Subscribe: Learning TRENDS


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:

76 - Special Report From Hartford, CT - Meetings of the Future Meeting

1. Starbright Links Children's Hospital Units Via Technology - Spielberg Project: There are many different applications using on-line learning and collaboration. Starbright uses these new tools in a unique way: to link children with serious illnesses to their peers Sick children can be lonely and scared. They are often isolated and forced to learn a vocabulary that should burden no child� "chemotherapy", "transplant," "isolation." Through the creation of projects that encourage children to overcome the challenges that accompany prolonged illness, STARBRIGHT gives them something back�their childhoods.

We are pleased to announce that The MASIE Center will make a $25,000 donation on behalf of the attendees of TechLearn '98. In addition, we will give each attendee 25 TechLearn Dollars that they may donate to Starbright to support their many projects.

STARBRIGHT is chaired by filmmaker Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. To hear Spielberg describe the impact of STARBRIGHT World, which we will feature at TechLearn '98, go to Starbright is also releasing multi-media training programs on CD-ROM for helping kids deal with upcoming hospital procedures and the impact of diabetes. Technology and learning at work!

TechLearn '98 will address how our industry can support this important project via local and national corporate sponsorships. The systems will be demonstrated and Starbright staff will address how the training and learning industry can build a new coalition of training and technology groups to support these efforts. What a great way to extend our collective belief in learning and collaboration!

2. Survey Results: PCs and Sound: Here are the preliminary results from our most recent TechLearn Trends Survey. We asked readers to indicate the percentage of the desktop PC's in their organizations were equipped to deliver audio. Here are the percentages of desktops with soundcards and speakers or headsets in organizations:

23% of Readers Report 100% Sound Ready PC's
22% of Readers Report 75% Sound Ready PC's
17% of Readers Report 50% Sound Ready PC's
32% of Readers Report 25% Sound Ready PC's
6% of Readers Report No Sound Ready PC's

There were 1,554 responses to this survey. In follow-up dialogues, a good number of readers indicated that while many PC's had sound cards, there were a limited number of speakers or headsets distributed. A few organizations had "pulled" sound after managers complained about workers listening to music or playing games at their desktops. Once again, the home based PC is more likely to be sound enabled than the work based PC. Final results and more analysis will be posted on our website in the next week. Thanks for the responses!

3. Centra Positions Tools for Sales Applications: As a sign of the evolution of the on-line learning world, we are starting to see tools that are aimed at vertical applications, such as sales. Centra announced yesterday the release of their new version of the Symposium Software. They now have customized their collaboration and teaching tool for use by organizations wanting to add technology to their sales process. Centra has created solutions aimed at events such as Product Launches, Virtual Sales Team Support, Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning.

I spoke by telephone yesterday with their CEO, Leon Navickas. He said their targeting of the sales function was the natural evolution of on-line learning tools from generalized applications to business related processes. It makes lots of sense, as sales is a key process that organizations want to address for reduced cycle time, higher responsiveness and lower expense. Check out their announcements at

4. Fixing Cadillacs and Fixing Missiles: TechLearn '98 Working Examples: TechLearn '98 is based on active learning models. In the lobby of the conference you will find Cadillacs and Missiles. What do they have in common? Both require trained, skilled mechanics to fix complex electronic laden devices. We will provide a up-close demonstration of how technology is being used to teach and coach staff working with these devices...and how the skills could be transferable between the military and government sectors. Join the Department of Defense's ADL Project and General Motors to see a glimpse of how speech recognition and performance support technology will change the face of learning in the future. To register for TechLearn '98, please go to or call 800-98-MASIE. Please register soon, as space is limited!

75 - Observations on DVD as Multi-Path Learning Format; Triggers for Computer Training Shift from Products to Business

1. Duke's On-Line/Residential Executive MBA for Only $85,800: Anyone who thought that On-Line Learning was going to be a low-priced commodity offering should check out the new The Global Executive MBA Program from
Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Over the course of 18 months, participants will participate in a wide range of distance learning activities, as well as convene for briefings in 5 different locations around the world. Technologies will include ICQ for collaboration and faculty access, live lectures via Real Audio and other web oriented resources. Oh, by the way, the $85,800 includes a laptop and printer, but not the travel to the 5 international locations. Details at:

2. Observations on DVD as Multi-Path Learning Format: The Masie household added a new gadget over the weekend, a SONY DVD Video Player. This $475 player hooked up to our TV and opened up an intriguing world of "Multi-Path Learning". We inserted a DVD disk (looking like a CD), of the recent movie: "As Good As It Gets", starring Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson. In addition, to great video and audio quality, the intriguing stuff were the "extras" that were included on the disk. Background notes on the movie, multiple languages of sub-titles and a unique feature called "audio track alternatives". After watching the flick, you can take a second pass through the film and hear the stars and director comment on each scene. It was a gas to hear Helen Hunt talk about how she set up the motivation for a dialogue line and to hear the director's decisions about how to film a scene.

This is a unique model of Multi-Path Learning. Take a subject and allow a learner to take multiple paths through the content, each from a different perspective. Imagine a customer service incident on video showing both sides of the interaction. Using DVD, one could add five or six perspectives on five different audio tracks. For example, with the press of a button a learner could hear the perspective from the customer's, staff's, manager's and even an academic point of view. As DVD becomes more popular at home, consumers will come to expect multi-path learning and it will become more of a reality in our workplaces. If you get access to a DVD player, check out the James Taylor at the Beacon Theater concert...awesome! (A good FAQ list for DVD is at: )

3. Microsoft Partners with Multiple Resources for On-Line Learning: To see the diversity of on-line resources that are being developed in the field, take a peek at Microsoft's partners. Over the past two years, Microsoft has been aligning with a wide range of content, integration, tool, delivery platform and training providers in the on-line learning field. Check out a view of this partnership collection at their web site: Take a tour of their various partners and you will get an immediate sense of the growing sophistication and diversity in this market. Hats off to Sam Adkins and Marsha Kabakov for weaving these relationships.

4. Triggers for Computer Training Shift from Products to Business: The end-user computer training field is shifting dramatically as it de-emphasizes product releases and focuses on business goals. A few years ago the bulk of computer training classes were "triggered" by new products and major upgrades. Remember when news of the release of the next release of a desktop package like word processing sent hordes of learners to corporate training classrooms. Four years ago, the key "triggers" were:
* Release of Upgrades
* Waves of Users Converting from One Platform to Another
* Waves of First Time Computer Users
* Organizations Computerizing Functions for the First Time

Now, many of these conditions are hard to find at corporate locations. Most workers have their PC, most have a core set of applications and the rate of dramatic upgrades has decreased. In their place are a new set of "triggers" for end-user computer training:

* New Business Processes (e.g.. Sales Force Automation - changing the process for remote sales force)
* Productivity Objectives (e.g.. Using Spreadsheets to Track Inventory - targeted at closer alignment of applications with specific job tasks)
* Platform Integration (e.g.. Accessing SAP From Your Spreadsheet - targeted at integrating the corporate data bases with PC applications)
* Content Development (e.g.. Posting Reports on Corporate Intranets - targeted at harnessing the "net" for content and transactions)

This is an exciting shift. While there are lots of learners taking core classes, the WAVES of training are now being "triggered" by these business drivers rather than the release of a new piece of software.

5. TechLearn '98 Opens Second Hotel - Adds Sessions on Performance: We are pleased to announce that we have opened up a second hotel for TechLearn '98. Blocks of rooms are now available at Disney's Dixie Landings with continuous bus shuttles for the short ride to the sessions at our convention center.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that industry leaders Lance Dublin, Marc Rosenberg and Diane Hessan will be presenting major sessions on topics including Training to Performance, Women in Technology and Under the Hood of a Performance Solution.

Complete information and on-line registration is available at We would encourage TechLearn Trends readers to make their reservations as soon as possible. (TechLearn '98 will be held on November 15 to 18th in Orlando, Florida).

74 - Special Report from Seattle, WA - Boeing Corporation

1. USA Today Report Slams Corporate Training Programs: Yesterday's USA Today carried a short article that took a hard swipe at corporate training programs. Citing several studies, without details, the paper claimed in the headline that shouted: "Experts: Billions wasted on skills training". While one could never deny that there are significant quantities of poor training, the article was quite unbalanced. I received several emails from readers of this newsletter who had the article thrown at them by senior executives.

We are compiling a detailed analysis of the survey mentioned in the article and will issue an alternative view in a future press release.

2. New York University Creates For-Profit Subsidiary for On-Line Learning: Moving to become a major player in the emerging market for education on the Internet, New York University plans to create a for-profit subsidiary that will develop and sell specialized online courses to other colleges, corporate training centers, as well as students who simply prefer to attend class at home.

The move is a direct response to what many educators see as the biggest challenge to higher education: the rise of profit-making institutions, like the University of Phoenix, which threaten to use the Internet to siphon off some of academia's most profitable courses -- continuing education for adult learners -- and leave universities only in the expensive business of undergraduate education. They are even flirting with taking the new venture public through a future IPO. For the details of this story, go to New York Times at

3. Finance IQnet, Corporate Financial Training Site Wins Award: Finance IQnet has won a major award at the New York Festivals, a competition for multi-media and web based programs. Strategic Management Group (SMGnet) is the developer of this innovative program.

The FIQnet is an integrated site that includes learning modules, real time business simulations, interactive job aids, assessment and mastery tests, application tools, on-line expert video and audio clips and many other value-added features. The Financial IQnet helps users learn about financial management and better communicate more effectively with financial managers, accountants, business planners, investors and bankers. This product is an example of the next generation learning and performance integration. Information on SMGnet and a demonstration of their Java Based Simulations can be found at

4. Audio Beams to Deliver Sound to Individuals Without Headphones: Beth DuPont, The MASIE Center's Research Director, sent along this item:
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab are vying with acoustical engineers at American Technology Corporation to be the first to deliver an addressable audio beam that can carry a narrowly focused sound to a specific recipient. The technology under development uses a parametric array to send sound through the air in a tight beam. The result could one day be a public address system that could target a specific worker on a shop floor, for instance, or a museum loudspeaker that could describe an exhibit only to the people standing right in front of it.
Imagine this as an alternative way to deliver coaching and learning support to a worker without the need for headphones or speakers.

5. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin Debuts at TechLearn '98: While TechLearn '98 is loaded with content, sessions, dialogues and technology/learning demonstration, this item is all about fun. (Hey, that's a part of the fun on throwing a learning festival for the training industry!).

Yesterday, Disney informed us that their latest interactive attraction will be opening right before TechLearn and will be part of your night at our special Disney/MASIE Center Party at Tomorrowland. Here is their email to us: "TechLearn participants and their families will be among the very first folks on earth to participate in our new Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. They will enter the playful world of toys where they join Buzz Lightyear on a daring mission to save the universe. Piloting your own XP-38 Space Cruisers, you spin though various scenes scaled to the size of toys. Vehicles are fitted with a joystick steering mechanism and twin laser cannons. It's an interactive outer space adventure taking trainers and technology folks of all ages "To infinity and beyond!"

While I wouldn't include this in your memo to justify attendance at TechLearn, this is a cool side benefit. Plus, we have the whole park to ourselves that lines at Space Mountain! TechLearn '98 will be held in Orlando, Florida from November 15 to 18th. Web site:

(I have had the privilege of working with training leaders from several groups within Boeing Corporation over the past few days. They are taking a hard look at how technology and learning will fit together in the years ahead. It is key to get cross-company cooperation on the process of inventing the future of learning and technology. Hat's off to Boeing on this effort!)

73 - Special Report from Corning, New York - Schools & Technology Events

1. Managing the Demand Side of Knowledge Management: The more we look under the hood at the Knowledge Management products and services coming to the marketplace, the more the focus seems askew. Most Knowledge Management efforts seem focused on increasing the amount of information that will be available to employees. Sure, we need to make sure that the RIGHT information is available to the RIGHT people to make the RIGHT decisions. Yet, the bias towards increasing the supply side of knowledge and information worries me.

Most folks are complaining about having TOO MUCH information already. Many are overwhelmed by the flow of information to their desktops already, before major knowledge management systems are dropped into place. A colleague of mine that is in the top echelon of knowledge management consultants shared this fear with me off the record. He is more concerned with impacting the DEMAND side of the knowledge economy within an organization. We share the worry that some of the IT focus of the knowledge management industry is ignoring the weakening appetite for additional bits of information, no matter how helpful.

2. New On-Line Learning System from ReCor and Free Course: ReCor has launched a new on-line learning system entitled SkillSpace. This is a java-enabled system that allows organizations to deliver and administer courses on-line without the learner having to download the contents to their desktop. To demonstrate the functionality of SkillSpace, ReCor is offering a free on-line class. With four lessons from ReCor's Network Based Training for Netscape Communicator 4.0, the course provides interactive training in a simulated Netscape Communicator environment. Check out this new product and sample course at

3. Schools & Technology: It is Not About Wiring!: I spent a wonderful day on Monday with several hundred school administrators, teachers and community leaders in the Corning, New York area. They are tackling the critical issue of how to proceed with technology in the schools. Here are a few items that surfaced during my presentation and dialogues:

* It is not about wiring or hardware. The conversation in schools needs to switch to content, collaboration, community and learning models for technology. The power of the internet is shifting the dialogue to a vision of how information will be used in the lives of the students and their families, not just about dropping in a few PC's into the back of the classroom.
* Technology will shift twice in the next six years. Nobody can really predict the pathway of future technology. Will wireless LAN's replace Ethernet in schools? Will Palm-like devices be the form factor of choice? Will voice recognition make its way into classrooms? Yet, schools don't need to make these bets. They do need to have a value base of how to evaluate new and emerging technologies for their benefit to the learning mission and to develop a process for experimenting short of the bleeding edge.
* Community leaders can help shape the technology decisions. I was impressed with the role that community groups, like the Corning Corporation are playing in this process. Schools cannot make these decisions in isolation. There are great resources waiting to be invited into the process that can bring strong IT and management visions to the table.

At TechLearn '98 we will add a session to look at the ways in which training and technology professionals can assist school districts with their computer and learning planning.

4. Disney Behind the Scene Tours Now Open at TechLearn '98: With just 6 weeks until TechLearn '98, we are pleased to announce that there will be 4 special Behind the Scene's Tours of Disney and a one day trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. On Sunday, November 15th, participants in TechLearn and their families can choose an optional 1/2 day or full day tour of the inner workings of Disney or the launch site for America's space program. The MASIE Center has arranged for these tours which will take you under the tunnels at Disney, explore Disney's approach to design or focus in on the gardening methods used at the parks. Or, you can hop on a bus and visit the launch site for the Space Shuttle (which will be carrying Senator Glenn in just a few weeks). These tours are open to TechLearn '98 participants and their families and have an admission fee. For information about these tours or to register for TechLearn '98, just to

5. Trends Adds 20,000 Reader: TechLearn Trends is proud to announce that we now have over 20,000 readers. This publication started at the end of November 1997 with just 935 readers. It has grown steadily and we thank our readers for their involvement, emails and thank you notes. In the next year we hope to continue this model of a short, targeted and opinionated update for the learning and technology field. Thanks! Elliott Masie

71 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology

1. Challenges of Shorter Cycle Times: The pressure is on for cycle time, the distance between idea conception and implementation. Organizations are viewing cycle time reduction as a major target for improvement. In rapidly changing markets, the goal is to be able to "turn on a dime", altering products or processes as soon as conditions change. And, that places new emphasis on the speed of delivery of corporate learning and training.

Distance and On-Line Learning projects are increasingly being justified by the need to reduce cycle time. Industrial age models of slow roll-outs of new processes or skills are not perceived to be cycle-time sensitive. The speed of development, the speed of distribution and the rate at which the new skill-set can be absorbed globally is at the heart of cycle time training reduction efforts. Keep the phrase on your radar screen!

2. Qualcomm Launches SmartPhone: Mobile On-Line Learning: Qualcomm has announced a new product that will add serious capability to mobile based learning. The Smartphone is the blend of the Palm Pilot from 3Com and a cellular phone. Users will be able to browse corporate intranets and access on-line learning and corporate databases using the popular Palm Pilot computing device interface. The product will be rolled out at the end of 1998. Check it out at:

3. Free On-Line Learning Course from The MASIE Center: This is the last reminder about our free on-line learning program that will be offered next week. This class will focus on 3 Roads to Learning Futures. We invite you to a free one hour on-line class, using a world-wide telephone conference call and simultaneous web based interaction. The title of the talk that Elliott Masie will be presenting is: 3 Roads to Learning Futures. It will focus on the 3 big paths that knowledge has to travel:
* Getting content from experts to learning activities.
* Getting learning activities to the screen of learners.
* Getting knowledge from the screen to the hearts, minds and skill collections of learners.
The class will be held twice next week, on Tuesday and Thursday (Sept 29 and Oct. 1st). Details and reservations at:

bgv: TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th in Orlando, Florida) will a major focus on approaches to Reinventing Training. We will host a series of sessions looking at how Training Departments and training professionals can align training with business objectives, new roles and examples of significant evolutions of training structures. Reserve your space at TechLearn '98 at . Over 1,500 colleagues registered and space is limited. I look forward to meeting TechLearn Trends readers in Orlando.

72 - Extreme Training Measures Needed; IT Skills Gap Attacked with Loan Program

1. Extreme Training Measures Needed: We need to try some very different and even extreme measures in the world of training and learning. The other day I was interviewed by a reporter doing an article on the future of training. Her first question has been rattling in my brain: "How has training over the past 40 years?"

While we can point to innovations in CBT, On-Line Learning and Performance Support, she kept drilling down to see if there were any RADICAL or EXTREME approaches to training that she could report. Hmmmm.

It is time for the training industry to look at Extreme measures. What can we do, as a field, to develop extreme new models for delivering workplace training and performance. At TechLearn '98, we will host a session called Extreme Training. The purpose of this brainstorming session will be to explore dramatic new models for training. We'll publish the results after the Conference. If you would like to highlight your projects or even just dreams for Extreme Training, please send an email to

2. IT Skills Gap Attacked with Loan Program: Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Skills 2000 IT Career Loan Program has distributed > more than $55 million in loans in under seven months. Launched in February 1998, the Skills 2000 IT Career Loan Program is designed to assist people seeking training and resources to begin careers in the information technology (IT) industry.

The program is part of the overall Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative aimed at addressing the IT work force shortage. The more than $55 million in loans, disbursed by Servus Financial Corp., is being used by students to finance technical training at Microsoft Authorized Technical Education Centers (ATECs)and at Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program (AATP) institutions, as well as to purchase course materials and computers.

Programs like this are growing in the industry as indicators of the depth of demand for certified IT Skills.

3. Trends Readers Flock to Hollywood Simulation: We received a notice from the folks at the Hollywood Stock Exchange that they received a flurry of new players after our note about this on-line simulation. Quite a few readers wrote in about their experience with this concept of on-going simulations. Give it a try at We even heard from a number of technology vendors interested in developing wider sets of on-line learning simulations. It is the future!

4. TechLearn '98 Cruise and Hotels Filling Up: If you are planning on attending TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18, 1998 in Orlando, Florida), this is the time to reserve space at the main hotel. We are also about to close out our block on the Post-Conference Cruise. The main Conference Hotel, Coronado Springs, is about to fill up. While we have a second hotel for additional registrants, if you want to be at the main property, please contact Walt Disney World at 1-407-939-1020. If you have not registered for the conference, go to

Our 3 Day Post-Conference Cruise has only a few cabins left. If you would like to join a group of TechLearn attendees and faculty, go to our web site at and call our travel agent at 800-283-2929.

70 - Special Report from Saratoga Springs - Jewish New Year

1. Multi-Event, Multi-Player On-Going Simulations Awesome Learning Envelopes. Simulations are powerful tools for high engagement learning. One of the powerful improvements that the internet has made to simulations is the opportunity for multi-event, multi-player on-going simulations.

I have been participating in an interesting experiment with one free simulation. I know almost nothing about the economics of Hollywood. So, I joined (and you can join for free as well), The Hollywood Stock Market. Go to and sign up. I received $2,000,000 of play money and have been participating in a daily buying and selling of Hollywood oriented stock: stars, movies and other properties. It works as an enormous multi-player game, with over 100,000 regular players.

There are columns to read, analyst perspectives and plenty of context. This game has caught the imagination of Hollywood agents and studios as well, as an intriguing tool for gauging public sentiment and response.

I encourage TechLearn Trends readers to spend a bit of time on this site: and see how you react to this type of simulation. I believe that these are models for corporate on-line learning and staff development. Interested in your reactions to

2. Knowledge Management Survey in Europe Shows Key Trends. A recent survey by Cranfield School of Management in the UK sheds some intriguing light on European corporate approaches to Knowledge Management:

- Definition of Knowledge Management: 70% of the respondents chose the following summary of knowledge management: A business focused approach - " the collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge to fulfil organizational objectives".

- Spending on Knowledge Management: The current average spend on knowledge management is 3.3% of revenue and is expected to rise to 5.5% in 3 years time - an increase of two thirds.

- Relevance of Knowledge Management: The following five issues came out as the most significant: gaining competitive edge; increasing profits; developing new products/services; instigating change and improving efficiency.

3. Wells Fargo and University of Phoenix Partner for Skills Gap Solution: Our colleagues at Wells Fargo Bank emailed us with an announcement about their new partnership with University of Phoenix aimed at the IT skills gap.

The Wells Fargo IT College Program, the objective is to provide broad knowledge of IT concepts and current technologies to selected Wells Fargo employees, enabling them to implement information technology solutions across many diverse environments. Beginning in the summer of 1998, classes will be offered over a six-month period at University of Phoenix campuses in Phoenix and in Northern California.

According to Barry X Lynn, CIO, Wells Fargo Customer Information Group, this education partnership with UOP will allow the company to further develop skills of existing employees who are already knowledgeable about Wells Fargo and its culture.

4. TechLearn '98 Solicits Problem Solution Volunteers. The core piece of the TechLearn '98 Conference are the Problem Solution Sessions. These are brainstorming and solution dialogue sessions led by TechLearn '98 participants aimed at key questions we face in implementing new approaches to learning and technology. The results are published instantly on our conference intranet and are great take-aways for all conference attendees. If you would like to add your name to our volunteer list, please send an email to (Note: TechLearn '98 registration information is available at The url for last year's problem solution brainstorming results is

(Personal Note: Tomorrow is Rosh Hashanna, the Jewish New Year. A joyous time to celebrate another year of life and wonder. Happy New Year to all TechLearn Readers. May we have a good year of exploring the life enhancing capacity of learning and technology. Elliott & Cathy Masie.)

69 - Try On-Line Learning: Free Class on 3 Roads to Learning Futures; New Models for Discussions

1. Try On-Line Learning: Free Class on 3 Roads to Learning Futures. Lots of people talk about on-line learning without trying it. The MASIE Center, in conjunction with Placeware, invites you to a free one hour on-line class, using a world-wide telephone conference call and simultaneous web based interaction. The title of the talk that Elliott Masie will be presenting is: 3 Roads to Learning Futures. It will focus on the 3 big paths that knowledge has to travel:

* Getting content from experts to learning activities.
* Getting learning activities to the screen of learners.
* Getting knowledge from the screen to the hearts, minds and skill collections of learners.

You will need to pre-register for this FREE one hour event. Go to this URL: The class will be held on Sept 29 or Oct 1, 1998 at 12 Noon Pacific (3 PM Eastern). You will receive a url for accessing the program and a telephone number for the audio component.

2. New Models for Discussions. In classrooms, discussions flow naturally. Sometimes they result from a need to process content, other times they are sparked by a learner's question and sometimes they are even the result of a trainer needing to rest for a few moments.

When we move learning to an on-line model, there is a balance between the scheduled event based discussion and the ones that flow from the moment. I've been seeing a large resistance to tightly scheduled chats, in either text or voice. It is hard to predict when the learner needs or desires to interact.

We are exploring ways in which discussions will be triggered and facilitated in a more open format. Watch for new technology that will allow learners to drive the timing of a discussion and also have access to just in time coaching desks for immediate verbalization needs.

3. TechLearn $25 Dollars to Extend to October 1st. With over 1,400 folks registered for TechLearn '98, we didn't want to leave anyone out of the offer of $25 Free TechLearn dollars. These will now be given to everyone who registers by October 1st. They can be used to buy books at the ISPI/TechLearn Bookstore, tapes of sessions and even drinks at the Disney Party. To reserve a space in TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18, 1998 in Orlando, FL) go to

68 - Time Shifting More Critical Than Distance in Distance Learning; Technology Analysis Frenzy Over Starr Report

1. Time Shifting More Critical Than Distance in Distance Learning. The more we listen to users of on-line and distance learning programs, the less it seems to be about DISTANCE. In fact, the major element is increasingly SHIFTING TIME. Learners, even those that are right next to the classroom or campus, are choosing this new delivery in order to allow learning to take place WHEN they want.

In conversations with distance learning coordinators at higher education institutions they are seeing more and more of their learners come from local communities rather than far away. Likewise, on-line training coordinators in corporations are reporting that a large driver is TIME SHIFTING rather than travel reduction.

2. net.LEARNING Web Site Opened: Millions Watch PBS Show. The net.LEARNING show on PBS has now opened up a robust web site with content from the show, dialogues and other resources. Check it out at We are planning on giving a TechLearn '98 award to the producers of this show.

3. Technology Analysis Frenzy Over Starr Report. In addition to the endless coverage of the Starr Report over the weekend, the technology side of internet document distribution also was high on the analysis. I spent some time with a reporter who was writing a story on the "defining moment of the internet" slant on the story. Our comments focused on how there was little dialogue about access to the internet. It was hardly even mentioned in the debate. The "Net" was assumed to be available to all citizens. The other side of the story was the issue of standards and processes for disseminating material. "Just because you can distribute a document, should you?" Challenges were even leveled at corporate intranet managers on whether to block the sites from a bandwidth and adult content perspective.

4. Reading Club for Learning: TechLearn '98 Bookstore to Be Hosted by ISPI. We are pleased to announce that a special Bookstore for Learning will be created at TechLearn '98, in cooperation with ISPI (International Society for Performance Improvement ( We will have a wide range of books on learning, training and technology at TechLearn '98. This is a cool opportunity to actually see and browse these books. A few of our faculty will help design a TechLearn Bookshelf of a selection of books that would assist organizations in their efforts to reinvent training. You will be able to spend your free $25 TechLearn Dollars in the bookstore. TechLearn '98 will be held in Orlando, Florida at Disney World on November 15 to 18, 1998. There are currently over 1,400 of your colleagues registered. For complete information and on-line reservations go to

67 - California Offers Less Formal Training to Employees Than National Counterparts; Letters from Alumni for Learner Motivation

1. Chicago Area Readers: Join Us at the Studio for TechLearn LIVE!: As we have mentioned previously, we are hosting a free satellite and internet broadcast on Thursday, September 10th. This will be originating in Chicago at the studios of WTTW - Channel 11 at 5400 North St. Louis Avenue. There are approximately 15 seats available in the studio audience. If you would like to attend, would you please send an email to and she will confirm if there is room left in the audience. Reminder, if you would like to view this over the internet just go to on 9/10/98 at 1 PM Eastern Time.

2. California Offers Less Formal Training to Employees Than National Counterparts: A UCLA study released Friday found that private employers in California offer less formal training to employees in basic skills, workplace-related skills and job skills than their national counterparts. Most notably, California establishments with more than 250 employees lag the national average in job skills training, which provides the most direct benefits to employers by improving productivity and earnings. California's dearth of job skills training affects all levels of employees, white or blue collar, with the latter receiving less training than the former.

Computer skills training, a natural outcropping in a state increasingly dependent on high-tech growth, is the one area in which California leads the nation, though not by as much as one would expect. California's mid-sized employers (50 to 249 employees) score high in training employees in computers usage, while the state's larger companies actually lag the nation by a small percentage.

Despite periodic employer complaints about the quality of the state's work force, basic skills training is offered by only 13 percent of larger California companies, compared with 19 percent nationally. More than 80 percent of California employers not offering basic skills training said they thought their employees had adequate basic skills.

3. net.learning PBS Show to Air: Check with your PBS local listings and look for a documentary entitled "net.learning", focusing on the increased role of the internet for the delivery of learning, training and knowledge. It will be playing in most regions in the next two weeks.

4. Letters from Alumni for Learner Motivation: When the motivation levels in a class are low, think about turning to the alumni for help. Over the years, I have often used alumni letters to future students as a part of the motivational strategy. It works this way: Ask a few alumni of a class to write a letter to future students. Wait for a month or so after the class and have them write a personal note to future students, detailing what they learned, how they applied it and restate the value proposition of the course. I have found that new learners appreciate hearing what alumni have to say. Often, even a negative can help build motivation. "I found the final lab exercise really tough, BUT it really paid off when I got back to my job."

5. TechLearn '98 Exploratorium Provides Non-Commercial Learning Time. One of the neat features of TechLearn '98 is the Exploratorium. Imagine a room with 200 PC's, all hooked up to a high speed network and running almost every learning technology package in the field. This is a non-commercial room, with no sales folks over your shoulder. Take the time to work with the latest in learning technology, both from a learner and a trainer perspective. Register for TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th in Orlando, FL) by going to Current registrations: 1,392 with a limited number of spaces available.

66 - Lotus Launches On-Demand Information & Training for Notes; Extending Wait Time in Class Supercharges Questions

1. Lotus Launches On-Demand Information & Training for Notes: "Lotus Development Corp. today announced it is offering a portfolio of just-in-time training products that provide Lotus Notes users with flexible, self-paced resources to help them maximize the technology, particularly between the time of deployment and formal training. The company also announced the availability of the first application in the portfolio, QuickCards for Notes 4.6, an online resource that contains step-by-step instructions on how to perform key functions critical to quickly becoming a productive Notes user."

"Developed by Dallas-based Usability Sciences Corporation, QuickCards for Notes 4.6 complements traditional training and support tools. It not only instructs users on how to work with Lotus Notes, it also dynamically points them to information they may need to continually advance their Notes skill set and helps them build a personal list of "how-to's" that grows with their experience and expertise. Users can access QuickCards through a Notes client. "

2. Readers Generate Dozens of One Day Training Strategies: We received dozens of strategy ideas from TechLearn Trends readers responding to a request for creative approaches to a compressed one day class. We have posted these for your use at

3. Are You Implementing SAP? A Reader Asks for Help: Fredd Griggs, from Solutia, Inc. (formerly Monsanto), would like to hear from other TechLearn readers who have implemented SAP enterprise wide. As you probably know, changing your enterprise database solution is a HUGE undertaking. They would like to benchmark with other companies that have implemented SAP on a enterprise scale. Can you share your approach to post-implementation training. What types of training did you do? Who developed or delivered the training. Please respond directly to Fredd at Thanks!

4. Extending Wait Time in Class Supercharges Questions! If I were to change one behavior of trainers it would be their wait time. It is amazing how short the time is between our solicitation of questions and the next sound out our mouths. Most trainers wait less than 3 seconds. "Are there any questions?" 1....2....3 "Ok, let's move on!" When trainers extend their wait time to 8 to 10 seconds major changes occur in the quantity and pattern of questions. Learners quickly assess each trainer's patterns and intentions when soliciting questions. If the trainer extends wait time, there is time for the learner to review their thinking, formulate their question, scan the class and take a breath. This can't be done in 3 seconds. Extend the wait time and watch!

5. Free Satellite and Internet Broadcast on Sept 10th: TechLearn LIVE! Join us for a free 2 hour broadcast on Thursday, September 10th from 1 to 3 PM Eastern Time for a satellite or internet delivered session. Featuring training coordinators from major corporations, representatives from the Federal Government, and a keynote by Elliott Masie. TechLearn LIVE! will focus on the Future of Learning. We will look at core issues facing organizations attempting to change their model for the delivery of training and learning. Go to to get coordinates and viewing URL. In April, we had over 17,000 colleagues viewing TechLearn LIVE!

* TechLearn '98 Registrations can be made on-line at . There are 1, 319 colleagues registered for TechLearn, which will be held November 15 to 18, 1998 at Walt Disney World in Orlando. There will be a cap on attendance and we urge all TechLearn readers to register now (you can cancel up to one week prior to the event), to reserve conference participation and hotel rooms. Join us as we discuss ReInventing Training!

65 - Pricing On-Line Learning: A Moving Target

1. Speaking A Column: Comments on Voice Recognition Software. I recently wrote my first column for a magazine without typing. Using voice recognition software, I "spoke" the column. If you haven't rechecked the voice recognition software genre, give it another try. To read the column and our perspectives on the training issues related to voice recognition go to:

2. Designer's Edge Releases New Edition: Allen Communications, the maker of Designer's Edge, a pre-authoring tool that assists developers with the process of creating learning programs, sent us the following press release on Friday:

"Allen Communication today announced Designer's Edge 3.0, the latest version of its popular training design and planning tool. Version 3.0 incorporates significant enhancements for developers of training applications, including the ability to do task analysis and report customization, as well as combined interfaces throughout the tool to increase user productivity and encourage the creation of reusable elements. "

"The tool's Enterprise version will include the desktop capabilities as wel as enterprise database support through ODBC connectivity, security features and the functionality for exporting training titles directly to HTML and Java through Allen Communication's Net Synergy." Their web site for more information is:

3. Report on Internet Caused Depression and Friend Shrinkage. A recent story on the front page of the New York Times caused deep conversation in our office. The story covered a recent study reporting that surfing the Internet causes increased depression. A two-year study found that one Internet hour per week made participants one percent more depressed. In addition, their circle of friends shrank by an average of 2.7 people.

Without commenting on the validity of the study, it did get a few of us chuckling and a few worrying. If I were to apply this to my own internet usage, I would be 300% more depressed and would have lost over 950 friends. Luckily, not true for this user.

4. Pricing On-Line Learning: A Moving Target. What to charge for a one hour class or a five week course delivered over the internet? The economics of e-commerce are flirting with the pricing matrix for on-line learning

Some vendors are taking a "Delivery Method Is Irrelevant" position. They are pricing all learning for a specific set of objectives at the same price, regardless of the delivery system. CD-ROM's, Video's and Web Delivered versions of the same modules have the same costs.

Other vendors are playing to the "Web Delivery is Cheaper" model. We are seeing several organizations offer wide libraries of on-line courses that are priced at dollars a module. Most of these don't have an incremental cost to the supplier, as there is little faculty support offered. Some pricing models are based on site licenses that have a low cost per user, but a significant organization wide price tag.

A few brave vendors are getting ready to launch "Price for Outcome or Performance" rather than usage. For example, an organization would pay for each employee that passes the certification exam, without reference to how much resources (if any) they used from the learning services vendor.

Watch for a lot of experimentation in this arena. The pricing question is also being raised in terms of the charge back process between centralized training departments and their business units. A good number of our readers report that charging back for on-line learning programs has met with resistance from units that do not pay for other intranet based programs. Comments? Send them to

5. Trips to NASA and Behind the Scenes Disney Tours Added to TechLearn '98. Participants arriving in Orlando for our TechLearn '98 Conference will have a wide range of low-cost tours they (and their families) can take on Sunday, November 15th. We are building one day tours to Kennedy Space Center and will offer at least 4 different Behind the Scenes Disney Tours. Complete information will be sent to all TechLearn '98 participants in approximately 2 weeks. To register (we now have 1,290 participants), just go to

(Personal Note: We are in the Adirondack Mountains for the week, at our deep woods cabin (with a modem connection). Cathy and I own a piece of the original J.P. Morgan Great Camp in the village of Raquette Lake, NY and get to retreat here for recharging, writing and reflection. Since we still seem to think of the year as running from Sept to Sept, this is our week before "back to school". If we are a bit slower on email responses this week, blame it on the lakes and woods of the Adirondacks.)