business solution (eg. setting up an
e-commerce or customer service site).

5. Tips for Trainers: Rotational Note Taking - Medical students do it!
They rotate the role of note taking around the group. One person has
detailed note taking roles for an hour and then duplicates (or posts) the
results for everyone in the class. I use that technique in technical
classes and it works very well. For 60 minutes a person has the role of
note taking and then passes it along to the next person in class. Everyone
gets a copy of the group notes, as well as taking whatever level of personal
notes they want. It works!

TechLearn '99 Update: Oct 31 to Nov 3rd - Orlando, Florida - Over 1,432
Registered Already!
* Jazz Band Selected for TechLearn: We are pleased to announce that a
Seattle based jazz band, comprised of high school great musicians, has been
formed to provide the musical context for TechLearn '99. Welcome The Jazz
Continuum. They are awesome and will provide music at every General
Session and for Bill Cosby's session. Coordinated by Gabe McCormick, son
of Marsha Kabakov from Microsoft, this group of young musicians will astound
you with their music and spirit. We are also planning to produce a CD of
their music to raise money for Starbright, one of the TechLearn charities.
* CEU's Available for TechLearn: If you want to obtain Continuing
Education Units for your attendance at TechLearn, we have created a
partnership with Idaho State University to bring that option to you. More
details will be available in September.
* Resource Suitcase for Every Participant: Each participant at TechLearn
will leave with an additional suitcase. We don't have an Expo or Trade
Show at TechLearn. So, we have done the information gathering for you. You
will receive a "Roll-On" Suitcase, with a handle and wheels, chocked full
with information from the TechLearn Sponsors. Videotapes, CD's and other
info that you can take back to your office and share with colleagues,
without having to walk around a crowded Expo. And, you get to keep the
suitcase for your next journey.
* International Perspectives @ TechLearn: We will have case studies from a
variety of overseas groups to add an international flair to the event.
* Decision Support Lab: We will demonstrate how to use a classroom as a
Decision Support Lab, to facilitate group writing, development and decisions
making. Very cool stuff!
PLEASE REGISTER SOON! We plan on filling all of the seats at TechLearn and
would like to accommodate you and your colleagues. Just go to

134 - The QUESTION MARKS in On-Line Learning; Protect Thy Domain: Check and Protect Ownership; E-Commerce Transactions Grow in Training Industry

1. The QUESTION MARKS in On-Line Learning? Lately, I have been adding a
cautious question mark at the end of the phrase On-Line Learning. Here are
some of the reasons why:

* Should we call it On-Line Learning? We believe that the phrase on-line
learning is a transitional one. Ultimately, we want to focus on the content
rather than the delivery. In fact, some of the major corporations
implementing learning over the intranet have consciously decided to NOT CALL
IT On-Line Learning. "We want to make all of our offerings LEARNING, with
the emphasis on the content and skills rather than the location and delivery
system", says Sue Holmes from Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

* Does it work YET? Some On-Line Learning really is effective. Other
pieces of On-Line Learning are at the early stage of development? And,
other stuff is just boring. The same could be said true of classroom
training. So, the key is to not posit On-Line Learning as THE solution or
as a DONE deal, rather as an area of exploration and expansion. Let's not
get caught up in the "e-makes it hot" fad. Clearly, technology will play a
key role in knowledge transfer...let's not make it !. We are still at the ?

So, at TechLearn '99, we will be positing the phrase On-Line Learning?, with
a question mark, to make sure we address these and other key questions
around effectiveness, branding and titling. We believe that the
conversation is do we build the best use and blend of
technologies and delivery, including classrooms, for learning in the digital

2. Protect Thy Domain: Check and Protect Ownership. Make sure that your
domain name is safe. Do a scan of who owns the .org and .net version of
your domain names. We recently were surprised to find that a competitor
had registered the .net and .org versions of our domain names for one of our
conferences. Luckily, we have the Federal Trademark for TechLearn and were
able to get the domains changed from pointing to their site. If you want to
check out who owns the variations on your corporate domains go to:

3. Learning Quotation: Horace Mann

"Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great
equalizer of the conditions of men -- the balance-wheel of the social
machinery. "
- Horace Mann, considered to one of the "fathers" of American Public

4. E-Commerce Transactions Grow in Training Industry: I was asked recently
about how e-commerce is changing the business side of the training and
learning field. There is a profound and rapid shift towards the use of
on-line transactions for the registration of people coming to events,
seminars and conferences. On a recent survey, we found that 82% of training
managers wanted to be able to have registrations for learning events totally
self-service in the next 12 months. At The MASIE Center, we have found
this to be a profound change. For example, three years ago, only 9% of
attendees for TechLearn registered over the web. In 1998, we had 35 to 50%
register on-line. This year, we have take 92% of our registrations via
on-line methods. That means that 92% of 1,421 attendees have gone on-line
and completed the transaction. And, all before we send out a printed
brochure. This means that we can shift the marketing budget from large
brochures to investing in content. It also means that our phones ring a lot
less and we can dedicate more of our customer service time to exceptions
rather than core transactions. (Go to to see our
on-line registration process).

5. learningauction to Expand: Bill Cosby Meeting For Auction + Procurement
Section Coming: Now, a meeting with Bill Cosby is up on the auction block
at We have folks bidding to meet Dr. Cosby
in a small reception at TechLearn (for charity). There are now over
200 items up for auction at this NO FEE site.

Coming Soon: We will be adding a Request for Bids Procurement Section. Corporations and organizations can post their requirements for training and learning products and services and receive responses from providers. Starting in August 1999, this service will be a NO-FEE site donated by the MASIE Center.

THANKS for dozens of great suggests for the ASTD & MASIE Center Research
Project. If you would like to submit additional ideas, send them to

133 - ASTD & MASIE Center Launch Research Project; Jackets for On-Line Learning Students

1. ASTD & MASIE Center Launch Research Project - Ideas Requested. This
Fall, ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) and The Masie
Center will launch a major new study on the effectiveness of learning
technologies. By bringing together companies with a common interest in this
critical area, the study will provide definitive evidence on how technology
can be used to maximize learning and produce hard results.

The effective use of learning technology is an area so full of unanswered
questions, that we'd like to know what companies feel are the burning
questions right now. If you could have the answer to any question on
learning technologies right now, what would the question be? Here are a few
that have been already suggested:

How well do employees retain what they learn when using learning
technologies? How to provide effective web-based training? How to get
employees to accept and use learning technologies? Which types of employees
learn better when using learning technologies? How should learning
technologies be used with one another or to complement classroom,
instructor-led training?

We would love to hear from TechLearn Trends readers about which of these or
other questions are critical to your decision making and understanding of
the changing world of learning. Would you send a few sentences to Thanks! We will be sending details about the ASTD/MASIE
Center project.

2. Learning Without Limits: Training at the Limited, Colleague Featured in
Fast Company. One of our TechLearn Collaborative members, Beth Thomas,
Training Manager at The Limited, is featured (with a great picture) in this
month's edition of Fast Company Magazine. It is a wonderful article about
the great work that Beth and her team are doing at The Limited. Beth is a
super role model for our field. Don't tell her, but we are also going to
give Beth an award at TechLearn '99. The url for the online version of the
article is:

3. Pay Per Gulp: While it doesn't really fit into TechLearn Trends normal
content, I wanted to share a thought that I had last night. My wife and I
attended an open air performance of the New York City Ballet at the Saratoga
Springs Performing Arts Center. I was struck during intermission at the
total amount of money that was being paid by concert goers for water.
About 20% of the folks had walked up and paid $2 per small bottle of water.
It is intriguing to think about the total amount of bottled water that we
are now drinking. Ironically, the water fountains at the concert were not
working too well, so most people that wanted to deal with the temperature
were buying their water bottles at a Pay Per Gulp Price. Wonder what my
grandmother would have thought of the trend?

4. Jackets for On-Line Learning Students: For those institutions that are
providing long duration on-line classes or even degrees, consider clothing.
We worked with an industrial company that took its management training
program to an on-line format and found that the workers complained that they
weren't getting the cool jackets they received when it was a 10 day retreat.
So, they have started to give out rock concert type jackets (only about $30
per person) for the attendees that are in the program. They found that the
learners were wearing them almost every day and it really boosted a sense of
participation and helped them locate other on-line learning colleagues.

5. Team Retreats @ TechLearn '99: There are more than 15 companies and
government organizations that are planning on concurrent retreats during
TechLearn '99. These groups range from a military division to an
accounting company. They are bringing between 10 and 30 managers and staff
to TechLearn and planning a series of meetings during and on the front or
back of the event. We can support you with meeting space and special
speakers. If you would like more info, just send me an email to Update: We now have 1,439 registered colleagues at
TechLearn '99. Space is filling fast and we will have a hard limit of
2,500 attendees to protect the learning design of the event. Go to for information and on-line registration.

6. off to a Flying Start: We had more than 6,000
visitors on the new site that opened yesterday. We
have almost a hundred items for sale and the doors are open to anyone
wanting to browse, offer excess materials or class seats or make
suggestions. Just go to and check it out.
The entire project is a NO-FEE donation from The MASIE Center. We have
lots for sale that range from seats in classes, to coaching from experts to
complete development projects.

133 - On the Road in Midland, Michigan @ Dow Corning

1. Help Desks: New Roles with Learning and Knowledge: We are predicting
several new roles and opportunities for the corporate help desk. The call
center that is currently providing primarily computer support by telephone
is a perfect partner for the future of learning and knowledge management.
The help desk already is a major provider of training, with a high
percentage of calls being telephone delivered short, granular coaching
sessions on how to use a technology. We believe that the help desk's role
could be expanded to provide a wider range of teaching and learning
services. Here are a few examples:

- A manager could call the Knowledge Desk to obtain support for how to deal
with a tricky employee issue
- A salesperson could call the Coaching Desk to rehearse a key sales call
from the car on the way to the appointment
- A new hire could blend an on-line orientation program with calls to a New
Hire Support Center for the interactive portion of their induction training
- A customer requiring training could schedule a one hour audio-graphic
based telephone call to be tutored in how to use a new product

Actually, all four of these functions could be administered and coordinated
through an expanded help desk function, with a blend of subject matter
experts and problem solution software. The current help desk group has
the software, infrastructure and administrative structure to leverage
subject matter expertise that is field and externally based. We will be
adding a key session at TechLearn '99 to dialogue with Help Desk industry
leaders on this new opportunity. If you have a help desk coordinator in
your organization, invite them to join your team at TechLearn in Orlando
(October 31 to November 3). Registration info at

2. Telephone Briefing for Learning Suppliers and Vendors: If you work as a
vendor or supplier in the learning industry, you are invited to a 45 minute
telephone briefing that we are hosting on Friday, July 9th at 1:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time. I will be reporting on Marketplace Trends in the
Learning Field and we will be making announcements about new MASIE Center
projects including and learningupdate, a new real time
news release site for the learning marketplace. If you are a supplier or
vendor, please send an email to and we will send you the
telephone number to dial on Friday.

3. Technology Skills to Play Key Role in Election 2000: Watch for
technology skills training to be mentioned often in the presidential
campaign for 2000. Earlier this year, Vice President Gore focused
attention on the Administration's efforts to boost technology literacy
through innovative learning programs. Yesterday, Republican frontrunner
George W. Bush focused on the issue of "developing a tech-savvy workforce"
as a focus for his technology advisory group. Bush has recruited the CEO's
of Dell, Cisco, TI and Robert Herbold the COO of Microsoft to serve on his
technology advisory panel. Technology training and learning will be a
focus of both campaigns as the race builds.

4. Lotus LearningSpace 3.0 Anytime Released: Lotus has released the next
version of their on-line learning system, LearningSpace 3.0 Anytime. The
new edition features a strong blend of asynchronous and synchronous delivery
capabilities. An organization can blend authored content with real time
learning offerings. The release also contains new authoring tools and
support as well as an ability to customize the front end's look and feel.
Along with the announcement of new features, Lotus has also pointed to
several major new customers and alliances with higher education groups. For
details go to their website at

5. Tip for Trainers: The Stool. Where is it written that trainers need
to stand all day? A good number of trainers are in the classroom 3 to 4
days a week, 5 to 8 hours a day. Why do we always need to stand? While
standing up is critical when working at the white board and creating a sense
of presence ... do we have to stay on our feet all day? I vote no!
Fifteen years ago, I started to sit down from time to time. I was teaching
a seminar at a hotel and there was this bar stool that was left in the room
from a reception the previous day. In the early afternoon, I found myself
sitting on the stool as learners were asking me some context questions. It
felt great. My feet loved it. My style changed to a more conversational
one. And, I found myself listening better. I got hooked. Whenever I teach
a class, I always try to add a highchair or stool to my requested
technologies. It adds a whole different dimension to my teaching style.
Try it!

TechLearn '99 Picture: (
- Special Halloween Parties are being offered by Disney on Saturday, October
30th. These are great opportunities for attendees that are bringing their
kids or teens to Orlando for TechLearn '99.
- Tours of the Exclusive Disney Backstage are part of an option
Behind-The-Scenes Tour you can take on Sunday, October 31. In addition, we
are planning an optional tour of Kennedy Space Center, an hour from the
Conference on Sunday.
- Designing the Classroom of the Future session at TechLearn will allow you
to design a layout for the classrooms you might be building in the next five
years. What will technology do our classroom requirements? We will post the
results of these sessions for all participants to ponder and bring home.
- Computer & IT Training Convention at TechLearn will be a series of
featured presentations and seminars targeted at the hot topics of the field.
For a preview of some of the factors impacting Computer and IT Training, go
to my recent column in Computer Reseller News at this URL:
- We now have 1,391 of your colleagues registered for TechLearn. There is a
design limit of 2,500 attendees. Register early, pay later and help us save
on trees (we want to avoid sending out the normal hundreds of thousands of


132 - A Week with an E-Book: Confessions of a Digital Reader

The MASIE Center Elliott Masie, Editor

Special Report: A Week with an E-Book: Confessions of a Digital Reader

For the past week I have been an E-Reader. I have read three books (2
novels and 1 non-fiction bestsellers) using the new genre of electronic
books. We purchased a Softbook device ( and downloaded a
couple of books to see what the world of electronic reading was all about.

Softbook weighs a couple of pounds, the size of a legal pad and has a
bright, backlit screen. It has a telephone modem built in that allows the
user to dial up and order (and download) books from a wide range of
categories. I downloaded the latest Bob Woodward book in under 4 minutes.
It takes about 1 minute per 100 pages. Controls on the screen allowed me
to make the text larger, search for a word or phrase, underline or highlight
a section and even turn down the corner of a page digitally.

I read my books in all my favorite reading places:

* On my sofa
* In the bathroom
* In our bed
* On the porch
* At my desk in the office
* On the lawn of an outdoor concert

Here are my observations and learning's:

- I LOVED the ability to order a book over the phone and have it delivered
- I HATED the glare from the sun that made reading outdoors impossible!
- I LIKED the ability to read in bed, with the lights out and without waking
- I WISH the weight of the book was lighter so that it was easier to hold in
one hand while reading.
- I WONDER if all the books will start to seem the same using this device.
- I VALUED the ability to mark up the book without really marking up the
- I WANT the ability to get a book via our internet connection and even a
infrared port
- I NEED the price to be lower than the $15 a book. A book club
subscription would be great!
- I DESIRE better graphics, color and other features that will clearly come
in future editions.
- I DREAM of the same device also having a browser and other capabilities.
- I SMILED at the leather cover than made it feel more like the book it

All in all, it felt good to have this as a reading option. I can imagine
that this genre of reading devices will expand and improve. The battery
life will get longer and the weight will decrease. It was fun to be able
to have a book with me that never ran out. People stopped me and wanted to
see the device that they had heard was coming some time in the future.

It would be a great tool to give to every high school student instead of the
backpack of books they now carry to and from class. It would be wonderful
to have a faculty annotate a layer of comments on top of a classic or
textbook. I would love to be able to "beam" handouts to a group of
learners in a classroom.

I found that I got more tired reading, perhaps it was the backlight. And,
it felt strange to not sense how far I was in the novel by weight, instead
of a sliding bar at the bottom of the screen. Most of these are habits and
customs of reading. So, it will be interesting to see how we adapt to
these new devices and to watch how our comfort evolves.

We are going to use several Softbooks at TechLearn '99 as an experiment for
our program and handouts. We will lend a few to participants to see how it
feels to use this technology in action.

For information:
Softbook :
Rocketbook (an alternative)
There are also ebooks for palm based computing devices.

To register for TechLearn '99 (We have filled 64% of the seats already!) go

131 - Exit Checks Proposed & UNext Enters On-Line Graduate Course Field

1. Exit Checks Proposed: Let's Gather Data on Departures: I would like to
use TechLearn Trends as a mild "bully tool" to suggest a new feature that
should be added to both authoring tools, learning systems and on-line
content collections. Let's call it an Exit Check. A simple box would pop
up whenever a learner was exiting an on-line learning event. They would be
asked WHY? and WHAT NEXT? WHY are they leaving now. Are they "done", are
they needing to do something else, are they finished with a segment or did
they not get what they need? WHAT NEXT would ask are they coming back soon,
do they want to be reminded, are they done forever? This data would be
enormously helpful to both developers, designers, administrators and would
allow the sponsoring organization to fine tune their offerings. An Exit
Check should be quick to fill out (2 or 3 clicks) and may could be done on a
confidential basis. Let's see some Exit Check models from authoring tool
and content companies.

2. Launching in July from The MASIE Center. We are
pleased to announce an experiment from The MASIE Center,

In early July, we will open the site as a totally non-fee based service to
allow organizations and individuals to offer and purchase learning and
training services and materials using an auction model. Here are a few of
the ways in which will work:

* A company may want to offer for sale a set of 100 books on leadership that
they are no longer using. Other organizations will place bids and the high
bidder wins. All arrangements will be made directly.
* A training group may have 4 extra spaces left in a class. They will
offer these seats to the highest bidder.
* A company may have a collection of video tapes or cd's providing learning
on a computer topic. They may want to DONATE them to a non-profit charity.
The non-profits will be able to place a request to receive the materials
(only paying for the shipping charges).
* A subject matter expert may offer their services as a telephone based
COACH for an hour. These services will be available for either a fixed or
auction based price.
* A web design company may have a week of unscheduled time. They may offer
their services for auction.

The MASIE Center is donating the technology to make this experiment happen.
We will not accept any fees or advertisements and there are NO CHARGES for

If you would like to receive information on how to place your items or
services on this site, please go to and give
us your email address. We will send you a note in a few days with details.
The full site will open in the first week of July and we will announce it in
TechLearn Trends. We are excited to learn from the results of this

3. UNext Enters On-Line Graduate Course Field: Four more major
universities have signed agreements with, that plans to deliver
graduate-level courses electronically to corporate employees starting this
year. has struck deals with the University of Chicago, Stanford
University, Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics
and Political Science. Along with Columbia University's business school,
the first school that signed on, each school plans to help
create course materials that it can sell to major corporations for
employee training and education.

International Business Machines Corp. was the first company to sign up as a
customer of what describes as an "online business-education
community called Cardean" -- named for a Roman goddess -- that will allow
employees to take courses electronically on their own schedule, from work or
home or even while traveling. The courses will be delivered through a
product created by IBM's Lotus Development unit called LearningSpace, and
Lotus's sales force will sell the educational materials to its corporate
customers around the world. The web site is

4. Learning Quotation: Dr. Leila Denmark

"Anything on earth you want to do is play. Anything on earth you have to do
is work. Play will never kill you, work will. I never worked a day in my
Dr. Leila Denmark, age: 100

5. TechLearn Developers & Designers Sessions: We have added a series of
sessions and lab events at TechLearn '99 for folks that are developers and
designers of learning programs. In addition to our wide scope of seminars
and topics, we wanted to provide the 200 or so developers and designers at
TechLearn '99 with an opportunity to go "under the hood" and share their
instructional design and development strategies with each other. If you
are a developer or designer and would like to volunteer a program for us to
"dissect" and discuss, please send an email to us at

Complete details on TechLearn '99 are available at
Registration limited to 2,500 participants ... 1,323 colleagues registered already!

130 - Convergence in The Training Profession: A Perspective Viewpoint

TechLearn TRENDS --- Technology & Learning Updates
The MASIE Center Elliott Masie, Editor

Convergence in The Training Profession - A Perspective Viewpoint

Things are converging in the world of training. Over the past year, we
have been tracking a number of convergence trends that seem to be popping up
in corporate case studies, product announcement and surveys of training
patterns. Here are a few of the convergence themes:

* IT and Computer Training is being welcomed home to corporate training
departments. Over 75 major corporations have shut down their stand alone
IT Training department and have shifted the control of technical and end
user training to the core corporate training group, often with a specialized

* IT and Computer Training vendors are eyeing the management and soft skills
arena. Many of the developers and marketers of technical training products
and classes are expanding their offerings to include soft skills and
management skills in their portfolios.

* Management and Soft Skills Training is adding a technical aspect. Almost
every job in the organization requires a mixture of both process skills and
technology. Time management classes are including training on using
calendar programs. Leadership classes are addressing the use of intranets
for corporate communications.

* ERP and other Enterprise Wide Systems are addressing work processes. As
ERP moves to the core of the organization, it triggers a demand for business
unit training in how to leverage information for productivity. Ultimately,
each ERP gain requires a change in a business or work process.

* On-Line Learning and Classroom Training blend. A large number of
corporate trainers report that the strongest use of on-line learning is
often as an extension rather than a replacement for classroom. On higher
education campuses, distance learning tools are often used most robustly as
digital extensions of traditional classrooms.

* Telephones and Intranets blend for multimedia. Rather than use the busy
network for audio over IP, a good number of companies are turning to the
telephone system to provide the audio connection for virtual classrooms,
blending the telephone call with a visual delivered via an audiographic
collaboration tool.

* CD's and Internet blend for bandwidth fixes. Take a CD, loaded with
graphics, sound and video. Blend it with a connection to the internet for
interactivity and updated info and you have a powerful blend.

* Knowledge Management and Learning Function target same goals. Our email
is filling with parallel content from the world of learning and the world of
knowledge management. Different populations, different vocabulary, but
similar goals, aspirations and dreams.

* Consolidation and Mergers top the list. The number one topic at almost
any gathering of training vendors is merger and consolidation. Take a few
key vendors and there is a good chance that one of them will be owned by one
of the others in the next 2 years.

The world of training and learning is evolving and converging. Watch the
points of convergence for a good sense of where your profession, vendors and
customers are heading.

(Convergence will be a key topic at Elliott Masie's State of the Industry
Address at TechLearn '99 - October 31 to November 3rd in Orlando - - Over 1,320 people registered already. Limit of

129 - Special Report from London, England - CBT Systems Conference

1. E-mail Worm is Terrorism! By now, the world has learned and experienced
the impact of the latest virus, Worm.ExploreZip. Even as I was writing a
warning about it on Friday, we received three copies of the virus,
pretending to be from colleagues at major technology companies. The virus
found my name in their address list and replicated the lethal .exe file and
sent it along to my inbox. Luckily, we were on the lookout and caught and
deleted it.

This latest virus really is a form of terrorism. Think about how you would
feel if the local newspaper reported that a group of people were breaking
into corporate headquarters at night, deleting files and stealing the keys
to other corporate locations so that they could do the same. It is
terrorism in the digital age. Several of my colleagues working in military
organizations around the world have reported that they are handling this
virus/worm as an incident of terrorism. Let's not make the mistake of
characterizing it as a prank or game. It is serious and risky. I would
love to hear from TechLearn Trends readers with a short report on how your
organizations are handling the virus/worm:

2. Lesson from CBT Implementation: Marketing Internally the Mega-Key.
This morning I presented the keynote speech at the European CBT Systems
Conference in London. The other keynoter was Chris Murray, Global Head of
Technology Education for Warburg Dillon Read, a major investment banking
company. Chris outlined the role that marketing has played in their
dramatic deployment of CBT courses throughout the world. He has mounted a
major marketing and public relations effort to get the story about the power
of CBT courses in front of the tens of thousands of users in their
international company. He made active use of emails, posters, intranet
marketing and open houses to change the image and awareness levels about
their CBT Systems course licenses. He even runs focus groups to measure
the attitudinal aspects of implementing a technology approach to learning.
Chris has moved towards using CBT as the default approach to foundation
level skills, with classroom expenditures targeted at advanced learning.
We can't just implement an on-line learning approach and hope "they" come.
Marketing must be an integral and continuous core component of

3. Barnes & Noble On-Line Bookstore Selling Learning: O'Reilly &
Associates, Digital Education Systems (DigitalEd), and
have signed an agreement for to resell O'Reilly/DigitalEd
web-based courses. As part of the agreement, will be the
exclusive online bookstore to resell the courses. The O'Reilly/DigitalEd
courses, based on O'Reilly's bestselling technical books, provide a
self-paced online learning experience that takes full advantage of the Web's
interactivity. will offer 12 courses in O'Reilly's Web
technology series plus "Introduction to the Palm Pilot." The required books
for all courses will also be available at Info at

4. Training Tip: Teaching Backwards: Trainers, start at the end!
Technical training can be accelerated by reversing elements of the
curriculum. Start at the end. Start with the output of the application
such as a report, order or printout. Then, work backwards through the steps
necessary to create this output. The output makes the theory of the
application real. I used this approach when teaching folks how to use an
accounting system. We created a payroll check (non-negotiable) for each
learner. Then, we went backwards through the steps it took to "cut" the
check. It is easy to slip into a step by step approach without thinking
about the learner's ability to understand where the steps lead.

5. BIG PLANET: IPhone and Network Marketing Applied to Internet Community:
On the way to London, I stopped in Salt Lake City for the Big Planet
Conference. Big Planet is a network marketing company that is focused on
new approaches to thinking about the internet. The core of their new
strategy evolves around the I-Phone, an integrated device that combines a
telephone, modem, screen and keyboard. It has a touch-screen interface
that makes it easy to introduce new users to internet use and e-commerce.
Using network marketing, the Big Planet distributors are building a business
model based on personal selling of both communication services and the
e-commerce that will be conducted on the device. Richard King, the former
Chief Technology Officer of Novell, is the CEO of Big Planet. Network
marketing approaches are new to the internet space and may provide a unique
way to aggregate e-commerce buying potentials. Their web site is

Upcoming MASIE Center Event:

TechLearn '99 (including The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention and
LEARNING DECISIONS Seminars) - October 31 to November 3, 1999 in Orlando,
Florida. Attendees have the option of booking a unique Behind The Scenes
Tour of Disney or a trip to the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday prior to
TechLearn. There are currently 1,297 attendees registered for TechLearn.
Register on-line at

128 - Telephone Coaching System Saves Awkward Moments & Classroom Learning Tip: Rise and Shine

1. Michael Milken to Host CEO Panel at TechLearn '99: We are pleased to
announce that Michael Milken of Knowledge Universe will be hosting a very
unique keynote session at TechLearn '99. I recently spent an afternoon with
him dialoguing on the future of the learning industry and we discussed the
need to hear from the leading CEO's in the country on their views of the
importance of training and learning investments. Michael has agreed to
play a "Larry King" role at TechLearn and to interview several CEO's live
and via video. We will also stream this presentation over the internet if
you would like to invite your CEO to view this briefing.

The panel will also include Jerry J. Jasinowski, President of The National
Association of Manufacturers, who is an advocate for a 3% of payroll
investment in training. This will be a rare opportunity to see and hear the
top level of management at our leading companies talk about learning and the
future of our field. Registrations for TechLearn '99 are over 1,300 and we
will have a HARD ceiling of 2,500 attendees to respect the design model of
the conference. Dates are 10/31 to 11/3 at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Registration and information online at

2. WARNING: Email Virus is Real. Training Alert! The most recent email
virus warning is very REAL! Worm.ExploreZip is a virus capable of
destroying data. It enters your system through email. If you don't catch it,
it may destroy crucial files on your system. Mail systems at major
corporations have been shut down in a protective response to this virus.
Training and Learning professionals should make sure that the IT department
is working on informing the employee base about this latest virus. A great
summary of the virus is located on Jesse Burst's Anchor Desk today at

3. Telephone Coaching System Saves Awkward Moments: If you haven't figured
it out yet, I don't sleep a lot! Sometimes I am up at the wee hours of the
morning to do some work or even to make phone calls that will end up in
email boxes. Yesterday, I got a wonderful surprise when the I heard this
announcement after I dialed and before the phone started to ring: "It is
now 4:14 AM at the location of this number." Wow. AT&T has added this
feature to coach you about the time zone difference. Since I am often
returning calls from people that have not left their physical location, this
is great. It is a wonderful tool for when I am calling friends and don't
want to wake them up (as opposed to the people that I would rather actually
send a voice mail message). Kudos to AT&T for adding this coaching system.
Now, if it only could access a database to see when my buddy Mitch Edelstein
goes to sleep at night, it would be awesome.

4. Learning Quotation: Henry Ford: Heinrich Koenen, the Dean of The MASIE
Center, sent me the latest Learning Quotation from Henry Ford:

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who
keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind
young." - Henry Ford

5. Classroom Learning Tip: Rise and Shine: A simple tip for trainers.
Ask your class to stand up from time to time. When I give keynote
speeches, I always ask people to get up, move a few feet and have a 90
second conversation on a topic with a colleague. The energy that is
created when people stand up is enormous. Most of us are not used to
sitting for an entire day. A few minutes standing up gets the blood
flowing, the mind more active and people love to talk. I keep it short,
though after lunch, I sometimes have folks stand for 15 minutes and work on
an activity. Have them rise and see them shine!

Notes to TechLearn '99 Participants and Alumni:
- TechLearn Pins have been sent to all current attendees. Wear these at
regional and national training events to hook up with other folks that are
planning on coming to Orlando in October.
- Information on the TechLearn Cruise (3 days to Nassau right after the
event for only $330 a person) is now posted on the site at
- Case Studies Wanted: We are filling in the last slots of content at
TechLearn. We are looking for a few case studies in the Learning Technology
or Computer and IT Training arena. Case studies must be presented by
organizations that are implementing new models of learning or technology and
cannot be presented by a vendor or supplier. Please email Heinrich Koenen
at if you want more info on the case study segments of
- A personal favor. Many of you met Ed DiMiceli, my father-in-law at
TechLearn. He was the man who danced on stage with Loretta LaRoche at the
end of her Joy of Stress keynote. Ed is 60 today. Can you send him
birthday greetings at

127 - First Perspectives on Microsoft Office 2000 Learning Approaches

TechLearn TRENDS --- Technology & Learning Updates
The MASIE Center Elliott Masie, Editor
Hosts of TechLearn '99 including The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention

First Perspectives on Microsoft Office 2000 Learning Approaches

Yesterday, Microsoft Office 2000 was launched. This special report of
TechLearn Trends is aimed at taking a first glance at the learning and
training approaches being used by organizations implementing this upgrade of
Microsoft's office suite of applications. We will do similar projects as
other desktop suites are launched.

The staff at the MASIE Center have been working with the BETA version of
Office 2000 and offer these perspectives (and welcome TechLearn Reader input
for additional approaches):

Microsoft Office 2000 is really a matrix of products, including different
versions for the small office, organization and developer. While the
programs such as Word, Excel, Access. FrontPage and PowerPoint have a strong
integration, most users will approach the learning one application at a
time. The development of a learning approach requires the organization and
learner to do a quick analysis of which tools they are using and at what
level of sophistication and depth of function. The ultimate target for

There are three types of learning programs that organizations are offering.

BRIEFINGS: The first is what we coined as an "Office Briefing" when Windows
'95 was launched 5 years ago. (I was the host of Microsoft TV ramping up
to that launch) The Briefing, which can be conducted in a large meeting
format, as a brown bag lunch, as an on-line learning event or as a series of
bullets on a web page, is aimed at providing the learner with a clear reason
for the changes that will happen to their desktop. The MASIE Center has
tracked the process of upgrading in organizations over a dozen years and we
are convinced that most companies do a POOR job of teaching users the WHY of
the upgrade process. While the decision makers have seen the product
presentations by Microsoft and can see the gains that will be achieved
through greater integration with the internet and better administration
tools, most users are never "pitched" with this information. Take a few
minutes to build a sense of excitement and value perception for the users as
their desktop is altered and the organization wins. It is far better to get
their simple questions about the impact and reason for change answered in
advance of the switch.

FUNCTIONAL: There are lots of new features and procedures in Microsoft
Office 2000. The program offers a lot of learning tools and information for
the highly motivated learner to self-explore the changes. However,
organizations should never assume that users will uncover a new feature, or
more importantly change the way in which they do a task in their jobs. A
good example of this is the Pivot Table in Excel. I think it is the
strongest feature in Office and use it religiously to run the financial side
of The MASIE Center. Most of the people I meet haven't even heard the term,
even though they have been Excel users for years. Here, organizations must
step up to ALIGN LEARNING with the FEATURE GAINS they were hoping to get
through the upgrade. Technical users of Office 2000 will gain dramatically
from having access to CBT, On-Line or Classroom training in the changes in
the advanced features. Pay strong attention to the Internet Integration
capabilities of Office 2000.

PROCESS: To really leverage gains from Microsoft Office 2000, organizations
need to address the process side of how this technology is being used to
add productivity to work. Daryl Conner of ODR and myself are working on
the issue of how technology changes and requires changes all sorts of human
processes in the organization. Daryl uses the phrase "recalibrating
expectations" as a term to address the need to alter people's expectations
of how their work might be different. Take the collaboration features of
Office 2000. We were very impressed with the ability of teams to be able
to use the intranet to work collaboratively on documents and projects, right
from within Office 2000. The members of these teams are going to need to
learn not just the feature set of how to dynamically write a document on a
multi-site basis, but they are going to need to address the PROCESS side of
"who owns the document, what are each person's rights, who even gets credit
for a collaborative project". These are exciting elements to making the
shift to working in the digital age, yet are absent from most learning

On a feature level, here are a few of the topics that we would add to
learner's radar screens:

* Internet Integration: Office 2000 tightly integrates with the corporate
intranet and the external internet. The ability to use these networks
seamlessly from within an application is a high powered change for learners.
They will need examples, models and a strong FAQ to address some of the free
floating anxiety about security issues when hooked to the "net". Help them
make the evolution from a single user to a truly network office environment.

* FrontPage Integration: More and more documents will be published as HTML
files rather than end up as first generation print documents. In fact, more
and more of what we print will probably have come from a screen displayed
from a browser. FrontPage 2000 has lots of new features to drive content
creation and even site management down from the technical level to the
business unit and user level. We would strongly urge training on these
topics, to make sure that learners have a PROCEDURAL and CONCEPTUAL level of
what they are doing. We set up a pilot FrontPage website in our office, so
that users could play in a no-risk zone. The more you can provide strongly
created corporate templates of pages and forms, the shorter the learning

* Technical Developer Skills: The high-end version of Microsoft Office 2000
is targeted at the technical developer. Make sure that you integrate this
into the IT training skills for this staff. Some IT folks have asked why
they need to go to training to learn a user application. Don't let that
become the perception ... it will leave your organization unprepared to
leverage the enterprise level of this new edition of Office. There are a
wealth of courses from Microsoft's training partners, from Microsoft Press,
from technology delivery groups such as CBT Systems, NETg and others, as
well as a slew of on-line learning programs aimed at the technical

* Content Reuse: Remember, one of the shifts is the view of content. We
want to create content to be as fresh and dynamic as possible. More and
more documents will contain active links to databases, will be dynamically
written based on user preferences and will be authored once and reused over
and over again. Give users guidelines on document naming, storage and how
to create these dynamically linked documents. One user wanted to be able to
have the date created and date modified displayed right on a document. Make
sure that your users have the skills to create content that will be an
active part of a Knowledge Management Model.

Microsoft Office 2000 can be used rapidly by current users without a lot of
formal training or learning programs. If the goal is to keep on working in
much the same way, do a good job of explaining why, administer the feature
set and launch it. However, we believe that the time is ripe to help the
organization leverage the capabilities of these programs in a stronger and
more integrated fashion. Learning does not have to mean massive trips to
the classroom for the entire workforce. There are strategic ways to blend
classroom and on-line learning content, along with a process approach to the
upgraded suite to get a new boost from technology.

We invite TechLearn Readers to provide additional approaches, questions and
suggestions, which we will post and circulate rapidly. Send your notes to We are also planning on having a session on
Approaches to Office 2000 Learning in the Computer & IT Training section of
TechLearn '99 in Orlando in early November. (
This page is also posted at if you want to
point colleagues to it.

Microsoft Training & Certification Page:
Microsoft Office 2000 Page:

126 - Feedback on Multitasking & Learning: Reader Responses

The MASIE Center Elliott Masie, Editor

Feedback on Multitasking & Learning: Reader Responses

We had over 220 reader responses to the question that I posed on May 10th on
Multitasking and Learning. We decided to put a large sample of these
comments on to our website. It was fascinating to read the range of
attitudes and perspectives from trainers, managers, developers and learners.
Check it out at

We will be conducting a Problem Solution session at TechLearn '99 on this
hot topic. (

125 - Special Report from The Hotelschool, The Hague, Netherlands

1. Hotelschool: A Model of Action Learning: We have been the guests of the
Hotelschool in the Hague, Netherlands for the past few days, as part of a
symposium on the role of training in the global hotel, food service and
hospitality industries. The Hotelschool is a delight to visit and a real
example of action learning in practice.

The students come from around the world to participate in a four year
program on every aspect of the industry. Only about 20% of their learning
takes place in traditional classrooms, with the vast majority based in
action projects, internships and very close coaching by their faculty. The
students gain fluency in a host of languages, skills in management, a polish
for dealing with a wide range of people, an entrepreneurial spirit and a set
of experiences working overseas several times during their college
experience. The leadership of the school are some of the finest educators
that I have ever encountered. They have a strong commitment to learning,
training and the development of new models of education. They are actively
involved in the lives of their students and see their task as not just
creating future hotel employees but high powered leaders. Interestingly,
more than 50% of the students will someday move from the hotel industry to
other enterprises, where their strong educational background and
understanding of service make them a treasured candidate.

Thanks to Inekek Witzel for organizing this trip. They are a great role
model for institutions of higher education around the world. Their website

2. Training Tackles Child Sex Tourism Trade: While in the Netherlands, we
had the opportunity to hear how training can tackle an upsetting world
problem. Lyndall De Marco, Corporate Director of Education for the Pan
Pacific Hotel Chain, has started a project aimed at the issue of child
prostitution as part of the tourism industry. In many parts of the world,
including Asia and South America, organized travel tours use child
prostitutes, who are often sold into slavery by their families for as little
as $250. Lyndall saw the evidence of this in many of the countries where
Pan Pacific has hotels and started a project to provide training to these
young girls and boys. Her hotel chain is training a number of these young
victims so that they can get employment in the hotel industry. They are
provided lodging, classes and opportunities to work as apprentices in the
hotel. Cathy and I were deeply moved by the commitment made by Pan Pacific
and have adopted the Youth Career Development Council as one of the major
recipients for our annual TechLearn Donation. We will be circulating
additional information about YCDC later in the year, as well as hosting a
web site for their project. If there are any readers of Trends in the hotel
industry, please send a note to me at and I will hook you
up with Lyndall.

3. Learning Trends Overheard at ASTD: As we left the ASTD Conference last
week, here were some comments about the "State of Training" that I heard
from a wide range of colleagues:

- "These are very confusing times! We are seeing the PROMISE of technology,
yet it is not fully ripe yet. Our executives are already sold on the cost
effectiveness of delivering training to the desktop, BEFORE we can fully
develop the model that will work in our organization. The next year must
be a time for setting appropriate expectations and doing the innovation
necessary to make on-line learning a reality!"

- "More content! More content! We want to have hundreds of programs to
choose from. We are seeing a consolidation of players rather than an
explosion of learning choices. More content!"

- "I want to shift from training classes to performance consulting, how do I
find that job in the marketplace?"

- "What is all this technology going to cost? How will we pay for content?"

- "Is Knowledge Management REAL or just a FAD?"

- "Training is my dream job. Where else do I get to help people, tell
stories and get free food every day at lunch?"

- "The web is the most powerful tool for learning! Whenever I have a
question, a few clicks puts me in the classroom of my choosing for only as
long as it meets my needs. What a great time to be alive!"

4. The Learning Interface of the Future: TechLearn '99 Project: Have you
ever wondered what your "Learning Screen" will look like in 5 or 10 years?
Have you ever pondered what an ideal learning environment would look it would combine instruction, content, collaboration, performance
support and other features? Well, many of us have been dreaming about the
Learning Interface of the Future and YOU will have a chance to be part of a
design team at TechLearn '99. Working in small groups, we will design a
range of potential interfaces, screen views and technology applications
during TechLearn '99. These will all be placed in the "public domain" as
focus group tools for technology companies and designers to use in creating
new products. This project will involve all 2,500 TechLearn participants
in considering how technology can be used as a primary and secondary
delivery tool and what YOU would love to see on their screens for learning

Our intent is to Push the Future into a sooner product. If you would like
to help facilitate one of the design sessions at TechLearn '99, please send
me an email to We are now over 1,200 in registrations
and growing every day. To register, just go to
Get your design hat on!

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: (
- The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar (Only 9 seats left) - June 21
and 22 - Washington, DC
- TechLearn '99 (Including The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention) - Oct
31 to Nov 3 - Orlando, FL

124 - Summary from ASTD Expo & Conference - Atlanta, GA

TechLearn TRENDS --- Technology & Learning Updates
The MASIE Center Elliott Masie, Editor

(Summary from ASTD Expo & Conference - Atlanta, GA)

Hi TechLearn Trends Readers...

I know that it is impossible to get to every event in the learning and
training world, so we will attempt to bring you some highlights from each
industry gathering.

Today, I am writing this from the EXPO floor of the American Society of
Training & Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. There are almost
10,000 attendees for this event, including many day visitors from the
Georgia area.

Imagine an EXPO floor the size of two football fields (or pitches for our
European readers). There are acres and acres of booths and exhibits
targeted at the training buyer. This morning, before the EXPO opened I
walked around getting a sense of the products and services that were on
display and how they were being positioned. Here are a few of my notes:

* Technology delivery options are being offered in almost 85% of the booths.
These range from training programs that are now available via the corporate
intranet, to at-home learning from the public internet to even a few vendors
of handheld and wireless devices. The product development is clearly
following the trends towards technology delivery.

* Names are changing to sound more internet like. There is V-campus,
E-college, E-learning, and almost every combo of the new
model of internet naming convention. In fact, I saw 15 vendors that had
changed their names in the last few months, as part of rebranding their
companies or getting them ready for IPO.

* More dialogue about systems and delivery capacities than new content
collections. We still seem to be seeing more systems and delivery
technologies than loads of new content via on-line. Major booths from the
makers of on-line learning delivery systems, training management systems and
ERP linked applications. While there were some new players on the content
side, more of the play seems to be in the systems.

* Pricing is still confusing when it comes to content! Wander around and
you get a sense of confusion about what happens to content as it moves
towards the web. Most suppliers were trying to avoid talking about price
and delivery in the same sentence. The approach is to talk about the value
of the content and then to offer it in any format available.

* DVD is popping up. A handful of content players are starting to design to
the DVD format.

* Training consultant, services and solutions companies had huge booths and
presence. Forum, DDI, Achieve Global, Franklin Covey, Blanchard, Richard
Cheng and others large players had massive booths ... with dialogues about
large scale interventions and outsourcing of complete training programs.

* The BIG 4 of management consulting and accounting companies are here, with
new offerings in the learning and knowledge management space.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte & Touche, Arthur Anderson and others are
all direct players in the learning services field, along with technology
companies like IBM Global Learning Services.

* TV to the desktop and business site was a hot topic, including ways of
blending satellite and on-line content delivery.

The dialogues amongst participants was focused on a lot of the key issues
involving the role of training in the changing business environment. Fewer
trainers see themselves as working in training departments for long, many
are already in roles that involve training but are in line operating groups.
How to BLEND classroom and technology was a hot topic at many of the

Last night, I led a conversation with 100 training professionals about the
role of Digital Collaboration and the need for processes and focus on "how
we will be collaborating" not just on the latest tools or applications.
More to follow!

Elliott and Cathy Masie in Atlanta

P.S. TechLearn '99 Registrations have now topped 1,200. We are receiving
15 to 20 per day. Make your reservations for our Oct 31 to Nov 3rd event
featuring Dr. Bill Cosby and many other speakers. We are proud to have ASTD
as a co-host of the event and they will offer a series of sessions on
research and collaboration. Go to our new on-line information site: