Subscribe: Learning TRENDS


93 - Kelly Launches On-Line Campus for Scientists

1. Survey on Email - Please Take 2 Minutes to Reply: Our next TechLearn Trends Survey is now on-line. The topic this week is email. The 2 minute survey will collect valuable information on the use of email, volume of email and potential of email for learning activities. Please go to to take this quick survey (and pass the word to your colleagues.) We will have a complete analysis of results in 10 days here on Trends.

2. Learning Quotation: Ben Franklin: Thanks to Melanie Leschnik, Training Manager for the Dept. of Treasury Headquarters in Washington, D.C. for the following quote:

"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
-- Ben Franklin

3. Kelly Launches On-Line Campus for Scientists: Kelly Scientific Resources, the scientific business unit of staffing provider, Kelly Services, today unveiled the next step in its employee career development initiative: a virtual campus. The Science Learning Center, at, provides scientific workplace skills training to anyone with Internet access.

"All scientists have an obligation to keep their skills current. For many, that obligation includes annual safety certifications. Since we're almost at the first of the year, we chose to make our first available courses address health and safety regulations," said Rolf Kleiner, senior vice president and general manager of Kelly Scientific Resources. There are 12 courses currently available. KSR will add protocol training courses, such as the FDA's Good Laboratory Practices, early in the new year. "A key benefit of the SLC campus is that it consolidates courses at one location on the Internet," said Kleiner.

4. TechLearn '99: Loretta LaRoche Returns on Balance and Humor: In only 11 months, TechLearn '99 will begin. The MASIE Center is finalizing our keynote speakers to give folks the ability to reserve the dates as early as possible. We are pleased to begin with the exciting news that Loretta LaRoche, the PBS Host of Joy of Stress and a favorite speaker at this year's conference will return in 1999. Loretta will present both a keynote address and an intensive skills pre-conference workshop entitled: "Balance!", focusing on the bringing balance to the crazy lives we lead as training and technology favorites. If you would like to make an early reservation for the conference, just send me an email at and we will slot you in. Our goal is to fill the conference before we have to send out a paper brochure. Watch for several additional speaker announcements in the weeks ahead.

5. Confusion Questions as Gifts to Learners: The problem with being confused is the difficulty of asking a question! When I'm confused, it is almost impossible for me to formulate a question to get out of my quandary. A great gift for learners is a listing of the questions that other people have asked when learning a specific topic. I stumbled on this technique 20 years ago when I was teaching a class of abnormally passive learners. I never got a single question during the first day. So, overnight I drafted a short list of questions that other learners have asked me during similar classes. Wow! The students got deeply more animated and would even "order by number". "My question is #5, plus an extra little question." Try it.

Upcoming MASIE Center Events:
* Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar (Saratoga Springs, NY 12/14 -15/98)
* Skills for On-Line Trainers Seminar (Washington, DC 1/25 - 26/99)
* Busine$$ of On-Line Learning Conference (March 1999 in Seattle)
* Free Regional Conferences: TechLearn LIVE! Day in March 1999
* TechLearn '99: Oct. 31 to Nov. 3rd (Orlando, Florida, USA) Information at or 800-98-MASIE

92 - Microsoft Car Page: Example of Dynamic Interaction Learning

1. Microsoft Car Page: Example of Dynamic Interaction Learning. Check out a new service from Microsoft, called Personal Auto Page. You supply a small amount of information about your automobile(s) and the page serves as a dynamic diary for maintenance, car value and other learning related to your vehicles. There are links to automobile research and a capability of receiving email when a recall is announced or an oil change is due. This dynamic interaction is a super model of on-line learning in the future. The page transformed itself with pictures of our cars and speedometers with the current mileage. The value of each car was listed and I found myself reading about ideal lengths of ownership.

Think about this process applied to any topic in an organization (e.g.. supervision or purchasing). By providing an immediate value based on personal information, the process invites repeat visits and becomes a dynamic point of learning on the topic. You can access Auto Page at

2. Learning Quotation: Confucius: Here's another cool quote from a Trends Reader, Boris Drizin, from Sao Paulo, Brazil:

"Some are born with knowledge, some derive it from study, and some acquire it only after a painful realization of their ignorance. But the knowledge being possessed, it comes to the same thing. Some study with a natural ease,some from a desire for advantages, and some by strenuous effort. But the achievement being made, it comes to the same thing." Confucius

3. Book and Web Site Support Performance Analysis: Allison Rossett, one of the great thinkers in the training and development field, has authored a new book and released a high value web site, both focused on helping us with the critical task of Performance Analysis. Her book is "First Things Fast: A Handbook for Performance Analysis." Check out the accompanying website at The web site provides great advice for countering objections to doing Performance Analysis and suggests ways to implement fast and focused surveys of needs.

(You can also purchase this book through First Things Fast : A Handbook for Performance Analysis)

4. Vice President Gore to Host Televised Summit on Skills: The MASIE Center is pleased to announce a special summit being organized by Vice President Gore, focusing on "21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs.:" We have been working with his staff to create a national interactive forum that will bring business, education and labor leaders together for a unique dialogue. You can host a local group to view this downlinked session and participate in a regional dialogue. The date is Monday, January 12th from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm Eastern Time. Complete details can be found on a new web site that will open on 12/8/98 or by calling 1-800-USA-LEARN. We will also carry complete details of the summit in future Trends.

5. Skills for On-Line Trainers Class Announced for D.C. A session of our popular Skills for On-Line Trainers class will be held in Washington, D.C. on January 25 and 26, 1999. This class is aimed at providing trainers (and others) with the skills and perspectives needed to operate in a technology delivered learning environment. Complete details and on-line registration is available at

Upcoming MASIE Center Events:
The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar: 12/14 to 12/15 - Saratoga Springs, NY (10 spaces left)
TechLearn '99 - 10/31 to 11/3 - Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL
Busine$$ of On-Line Learning Conference - Seattle - March

91 - Enters Training Distribution Field

1. Enters Training Distribution Field. We were intrigued to see a press release yesterday announcing the entry of (the on-line bookstore) into the distribution field for training products and services. GK Intelligent Systems Inc. (GKI) said agreed to sell its Around The Web In 80 Minutes Internet training software. GK Intelligent said the training software teaches Web navigation techniques, while adjusting to the user's skill level.

The corporate profile on them is: "GK Intelligent Systems Inc., with headquarters in Houston, Texas, is developing intelligent training software that dynamically adapts to the learning styles and abilities of individual users. The company is creating products to meet the education and information needs of consumers, corporate training managers and executive decision-makers."

This is an intriguing expansion of the distribution channels for learning.

2. Learning Quotation: One of our readers, Lou Gonzalez, from Florida Power and Light, submitted this learning quotation. Keep the quotes coming to

"It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well."
- Henri-Fredric Amiel

3 Problem Solution Sessions Content Posted: Dozens of brainstorming sessions are now posted on our site, covering topics for dealing with vendors to getting support for training. These are the first wave of the content from TechLearn '98, which we are making available for the readership of Trends. Check it out at:

Much more to follow in the days ahead. Keep checking our website at

4. Dissertation Writers Wanted: There are a number of key research questions that must be tackled in the years ahead, looking at how technology and learning can be leveraged for the greatest impact. The MASIE Center is volunteering to work with a small group of Ph.D. candidates to help them focus their dissertations on strategic research questions, to gain access to corporate learning settings for data collection and to disseminate the findings to an international audience. If you are a student or faculty member interested in this project, please send an email to The Center will donate time and resources to support vital research in this

5. A Conversation Piece: How Does the Mouse Change Reading? When you are in a conversation with family or colleagues this weekend, ask them how the use of a mouse might change how they read or digest text. Does it make us more selective, more targeted, more distracted or less tolerant.

Mark the Dates: We have set the dates for TechLearn '99: October 31 to November 3, 1999 in Orlando, Florida. There are already 530 registrations for next year. If you want to pay with 1998 dollars, please contact our office at 800-98-MASIE.

Several spaces still available in The Road to On-Line Learning LAB and Seminar: Saratoga Springs, NY (December 14 and 15th) or 800-98-MASIE

90 - Watch for Virtual Labs and Equipment & Handheld Devices ARE Happening for Productivity and Transactions

1. Watch for Virtual Labs and Equipment. When people are learning new technology, their highest interest is to be able to "play" or "touch" it. Learners want to be able to work with the actual technology, regardless of their ability to purchase or access the real thing. For example, if you were learning how to set up a network router or manage a nuclear power plant, you'd have a high need to experiment with the equipment. We might not want to give you a real one (especially the atomic example). This is the up and coming segment of on-line learning.

In the next six months watch for the growth of virtual labs and equipment that can be accessed and operated via a browser. We have seen several examples that are about to come to market. Keep an eye on Mentor Labs , which is building a CISCO router simulator. You will also start to see authoring tools that allow for a more "drag and drop" building of simulations. This is going to be a hot and high impact arena in the on-line learning industry.

2. Handheld Devices ARE Happening for Productivity and Transactions. Several months ago we predicted an increased interest in the use of handheld devices (Palm Pilot and Microsoft's CE) for corporate transactions and even learning. At COMDEX and TechLearn '98, we saw major emphasis on the handheld segment. Here is a case study that was most impressive:

Goldman, Sachs & Co. has been able to improve the productivity of 20 floor brokers by 300% by making their handheld devices even simpler than the pads of paper they once used to scribble down all-important "looks," or bids on stock prices.

Floor brokers for the venerable Wall Street brokerage have been using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE pen-based systems since August to provide looks based on requests from stock traders perched above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Historically, the floor brokers would receive such a request, say, for the going price on 10,000 shares of General Electric Co. stock, scribble down a response from a market maker and run it back to the trading desk.

But that process took at least five minutes, and the stock price information wasn't always accurate. Now, floor brokers can write down those responses on a Casio Inc. PA 2400 device running Windows CE 2.0 and transmit them to a trader within a few seconds over the Big Board's 2.4-GHz spread-spectrum network.

Using the handheld devices, Goldman Sachs floor brokers now can generate 450 to 500 looks per day, up from the 100 to 150 daily looks they averaged with conventional paper and pens. "We're in the information business, and if you can move information about the market faster than the next guy you're doing a good job," said John Hewitt, vice president of equities at Goldman Sachs.

3. Reinventing Learning & Training Briefing Announced by The MASIE Center. We are pleased to announce a new service...a customized one day briefing and survey conducted by Elliott Masie at your site. "Reinventing Learning and Training Briefing" has been created in response to requests for opportunities to bring executives, business leaders and training professionals up to speed on changes in the world of learning, training and technology. We will book 15 of these in 1999. To get complete details: or call Cathy Masie at 800-98-MASIE

4. A Learning Quote: Alvin Toffler: We begin a new element of TechLearn Trends today. We will include interesting quotes that we have located that related to the world of learning and training. We used these at our opening session of TechLearn and folks asked for copies of them. So, we will sprinkle them in future Trends. If you have any, just send them to

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. " Alvin Toffler

5. Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar: 10 Spaces Left. If you would like a complete, in-depth at the choices and decisions that organizations have to make as they step towards On-Line Learning, think about our hands-on lab to be held in Saratoga Springs, NY on December 14 and 15. Complete information and on-line registration is available at

Future MASIE Center Events:
- TechLearn '99: October 31 to November 3rd, 1999 - Orlando, Florida (523 registrations for '99 already received. To pay with 1998 dollars, just call 1-800-98-MASIE)
- Business of On-Line Learning Conference: March 1999
- Learning and Training Decisions '99: For Managers and Executives ONLY: Spring 1999

89 - Implications for AOL/Netscape

1. Implications for AOL/Netscape: What does the proposed AOL/Netscape merger mean for the world of on-line learning and training? AOL is already deep into the e-commerce field, with eyes on training as a core component of services that it can sell. They have a deal with Street Technologies to re-sell content on a pay for use model. We would not be surprised to see AOL take Netscape down the road to embed capabilities that would be training or knowledge management ready. There are some core culture issues that a merger would have to handle, but this could a powerful blend of installed bases and functionality.

2. TechLearn Top Story in ComputerWorld: We were pleasantly surprised to see that ComputerWorld featured TechLearn '98 as it's top story in the on-line edition. Check it out at They covered the various perceptions of attendees as they integrate technology into the world of training. Also, check out the pictures of the Missiles we had in the lobby of the conference. Also, we now have dozens of the session proceedings on-line at The complete conference proceedings will be posted in the weeks ahead.

3. SkillSoft Launches New Company: A major new company burst on to the learning scene last week. SkillSoft launched it's company at TechLearn. SkillSoft is a well-funded, experienced player targeting the management and "soft skills" segment. The management team came from the group that built up NETg and has a strong business and instructional plan. Check them out at

4. Intel Team Station Video Conferencing a Hit! We used a new video conferencing system at TechLearn to bring a few guests to the conference (Bob Pike, my mother and guests from Canada and beyond). We used Intel's Team Station system. What was awesome about this system was it's size (small), it's ability to use ISDN lines, WAN and the internet. The cost is quite reasonable and performed perfectly. The system can also be used as a presentation system in a conference room and can access content from a corporate network to use in a meeting. This is cool. Site location is

5. The Road to On-Line Learning LAB. If you would like to get up close and personal with the emerging field of on-line learning, consider attending our Road to On-Line Learning LAB and Seminar to be held in Saratoga Springs on December 14th and 15th. We have the latest in examples of training approaches, a state of the art lab for participants and lots of time for your questions and interests. (Plus, Saratoga Springs is a great place to shop for the holidays). The course is described in detail at

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

88 - Special Report from Miami, FL - Post-TechLearn Edition

#88 - - - November 23, 1998 - - - 21,237 Readers
TechLearn Trends --- Technology & Learning Updates

(Special Report from Miami, FL - Post-TechLearn Edition)

Dear TechLearn Trends Readers:

TechLearn '98 was attended by 1,767 learning, training and technology colleagues. Here are a few of the highlights:

* General Colin Powell addressed the importance of the role of the instructor in both learning and role modeling for workers. He recounted his experience as a trainer in the U.S. Army and linked it to the need to inspire and support young people in our societies.

* Secretary Robert Reich drilled down into the core economic and business changes that are underway in our world and the need for us to significantly alter our investments in learning and training.

* Don Tapscott detailed the shifts in expectations of new employees as they enter the world of work from the world of networking.

* Loretta LaRoche used humor to stress the importance of dealing with stress. Her approach to adding balance to our lives hit home was laugh filled power.

The complete site of resources from the Conference will be posted on-line after Thanksgiving, including the results from our Problem/Solution Sessions and Special Sponsor Sessions.

Thanks to all of our attendees, coaches and the readers of TechLearn Trends for their support.

Coming Events and Resources:
* We will be sponsoring a TechLearn DAY, with hundreds of regional and local meetings throughout the world in late March. Using technology and local hosting, this will be a series of FREE conferences focusing on technology and learning. Watch for details in the coming weeks.

* There are 14 spaces available in our upcoming Road to On-Line Learning Seminar in Saratoga Springs, NY (December 14 and 15th). Just go to for details and on-line registrations.

* Registrations are opening for TechLearn '99, to be held in Orlando from Oct 31 to Nov 3rd. Mark the dates and watch for details.

(I will be hanging out in Miami with my mom, taking a bit of time off after the Conference. We'll all be back in the office after Thanksgiving. Elliott)

87 - YIPINET Launches On-Line Learning Through Associations; HDTV to PC's

1. YIPINET Launches - On-Line Learning Through Associations: A new company was announced yesterday, YIPINET, which is focusing on delivering on-line learning in collaboration with associations and uses a neat look and feel to their programs. YIPINET stands for Your Interactive Personal Instructor on the Net, and focuses on the vast continuing education marketplace. One of the founders was from Activision and you can sense the media background of the company. They will be offering a wide range of professional development courses, such as continuing education for financial services professionals. You can check out their first preview courses at

The MASIE Center believes that associations will play a key role in the growth of on-line learning and YIPINET's announcement follows that line.

2. HDTV to PC's: Several technology manufacturers announced the launch of a capability to receive and display HDTV on a desktop PC. This technology will require two cards and will cost around $900. HDTV is an intriguing technology to watch as one of the bellwether indicators of convergence of television, computers and other media formats. Ironically, I have a cool PC TV card in my computer and the last show that I watched with the Winter Olympics in Japan.

3. David Vaughn from Anheuser-Busch University to Lead Dialogue at TechLearn '98: We are pleased to announce a "just-in-time" addition to TechLearn '98: David Vaughn, from Anheuser Busch University. They are doing some truly cutting edge work on the linkage of training, learning and the business goals of Anheuser Busch. David, a Group Director, will be interviewed by me at TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th) and will share how their company is aligning performance and training efforts across the full spectrum of delivery models. David is one of the neat thinkers and movers in the process of "Reinventing Training"

There are spaces available for your "just in time" registration for TechLearn '98, which starts on Sunday. Just yesterday we took 40 registrations to join the 1,765 professionals coming to the conference. There are affordable flights and hotel rooms. Just call 1-800-98-MASIE or go to for last minute or walk in registration. See you in Orlando!

86 - 40% of Home Computer Owners to Shop On-Line

1. Key Issues in IT & Computer Training: At TechLearn '98, I will be presenting a session entitled "A Fresh Lookn at IT & Computer Training". Here are the key "bullets" that we developed at The MASIE Center in our trend analysis of the training for technology challenge:

* IT & Computer Training has moved from a specialized slice of the training industry to a fully mainstream component of learning.
* IT & Computer Training is significantly larger than most studies indicate. The vast majority of training is being delivered through informal, self-study and by non-authorized centers and educational groups. In addition, a large amount of training is being delivered by groups and organizations that are normally seen as support rather than training groups.
* IT & Computer Training is increasingly being blended into functional topics. An example would be sales force automation or project management. Both of these topics contain a large amount of computer training, yet are organized and delivered as topical offerings.
* IT & Computer Training topics that will grow dramatically in the next 36 months include:
---- Developer (building the next generation of program developers)
---- Network (building and managing networks)
---- Content (creating and building on-line content for intranets and internets)
---- E-Transactions (building e-commerce and other browser based internal and external transactions)
---- Productivity (integration of technical functionality into work processes)
---- Information Skills (how to strategically use information)
---- Collaboration and Learning (building collaboration and learning applications)
---- Enterprise (leveraging enterprise database systems at the business unit level)
* IT & Computer Training will expand dramatically the formats and forms of training delivery
* IT & Computer Training needs to go back to the installed base and address poor desktop skills and habits
* IT & Computer Training suppliers will expand to include more retail oriented groups and format flexible suppliers.

More about these topics in our dialogues @ TechLearn '98 (

2. 40% of Home Computer Owners to Shop On-Line: Two recent studies gave some news that has intriguing implications for on-line learning. Both pointed to a dramatic rise in the percentage of computer users planning to purchased goods for the holiday season via on-line e-commerce. They targeted a rise from single digits yesterday to 40% this year. The implications for e-learning are enormous. The more the population becomes comfortable using PC's for sales transactions, the greater the acceptance for other types of transactions, including learning and training. We are tracking the changes in home use of computer as one of the indicators of changes in popular perceptions of the functionality of computers. Stay tuned.

3. Relax You Only Have a Few Minutes Left!: That is the message of Loretta LaRoche, one of our keynote speakers at next week's TechLearn Conference. Loretta is best known for her PBS Show, The Joy of Stress. She will be part of our Balance! effort at TechLearn to look at how we can use our roles as training leaders to create healthier balances for our organizations (and ourselves). Take her Laughter Self Test at

4. 23 Countries Coming to TechLearn! We are pleased to welcome training, learning and technology colleagues to TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th, 1998 in Orlando, FL). We will be gathering data from our international colleagues and posting it in a future trends. Representatives from China, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Israel, Brazil, Australia and many other part of the world will come to Orlando this weekend.

LAST MINUTE AND WALK-IN REGISTRATIONS: We have saved 100 spaces for last minute and walk-in registrations. There are affordable hotels and flights available. If you can make a "just in time" decision, just go to our website or call 800-98-MASIE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

83 - Voting/Learning On-Line?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

TechLearn Trends Favorites

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

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

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

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

TechLearn Annual Report on the Learning & Technology Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Respectfully submitted:
Elliott Masie, The MASIE Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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