Vance Stevens workshop on Tag games at the GLoCALL 2021 Virtual Conference

Learning2gether Episode 525


Skip down to Day 1 of the GLoCALL Conference, Thu Dec 16
Skip down to Day 2 of the GLoCALL Conference, Fri Dec 17
Skip down to Day 3 of the GLoCALL Conference, Sat Dec 18
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

Live online workshop video URL

The GLoCALL 2021 Virtual Conference took place from Thursday through Saturday December 16-18
Permalink to the 2021 conference:

Download this poster from the GLoCALL 2021 site
Direct link:

Fri 17 Dec 0500 UTC Vance Stevens workshop on Tag games

As I always do in my presentation, I created a portal
and created a mnemonic link shortener for my slides as well.
The slides have active hyperlinks

I recorded a dress rehearsal video Dec 16, 2021 –

The workshop was scheduled as: Fri Dec 17 Workshop (55 minutes) 13:00 – 13:55 in Kuala Lumpur

Presentation title

Tag games: How to use #tags in professional and language development


This session introduces the concept of #tags and empowers participants to exploit their power in professional and language development. The session presents examples where #tags are used in language learning, and by teachers pursuing professional development; notably by using them effectively at conferences such as this one.

There are often delegates attending conferences who use #tags to share content conference-wide with others following the tagged feeds, often in Twitter. The presenter will show participants how they can use #glocall2021 at this conference to share commentary across parallel sessions and create back-channels for discussion throughout the conference.

To illustrate, we play a number of “#tag games” to create a set of tagged objects that participants can retrieve instantaneously through techniques learned at the workshop. We then extend our games to show how this can extrapolate to language learning; e.g. a project where teachers around the world had their students blog content online, and then find one another anywhere in the world using the tag #writingmatrix.

Through exploration and using the tools to recapture what they have learned, teachers will leave the workshop with a greater understanding of tagging and its possibilities in language learning and in their networked professional development.

Promoted on Facebook, in posts tagged #glocall2021

Feedback on the session

Deborah Healey and I were in touch today, and I mentioned to her that
“You can hope to make a change in the world, but change in behavior is what you are looking for to see if your hard work has paid off.”

One of the bullets on the next to last slide of my workshop deck, slide 9, says
We’ll know you found this valuable when we find your posts tagged #glocall2021

Sharina was the GLoCALL docent for the session. She didn’t play the tag game during the workshop, but I see now that she reflected and tried out the tagging technique the day after the workshop, posting on both Facebook and Instagram:

At this link,, anyone can find


and at


As Cristina Costa @cristinacost once told Etienne Wenger when he joined us in one of our WiAOC, Webheads-in-Action online conferences, when he asked her about her participation in the Webheads community of practice, how did she know when she was in a CoP? Her answer, “When I noticed my practice had changed.”

Sharina commented at the end of the workshop that the session had been an “eye-opener” for her, and she has reciprocated with the most appreciated kind of feedback, evidence of change in practice.


Day 1 – Thursday, 16th Dec, 2021

 09:00 – 10:00, Deborah Healey gave a plenary workshop on Digital Storytelling

I posted the event on Facebook, tagged #glocall2021


with a screenshot from BBB (Big Blue Button)

Other plenary workshops on Day 1 were:

10:10 – 11:10
Workshop: The relevance on Nation’s “Four Strands Model” to online teaching (Robb)
11:20 – 12:20
Workshop: Creating a 4-skills online assessment tool using the Moodle LMS (Bateson)

Day 2 – Friday, 17th Dec, 2021

All registered participants were sent this notice from the organizers, through GLoCALL Moodle portal

We would like to cordially invite you all to the opening ceremony of the GLoCALL 2021 conference, which is scheduled for tomorrow, Dec 17, 2021 (Friday), between 9.00 to 9.55 am (Malaysia time, GMT+8).  All presenters are kindly requested to attend the opening ceremony compulsorily and to join the session on time, not later than 9.00am.

Please note that this is a public event, and it is open to all invited guests as well. No username or password is required to join the virtual opening ceremony session (Opening ceremony access link provided)

This is what all delegates were kindly requested to attend:

This was followed by parallel sessions (I tweeted the first one)
and a Plenary: ICT in Malaysian Education: Trends and Challenges (Wong)

My workshop by Vance Stevens was in the following set of parallel sessions, and was followed by

Fri 17 Dec 0600 UTC GLoCALL Plenary: Mark Pegrum – Going Global, Going Local, Going Mobile

I tweeted a few screenshots from Mark’s plenary, all tagged #glocall2021: Going Global, Going Local, Going Mobile

This followed by another round of parallel sessions, including this one –
Language learning in immersive virtual reality: An exploratory study of Chinese college nursing students in a simulated operating room, by Junjie Gavin Wu

and a plenary: Social Media and the Innovations in research: Opportunities and Challenges (Krish)

Day 3 – Saturday, 18th Dec, 2021

The morning started with a round of parallel sessions
and then a plenary by Deborah Healey
Growing up Digital: Intelligent Use of Technology

The rest of the day was

14:30 – 15:55 Parallel sessions

16:00 – 16:25 – Closing Ceremony

Earlier Events

Fri Dec 3 1500 UTC – Vance Stevens interviewed at the start of Eduverse Online Festival

Sat-Sun 11-12 Dec OpenSim Community Conference

Event image

Once registered (there is a free option) See the Login Info page for instructions and more information about how to connect to the grid.


After downloading and installing the  64-bit Firestorm viewer , it will need to be configured to connect to the OpenSimulator Community Conference Grid:

  • Launch the Firestorm viewer
  • Click the Viewer->Preferences->OpenSim button at the top left of the screen
  • You will see a ‘Add New Grid’ field.
  • Paste this link into the field:
  • Click the OK button

Now that your viewer is configured to connect to the OpenSimulator Community Conference grid, you should be able to log in with your local account information.

  • Enter your FULL AVATAR NAME in the Name or Username field.  This should be your First and Last Avatar name, separated by a space.  Example:  Jane Doe
  • Enter your password that was emailed to you when your account was created.
  • In the Grid pulldown menu, select the OpenSimulator Community Conference grid
  • Click the Login button

You should arrive at a Landing Zone region with maps and signage to attend the conference.

I arrived in random female body parts, but Mary passed me a schedule,

Morning in Malaysia, but night time in at the OSC, so Mary suggested I visit a musical event

Hmm, breakfast or dancing … I opted for the former

Anyway, clear and easy setup instructions and friendly and personalized meet and greet. I’ll check back later.

Meanwhile, here’s the program for Sun Dec 12

Start time the next day was 11 pm here in Malaysia 😦

End of screenshot, but there’s more of course.

Meanwhile, some feedback …

Tue Dec 14 1800 and 2000 JST – Raquel Ribeiro and Karen Price on AI, the language teacher’s friend or foe?

More info and registration at (but SOLD OUT!)

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is December 24, 2021 00:00 UTC

Vance Stevens interviewed at the start of Eduverse Online Festival

Learning2gether Episode 524


See links to videos from the other presentations as posted on Discord
See the promotion and feedback for this event

Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

On Friday, Dec 3 (a little late for me, 11 pm my time) Vance Stevens was a part of a panel that kicked off the Eduverse Online Festival

My (Vance’s) contribution

I’d been thinking in terms of a conversation on ‘transversing’ the Eduverse from Web 1.0 to 3.0 and how we were dabbling in the metaverse even last century, until now, coming up on on Feb 8, we have a conference planned in Minecraft, which we think will be a first  on that platform specifically on Language Learning


In “preparation” I created this little recollection of the Eduverse at the turn of the century,

The event took place in the Streamyardverse

The event was staged at



The cast of characters

Fedor Sokolov (Dj Boom Boom), Jason Lavine (Fluencymc), Mark Barnes, Nik Peachey, Vladimir Splvakovsky, and y.t. Vance Stevens

In the text chat, I shared these links

Video links from Discord

The schedule for the day was divided into four “episodes” as shown here


The schedule was shared with us as we settled into the opening conversation.
Beforehand, I had had yet to see a schedule.

Videos for the 4 segments were posted in Discord as follows:

Episode #1 took place from 10-11 a.m. EST, with Mark Barnes, Nik Peachey, Vladimir Splvakovsky, & Vance Stevens, The EduVerse

Episode #2 took place from 11 a.m.-noon EST, with Bree McEwan and David Bozetarnik
The EduVerse: Episode #2

Episode #3 took place from 12-1 p.m. EST, with Shelly Terrel, Jennifer ESL, and Marek Tkaczyk

The image above was posted in the ELK Discord chat

Episode #4 took place from 12-13 p.m. EST, with Raquel Ribeiro and Stacey Roshan
The EduVerse: Episode #4

Promotion and Feedback

Promotion came in bits and drabs right up until the time I was scheduled to join the opening session. Consequently, I wasn’t sure how to announce the event on Learning2gether. However, when it came together, it came together well.


We were told to please share the link with our communities!

I could never find any widgets there that worked well enough to actually send me a ticket, and in the end, Streamyard is a tool that is convened on the fly, so unless you were attuned to this community elsewhere, I don’t know how you would have joined. The following widget was carried at the bottom of the link above:

The was also a widget there inviting participants to join the community via Telegram:

But that widget sent our invitations to the Discord channel:

(As I post this, a week after the event, there is a link at the bottom of the main link that indeed directs you to join the Telegram community)

All a little confusing, but a pleasant and powerful experience in the end.

Earlier Events

Sat 13 Nov – Vance Stevens on Leveraging language learning through the participatory culture surrounding Minecraft at the JALT CALL SIG Forum on games and play

Tue 16 Nov Dave Nunan – Changing Landscapes: The Future of TESOL as a Profession

TESOL International Association’s Teacher Educator Interest Section (TEIS) Webinar Series

Title: Changing Landscapes: The Future of TESOL as a Profession

November 16th , 2021 8pm Eastern/ 5pm Pacific


In 2001, as I was coming to the end of my four-year term in the TESOL presidential line, I published an article entitled “Is language teaching a profession?” Drawing on work carried out by the TESOL Board of Directors at the time, I proposed four criteria for answering the question:

  • the existence of advanced education and training
  • the establishment of standards of practice and certification
  • an agreed theoretical and empirical base, and
  • the work of individuals within the field to act as advocates for the profession.

Twenty years on, I would like to revisit this question. Drawing on work carried out in 2017 by the TESOL Task Force on the Future of the Profession,  I will describe the forces that have had an impact on the profession over the last twenty years, issues that remain to be resolved, and the implications for those of us engaged in teacher education.


David Nunan is Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong, Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Research Professor at Anaheim University, and an Executive Board member of The International Research Foundation for Language Education (TIRF). He has published over 100 books and articles in curriculum development, teacher education, research methods, teaching English to young learners and discourse analysis. He as also written 14 textbook series for learners of all ages. Go For It, a series for young teen is a market leader, with sales of over 4 billion.

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is December 11, 2021 02:00 UTC

Vance Stevens on Leveraging language learning through the participatory culture surrounding Minecraft at the JALT CALL SIG Forum on games and play

Learning2gether Episode 523


Jump to Vance’s presentation on Leveraging language learning through the participatory culture surrounding Minecraft
See our promotion and feedback for this event

Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

The JALT CALL games and play forum took place on Saturday, November 13 2021

Full webinar recording, speakers James York, Deborah Healey, and Vance Stevens

Vance was invited by the Japan Association of Language Teachers, by Hanaa Khamis and Brian Teaman, Program Co-chairs for JALT CALL to join the panel at the games and play forum.

Other events from the Nov 13 JALT conference preview are being posted on the JALT YouTube channel

About the forum 

The forum showcased the theme of games and play as a preview of the JALT CALL conference which will occur in June of 2021.  The JALT  conference in November is scheduled for online only.

The format of the forum was 90 minutes, with 3 different presentations of about 20 minutes each, allowing 30 minutes for introductions and discussion among the presenters and organizers as well as the audience.

All of the materials are available at the direct link to the forum on –

Useful links posted in the Zoom text chat

James’ slides
The journal site is available here btw. If you are using games, play or other ludic activities in your teaching, please consider submitting a paper or joining our community

Deborah’s resources are at
More at

Vance Stevens’s slides are here,
Please bring them up if you want to follow them while watching the recordings.

In his presentation, Vance referred to : Stevens, V. (2021, April 17). Virtual worlds at virtual conferences: A keynote presentation at the first annual VirtuaTeLL conference TeLL SIG at NYS TESOL [Google Doc].

The conference was free,
but required pre-registration on

Vance’s presentation on Leveraging language learning through the participatory culture surrounding Minecraft

What the talk is about

Leveraging language learning through the participatory culture surrounding Minecraft 

My focus here is on Minecraft and helping teachers to understand the participatory culture surrounding such games and how they can use this to leverage their students’ learning of the target language. Over the years the EVO Minecraft MOOC community has accumulated considerable anecdotal and some quantitative data regarding their students’ acquisition of target language occurring both in and around this challenging and enjoyable game. However, to be effective in a student-teacher dynamic, teachers have to experience for themselves the many nuances of the game as they strive to communicate to others their discoveries, as students tend to do during and after game play through a target language which, in many cross-cultural contexts, tends to be English. EVO Minecraft MOOC was conceived as an environment to foster discovery learning among teachers learning the game, and by extrapolation with their students, via critical thinking, and problem solving through meaningful play.

Minecraft tends to be highly gamified (in the sense that certain aspects are designed to hold people in the game and allow them to gain increasing powers as they master lower level accomplishments), but it also has great potential as a game-based platform for teaching and modeling content concepts in numerous disciplines, and I would want to elaborate on this a bit.

I have a number of presentations and publications on this topic, all available online, which I have created over the past 7 years of EVO Minecraft MOOC, mostly listed at and

As usual my talk was written out in advance

I created a link for the slides – jalt2021vance
And I prepared a prose version and placed it at a link for the text – vance2021jalt

If you go to either link, you will find a link there for both versions of the presentation

The recording above was extracted from the recording of the entire forum, provided to presenters to do with as they liked.

Promotion and Feedback

Announcements were posted to these Facebook groups

Earlier Events

Wed 1 Sept – Thu 30 Sept Brief reflections on Virtual World MOOC 2021

Sat 2 Oct TexLER Texas Language Education Research conference – free

On on October 2nd, 2021 will be held the 22nd annual TexLER (Texas Language Education Research) conference .

Learn more about this free virtual conference at

  1. Register (it’s free!) to attend by going to –
  2. Share the registration link with your professional networks
  3. Encourage students, colleagues, and networks to get involved by connecting them with our Facebook page, Twitter, and website.

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is December 1, 2021 02:00 UTC

Brief reflections on Virtual World MOOC 2021

Learning2gether Episode 522


Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

Wed 1 Sept – Thu 30 Sept Virtual World MOOC 2021

The eighth annual Second Life MOOC (renamed the Virtual World MOOC in 2018) started in 2014. The current iteration, VWMOOC21, took place from September 1-30, 2021 on Moodle for Teachers . The theme was “Connecting in Virtual Worlds. Communities of Practice”

The MOOC strove to connect a plethora of communities in virtual worlds promoting education and learning through connecting online via web technologies such as Second Life. The MOOC focused on connecting online for collaborative learning and teaching around the world through virtual worlds like Second Life, Digiworldz, Kitely, Minecraft, or OpenSim.

The MOOC and the live online classes were organized and coordinated by Dr. Nellie Deutsch, Dr. Doris Molero, Dr. Valerie Hill, and Ann Nowak.

The live presentations were posted here

There was also a YouTube playlist for the Second Life MOOC (VWMOOC21) at this link

I had hoped to participate more fully in this event. A complicating factor was that the sessions took place almost entirely during very wee hours where I live in Malaysia. Consequently, I tried to follow it using the option provided for any participants who reflected on 10 live sessions and filled in the feedback form at the end of the MOOC, to be eligible for a certificate of completion.

To qualify for the digital badges and for the final certificate I would have to reflect on one of the presentations of the week in this discussion forum

The due date for the reflections was October 1, 2021.

I only managed two reflections, which I’ve posted below.

Reflection 1

Starting with the opening session, a 1-hour video, Nellie started by introducing  the other moderators with a video within a video, which included a mention of each of the presenters, to consume the first ten minutes. After that there was a thorough description of what’s on the Moodle portal: organizers, presenters, live sessions, how to enroll in the course. After 20 min. I finally skipped ahead to 30 min, which is where Doris appeared to take us into Second Life.

Doris then started a tour in SL and noted they would be including VR. Nellie pointed out that this was especially relevant for engaging learners in remote learning these days. Valerie (librarian) joined us in SL, screenshot

This was the home location in SL,

Doris showed us how to get a bookmark to return here from boxes on the floor. There were boxes where you can find links to previous VWMOOCs. She showed us how to get resources from posters on the wall,,  but she had to drop out from serious lag at 40 min.

Zoom was being used to document and stream to YouTube, but it was disappointing to realize that this event was going to be interactive-live on in SL and other VW spaces, so I would probably not be able to participate to a great extent thru YouTube videos.

Doris demonstrated that YT videos are also functional from players on the walls in SL, which is critical, because whereas intuitively you might think why bother to access them through layers more cumbersome than your browser, in this space you can “be in a room” with your students and play the videos to the group through SL, which is much more engaging than doing it through Zoom.

In the last ten minutes of the video, Doris walked us through the pleasant surroundings, where you can meet and discuss – “For language students this is a paradise.”  In the last 5 minutes we find a clown which gives you party favors and things you need for dancing, and then we see how the dancing is done.

Doris is giving numerous sessions and would be fun to work with, but all here sessions are at 4 am my time 😦

And as Doris says at the end, if you do not do this, then you cannot teach your students how to do it. How true 🙂

Reflection 2

Nellie was particularly proud of this one and posted its recorded link widely.

September 25


Katsii Tennen

CVL Music Library LIVE Music Event: Music in Virtual Worlds

(Click on the title to access the recording)

Come hear live music and visit the CVL Marly Milena Music Library- a dynamic library

Musician:  Noma Falta has been honored with awards like Best Musician in SL, Best Blues Musician in SL, Best Rock Musician in SL, numerous times.  If you want a party, she’ll bring it.  If you want some delicious slide, acoustic guitar or bass, she’ll bring that.  She’ll share covers & originals.  Come join us in our beautiful Library.  Nominate your favorite original SL musician to be a part of the Library.

At it says

This Community Virtual Library branch is a collaboration between the Community Virtual Library and Octagon: Creative Exploration. To learn more about CVL, join the Second Life Library 2.0 group in Second Life or visit our homepage. To learn more about Octagon, join the Octagon:Creative Exploration group in Second Life or visit Octagon’s website. Octagon hosts diverse events, including art, music, and therapy exercises and exhibits.

They organize a musician of the month on the 4th Saturday of every month.

Noma Falta was streamed to YouTube through Zoom, and thence into Second LIfe.

So, impressions: great music, excellent musician, great concept for SL, but from a visual and participatory perspective, there were a lot of gyrating avatars, lots of attention to clothes and costumes, probably not all of it free (you have to purchase certain gestures, and this seeds some peer competition among participants in participatory circles in SL).

Avatars can start group dances in SL and invite others, which you can accept (or you can just touch a participating avatar, e.g. “the back of Kedwin’s skirt”, to join the group dance).

Case in point on costume one-upmanship, this dancing bird character.

There’s more info at; interesting stuff there, all in the interest of promoting learning in immersive worlds, where the main thing is not to be thinking, “how can I use this in class on Monday”, but “what does this suggest about the potential of immersive worlds for engaging participants in whatever you think they should be doing, among whom might be my learners”.

Earlier Events

Learning2gether about the nether: Immersed in a VSTE Minecraft Mondays nether world community gaming adventure


Thu 17 June from 1600 UTC 2nd Library 2.021 mini-conference on Reinventing Libraries for a Post-COVID World

I copied and pasted this from promotional email. It is a free event.

The second Library 2.021 mini-conference: “Reinventing Libraries for a Post-COVID World,” was held online (and for free) on Thursday, June 17th, 2021, from 12:00 – 3:00 US-Pacific Time.

The recordings of the sessions have been posted at

You need to be a member of Library 2.0 (free) to access them there.

Please join the Library 2.0 network to be kept updated on this and future events.



In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, librarians have been faced with all manner of challenges as they have worked to bring their service, resources, and events into the virtual realm. Unsurprisingly, librarians have not only met this challenge but thrived in bringing new dynamic digital content, engaging virtual programming and instructional events, and exciting online such as virtual book clubs, gaming tournaments, and even makerspace activities to their patrons. Please join us as we discuss the ways librarians have adapted and evolved their service offerings for a post COVID world.

This event was organized in partnership with Ellyssa Kroski, the Director of Information Technology and Marketing at the New York Law Institute as well as an award-winning editor and author of 60 books. Everyone is invited to participate in our Library 2.0 conference events, which are designed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among information professionals worldwide. Each three-hour event consists of a keynote panel, 10-15 crowd-sourced thirty-minute presentations, and a closing 30-minute keynote. A mini-conference FAQ (frequently asked questions) page is here.

Participants are encouraged to use #library2020 and #librariespostcovid on their social media posts about the event.


 (Click the link on any session title to see the description and/or to correspond with the presenters. The actual Zoom session links will be emailed to registered attendees the day before the event.)

12:00 PM (NOON) US-PACIFIC TIME(Click HERE for Other Time Zones)

  • OPENING KEYNOTE PANEL (one hour, see the speaker bios below!)

1:00 PM US-PACIFIC TIME(Click HERE for Other Time Zones)

1:30 PM US-PACIFIC TIME(Click HERE for Other Time Zones)

2:00 PM US-PACIFIC TIME(Click HERE for Other Time Zones)

2:30 PM US-PACIFIC TIME(Click HERE for Other Time Zones)

  • CLOSING KEYNOTE by Chris Jacobs (30 minutes)

Sat 26 June 0200 UTC – TEFL Kuwait Colloquium: Optimizing English Language Education: Practical Takeaways

Join us for yet another magnificent lineup of speakers at TEFL Kuwait Colloquium: “Optimizing English Language Education: Practical Takeaways”

Date: Saturday, the 26th of June

Time: 5.00 PM AST, GMT+3 Hrs

It’s a free event

Click here to register:

May be an image of 5 people and text

Fri-Sun 6-8 Aug MMVC21 – 10th Anniversary MoodleMoot Virtual Conference

The 10th annual Free MoodleMoot Virtual Conference (MMVC21) for 2021 took place from August 6-8, 2021.

The purpose of the conference was for educators to engage in learning best practices and challenges involved in teaching and learning face-to-face and online (blended and fully online learning) using Moodle and other technologies. The theme of MMVC20 is teaching and learning with and without technology.


to get access to the live sessions, content before and after the conference, your badges and final certificate for reflecting and presenting.

See the presentations scheduled

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is November 15, 2021 03:00 UTC

Learning2gether about the Nether: Immersed in a VSTE Minecraft Mondays nether world community gaming adventure

Learning2gether Episode 521


See our promotion and feedback for this event
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

This VSTE Minecraft Monday event was promoted as a Nether Adventure on the VSTE Minecraft server. It took place on Monday evening, June 7, 2021 in the USA (hence ‘Minecraft Mondays’) which is Tuesday morning June 8 where I am in Malaysia. You can find out more about VSTE here:

The join instructions were simple: “We are going to explore the nether, it’s biomes, some scary structures, and a blaze farm. Dakotah, Jazmar, and K4sons have this all set up for you. You don’t need to prepare at all, just show up!”

You can see what happened when we showed up in the video recording. First we rode a minecart to a gathering point at the end of the redstone powered rails and strolled together over to an elaborate build where we climbed a stairs and followed a maze through a series of iron doors where we had to press buttons to keep them open and then duck through, to arrive eventually at an elaborate hall full of beds, shokur boxes, and footlocker chests. Our first task was to divest ourselves of anything we had on us (that we didn’t want to lose) and put it in the shokur box. Then we needed to break the shokur box, which we could pick up off the floor with our possessions intact inside and put the shokur box into the foot locker where we could retrieve it later. Finally, we put signs on our beds to claim each as our own, and right click on the bed, so that our spawn points would be set back to our bed (in case of death, not that it would necessarily happen, just sayin’).

Next we wandered around to the dispensers placed at either end of the room and pressed their buttons to get them to spew out armour of the best quality, which we could gather off the floor and don, including gold items to wear so piglins would ignore us in the nether. Some dispensers had powerful weapons and tools, others potions to allow night vision (for up tp 8 minutes; it could be dark in the nether) and magic totems to carry in our shield hand to protect us (up to a point) from death (so we needed to get more than one, in case the spare would come in handy). There were golden apples which kept us on a constant high, restored health hearts quickly, and possibly provided some protection. We scooped up all these items and prepared ourselves for descent further into the maze where we would find and step through the nether portal that would transport us to a land of lava and dangerous creatures inhabiting phantasmagorical biomes not found on the overworld.

If you want to experience this with as little frustration as possible, and (if you’re new to this) with some hope of lasting long in this hellish environment for as long as an hour, then you are fortunate if you can travel in groups like this composed of community members who can help and support you, look after your scattered things if you succumb to mobs, and give you a place to teleport back to so you can retrieve them and continue into the fray. It can be chaotic and confusing, but if you don’t take in-game death personally, then the object is to rise to the challenge, enjoy it, and bounce back to persist in the tour so skillfully laid out by our friends and mentors Dakotah, Jazmar, and K4sons.

The recording was made in OBS by Vance Stevens, founder and coordinator of This was episode 521 at Some of the participants present were also moderators of EVO Minecraft MOOC

Promotion and Feedback

Mon 7 June 2355 UTC –  VSTE Minecraft Event – Nether Adventure


Nether Adventure!

Time: Monday 8 PM June 7, 2021 = Tuesday 12 Midnight June 8, 2021 UTC

We are going to explore the nether, it’s biomes, some scary structures, and a blaze farm.

Dakotah, Jazmar, and K4sons have this all set up for you. You don’t need to prepare at all, just show up!

Basic directions to join VSTE Place, VSTE’s Minecraft world.


Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter. You could email k4sons from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name and she will whitelist you.


Discord is a voice and screen sharing application that will run on your computer or mobile device.

  • Download and install it for free.
  • Create an account. Many of us use the same name for our Discord account as our Minecraft account to keep things simple.
  • Our channel is

It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.

Earlier Events

Fri 4 June  – Sun June 6 – Learning2gether with JALTCALL 2021 3-day annual online conference

Wed-Fri 7-9 Jul ‘International Conference on Technology-enhanced Language Learning and Teaching & Corpus-based Language Learning and Teaching

International Conference on Technology-enhanced Language Learning and Teaching & Corpus-based Language Learning and Teaching


7 – 9 July 2021, Hong Kong

The joint conference ‘International Conference on Technology-enhanced Language Learning and Teaching & Corpus-based Language Learning and Teaching (TeLLT & CoLLT 2021)’. TeLLT & CoLLT 2021 aims to bring together academics from around the world to report on their various research work related to technology-enhanced language learning and teaching (TeLLT), and corpus-based language learning and teaching (CoLLT). Given the current unforeseen circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will be held virtually via ZOOM.

The conference fee is HK$300, around $40 US.

Conference keynote speakers

  • Professor Jozef Colpaert, University of Antwerp
  • Professor Glenn Stockwell, Waseda University
  • Professor Gu Yueguo, Beijing Foreign Studies University
  • Professor Chen Haojan, National Taiwan Normal University
  • Professor Randi Reppen, Northern Arizona University
  • Professor Alex Boulton, University of Lorraine

Organiser: The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Conference themes: technology-enhanced language learning and teaching (TeLLT), corpus-based language learning and teaching (CoLLT)

For more details, please refer to TeLLT & CoLLT website.

For enquiries, please write to us by email at

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is June 8, 2021 08:00 UTC

Learning2gether with JALTCALL 2021 3-day annual online conference

Learning2gether Episode 520


Day 1: Friday June 4
Skip down to Day 2: Saturday, June 5
Skip down to Day 3: Sunday, June 6
See promotion and feedback regarding this event

Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gether post

As announced by the organizers:
JALTCALL 2021 is happening online once again from June 4 – June 6. We’ve learned a lot in the last year and this will be a chance to share ideas and see great presentations outlining so many of the innovative ideas that the last year has necessitated in the online sphere.

Schedule (register first) 
Join JALTCALL 2021 Online Event

This post is one participant’s perspective on JALTCALL 2021, the latest of its friendly, free-wheeling online conferences held on Fri 4 June  – Sun June 6, 2021.  I attended JALTCALL 2020 last year, blogged it here, and found the conference to be an excellent example of how many social media tools can be “loosely joined” (Weinberger, 2002) to present a smooth and easily intuited interface for participants. I was keen to repeat the experience this year. The organizers were kind enough to waive registration fees for me in a spirit of mutual appreciation through professional courtesy and I decided to pay forward by archiving my experiences in the sessions I attended.

This is my personal account of my enjoyment of JALTCALL 2021. Over the three days I encountered many friends whom I had met often online as well as at international conferences of educators throughout the globe over the years. It was great to renew acquaintances and keep abreast of how so many good professional friends were themselves refining their skills in addressing challenges of remote teaching in these times of pandemic.

In this post I’ve bookmarked the three days of the schedule and included program details of the presentations I attended from the I did not include any presentations I did not myself attend.

Friday, June 4

Immersive learning with Engage, a cross-platform VR app

Fri, Jun 4, 18:00-19:15 in Tokyo

Mehrasa Alizadeh

Immersive learning has been a buzz word in the field of education for the past several years as an increasing number of affordable consumer devices and free/proprietary apps become available. Among various types of immersive learning solutions, virtual reality (VR) has gained much attention among educational technology researchers and developers worldwide. In this workshop, the presenter will show how to use Engage (, a proprietary virtual reality app accessible on VR and non-VR devices, to create immersive learning materials for on-demand purposes and to conduct synchronous online classes. Given that VR headsets are not yet available to the majority of learners, this platform specifically designed for education can be a promising tool as it is compatible with PCs, iOS and Android mobile devices as well as major VR headsets. Although the freemium version has many features, a paid account is more beneficial for professional content creation and real-time use. The participants of this workshop are requested to download the app on their device in advance.

The first speaker I attended gave a basic overview of virtual worlds and then demonstrated her VR app, 

She made use of the Engage advanced communications app here:

Here she is showing us what it looks like to configure her world.

Here she showed us a classroom in her simulation. It struck me as odd to apply such a powerful tool to a traditional setting where students were being introduced to basic elements of a lesson, until she suddenly …

Until she suddenly … made the walls dissolve and took the students out into the virtual open air, where they were able to apply the concepts in more imaginative and language rich setting than had been apparent in the virtual classroom.

Designing materials to boost language learners’ reading skills with Clilstore

Fri, Jun 4, 18:00-19:15 in Tokyo

Ana Gimeno / Caoimhín Ó Dónaill

This workshop will present the work of the EU-funded CLIL Open Online Learning Project ( Since 2018, the project team have been updating and expanding the functionality of – an Open Educational Resource which serves as a repository of open access materials and an authoring tool that enables educators to create multimedia learning units combining audio, video, text, images and Web 3.0 applications. Learner autonomy is underpinned by the way the authoring software treats embedded texts, that is, verbatim typescripts of audio or audiovisual recordings are automatically linked word for word to a nexus of online dictionaries that helps boost their reading skills.

This workshop will introduce participants to the ways in which Clilstore can support Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and language learning generally. A selection of sample learning units showing how is currently being used to good effect will be presented. Participants will then be given a hands-on demonstration of how to author a new teaching unit containing: video/ audio content, transcript with all words linked to online dictionaries in over 100 languages, and embedded learning tasks. Participants will also learn how to use Clilstore’s inbuilt portfolio and personal vocabulary tools. The Clilstore user interface is currently available in the following languages: Danish, English, Spanish, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Italian.

Here, Ana is walking us through the Clilstore back end

And here we have a view of the user interface

Language Learning in this New Hybrid Era: Things that Change and Things that Don’t Change

Fri, Jun 4, 19:30-20:45 Asia/Tokyo | Main Room

Yoshiko Goda

Like any other learning subjects, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound, significant effect on language learning. Remote teaching is now common, and both teachers and students are getting used to learning via technology. This presentation has two parts. The first summarizes language learning before the pandemic and since it began and proposes things that do and do not change. Those that do not change include (1) the significance of design, (2) increased student input and output, (3) practice of the four skills, and (4) in-class and outside-of-class learning activities. The things that do change include (1) lesson series designed to include synchronous and asynchronous learning activities, (2) new input and output methods, (3) four skills training that uses control of information and media, (4) more learner-centered learning, and (5) a balance of data-driven and knowledge (theory)-driven approaches. One of the biggest differences between the traditional and the new hybrid era is that data collection has become easier and the types of data available are more varied. These learning data can enable our teaching to include more evidence-based interventions and just-in-time facilitations. The presentation’s second part focuses on the larger vision of technology-enhanced language learning. Technological advancements enable us to be more creative and innovative as instructional designers and teachers. The presentation discusses the further development of recent technologies and proposes their potential applications in the near future. Let’s imagine and discuss the possible directions of future language learning and some strategies for overcoming concerns.

The presenter started us off in Miro, whose link she had provided in the conference Discord.

Miro has a way of attracting participation

Participants start moving around Miro immediately, registering comments

She pointed out how input and output methods were changing dramatically

She said this was everyone’s favorite image, an infographic on social presences:

Research findings showing peak use time right before deadlines and at other junctures indicated

The Miro board was still active next day

Saturday, June 5

Increasing interactivity with Nearpod: Strategies for effective online teaching

Sat, Jun 5, 10:00-11:15 Asia/Tokyo

Teaching online makes it challenging to encourage student engagement and interaction. In this workshop, I will share how I utilized Nearpod, an online teaching platform, to enhance my online English teaching practices. Research has shown that using Nearpod in English classes aids in promoting active learning by facilitating collaborative participation between students, teachers, and lesson content (Amasha et al., 2018, Hakami, 2020). My workshop will showcase how Nearpod can be used for effective discussions, reading activities, vocabulary activities, student-paced assignments, informing future instruction through its post-class reports feature, and more. Teachers will receive opportunities to test the functions as well. Finally, I will share the results of a quantitative opinion survey of 197 students’ self-reported perceptions of Nearpod, which indicated they felt an overall positive effect on their motivation and interaction in classes. Regardless of teaching online, hybrid, or face-to-face, the Nearpod lesson platform contains plenty of tools to increase interactivity and engagement in language learning. It is my hope that educators will leave this workshop feeling more confident in their ability to use this technology to facilitate interactive classes.

Here is a sampling of features shown

The effects of gamified instruction on Japanese English language learner vocabulary recall

Sat, Jun 5, 10:45-11:15 Asia/Tokyo Room E

In this study, the effects of web-based, gamified vocabulary instruction (through Quizlet’s Match activity and online leaderboards) on assessment scores and student motivation are examined. The primary features of gamification present in this study include ‘conditions for victory’ and leaderboards. Japanese English language learners from two online Listening and Speaking courses at Kyushu Sangyo University took part in this experimental study. The control and experimental groups initially received identical vocabulary instruction, and in week 8, both classes took a vocabulary recall assessment (75 words). Afterwards, gamified vocabulary instruction (via the Quizlet application’s Match game) was introduced only to Class B (the experimental group). At the end of the semester, a second vocabulary recall assessment was administered to both classes (75 new words). Previous studies have claimed that gamified instruction increases a learner’s motivation to (a) study a second language and (b) study second language vocabulary. Results of the final assessment indicate that gamified vocabulary instruction through Quizlet’s competitive Match game and the use of a public leaderboard have a positive effect on vocabulary assessment scores. However, quantitative student feedback from this study suggests this manner of gamified instruction may not affect Japanese English Language Learner’s (ELL) motivation to study English or English vocabulary.

Teaching and entertaining with online educational comics

Sat, Jun 5, 11:30-12:15 Asia/Tokyo

This session was one of several poster sessions scheduled in the same Zoom room, each with it’s own breakout room. This in theory would have emulated the ability of participants to move from room to room to listen in on what each presenter was saying, as if they were wandering from poster to poster. In the one I attended, the presenter essentially made a presentation, complete with slide show, and I didn’t notice that other participants wandered in or out to any significant degree. The presenter held my interest so I stayed the whole time whole time with the one presenter.

In 2020, in order to give university students encouragement during a difficult time while also providing free educational content, a teacher at a university created a series of daily comics that introduced study tips, vocabulary, educational ideas, or just entertainment value. The goal of the series of strips evolved over time, as did the format, as various kinds of comics were explored, such as “yonkoma” comics, single-panel comics, and later a series with a recurring main character. The strips were not used for a specific class, but were available for students to access free on the school’s social media, often in both English and often in Japanese. This presentation will explore the design decisions used for the art, the jokes, the educational content, and how those concepts evolved over the course of the year, as well as how text, questions, and tags were used to support the goals of the project. The comics remain free to use online, and the presentation will also explore further directions for the creation of online comics for education.

In his presentation, the presenter traced how he developed his of his skill with cartoons particularly in the teaching of English idioms, and how he had modified his techniques through experience. He ended with reflections on his technique; e.g. strengths and weaknesses of his approach, but also wondering how he could generate stronger evidence of student enthusiasm for his work.

Optimizing the future of language teaching with technology in Japan

Sat, Jun 5, 13:15-14:30 Asia/Tokyo Main Room

Pandemic-era teaching takes many forms: online, face-to-face, hybrid, and hyflex, among others. Teachers must be prepared to transition rapidly among these modes, depending on local conditions and the whims of administrators. Where will language teaching with technology go from here? In this talk, I make four predictions for Japan and provide my recommendations for optimizing this future. First, I predict that online instruction will quickly fall back to prepandemic levels—that is, unless we make efforts to prevent this. CALL experts are well suited to argue for the effectiveness of online learning, where appropriate. One area where we may be able to make progress is in virtual international experiences, such as online study abroad. Second, most institutions will adopt bring-your-own-device policies. This will bring significant advantages for the use of technology in language classes but also present challenges when students’ devices are not uniform. Teachers will need more tech literacy to meet these challenges. Third, our institutions will recognize a growing variety of learning differences among our students and rely on us to accommodate them. To support all learners, universal design will become standard. Fourth, although most instruction will return to the physical classroom, we will need to be constantly prepared to shift instruction online again. This will apply not only during the current pandemic, but is also necessary preparation for future public health or natural disasters that prevent face-to-face instruction. Emergency remote teaching will no longer be adequate; instead, we will need to provide high quality online learning experiences. To prepare to meet these challenges and optimize the outcomes, we need quality professional development (PD). Although current offerings from our institutions are inadequate, CALL experts can help to fill some of the unmet needs. In conclusion, I encourage CALL experts to push for the future of technology in education that they would like to see. We have the power to make change in the use of technology through our research, our exemplary teaching, and the PD we provide to our fellow teachers.

One of Betsy’s slides made that point that we have been reinventing the wheels of online learning repeatedly since 1994 (but if I may be allowed an aside, TICCIT and PLATO were operational in the 1970s)
Stevens, V. 1983. Software review of English lessons on PLATO. TESOL Quarterly 17,(2), 293-300.
Based on these responses, the PD sessions studied don’t appear to be very effective.
Taking questions and appreciative feedback from the audience

Zoom activities that close the distance on distance learning

Sat, Jun 5, 14:45-16:00 Asia/Tokyo

Rob Olson

The Covid-19 pandemic has popped the online teaching genie out of the bottle into the spotlight.  One of the great challenges language teachers now face is finding ways to help learners engage each other through the computer screens in different areas as opposed to the traditional face-to-face method in a unified classroom. One method that has proven successful is the adapting of popular games and activities from exclusively face-to-face versions to computer-based models. This presentation will introduce a variety of games and activities that can be used with Zoom or other online learning platforms in either paper or digital form. Furthermore, this presentation will demonstrate how you do not need exotic software nor a high level of computer expertise to use these games and activities. This presentation will be highly interactive and participants are asked to bring writing materials that will allow them to make written notes that can be seen by the other members when held up to the camera. Activities will include online versions of the American TV game shows “Match Game” and “The 20,000 Pyramid” as well the murder-mystery game “Clue.”  Materials for these activities will be available in the form of PDF files for anyone interested using them in their classrooms.

The point of this presentation, by example, was that learning language is less a focus on form than on providing stimuli for communicative opportunities, and that utilizing this observation might promote engagement through what is possible with Zoom. At the end of this session I noted that the presenter had modeled not only how to use these stimuli to engage students in remote learning spaces, but also to reshape how this might work in webinars in teacher professional development, which Betsy had mentioned in her keynote in the previous session.

Minecraft as an immersive language teaching world: English teachers’ TPACK

Sat, Jun 5, 16:15-16:45 Asia/Tokyo

Since schooling has been affected by the pandemic, educators are beginning to be more open to distance learning and might become more open to immersive virtual worlds, such as Minecraft (Cleave & Geijsman, 2020; Egbert, 2020). However, in order to integrate new technology into their practice, teachers need to be provided with training that promotes the development of their Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). This study identifies the level of TPACK teachers need to integrate Minecraft English teaching by investigating twenty-nine elementary school English teachers who created Minecraft English lessons after receiving Minecraft professional development for 16 hours in two months. A Minecraft TPACK instrument for English teachers was developed based on Schmidt et al. (2009) and Bagheri (2020) and administered before and after the training. Five Minecraft English lessons were created as a result of the training. The results showed an overall improvement in Minecraft TPACK scores. The English teacher’s Minecraft content knowledge gained from M=1.98 to M=3.79, Minecraft Technological Pedagogical Knowledge gained from M= 1.86 to M=3.6, and the TPACK mean score gained from M=2.5 to M=3.93, indicating that they are more knowledgeable of how to teach English through Minecraft. In the presentation, the results of the study will be discussed with a focus on an analysis of the content, technology, and pedagogy incorporated in the Minecraft in-world lessons and supplementary materials using Kahoot, Bamboozle, and Nearpod that the English teachers have created. Also, the merits, affordances, and challenges for teachers to integrate Minecraft as a language teaching environment will be discussed.

“Your students are more motivated than yourself” – Jane

Seguing into the following session:

When Harry met Ginny or how to fall in love with fanfiction

Sat, Jun 5, 17:00-17:30 Asia/Tokyo

Heike Philp / Helena Galani

‘I only know one thing about the technologies that await us in the future: we will find ways to tell stories with them.’ (Jason Ohler). The technology in question for this presentation is a virtual world called OpenSim, which is similar to Second Life but more suitable for education. We present the main challenges addressed and the outcomes produced towards inspiring the participants to transcend previous achievements throughout our workshop “Immersive Storytelling In Virtual Worlds”. For five weeks earlier this year, with moderators and 110 participant English teachers, our EVO session focused on the skills, methods and techniques required for promoting the use of VWs for Immersive Storytelling in the new classroom. The affordances of a 3D user-created virtual environment such as OpenSim can prove indispensable to the language teacher, educator, tutor, course designer or trainer moving their classes online or resorting to hybrid and blended practices, at any stage of the Educational system. The process of recreating popular narratives in Virtual Worlds can effectively accelerate immersive language acquisition by motivating learners to take charge of their own education with an avatar, in a creative, imaginative and memorable way. In addition to the workshop outcomes, Heike Philp presents the rich resources created by 10 universities during three EU funded projects over a period of 6 years exploring the potential of language learning in virtual worlds like Second Life, OpenSim and Minecraft.

Here, Heike zooms out to an overview of her virtual island. She pointed out that many of the builds here were freely available to be copied from OpenSim resources to be transplanted here.
Here we approach, and then enter, the gate to the castle.
This is just inside the gate.


Sat, Jun 5, 17:45-18:15 Asia/Tokyo

Roundtable discussion with invited speakers

When the discussion turned to appropriate innovative venues for future virtual conferences and classrooms, Yoshiko Goda shared a walk into such a space using Virbela, I didn’t want to interject anything that might have been construed as self-promotional at this juncture, but knowing I could always blog it later, I can here point readers to my most recent published thoughts on virtual venues for virtual conferences.

Stevens, V. (2021). Virtual worlds at virtual conferences. Teaching English as a Second Language Electronic Journal (TESL-EJ), 25(1), 1-32.
Unpaginated HTML version:

I also mentioned to James York in chat before his presentation the following day that I was contemplating trying to organize a one-day conference in Minecraft at some point during EVO Minecraft MOOC 2022. The above article ends on that suggestion.

Sunday, June 6

Informal foreign language learning through subscription video streaming

Sun, Jun 6, 10:00-10:30 Asia/Tokyo

Gilbert Dizon

The use of video streaming has exploded over the past several years, in part, due to the ubiquity of smartphones and advancements to mobile network technology. However, while the topic of video for second (L2) learning has been studied extensively in CALL research, the use of video streaming for out-of-class, informal foreign language (FL) learning has received little attention. This presentation details a study that addressed this gap in the literature. Specifically, the study examined Japanese English as a foreign language (EFL) students’ practices and views concerning the use of subscription video streaming services for informal language learning. To this end, a survey was administered to Japanese students at four universities, with a total of 256 participants fully completing the survey. Moreover, 12 of these participants were interviewed to gain deeper insight into their views of subscription video streaming for informal foreign language learning. Results showed that informal language learning through subscription video streaming is a common social practice among the participants and that they had positive perceptions towards using these services for L2 learning. Additional findings and implications from the study will also be discussed in the presentation.

A tale of ‘too’ many LMS’s

Sun, Jun 6, 10:45-11:15 Asia/Tokyo

The past year has shown us both challenges and opportunities in education in particular socialization, collaboration and interaction for research, discussion, support, and exchange of ideas. Social distance and the inability to connect physically has created barriers to the type of communication required for learning, teaching, and researching. To help bridge this divide, institutions hastily struggled to implement a range of Learning Managements Systems LMS’s to address both teachers and students needs. The result was a collage of contradictory, conflicting and complementary platforms that greatly assisted and facilitated some endeavors but hopelessly added to the burden and confusion of others. Far from there being any logical consensus, teachers had to experiment and trial systems in this ‘wild west’ of online classrooms, finding out what worked and what didn’t, and in many cases relearning how to teach. Students were equally plagued by this inconsistency and in some cases had a different platform for each class. What did we learn from this? Will the experience of LMS based teaching have a lasting impact on education? The following will describe an “Integrated English” Program for freshmen and sophomore English majors and how it was coordinated, managed and adapted to online learning.

Presenters will discuss the results of two surveys conducted to evaluate the online learning and teaching experience. The research surveyed 280 college students and 39 instructors regarding their worries, fears, challenges and triumphs using various LMS’s ranging from Webex and Zoom to Course Power and Google Classroom.

Renewing acquaintances, awaiting the crowds to appear

In primary education, English grammar learning focuses on single-sentence formation. However, reports show that nearly half of upper-grade students in primary schools demonstrate grammatical errors in their single-sentence production. This points to the need to improve instruction on single-sentence formation at elementary schools. Since conventional English instruction relies on textbook teaching, which leads to insufficient contextual language use of target language items, this Show-and-Tell session will provide an overview of how a theme-based situated learning environment consisting of a robot and toys (R&T) supported by Internet of Things (IoT) technology was created to help elementary students use English sentence patterns. The authors will show how content-language integrated learning (CLIL) is incorporated into a R&T farm English learning game, along with embodied cognition based on sensory-based guided play and scaffolding of robotic prompts to make English syntax learning closer to real life. Specifically, the audience will be shown two design-based research (DBR) cycles of the Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate (ADDIE) model. The first DBR cycle focuses on (a) the needs analysis stage concerning the English learning needs of middle- and upper-graders in Taiwan, (b) the implementation of the R&T game on farm English with 15 fifth graders; and (c) the evaluation stage with learning outcomes based on pre- and post-test measures and interviews. The second DBR cycle, which involves the R&T game enhancement and pilot testing with six upper-grade students, will also be presented. Suggestions and principles for the R&T English learning mode will serve as content to take away from this presentation.

Going paperless with Showbie

Sun, Jun 6, 13:00-13:30 Asia/Tokyo

In this presentation, the presenter will demonstrate how teachers can transform their classroom into an engaging and collaborative hybrid-learning environment with the help of Showbie, a classroom management tool. Showbie is a cross-platform application used by teachers to assign, collect, and review student work. However, it houses a myriad of features that go far beyond simply assigning and turning in work digitally. Showbie gives users the ability to store and share documents that can be annotated utilizing a digital pen, text boxes, and embedded voice notes. Using the Pro version of Showbie, teachers can host online discussions, create private group chats, and have students collaborate on projects both synchronously and asynchronously. Furthermore, Showbie is incredibly user-friendly making it easy for even the least tech-savvy teacher to create an account, invite students, and share a digital assignment with their entire class in just a few minutes. The presenter will give concrete examples of how Showbie can help educators to achieve a truly paperless curriculum that will both enhance and transform language learning.

Has a video to show how to set up the Showbie app in Japanese in just a few minutes, shows features in video, hard to screenshot 🙂  Very informative and excellent well choreographed video tutorial.
Here is a folder setup with assignments not yet added to folders
He can watch students work in real time
Students can share presentations and add voice notes to each slide
Another way to share slides with video voice over and access to annotation and highlight tools
And finally

Students, as well as the population as a whole, often suffer from debilitating levels of presentation anxiety. Public speaking phobia can have a negative impact on students’ ability to function in the classroom, as well as their ability to effectively acquire a second language. This talk will discuss an ongoing investigation into the best methods for reducing this anxiety in students, including virtual-reality and imagination-based home practice, as well as course work and exposure to in-person speech acts. This program used a combination of exposure training, mindfulness training, and interventions based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to target presentation anxiety in the Japanese university student population. Preliminary results show significant levels of anxiety reduction within the participants, consistent with earlier findings within this ongoing program. How this experiment shifted to an online format in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will also be discussed, as will differences between participants who used more technological methods (VR) versus those who used more traditional methods for presentation practice. Participants’ comments from program interviews and surveys will also be presented to explore the nature of presentation anxiety and to help find best practices for classroom presentation activities and assessments by instructors.

Part of his PhD research: Recruited first 30 out of 50 applicants who self selected to participate. Taught 4 skills: presentation skills, emotional regulation skills, mindfulness skills, exposure training (illustrated in the icons below)
The presenter focused on VR for in-virtuo exposure training
Simulated speaking before audiences
Seem to find no differences in anxiety reduction with vr but wow factor strong

There are few studies that explore interactive fiction’s (IF) cognitive and effective benefits for language learning. Inspired by Neville (2009), we compared the effectiveness of IF in comparison to non-interactive, linear fiction in terms of vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension and motivation in a university EFL context. Participants (n = 93) were divided into two groups. The control group read a linear story, the experimental group played through an interactive version of the same story. A pre and post-experiment vocabulary test was employed to measure the acquisition of 16 target vocabulary words. A quiz based on the actions of characters within the story was also employed to measure reading comprehension. Finally, a post-test questionnaire measured student perceptions of learning with linear and IF. This presentation introduces the results of the study which are as follows. Findings revealed no significant difference in scores between the control (linear) and experimental (IF) groups for vocabulary acquisition or reading comprehension. However, an additional analysis of the data was conducted based on learners disposition towards gaming (gamer vs non-gamer) which revealed that, in comparison to gamers, non-gamers found the interactive version of the story more enjoyable and easier to read. This suggests that students’ level of game literacy had an effect on their perceptions. We will introduce the IF tool (Twine) and offer a number of options for future research such as exploring the creation of more robust IF including more micro-level choices, choice impact on story progression, and the explicit use of target vocabulary.

Use Twine to create interactive stories, James shows coding, and then the result

This study addresses implications for professional development in the current pandemic by exploring novel practices in pre-service teacher education contexts and by emphasising future teachers’ skills and digital readiness. The study takes as an example the involvement by 22 university students (pre-service teachers of languages) at a European university in a hackathon, as part of their university curriculum. Hackathons are time-constrained events that bring together volunteers to address a problem or challenge, often with a social purpose (Gutiérrez, 2018). Adopting an action research approach (Colpaert, 2020; Luo & Gui, 2019), this study focuses on examining the student perceptions as well as the challenges in the design of a hackathon as a pre-service teacher training facility that took place in November 2020. Two mentors (university lecturers) provided conceptual and technical support throughout the process. The hackathon targeted the creation of plurilingual and pluricultural resources for L2 with an emphasis on digital activism and social participation. Groups in teams of 4 and 5 persons were engaged in this process using a variety of technologies (Slack, Google Drive, Zoom) to achieve their goals and all results were made openly available on the DigiEduHack website (cf. Solutions). The opportunities and drawbacks of pre-service teacher education (Hauck, 2015; Borg et al, 2014) through novel remote collaboration and co-creation possibilities will be discussed, as well as implications resulting from the integration of open innovation initiatives (as hackathons are) in standard university curricula and degrees.

In recent years the increase in the availability of computerized speech recognition and speech synthesis has lead to exciting possibilities in the field of foreign language learning. Computerized speech essentially represents a final stage in the development of a human-computer interface, and in this context, it offers substantial advantages over traditional touch-based interfaces which can eschew language altogether. One activity where this is particularly pertinent is in spaced-learning activities where traditionally students do not need to vocalize their responses, and indeed the responses are often not available to instructors at all. Speech Recognition has further benefits in that every utterance is immediately displayed for students, giving them a more accurate indication of their success with the tested language constructs. The advantage to instructors is in the ability for utterances to be stored as text in a database allowing computer analysis of speech patterns to discern common errors. As the 3rd year of a four-year cross-institutional research grant from the Japanese Government (Kakenhi), this paper will present a speech recognition and speech synthesis system developed by the author within the context of a spaced learning program. We will further show (a) a pattern analysis of the accuracy of the system and patterns of learner usage, (b) an analysis of the effectiveness of spaced-learning using online speaking on student outcomes over 3 institutions, (c) student feedback and reactions on speaking to a machine, (d) how the system deals with pronunciation.

Promotion and Feedback

Here’s an attractive document you can print out and display on your office bookshelf:


I found it easier to navigate into the conference the second time around. They had added Discord channels though that can be a welter because Discord spaces tend to be organized on how someone envisages how everyone else’s minds might work, but with familiarity the patterns promoted by the organizers become clearer. I posted to #introductions.

There were live and static schedules where you can filter events by day, There was even an view of what was taking place at a given moment. With the feature, presentations and correct Zoom rooms were just a click away, and everything worked smoothly after that. 

The organizers announced that they were using the same platform in 2021 “which has a beautiful new look as before so you don’t need to create a new user. Just join the event space and get a ticket. We also have free hardship tickets for those from developing countries. Please contact us at the above website if you, or you know of anyone who would benefit from attending.”

The registration page gives the price of tickets (approximately $25 and $35 respectively)

There was a catch. Until you are able to register, the Student ticket option takes you in an endless loop to the same page. The only other option is to ‘contact us’.

That option informs you that you must be a logged on the JALTCALL site in order to use the contact form.

When you try to Join the space, if you have an academic address your good to go (I guess).

I am retired, acting as founder and coordinator of, so I have no academic address.

I next saw this screen

So I finally submitted a note and asked if there were any MOOC price tickets in exchange for my track record in promoting freely sharing of knowledge with colleagues on a quid pro quo basis.

I received this response …

This is the point at which I decided to extend my benefit in being accepted on these terms into the conference milieu by blogging it as Learning2gether episode 520.


All the sessions are being recorded to the cloud. The recordings are being made available for download to the presenters. Presenters have a choice on whether or not to share a recorded version after the conference, but they will have to download the files and upload them to YouTube themselves (too overwhelming a job for the conference organizers). Once the videos are online they will be added to the JALTCALL YouTube channel here: or they can be uploaded on their private channels.

Earlier Events

Thu May 27 1000 UTC Vance Stevens speaks on Blended learning and communities of practice for the ELC PD Committee at U of Tech and Applied Sciences Ibri Oman

Learning2gether episode #519; renamed

Tag games: Vance Stevens revisits practicing blended learning in communities of practice for the ELC PD Committee at UTAS, Ibri, Oman

Sun 30 May 1700 UTC TESOL Gulf hosts Amany Alkhayat – AltspaceVR tutorial


Tue 01 June 2300 UTC IDEA informal networking session

Sharon Tjaden-Glass deserves kudos for setting up these sessions. Not only does she share the live event announcement but she provides a link to a YouTube playlist where the recordings of these sessions will end up, and you can see videos from the sessions that have gone before. That’s a great IDEA. It’s what I do with all my presentations, and it’s a model I wish that others would follow as a matter of course.

Are you an educator who is experiencing teacher burnout? Are you seriously considering another career path that builds on your current skills as a TESOL professional? Ever heard of “instructional design?”

Please join us for one or all of our informal networking sessions between instructional designers and educators, known as IDEA Networking (Instructional Designers and Educators Alliance.) Since August 2020, we have welcomed 30+ current instructional designers–who were once educators–to share their stories of how the moved from the field of education into the field of instructional design. Each session begins with 20 minutes of guest speakers, 25 minutes of breakout room with guest speakers, and 15 minutes of whole group Q & A.

Instructional Designers and Educators Alliance

We will have three sessions over the summer on the following dates:

Tuesday, June 1st, 7-8 p.m. EST: Registration Link

Tuesday, July 6th, 7-8 p.m. EST: Registration Link

Tuesday, August 3rd, 7-8 p.m. EST: Registration Link

Agendas with the names of guest speakers for each session will be emailed to registrants several days prior to the event. All sessions are free and recordings will be shared with registrants who are unable to attend live.

You can also watch recording of previous sessions at this link.

If you’d like to join the IDEA Networking mailing list to receive updates on upcoming networking sessions, please sign up at this link.

Thu 03 June 0600 UTC UTAS hosts panel on Special Needs of Students in COVID-19

Faisal Al Shamali is with Mike Kenteris and 2 others.

ELT Colloquium: Special Needs of Students during COVID 19

organized by English Language Center, University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Ibri-Oman

Date: Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Time: 10.00 AM GST, (GMT+4)

Check your time zone here:

It is a free event.

Kindly click here to register:

Email sent to participants

The English Language Centre at University of Technology and Applied Sciences-Ibri, Oman cordially invites you to join an “ELT Colloquium: Special Needs of Students during COVID 19” on Thursday 3 June 2021 at 10:00 am Oman Local Time (GMT+4)

Guest speakers:
1-      Sharyn Collins- UK
“The Etiquette of Online Learning”
2-      James Papple– Canada
“Providing Differentiated Support for EAP Students.”
3-       Dr Mike Kenteris- Greece

“Transform your Classes Using the Flipped Learning Approach.”
Cick here to join the event:
To check the time difference, kindly click here:

Participants will receive a Certificate of Appreciation within 6 business days.

The “attendance and feedback” link will be shared in the chat box.


Sharyn Collins starts us off, followed by James Papple

Mike Kenteris delivers a wide-ranging presentation on Differentiated Support for EAP Students based on his experience as owner of and teacher in his own language school on Lesbos, Greece.

Q & A

And on Facebook


Faisal Al-Shamali has followed up with this additional information:
To watch the recording, kindly click here:

Faisal added in his email that James Papple is willing to share the PPTs of his presentation, though you would need to contact the presenters if you wish to have it.

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is June 13, 2021 22:00 UTC

Tag games: Vance Stevens revisits practicing blended learning in communities of practice for the ELC PD Committee at UTAS, Ibri, Oman

Learning2gether Episode 519


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On Thursday, May 27, 2021, I was invited to give a 35 minute talk plus 10 to 15 minutes for Q & A as a free webinar hosted by the ELC PD Committee at University of Technology and Applied Sciences in Ibri, Oman. The talk was recorded and posted on YouTube:

Revisiting learning about blended & hybrid eLearning through engagement in communities of practice

Participation in CoPs is critical for ongoing teacher professional development. Drawing from experience coordinating teachers’ CoPs for the past 20 years, the presenter illustrates the evolution of groups into CoPs, as well as how CoPs interact in distributed personal learning networks, continually leveraging their participants’ PD and modeling ways to be applied later in teaching practices. This strongly suggests that teachers must be trained not only in the use of social media, but through its use.

I had been originally asked to speak on Blended learning and communities of practice, specifically to repeat my talk given earlier, blogged here:

I had since augmented that post with further thoughts at

I was going to have to alter my remarks anyway to adjust to the specified time-frame, so I crafted an original presentation on approximately the same theme, except that I broadened the topic to teachers learning virtually anything through their participation in communities of practice, and in turn modeling their way of learning to their students to help effect a break from pre-digital learning paradigms.

More information about the PD workshops in Ibri

Tag Games

I suggested during my presentation that settling on a consistent webinar tag would help to improve use of Twitter as a means for locating information about the UTAS series of webinars. I modeled this by posting my announcement of my presentation on the Twitter tag #utaswebinar and then showing how anything I posted to Twitter with that tag would appear in a search on that tag in Twitter: .

I invited the audience to join me in a “tag game” and post about the webinar on the same tag and we would see their related posts appear at that link in real time. No one took me up on that while I was giving the webinar, but of course the game is still open and anyone can test the technique at any time using that tag and that search link, or since this is folksonomic classification, create their own tag and try to get tweets from many people to ‘aggregate’ around that tag on Twitter.

I was asked how this could be used practically in the classroom. I found it hard to answer that question, since the answer depends on the inventiveness of the teacher who sees an opportunity for collecting student feedback in the context of a particular learning situation. So I gave an example of tag games I’d played with students in recent workshops; I showed them the results of a tag game I had played with participants at a workshop on January 20, 2019 at Rangsit University in Thailand on the tag I had created for that group #jan20reli. That search is still viable over a year later, and can still be found here:

All of the tag games I played with all the pre-service (student) and in-service teachers who attended my two weeks of workshops in Thailand in January, 2020, can be found at in the sidebar of the wiki I created for the event here:

Here are the aggregations from all the workshop groupings copied from that sidebar:

Archived aggregations from all the workshops

The thrust of my message to attendees at this workshop was that teachers learn about such techniques through interaction with teaching peers in webinars like this one, which are offshoots of networked communities of practice. And also that the knowledge to be gained is often ineffable, which means that it must be experienced in order to be understood. So it’s hard to answer the question that prompted this reflection with an example off the top of my head, except to say “Try it,” and then you’ll see 🙂

And finally, I aimed in my webinar to point out the importance of modeling in teaching. For example, I did not specifically address the issue of blended learning per se in my talk, but the wiki I created for my workshops in Thailand was a perfect example of blended learning (by some considered to be a mode of teaching where online components are blended with face-to-face ones). In that wiki, I set out a document where anyone, and in particular my participants in Thailand, could see in retrospect what I was trying to model for them, and theoretically review the material and how we played our tag games and what the results were. So in teaching, I was modeling and demonstrating how blended learning works (being physically with them, but leaving them a live document tailored for each of their experiences with the workshop).

In learning through this blended approach, my workshop participants were left with something they could reflect on and also practice, just as any participant in the webinar I am writing about today could review what I have written here, and after reflection, decide to go ahead and try the tag game. That act of trying would be their practice.

If they feel they have learned something, having experienced the technique, they might then relate this to something they are trying to teach, and thereby model and demonstrate it to their students, who might in turn practice it, and on reflection perhaps feel they want to experiment with it in their own classrooms. From that point, the knowledge would be transferred (via me, having demonstrated the original model) on to a whole series of teacher to student relationships, and develop the concept the way memes form, as described by Richard Dawkins in his seminal work, The Selfish Gene (where he coined the word ‘meme’ in 1976).

I ended by pointing out that communities of practice encourage autonomous learning, and that in order to nurture autonomy in our learners, teachers need to themselves practice autonomous learning. I brought these threads to a conclusion borrowing slides from a talk I gave at the IATEFL conference in Exeter in 2008 . The slides were based on my article, Stevens 2007, which I had in turn been invited to Exeter to discuss as part of a panel addressing learner autonomy.


Stevens, V. (2007). The Multiliterate Autonomous Learner: Teacher Attitudes and the Inculcation of Strategies for Lifelong Learning. Independence, Winter 2007 (Issue 42).

The presentation was carried out over Microsoft Teams,

There was connectivity lost in the middle of it, and some of what I said at that juncture was lost, but you can refer to the write-up if you wish to know more about what I was saying. Here is the bookmark:


Announcements were posted to these Facebook groups

By Faisal on Facebook

On Twitter


Vance Stevens hosts the podcast series Learning2gether with over 515 episodes. He founded the CoP Webheads in Action in 2002 and has coordinated TESOL CALL-IS Electronic Village Online since 2003, He has been lead moderator of EVO Minecraft MOOC since 2015. He received the 2019 CALL Research Conference Lifetime Achievement Award.


This is one of the most complementary instances of feedback I’ve ever received from a webinar participant. The name of the sender is included with permission.


The Language Center at Ibri followed up with a report on the presentation on their university website ELC homepage

Feedback analysis

One interesting aspect of the follow-up on this webinar was that Faisal Al Shamali polled his listeners. He logged 231 respondents to his feedback form, which might mean there were that many in the webinar, or at least that many. The 229 respondents indicating where they were from listed 42 different countries. Not surprisingly, 40 were in Oman, where Ibri is, but an almost equivalent number, 38, were in India. After that, there were 14 participants from each of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, followed by 13 from Indonesia, 11 from Turkey, and 10 from Nepal.

In single digits, 9 participants came from Azerbaijan, 8 from Bangladesh, and 7 from Pakistan. Morocco and the Philippines both had 6 participants in the webinar, whereas Iraq, Malaysia, and Tunisia each had 4. Algeria, Ecuador, Palestine, and Ukraine each provided 3 participants, and there were 2 each from Bhutan, Jordan, Libya, México, Romania, and the United Arab Emirates. The remaining participants came one each from Armenia, Australia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Gaza, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Nigeria, South Africa, UK, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zambia.

It’s interesting to have such demographics and to realize how many people from developing nations are taking part in these webinars. There were many from southeast Asia, Iran, and the Arabian Gulf, and from Africa. Participants came from Turkey further east from countries in the old Ottoman empire, but only one other from farther north in Europe (UK). There was one participant from Australia, but none from the Americas apart from 3 from Ecuador

All but one participant answered yes to “I highly recommend this webinar to a friend or a colleague” (vs. a single ‘no’). Participants were asked to rate 6 aspects of the presentation on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Here were the average ratings followed by the question.

4.6 – The event was well-organized.
4.6 – The event was very useful to me.
4.6 – The concepts and ideas were presented clearly and effectively
4.6 – The event was informative and practical to me.
4.7 – The guest speaker was knowledgeable on his topic.
4.7 – Personal approach and attitude of the guest speaker in explaining and answering questions was good.

This appeared to be a gratifyingly appreciative audience. Overall they rated the presentation highly. I’m not sure what the all choices were, but I received 3 categories of response in answer to the prompt for Overall webinar evaluation:

7  – fair
87 – very good
138 – excellent

The most interesting feedback was where participants were asked to offer any further comments or suggestions. Some of these related to webinar timing, audio quality, and two complaints about not using Zoom (Faisal told me this was an institutional decision; out of his control). Some expressed a desire to have the slides and recordings shared with them. One respondent said “Keep on organizing webinars!”

Some adjectives used to describe my presentation were  ‘awesome’ (2 respondents :-), 1 ‘perfect’, 1 ‘unforgettable’, 4 ‘wonderful’, and varying degrees of good, such as ‘excellent’ (17 tokens), ‘great’ or ‘very good’ (10), milder praise such as ‘good’, ‘good work’, ‘all well’ (14), 2 instances of ‘fine’, 4 indicated ‘nice’, and 2 went as far as ‘ok’. Three said ‘I enjoyed it’.

Some commented on the utility of the session. Six used the word ‘fruitful’. Eight applied the adjective ‘informative’, one going so far as to extend that to ‘highly informative’. Two said it was ‘useful’ (e.g. “It helps me to my teaching career in the future”). Other adjective were ‘effective’, ‘insightful’, ‘relevant’, and apt (“the topic is very apt”).

Two respondents wrote “Congratulations!” One wrote “Succes” (sic). My favorite was “great learning experience.”

41 respondents wrote variations on ‘Thank you’; e.g.

  • Thank you for these valuable MOOCs, Vance!
  • Thank you for this event. I really liked it. 🙂
  • Thank you. More power! 👏💕👏💕👏💕

One participant suggested “Maybe making it more interesting and interactive so that we can follow without losing our attention.” Another said that “Technical issues became a problem but the speaker was excellent.”

The most loquacious response was “Great Session. The Event Was Well Organized & Useful To Me. The Concepts & Ideas Were Presented Clearly & Effectively. The Event Was Informative & Practical. The Hon’ble Speaker Was Knowledgeable. Personal Approach & Attitude Of The Hon’ble Speaker In Explaining Was Excellent. Such Great Points.”

Two respondents purported to speak for all, saying “We like more sessions of this type.” and “We look forward to having more webinars on Engaging students in learning.”


Earlier Events

Just this, from the day before

Wed 26 May 1300 UTC – TESOL CALL-IS webinar on EVO: 20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is January 4, 2022 01:30 UTC

TESOL CALL-IS webinar on EVO: 20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide

Learning2gether Episode 518


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On May 26, 2021, TESOL CALL-IS hosted a free webinar on
EVO: 20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide

Christine Bauer-Ramazani organized this special celebration of the 20th anniversary of EVO sessions as a CALL-IS webinar, in conjunction with the Electronic Village Online’s 20th anniversary.

This special EVO 20th Anniversary Webinar featured a panel of speakers that were instrumental in making EVO such a success over the last 20 years. As of 2020 EVO had trained almost 50,000 ELT professionals around the world! Critical in making this enormous feat of volunteerism happen are the EVO Co-founders and Lead Coordinators, who orchestrated the many activities carried out by the teams of EVO coordinators, some of whom have been with EVO for most of those years.

Accordingly, this special celebration of the 20th anniversary of EVO sessions featured the 3 EVO Co-Founders, 10 former Lead Coordinators, and Vance Stevens on a  panel of speakers. 


Vance Stevens presented for 6 minutes on
Webheads and EVO: Truly Lifelong Learning

I wanted to show how a popular EVO session I organized in 2002 led to my becoming a coordinator of EVO in 2003 and nurtured a series of Communities of Practice which have persisted and interleaved themselves in TESOL CALL-IS and in EVO to this very day.

To achieve this I prepared two versions of my slides. This link contains both versions:

The shorter version was designed to be delivered at the webinar and to encapsulate in 6 minutes what I wanted to say in an 18 minute video which I had pre-recorded to go over in greater detail what was in the longer version of the slides. The video is here on YouTube:

The video shows how so many participants in early versions of Webheads for EFL students, and teachers who got involved in that, became founders, coordinators, and moderators of EVO after their participation in the several communities of practice associated with the Webheads in Action EVO session I offered in 2002.

The main event
EVO: 20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide

Christine advertised the webinar in a post sent to several ‘myTESOL’ groups prior to the event:

The Electronic Village Online (EVO) is excited to invite you to a special TESOL Webinar to celebrate the 20th anniversary of EVO sessions, the first 10 online/distance sessions held in 2001. During the pandemic, the 19 EVO 20th anniversary sessions held in January/February 2021 were especially pertinent to the 2,682 participating English teachers from 71 countries worldwide.

Presenting will be the three co-founders of EVO, Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Tom Robb, Susan Gaer, as well as the 11 lead coordinators of EVO–Dafne Gonzalez, Aiden Yeh / JoAnn Miller (Co-Coordinators), Carla Arena, Nina Liakos, Mbarek Akaddar, Nellie Deutsch, Carolina Buitrago, Martha Ramirez, and Vance Stevens–all known authorities in CALL and TESOL. They will address their contributions to EVO as well as their latest endeavors in the area of online teaching and learning.

SCHEDULE – posted on the EVO webinar wiki, and summarized below

There are 14 presenters in a 90-minute time frame.

In the first 20 minutes

  • Christine will start with the purpose of the Webinar, an explanation of what EVO is, then introduce the EVO Coordinators
  • Susan and Tom then talk about the founding of EVO
  • Christine gives a brief walk through history, including updates on the latest data on EVO participants and countries reached. I’m hoping this can be done in15-20 minutes.

Each presenter then has 6 minutes to talk about main accomplishments during your tenure and possibly any recent endeavors in “free professional development in online English language teaching and learning worldwide.”

WHEN:  Wed, May 26, 2021 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM (ET)

REGISTRATION for participants: on TESOL site:


Wiki link for SCHEDULE & uploaded presenter slides:


This recording was made from the Zoom cloud recording with everyone’s camera showing:

There is also a version from a recording in Zoom made to computer:

At the end of the meeting, we all waved, smiled, and clapped at our successful completion of twenty years of thriving within our robust communities of practice and getting through 90 minutes of webinar pretty much within the allocated time frame.





EVO and CALL-IS promoted the events here

Announcements were posted to these Facebook groups

A few of the presenters and coordination team members sat for a group Zoom portrait prior to the event









Jane’s view of the closing applause



Earlier Events

Learning2gether episode 517 – Wed 19 May 1230 UTC
Vance Stevens on Communities of practice for teachers: From Webheads in Action to EVO Minecraft MOOC

Tue 25 May 1pm ET – myTESOL Lounge Live – Nonmembers welcome 


Come together with your peers, share your thoughts and experiences, and have a little fun at myTESOL Lounge Live!

FREE and open to members and non-members, myTESOL Lounge Live! is an online hosted conversation space for English language educators.

The next discussion, hosted by Doreen Ewert and Thomas Robb, took place on 25 May at 1:00 pm ET and went into detail on how extensive reading can work in the classroom.

Resources used

OER 101: How to Find and Create Open Educational Resources in your ELT Classroom
Chadia Mansour, Charity Davenport, and Sharon Tjaden-Glass

Links from the session



This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is May 29, 2021 02:00 UTC

Vance Stevens on Communities of practice for teachers: From Webheads in Action to EVO Minecraft MOOC – GDGoenka Uplearn Academy webinar

Learning2gether Episode 517


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On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Vance Stevens was invited, in conjunction with GDGoenka Uplearn Academy (in association with GDGoenka University) as a resource person from Education, to speak about
Communities of practice for teachers: From Webheads in Action to EVO Minecraft MOOC
as a part of their webinar series

Here is a direct link to the Google meet recording.

and to the YouTube video embedded above:

As usual I prepared documents in advance of my presentation


At the beginning of the event, Dr. Aabha asked those present to put on their webcams and show smiling faces.



I took these screenshots during the question period, to scroll through some of the questions asked in the chat.




Announcements were posted to these Facebook groups

Hashtag #GDGoenka –

Tweeted at


This comment appeared the day following the webinar on the GD Goenka School of Education Facebook page,


“Learning happens between and across communities, not just within them and is a continuous process…To create small scale change work through cohesive communities; to create big scale change, build a movement, by creating bridges between disconnected communities.” -Helen Bevan

Today’s economy runs on knowledge, and most companies work assiduously to capitalize on that fact. They use cross-functional teams, customer- or product-focused business units, and work groups—to name just a few organizational forms—to capture and spread ideas and know-how. In many cases, these ways of organizing are very effective, and no one would argue for their demise. But a new organizational form is emerging that promises to complement existing structures and radically galvanize knowledge sharing, learning, and change.

To bind together the shared expertise and a passion for a joint enterprise towards learning, School of Education at GD Goenka University organised a “Live Webinar for Specialized Learning – Communities of Practice for Teachers: From Webheads in Action to EVO Minecraft MOOC” in collaboration with GD Goenka Up Learn Academy on 19th May 2021, as a growing number of people and organizations in various sectors are now focusing on communities of practice as a key to improving their performance. The session was facilitated by Mr. Vance Stevens, Founder and Coordinator of, Penang, Malasia and Dr. Aabha Sharma, Head, SoEd, GDGU as the Moderator for the session.

The session explored the vast spread of trends transversely coming through in last 20 years and has witnessed new paradigms in education, addressing to how EdTech is disrupting the way students learn and introducing them to blended learning. On the other hand, skilling and entrepreneurship have become the buzzwords of education infused into the school curriculum and HEIs. The focus overall is on strengthening the innovation ecosystem and making education learner-centric.

A special focus on the strength of communities of practice as self-perpetuating. As they generate knowledge, they reinforce and renew themselves. That’s why communities of practice give you not only the golden eggs but also the goose that lays them. The farmer killed the goose to get all the gold and ended up losing both; the challenge for both the students & learners these days is to appreciate the goose and to understand how to keep it alive and productive.
Reflecting on the trends of the past and how they have impacted the modern world of Learning & Development helps us better understand the current learning environment. Integrating the successful trends which have now become mainstays in the different areas of learning allows teachers to keep their finger on the pulse and ensure the execution of a relevant learning program.


Earlier Events

Tue 04 May midnight UTC Minecraft Mondays does a Dungeon Run on AZCraft Aster server – Learning2gether episode 516

Wed 05 May 1300 UTC Chadia Mansour, Charity Davenport, and Sharon Tjaden-Glass discuss Open educational resources in the ELT classroom


Come together with your peers, share your thoughts and experiences, and have a little fun at myTESOL Lounge Live!

FREE and open to members and non-members, myTESOL Lounge Live! is an online hosted conversation space for English language educators. Our next discussion, hosted by Chadia Mansour, Charity Davenport, and Sharon Tjaden-Glass, takes place 5 May at 9:00 am ET and will focus on how to find and create open educational resources in your ELT classroom.

All you need to participate is a device with an internet connection. Once you sign up, instructions for joining the conversation will be emailed to you.

Here’s how to sign up for the one on May 5

You need to log on to the TESOL website and then visit

This takes you to a page where you register for upcoming myTESOL webinars.

It looks like this

But you might be able to get there directly with this link

April 16-May 7 – Last days of 2nd international online TESOL conference – Blue Ocean Language School in Damascus


Fri 07 May 0100 UTC TESOL Career Path Development PLN hosts Lyzyl Lopez-Banuag – Flexible Teaching & Learning

Please join us for our next webinar with Dr. Lyzyl Lopez-Banuag who will discuss Flexible Teaching & Learning: Embracing the Better Normal in Education. This week, Thursday, May 06th at 9 PM Eastern time and Friday, May 07th at 9 AM Manila time.

Sat 8 May from 1345 UTC – Penn East TESOL Spring Virtual Conference

This conference is not only free but no registration is required.

The link brings you here: where you can read

Please join us for this year’s PennTESOL-East spring virtual conference focusing on the theme of “Discovering Effective Pedagogical Strategies for Today’s Language Learners.” This event is free and open to all. We will also be holding a Raffle, giving away 5 free TESOL Memberships to individuals who have never held a TESOL Membership or have not done so in the last five years! We hope to see you there.

Pre-Registration is NOT required for this event.

To enter the event on Saturday, May, please use the following link:

Saturday, May 8 Schedule:

9:45-10:00 a.m.               Opening Remarks

10:00-11:00 a.m.             Keynote: Justin Shewell

11:00-11:15 a.m.             Short Break

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.     Plenary: JPB Gerald

12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m.    30-minute Break

12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.      Plenary Brittany Foose

1:45 p.m.-2:00 p.m.        Closing

*This event is sponsored by TESOL International

The only way they could improve on this would be if they would post the recordings afterwards!

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is May 25, 2021 07:00 UTC

Minecraft Mondays does a Dungeon Run on AZCraft Aster server

Learning2gether Episode 516


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A dungeon in Minecraft is basically an air pocket near a cave containing a spawner and, usually, chests containing treasures of. They are generated naturally in the overworld through the game algorithm. The link above shows the picture here.


If you’ve been playing Minecraft for any amount of time you’ve likely come upon a spawner in a room like this. If there is only one spawner, and if you can successfully deal with whatever it’s spawning (like skeletons, zombies, spiders) you can plant a number of torches on or around it to neutralize it before looting whatever’s in the chests.


The dungeon we visited was strewn with spawners and was constructed in layers. A glass roof had been placed over the top and there was a stairway leading down to the first layer. There were boxes near the top containing diamond armor, diamond weapons and pickaxes, torches, buckets of water and milk (for dealing with blazes and spells), totems of undying (a charm you could carry conveying you its assigned power), food, and other things you might carry with you in case you survived long enough to manage to use them.

There were also beds at the top and before setting out we were advised to choose one and sleep in it so that your respawn point would be near the supply boxes and entrance to the dungeon, so you could re-equip and head back down if so inclined.

Before heading out, we all lined up for the requisite ‘those who are about to die’ selfie

As the hour wore on the boxes at the top became gradually depleted, but when players died in melee, whatever they were carrying or wearing would remain behind in a pile on the floor, and the ever helpful Dakotah Redstone was scooping these things up and taking them to the first level where he was putting them in chests there, so we could go there to resupply once the boxes at the top ran dry.

Dakotah set up a resupply station at the first level so that dropped items could be collected and recycled here

I think the first layer was meant to be benign but one of our group had spawned a few shulkers there so that when we started our adventure we came immediately under attack.

Creeper_Slayer was accused being caught in the act of spawning shulkers at the first level

Shulker bullets follow players they are aimed at, changing their trajectory at right angles. When they find their mark, the player loses some hearts and levitates. Since there was a glass ceiling overhead to prevent uncontrolled levitation, the fall when the levitation wore off was not serious.

Shulker bullets head for you but when you move they take a right angle turn and line up on you again

The goal of our adventure was to drop down through the layers of the ‘dungeon’ as many levels as possible. If you were among the first into a level you would find it dark and be set upon by whatever mobs were spawning there. I was an early arrival at the level shown in the picture below (second or third; I don’t remember exactly). The mobs came swarming at me before I was able to get down off the ladder I was descending. At first I tried fighting off the spiders and zombies, but their spawner is right there, on the right in this picture.  Realizing I couldn’t fight off so many at once, in this picture I’m trying to eat to keep my hearts from going down to zero.

I’m carrying a totem of undying (on the left in my quick bar) but it seems that you can lose it when really near death, so possession of one of these just prolongs the inevitable.

In this picture, taken less than a minute after the one above, I’ve lost my totem and I’m being attacked by skeletons, blazes, something that is causing pink bubbles of dizziness, and the zombie at my elbow on my right.

I don’t have the combat skills to ward off so many adversaries at once. In these pictures, I’ve resorted to eating to restore my hearts (strength) while attempting to teleport to Bobbi Bear, who was in a safer place :-). However I must have been forced to move and the teleport didn’t work. Meanwhile I was set afire by blazes and being tormented by zombies.

In the end, I succumbed to a shulker bullet that’s teleporting right at me.

Once a number of players had visited a level, they tended to have placed torches for better lighting and culled out the monsters so they were not so numerous; which is to say you had a chance of spending a few minutes there before being overwhelmed. If you survived the few minutes and found the way down to the next level, you could proceed.

Here are a few obstacles I encountered along the way

I’ve attacked the first skeleton and caused it damage but I’m realizing don’t have enough hearts to sustain that effort through all 3 of them, so I’m scrolling through my quick bar items trying to find food (and taking pictures as well 🙂

DarkNight is sporting a quill of skeleton arrows, has been set afire in a blaze attack, and is about to be sent back up top by a creeper

I’m carrying ten torches. I’m going to lose them anyway. I should have placed them all over this spawner.

The piglins across the water are ignoring me because I am wearing gold boots. If you wear any item of gold armor, they leave you alone. The lone piglin on my side of the water can’t join the others because they can’t swim and will drown if submerged. Piglins spawn naturally in the Nether, so I don’t know what they are doing here. We don’t appear to be in the Nether, so they must have escaped from the Nether to the Overworld (happens sometimes) or been spawned here for our entertainment, by someone with a sadistic bent, or a sense of humor, or both.

In the larger picture on the left above, I am coming under attack from blazes on the left,. shulkers in the middle, and there is a skele walking around on the right who doesn’t seem to have noticed me yet.

In the pictures below I’m under attack from at least half a dozen blazes (framed in this one screenshot), and taking fire damage, in addition to being fired on by shulkers.

And at the end of all that, it’s time to enjoy the sunset with a little rest and recreation among friends back at the top, who would not be back there had they not suffered fates similar to mine.


Some Facebook reflections


VSTE promotion of the event

This started out with the normal confusion over what day it would be. VSTE always announces it for Monday:
Monday, May 3, 8 PM Eastern Daylight Savings time, though K2sons has got quite good at working out the time in the part of the world east of the Atlantic

UTC (Time Zone) Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 12:00:00 midnight UTC UTC

Here’s what was announced: Dungeon Run!!

We will gather on Discord (VSTE Minecraft voice channel) and the AZCraft server we visited last month.

Come to the Aster server when you get connected by typing /server Aster
Jazmar and K4sons will help you with armour and weapons if you come early!

When you arrive on Aster be sure to type in text that you want to be part of the VSTE event!
Type /tpask Jazmar or /tpaskK4sons to join us

We will head to a cool dungeon that we have unearthed for you to see clearly. You can stand on the glass ceiling and watch or help us clear it and share in the loot!

Don’t be late. This is super fun!


There is a limit to how many people can be on this server at once so come early if you are interested.

Notification of this event was posted at this Facebook Group

Earlier Events

Fri 30 Apr noon UTC Q & A with Vance Stevens on the importance of learning about blended / hybrid / eLearning through engagement in communities of practice

Vance Stevens on the importance of learning about blended & hybrid eLearning through engagement in communities of practice

Sat 24 Apr 1430 UTC – Wesley Fryer – Lesson ideas and tips for language teachers using Scratch and Minecraft


Sat 01 May 1900 EDT Silver Lining for Learning hosts David Wiley on the Wonderful World of Openness

Episode #56: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Openness

by Curtis Bonk

Episode #56. Saturday May 1, 2021, 7:00 pm EDT

Episode Abstract: This show will explore evolving notions of openness in the field of education.

David Wiley, Co-founder and Chief Academic Officer, Lumen Learning, has been a leader in the open education movement for over two decades. If an interesting or ground-breaking open education project has happened, David likely is aware of it and perhaps even participated in it to make it so. Want to learn about open textbook research? Why not? David and his colleague, John Hilton, have conducted tons of it. OpenCourseWare advocacy? Here too David led the charge. MOOCs? Well, now, prior to the MOOC craze in 2009, David opened up his classroom to the world community and gave out certificates to those who joined. Open educational resources entrepreneur? As per his bio, there is no other like him. Organizer of the openness movement? David founded the Open Education Conference. Come to this session and find out how you can get involved in helping the world become more free and open for learning. You will likely learn about unique resources created for this open world as well as new trends and possibilities.

Brief Bio: David Wiley is Chief Academic Officer and Co-founder of Lumen Learning, an organization dedicated to increasing student success and improving the affordability of education through the adoption of open educational resources by middle schools, high schools, community and state colleges, and universities. In addition to enhancing student success, Lumen is dedicated to reinvigorating pedagogy and improving the affordability of education using a combination of open educational resources, learning analytics, continuous improvement, and professional development.

David has been a Shuttleworth Fellow, Education Fellow at Creative Commons, and an adjunct faculty member in Brigham Young University’s graduate program in Instructional Psychology and Technology. He has received an NSF CAREER grant and was a Nonresident Fellow in the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School as well as a Peery Social Entrepreneurship Research Fellow in the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University. As a social entrepreneur, Dr. Wiley has founded or co-founded numerous entities including Lumen LearningDegreed, and Open High School of Utah (now Mountain Heights Academy). In fact, in 2009, Fast Company named me one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. David is adjunct faculty in Brigham Young University’s graduate program in Instructional Psychology and Technology, where he is part of the Open Education Group (and was previously a tenured Associate Professor). Notably, he recently became President Elect of AECT. He enjoys hiking, running, amateur radio, listening to and making music, reading, and playing basketball.

Recent Interview as President Elect of AECT (Association for Educational Communication and Technology)

Recent open access publication:

Bonk, C. J., & Wiley, D. (2020). Preface: Reflections on the waves of emerging learning technology. Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D), 68(4), 1595-1612. DOI 10.1007/s11423-020-09809-x. Available:

Posted by Curtis Bonk | April 24, 2021 at 10:01 am | Categories: Episodes | URL:

Mon 03 May Extensive Reading MOOC with Tom Robb

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The date of this update is May 6, 2021 10:00 UTC