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The TrainingZONE LearnignWIRE – Issue 18



The TrainingZONE LearningWIRE - Issue 18
22 October 1998

A FREE electronic newsletter for net enabled people engaged in training, learning, coaching and staff development.

Copyright (C) 1998 Sift plc. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is given.

In this issue:

  • Has the Internet come of age?
  • Parenthood Education establishes first Micro Site
  • First downloadable Toolkit resources
  • News Stories

This issue part sponsored by

Pavilion Publishing - leading publishers of training resources, journals and manuals - and organisers of major national conferences - for professionals in health and social care

'Learning Log' and 'Professional Development Plan' - easy-to-use pages for your personal organiser. Order on-line quoting LW18 for 10% discount.


Has the Internet come of age?
In the last thirty years there have been several defining moments in the public's reaction to new developments in technology and communications. Some would argue that the assassination of J.F. Kennedy was the moment when people accepted network television as the medium for news dissemination. More recently, the Gulf War with its live coverage by CNN, achieved wonders for cable TV ratings and this has been sustained through well-publicised American courtroom broadcasting. Will the Monica Lewinsky / Bill Clinton debacle achieve the same for the Internet in the public's imagination?

Certainly the decision to publish the Independent Counsel's report on the Internet led to the greatest ever usage of the Web over any 24 hour period with many trunk routes coming close to overload. Even the simultaneous use of several mirror sites carrying copies of the main report in different centres around the world did little to reduce the strain. The event also raised some challenging questions. The House of Representatives has spent months worrying about privacy, censorship and control of the Internet - only for it to be accused of some of the worst excesses of pornographic publishing itself!

If you want to go and look for yourself

Meanwhile, developments have been happening back here. In this issue, we announce the launch of two new services within TrainingZONE with the commencement of the first Micro Site (several more will follow shortly), and the publication of the first Toolkit resources.

Tim Pickles,
Editor, LearningWIRE and TrainingZONE

Parenthood Education establishes first Micro Site
The Parenthood Education network has established the first Micro Site within TrainingZONE. The network is involved in the development and promotion of parenthood education materials within the school curriculum and will be of interest to teachers, trainers and students engaged in this fast developing area. Micro Sites provide organisations with a fully hosted and serviced website including their own domain name, links, news postings, downloadable resources, editorial area and discussion forum, all of which are self-controlled. Users of the Micro Site have access to the full range of resources within TrainingZONE and other community users can browse through the Micro Site to learn more about the organisation's work. This arrangement benefits everyone and brings a website to the attention of a far wider audience than would otherwise be possible.

Development of the Parenthood Education network has been funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation and managed by The Children's Society. Members are closely involved in the development of new government policy across the spectrum of Personal and Social Education.

As with the rest of TrainingZONE, access to all Micro Sites is free and unrestricted. If you have not already done so, it is much appreciated if users register themselves at the site so that we can keep you informed of future developments.

You can visit the site at

More Micro Sites will be launched shortly and announced in LearningWIRE. Meanwhile if you would like more information about establishing your own Micro Site, please get in touch.

First downloadable Toolkit resources
Also launched this week is our new Toolkit area. The aim of providing an expanding library of resource materials for trainers, learners, coaches and managers has long been one of our goals and the first 30 resources are now available at

These resources include training programmes, handouts, discussion papers, articles, and notes as well as selected extracts from commercially published books and manuals. The resources are organised within topic categories. Presently these include Trainer Development, Manager Development, Education, Health and Social Care, and Communications. More categories will follow shortly.

The resources are presented in Microsoft Word format and can be easily downloaded to your desktop with a single click.

Both the index listing and the TrainingZONE search engine will help you find appropriate resources in response to any keywords which you enter.

There is no charge for downloading resources from the Toolkit.

All the resources are accompanied by information about the author, source, publisher, copyright owner and date of first publication.

We have agreements with several publishers to make extracts from their titles available through the Toolkit so that you can get a practical feel for whether a book or manual would be useful to you.

Authors, trainers and publishers are welcome to submit contributions to the Toolkit and there is guidance about how to do this on the site.

We look forward to expanding this library with a growing range of resources over the next few months.

News Stories

Cut price ISDN lines
More details have been announced of BT's new ISDN service for home- based users of the Internet launched on 15 September and known as Home Highway. An ISDN connection makes a digital connection at 64kbps (or even 128Kbps) compared with the maximum 56Kbps available from the much less reliable analogue connection made by the fastest modem (which in reality rarely achieves more than 44Kbps for downloads and is only capable of 33Kbps for uploads for technical reasons). The Home Highway scheme provides an ISDN connection from 99; the quarterly charges are higher but you should be able to dispense with a second line and calls to the Internet will be very much faster and therefore cheaper. To take advantage of ISDN you will need to equip your computer with an ISDN card.

How to get your people hooked on learning
Information on a series of breakfast events run by Peter Honey and Supernova Learning Solutions focusing on how to make learning effective in the workplace.B

Workshops on new employment legislation
Information on thirteen seminars around the country this autumn focused on the implications of the Data Protection Act, Working Time Regulations and the National Minimum Wage.

Consultation launched on Minimum Wage
Regulations outlining the detail of the National Minimum Wage were published on Friday for consultation by Ian McCartney, DTI Minister of State. The regulations set out how the National Minimum Wage is to be calculated, the pay reference periods and what employers need to do to comply with the legislation.

DfEE advisory group on Personal and Social Education
Details of the composition and remit of a new working group exploring the future of the PSE curriculum, which should include consideration of Parenthood Education issues within schools.


About Sift
Sift plc is a leading developer of online communities. Based in Bristol, Sift has developed AccountingWEB for professionals in the accountancy profession, and BusinessZONE (for the SME market). At the 1997 Online Information Exhibition at Olympia, AccountingWEB was voted European Information Product of the Year (and also runner up as Internet Product of 1997).

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Editor: Tim Pickles
Sift plc., The Mill House, Redcliff Backs, Bristol BS1 6LY
Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630B
Tim Pickles ***** Designing professional toolkits ***** The learning community


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