New Commission on Technology and Adult Learning

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Article publication date: 1 July 2000




(2000), "New Commission on Technology and Adult Learning", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 24 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

New Commission on Technology and Adult Learning

New Commission on Technology and Adult Learning

Keywords: Adult education, Technology

The borderless world of learning "anytime, anywhere", made possible by technology and the demands of a digital economy, is the focus of a new Commission on Technology and Adult Learning. A joint initiative of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and the National Governors' Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, with the Commission is examining the impacts of technology on adult, work-related learning and considering the public policies which will be necessary to support this new system for acquiring skills and knowledge.

Co-chaired by A. William Wiggenhorn, President of Motorola University, and former Governor Steve Merrill (NH), the Commission began earlier this year and is due to finish its work early in 2001.

The Commission is bringing together leaders from business, industry, post-secondary education, and state and federal governments to define the challenges to existing public policy and private practice in issues such as equitable access, accreditation, assessment and certification, funding, and intellectual property.

In the course of its year-long work, the Commission will seek out best practices and models in each of these areas, and develop recommendations for action by the public and private sectors.

Mary McCain, Director of the Commission for ASTD, said:

The technology is available now for just-in-time access to the knowledge and information that adults need for ongoing learning and skills upgrade, but the institutions and systems that support education and training remain anchored in the industrial economy ... The role of this Commission will be to help these systems and people catch up to the technology.

The Commission will:

  • identify critical trends and best practices in the public and private sectors for promoting access to, and the effective use of, information technology for adult learning;

  • describe the appropriate public and private sector roles and responsibilities that will facilitate the use of information technology for lifelong learning; and

  • connect this work to similar activity focused on K-12 education.

ASTD and the NGA Center for Best Practices will publish an interactive, electronic report of the Commission's findings in early 2001. The report's findings will be presented and discussed during a series of public meetings around the USA.

A future Commission Web site will incorporate the ongoing dissemination activities and discussion of the findings, and will highlight opportunities to get involved in priority issues.

Further details are available from: The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), 1640 King Street, Box 1443, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-2043, USA. Tel: +1 (703) 683 8100; Fax: +1 (703) 683 8103; Web site:

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