Subscribe: Learning TRENDS


18 - White House Announcement about the Federal Government's Approach to Technology & Learning

Dear TechLearn Trend Readers:

The following annoucement was released this morning by the White House. It relates to the Federal Government's approach to Technology & Learning. I have been in dialogue with a number of the advisors at the White House on this effort and will send a full report to TechLearn Trend readers in a few days.

Yours in learning,
Elliott Masie


Enhancing Learning and Education Through Technology The Federal Government continually invests in training its employees. Federal agencies have an obligation to provide the best training for their employees at the lowest possible cost. Federal agency training programs should be model users of new technologies to enhance learning. Many agencies are already improving training by using new technology effectively, but more can be done. New instructional technologies can also make education, at work and at home, easier and more convenient for all American workers. Federal programs that provide financial support for lifelong learning should adapt to the new oppor-tunities technology provides.

A Federal Government-wide effort is needed to explore how Federal programs and initiatives can better support the use of technologies for lifelong learning.

Therefore, I hereby direct as follows: 1. The National Economic Council (NEC), in consultation with the Chief Information Officers Council (CIOC) as established by Executive Order 13011 of July 16, 1996, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), shall investigate how to make full use of emerging technologies to improve the cost-effectiveness and the quality of Federal training programs. Specifically, I direct that within 6 months from the date of this memorandum the NEC, in consultation with CIOC, OPM, and OSTP, provide me a plan identifying areas in which technology-enhanced training and learning may complement conventional Federal training and learning.

The plan should describe how the agencies, when feasible and appropriate, will: (a) make full use of best commercial practices when purchasing instructional software; (b) work with businesses, universities, and other appropriate entities to foster a competitive market for electronic instruction; (c) develop a model technical approach to facilitate electronic instruction building on existing agency efforts, such as the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative Partnership; and (d) develop and support a program of research that will accelerate the development and adoption of new instructional technologies. 2. The Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Labor shall work together to promote adoption of the best new ways of using technology to enhance training and education in programs that provide Federal support for education and training. 3. The NEC, in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget, the OSTP, and other appropriate Federal Government entities, shall develop a national strategy to promote high-quality education and training opportunities that can be offered in a manner that is efficient, affordable, and convenient.

Industry, universities, labor unions, and other stakeholders should be consulted in the development of the strategy. The strategy shall be completed within 6 months of the date of this memorandum.


19 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology

TO: Training & Technology Colleagues
FROM: Elliott Masie
RE: Invitation: TechLearn '98 Program Announcement Conference Call
February 6th or February 11th @ 2:04 PM Eastern Time

Dear Colleagues,

Join me in a 25 minute live telephone press conference to hear the details of TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18, 1998 in Orlando, Florida). We will announce:

TechLearn '98 Program Focus: (Facing The Skills Gap, Learning in the Digital Age, Next Wave of On-Line Learning and A Fresh Look at Technology Training)
Keynote Speakers: (including General Colin Powell,USA (Retired). Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, PBS Star of Stress: Loretta LaRoche, Don Tapscott, Elliott Masie and many more)
TechLearn Task Forces: (Knowledge Management, On-Line Learning, A Fresh Look at IT Training, Developing Organizational Skills, Balance! for Training Professionals)
The Year Round TechLearn On-Line Courses for Attendees!
Special Disney Activities at TechLearn '98
Co-Hosted Conferences in 1998: CEdMA and ISA
Early Reservation Reward: 25 TechLearn Dollars (for books, tapes and party refreshments)
Update on TechLearn LIVE! Broadcast on April 1st.
You will be able to ask questions during the briefing and join in an instant Benchmark Survey using the touchpad keys on your telephone.

There are 2 times for this teleconference: Friday, February 6, 1998 or Wednesday, February 11, 1998. You will need to make a telephone call to our conference line in Virginia in the United States. Just go to

to get details and reserve a place on the call. This page will give you the telephone number and password. See you on the call!

17 - The Price of Training is Changing!

Dear Readers: This is the week of visits to The MASIE Center. We're hosting folks from Allen Communication (Designer's Edge), Audible and Eloquent. This gives us a chance to see new and emerging products before
and as they hit the marketplace. We will provide screen shots, perspectives and previews of these products in our new Early Glance! feature. Regards, Elliott Masie

1. A TechLearn Early Glance!: New Quick HTML On-Line Learning Authoring Tool. Allen Communications showed us their new Net Synergy tool for the easy creation of HTML, browser based learning content. It is an add on to their Designer's Edge pre-authoring tool. We have a write up and look at screen shots at our Early Glance site:

2. Flash! Compaq Buys Digital. If you don't get a chance to look at breaking news during the day, check out the hot off the press release about the merger of Compaq and Digital. .

3. TechLearn '98 Task Forces Forming: We are building a series of 20 task forces to work on critical issues at TechLearn '98 (Orlando, Florida - November 15 to 18). These task forces will include: Skills Gap!, New Roles of Trainers, Creating Organizational Learning, Management Issues, Beyond Computer Training, Knowledge Management - What Does It Mean?, Training Burn-Out, Learning on the Road and a host of other topics. If you would like to propose a topic or volunteer to lead one of these task forces, please send an email to As always, TechLearn will be designed from the ground up to map to the interests of the learning, training and technology attendees.

4. The Price of Training is Changing! We've noticed the price of training (both products and services) in great flux in the past six months. There are areas where the demand is driving per day costs much higher. On the other hand, on-line learning content is struggling to maintain price points, as the value points of web delivered content are falling. What do you think? Go to our on-line chat room at and join the conversation. This topic will be a major focus of our Business of On-Line Learning Conference to be held in Seattle on March 30 and 31st. Details at

Registrations are now open for the next Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar to be held in Saratoga Springs, New York on April 14 and 15th. This is an intensive, 14 hour lab and seminar that has been attended by over 1,200 technology and learning professionals. It is a VENDOR-NEUTRAL event. For registration information:

16 - Get Ready for MetaTags; Tips for Balance! Staying Fresh as a Trainer

To TechLearn Trends Readers: I've been travelling a lot these first weeks of 1998. Keynotes at IBM and Oracle Education Meetings and future of learning sessions at a number of Fortune 500 Companies. Learning and technology will be hot topics in 1998, the skills gap is growing and the pressure to align business issues and training is increasing. We'll cover a few major companies' efforts to re-design learning in future issues of TechLearn Trends... Regards, Elliott Masie

1. Get Ready for MetaTags...The Scanning Codes for Learning. By the end of 1998 there will industry agreement on a metatagging standard. There are a number of standards groups that are now working on the development of a simple way of placing a tag on each element in a learning plan, for ease of storage, use, reuse and even sale. Think of it as a sort of scanning barcode. These standards would allow you to 'tag' each module, content piece, picture and question. The tag would contain information about the type of element, context of use, copyright ownership and even expiration date. Corporate specific elements could be added as well.

These tags would be placed using a wide range of tools from Authoring Systems, to HTML editors and even word processors. It would then be very easy to reassemble content, as objectives changed, mix content from various sources and even track usage on a very module level. There are still a number of organizational and ownership issues to be worked on with tagging. But, it is coming and will be on the radar screen of training organizations by the end of 1998. (Note: Standards and Tagging will be discussed at our upcoming Business of On-Line Learning Conference in Seattle on March 30th and 31st and on the TechLearn LIVE! broadcast on April 1st. for details.)

2. KnowledgeSoft Acquires Acquires Kobixx Systems. KnowledgeSoft, one of the major players in the learning management systems field has acquired Kobixx Systems to broaden it's internet delivery capabilities. See their
site for information:

3. A Teacher's View of Teaching On-Line: Check out a teacher's interesting perspective on their experience of teaching an on-line learning class. at

4. Regional TechLearn Network Meetings to Be Held! A large number of TechLearn Trends readers have asked about organizing regular local meetings of folks interested in training and learning. Many of the host sites for the TechLearn LIVE! free satellite broadcast will be serving as hubs for regional TechLearn Network meetings. If you would like to be a host site go to: We anticipate several thousands attendees are regional meetings throughout North America and overseas. Later in February we will post a listing of all local sites if you would like to attend.

5. Tips for Balance! Staying Fresh as a Trainer: Whenever I have to teach a course that I have taught a zillion times before, I do these prep activities to stay fresh and prevent burnout: a) I change the sequence slightly. b) I add a new activity, even if the course was great the time before. c) I update my content with an additional resource, handout or web page link. d) I change my location in the room...moving my teaching position to a new default position. e) I take an instructional risk. When we feel like the class is getting to be old or boring, our learners have felt that for some time already.

6. Registrations are now open for the next Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar to be held in Saratoga Springs, New York on April 14 and 15th. This is an intensive, 14 hour lab and seminar that has been attended by over 1,200 technology and learning professionals. It is a VENDOR-NEUTRAL event. For registration information:

15 - ASTD Survey Highlights Training Patterns By Sector

1. We rarely endorse a piece of software. But, I found one that has changed my approach to writing, design and planning. MindMan is an inexpensive (under $100) application that embodies the "mind-mapping" approach to laying out information. You can use it to take notes in a non-linear fashion, to build a course outline in a non-sequential order and to look at the whole picture of a concept or project.

The best example that I can give is our actual use of this software. Take a look at our TechLearn '98 Planning Guide in this format: This version lives on our intranet and has internal drill down for text and links. This grid has allowed the key planners to build our curriculum in a non-linear, deeply visual fashion. I am also using it for course planning and meeting note taking. The software can be downloaded from the developers and tested. Their site is

2. ASTD Survey Highlights Training Patterns By Sector: In The 1998 ASTD State of the Industry Report, ASTD reports what recent research reveals about companies' investment in workplace learning and the effect that has on performance. The data are from ASTD's Human Performance Practices Survey, conducted recently in partnership with the Times Mirror Training Group, Development Dimensions International, the Forum Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Data was collected from 540 randomly selected firms with 50 or more employees. Industry-by-industry highlights from the survey include:

Extraction and construction -- These are the mining, oil exploration and extraction companies; refineries; chemical plants; construction companies; contractors; and stone producers. These companies have few internal trainers and use a lot of apprenticeships and union-delivered training. They experienced notably improved performance in 1995 and 1996.

High technology -- These are pharmaceuticals; computer and communications manufacturers; biological and physical researchers; and software designers. These companies represent the leading edge in training, compensation, and quality practices. They have large internal training staffs and spend the most money per employee of any industry group. They also use learning technologies to deliver training more than other companies in other industry groups.

Finance, insurance and real estate -- These include banks and other credit institutions; insurance companies; securities brokers; and real estate companies. They spend a lot of money on training and have a lot of in-house trainers. They do a lot of computer, sales and product training and are heavy users of computer based training. Business services -- This is a diverse industry group made up of business- to-business and professional service companies. Possibly due to their diversity, they don't have consistent or exceptional practices, except for a larger-than-average use of computer based training and computer training.

Heavy manufacturing -- This industry group is comprised of metal fabricators; mills; foundries; and manufacturers of machines, including turbines, industrial equipment, motor vehicles and aircraft. They are complex workplaces with heavy use of high performance work practices, quality initiatives, and apprenticeships. A large portion of total training expenditure goes to external providers, including educational institutions. Heavy users of computer based training, these companies predict the largest increase in total and outside training expenditures.

Light manufacturing -- These are manufacturers of food and beverages; textiles; furniture; fabricated wood; plastics and medical instruments; and paper and pulp mills. These companies are most dependent on outsourcing, with the largest percentage of total training expenditure going outside and the second largest percentage of outside dollars per employee. Their use of delivery technologies isn't heavy, though they predict more use of computer based training and intranets in the future.

Transportation, communications and public utilities -- These are the power, water and gas utilities; trucking and warehousing companies; and telephone companies. With a lot of safety, technical, and customer service training, these companies have higher-than-average expenditures. They're characterized by leading-edge training practices and a high use of computer based training and other technologies.

Health care -- This industry is made up of hospitals; clinics; doctors' offices; and home care companies. They train a large number of employees in advanced work practices and safety and quality training. However, expenditures for training, and outside training in particular, are low. They seldom use delivery technologies for training, using instead non-training employees and product suppliers. As a whole, they have experienced performance problems and a recent decline in training expenditures.

Customer service -- These are the retail stores; restaurants; hotels; and other nonprofessional consumer services. These companies have a large percentage of part-time employees and low average salaries. They teach primarily customer service and orientation training. They have the lowest training expenditures of any group and are light consumers of outside
training services and training technologies.

SOURCE American Society for Training and Development

3. Registrations are now open for the 1998 On-Line Learning Conference, focused on the Business of On-Line Learning. If you are a developer or vendor of on-line learning training and learning materials this is an executive, interactive briefing and industry gathering. To be held in Seattle, Washington on March 30 and 31. Details are now on-line at

4. Correction: The correct URL for CBT Systems is

14 - Learning Piano Via CD? Disk vs. Mr. Nunzio; IBM Increases On-Line Learning Efforts; Training Professionals Need Balance!

1) . Learning Piano Via CD? Disk vs. Mr. Nunzio. One of the questions that I am often asked is "can people learn artistic skills via computer?" Well, some of the best research is done on oneself. My wife and I bought a piano for Chanukah/Christmas and I added a MIDI port. This allows me to hook up our baby grand to a PC and send notes back and forth. So, I ventured out and purchased a CD-ROM based program called Learning to Play the Piano.

In the weeks ahead I will report on my progress or lack of progress. First report is that I was struck by the memory of my accordion teacher from age 8 to 13. Mr. Nunzio was a large man, with a large presence. Would my CD based teacher be able to match the impact of Mr. Nunzio? Early reports are that only about half of the Nunzio characteristics are present.

The CD is demanding. (Nunzio was extremely demanding!) It makes me practice each scale and concept. And, it matches each piano stroke to the assignment.

The CD gives instant feedback. (Actually, faster than Nunzio, which may be a bad thing.) It tends to interrupt my tentative attempts with more feedback than I need.

The CD provides no fear. (I was afraid of Nunzio, big time.) I've actually skipped several lessons and have had to fear of the look on Nunzio's face. How do we build accountability into on-line learning? Perhaps an on-line relationship with a real or virtual Nunzio?

The CD provides a great deal of sequential choice. (Nunzio was the master of scope and sequence!) I actually didn't know what the pedals were for on the bottom of our new piano, as I had skipped the intro section.)

I'll give our TechLearn Trends an occasional update on our efforts. Oh, we are also working with a few teenagers on the new Driver's Education CD from Sierra.

2) Partnerships and Acquisitions in the Learning Marketplace! There have been a slew of announcements in the past few weeks concerning the technology and learning marketplace. Here are a few of the important ones;

Asymetrix Learning Systems is continuing it's growth through the purchase of two more learning development companies. Asymetrix as acquired Communications Strategies, Inc (CSI) of Fort Worth, Texas and Graham Wright Interactive of Atlanta, Georgia. These two groups will grow the services component of Asymetrix, which owns the Toolbook and IconAuthor series of tools.

CBT Systems and Executrain have entered an agreement for distribution of product. Executrain has a retail training center presence throughout North America and will provide a salesforce effort for the distribution of CBT Systems technology delivered learning products to their corporate customers. It is another example of the convergence of the business efforts at the juncture of multiple methods of delivery. and

3) IBM Increases On-Line Learning Efforts: I had the privilege of giving the keynote at the Skills Conference for IBM Education and Training last week. I was struck by the depth of commitment that IBM is making in the development of on-line learning as an internal and external resource. Leveraging off their work in the E-Business sector and the Learning Space products from their Lotus division, IBM is gearing up a wide range of products and services to assist organizations in developing on-line learning strategies.

4) Training Professionals Need Balance! We need to balance so many forces. We need balance in our own lives (for health and sanity), in our efforts to balance the needs of learners and the organization, as well as balance in the mixture of old and new training methods. The MASIE Center is making an organizational commitment to focus on Balance! for Training Professionals in all of our events. At the TechLearn '98 Conference we will have a series of sessions aimed at personal, professional and organizational balance. If you would like to assist with this task force, drop a note to

Registrations are now open for the 1998 On-Line Learning Conference, focused on the Business of On-Line Learning. If you are a developer or vendor of on-line learning training and learning materials this is an executive, interactive briefing and industry gathering. To be held in Seattle, Washington on March 30 and 31. Details are now on-line at

We are also accepting registrations for TechLearn '98 at

13 - Training Professional Preferences

Over 1,200 training professionals indicated their own preferences for learning in a recent MASIE Center TechLearn Trends Survey.

When asked how they would choose to learn to use a new piece of software, here is what they choose:

26% .Attend an 8 Hour Instructor led class
25% .Take a structured on-line or CBT course
30% .Figure it out yourself
12% .Ask a peer to coach you
7% .Read a book about the topic

There was a 10% difference in how women and men reacted to this question. 21% of men selected the class while 30% of women chose to go to class. 35% of men would figure it out themselves, while 26% chose this method.

When asked how they would learn a business skill such as Effective Management, their choices were:

59% .Attend an 8 Hour Instructor led class
10% .Take a structured on-line or CBT course
2% .Figure it out yourself
9% .Ask a peer to coach you
20% .Read a book about the topic

There were no significant differences between men and women on this question.

When asked how they would like their teenager to learn Defensive Driving Theory, here are their choices:

59% .Attend an 8 Hour Instructor led class
28% .Take a structured on-line or CBT course
.5% .Figure it out yourself
5.5% .Ask a peer to coach you
8% .Read a book about the topic

Once again, no significant differences between men and women on this question.

Complete results are available at
The survey is still on-line and accepting results:

Analysis and discussion to follow. If you would like to join a discussion about these results, please go to: We plan on extending this survey to over 12,000 additional responses, including non-trainers.

12 - 10 Training & Technology Predictions for 1998

Just one topic this issue and a very happy holiday greeting from the staff at The MASIE Center. See you next year, Elliott Masie.

10 Training & Technology Predictions for 1998. Each year The MASIE Center takes out it's training and technology crystal ball and predicts a few of the trends on the horizon. Here are our picks for 1998 (in no particular order)

Skills Gap Grows: The rate of technology absorption within our organizations will create a skills gap of even larger proportions than reported by the media. Watch for serious slowdowns in the ability of organizations to implement new technologies unless they can find ways of rapidly growing new skilled employees.

On-Line Learning Shifts to Interaction: The next strong demand from users of on-line learning will be for higher levels of interaction and simulation. Learners may reject static courses with a bit of chat. They will want on-line learning to be more a virtualization of a coach than a teacher.

In-Class Use of Learning Technology to Soar: Trainers will reach out and embrace the use of technology in the classroom. Exercises and activities will include more technology as will pre- and post class technology outreaches.

Authoring Systems in the Business Units: Business units are the next wave of authoring systems purchasers and users. Watch for a demand from business units to mount quick courses and learning content on their intranets, without having to go through central training departments. Look for very easy, highly templated and non-instructionally appearing authoring front ends.

Home Servers To Blossom: As more devices become internet enabled, watch for the rise of low cost home servers. These devices will serve as the hub for multiple devices and will allow for downloading at off hours and mixed media usage. These servers, combined with web/television combinations will help launch a vital push in the home based learning market.

Web Word to Ebb in Learning Language: Watch for corporate rejection of the phrase web or web-based training. Webs sound like things to get caught in rather than corporate valued resources. Also, web-based training brings up images of computer-based training. Newer phrases to include on-line learning, intranet resources or just ´┐Żlearning".

Trainers to ReTool: Look for serious re-tooling of training professionals. As technologies become more prevalent in our organizations, the need for human contact and facilitation is also growing. Watch for trainers to be deployed outside of the classroom to add the interaction aspect, as well as reskilled in the art and science of on-line learning.

Middle Level Technology to Grow: Watch for the growth of a middle level technical role in organizations. These people will live in business units and be charged with the organization and delivery of content. They won't have either the trainer or techie title, but will need to know both areas. Middle level technical staff will watch the business unit's intranet content and enterprise databases.

Communities of Interest to Grow: Look for a focus of building and maintaining communities of interest for professionals. Using technology, these communities may cut across departments (eg. people interested in corporate intelligence) or even across companies ( eg. what we have historically seen as association memberships.). Communities of interest will be facilitated by collaborative technologies such as video conferencing and push based publishing. Events such as conferences will be more and more focused on community building.

Larger Classes and Shorter Lengths: Watch for a break in the tradition of the constant teacher/student ratio. Look for much larger classes for some topics, followed by technology enabled one to one coaching and mentoring. Likewise, look for pressure to reduce the length of classes to one half day for many topics now taught in a two day format. More information transfer via technology, more interaction in the actual class event.

If you care to add to the list or to send comments: mail me at

11 - China's Workers Take Learning Very Seriously!

1).Class Size: A Fixed or Moving Target? My recent column in Computer Reseller News focused on the assumptions of the training industry when it comes to class size. I ranted about the need to think more flexibly when it comes to class size, location and process. While this article is targeted at training vendors, it will provoke some interesting dialogues with trainers in general. Check it out at:

2) China's Workers Take Learning Very Seriously! We recently received a press release from Guangzhou, a region in China. The news was a survey of adult learning processes. "Over 60 percent of the region's workers reported taking a vocational course in their spare time", was the headline. I emailed the press attache and here is a follow-up blurb from our correspondence:

"With the reform of employment, more and more workers in the southern coastal city have changed their concept of "life-long employment" -- a practice in the past planned economy. Workers organized book-reading societies, knowledge competition and symposiums for themselves."

"In addition, concerned governmental departments supported various vocational courses for in-service workers and layoffs. More than 20,000 laid-off workers, who are about 45 years old, have had the opportunity to learn more skills and found new jobs.The city's young workers also favor self-study programs to improve their educational level."

Yes, the entire world is focusing on the issues of skilling for a new economy. This is a wonderful artifact of that process.

3) TechLearn LIVE! April 1st Broadcast - Reception Sites Grow! We have had a wonderful response from the TechLearn Trends readership and the list of satellite reception sites has grown for this FREE global symposium on learning and technology. We now have sites in 35 states and 6 international locations. If you would like to have your corporation or local group sponsor a TechLearn LIVE gathering in your community, just send me a note to The spirit of this event is to Think Globally and Network Locally!

There still a few seats available in our January 1998 session: The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar to be held in Saratoga Springs, New York. See for details.

10 - Knowledge Management: Get Ready for This Phrase!; I-Candy - Possible Intranet Advertising Device for Learning!

1) Knowledge Management: Get Ready for This Phrase! In 1998, there will be at least a dozen new buzzwords. One phrase that WILL impact training and learning professionals is Knowledge Management. This phrase is now on the lips and organizational charts of the big six accounting and consulting companies, as well as key players like IBM and EDS.

Knowledge Management is the strategic efforts of an organization to improve individual and departmental capture and use of knowledge. It spans the technological efforts (eg. groupware, enterprise data warehousing), the staff development efforts (training, mentoring), the organizational development efforts (benchmarking, best practice capture) and innovative approaches to capturing key information from staff and customers.

Training departments are going to be targeted by Knowledge Management task forces. This may or may not be friendly fire! The question that will be asked is how you are enhancing the intellectual capital of the enterprise. And, how your training efforts can be leveraged for a wider knowledge management efforts.

To bone up on Knowledge Management, here is a great list of web sites:

2) I-Candy - Possible Intranet Advertising Device for Learning! On-Line Learning will borrow many of its new techniques from the world of on-line advertising. Both fields share a common goal, to engage the user, to capture their attention, to convey information and to stimulate an action (in one instance buying, in the other learning.) I-Candy may be the next implementation.

Developed using Shockwave, these are interactive icons (ads) that give the user an interactive experience, without sending them to another site. Advertisers are realizing that people may not want to leave a site but are open to simulation and messaging from a small icon. These I-Candy icons can even be interactive games that engage the user for a few moments.

I can imagine an organization developing an I-Candy icon that would pop up and provide an instance of learning reinforcement or even a pop quiz on an area of competence. Watch for these in the next six months.

3) Hosting Sites Needed for TechLearn LIVE! on April 1, 1998. The MASIE Center is seeking host sites for our global free conference on technology and learning, TechLearn LIVE! If you have a conference room with satellite downlink (or even videoconference capacity), consider hosting TechLearn LlVE! in your area. The time is 12 Noon to 3 PM Eastern Time. We will provide you with all of the materials to help facilitate a local gathering of professionals exploring the TechLearn challenges. If you are interested, please send an email to

4) URL Added for Book: Here is the address for the book we mentioned in the last TechTrends: TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @ Work @Home and @Play: Information on on-line ordering available at

There still a few seats available in our January 1998 session: The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar to be held in Saratoga Springs, New York on January 12 and 13th. See for details.

9 - McDonalds Honors Technology & Learning; Presentations over the Net

1. McDonalds Honors Technology & Learning! Last night, I had the honor of presenting the keynote speech at McDonalds Corporation's Tribute to Technology & Learning. 150 training and technology professionals from organizations throughout the Chicago area gathered at Hamburger University for an evening of dialogue and partying. Organized by Diane Cain, McDonald's Director of the STASS Institute for Computer Learning, the proceeds from the formal dress party benefited the Ronald McDonald House and the American Technology Honor Society. Diane's staff reached out to include members of Chicago Board of Education in the festivities to build the corporate-school connection. What a great idea for a holiday party!

2) Book Suggestion: TechnoStress! Here is a great book that will get you and your colleagues thinking about the impact of technology on our lives, families and organizations. The authors, Michelle Weil and Larry Rosen even address the role of training and learning intensity. Information and on-line ordering links at: TechnoStress: Coping With Technology @WORK @HOME @PLAY

3) Presentations over the Net: Eloquent Ships Presenter 3.0 Here is a cool new tool to present presentations over the internet. Even at low bandwidth levels, users can view a video of the presenter, view the presentation slides and follow along with a transcript. The transcript is searchable by phrase, so the presentation can be viewed in linear or user driven order. Check it out at

There still a few seats available in our January 1998 session: The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar to be held in Saratoga Springs, New York. See for details.

8 - Be Careful What You Virtualize; Take Your Web Site in for an Oil Change and Checkup: Free!

1) Be Careful What You Virtualize! Classrooms or Experiences? This is just a quick thought/question to TechLearn Trend Readers: What are we virtualizing with on-line learning efforts? The answer to this question is deeply intriguing. Are we attempting to virtualize the classroom, the instructor, the textbook, or something else? I believe that we should be careful in overly modeling or copying the classroom model.

The more we work with on-line learning, the more I believe that we are attempting to create an alternative EXPERIENCE for the learner. We will never do a great job in virtualizing a wonderful instructor, or supportive peers or chocolate doughnuts during the breaks. However, we can CREATE new and engaging environments for learners.

As this evolves, that may not look anything like classrooms or have any of the labels we use in instructor led classes. In other words, we might not want to brand our learning as a virtual classroom or campus, anymore than we brand the internet as a virtual newspaper or library. Each is different and unique in their own right.

2) Take Your Web Site in for an Oil Change and Checkup: Free! There is a cool website that will perform a free check on your site for basic elements like quickness of loading of graphics, integrity of links and even spelling errors. The folks that sponsor this site also sell tools to fix and upgrade your pages. We checked The MASIE Center site and as a result we're doing a number of overhauls in the next few days. Very cool and free.

3) 1998 On-Line Learning & Training Conference: Focus on The Business of Learning! The MASIE Center is announcing the 3rd Annual On-Line Learning Conference. This year, the event will have two components:

The Business of On-Line Learning: An executive conference to be held at the beginning of April on the West Coast, focusing on the business, industry and economic issues related to the emerging field of on-line learning. For companies developing products in this field and senior corporate managers interested in the cost and budgeting issues.

TechLearn Live! For all training and technology professionals! A free satellite and internet broadcast at the beginning of April, from the briefing, hosted across the country, providing an update on approaches to
On-Line Learning. We will walk the talk, by using multiple emerging technologies to conference on the technology. Watch for a formal announcement here and on our website:

7 - Malcolm Knowles, Training & Learning Visionary Dies

(1) Malcolm Knowles, Training & Learning Visionary Dies: On Thanksgiving Day, Malcolm Knowles, the "father" of adult education died quickly and painlessly of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 84.

Knowles was one of my heroes and inspirations. He introduced the concept of Andragogy, focusing on the unique and exciting characteristics of adult learning. I met Knowles at an ASTD meeting in my early twenties. He filled the room, used a dozen forms of training techniques and created an AH-HA learning reality for each of the 200 people in the session.

Knowles was a continual advocate of learner choice and the importance of discovery and curiosity. His belief in the role of the learner's motivation is at the heart of the best training programs on the planet. Few people have had as much to do with creating our profession and field as Malcolm Knowles. Much of what I believe about training was triggered by the work and vision of Knowles.

In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family has asked that donations can be made to the Malcolm S. Knowles Scholarship Fund, University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc., 325 Administration Building, Fayetteville AR 72701. The MASIE Center is donating $1,000 to this fund on behalf of TechLearn Trends readers. We will deeply miss him.

With Great Respect,
Elliott Masie

If you are interested in a listing of books about Adult Learning by Knowles, go to

2) The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar will be held in Saratoga Springs, New York on January 12th and 13th, 1998 This is a unique, non-commercial, hands-on lab for managers and decision makers taught by Elliott Masie. Special rates for MASIE Center members. For information and registration: or 800-98-MASIE.

TechLearn 1998 Dates Announced: November 15 to 18, 1998 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Registrations now being accepted at 800-98-MASIE and

6 - A Complete TV Production Studio in a $5,000 PC!; Tips for Preventing Trainer Burnout!

(1) A Complete TV Production Studio in a $5,000 PC! One of the hottest new products introduced at COMDEX is Trinity from Play, Inc. Imagine a Windows based hardware/software solution that will allow you to mix up to eight video images, produce special effects, even add chroma-keying (the type of effects that the weather broadcaster uses to stand in front of a map). And, it is all done in a $5,000 device. This functionality would have been tens of thousands of dollars a few days ago! Apply this to video conferencing or to the development of worksite web based training modules and it is an intriguing invention. Trinity will not be shipped for about 8 to 12 weeks. Check out their web site at

(2) Tips for Preventing Trainer Burnout! There are four major suggestions that The MASIE Center provides for preventing trainer burnout. A) Diversity of Task: Make sure that each trainer is teaching more than a single topic. The most rapid path to burnout is repetition and boredom. B) Diversity of Process: Develop multiple activities to teach the same topic. Same class but different activities, even content sequence. C) Feedback and Development: Trainers that are continually focusing on improving their training skills and content skills have the lowest levels of burnout. Trainers with managers that provide rich feedback and coaching last the longest. D) Career Vision: Trainers that can imagine a career that goes beyond the current job task survive the short-term stresses of training.

(3) DISCUSSION ANYONE? Join the TechLearn Discussion Board. Go to and click on TechLearn Chat. High energy conversations about technology and learning.

The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar will be held in Saratoga Springs, New York on September 12th and 13th. This is a unique, non-commercial, hands-on lab for managers and decision makers taught by Elliott Masie. Special rates for MASIE Center members. For information and registration: or 800-98-MAISE.

TechLearn 1998 Dates Announced: November 15 to 18, 1998 at Walt Disney
World in Orlando, Florida. Registrations now being accepted at 800-98-MASIE

5 - British Prime Minister Speaks Out on Building a Learning Society; ALA Carte Training: The Quiet Giant of IT Training

1. British Prime Minister Speaks Out on Building a Learning Society
2. ALA Carte Training: The Quiet Giant of IT Training
3. Join the TechLearn Discussion Group

(1) The Prime Minister of England Speaks Out Clearly About Technology & Learning. Britain is driving a stake in the ground with a clear and strong position on the role of technology and learning. There is a government supported White Paper on Connecting the Learning Society. Tony Blair, Prime Minister, leads with a compelling view of the need to build a learning society, linked with technology for the delivery of content and courses. Check it out at:

(2) A La Carte Training: You probably have never heard the phrase "a la carte training." Yet, it represents a major chunk of the current and future customer base for technology learning products and services.

Definition: The ordering of training from a menu, with considerable mixing and matching of courses. "I'll take a Java class as an appetizer, followed by a few NT courses and would you bring me something with ATM on it for dessert. In fact, would you bring the dessert now." The mixing and matching of courses is a strong and growing portion of the learning marketplace. Read Elliott Masie's column in Computer Reseller News on Ala Carte Training:

(3) DISCUSSION ANYONE? Join the TechLearn Discussion Board. Go to and click on TechLearn Chat. High energy conversations about technology and learning.

The Road to On-Line Learning LAB & Seminar will be held in Saratoga Springs, New York on September 12th and 13th. This is a unique, non-commercial, hands-on lab for managers and decision makers taught by Elliott Masie. Special rates for MASIE Center members. For information and registration: or 800-98-MAISE.

TechLearn 1998 Dates Announced: November 15 to 18, 1998 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Registrations now being accepted at 800-98-MASIE and