It's nice to see a body of literature growing up around the field of synchronous training. Too often organizations invest heavily in virtual classroom technology while failing to develop the trainers who use it. Using (Arthur W.) Chickering and (Zelda F.) Gamson's seven principles of good practice as a framework, Jonathan Finklestein devotes the first half of Learning in Real Time to a discussion of positioning synchronous training as "good practice."
He follows with a review of the synchronous technologies available—virtual classroom as well as tools like chat and e-mail. This section includes an excellent illustrated description of using the multiple-platform approach to accommodate learners both remote and "live" in a single session.
The book's second half is a quick-and-dirty overview of possibilities for the "virtual host," from managing glitches to adapting activities such as cracker barrels, dyads and fishbowls to the virtual environment. Finkelstein's extensive online teaching experience shines most when he discusses facilitation and class management.
Those especially interested in the topic should also take a look at anything by synchronous training expert Jennifer Hofmann.
Buy Learning in Real Time: Synchronous Teaching and Learning Online (Online Teaching and Learning Series (OTL))