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Will Virtual Worlds revolutionize the way people learn and interact?

Will Web 3D technologies and Virtual Worlds revolutionize the way people learn and interact? What impact will Web 3.0 applications have on Enterprise learning organizations? Chris Badger, VP of marketing for Forterra Systems Inc., a leading provider of virtual world technologies, believes the use for online virtual worlds will become mainstream within five years, and that 2009 will be seen as an important year of transition. He says rising travel costs will help hasten this trend.

Virtual Worlds have the potential to revolutionize the way we learn and the way learning systems are built – and do so in a way that is immediately accessible to the growing number of people worldwide connected to the internet. Web 2.0 is already old news to some organizations who are moving from building flat, static web pages to traversable 3D spaces.

What are some big payoffs of using the Virtual World as a learning platform? And how does 3D learning compare with other learning modalities like e-learning or classroom training? Well here are some key benefits we discovered during our current investigation and piloting of using Virtual Worlds as a delivery modality for learning. The Virtual World Platform:

– Provides a fail safe, realistic environment where the learner can learn while doing and then transfer the experience from 3D simulated practice to actual on-the-job performance
– Encourages collaboration by providing an environment where learners can connect, share best practices, and learn from each other via the 3D virtual environment
– Provides a persistent platform for social networking especially at a time when travel budgets are cut
– And last but not least-.Allows the learner to be immersed in an environment that’s as close as you can get to the actual environment without really being there. Watch this Cisco example in Second Life to see what we mean. Read More »

Cisco Live in Second Life TechChat: “Simplifying Data Loss Prevention: A Cisco Perspective”

February 26, 2009, noon Pacific TimeApproximate duration: 60 minutesThis TechChat features Lance Hayden, Manager, DLP Professional Services; Sarah Schultz, Manager, Security Solutions; and Sean Tippett, Product Manager, Cisco IronPort, all from Cisco. During this TechChat Hayden, Schultz, and Tippett will discuss a realistic and simplified approach to getting started with data loss prevention (DLP), a critical strategy for preventing confidential and private data loss.Join this online discussion as we debunk common DLP myths, such as:– There are too many choices for DLP, and therefore the solution is too complex: Hear what you really need and which channels to monitor.- DLP technology is expensive: DLP doesn’t have to be costly to deploy, and one should consider whether it is less costly than the effects a breach has on brand perception and company value.- After I deploy DLP I am 100 percent secure: Learn why deploying DLP technology doesn’t mean your organization is 100 percent secure from data breaches.- Hackers are the biggest DLP threat: Not necessarily, as most leaks come from employees who don’t even realize they are creating a breach.- DLP is a nice to have, not a requirement: Actually governmental regulations require DLP compliance.Cisco Live in Second Life TechChats are held in a 3D virtual environment. They are designed for the technical professional focusing on networking solutions and best practices for deploying and managing the latest technologies. In these chats you can engage in real time with Cisco engineers, technology experts, and your networking professional peers. Second Life events are free of charge. Second Life software and setup are required to participate. If you are not already a Second Life participant, use the following links for technical requirements and setup instructions:1. Download the Second Life installer.2. Register for a Second Life avatar account.3. Make sure that you can join by reviewing the system requirements documentation.4. Make sure you can hear the event by enabling Streaming Audio in Second Life.5. Reach the Cisco Bandwidth Stage in Second Life. []Can’t join us in world? No problem a live stream of the event and a chat ‘bridge’ will be available from this blog on Feb 26 at noon PDT.

Watch the Archive of the Scalable, Secure, and Cost-Effective WAN Services Virtual TechChat

Cisco Live in Second Life TechChat: “Scalable, Secure, and Cost-Effective WAN Services with Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers”This TechChat featured Mike Weir, Technical Marketing Engineer Manager, Edge Routing Business Unit, and Matthew Eubanks, Product Manager for Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers in the Edge Routing Business Unit. During this TechChat, Weir and Eubanks discussed new innovations and solutions on the Cisco ASR 1000 Series routers, designed to address existing and future networking requirements. View this archived discussion to hear how the Cisco ASR 1000 Series routers:• Consolidate multiple functions and services, improving cost efficiency• Help you meet increasing compliance and security requirements• Are designed to handle rising capacity needs, including the growing numbers of remote and branch office workers • Deliver a resilient and secure next-generation WAN infrastructureClick here to watch the archive of the event. Read More »

TechChat Refresh and Virtual Celebration

Next Tuesday, February 3 at 12:00pm PDT we have a couple of virtual options for you that will allow you to get a technical refresh and a bit of leisure, because who couldn’t use a little professional networking down time. Learn more below about both!TechChat Refresh:Next Tuesday, February 3 at 12L00pm PDT Mike Weir, Technical Marketing Engineer Manager, Edge Routing Business Unit, is coming back to Second Life to talk about the ASR 1000 Series Routers. This time he will be joined in world by Matthew Eubanks, Product Manager for Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers in the Edge Routing Business Unit. The last time Mike talked about how to transform the WAN edge with Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers. You can watch that event below by clicking play.This time Mike and Matthew will go into scalable, secure, and cost-effective WAN services. You can watch the event live by clicking here.Virtual Celebration: Join us at 1:00pm PDT to celebrate Cisco’s second anniversary in Second Life! Mingle with folks from Cisco, play our Packet Game, or take a pair of ice skates and slide around our winter ice rink. We’ll have a DJ, and be giving out party favors, virtual cupcakes, game prizes and other virtual gear.

Usability Testing with Customers Everywhere

One of the things we do relentlessly at Cisco is to test how easy it is for you, our customers, to use our web sites and products. It’s called “usability testing” and in the old days it would all be done in person, which a research expert and customer using a web page or software interface in one room, and observers (from the web team or product team) in an adjacent room behind a two-way mirror. For instance, we might ask you to pretend you were interested in replacing your phone and communication system in your company and then have you go to the web to observe how you’d go about researching that topic. We would be watching attentively in the back room to learn about what works and what doesn’t, and how to make your task easier. In the past, I have even on occasion traveled to other cities to do tests with local folks outside of the Bay Area. It was a good way to meet a diverse range of customers, but expensive! In the last two years, we’ve done a record-breaking number of usability tests. But increasingly, we are saving time and money and extending our reach by doing the tests using online collaboration tools: Thanks to tools like Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, we can now test our web sites with customers from across the US and indeed around the globe. The customers, and many of the observers are all remote from the scene. And we can test complicated scenarios we never would have dreamed of attempting in a single lab setting previous. For instance, below is a picture of a test we ran recently where we were testing interaction between (remote) customers, (remote) call center reps, and (remote) Cisco partners who were working with the customers. Pretty much the only “local” San Jose, California people involved were the ones you see in the picture, who were all observers of the test. image WebEx is a favorite of usability experts, because it lets them reach out to customers across the globe and also allows the user to view and control web site protoypes or software applications that are in your test enviornment (that is, you don’t have to push your test site live or make the user install your app). Some companies I know are now doing 95% of their usability testing via remote tools. In preparation for a talk I am giving next week on this subject, I asked some trusted colleges for pluses, minuses, and tips for remote usability testing. Here’s some of their wisdom.

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