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Sun Microsystems On The Acceptance Of Serious Games For Learning

Via: Technology News. Technology Articles

MENLO PARK, Calif. (
Business Wire EON/PRWEB ) September 2, 2008 — Sun Microsystems’s Chief Gaming Officer talks with Sharon Sloane, president and CEO of WILL Interactive, Inc. Sloane will discuss how games are being used for training the military, and how Serious Games are increasingly accepted as efficient learning tools.

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About the Guest

Sharon Sloane, president and CEO of WILL Interactive, Inc., is a pioneer and leader in the virtual experience and interactive gaming industry.

She has over 25 years of experience producing cutting-edge instructional systems for behavior modification and performance improvement technology.

WILL’s products are a unique cross between live action feature films and video games, made possible by their Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations (VEILS™), which she helped create and for which she holds the U.S. patent.

Sloane entered the game industry by designing the landmark DxTer program for training emergency room physicians in 1986. Since founding WILL in 1994, she and her company’s programs have been featured on NBC, CNN and NPR, and in print in Time magazine, the Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Business Journal, Training & Simulation Journal and Government Executive. Under Sloane’s leadership WILL’s programs have received over 30 awards.

About Sun Microsystems's Games For Learning

Sun Microsystems recognizes that attracting the next-generation worker in the competitive technology industry is increasingly difficult.

To gain competitive advantage, Sun’s Learning Services organization recently implemented Serious Games to help build knowledge and awareness about Sun and its culture. The games can be accessed by all of Sun’s new hires, as well as the general public, via a new collaborative online learning environment. (Find also my previous post Sun Microsystems Next-Generation Worker Video Game Recruiting Tool).

Sun Microsystems Chief Instructional Designer Brandon Carson says:

“We compete for the smartest brains, so we want potential new hires to be able to “look under our hood” and see what kind of workplace Sun has. We made the Web site and the learning games publicly available for anyone to access. We also want new hires to come into work on day one armed with as much knowledge about the company as possible. The Web site also allows new employees to log in and review important documents, create their own personal profile pages, connect to other new hires, and comment on and rate existing information.”

“We are moving toward more immersive learning environments and thought the audiences would get more value from this modality than from simple presentations.”

Project Wonderland

Via: Sun Microsystems Press Room - Sun Microsystems's Virtual Classroom Unites Global Learning Communities

Project Wonderland is a 100% Java and open source toolkit for creating collaborative 3D virtual worlds. Within those worlds, users can communicate with high-fidelity, immersive audio, share live desktop applications and documents and conduct real business.

Last June Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced the first demonstration of Project Wonderland, its open source virtual world platform for the education community.

At the launch event, members of the academic and IT communities explored secure and flexible virtual learning environments created by Boston College, the University of Essex, the University of Oregon and Saint Paul College, pioneer users of the platform for educational purposes.

The event was coordinated by the Media Grid Immersive Education Initiative and the Sun Immersion Special Interest Group (Sun ISIG), an open community of educators, students, designers and technologists dedicated to exploring applications for Project Wonderland in immersive education and gaming.

"Project Wonderland was the natural choice for launching the Education Grid, a subset of the Media Grid developed specifically for academia," said Aaron Walsh, Director of the Media Grid and Immersive Education Initiative. "With Project Wonderland, teachers around the world can now conduct classes and meetings within virtual worlds on the Education Grid, and they can also build custom Wonderland virtual learning worlds, simulations, and learning games."

Sun ISIG and Project Wonderland embody Sun's ongoing commitment to developing open source tools and inclusive communities that foster communication and collaboration in the global education arena. By building virtual classrooms on the Project Wonderland platform, learning institutions create opportunities for immersive education that caters to students' diverse learning styles. The platform also encourages collaboration between schools, enabling educators to easily share teaching best practices across local and global borders.

The flexibility of Java technology also allows schools to easily integrate Project Wonderland into existing enterprise applications such as learning management systems, student systems and digital library collections.

Project Wonderland is an open source toolkit for creating collaborative 3D virtual worlds in which users can communicate with audio, and share live applications such as Web browsers, suite documents and games.

The platform is ideally suited to the education sector because it sits inside the school's own firewall and thus provides a higher level of security and control than is possible on other virtual platforms. Within the Project Wonderland virtual learning space, schools maintain complete control over content, ensuring that it is age-appropriate, educational and engaging.