In the endless quest for information that will keep you up-to-date on the technology you teach—and the technology of teaching—it’s always nice to locate a Web site that shares your focus. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) offers a site that may become one of your favorites. For starters, you’ll find a decent selection of some standard training site fare:
- A marketplace page that lists ASTD’s various periodicals, books, conferences, and software
- A library of training links, references, and other resources
- A search page for tracking down info, events, and organizations
However, while those features are useful and well designed, of particular interest are the Communities of Practice. These communities are designed to provide “content and interactivity” that’s organized according to categories such as Trends, Learning Technologies, Training Basics, and Technical Training.
Each community features a monthly focus consisting of targeted excerpts from ASTD’s newsletters and books, articles, reports, tools, links, and related special events. For instance, the focus for this month’s Learning Technologies community is Distance Learning. You’ll find a couple of in-depth articles; a bibliography that lists suggested reading; a chat transcript on distance learning from the ASTD-sponsored Technical Training Conference and Exposition; a “Media Selection Matrix” to help you nail down the appropriate media for delivering your training; a distance learning listserv; and a set of related links.
Archives and discussions
If the current focus topic for a community doesn’t grab you, you can check out the community’s Focus Archive and Tools Archive to access the resources and tools from previous community focuses. And when you need to ask questions, gather feedback, or just listen in on the training buzz, you can pop into the Discussion Board for the community that interests you.
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Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior editor for Tech Pro Research.