January 26, 2010

Launch of Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds

            Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds(McGraw-Hill Professional; January, 2010) is unique in many regards.  For the first time it provides detailed data, including financial and technical information, on how some of the world’s most recognizable global brands are using virtual worlds technology as their business platform, and how your business can use it, too -- for training, collaboration, team-building, marketing, branding and much more.

            Previous books on Second Life and virtual worlds concentrated on entertainment value and use by hobbyists.  Not this one.  In Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds the authors make an experience-based case for, and describe best practices of Second Life as an effective tool for business survival and growth.  The book is written for management-level decision makers to learn how virtual worlds can add significant value to your bottom line.

            Nothing could be a better venue for launching a book on using virtual worlds, then a virtual world itself.  On Friday, February 26th, at 1 pm Eastern Time (10 am PST aka "SL time") authors will present their new book during a special launch event to be held in Second Life.  For those who will not be able to join us in Second Life, the event will be streamed live on the web. The launch will cover what you could learn from the book plus new developments that happened after the book was submitted to the publisher.

            In order to access live book launch in SL or on the web, you need to register at http://www.ahg.com/launch_register.htm.  Access is limited, so please register promptly.  If you register and find out you are unable to attend, please, do let us know so that another person has an opportunity to be there.

More information: http://www.ahg.com/launch.htm

Registration: http://www.ahg.com/launch_register.htm

Visit the book site -- www.TheVirtualWorldsBook.com-- to find detailed description and materials that will help business and training professionals stay abreast of new virtual worlds developments.

January 05, 2010

Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds

    Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds: How to Create Cost-Saving, Efficient and Engaging Programs (published by McGraw-Hill) is now available in the bookstores and online.

            If you have read on virtual worlds, you will find this book to be quite different.  There is no hyper-excitement about the new and "cool" media, discussions on how to change your clothing, appearance, or how to build corporate campus.  There are no suggestions to rush in and "establish presence" until it is too late -- something that still dominates "positive" articles and presentations on virtual worlds.  At the same time, you will not find angry outbursts about complete worthlessness of virtual worlds for corporate use -- something that dominates the "negative" end of the spectrum -- either.

            Instead, you will find objective material and hard data that will help you understand the new media.  You will learn in what areas virtual worlds can add significant value and where the use of virtual worlds can be counterproductive, how to start your corporate program, what do you need to make your project a success.

            The book sums up best practices and recommendations from real life corporate experiences in virtual worlds. Experts from Cisco, EMC, IBM, Intel, Michelin, Microsoft, TMP Worldwide, University of Kansas Medical Center, World Bank, and CEO of Linden Labs hold nothing back frankly discussing their corporate Second Life projects, methodology, financials, timelines, and results.  The authors pay special attention to security issues and concerns, as well as real-life implementations and use of simulations to achieve competitive advantage and high ROI.

          Finally, you will find a lot of practical information: which virtual world to use, available entry options, recommendations on contents creation, existing tools, and programs.

            Virtual worlds develop fast. They change corporate training and HR even faster. The book site and wiki at http://www.TheVirtualWorldsBook.com/wiki will help business and training professionals stay abreast of new virtual worlds developments.

October 22, 2009

Corporate Training and Collaboration

I just completed a video trailer for a mine and Gary Woodill's book. We, at AHG, do a lot of simulations and general Second Life projects (including shooting video in Second Life!), but when it comes to editing video I will not pretend to be a pro. Hope, you still enjoy the show! More info on www.TheVirtualWorldsBook.com  




July 28, 2009

Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds - a new book targeted towards enterprise

As of the end of July, searching amazon.com for terms "Second Life" +corporate (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=%22Second+Life%22+%2B%22corporate%22&x=0&y=0)  produces 43 results starting from The Entrepreneur's Guide to Second Life: Making Money in the Metaverse by Daniel Terdiman, to Handbook of Research on Virtual Workplaces and the New Nature of Business Practices by Pavel Zemliansky and Kirk St. Amant.  None of these books, unfortunately is really targeted towards a corporate user of virtual worlds in general and Second Life in particular. 

More narrow search for "Second Life" +"corporate training," (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=%22Second+Life%22+%2B%22corporate+training%22&x=0&y=0) leaves you with only three results left.  These books, however, mention training only in passing, if at all.

There are great books on the subject of virtual worlds and Second Life, but they are concentrated on entertainment value, use by hobbyists or small businesses catering to those hobbyists.  Moreover, many of the available articles and reports on the use of Second Life in corporate environment emphasize secondary, worthless, or even directly counterproductive aspects such as ability to create a three dimensional conference room or a copy of your corporate campus. They miss really important business-related features such as:

    * Expense avoidance

    * Highly effective procedural training, collaboration and support sessions

    * Great opportunities for effective collaborative work, unavailable by using other technologies

    * Expanding brand by building self-managing communities of loyal customers and outside developers

    * Increasing ROI by connecting training simulations with already existing training programs and Learning Management Systems

That is why when I was approached by McGraw-Hill with a suggestion to write a book on corporate use of virtual worlds, especially in training, I jumped on the opportunity.  Luckily, Gary Woodill of Brandon Hall Research agreed to co-author and share his expertise in emerging learning technologies.  Today I received a copyedited manuscript (that I am now reviewing for accuracy) and by December you should be able to pick Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds: How to Create Cost-Saving, Efficient and Engaging Programs on amazon.com, in Barnes and Noble, or another book store. 

Gary and I started with a mutual understanding that in business there is nothing more valuable than experience. We were extremely lucky in that we received unprecedented access to virtual world pioneers from the corporate community who, for the first time, candidly shared both the successes they had and the problems they faced, financial outlays, as well as best practices and recommendations drawn from real life experience in virtual worlds.  Then we proceed to discuss everything you need to learn about the business uses of virtual worlds, with an emphasis on Second Life: what it is, what you need to start a successful program in Second Life or other virtual worlds, what to expect, and how these innovative environments are used by a variety of well-respected corporate players. We pay special attention to security issues and concerns, as well as real-life implementations and use of simulations to achieve competitive advantage and high ROI.

There is more information on the book's web site (table of contents, excerpt, list of contributors, etc.) http://www.TheVirtualWorldsBook.com.

October 26, 2007

Learning Intuition

By Arupa Tesolin (Author of ting!, Speaker, Trainer & Consultant)

Intuition is sustainable, green and a big part of what contributes to innovation in business.  The problem? It's not well enough understood and under-used. But we can make it work for us. My book ting! - A Surprising Way to Listen to Intuition & Do Business Better is launching in North America.  An entire community of Intuition Specialists have gathered together to support the idea of encouraging intuition in business through ting!  (Participate in ting!'s web-launch by Friday Oct. 26th & get an Intuitive Consultation, Coaching and lots of free goodies at http://www.intuita.com/ting.htm)

ting! is a powerful story along the lines of Fish and Who Moved My Cheese that illustrates how a conscious connection with intuition can really change your life for the better. The book offers some key ingredients for a healthy organization. In ting! Tony, is a young sales professional whose world is looking good but feeling a bit sluggish.  He first laughs when his mentor suggests learning more about intuition. But that's just the beginning. What he does next surprises everyone but mostly himself. A ting! is the sound of intuition striking an open mind. Through Tony's journey, readers begin to discover how ting's show up in their own lives. 

Growing intuition skills--and confidence in them--will enhance your ability to be a more powerful communicator, strengthen your relationships and people skills, help you make better and wiser decisions & be more innovative and creative.  The business appeal of ting! is that it shows how to connect the invisible dots between someone who experiences an intuitive insight and creates tangible business result shows a clear-cut business case for intuition that your colleagues, managers, executives & team members will appreciate which legitimizes intuition and its bottom-line significance. The book goes on to list Starter Steps that companies can take to develop intuition skills at work which have a positive impact on performance, productivity diversity and innovation.

The Gallup Organization conservatively estimates the annual economic cost to the American economy from the approximately 22 million American workers who are extremely negative or "actively disengaged" to be between $250 and $300 billion. Have you ever wondered, as I have, what the cost of not being intuitive is?  Think about it.  How many products, communications, services, interfaces would have been more successful if they had been applied with intuition in mind.  How much productivity and time do you think we've lost because our thinking has been too left-brained & linear? If you have been working to implement intuition skills and intuitive design in your workplace or thinking about it I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

September 13, 2007

Blog Book Experiment


Currently, I am conducting an experiment. Using Web technologies, I am trying to improve upon an activity that was formerly only land-based and highly dependent upon being at a certain place at a certain time. I am conducting a Blog Book Tour. What is a blog book tour you ask?

Every day a different blog in the Training and Education blogosphere posts an entry about my latest book, Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning: Tools and Techniques for Transferring Know-How from Boomers to Gamers.

It's not a brand new idea. But it is still pretty new in the Learning and Development blogosphere. I got the idea from a web-based New York Times article called Author will Take Q's Now. In this day and age of web-based technology and learning, a blog book tour makes perfect sense. It is far reaching, no travel hassles and potential readers can get opinions and thoughts about the book from others who have read the book and then make up their own mind about the value of the book...or non-value.

The tour is already a week old and it has been a ton of fun. Several bloggers have written about the book and commented on its contents both favorably and some with doubts or questions...all fair game and all great discussions.

The blog book tour spans several weeks and I encourage you to take a look at the tour, join in the conversation and enjoy this web-based metamorphosis from a traditional book tour to a Blog Book Tour and also consider what type of traditional training and development activities you can move to the web. How about virtual brown bag sessions?

So check out Blog Book Tour: Week One Recap and then join us on the tour next week.

June 08, 2007

Summer Reading Suggestions (only semi-learning related)

Do you have your summer reading list compiled? If you don't, I have a few suggestions for you. These are not your traditional learning and development books on ISD, ILT or e-learning. These are books to take you outside your comfort level and they do...sort of...kinda...relate to training. Let me explain.

Snow Crash by Neal Stepehnson. This book is what is known in sci-fi speak as a cyberpunk novel. In the story, the hero named Hiro Protagonist (not kidding) enters into the world of the metaverse (a three dimensional world with buildings, motorcycles and other cool stuff) to save the physical world. The interesting thing to me about this book is how seamlessly the hero/Hiro goes back and forth between the physcial and 3D worlds. Think about those implications as you read the book.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Another sci-fi book but this one takes place primarily in outer space as young children train to do battle against an unseen alien enemy. I have two young boys about the age of Ender (the main character) and I found the book unsettling but compelling. Read it and think about the role of games in the development of children and in training programs. It will give you an interesting perspective on the whole game/simulation thing.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Yes, this is an oldie but...If you have to deal with any type of bureaucratic hog-wash, any bit of absurdity in your dealings within the corporation or academic institution...then this book will bring a smile to your face. Set in World War II, it tells the story of John Yossarian and his battle with the entire US Army while they battle the Axis powers. We all know a Milo Mindbender--a business person who is only looking out for number one but keeps telling us to take one for the team.

Scott McCloud has written two books that are of interest to learning and development professionals. One is called Understanding Comics and the other is Reinventing Comics. Personnally, I like Reinventing Comics better, it does a great job of explaining how the web is used to help generate wealth and the incredible value it can create and why the web is so powerful. Helps explain the appeal of e-learning from a business perspective. Good, interesting stuff and it is written like a comic book. So if you want to see if comics can really be "serious" then this book is a good one to check out.

These books should keep you busy for the summer and if you have any more semi-training related books, please add them to the comments page.

Karl Kapp is the Assistant Director of Bloomsburg University’s Institute for Interactive TechnologiesLogoggg_2 and a professor of instructional technology. See his own blog, Kapp Notes for information on the convergence of learning and technology. He is the author of the book Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning.   

January 22, 2007


By Arupa Tesolin

I'd like to share some info about the launch of my new book ting! A Surprising Way to Listen to Intuition & Do Business Better. You are invited to view our on-site Web launch at www.intuita.com,  which includes both an audio and video-podbast showcasing a recent TV talk show I did on "Intuition in Business." I hope this inspires you to take some active steps to make your workplace more intuitive and innovative.

Continue reading "ting!" »