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The TrainingZone LearningWire – Issue 49


The TrainingZONE LearningWIRE - Issue 49
17 May 1999
The Learning Community
Copyright (C) 1999 Sift plc. All rights reserved.
This material is distributed free to trainers, learners, managers
and coaches. It may be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is give,

From the Editor
If you've surfed the TrainingZone website in the past week, you'll have noticed a great new feature on the site. Every article posting now offers you the opportunity to comment or respond to the story. Just click the 'Comment' button at the end of every entry and you're offered a simple template for recording your reactions. You can also read what other people have had to say about the same story. This NewsChat feature appears on all News stories, Internet Monitor postings, and MicroSite articles.

In this week's issue, we're delighted to focus on Learning at Work Day - Thursday 20 May. For many of us, this is perhaps the most important aspect of Adult Learners Week which runs for the next seven days. The Campaign for Learning has been providing us with plenty of relevant information and we hope you will find this issue of particular relevance in promoting learning both for yourself and throughout your workplace.

Finally, if you're visiting the European Consortium for Learning Organisations conference in Glasgow this week, please do make yourself known and tell us what you think of TrainingZone and LearningWire.

Tim Pickles, Editor, LearningWIRE and TrainingZONE



Learning at Work Day - Thursday 20 May

What do you want to learn today?
Make learning part of your regular work schedule

LearningWire currently reaches 1,560 organisations every week.
Why not put your message before this focused audience of people engaged in training, learning and development.

Thought for the Week
==================== (thanks to Garry Platt for this one)

'The clever man will tell you what he knows; he may even try to explain it to you. The wise man encourages you to discover it for yourself, even though he knows it inside out. But since he seems to give you nothing, we have no need to reward him. Thus the wise have disappeared and we are left in a desolation of the clever'.

- Reginald Revans (1980)

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Learning at Work Day - Special Feature

In case you didn't already know, this is Adult Learners Week. Throughout the country, there are learning opportunities being offered by adult and community education centres, colleges and further education centres, training providers and vocational education centres. As well as promoting basic skills, many of these centres are keen to encourage a return to learning and a new culture of lifelong learning. There's plenty of information, promotion and ideas on the Government's own website to get you going

The National Institute of Adult and Continuing Education is one of the main co-ordinators of activities around the county. Their website has plenty of ideas for activities also, plus links to some of the main centres where you can participate:

However, the main focus for many people in employment will be Learning at Work day - this Thursday. The Campaign for Learning has been tasked with promoting the day and there's no shortage of ideas, examples for participating companies, and a page dedicated to learning pledges on their website
The Campaign's message of 'Learn something new on Learning at Work Day is featured at

Some of these ideas found their way into an opinion piece in the current issue of People Management magazine, written by Campaign staff, which provides ideas on how companies can demonstrate their commitment to workplace learning

The Campaign for Learning has also compiled a fascinating briefing sheet on Learning at Work - Facts, Figures and Quotations. As these make such interesting reading, we are pleased to reproduce the briefing at

Several months ago, Peter Honey initiated an online worldwide survey into people's learning habits and he is due to publish the results on Thursday. You can see a sneak preview of some of the findings at

One of the main promoters of Learning at Work day is the National Grid who will be hosting various events. You can discover more about their approach to learning, as well as a range of other participatory events associated with the Day at

In the past week, we've also found several sites with news and developments which loosely relate to the development of workplace-based learning.

Scottish Enterprise last week announced 160,000,000 GBP were to be spend boosting skills and learning across south and central Scotland. This funding will be spent on a range of initiatives including the development of the Scottish University for Indusstry (SUfI), an expansion of the young persons' Skillseekers programme, a new Personal Development Show (in addition to the present Professional Development Show), rolling out Individual Learning Accounts, a programme of Core Skills, and - perhaps most significantly - the establishment of more than a hundred online learning centres across the region.

In the current issue of the Training Journal, Chris Sangster reflects on Continuous Professional Development and asks 'What is really changing?' with some through-provoking questions about the extent of our commitment to making the concept real.

On a related theme, the DfEE is keen not to miss out on the action as government ministers announce an additional 310,000 GBP funding to develop mentoring programmes throughout pilot schools

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The LearningWire Guide to Learning at Work Day

So, how do you get started and join in the fun? Here are ten easy to implement suggestions for encouraging learning in your workplace:-

* Ask a colleague for 30 minutes coaching on something you've
been meaning to learn for the past few months.

* Get down to Waterstone's and browse for a practical book
on a topic where you know you are out-of-date.

* Post an offer to act as a mentor as your company's bulletin
board, noticeboard or learning centre.

* Make sure that 'Learning at Work' is on this week's agenda
for this week's team / departmental meeting

* Take five minutes to jot down a learning log about a recent
experience: what happened? what did you learn from it?
how does this connect to other learning? how can you use it
in future?

* Organise with colleagues to hold a practice review session
around a current piece of work

* Get out of your normal workplace and visit another one - find
something which they do that would improve your work.

* Take ten minutes to pull out a professional journal from the
bottom of your in-tray and discover something new

* Make out a learning plan with goals and proposals for the
next six months.

* Do something (anything!) different ... a different kind of
lunch, a different route home, a different relaxation ...

PS. A LearningWire wrote recently to say he had become a converted lifelong learner ten years ago and now had a log with 1,068 entries. "I started it because I recognised I was an unskilled learner and that as a 19 scoring Activist in Honey and Mumford terms, I needed structure and discipline to get me to reflect. My method is simple: one sheet of A4 broken into headings of significant experience, what happened?; conclusions; actions, and when?"

So, 'What have you learned today?'

Internet Monitor

A selection of other Internet sites and postings from the past week.

Top ten problems keeping trainers awake at night
Not a bad title for a webpage to attract trainers' interest! This article appears in the current issue of Training Magazine and is available in full on the Training SuperSite. You might want to use it in your next training-for-trainers session. There's a synopsis and the full link available at

Three new ezine learning lists
The idea of using regular emailed messages to provide coaching and learning to subscribed users is rapidly catching on. The Coaching Federation were the first site I noticed doing it around specific themes and the idea has been taken up on the AusTrainer site. Don't let the geographic origin of the site put you off. There are plenty of valuable tips and techniques to be got on these global ezines. These latest three lists from AusTrainer include: Management matters; Project planning and management tips; and Women as leaders.

A tool for building a learning organisation
Capability Snapshot are presenting a workshop at this week's European Consortium for the Leaning Organisation conference in Glasgow The presenters have been involved in action research into the effectiveness of building learning organisations in the US and Canada and you can test your own organisation online by using their assessment tool.

Quango website launched
Information on more than 1,000 quangos and more than 900 public
appointments can be found on a new website launched on 7 May. The
website's public sector links should enable the public to address
the right officials with any questions on quangos and public

International Guild of Professional Consultants
A relatively new US-based organisation with a wider subscription membership which claims to be "the world's fastest growing consulting organisation and certification programme" offers a range of services to members across a range of consulting practices.

Sequencing in active reviewing
Detailed exploration of sequencing activities in the current issue of this regular electronic newsletter from the author of the Active Reviewing website. Also contains many other useful links and reviews related to reviewing activities.

Free? Internet services
A flurry of responses to last week's reports about cheaper or free services. Yes, AOL are trialling a freephone connection service but only with selected customers. Thanks to everyone who pointed out that their unlimited use subscription is being reduced next month to 9.95 GBP. And there are unconfirmed reports that another freephone service is or might be offered at

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From the PressZone

Every week we carry news releases in our dedicated PressZone
Here are a selection of recent press releases on the site:

Seminar on new CBT authoring with 'zero learning curve'

GBdirect to offer free Linux training

TrainingXpress launches e-commerce site for trainers

New CEDEFOP publication on Swedish vocational training

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About Sift
Sift plc is the award-winning UK developer of online communities. Based in Bristol, Sift has also developed AccountingWEB for the accounting sector, BusinessZONE (for the SME market), TravelMole for the travel industry and LawZONE for the legal profession.

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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 9630


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