Briefs

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

director.

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.

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