25 Feb 2020

Microlearning, Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training

One of the most commonly used buzzwords in the training industry, “microlearning”, has officially been trademarked by the education technology company Grovo – granted by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. According to Patrick J. Arnold Jr., intellectual property attorney, Grovo has been allocated a Supplemental Register, meaning they can use the “circle R” registration mark but lack the stronger legal protection that comes with a Principal Register.

The general hope of companies who obtain a Supplemental Register is that it generates a secondary meaning in a couple of years. In Grovo’s case, this means that consumers would eventually identify “microlearning” with their specific product. If they were to get a Principal Register it would give Grovo the power to stop other companies from using a mark that is closely related to microlearning. At this point, their request for a Principle Register has been denied due to the descriptive nature of the term and its ability to be used on things besides Grovo’s specific product.

The CEO of Grovo, Steven Carpenter, claims that Grovo’s intention is to establish a clear definition for microlearning and make it a main aspect of every organization’s learning strategy. He states that it is not Grovo’s intent to go after other companies and according to IP attorney Arnold, if they don’t move on to the next stage of registration the term “microlearning” is free for everyone to utilize. (Source: Workforce)

What does this mean for professional development?

This event has opened a discussion between L&D professionals about what constitutes as a discipline and product. Senior partner and chief learning evangelist for APPLY Synergies, Bob Mosher said that he was never aware of people trying to trademark e-learning or mobile learning since they have always been disciplines in the industry and not products. GROVO has not decided whether or not they will take action against companies who use the term in a different way then how it is trademarked or if they use it without the registered trademark symbol.

Michigan Moves Forward to Meet Federal Education Standards

In 2015 the Every Student Succeeds Act was passed giving more power to states to oversee public schools. In April Michigan took steps to meet the education standard allowed by the Act, by submitting a new proposal for their funding. This week Michigan’s new plan was approved by U.S Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. One of the main aspects of the plan is greater focus placed on developing the best educators by offering targeted professional development for teachers. (Source: Michigan Radio)

What does this mean for professional development?

Due to this new plan, Michigan educators are going to experience a growth in opportunities to undergo professional development and grow in their field.

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Mandatory Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Approved

Following the rise of sexual misconduct allegations in the U.S. Congress, mandatory training was suggested to all members. This past Wednesday the the House of Representatives unanimously approved the measure requiring annual anti-harassment training for lawmakers. This vote coincided with the vote held early this month by the Senate, who also approved the measure. The approved legislation is requiring all 535 members and their staff to participate in the mandatory training. 

What does this mean for professional development?

Now that the two houses have both approved the legislation, serious action regarding the misconduct that has been occurring is being taken. Not only is training being put into place but high level officials are being forced to apologize, resign or are being fired. As predicted, these actions are starting to spread to other industries as well. Companies are realizing the seriousness of sexual harassment in the workplace and are starting to implement mandatory training as well. (Source: VOA)

Last updated: 25 Feb 2020

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