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104 - Blackboard Offers Free On-Line Authoring and Hosting; Audiographic Briefing Reflections

1. Blackboard Offers Free On-Line Authoring and Hosting. One of the best ways of understanding the evolving world of on-line learning is to try your hand at authoring and teaching. Here is a cool way to get started. Blackboard, an on-line teaching systems group, is offering 120 days of free hosting of a class. They have a great set of tools that you can use to create content, design assessments and manage all learner activity. Go to to access this offer. I pointed a group of training managers to this site and they built prototype classes and then took each others. It was a wonderful way for them to taste a range of on-line classes. Boardwalk sells a server version at $5,000.

2. Audiographic Briefing Reflections. Two days ago, I presented a briefing for MCI-Worldcom on the Human Dimensions of Y2K. They had about 300 senior IT managers and Y2K coordinators sign up for this one hour session. We used Lotus/Databeam's Far Site tool to provide the participants with a view of our PowerPoint slides. This tool allows for one to many viewing of slides. Here were some of the observations of this model:

- One to Many Model: We were not attempting to have a virtual classroom, with lots of learner interactions. Rather our model was a virtual lecturehall. This was actually a strength. The learners received the audio portion over a telephone conference call to an audio bridge at MCI-Worldcom. They had the option of hitting a website and viewing a window displaying a single PowerPoint slide. This model allowed the learner to participate with a range of settings. There was no learning curve for the user, since they did not need to master a wide range of functions. In addition, there wasn't a chat session that could distract the learners from the presentation.

I believe that virtual classrooms are very powerful, but they don't scale to more than 30 or 40. As we move up the size chain, we need to drop the features and shift the metaphor more to a lecture mode. Lectures work... if you have relevant content, good design, shorter segments and opportunities for questions.

- Talk Show Format: MCI added a host for the event. Having a host changes the feel to more of a talk-show. The host welcomed the audience, went over the agenda, introduced myself and another subject matter expert and hosted questions from the field. The talk show model allows you to use experts, regardless of their background as trainers.

- Length: Once again, as we move towards distributed learning, duration has to be challenged. My presentation was 25 minutes and if I were to make the same presentation again, I would have dropped it to 20 minutes. This leaves more time for questions from the audience and interaction between guests.

- Overall Impressions: Based on the dozens of emails that I received after the session, the format worked. About 60% of the participants used the slide viewing option. Quite a few had more than one person listening in a conference room, with the slide show projected for all to see. This was an easy to arrange and highly enjoyable to present in format.

Watch for this type of presentation to become commonplace. As we see more audiographic tools, as Microsoft's NetMeeting is integrated in Office 2000 and as telecom companies bundle conferencing with one to many graphical broadcasting, this model will be a familiar mode of training and knowledge transfer.

3. Request from a Korean TRENDS Reader: We have received this email from Wonyong Cha from Korea. If you can assist please send email to the address below:

"I am a Managing Director of SK Telecom (provides wireless services, PCS, paging, etc), Korea. We would like to do benchmarking study visit to one of AT&T Wireless, AT&T School of Management, Sprint Wireless, Airtouch, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Cisco, Sony in Japan, Singapore Airline, etc. Anyone who knows who is the right contact at those corporations, can you help me to do this visit one of them during 22nd Feb to 26 Feb 1999? The purpose of study visit would be to discuss and/or exchange the current or future training systems or training programs for internal staffs, sales staffs, and further for distributor's staffs or stakeholders staffs. Your help would be highly appreciated. Please contact "

4. Pathlore Releases Phoenix Networks: Pathlore has just announced a new integrated training system, PHOENIX NetWorks, featuring "active content" and rapid team authoring functions. This new version of PHOENIX builds on database architecture, streamlines course development, opens door to new knowledge sources. Check it out at

5. Busine$$ of On-Line Learning Conference Forecasts Training Futures: It is difficult to close our eyes and visualize what on-line learning will look like three years from now. We will facilitate a unique Future Forecasting dialogue with the executives of the leading learning and technology companies at our upcoming Busine$$ of On-Line Learning Conference to be held in Seattle on March 3 and 4, 1999. Using a blend of audience response systems and dialogues amongst the key executives, we will gather a healthy compilation of possible futures. If you would like to participate in this unique conference, go to (there are only 25 seats left). We will publish an abstract of the findings in early April.

Upcoming MASIE Center Events:
- Free TechLearn LIVE! Broadcast - March 17th - for details
- Skills for On-Line Trainers - April 26 and 27, 1999 - Chicago for details
- TechLearn '99 (912 Registered Already!) October 31 to November 3, 1999 - Orlando - for details

103 - Anatomy of an On-Line Lecture

1. Anatomy of an On-Line Lecture: From New York to Singapore - Last evening at 10:45 pm, I found myself giving a speech in an empty office. I was delivering the keynote address to a conference of 500 senior military and government officials attending a conference on learning in Singapore. People have often asked about the logistics and planning process for a video-conference keynote, so I thought that I would share a few observations from this speech.

* Preparation: The level of preparation for a speech like this is a lot higher than most in-person sessions. First, one has to make sure that the technology will work. We used dial up Video-Conference, bonding 3 ISDN lines from Singapore to our lab in Saratoga Springs, New York. This gave us a very acceptable 30 frames per second connection. Even though we use video-conferencing several times a month for such events, there is always the fear that the network will not work. (A good fear, given some of the problems we have encountered over the years.) In fact, we made a 20 minute back-up videotape and sent it to our hosts, in case the lines could not connect. Ironically, the lines worked perfectly, but the courier service didn't deliver the emergency videotape.

* Briefing: Next, we had to deal with everyone's visualization of how things would work. There always seems to be more anxiety about these segments than a normal in-person speech. It was great working with our hosts in Singapore. And, we found ourselves having lots of email, phone and video rehearsals to get everything lined up and focused. As I was presenting to a different cultural group, our hosts did a great job of suggesting elements of my presentations that might work or not work outside of the United States. We had a great level of honesty with each other and were able to hone in the presentation to the needs and interests of the group. I had to remember that you never have enough time to cover EVERYTHING and deleted about 40% of my slides to make it more interesting and interactive.

* Getting Pumped: Normally, I get psyched up for a presentation when I start to see the audience come into the room. Here I had to handle the psyche up differently. I actually decided to load up my brain with the setting. Went to dinner at a local Asian restaurant, looked a collection of pictures from a previous visit to Singapore and even went on the internet and looked up the weather and local news from the destination city. Then, I saw a link to a Real Audio live feed from Singapore's radio stations and listened to the Mandarin Top 20 music countdown over the net.

* Instructional Design: I had done my scope and sequence of topics to discuss. Now, the really important aspect of instructional design - selecting the mix of learning activities and supporting technologies to make this a high energy vs.. boring lecture distance learning experience. My goal was to have a different visual every 3 minutes and to change the format of my presentation several times during the presentation. Here were some of the items we used during the speech:

- 5 PowerPoint Slides, each with only 2 sentences on each one. I try to DECREASE the amount of text to use the slides as a PROMPT rather than a content delivery tool.
- Two camera shots of myself. We get spoiled during professional sports, where the camera angle switches every few seconds. While I could not handle that level of diversity, I did set two pre-set camera zoom levels, to give the audience some diversity viewing.
- Three hand raising polls. I love to ask audiences to vote quickly, with their hands, on a number of topics. Since we were focusing on distance learning, I asked a question about how long they would stay on a web page that loaded slowly or was boring. As you might suspect, there was great agreement and laughter about how learners in the digital age are only one mouse click away from leaving.
- Two discussion moments. Twice, I asked the audience to turn to their neighbor and have a 30 second discussion. While most folks don't think this will work over video-conferencing, it has always given a great sense of energy to my keynotes delivered over a distance.
- Still Picture. I used a picture of General Colin Powell from our recent TechLearn Conference to help tell a story about his stint as a trainer in the military. It gave a 30 second view of another person and helped with the power of that story.
- Resources on Web. I built a specialized website for this speech, with hundreds of links and resources. This lets folks relax about the time limitation and even reduces their need to take notes. It allows the video portion to be more relaxed and serve to launch a larger set of learnings on-line.
- Web Content. I decided to play 30 seconds of the Singapore Radio Station that I had been listening to prior to the speech. When they heard the Mandarin announcer from 93.3 FM, the audience felt a connection and a lightness was added to the air.
- Questions. Our hosts did a great job of positioning microphones and camera angles to allow for audience questions. We reserved about 15 minutes after the speech for audience questions and it added a great deal to the sense of being able to "drill down" to the content that was hot for the learners.

* Decisions Made: Trainers are always making decisions. In this instance, decisions were made prior to the presentation and I made several adjustments right before my segment. My hosts in Singapore did a great job of letting me listen and watch 2 speakers before my keynote. I tied them into the presentation and even changed one of my slides at the last minute to not replicate a speaker that had done a great job of covering a topic I was planning to address. Cut! That gave more time for the remainder of the presentation. During the presentation, I looked at how the audience was responding and added a number of last minute points and even one activity, based on their positive response to the more interactive elements.

* Learnings: I am always struck by how much energy it takes to do a presentation over distance. You put out a large amount of energy to project your excitement about content. In addition, I was producing my own presentation, by selecting buttons and clicking the mouse on my laptop. This added another element of focus. Yet, it always pays off. I saved 28 hours of travel for a 40 minute speech, I saved our hosts a lot of money and it actually helped us to "walk the talk" about the power of technology assisted learning. If you are going to give a speech using these technologies remember that it will take lots of prep and keep your sense of humor about the process. We are all breaking new ground as we create a model of accessing expertise from afar....we better keep our humanity and lexibility in the process.

If you are interested in how they are using learning and technology, the URL for the Ministry of Defence, Singapore is and their IT department is

2. Impressions from the Training Marketplace: I just returned from the latest training trade show in Chicago and had a number of impressions of what's hot and what's emerging in the marketplace:

- Tools Galore: There were dozens of new tools for delivering on-line learning. These ranged from large scale enterprise wide systems to smaller training delivery packages. The blend of synchronous and asynchronous methods is seen emerging in the tool marketplace.
- Content Coming Slower: While there were a few new content companies on the trade show floor, there is still a gap between the buyer's demands for lots of off-the-shelf on-line learning training content and the size of the offerings. Only the IT space has emerging competition, while the other content silos are still pretty empty. Watch for more by time we get to TechLearn in late October.
- Strategic Relationships Everywhere: There were so many strategic relationships that it felt almost overwhelming to track. Everyone is working with everyone to show that they can do everything and anything. As we get more standards, the interoperability of content may be easier to track.
- Technology New to Training: It was a bit sad to see a number of technology groups that were coming into the training marketplace quite unprepared. I went to one new vendor and asked them about instructional design issues and they said they outsourced all of their design to leading edge programmers. The sales person didn't have a clue! Training is seen as a hot vertical market for technology players...but let's help them remember to do their homework about the art and science of learning.
- What's Missing?: I didn't see many exciting approaches to "Community Building". I know there are a number of projects in the pipeline, but there weren't any knock your socks off models of learner engagement. Also, didn't see many templates aimed at the high volume topics, such as Employee Orientation or Effective Selling. Templates will allow localization of 3rd party content.

If you are a supplier or developer in this marketplace, be sure to check out our upcoming Business of On-Line Learning Conference in Seattle in early March. Go to for details.

3. Asymetrix Releases New Tool. Last week I was briefed by the folks from Asymetrix on their new authoring tool, Toolbook II 7.0 This upgrade makes a shift to the use of DHTML (Dynamic HTML) and Javascript even for the non-programmer. There are new templates and instructional format assistance embedded in this tool. It is in beta now and will be released in the weeks ahead. Check it out at

4. More Strategic Relationships in the Field. Talking of strategic relationships, two major partnerships were announced in the last 10 days by big players in the virtual classroom marketplace. Centra Software and PricewaterhouseCoopers announced a deployment alliance. ILINC and ExecuTrain announced a partnership to delivery IT training via on-line learning. Check out or for more details.

5. Skills for On-Line Trainers Class to Chicago in April. The MASIE Center is proud to announce that we are bringing our popular Skills for On-Line Trainers to the Chicago area on April 26 and 27, 1999. Check for details.

102 - Discreet Collaboration by Phone Launched by AT&T

1. Discreet Collaboration by Phone Launched by AT&T: One of the strangest questions that I was ever asked focused on the issue of discreet collaborations in learning. A trainer was asked by one of his distance learning graduate student if she HAD to give her name and telephone number to the people in her class. She wanted a higher level of secrecy. Hard to do if you are going to require some telephone collaboration as part of the design. Well, help may be on the way.

Aimed at the chat room - on-line romance marketplace, AT&T has launched a new service that allows two people to place a call to each other without ever having to give away any information about each other. Called ChatNTalk, the service allows two people to give a screen name and billing information to AT&T and they will be hooked up by telephone. This new service is now in beta and is billing at 15 cents (USA) for each person per minute. Once it goes live in a few weeks, the price will raise to 25 cents per minute plus a 50 cents set up fee. The website for this service can be found at

2. Blending Synchronous and Asynchronous Formats: How do we blend the best of synchronous (live) events with authored asynchronous (on-demand) events? This is a hot question as organizations start to expand their on-line learning offerings. We have been waiting to see new products on the marketplace that will do a stronger job of integrating these two strong components of technology and learning. I would love to be able to offer learners a stronger integration of threaded discussions, real-time mentoring, scheduled audio-graphic presentations and authored CBT products. While a number of management systems allow us to offer these various events on a single schedule, we need to be able to integrate at a more basic model, right down to the learning objective or learning object level. If you have seen a product that weaves these formats in a creative and effective fashion, please send an email to .

3. Learning Quotation: A Remote Learner. This was submitted by Rachel Wilson, a TRENDS reader involved in a 2 year distance learning degree program:

"The cool thing about distance learning is that I don't have to PRETEND to be interested every minute. I can be more honest about the value of each class and activity. I can even honestly multi-task if an on-line lecture or chat is boring. I spent so much time in traditional classes pretending to be engaged in learning to please the instructor. Now, I only have myself, as the customer, to please. I feel a lot more genuine!"

4. Bill Cosby Routine - Fat Albert: As you may know, we are honored to have Dr. Bill Cosby as the keynoter for TechLearn '99 in Orlando in October. From time to time we will send you a URL for a sound clip from "Cos". One of my favorites is from a 1969 record. Courtesy of Comedy Radio Network, here is a Real Audio clip about Fat Albert: To join the 892 other training and learning professionals registered for TechLearn go to

5. Integrated Diet and Exercise Learning Site Launched. One of the most difficult learning task is to change a diet or to take a new approach to exercise. It involves a combination of learning (or re-learning) information, reflection, coaching, feedback, support and practice. I can attest on a personal level as a lifelong serial dieter. As I push myself to get healthier, I searched for the right support tools. Found a great site, which I am just starting to use. Check out which includes a very savvy web based client, along with a downloaded program, that will provide a wide range of diet tracking, calendering of activities and support. The core program is free. The site builders have created a very creative approach to learning and behavioral change. Check it out. (And, I will let you know how it works on a personal level.)

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: (Details and Registration )
** Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar - MIAMI, FL (February 8th and 9th - 6 seats available)
** Busine$$ of On-Line Learning - SEATTLE, WA (March 3rd and 4th - 55 seats available)
** Skills for On-Line Trainers - CHICAGO, IL (April 26th and 27th - 25 seats available)
** TechLearn '99 - Orlando, Florida

101 - Federal Government Announces New Grants Program Focusing on the Future of Technology and Learning

To: TechLearn Trends Readers
From: Elliott Masie

We have had a special request from our colleagues in the Federal Government to help circulate information about an exciting new grants program focusing on the future of technology and learning. Ten million dollars in grants will be awarded in Fiscal Year 1999 to broaden access to technology-mediated education that is not limited by time or place. Please read the announcement below and contact them directly for more information. The MASIE Center wants to encourage universities, researchers and businesses to form partnerships to apply for these knowledge extending help. We will widely circulate the results of these projects in future Trends. Special thanks to Thomas Kalil at the White House for his work on this important program:

The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education announces that the competition guidelines and application materials for the LEARNING ANYTIME ANYWHERE PARTNERSHIPS (LAAP) are now available on the web at:

The following information is excerpted from the application guidelines and is not complete. Be sure to read the entire set of application materials before preparing a proposal. If you want to obtain a print copy of these application materials, please send your postal mailing address to


The Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships (LAAP) program is a grant competition newly authorized by the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965. Ten million dollars in grants will be awarded in Fiscal Year 1999 to broaden access to technology-mediated education that is not limited by time or place. LAAP will support partnerships that may include universities, colleges, businesses, community organizations, and other entities to use technology to address the biggest challenges and opportunities in postsecondary education and lifelong learning. Ideally, LAAP projects should make possible resource sharing and activities that would not occur were any of the participating partners to act on their own. These projects, should be bold and coherent demonstrations of new ideas that are national or regional in scope.


LAAP will be considering proposals addressing the following invitational priorities (all of which are explained further in the application package):

Addressing Cost, Scalability, and Sustainability
Balancing Interactivity, Cost, and Flexibility
Developing High Quality, Interactive Courseware
Packaging Courses and Programs
Using Skill Competencies and Learning Outcomes
Improving Quality and Accountability
Creating New Opportunities for Underserved Learners
Improving Support Services


Eligible partnerships must consist of two or more independent agencies, organizations, or institutions. The partners may include institutions of higher education, community organizations, and other public and private institutions, agencies, and organizations. A non-profit organization should be designated to serve as the lead applicant and fiscal agent for the partnership.


Funds awarded through LAAP grants may be used to develop and assess model distance learning programs or innovative educational software; to develop methodologies for the identification and measurement of skill competencies; to develop and assess innovative student services; or to support other activities consistent with the purposes of the competition.


LAAP grants may provide up to five years of funding, depending on the scope of the requested activities. Fiscal Year (FY) 1999 projects may begin as early as September 1, 1999, but preferably no later than January 1, 2000. We estimate that 25-30 new awards will be made. Most grants will be for one, two, or three years of funding. These grants will likely range from $100,000 to $500,000 per year, with an average of $333,333 per year. A few grants of exceptional scope may be larger, with an average of $500,000 per year, and/or provide four or five years of funding. Only the first year of funding will be obligated from FY 1999 funds; funding for subsequent years is contingent upon Congressional appropriations.


Federal funds shall provide not more than 50 percent of the total cost of LAAP-funded projects. The non-Federal share of project costs may be in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including services, supplies, or equipment. The program aims to promote the leveraging of resources among institutions and, in particular, to encourage investments and contributions from private sector partners.


LAAP does not expect to provide support for large equipment purchases or for the development of computer networks or other infrastructure. However, applicants are encouraged to leverage institutional and private investments to support these costs, and to proceed with their planning and program development by directly coordinating with the appropriate computer networking professionals.


All applicants must submit a "preliminary proposal" up to seven pages in length by April 2, 1999. These preliminary proposals will be reviewed and a select number of applicants will be invited in May to submit by June 18 a "final proposal" up to twenty-five pages in length. Award decisions, which are expected to be announced by July 31, will be based upon review of the final proposals.


The LAAP competition will be administered by the Fund fo the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE): ROB-3, Room 3100, 7th and D St. SW, Washington, DC 20202-5175

Phone: 202-708-5750
E-mail: (Use this address to request print copies of the application materials)

100 - Special Report from Washington, DC

1. Snip Goes the Laptop Cable: We have just returned from a WONDERFUL week of vacation in the remote paradise of Petit St. Vincent. Here we were on this deserted island with only 21 other couples and no internet connectivity, televisions or other digital activity. Mucho needed reflection and relaxation in the Digital Age.

Since I had flown from a series of meetings, my trusty laptop was in my briefcase and we thought it might be an added measure of security to activate my trusty Kensington lock (the steel cable that bolts the computer to furniture.) Several days later, when we realized how remote we were, the locking didn't seem so important. The laptop took a weeks rest, tied down to a large wicker chair on our porch.

A few days before our return, the resort asked that we send one of our suitcases ahead, since you need to take a small plane to get from the island and there might not be enough room. No problem. Until we realized that we had packed the KEY to the Kensington into the bag.

So, hours before our departure we had the laptop tied to the wicker chair with a steel cable. Bummer and very embarrasing. Told the resort management and they sent one of their workmen to solve the decision. He arrived at our cottage with saws, hammers and other tools to destroy the chair and free Elliott's laptop. On a whim, I asked if they had a pair of large lockcutters, on the outside chance we might be able to cut the cable instead of the wood chair. All he had was a small pair of wire cutters....which seemed way too small to do the deed.

Yet, squeeze and the cable cut like a knife through butter. Yeah! But wait, we just cut this steel cable with a small, common set of wire cutters. What about the high security locking process? Lesson learned: The lock and cable make the laptop look secure and would slow down a thief for a few minutes, but buyer beware.

2. Learning Quotation: Here is a quote from TechLearn Reader Bob Dean, from E&Y:

"The virtue of a computer in the classroom is that it requires a user, not a watcher."
- Diane Ravitch

3. Pricing Issues for On-Line Learning: One of the hot issues facing the world of on-line learning is Pricing! As an increasing quantity of on-line content and programs come to the marketplace, pricing is struggling to find an equilibrium. Here are some of the Pricing Questions on the table:

* Will we see Micro-Transaction Pricing? This would be the ability to buy very small units of learning. An organization would pay per module or learning objective, choosing from a huge universal collection of learning activities. In order for micro-transacations to work the learning marketplace would require a sophisticated infrastructure for revenue tracking and collection.

* How does the delivery transport (CD, Web or Mixed Media) alter the perception of pricing valuation in the eyes of the customer?

* What will be the differences in learning pricing for at-home development vs. business based learning?

* Can Performance or Assessment Based Pricing work?

* How are Training Management Systems evolving in pricing? Will there be a commodity level system in the future?

These issues are critical to both buyers and suppliers in the marketplace. We will be raising these at the Busine$$ of On-Line Learing Conference in Seattle, WA on March 3 and 4th. Kevin Kelly, author of "New Rules for the New Economy : 10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World" and Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, will lead a dialogue on these issues. We will summarize the findings in a future Trends. (Conference has 70 seats available at ). Would also love to hear your ideas on these issues at

4. MASIE Center Seminar Comes to Florida: We are presenting our popular ROAD to ON-LINE LEARNING LAB & SEMINAR in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area on February 8th and 9th. We brought the LAB to Florida in response to requests from our Trends readers and also to allow us to attend a family reunion in Miami previous weekend. There are a dozen spaces left in the LAB. Complete details at


99 - Heading for a Low-Tech Vacation for 9 Days!

First, a personal note! My wife and I are heading for a deeply low-tech one week vacation in Barbados. No laptop, no telephone and no television. So, TechLearn Trends will be quiet for about 9 days. Email will be responded to when we return. Thanks for your patience.

1. Vice President Gore's Summit Highlights Lifelong Learning and Learning Technology: I had the privilege of participating in Vice President Gore's Summit on 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs. This was an exciting event, bringing together 300 leaders from the worlds of training, labor unions, management, government and higher education. There were a series of dialogues about what was needed to take the country (and the world) into the 21st Century of Learning. The Vice President announced a series of new programs and efforts to coordinate learning technology usage in the Federal Government and to advocate for lifelong learning programs.

In a future edition of TRENDS we will post a complete set of findings from the Summit. Thanks to the 110 readers that responded to our request for input and ideas for the Summit dialogues.

2. Kevin Kelly of Wired to Address Business Issues at On-Line Learning Event: We are proud to announce that Kevin Kelly, the Executive Editor of Wired Magazine will Keynote the Busine$$ of On-Line Learning Conference on March 3 and 4th in Seattle, WA. Kelly is the author of the best selling New Rules for the New Economy : 10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World. Kelly will address the key issues of pricing, profitability and formats in the on-line learning industry. There are 110 spaces available for this high end conference. Details at

3. Learning Quotation: A 7 Year Old: Today's quote comes from Barb Royal from Norwest Financial in Iowa:

"Learning something new is the bestest thing in the world."

Andrew Harper, age 7 - in A Year of Living Consciously by Gay Hendricks

4. Universal Design: I heard a new term at the Summit yesterday: Universal Design. The term applies to approaches that allow content to be created in a format friendly to users with learning needs. By designing content in a universal and open format, technology can apply image magnification, sound translation and other learning assistance.

See you all after our vacation...

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: (Details at )
* Skills for On-Line Trainers (Washington, DC - January 25 and 26)
* The Road to On-Line Learning LAB and Seminar - (Miami, FL - Feb. 8 and 9)
* Busine$$ of On-Line Learning Conference - (Seattle, WA - March 3 and 4)
* TechLearn '99 - (Orlando, FL - Oct. 31 to Nov. 3)

98 - Rapid Development of Training Programs

1. Rapid Development of Training Programs: In a recent conference call with senior training managers at six large companies, the topic of speed of training program development became a hot issue. All six training officers placed rapid development at the top of their list for a needed change in capacity in their organizations. "We try to buy as much of our training from the marketplace as possible. When we develop our own training programs, the crunch is on. These are usually high profile and high need cases. I can't wait six months or even 12 weeks to get a solution. When will we get new models of curriculum development and tools to support rapid creation of high quality learning programs?" This was the summary perspective from the group.

When drilling down, it became clear that the group was looking for a stronger "template based model" of learning design. They wanted to be able to populate formats or form factors with their own content, developed using basic tools, close to the workplace. The other issue that came into focus was the desire to build an enterprise wide pool of content that could be drawn upon for specific training programs. There are lots of technologies that are targeting these aims and objectives, yet this group didn't see their frustration directly addressed by the current offerings on the marketplace. This is a prime issue for discussion within our industry. How do we create rapid development without giving away the quality of great instructional design?

2. Learning Quotation: Eric Hoffer: Today's quote is from Larry Ecton, Summit Electric Supply in Albuquerque, MN:

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."
- Eric Hoffer

3. Missing Prediction: Reader to the Rescue - When we posted our end of year prediction, my mind seemed to have lost its numbering function. We left out a number 4. Several readers caught the snafu, but one came to the rescue with a suggestion. Joel Courtemanche, from Lockheed Martin, suggested this prediction, which I fully support:

"I would like to suggest that INTEGRATED TRAINING SOLUTIONS serve as Prediction #4. As a Developer of Training, but also a Purchaser of Training, I believe that the trainers who integrate CBT with EPSSs (Electronic Performance Support Systems) all in a browser-based environment will be the ones that I will recommend we purchase. No longer will a developer just develop CBT, or convert paper to on-line format. I need that integrated solution. I believe the developer who offers an integrated solution will be offering me the relational or object oriented database that I desire so I can have many development teams using the same material instead of me paying each developer to create the same graphics that another development team has developed."

Thanks Joel!

4. Y2K is Already Here! One thought. Almost every software package that you use in 1999 is already using some 2000 dates. From financial to manufacturing software, the date of 1/1/2000 is already in widespread use. This does not mean that we won't have some mild to serious glitches in the months ahead, but let's not think that the first time a Y2K date is used is on New Years Eve.

5. Email Usage Survey Results: We have the results from the latest TRENDS poll on email usage. More than 1,600 readers responded. Highlights: Average emails received per day: 32. Time spend on email per day? Check out the results at

6. Miami to Host The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar: We are pleased to announce that the next Road to On-Line Learning LAB and Seminar will be held in the popular city of Miami, Florida. (Also the home of Dorothy Masie, my mom on the internet). We will be conducting this two day hands-on class there on Monday and Tuesday, March 3 and 4th. If you want to get a complete view of the steps that organizations need to take as they ramp up to on-line learning delivery, this is an ideal class - for details. (In addition, the class will head for a special South Beach Party on Monday night).

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: (Details at
* Skills for On-Line Trainers (Washington, DC - January 25 and 26)
* The Road to On-Line Learning LAB and Seminar - (Miami, FL - Feb. 8 and 9)
* Busine$$ of On-Line Learning Conference - (Seattle, WA - March 3 and 4)
* TechLearn '99 - (Orlando, FL - Oct. 31 to Nov. 3)

97 - Special Report from Boston, MA

1. Vice President Gore's Summit on 21st Century Skills Next Week: There will be an important summit in Washington, D.C. next week on January 12th. Vice President Gore's Summit on 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs will gather 300 leaders in government, education and business to explore the future of learning and employment. I am honored to be one of the attendees, along with our colleagues from the ADL project at the Department of Defense. You can take part in this event in your community at one of over 300 download sites or view it on your computer via the internet. Complete information can be found at If you have any ideas that you would like to pass along to me on the subject of how technology might impact the delivery of 21st Century Skills, I would be most appreciative. We will be participating in a range of working groups at the Summit. Send them to

2. Satellite TV, Internet and Video Servers - New Gadgets Can Boost Learning Options: There will be an exciting announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show. EchoStar and WebTV combine to build a convergence device that could be leveraged for complex at home or at work learning. Check it out at:,4586,2183160,00.html

3. Learning Quotation - Mark Twain: Here is our latest learning quotation, submitted by Trends Reader Jim Ward from Bath Iron Works Corporation:

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest."
- Mark Twain

4. Loretta LaRoche to Keynote and Present at TechLearn '99: I am heading to Plymouth, MA today to meet with one of my favorite presenters in the world, Loretta LaRoche. Loretta is the host of the PBS Show, "The Joy of Stress" and was a smash at last year's TechLearn Conference. We are pleased to announce that Loretta will be presenting both a pre-conference workshop on "Creating Balance!" and one of the keynote speeches. We are also amazed that over 300 more people registered for TechLearn '99 (October 31 to November 3rd in Orlando) this week when we announced that Dr. Bill Cosby will be presenting the Keynote Address. More announcements in the week to come. Registrations and information available at

Upcoming MASIE Center Events: (Details at
* Skills for On-Line Trainers (Washington, DC - January 25 and 26)
* The Road to On-Line Learning LAB and Seminar - (Miami, FL - Feb. 8 and 9)
* Busine$$ of On-Line Learning Conference - (Seattle, WA - March 3 and 4)
* TechLearn '99 - (Orlando, FL - Oct. 31 to Nov. 3)

96 - Special Report from Camp Uncas - Adirondack Mountains, N.Y.

(Special Report from Camp Uncas - Adirondack Mountains, N.Y.)

12 Learning, Training and Technology Predictions for 1999 - From The MASIE Center

With the New Year about 48 hours away and the snow falling at our remote wilderness cabin in the Adirondacks, it is a perfect time and setting to put on my Predictions Hat. 1998 was been quite a year for the learning field. So, what is The MASIE Center predicting for the last year of this millenium?

1. ASSUMPTIVE CHOICE: During 1999, the learner community will evolve their assumptions about the format of learning. ASSUMPTIVE CHOICE means that learners will assume that there will be a choice in format for almost every learning and training experience. "How can I learn the new networking system - either via on-line learning or a class?" The learner's mantra will be this choice.

2. INTENSITY, SIMULATION & COLLABORATION: During 1999, the bar will be raised on what a learner expects in an on-line learning experience. Look for new products that will offer more INTENSITY (higher levels of engagement), SIMULATION (immediate ability to practice with consequences) and COLLABORATION (multi-learner and real-time access to expertise models).

3. CONTENT, CONTENT and CONTENT: While there is a lot of interest in new tools for creating and delivering learning, the real interest is in CONTENT. Almost every one of our contacts in major organizations has expressed the immediate need for technology delivered CONTENT in a wide range of topics. Remember, most organizations only home-grow a small percentage of their training. They buy the bulk of it. This pattern is placing a high demand on CONTENT COLLECTIONS. Look for the growth of CONTENT libraries in 1999, form existing learning providers and also new players.

5. TEMPLATES: A further expansion of the demand of content will be TEMPLATES. Organizations want to be able to access an "almost-ready" version of a class and then have a rapid process for customizing and finalizing the course.

6. AUDIOGRAPHICS: If we were to invest in one aspect of learning in 1999, it would be AUDIOGRAPHICS. Simple definition: the ability to share a common web page with a second person while having a telephone conversation. AUDIOGRAPHICS will become a core component of both the selling process and customer support. Automatic links between web pages and telephone systems will allow for an easier deployment of AUDIOGRAPHICS. Look towards the browser taking on increased capacity in this area in 1999 and training organizations developing new uses of AUDIOGRAPHICS .

7. COACHING & MENTORING: When we talk with learners about their wish list of 1999, the conversation seems to snake around to COACHING & MENTORING. The learner wants to be able to combine self-study with easy access to an expert as they apply the new material. COACHING & MENTORING will be delivered in a wide range of formats and business models: telephone, on-line, real-time or scheduled.

8. TRANSACTION ASSISTANCE: Watch for an amazing growth in web-based transactions in business in 1999. As we become more comfortable with on-line shopping and with the use of browsers, corporations will be very rapidly migrating major chunks of transactions within the organization to browser based forms. This will spur the growth of a new field of training, called TRANSACTION ASSISTANCE. Imagine small modules of on-line learning (with an escalation to mentoring), for key transactions ranging from changes in your H.R. choices to how to order new materials in a warehouse. This move will be enabled by the growth of enterprise computing systems and the desire of business units to rapidly change a transaction in response to changing requirements.

9. ASSESSMENT: The world wants some new models of assessment. Organizations and learners want to be able to assess skills at a very targeted level. Look for several new players in the technology delivered assessment field. Watch for team based assessment as well as the growth of independent skills portfolios.

10. PRICING MODELS: One of the difficulties in 1998 has been the lack of pricing models for learning content. We all know the range of costs for a 2 day instructor led class. Yet, how much should one pay for an on-line learning experience. Look for a PRICING MODEL to emerge in 1999, to assist buyers, suppliers and learners. We believe that the variables above (intensity, simulation, assessment, mentoring and collaboration) will be key factors in calculating the price, along with the impact of the learning on the enterprise.

11. INVESTMENTS GALORE: 1999 will be a year of massive investments in the Learning Marketplace. We are tracking more than 3 Billion new U.S. Dollars targeted at the learning marketplace. Look for 3 new "roll-ups" in our industry, where a dozen or more smaller companies are purchased and rolled up into an consolidated player. Also, watch for big-time investments in for-profit higher education alternatives.

12. CHANGE & REFLECTION: The easiest prediction to make for 1999 is that there will be change. I should turn in my trends analyst cap for making that one. Yet, in 1999, there are other forces at work to make CHANGE a valid prediction. We believe that people and organizations will use the coming change in calendar to drive greater than ever reflection and introspection. As we face a benchmark as large as the turn of the millennium, it is only natural that we will take a deep breath. I would predict that you will see an unprecedented level of personal and organizational REFLECTION in the next 12 months. Lots of folks will take stock of their careers, consider alternatives and examine their learning needs. Business units will want to go into the next thousand years with greater clarity and focus. So, strap on your CHANGE seat will be quite a year ahead.

Best Wishes for 1999 - From Elliott Masie and The MASIE Center
(Permission Granted to Copy and Re-Post with Attribution to The MASIE Center - )

95 - Deloitte and Touche Trigger Outsourcing Company with Learning Focus; On-Line Shopping This Season to Pave Way for @ Work Transactions

1. Deloitte and Touche Trigger Outsourcing Company with Learning Focus: Deloitte and Touche has spun out one of it's units to form a new company...with a special interest in learning. EPS Solutions Thursday announced its formation, immediately becoming the largest integrated outsourcing company in the country with anticipated annual revenues of $250 million. The company was created upon the combination of a group of leading profit recovery, cost reduction and performance improvement companies and the purchase of Integrated Cost Reduction Strategies, a business unit of Deloitte & Touche LLP.

EPS Solutions is the first horizontally integrated national firm in the $100 billion-plus U.S. outsourcing industry. For the first time, businesses will be able to tap into a full range of outsourcing solutions with a single point of contact. The company operates in five distinct business areas and provides services to more than 50 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies. EPS Solutions has secured and intends to maintain leading market positions in the areas of Disbursement Management, Personnel Outsourcing, Performance Learning, Healthcare Services, and Benefit Funding.

Watch for their role in the growing consolidation of the Learning Marketplace

2. On-Line Shopping This Season to Pave Way for @ Work Transactions: By all accounts, on-line shopping has hit the big one this season. A variety of polls indicate that as many as 40% of North American computer owners are purchasing at least one gift on-line this season. This has intriguing implications for the learning culture. As we get more accustomed to clicking our way through transactions at home, it will build an expectation of doing the same at the office. We believe that the growth of the on-line marketplace will create a large expectation of being able to get just what we want from our desktops at work...including learning content.

I have also been amazed at the rate of growth of the DVD (Digital Video Disk) segment. In an earlier TechLearn TRENDS we predicted the rise of this new technology which has enormous implications for the training delivery industry. Watch for early 1999 training products in the DVD format.

3. Learning Quotation: Nietzsche This week's quote comes from David Francis, Engage Interactive, Canada:

"The more abstract the truth you want to teach the more you must seduce the senses to it"
- Friedrich Nietzsche (From: Beyond Good and Evil)

Keep those quotes coming....just send them to

4. Y2K Training Challenges: Human Issues: The MASIE Center has been conducting a scan of current corporate approaches to managing the Y2K issue. We are convinced that next year the focus will expand to deal with managing the people side of Y2K. Almost 99% of Y2K expenditures to date have been appropriately focused on the analysis and correction of vulnerabilities in existing coding and technology. In 1999, Y2K coordinators are going to widen their scope to help prepare the workforce for the 2 month window around January 1, 2000.

Some of the Y2K "People" issues will include preparing workers for both ends of the spectrum on the outcome of Y2K efforts. At one extreme are real process failures while at the other end, nothing bad happens. In both scenario's it will be critical for organizations to have a response. Rumor control, expectation setting and even appreciation (if all that work PREVENTS a Y2K snag). We believe that the Y2K efforts are going to extend to the center of the world of training and human resources in the next 12 months.

(Note: I will be presenting a variety of keynote speeches and workforce briefings on Y2K: The Human Side --- Let's Get Focused in the next couple of months. If your organization is interested in this type of presentation, please contact Cathy Masie at 800-98-MASIE or

5. Skills for On-Line Trainers Seminar in D.C.: We are proud to announce the next edition of our Skills for On-Line Trainers Seminar in Washington, D.C. on January 25 and 26th. This seminar has been recently redesigned and focuses on helping subject matter experts and trainers get ready to work with the newest on-line and distributed learning tools. Information at

6. Follow-Up for TechLearn '98: Here is a note for attendees of our recent TechLearn '98 Conference:
* Post-Conference CD in Production: We will be pressing your post-conference CD at the beginning of January. It is jam packed with lots of information, highlights from keynote speeches and all of the outcomes and handouts from problem solution sessions.
* SIGs to Open in January: We have created a special SIG board for all of the TechLearn SIGs. We will open this area the first week in January.

Upcoming MASIE Center Events:
- The Busine$$ of On-Line Learning Conference: Seattle, WA - March 3 and 4, 1999
- TechLearn '99, Orlando, Florida - October 31 to November 3, 1999
- FREE TechLearn Regional Meetings: March 17, 1999 --- Watch for details in early January.

94 - Season's Greetings

(Season's Greetings from Saratoga Springs, NY)

Dear TechLearn Reader,

This is our holiday card from the staff at The MASIE Center. Over the past 12 months, TechLearn Trends has grown to a readership of over 22,000 colleagues in the learning, training and technology field. We want to take an few moments to thank for your support and to wish you all a happy and nhealthy holiday season.

Technology and Learning are at a most interesting place in our rapidly changing world. Educators are looking to technology to provide better ways of delivering learning on a global basis. Technologists are looking towards learning as a critical aspect of yielding productivity and the ultimate promise of computers in our workplaces and lives.

This year at The MASIE Center we have been working at the intersection of these two powerful forces. Trends has been a powerful experiment in changing the model for the delivery of news. My assumption was that people would value a frequent, short targeted scan of learning and technology, written with a personal touch. Every day we get dozens of emails from our friends out there it the world, feeding quotes, practiices and new models. Thanks for your support. In the coming year, TechLearn Trends will grow in several ways, including a web version, deeply interactive surveys and some new models of searching archives. We will also add a Career Corner feature to help with managing our futures in a changing world.

TechLearn '98 was also an experiment in using new models fo learning and technology. 1,767 of you were able to come to Orlando and participate in a high energy, deeply collaborative event. We showed that a conference could be large and intimate, cutting edge and not have a traditional trade show. You will love TechLearn '99. We have an exciting announcement about our keynote speakers that we will release at the start of next year. Over 545 people have already registered for next year's event.

Cathy Masie and I were pleased to be able to donate over $50,000 of the Center's revenues this year to three projects that are close to this topics. Our prime project is the Starbright Foundation, linking kids in hospitals thorugh innovative uses of technology. In addition, we are continuing our support of the exciting American Technology Honor Society. Finally, we have brought our local libaray into the information age by donating a T-1 line for the community's use.

In the months ahead, The MASIE Center will take on several new projects. We have already started a project to link doctorate students to corporations to help create the much needed targeted research in our field. On March 17th, plan on attending a FREE conference for a change. There will be over 400 sites hosting one day, free, regional conferences focusing on learning, technology and reinventing training. We will link these meetings via satellite and the internet and end the day with a great St. Patrick's Day party for our industry.

We look forward to working with you in 1999. May the holiday season be a time of joy, reflection, good health and learning for you and your families.

Warmest regards,

Elliott Masie and the Staff of The MASIE Center


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