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Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds: How to Create Cost-Saving, Efficient and Engaging Programs Paperback – Jan 5 2010
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About the Author
Alex Heiphetz is founder and president of AHG, Inc., a software solution company specializing in business services to training companies and educational institutions: custom software, training simulations, audio and video production. Dr. Heiphetz consults with corporations and universities on the benefits and logistics of virtual training and education programs. He has presented on Second Life as related to corporate training at multiple conferences, such as Innovations in Learning 2007, the Distance Learning Association (2008), the Society for Applied Learning Technology (2008) and at SNY ASTD (2008). His papers have appeared in Distance Learning magazine, Training Magazine and other publications. Gary Woodill is Director of Research at Brandon Hall, a leading research firm focusing on learning, where he tracks emerging learning technologies. Brandon Hall's clients have included Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, GE, Motorola, Kraft, HP, Goldman Sachs, and Westinghouse, among others. He speaks frequently at conferences such as ASTD, CSTD and SALT, and blogs daily at Workplace Learning Today.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The authors make excellent use of current research on learning but also present case studies from heavy-hitters, Microsoft, Intel, IBM and the World Bank, all of whom have been extremely pleased with the results of their virtual forays. Medical training with the University of Kansas is discussed as well as forecasts regarding how participation in Virtual Worlds will change business and education. The chapter co-authored by the lead on the Michelin project is particularly riveting, dealing with a global IS employee group, and a difficult, unpopular training on the firm's Enterprise Architecture. Participants gave the Second Life training a 98% approval rating, proposed that it be extended to other topics, and "User acceptance did not vary according to background or culture"(p.112.)
There are now many books on this topic, but this is very readable, well researched and makes a compelling case for this remarkable place called Virtual Reality, yet it also clearly reflects the author's extensive experience with the platform and the needs of new and veteran users. Those of us working there currently realize that it can be hard to imagine how an immersive environment can work for such projects, and that often conviction comes only from personal participation. But this book is now my top choice to recommend for those interested in this window on the future called the Immersive Internet. Read it, allow the authors to help you temper your skepticism and come see what is both possible and engaging learners now.
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