Subscribe: Learning TRENDS


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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To register (there are about 200 spaces left), go to or call 800-98-MASIE.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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