Subscribe: Learning TRENDS


123 - Special Report from ASTD Conference - Atlanta, GA

1. Learning Decisions Perspectives: Social Factors of Learning: 212
Learning Officers and Managers recently attended our first Learning
Decisions Retreat in Las Vegas. One of the "hot" issues that was discussed
was the Social Factors of Learning. The group focused on the critical role
that the culture of an organization plays in the development of learning
programs, strategies and support. As we add technology delivery to the
learning mix, it becomes even more important to address the social factors.
Here is a small sample of the issues that were generated on this topic:

* Reputation of Learning Technologies: What is the "street talk" about the
effectiveness and VALUE of learning via on-line and self-study methods.
What do managers and peers say about people that are taking alternative
routes to learning?
* Reward Considerations of Attending Training: What is the culture of
reward surrounding training and how does that change when people are
learning at their desktops? For example, is permission to attend training
seen as a reward for hard work and a relief from everyday roles. If so,
what happens to the reward element when technology delivered learning is
* Coaching and Mentoring Culture: How open are workers to sharing knowledge
with new and veteran employees? Do I give away critical elements of my
unique worth when I share knowledge? Am I making myself less valuable to
the company? Do I receive a reward for assisting others or am I purely
judged on my attention to my own tasks?
* Email Culture: Few organizations in attendance had any programs aimed at
teaching people HOW to use email. As the most widely used computer
application in most organizations, who is setting the tone and process for
corporate communication? What is the protocol for dealing with low priority
email during high stress times?

We will post additional comments from the Learning Decisions '99 retreat
over the coming weeks. The response to this program was so strong that we
have scheduled a special Learning Decisions Executive Seminar @ TechLearn
'99. ( Attendees of TechLearn who are learning
officers or managers will have the option of attending a high level track to
dialogue on the key issues of Training Alignment with Business, Economics of
Learning and Developing a Strategy for Learning Technology.

2, Stress: Living and Working in a Changing World: One of the members of
our TechLearn Collaborative, Steve McMillen, Director of Executive
Development & Performance Improvement at Hillebrand Industries has
co-authored a great book for our busy times. "Stress: Living and Working in
a Changing World" is a practical look at the challenges of living in the
fast pace of our current society. This is the first book on this topic that
I have read that hits the nail on the head and gives real world suggestions
for coping with the complexity of stress. Check it out at The authors are Manning, Curtis & McMillen

3. Knowledge Dashboards and Consolidated Views of Information: A theme has
been emerging in the past few weeks from the CEO's of several high tech
companies. In various speeches by Bill Gates and others the concept of a
"knowledge dashboard or performance cockpit" has been heard clearly. The
concept is to provide workers with a highly personalized user interface,
designed with their current needs for information and collaboration and
focused on bringing critical data to their eyeballs without the need to
search or access. A few years ago we were calling this effort "push
technology". Now, the emphasis has changed from seeing it as an application
to seeing it as a design element, hooked to work processes. This is really
where corporate databases, intranets and ERP systems will come alive a the
worker level. Imagine a screen that would reflect the types of information
and knowledge that you need, which is graphical in nature and allows you to
feel connected to every aspect of the workplace. You would have continuous
links to data points, dynamic representations of changing news and knowledge
in your field and collaborative technology to allow you to work with
colleagues, suppliers and customers right from your desktop. This vision
reflects an acceptance that LESS may be MORE. Our workers don't want to
spend the day searching or exploring the intranet or internet. They are
asking for custom views that bring core knowledge to them, to allow them to
get on with the task of work. Watch for this effort to kick in after Y2K!

4. TechLearn '99 New Website Opens - Daryl Conner to Present Keynote: We
are pleased to announce a new website for TechLearn '99 (and the 1999
Computer & IT Training Convention). With over 1,742 registered attendees
already and more than 18 weeks to go, we are rolling out a new on-line
information center for TechLearn. In addition, we are pleased to announce
that Daryl Conner, one of the leading experts on organizational change will
be presenting with me a special keynote focused on the impact of Technology
and Change. Daryl and I are working on an analysis of how technology is
changing our organizations and the role that Organizational Development must
play in helping groups cope with technology. Now is the time to register
for TechLearn '99. We will be beginning a series of pre-conference on-line
learning activities in early summer for all registered attendees. Check out
our new site at

5. TechLearn Collaborative Open to New Members: There are 12 new spots
available in our TechLearn Collaborative, a small consortium of
organizations exploring the role of learning and technology. The
Collaborative meets at least 4 times per year in person, has more than a
dozen telephone meetings and conferences and is resourced on a continuous
basis by myself and Heinrich Koenen, our Dean at The MASIE Center. Current
Collaborative Members include: . Chase Manhattan Bank, Paine Webber,
Domino's Pizza, KMart, McDonald's, ADL Project, ASTD, HP, Microsoft, Federal
Express and other organizations. Complete details on the TechLearn
Collaborative are available at

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: (
The Road to On-Line Learning Seminar: June 21 and 22 - Washington, DC
TechLearn '99 (and The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention) - October 31
to November 3, 1999 - Orlando, FL

122 - Real Education Becomes e.College; Digital Think Offers Classes Through Fatbrain.Com; Counting to Eight in Class

Hi from Las Vegas, where Learning Decision's 99 is starting today. We have
225 Chief Learning Officers and Training Executives here at the brand new
(by 48 hours) Venetian Hotel. The group is meeting in a retreat format to
look at 3 key Learning Decisions. These include Aligning Learning &
Training with Business Goals; Exploring the Economics of Training; and
Developing a Strategy for Leveraging Learning Technology. We will post a
dialogue summary of this retreat and will expand on it in the next several
Trends. Also, there will be a Learning Decisions Symposium at TechLearn
'99 for a similar audience. Stay tuned!

1. Real Education Becomes e.College & Offers $12 Million in Grants: Real
Education, one of the major players in the delivery of on-line learning to
higher education institutions has evolved its name to eCollege.Com They
have a new web site, an expanded range of programs and an exciting $12
Million Grant Program. Here is their announcement on the grant program:

"The 100 Degrees Online Grant Program is an effort to better address student
and corporate demand for high quality online degree programs. To this end,
we have arranged a grant competition whereby institutions of higher
education will compete for funds designed to mitigate the obstacles of
migrating traditional degree programs to the online environment. will make grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 available to
100 institutions to be spent in areas recognized to be barriers to the
success or accessibility of online programs."

I am serving as an unpaid advisor to this grant program and the information
can be found at

2. Digital Think Offers Classes Through Fatbrain.Com: In another
announcement about the rapidly changing industry of learning, Digital Think
announced they are teaming with Fatbrain.Com to offer on-line classes.
Here is their announcement:

"DigitalThink, Inc.. today announced an agreement with online e-commerce
leader (Nasdaq:FATB), which will allow
to sell DigitalThink courses at its site. This partnership expands
DigitalThink's ability to help corporations increase revenue and decrease
time-to-market by ensuring that their employees are fully trained in key
information technology areas. In turn, will be able to provide
some of the most sought-after Web-based courses currently in demand by IT

" will sell DigitalThink courses from its Web site at In addition, will make DigitalThink
courses accessible to employees of more than 70 industry-leading companies
that have launched online bookstores through's 'FindITnow'
intranet bookstore program for corporations."

3. Multitasking & Learning Comments Deluge: We touched a nerve with the
question about the ability of people to multitask while learning at their
desktops. Last count, we had over 225 comments and letters from Trends
Readers. We will compile these into a collection in the next several days.
We had over a dozen folks mention the differences between some men and women
on the multi-tasking approach. Here is one comment:

"I read and re-read your "multi-tasking while involved in a learning event
email" - and the thing that keeps popping into my head is that while I, and
my female colleagues, seem to have the ability to multi-task (taking in some
of everything) - our male colleagues (and definitely partners!) don't seem
to be able to do the same. Maybe it's got nothing to do with ability but
more with desire to only do one thing but it may be a part of the answer.

I'm a strong advocate of training options, but grew up in the ILT world so
have lots of my own experiences with both - there is absolute value in
quiet, focused time whether in small chunks or large but, as your email
implies, this doesn't mean stuff is really filtering through. Is it the
pressure of tasks needing to be done that made your volunteers multi-task?
or did they truly learn as well as catch up."

We will post a wide collection of these comments next week. If you would
like to add your 2 cents, send me a note to

4. Counting to Eight in Class: One of the most interesting skill for
classroom trainers to perfect is their ability to WAIT. When I was teaching
a series of train the trainer programs, I would observe the average wait
time of trainers. This is the time between asking for questions and when
they actually started to speak again. The average was in the 2.7 seconds
range. Wow!

Think of all the steps that a learner has to go through prior to asking a
question to the trainer. Review of all items covered, finishing their note
taking thought of the moment, testing the question for stupidity, scanning
the classroom for other question askers, wetting their lips and actually
raising their hand. 2.7 Second? No Way!

Simple Change: Extend the WAIT TIME to 8 Seconds. Watch how many new
people ask questions once the wait time is extended to eight seconds. It
will seem like a really long wait to the trainer at first. But, it will
send the message that you are really wanting to give people the time to
process their confusion thoughts into questions.

When teaching live, distance learning classes, the wait time should probably
go up to 10 to 12 seconds. I sometimes even play soft music for 20 seconds
on the phone to give people time to formulate and test their questions.
Start Waiting.. It Works!

5. Learning Quotation: Mrs. Ham, PS 173

"Learning often happens when you are not watching. If you are curious, and
follow your curiosity, you will learn every day. In fact, some of the best
learning happens when you are having so much fun, or are concentrating so
hard, that you don't even notice."

---- Mrs. Ham, PS 173, Manhattan 1956 (Elliott's Second Grade Teacher)

6) Note on Sponsorship Opportunities for TechLearn '99 (including The 1999
Computer & IT Training Convention):

We have had a large number of suppliers and developers ask us about bringing
their booth to TechLearn '99. Since we have built a learning model that
does not include a trade show, we wanted to explain how they could be
involved in both TechLearn '99 and The 1999 Computer & IT Training

"We have a sponsorship program, which allows each sponsor to include
literature or CD's in a TechLearn RESOURCE SUITCASE which every participant
will receive at Registration. In addition, Sponsors are included on our web
site, have a Point of Contact meeting place at TechLearn and can do a
follow-up mailing to the participants. We currently have over 65 sponsors,
including Microsoft, Lotus, Cisco, Novell, CBT Systems, Forum Corporation,
SMG, NETg and other key players from both the training and learning world.
Sponsorship is only $2,700 and includes year round resources from The MASIE
Center. Please contact Jen Schwern at or 800-98-MASIE for
information. Complete details are available at

121 - Can We Multitask and Learn?; Lucent to Roll Out Collaboration Technology Company

(Special Report in Route to Las Vegas, NV - Learning Decisions '99 and

1. Can We Multitask and Learn? As learning becomes more available at the
desktop, in the cubicle and office, we will have to confront the up and down
side of learner multitasking. Over the past few months, I have facilitated
about 1,300 people participating in a range of real-time learning events,
using a combination of telephones and web collaborative interfaces. I have
had the sense that a large percentage of these folks, who voluntarily signed
up for these one hour short briefings, were doing a bit of multitasking.
Check the email, surf to an intranet page, take a phone call on the other
line or other easy-to-do second tasks in the midst of my "deeply engaging
interactive lecture".

I don't know what to think about it! Part of the attraction of on-line
learning IS the ability to take short chunks and fit it into the spare times
during the workday. Yet, can we learn new content in the midst of lots of
side activities? We know how to focus learner attention in the classroom,
at least the appearance of focus. And, if the need or pain is high enough,
we know that learners will focus on almost anything. So, what are we to do
about multi-tasking? We want to open up a conversation with TechLearn
readers about multitasking. This is a critical issue as we expand the
expectations for desktop learning technology. Can you send me your thoughts
on this topic to and we will summarize the comments in a
future issue.

2. Lucent to Roll Out Collaboration Technology Company: Lucent is the
latest player to dive into the digital collaboration marketplace. They are
rolling out a new company, called Persystant, with a first application,
"BitRoom Collaboration Systems", focused on blending telephone technology
and collaborative tools such as PowerPoint presentations, whiteboards,
training functions and ultimately videoconferencing. This is a take notice
announcement. Lucent has the strength of technology development, roots in
the telephone industry and powerful partners like IBM waiting in the wings
for this capability.

3. Learning Quotation: Fritz Perls

" Learning is discovering that something is possible!"
----- Fritz Perls

4. Survey on Technical Training: The Chauncey Group International, a
professional testing and assessment subsidiary of Educational Testing
Service (ETS) has recently published a web-enabled survey for all trainers
to take. Certified Technical Trainer (CTT) a credential that Chauncey
distributes is based on instructional performance standards, or
competencies. In order for the certification to be valid in the market,
those competencies need to be validated globally as the industry evolves.
The survey is designed to solicit information about Trainers and the
tasks they perform, and benchmark the results against the current

The Masie Center will publish the results after The Chauncey Group finishes
compiling the data which will be interesting to see how the industry has
evolved, on a global basis, specific to Instructor-Led Training. Follow the
URL and click on CTT Survey to complete the survey!

5. ASTD to Co-Host TechLearn '99 - With Bookstore and Research Sessions: We
are pleased to announce that ASTD, the American Society for Training and
Development will be a co-host of TechLearn '99 to be held in Orlando,
Florida from October 31 to November 3rd. ASTD staff and members will
present a range of sessions and panels, focusing on key Research and
Benchmarking Issues related to learning, training and performance. ASTD
will also build a special Bookstore at TechLearn '99. ASTD joins our other
non-profit co-hosts, ISA and CEdMA and two governmental hosts: Advanced
Distributed Project (Department of Defense) and ALX (Department of Labor).
National and regional ASTD members will be eligible for a discount at
TechLearn '99. Complete registration at We are
excited about working closely with ASTD on future events and projects. ASTD
will also be joining our TechLearn Collaborative and I will be presenting a
special session at the upcoming ASTD Conference in Atlanta.

Join Our Advisory Boards for TechLearn '99 & The 1999 Computer & IT Training
Convention: Our TechLearn conference is built from the roots up, with the
active involvement of TechLearn Trends readers. We are seeking several
dozen colleagues to serve on two advisory boards for both TechLearn '99 and
the new co-sited event, The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention, to be
held in Orlando, Florida from October 31 to November 3rd. The Advisory
Boards will help to craft the final agendas and to help facilitate
brainstorming task forces at the event. If you would like to volunteer,
please send a note to me at, include your telephone and fax

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: info at
* Learning Decisions '99 (May 12 to 14, 1999 in Las Vegas, NV)
* TechLearn '99 and The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention (Oct 31 to
Nov 3, 1999 in Orlando, Florida)
* The Road to On-Line Learning Lab and Seminar - June 21 and 22, 1999 in
Washington, DC

120 - Learners Accessing Real Routers over Internet for On-Line Labs; Universal Learning Technologies: Free Course Delivery Site Offered

1. Learners Accessing Real Routers over Internet for On-Line Labs: We have
been tracking the increased interest in using the internet to give learners
access to real equipment in a remote lab situation. One new example is the
offering from MentorLabs. Today, they announced the launch of vLab, an
online training solution that teaches networking skills by giving users
access to real Cisco routers and switches over the Internet or corporate
intranet. Employing real-world scenarios authored by Cisco networking
experts, vLab's structured curriculum guides users to master the everyday
skills they need to upgrade and improve the reliability of their networks
and advance their careers.

I went on to their site and signed up for a demonstration
lab. After downloading some control programming, I was able to access
various Cisco routers around the country and experiment with actual
networking commands. As a learner, this gives me the ability to use a wide
range of equipment that would not normally be available to me in a
classroom. And, I can do that from any internet connected computer in the

We think that this is a growth segment! Imagine being able to work with lab
based, on-line equivalents of a wide range of equipment, from IT servers to
printing presses and other hardware components.

2. Report from the High Tech RV Trip: As I mentioned in our last Trends, we
were heading out on a week long trip to Southwest Utah in a RV. I loaded up
the RV with some new technology to see what mobile teleworking and high tech
vacations might look like. Here are a few tidbits:

A- Garmon Street Pilot GPS: This is a small GPS unit, that rests on the
dashboard and provides great up to date mapping for anyone on the road. It
provided super suggestions of nearest gas stations and other facilities as
we made our way around the country. We used it in conjunction with several
mapping programs including Trip Master and Trip Planner. It was
interesting to see the learning aspects of the information that was provided
by the combo of the GPS and planning software.

B- Low Tech Awesome Sound Based Learning: One of our best learning
experiences was a throwback to our days as kids in museums. We found a
simple audio cassette program at the Visitor's Center at Bryce Canyon,
called Through Your Window. Popped it in the car tape machine and it gave
us stop by stop audio and music narration for a 4 hour trip around Bryce.
It beeped when it was time to turn it off, gave hints of what to think about
as we looked at the landscape and filled the longer drives with music and
background history. Imagine applying this for new employee orientation.
Give them a tape recorder and headset and have them visit different places
in the company. Now, the big idea is to bridge A and B. Hook up the GPS
and laptop to audio history databases. As we drive we could be offered
custom history stories about our interests. If you want to start the biz,
give me a call and I will help!

C- Two Way Wireless Paging on the Belt: The last piece of technology that
we brought along (in addition to our cell phones, laptops, GPS and other
gadgets) was a new two way pager with keypad that can be worn on the belt.
This allows instant 2 way messaging to the individual. While the capacity
should soon be built into both cellular phones and PIMs, it is very
interesting to see what happens when the body gets it's own email address.
We are going to do an experiment in on-line learning with folks that have
this device. If you have a 2 way pager from Skytel and would like to be in
a pilot for belt-based learning, please send me an email to

D- Teleworking from the RV: Cellular phones, modem connections in the RV
campgrounds and soon to be cable connections right at tent side. It could
work. But, be careful not to stay too connected during the vacation mode.
It might get out of hand!

3. Universal Learning Technologies: Free Course Delivery Site Offered:
Here is another new product on the market for the creation and delivery of
learning content via on-line formats. Universal Learning Technologies is
offering its Bravo product as a course development and
delivery/collaboration tool. As an incentive to get folks to try this new
product, there is an unlimited time offer of free course hosting. Bravo is
IMS compliant and is focused on a wide range of course formats, learning
styles and media types. Check it out at

4. State of Technology Training Industry: Report and Award: I was honored
to be given the Eddy Award by ITTA, which is the industry group for
organizations involved in delivering computer and IT training. I was
touched to receive the honor and was impressed by the degree to which the IT
Training Industry has grown dramatically. Here were some trends that came
out of the dialogues at the recent ITTA conference in San Antonio:

* Emerging new models for delivery of IT training, focusing on combining
classroom, on-line and mentoring.
* Continued emphasis on how to rapidly expand the world of IT training and
provide scalable solutions to meet explosive expansion of technology
* Going beyond ERP implementations to Worker and Unit Productivity with new
* What will people pay for on-line learning products? Is there enough
revenue to support the development of high quality simulations for short
shelf life products?
* Recognizing the expanding role of community colleges and other 2 year
institutions in the delivery of grass roots IT training.
* The role of home networking as a new field requiring networking skills.

Thanks again to the Board of ITTA for the great honor of their Eddy Award.
We all have a lot of work ahead of us to continue the skilling of the
workforce to meet the promise of technology.

5. Learning Anagrams: These came across my email pile but I could not
resist. If you like anagrams, where the letters are remixed to create a new
word of phrase, try these out:

"Eleven plus two" ANAGRAMS TO: "Twelve plus one"
"Slot Machines" ANAGRAMS TO: "Cash Lost in'em"

Ready for this one?

"To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in the mind to
suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."
"In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet,
queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten."

We tried one of the anagram servers and found that TechLearn Trends became
CRETAN HELD ERNST .. oops. Try it yourself at

6. Welcome to Heinrich Koenen, New Dean and VP of The MASIE Center: We are
very honored to announce a new key player at The MASIE Center. Heinrich
Koenen, the former Director, Training and Technology of Domino's Pizza, has
moved to Saratoga Springs to take on the key role as Dean and Vice President
of The MASIE Center. Heinrich will be building the curriculum and faculty
roles at our events, including TechLearn '99 and The 1999 Computer & IT
Training Convention; coordinating the TechLearn Collaborative and serving as
an interface for key industry technology developers. Heinrich as been a
member of our "extended family" at The MASIE Center for many years and it is
an honor to have him join us. His email is if you would like
to propose a session for one our upcoming conferences.

Upcoming MASIE Center Events:
* Learning Decisions (just 24 seats remaining) - May 12 to 14, 1999 in Las
Vegas, NV
* The Road to On-Line Learning Lab and Seminar - June 21 and 22, 1999 in
Washington, DC
* TechLearn '99 (with over 1,109 registered) - Oct 31 to Nov 3, 1999 in
Orlando, FL
(Including: The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention)

119 - Training at Kennedy Space Center; Key Drivers for Learning and Technology; Hip Based Email Pagers

1. Training at Kennedy Space Center: Crack But Not Squash An Egg! Growing
up in the Space Race years implanted a fantasy that came true on Friday. I
got a VIP tour of the launch operations at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Thanks to the folks at Lockheed Martin and United Space Alliance, we spent
the day upclose and personal with the Shuttle Discovery, as it made its way
on to the launch pad for a scheduled mission later in May. It was
fascinating to see the shuttle move from the Vehicle Assembly Building to
the pad at the rate of 1 mile per hour (not bad for an 18 million pad
vehicle and then to stand on the pad where it will blast off into space in
just a few weeks. Exploring the belly of the shuttle, seeing the tiles
being assembled on the skin and getting to ask a million questions turned
the day into a learning event supreme for me and my wife.

We were also briefed on the training processes for the various engineers and
technicians at the Space Center. One process that I thought you would
enjoy was the competency levels required for the crane operator in the 500
feet tall Vehicle Assemble Building (taller than the Statue of Liberty).
They operate a crane device that actually lifts the various components of
the shuttle into one vertical entity. The crane operators must prove their
skills by lowering the crane point down to the floor on top on a hard boiled
egg. The objective is to crack the egg shell but to not squash the egg.
After that, they must lower the crane point down to an aerosol spray can and
push the spray button.

The emphasis on team pride, safety and continual learning was obvious in the
skills and attitudes of the workforce of United Space Alliance. Thanks for
making a boy's dream come, can we talk about the Trainers in
Space Project???

2. Key Drivers for Learning and Technology: A List. Here is a list of
"drivers" of why organizations are investigating and using learning
technology in their organizations. We are using this list as part of a
dialogue trigger at the upcoming Learning Decisions retreat:

a) Time Shifting: Organizations want to offer learners and their managers
the ability to "shift time" for learning. They also want to be able to
extend the impact of classroom experiences after the class is done.
b) Cycle Time: Organizations want to be able to more rapidly distribute
learning, skills and knowledge throughout the organization when a process
change occurs.
c) Distance Distribution: Organizations want to be able to provide common
information and learning experiences to every corner of their operation and
the globe.
d) Logistical Cost Suppression: Organizations want to spend less on the
travel and lodging elements of the learning budget, allocating a high
percentage to direct learning activities.
e) Granularization: Organizations want to be able to offer more granular
and reusable learning activities.
f) Performance Aiding: Organizations want to offer continual performance
support to the workforce.

3. The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention @ TechLearn : We are pleased
to announce a brand new event that will focus on the ever expanding world of
instructor led and technology delivered training for IT, computer and
business applications. The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention will be
held as a part of TechLearn '99 from October 31 to November 3rd in Orlando,
Florida. We will present special keynotes, seminars and task forces
focusing on the critical issues facing the Computer & IT Training

* Building Enterprise Wide IT Skills
* IT Skills Assessment
* The Impact of the Intranet on Computer and IT Training
* Pushing Computer Training to the Productivity Level
* Budgeting for Future IT Skills
* In House vs. Outsource IT Training
* New Models for IT Training
* Expanding Roles of Community Colleges in IT Training
* To Certify or Not to Certify?
* Combining IT Training, Business Training and Soft Skills Training
* Training Busy, Arrogant and Distracted IT Developers
* The End User of 2001: What Learning Will They Require?
* The Business Models for Computer and IT Training: Profit, Charge-Backs and
Wall Street
* IT Training after Y2K: Blended Models, ERP, On-Line and New Classroom

Nine years ago we started our first event focused on computer training
(Computer Training & Support Conference). We are pleased to be launching
The 1999 Computer & IT Training Convention as an expanded component of
TechLearn '99. (We already have 1,109 registrations and we are co-hosted by
CEdMA, ISA, ASTD, ADL and ALX) Your registration for TechLearn '99 will
give you access to any and all of the Computer and IT Training Convention
events. For information go to

4. A Learning Quotation: Longer But Worth It!

"The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing
that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may
lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss
your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics,
or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one
thing for it then--to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That
is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be
tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning
is the thing for you.

Look at what a lot of things there are to learn--pure science, the only
purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in
three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard
lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocritism and geography and history
and economics--why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate
wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary
at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time
to learn to plough."

from The Once and Future King by T.H. White

5. Hip Based Email Pagers: High Response...BUT! I am testing a new hip
based two way email pager. The technology is pretty good. I can get and
send emails as I walk down the terminals to my gate. Still not sure how it
feels to be that accessible. Clearly the convergence of wireless technology
will place all of us in a more connected context. Next, we will have to
set expectation levels for response. I sent a test message to a colleague
and he did respond to my hip in just 2 minutes. Cool. Yet, later he sent
me an email and when he didn't get a response in a few minutes he sent
another one. Rising expectations? Hmm. The device is Motorola's
PageWriter with service from SkyTel. ( (In that vein, a
personal note: We will be taking a 6 day trip through Southern Utah this
week on a high tech RV. Email response may be a bit slower, so forgive a
delay in getting back to you.)

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: (
* Learning Decisions '99 - May 12 to 14, 1999 Las Vegas
* TechLearn '99 - October 31 to November 3, 1999 Orlando
MASIE Center Membership is only $295 per year!

118 - Bandwidth in My Hotel Room...YIPES!; First Graduate Course on the Business of Learning

1. Bandwidth in My Hotel Room... YIPES!: It had to happen. After writing
several items in Trends about the frustrations of logging in as a road
warrior, I finally got delighted to the max. I recently stayed at the
Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto, CA. As I checked in, the front desk asked
if I wanted to have a T1 connection in my room. I was shocked and awaited
the fee quotation. "It is free! Here is a PC Card and cord to connect to
the Ethernet port right in your room." After just a few minutes of set-up,
I was connected at full T1 speed. Great service, provided by the "Guest
Connect" service. How long until the service is available throughout the
country. Thumbs up to Garden Court Hotel!

2. First Graduate Course on the Business of Learning: Stanford Graduate
School of Business has stated a new on-campus course that reflects the
growth of the segment of learning. "New Business Opportunities in Education
and Training" is a semester long course aimed at helping MBA candidates
understand the economics of the exploding learning marketplace. Take a
look at the curriculum in this class at their web site:

While on the subject, we are proud to announce the Business and Investing in
Learning & Training Symposium @ TechLearn '99. It will be led by myself and
Howard Block (Managing Director & Senior Research Analyst of Education
Services, NationsBanc Montgomery Securities) . We are very excited about
bringing together the key investors, business leaders and the learning
professionals in a frank dialogue about the investment opportunity in
learning. This topic is of interest to organizations making learning
technology decisions and needing to place the survival probabilities of
various companies into perspective. (Over 1,095 attendees registered -
Orlando - Oct 31 to Nov 3 - for details)

3. A Great Book: Leader to Leader: Here is a great book for anyone
interested in getting a broad set of perspectives on the changing roles of
leadership. "Leader to Leader" is edited by Frances Hesselbein and Paul
Cohen and published by the Drucker Foundation. I would head towards one of
the on-line book services ( or and order a
copy ASAP. Mini-chapters from dozens of great thinkers in the business
world and lots of application to the training and learning profession.

4. Learning Quotation: Winston Churchill

"Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I don't always like being
- Winston Churchill

5. Levels of Difficulty: Language of Complexity. We know that one of the
criteria that learners use to consider various learning experiences is the
level of difficulty or challenge. We avoid learning experiences where we
think we might fail. Likewise, we don't want to have learning experiences
that may be too easy. While we know how to articulate the content or
experience pre-requisites, we lack a terminology to describe the level of
difficulty or intensity of challenge. We would be interested in hearing
from TechLearn Trends readers on this topic. How do you describe the varied
level of difficulty or challenge (or terms you think you would like to start
to use)? Send me a note to and we will post a summary in a
few weeks.

UPDATE on Learning Decisions '99: We are four weeks away from this new
retreat for learning officers and managers. We are pleased to announce that
we will feature two companies as "under the hood" case studies at Learning
Decisions '99. Chase Manhattan Bank and Anheuser-Busch are both doing
exciting projects that are Aligning Learning and Business. We will
interview learning leaders from these two companies to take an up-close look
at how they are coping with one of our key Learning Decisions. There are
only 65 seats left at Learning Decisions '99 - May 12 to 14 in Las Vegas.
Details at

117 - Component On-Line Learning Technologies from Australia

1. Component On-Line Learning Technologies from Australia: One of our
predictions for the development of learning technologies has been the
introduction of component tools. While a large amount of on-line learning
will be developed with authoring systems and delivered in training
management systems, there is a natural demand for the ability to integrate
learning tools on a component level. For example, a manager might want to
post a new policy on a corporate intranet and embed a few learning
activities into the page (chat, assignments, tests for comprehension).
Well, we just got a first glance of these tools in a press release from
Australia. The company is called Janison Solutions and they have put
together a component model that you can check out at :

Watch for many of these component technologies to emerge in the marketplace
over the next 18 months!

2. Defense Acquisition University Visit: We just finished presenting a
briefing in On-Line Trainer Skills to a great team of faculty and managers
at the Defense Acquisition University in Washington. This is one of the
educational arms of the Pentagon and they are doing a great job of pushing
the envelope of large scale on-line delivery. The faculty are building
content intensive courses that thousands of DOD employees are taking from
bases and offices around the world. They are a dedicated group that raised
all the "right" issues of how we balance the scalability of courses with our
natural instinct to deliver high impact faculty - student interactions.
Hats off to DAU for your leadership work!

3. Learning Quotation:

"In the end we can never be given knowledge by others; we can only be
stimulated. We must develop our own knowledge."
- Charles T. Tart

4. Working from Home: Training Teleworkers - One of the strategy issues
that has been raised for our upcoming Learning Decisions '99 retreat focuses
on expenditures for training aimed at teleworkers. Several of the training
officers have raised the issue of how organizations are allocating training
resources for teleworkers. Here are some of the questions posed:

* Are organizations allocating more, less or the same amount of training
resources for teleworking or mobile workers? Do they get less learning
resources than their colleagues who are present and visible at the office?
* What are some strategies that organizations are using to deliver learning
to this workforce? These could include technology delivery or in-person
training meetings. What seems to be working?

If you can contribute to this dialogue, would you please send us a note to I will post a summary on the website and also post the
results of the discussion at Learning Decisions. If you are a learning or
training officer or manager and would like to join the 212 folks registered
for Learning Decisions '99 to be held in Las Vegas on May 12 to 14, please
go to

5. Thanks! Thanks a million to the 350 people who sent my mom a digital
birthday note. She said that she had the best birthday of her 89 year long
life. My warmest thanks! Let me know when your parent's birthday is and I
will send them a digital cake.

Upcoming MASIE Center Events:
* Learning Decisions '99 - Retreat for Training Decisions Makers - May 12 to
14 - Las Vegas
* TechLearn '99 - Reinventing Training - Oct 31 to Nov 3 - Orlando

116 - Editing a Movie at The Office; More Trouble with Higher Education

1. Editing a Movie at The Office: High Powered Editing Options at the
Desktop: I spent a good part of Sunday as a digital editor on my desktop.
Our new speaking bureau has requested that I submit a clip tape of
presentations that I have given on various topics, so I thought that it
would be a good moment to try my hand at desktop video editing. We
purchased Avid Cinema for $259, which includes a high powered video card and
multiple input/output switching devices.

I was amazed at how quickly I got into the project, assembling two to five
minute clips from 8 different videos. The program allowed me to add music,
compile special effects and provide the subtitling that my speaking agent
requested. I was able to import from our VCR, shoot one clip live from our
Video Conferencing machine, include music from a royalty free collection we
already owned and even do some graphics in PowerPoint and import as a JPG

We did need a lot of memory and storage. My machine is a high end IBM
ThinkPad that is augmented by a docking station to handle the video card and
a 9 G Hard Drive. But, it worked like a charm. In less than 4 hours, I
had edited a fairly smooth video that can be exported to video tape, CD-ROM
or formats for streaming. The longest wait is for the various effects to
actually be compiled, which it is doing as I write this TRENDS at home.
But, the ability to do this level of video editing at my office was
astounding. Check out this genre of software, starting in the $100 range
(without the video card). Avid is at
It was cool, helpful and saved us hundreds of dollars for an editing suite.
While not professional quality, it sure got the job done here.

2. More Trouble with Higher Education: California Virtual University Hits
Pause: There is more trouble on the higher education front for on-line
learning. The latest story is about the fate of the California Virtual
University. CVU was to have been the digital center of the universe for
higher education in California. Now, the staff has been cut, the plans cut
back and the mission under re-consideration. There is a detailed article in
the Los Angeles Times on this latest development:

3. Learning Decisions: Submit Key Issues for Robert Reich We are honored
to have Robert Reich as the keynote speaker at our upcoming retreat for
training managers and officers (Learning Decisions - May 12 to 17th - Las
Vegas). I have been asked to put together a set of key issues facing the
learning and training field for Secretary Reich to use as he builds his 1/2
day presentation: The Economics of Learning. If you would like to submit a
short note with your views of the key issues we face in the training and
learning world, I will forward these on to Secretary Reich. We will also
include a summary of his comments after Learning Decisions '99. Send your
comments to (There are only about 65 spaces available
left for the retreat.... info at

4. Knowledge Management Pushes Forward as Theme and Process: In the past
eight weeks the heat has been turned up on the Knowledge Management (KM)
burner. We have been tracking the use of the Knowledge Management term and
it seems to be appearing in more articles, press releases and business
plans. We have seen about a 20% increase in the use of the Knowledge
Management phrase in our scans. This reflects a good number of large scale
consulting efforts that have been funded in the past few months in the KM
field. Each of the major business consulting groups, as well as large scale
technology companies, are organizing service offerings under the Knowledge
Management banner. We are also seeing the rise of Knowledge Departments in
larger organizations and a few CKO (Chief Knowledge Officers).

5. Dorothy Masie, Web User, Hits 89! I have written about my mom, Dorothy
Masie, in previous TRENDS. This weekend she turned 89. Mom has become
quite the emailer, with turn around times of only a few hours for messages
we send her. If you are so inclined, send her a birthday greeting at (Please, no virus messages, as I have to do her Technical
Support.) Thanks!

115 - On-Line Jones University Sparks Protests from Faculty Organization; Embedded Web Servers - Small Devices Deliver Content

1. On-Line Jones University Sparks Protests from Faculty Organization: In a
unique action, the nation's leading organization of college professors
formally protested the recent accreditation of Jones International
University, the first (but not the last) on-line only education venture to
receive formal approval from a major accrediting association. the North
Central Association. The American Association of University Professors
(AAUP), a national group of 45,000 faculty, sent a sharp protest on three

a) One problem was that instructors at Jones teach courses prepared by
others, which means they have little say over how material is presented.
This, in the professors' view, violates the instructors' academic freedom.
b) Another issue was that the school has many part-time instructors, but
only two full-time faculty members.
c) A third was that, unlike conventional universities, Jones puts little
emphasis on faculty research or scholarship.

The AAUP did say that their members supported an exploration of the role of
internet delivered learning, but had serious troubles with the economic and
academic model of this business. Watch this fight as an early indicator of
the struggle between diverse models and images of the organization and
delivery models of higher education learning.

2. Embedded Web Servers - Small Devices Deliver Content: Check out a web
server on a chip, developed by Phar Lab as a prototype of allowing devices
that ability to directly serve content and information over the web. This
chip is a 486-based Single Board Computer (PC/104) which is only 3.8 by 3.6
inches in size. The server and application software use Phar Lap's Realtime
ETS Kernel, a realtime operating system for X86-based computers. This
particular demonstration is a Web server that provides realtime weather data
from Cambridge, Massachusetts. The demonstration illustrates how the Web can
be used to access and control small, low-cost embedded systems. Go to

Imagine similar devices on a range of equipment and structures. Check out
your furnace and fuel tank with web pages that show current status.

3. Learning Quotation: Pete Tressler

One of our TechLearn TRENDS Readers submitted his favorite saying:

"I believe it to be the inherent responsibility of every manager, regardless
of level, to accomplish 3 tasks every time they are with a direct report.
The 3 tasks are summed up in a quote I use often: EDUCATE, MOTIVATE and
- Pete Tressler, IT&S Strategy and Planning

4. Rotating Training Staff: A Learning Decision: As we prepare for our
upcoming conference, I have been interviewing Learning Officers about their
greatest hurdle in Aligning Training and Business Goals. The concept of
"fresh blood" has come up several more times than I would have predicted. A
desire to have the training or learning function be a career stop rather
than a career for a large percentage of the staff was raised by a number of
learning officers and training managers. One participant, responsible for
learning activities of 72,000 employees worldwide summarized her hope and

"I want to rotate the best performers in our organization for a short stint
in the training and learning department. Give us a year or two of your
career, contribute a powerful perspective, develop your own skills and then
go back out into the business units. These rotational members of our staff
would add an incredible point of view and credibility to our efforts. And,
they would be lifelong "agents" of ours in the business units. My challenge
is to lower the permanent head count of our training department and to add
glamour to the prospect of spending a rotation in our shop. If I can pull
this off, it will go a long way to making the Alignment Issue a reality."

We have heard similar views from quite a few training managers coming to
Learning Decisions '99. They clearly want to have some staff that have a
strong grounding in training and learning skills, but are eyeing a shift to
a rotational basis for a good chunk of their team. If you have some
thoughts on this issue please send me an email to After
Learning Decisions '99, we will post a summary of the dialogue on this

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: info at
Learning Decisions '99 (May 12 to 14 - Las Vegas) - Only 73 Seats Left!
TechLearn '99 (Oct 31 to Nov 3 - Orlando) - Over 1,053 Registered Already!

(Thanks to all of our readers for your good humor about our last edition,
The April Fools Trends. We had hundreds of emails from you and even a few
that are starting on a business plan for Digital Doughnuts. If you get them
available, let me know and we will post the info. Remember: Laughter is an
important reminder that you are alive!)

114 - Knowledge Tax and Depreciation Formula Proposed in Congress; Windows 98 Sued for Non-Y2K Compliant Title; On-Line Kindergarten

1. Knowledge Tax and Depreciation Formula Proposed in Congress: With the
U.S. Presidential election nearing, both political parties are looking for
issues that will capture the imagination of the electorate. Recently,
TechLearn Trends was briefed by two political advisers in Washington about
an intriguing proposal. In order to raise revenue in alignment with the
digital age, there is a new tax plan calling for a Knowledge Tax and
Depreciation Deduction.

This concept would tax individuals and organizations for their acquisition
of Knowledge. And, as the knowledge they possessed became old, an
offsetting deduction would be allowed on the tax form. "This tax reflects
the core idea that Knowledge is the Currency of the New Age", said one of
the authors of this revolutionary proposal. "During your "get smart" years,
you would contribute more tax. As you got stale, you would be able to
increase your deductions. Likewise, the smartest companies would pay the
most tax and the dumbest would get rebates". When asked if this might
actually create an incentive for ignorance, the politicians said that in the
age of the internet that could NEVER happen.

2. Dunkin Donuts Plans for Digital Doughnuts: A recent study by The MASIE
Center indicated that one of the biggest incentives for attending corporate
training was the quality of the food served. Great doughnuts had the
highest impact on increased attendance and positive class evaluations.
This is what Kirkpatrick calls: Tenth Level Evaluation.

Dunkin Donuts, the largest seller of delicious round pastry devices, sees
this as an enormous business opportunity. "We want to continue to play a
learning support role in the exploding on-line learning field", said Dunkin
Doughnuts VP for Corporate Development. "In 2000 we will be launching our
Digital Doughnuts product. As learners accomplish the specified objectives
of an on-line course, they will be awarded points. When they achieve target
point levels, they can print out a coupon for free doughnuts at any of our
stores. If they are taking an Executive MBA program on-line, the doughnuts
will actually be delivered to their homes, hotels or airport lounges."
While they would not discuss actual financial targets, they believe the
expenditures for on-line learning food might actually surpass revenues for
instructional content. "The way to the heart and mind of an on-line
learner is through their stomachs."

3. Windows 98 Sued for Non-Y2K Compliant Title: The litigation goes on.
Four state attorney generals have announced they will be adding additional
legal suits against Microsoft for their failure to name their current
operating system in a Y2K compliant fashion. "The correct title for Y2K
compliance would be Windows 1998. By using the non-Y2K compliant title
Windows '98, millions of corporate users are being exposed to the wrong use
of dates. This could cause zillions of dollars of damage, which is what we
hope to recoup from Gates for this horrible deed."

The MASIE Center was shocked by this legal suit, realizing that our
TechLearn '99 and Learning Decisions '99 conferences were also vulnerable
for litigation. We are therefore renaming our events TechLearn 1999 and
Decisions 1999 to placate the attorney generals. Wheww.

4. On-Line Kindergarten: Time Shifting for Busy Children: As we have
reported in earlier Trends, the demand for on-line learning is
driven more by time shifting than by the desire to learn at a distance. A
recent announcement from AOL supports this model. They are entering the
on-line kindergarten marketplace in several months. The on-line resource
reports that today's busy children are often unable to attend traditional
kindergarten classed due to their schedules.

"Between soccer classes, dance classes, reading enrichment programs and
other obligations, a good number of children ages 4 to 5 are unable to make
it to a half-day residential kindergarten. Event if they can make it to
school, many are distracted by other activities coming up later in the day.
Kindergarten On-Line (KOL) will provide a wonderful opportunity for them to take
their kindergarten learning experience later at night or earlier in the
morning," reported AOL's President Steve Case. "The digital kids are
demanding more learner choice in their ability to take learning anytime,
anyplace and anywhere. In addition, on-line classes will provide more
interaction than the traditional sit in your seat kindergarten lecture."

5. Learning Quotation: Plato

"Someday, in the distance future, our grandchildren's grandchildren will
develop a new equivalent of our classrooms. They will spend many hours
in front of boxes with fires glowing within. May they have the wisdom to know the
difference between light and knowledge"

--- Plato: Discourse on Future Learning

113 - Three Learning Decisions Organizations Face in 1999 - 2000

The MASIE Center Elliott Masie, Editor

Three Learning Decisions Organizations Face in 1999 - 2000
By Elliott Masie, President, The MASIE Center

In preparing for Learning Decisions '99, we did an extensive set of
interviews with Chief Learning Officers and Training Managers from major
organizations throughout North America. We asked a simple question:

"What are the core learning and training decisions that your organization
face in 1999 & 2000?"

I was amazed at the extent to which the answers converged on just three key
Learning Decisions. Here is the summary of the survey results:

Learning Decision 1: Aligning Training with Business Objectives:

How can training and learning departments and functions more closely align
themselves, in deed, with the stated goals and objectives of the overall

It was clear from our interviews that training and learning departments face
an immediate challenge of how to align with business goals, objectives and
language. Learning officers are being asked to play a more core role in the
life of the business. Businesses are under pressure to increase
marketshare, cope with globalization and operate on shorter cycle times.
Learning departments are now under acute pressure to demonstrate how they
can contribute to each of these shifts:

* How can learning and training efforts increase the sales function and
result in increased marketshare?
* How can learning and training efforts support the shift to globalization?
* How can learning and training efforts reduce cycle time....the amount of
time between the conception of a change in process and the time it is
actually implemented!

Learning Officers were clear that they needed to shift their planning
process to involve business units more centrally in their positioning and
budgeting strategies. They are also under pressure to expand their focus to
include new metrics that can measure the effectiveness and impact of
learning efforts. They are being asked to express success in business

Learning Decision 2: Developing a Corporate Wide Learning Technology

How can learning and training decision makers create and implement an
organizational wide strategy for making appropriate use (or non-use) of
learning technology? How do we map a sane course through this maze of real
and hyped capabilities?

The interviews focused on the need for a STRATEGY! While a lot of our
conversations focus on the new tools and technologies that are being brought
into the marketplace, the training managers expressed a frustration with the
lack of an organizational strategy. Technology for learning that is just
air-dropped into an organization will not succeed, according to the
respondents. They feel a strong need to develop an organization wide
strategy that would accomplish several of these objectives:

* Provide a framework for when to USE or NOT TO USE technology as a
component of learning delivery?
* Provide a decision making structure for evaluating each new learning
technology as it is presented to the organization?
* Coordinate the efforts of various business units as they independently
consider learning technology.
* Support experimentation and piloting to test approaches prior to
organization-wide implementation.
* Develop a common language within the organization to describe and discuss
learning technology and technology assisted instructional approaches?
* Align learning technology with parallel efforts such as Knowledge
* Assist in setting realistic expectations for learning technology.
* Coordinate efforts with IT and other partners needed to implement a
learning architecture.

Learning Decision 3: Economic and Business Models for Learning:

What are new economic and business models we can use to structure and
predict the investment in learning within an organization?

How can organizations plan for appropriate investments in workforce
learning? How much should be spent on learning with what levels of
expectation for ROI? How should organizations approach the staffing issues
for training management and delivery (in-house vs. out-source)? How should
cost recovery be structured as learning moves towards informal and digital

The senior learning professionals we interviewed for this survey were
universal in their need for new economic and business models for learning
investment. When asked by the CEO to predict the levels of investment
needed to achieve a targeted skill level, many felt they were at a loss to
express a confident prediction. The learning field has a unique opportunity
to start to build economic models for learning and development that can be
articulated to business decision makers. Here are some of the questions
that our respondents posed:

* What is an appropriate level of learning and training investment for a
worker at various stages of their employment (beginning, middle and near
* Do our systems of charging business units for training create an incentive
or discouragement to invest in learning?
* What are organizations doing to respond to the chant for ROI statistics?
* What is the impact of including informal learning in the budget analysis
of organizational learning efforts?


These three Learning Decisions will be the focus of The Masie Center's
efforts in the next several years. We will be dealing with them directly
at Learning Decisions '99, an executive retreat for training decision makers
to be held in Las Vegas on May 12 to 14, 1999. Complete information is
available at Learning Decisions '99 will provide deep
benchmarking amongst the 285 participants.

Permission is granted to duplicate and circulate the above article. I would
love to hear your comments by email at

111 - TeckChek: Vendor Independent Proficiency Tests & AccessAmerica: Technology for Reinventing Government

1. TeckChek: Vendor Independent Proficiency Tests: Take a look at the new
offerings from TeckChek, a vendor independent supplier of proficiency and
skills testing in the IT field. TechCheck is a Knowledge Universe company
that has over 100 different tests focused on the key competencies that IT
professionals need to perform in a changing world. What is unique about
their approach is the format of a test question, that drills down to see how
deeply an employee or candidate understands a concept, not just if they pass
or fail an item. They have web delivered scoring of the exams with a depth
of skill analysis.

We were also impressed with their ability to report results across a team.
You can view where the skill strength or skills gaps are for an entire team,
targeting the learning investments accordingly. The MASIE Center believes
that the TEAM as a unit of learning is at the core of new models of training
investments. You can check out the TeckChek site and view a sample test at
their site:

2. Global Broadcast: Learnings from a Busy Internet: We had over 20,000
people participating in our TechLearn LIVE internet and satellite broadcast
on March 17th. For the first time, an enormous number of people views (or
tried to view) the broadcast using their web browser.

We had some awesome results and failures during the widespread access to
this program. A good number of people were able to view the 2 hour
broadcast on their browsers with no problems. Some had a few glitches
along the way. Others were caught in net clog and it were unable to plug
in. Ironically, there was plenty of bandwidth at the broadcast side, which
was handled by Real Networks. But, the net is not fully ready for 100%
reliable video. Some ISP's clogged, one company had 40 people attempting to
view the broadcast at once and their server took a vacation. And, there was
a great deal of other net activity that competed for packet movement,
including the trailer for Star Wars.

Our keeps getting better but we are still working with an
emerging technology. The folks that used the more expensive satellite
reception had no problem and that worked for 15,000 or more people. For
anyone wanting to view the broadcast, we now have an archived version
available at You should be able to view this

3. AccessAmerica: Technology for Reinventing Government: Vice President
Gore recently today a new online magazine featuring stories about a rapidly
growing electronic government. The new site, Access America Online Magazine,
is found at

"I am proud of how federal workers are using information technology to put
American citizens in immediate touch with their government and its
services," Vice President Gore said. "Information technology enables us to
rethink and reinvent the way government works."

4. Another Voice on Verbalization: The notes about the topic of
verbalization's role in learning continue. Here is a comment from Lian
Bleckmann from Ottawa, Canada:

"I found that "talking in my head" helped considerably in validating not
just what I had learned, but THAT I had learned it. Because I did not
always have learning buddies with whom I could share discussions, I
would play both sides of a discussion through in my head, just to force
some new ideas. Often I resorted to discussions with my husband, even
though he was not following the program. He has been an adult learner
and was often quite capable of adding value to our discussions. So
yes....for me, .verbalization is important, both in shared learning
situations and in situations where you are learning alone."

5. Learning Decision '99 Question: We have had a number of TechLearn Trends
readers ask about the appropriate person to send to our upcoming Learning
Decisions '99 event in Las Vegas from May 12 to 14th. The simple answer is
the key learning leaders in your organization that are developing training
approaches for the future. We have accepted applications from Chief
Learning Officers, Training Managers and other key leaders in the
organization. We have rejected applications from trainers without
management roles, vendors/suppliers and individuals only focused on external
training. For complete information and an application, please go to

Mark Your Calendar:
- Learning Decisions '99 - Las Vegas, NV - May 12 - 14, 1999
- TechLearn '99 - Orlando, FL - Oct 31 to Nov 3, 1999
Complete Information:

110 - MyFamily.Com Creates Free Communities for Contact and Collaboration; Army Extends Computer Based Training Offerings to Force

1. MyFamily.Com Creates Free Communities for Contact and Collaboration:
Check out a new free site where families or other groups can create
communities of contact, collaboration and even learning. Go to and you can create a private site for your extended family.
Give access to each member of the family and they can access a private site
with a shared family calendar, picture album, family tree, announcements,
private scheduled or impromptu chats and even a filtered search engine of
the net. There are connections to e-commerce site, which is their economic
model, but the links are mild and the features are great. You could also
use this for a study group or professional collaboration group. Check it

2. Army Extends Computer Based Training Offerings to Force: Yesterday, I
was at FOSE, leading a key session for Federal Training Managers, with
representatives from the White House, Vice President Gore's NPR, ADL and
ALX. The group focused on the need to use the Federal Government as a
powerful customer to support innovations in the field of learning and
technology. We will have a special track at TechLearn '99
( entitled Government & Military Learning @ TechLearn

At FOSE, the Federal Government Computer show that sponsored this meeting, a
number of announcements were made in the training segment. CBT Systems
announced they were awarded a $1 Million dollar contract with the U.S. Army
that provides 500,000 Army personnel worldwide with just-in-time access to
CBT Systems' library of 750 titles using web access software.

3. Learning Quotation - Judy Finnel

"Let's not get caught up in on-line learning fever and forget that the
majority of training is still being done by dedicated trainers in classrooms
filled with learners. Position on-line learning as an extension of
classroom training, remembering to provide focus, support and recognition
for classroom trainers as we move into a new era. If we don't, we will
loose our best trainers!"
Judy Finnel, CFS, Inc - Training Manager

4. Las Vegas Trip Report - Learning Decisions: I spent a very busy 12 hours
in Las Vegas on Saturday, doing a field visit for our upcoming Learning
Decisions '99 retreat for training and learning executives. We are going to
be one of the first groups to use the brand new Venetian Hotel, an amazing
conference facility that is being built by the former owner of COMDEX. I
donned a hard hat and walked the property and checked out the final phases
of construction. With their background in technology, they are building a
very high tech hotel of conference attendees. A special laptop safe in
every room, a printer in every room and a third data line for access. And,
while there is a casino in the lobby, it is far from the focus of the
property. The theme is a reconstruction of Italy, along with a working
gondola canal and awesome art and sculpture.

We have 62% of the spaces filled at Learning Decisions '99. Learning
executives from Lucent, NCR, Wal-Mart, CIA, Chase Manhattan, Anheuser Busch,
Amazon.Com, US Air, Ernst & Young and more than 100 other leading
organizations. There is a limit of 285 attendees and it is limited to
internal training executives. Complete details are at We are honored to add Marc Rosenberg and
David Vaughn to our faculty resources at Learning Decisions '99. (By the
way, it was the night of the so-called fight on pay TV. I never saw more
disappointed sports fans as I did when the fight was called a draw.)

5. On-Line Learning Business Trends Article: If you would like to check out
an article about current business trends in on-line learning industry, go to
the Computer Reseller News site and read my latest article on standards,
consolidation, content and new players:

6. Ken Dychtwald - Learning Throughout Age Curve: There is all too much
focus on the younger generation of workers as forces of change. Let's not
forget that we have an enormous population of learners that are in the
forties, fifties and sixties. What about their needs and changing learning
profiles. Here is a provocative quote from Ken Dychtwald, the leading
thinker in the new conversation on the "Age Wave" (Ken will be a featured
Keynote Speaker at TechLearn '99):

"By 2020, the traditional 'linear life' paradigm in which people migrate
through education, then work, then leisure/retirement, will be replaced by a
new 'cyclic life' paradigm in which education, work and leisure are
interspersed repeatedly throughout the life span. It will become 'normal'
for 50-year-olds to go back to school and for 70-year-olds to start new

"Phased retirements, part-time and flex-time work and 'rehirements' will
become common options for mature men and women who either need or want to
keep working."

"In the years and decades to come, tens of millions of outspoken, long-lived
men and women will force a redefinition of the purpose and arrangement of
work in our lives. You can already see the tip of this iceberg with the
growing popularity of sabbaticals, phased retirement programs, flextime, job
banks, and career-transition retraining programs geared to older workers."

You will have a chance to dialogue with Ken about the needs of the older
workers in our workforce at TechLearn '99

7. Reminder: FREE Internet and Satellite Broadcast Tomorrow: At 1 PM to 3
PM Eastern Time, we will be hosting the next free TechLearn LIVE Broadcast,
with almost 20,000 viewers scheduled. Guests, topics and viewing
instructions are at If you would like to submit
questions for the panel, please send them to me at Send
some early ones so that we can integrate them into the broadcast.

109 - Microsoft Invests in; a Jewel of Resources

1. Reader Comments on Verbalization Pour In: Perhaps it was the topic,
but we have never had as large a response to an item in TechLearn Trends
as my recent blurb on verbalization. I am fascinated about the role of
talking in learning...and what it may mean to technology delivered
learning. We have had over 90 responses and more seem to be popping into
my mailbox. Thought we would share a few with you and we will build a
larger summary next week and post it on the web.

>From Beth Sweetlandbaily, Aetna
Hi Elliott! I'm part of a small project team of educators providing
leadership and brand awareness training to our financial services

Re the need to verbalize in learning... I think that this IS a critical
component of learning, particularly for extraverted work team members. By
extraverted I mean those individual who receive essential
stimulation/energy from others. Their introverted counterparts may not
always require the same level of interaction.

Several of my team members and I are Myers Briggs Type Indicator Qualified
Professionals. We find the personality preference theories, and
application critical to our job as training consultants.

Another reason why verbalization is a key component to effective learning
is that it forces individuals to test assumptions they are making. That
never hurts!

>From Paul Brown, IBM Learning Services
There is no question that at least for me, verbalization is a key part of
the internalization process. Just ask any of my co-workers. Whenever we
are in a learning situation together (either formal or informal (e.g. a
meeting)), I am known for fairly extended monologues, and your message in
TechLearn Trends explains it. That is exactly what I am doing - verbally
sifting and sorting what I've just heard, putting it into context with
what I already know, rephrasing what I've heard to confirm correct

I find it an extremely powerful tool, but hadn't realized until now why I
do it. It's interesting, because many people consider me very quiet. But
with some people, you can't shut me up. The reason is simply that with
those people, I feel comfortable with exploring ideas and advancing those
ideas by bouncing new thoughts off of others.

2 Microsoft Invests in - Convergence of Devices Ahead:
Yesterday, Microsoft announced a major investment in We
wrote about audible in the last Trends, focusing on their service of
selling audio objects of lectures, news and other information. Microsoft
is working with Audible to create the capacity to play audio content on
the Windows CE portable devices. Watch for the convergence of the hand
held computer (PIM), cell phone and audio content player. What a boom
for on-the-go learning (OTG). :)

3. a Jewel of Resources. A great source of resources on
the changing world of learning is a web site maintained by Wayne Hodgins
and Marcia Conner. Wayne is the leading figure in the world of learning
standards and works at AutoDesk. Marcia has been the force behind the
Training FAQ List and works at PeopleSoft. Bookmark this site, I visit it
every day or two:

4. Learning Decisions to Explore Chargeback Issues: The issue of charging
back to business units for learning and training activities is a key
topic. Are chargebacks actually a tax that lowers the incentive for
accessing learning services? How do organizations differ in their
approaches to allocating learning costs to business units or projects.
These will be tackled head on at Learning Decisions '99, our new Executive
Retreat for Training Executives to be held in Las Vegas, May 12 to 14,

We are honored to have accepted over 125 learning officers and directors
from companies including: Lucent, NCR, Sherwin Williams, Lockheed,
McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch, Intel, American Century, Chase Manhattan,
Compaq, The Limited and many more). Space is limited to 285 and
attendance is by application only. Full details at

108 - MP3 Gadget Demonstrates New Economy of Content; Industry Map from On-Line Learning Business Dialogue

1. MP3 Gadget Demonstrates New Economy of Content: Even though we are
taking a short vacation in Arizona, the yearn for new technology does not
cease. On Sunday night, after reading an article in WIRED Magazine, I
decided I HAD to have a MP3 Player. This is a media format that is causing
big waves in the music industry and is an intriguing "proof of concept" for
an aspect of the On-Line Learning industry.

MP3 is a format for compressing music to be able to get a complete song to 1
Meg or less. I ordered (by overnight courier, of course) a RIO player.
This is a 3 ounce small device (about the size of a small portable AM
radio), that will hold in solid state memory up to a dozen songs and play
them back at CD quality. As soon as the RIO arrived, I moved 4 tracks from
2 of my favorite CD's and downloaded 2 songs from the Net, one for free and
one for a small fee. I transferred them to the RIO and now I had my own
playlist of favorite songs.

What is the impact of MP3? It is shaking up the the security of the
traditional music distribution industry. Bands can now offer one track of a
record for widespread public distribution using MP3 and sell the complete
album over the net. MP3 and the RIO (as well as other players hitting the
market), bring the publishing role to an infinite number of sources. Bands
become distributors and consumers get to buy at a much more granular level
of content.

If the business models of MP3, either as a promotional or actual revenue
generating distribution process, prove out, they bode well for the content
side of the On-Line Learning industry. Content providers want to be able to
sell at the micro-currency level as well as the collection level. Even
Audible.Com, a distributor of audio books over the net has adapted to MP3.
I will be going to their site in a few minutes to download a free sample of
lectures from top colleges as well as a chapter from Steven King's latest
novel. Check out these sites if you want more info:(MP3 Overview and
Information) - (RIO Player) - and

One cool aspect about the RIO is that you can walk or jog with it and it
will never skip a beat, since all of the content is stored in Flash Memory.
Not bad on the treadmill!

2. Industry Map from On-Line Learning Business Dialogue: The On-Line
Learning industry is evolving at a rapid and explosive pace. Last week, we
had 225 of the business leaders from this segment at a dialogue in Seattle,
Washington. Here is one of the outcomes of the event. We put together a
"map" of the marketplace to show where the various products and services fit
together. To see this map, go to We will be
updating this map, with links to various players in the industry in the next
several months. The next gathering of the business leaders will be at a
one day pre-conference event @ TechLearn '99 (October 31 to November 3rd)

3. Learning Quotation: Kevin Kelly -

"To discover what is really happening in the Digital Economy, follow the
free. Follow the trends towards things that are approaching FREE in price.
Then, figure out what is essential and missing ... that will have the value.
In learning, content may approach FREE, but relationship and mentoring may
be highest priced and valued element."
Kevin Kelly (paraphrased) at Business of On-Line Learning Conference

4. Free Satellite and Internet Broadcast - March 17th - St. Patrick's Day.
Next week, over 18,000 learning and training professionals will be taking
part in our semi-annual free broadcast: TechLearn :LIVE! It will be
broadcast over several satellites and also available to be streamed via the
internet. There are regional meetings taking place around North America to
view this broadcast. The topics will be: Reinventing Training; Training
Careers in the Digital Age and Aligning Training and Business. I will be
providing a tips seminar on careers and will be joined in the broadcast by
Diane Hessan, Mike Parmentier and Wayne Hodgins. We will be fielding
questions and topics from the audience, via fax and email. The broadcast
will occur on Wednesday, March 17th between 1 and 3 PM Eastern Time. As
always, TechLearn LIVE! is a free service from The MASIE Center. Details at

5. The Role of Verbalization in Learning?: We are wondering what the role
of verbalization is in the learning process. David and Roger Johnson, from
the University of Minnesota, have done a great deal of research on the
importance of learners verbalizing newly gained information and content, as
part of the internalization process. We would love to hear from TechLearn
Readers about their views on this. If we are learning alone, is typing
enough? Do we need to verbalize? Send your thoughts, comments or even
rants to We will summarize them in a future Trends.

Upcoming MASIE Center Events:
Learning Decisions '99: An Executive Retreat for Training Executives - May
12 -14, 1999 (Las Vegas, Nevada)
TechLearn '99 (October 31 to November 3, 1999 - Orlando, Florida)