Site offers e-learning directory
Although distance-learning courses are becoming more accepted, finding
out where they're being offered can pose a significant challenge.
To ease that problem, Pennsylvania's education department has launched
a free Web-based service that is a clearinghouse of distance-learning courses
being offered across the state and the nation.
"If you need a phone number, you go to a phone book; if you need an
Internet listing, you go to Yahoo. But there's no equivalent if you need
a distance- learning course," said John Bailey, the department's technology
The state launched the Web site, called the Distance Learning Exchange
(www.dle.state.pa.us), in part to promote what Pennsylvania's schools,
colleges, universities, agencies and vendors were offering, Bailey said.
Pennsylvania's site lists 230 courses or "activities" — anything from
virtual museum tours to accredited college courses — from more than 50 providers.
Council urges workforce reforms
The CIO Council's Information Tech-nology Workforce Committee said agencies
have made progress in answering its federal IT workforce challenge, but
much still needs to be done.
This month, the committee issued an update to its 1999 report that presented
agencies with 13 recommendations to address the challenges of maintaining
an effective federal IT workforce.
Some progress has been made. For example, the Office of Personnel Management
has distributed a draft IT job family classification standard and has developed
a systematic methodology for workforce planning and staff analysis.
Projects in the works: OPM hopes to implement special pay rates for
IT workers by Jan. 1, 2001, and award a contract for a new workforce planning
and analysis model by March 31, 2001.