Michiyo joins EVO Minecraft MOOC participants in a deliberately executed tomb raid

Learning2gether Episode 401

On Feb 8, 2019 the EVO Minecraft MOOC temple busting team of Abu Fletcher, Dakotah Redstone, Jane Chien, Mattie Tsai, Michiyo, and Teacher Vance applied logic and geometry (or at least Dak did) to the puzzle of getting into a desert temple by excavating around the side of it and under it, exposing and rendering harmless the TNT that booby-traps the bottom of every unexplored temple, and helping ourselves to what was in the zombie chests.

Dak got the diamond horse armor since he was most deserving and most instrumental in the excavation and had the greatest appreciation for horses in Minecraft as you can hear in the video, here:

The event was announced on Google+ at this link, good only through March 2019

Michiyo wanted to make ‘her house’ much nicer, with the help of +Olivetree Lighthouse, so she posted, “I explored the desert area. I have collected cactuses in order to make green things. Then collected some sands to make glasses. If I have some time to continue “my house” building, I may be in the world at around 14:00 UTC on the Feb. 7th or 8th. It would depend on how early I could get back from work. If I were there, I would. If not, next day or time.”

She wasn’t able to make it on Feb 7, but she kept her Feb 8 appointment.  Meanwhile, here’s what we did on Feb 7:

Thu Feb 7 EVO Minecraft MOOC moderators Teacher Vance and Dakotah Redstone follow Abufletcher to newly-discovered temple

Michiyo was not able to make it back from work in time, so Dakotah Redstone and Teacher Vance followed Abufletcher to a temple he found buried in a village just north of the one we had all visited last week on our adventure trek. We looked it over but didn’t crack it. We hoped to find others in our community who would want to explore it with us. We posted to our Google+ Community that they could find it on the map just north up the river from our recent trek destination and inside the big grey wall Dak erected around it while we chatting in Discord. I attached this picture:

So when Michiyo appeared next day, apparently Abufletcher, Michiyo’s teacher in Japan, encouraged her to visit the new temple, which is where I met the group when I arrived, having just emerged from a cab at my apartment which had brought me from the bus station in Penang where I had just left a bus that had left Kuala Lumpur 6 hours earlier. I  joined Michiyo, Abu Fletcher, Dak, Jane, and Mattie in Minecraft just as they were all about to head down the polished stone road that Dak had created leading over to the Temple Under Town that Abu Fletcher had found the previous day, where we would see if we could unlock its secrets in a systematic manner.

The event was on the 2019 EVO Minecraft MOOC Live Events schedule, which is linked from the sidebar at the #evomc19 landing page at http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/. That link should be working far into the foreseeable future.

The event was organized on the EVOMC Google+ Community, which we’ll hate to loose after March 2019. The event evolved in these two posts, the first from Michiyo,
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+VanceStevens/posts/Hp1FEvSXqbf where I had replied the day before, “+Michiyo Toshima joined us today, but not for house building. We went on a temple tour and excavated around the Temple Under Town.”

Don Carroll then made a longer post here
which I reconstruct here since these links to Google+ will no longer work after March.

Don Carroll (Abufletcher)

A most unusual temple!!!  Come and help us explore (but not pillage) both the temple and the village on top of it!  Dak is busy building a protective wall around the village (immigrants welcome).

OliveTree Lighthouse

Great find 🙂  Sorry I couldn’t join. I was fighting with command blocks and was reading and watching things online trying to get them to work as I wanted.

Vance Stevens

The /warp is templeundervillage. I had to go there to test the /warp, and I found that someone, probably one of the villagers, agitated at the recent interest shown by bothersome explorers from another dimension, placed an iron door over the entrance to the most sacred part of the temple. I guess they make iron doors in the blacksmith shop adjacent to the temple precincts. To open the door, you have to know how to operate the ‘device’.  Once inside, the way is, hmmm not exactly clear, but the direction down is (whatever you do, don’t jump down there!)

In another post I invited participants to come help us “loot” this temple but I withdraw that poorly worded invitation and leave the disposal of this one to my esteemed colleague and co-moderator, Abu Fletcher.

If interested in looting a temple I can invite you to another one, if it hasn’t been looted already (I wouldn’t know for sure until I went there and tried to loot it). Sign up for the expedition in the reply area below.

Don Carroll

I’m more interested in how the temple and several village structures seem to have become intertwined.  I’d like to see if we can untangle the parts before damaging anything with a “smash and grab” approach.  Honestly, after looting a few temples, it all gets to be pretty routine.  Often I don’t even bother.

I’ll be in-game at about 14:00 UTC.

Vance Stevens

+Don Carroll Yes, exactly, by “looting” a temple I mean to approach what lays beneath the blue and red tiles in a calm and systematic manner, avoid setting off the TNT, which we know is down there. By working systematically and on arriving safely in the space below, I suggest that we open the lids on the chests that will also be there and peek inside.

I think this is one of those constructive activities that show Minecraft in its most collaborative mode, and reveal to participants how critical language is in the process (for example when Abu Fletcher told me once, in text, DON’T STEP THERE. Step is probably a useful word in English, as is its appearance in a negative imperative.) But more importantly, the instructions to one another as we work toward a common goal are the point of the exercise.

Hope to see you at 1400 UTC if the bus I’m on reaches Penang in time.

If anyone would like to join us in the exploration of this temple and / or others, please click REPLY below.

Don Carroll

Here’s an aerial view of the temple/village (from the dynamic map).

Actually, Vance I would suggest that we entirely leave the “loot” alone.  It’s really not interesting.  Instead, I’d like to see us work creatively and in unison to “map out” how the temple and village structures are intertwined.  For example, can we find minimally invasive ways to get into the main temple structure WITHOUT damaging ANY of the exteriors of any of the village structures?

In fact, anyone who just wants the loot is welcome to get it through a diagonal tunnel (as I have done before on many temples).

Or maybe I should just go in and grab the loot myself now so we can focus on the archeologically interesting aspects of the site. : )

Vance Stevens

+Don Carroll I liked +Dakotah Redstone’s spiral approach, as evident in the video.

The event took place on the EVO Minecraft MOOC 1.12.2 server with voice in Discord


Earlier events

Tue Feb 5 Learning2gether episode 400 – EVO Minecraft MOOC visits East Coast Miners for VSTE Minecraft Monday


While EVO Minecraft MOOC is in session through Mid February, earlier events are being archived here:


Learning2gether episode 400 – EVO Minecraft MOOC visits East Coast Miners for VSTE Minecraft Monday

Learning2gether Episode 400


On Tuesday, February 5 in Europe and points east of there, but still February 4 in the USA, Kim Harrison a.k.a. K4sons invited EVO (Electronic Village Online) Minecraft MOOC  participants to visit VSTE’s Minecraft Monday, a regular monthly event hosted by the Virginia Society for Technology in Education. Dakotah_Redstone and Beth O’Connell helped plan it with her. The VSTE events are held on the first Monday of each month from 8 to 9 PM EST (New York time).

Today they were visiting East Coast Miners, a building guild for under-16s patterned on the work of Jo Kay’s Jokaydia, http://www.jokaydia.com/. East Coast Miners provided a tour of what that the teachers are doing with kids after hours.

After settling into the environment, we started recording at a turtle farm where one of the kids was raising turtles. The new release of Minecraft 1.13.2 contains an underwater environment that spawns corals and a variety of sea creatures, so after swimming with the turtles, we moved to a coral reef where we swam with dolphins and other creatures, and visited an underwater shipwreck. There DarkKnight tossed some treasure maps into the water and you can see on the video where your map shows your location and allows you to use your F3 coordinates to navigate to X-marks-the-spot, where there was buried treasure. We all went there and eventually uncovered a treasure chest full of goodies.

We then lapsed into a reflection of how this might work for learners of a variety of topics, including learning languages. Jane in Taipei related how her son Mattie was interacting with the East Coast Miners and developing his English and problem solving skills.

Here is Jane’s reflection

Thank you, +Kim Harrison for inviting us on the East Coast Miners server. Treasure hunting was a lot of fun! The coral reef and tropical fish are so beautiful! I think that kids can learn far more by collaborating and communicating with players in Minecraft than they can by taking online synchronous language lessons (Online language tutoring/learning has been a trend lately). I see a lot of creativity, problem-solving, and peer-teaching with patience in Minecraft. I was taught by Cats, a teenage east coast miner, how to fly. She gave me lots of tips and feedback to my repeated failing attempts, and with her help, I re-learned how to fly in survival mode in Minecraft!

===Info on East Coast Miners from the website: http://www.eastcoastminers.org/====
The East Coast Miners Minecraft Community is operated by two educators and one geek (engineer) in the hopes to enrich STEAM skills science, technology, engineering, art and math as well as communication and collaboration skills.


How to join the VSTE server?

You need the latest release 1.13.2
connect to server.eastcoastminers.org

VSTE is the Virginia Society for Technology in Education, https://vste.org/about-vste/. VSTE Minecraft Mondays occur the first Monday of every month and lead into the annual VEPLN summer of survival (for last year’s event see https://vste.org/vepln-summer-of-survival/ and https://sites.google.com/view/vstesofs17/. There is also a Google+ Community until early April,
https://plus.google.com/communities/106561495889390694090 )

We’ll all be sad to see this and so many other fruitful communities disappear from Google+, a real blow to educational collaboration when that happens.


Earlier events


Sun Jan 27 Rose Bard, Dakota Redstone, and Jane Chien host a Building Challenge on the EVO Minecraft 1.12.2 server



Fri Feb 1 Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear lead sandbox adventure trekking on EVO Minecraft 1.12.2 server

Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear led an adventure trek to some desert temples in the 21k area.

The challenge

Anyone can join us. If you need gear we’ll equip you before we set out.

We meet in the 24k area and trek north to a river. We’ll have to trailblaze to the right river system.

From there we take boats to a village full of husks and villagers who will trade emeralds for rotten flesh and coal.

The temples are near there.

On this first meeting we embarked on the journey to see what would happen. In a little over an hour we had reached the temples.

Here are two YouTube recordings

Vance’s version, sound problems

Dak’s version below, with Discord chatter

If you wanted to join us, here’s how

Rose Bard, Dakota Redstone, and Jane Chien host Building Challenge on EVO Minecraft 1.12.2 server

Learning2gether Episode 399

This Building Challenge took place on the EVO Minecraft MOOC 1.12.2 server on Sunday, January 27, 2019, at 1400 UTC. It was hosted by Rose Bard, Dakota Redstone, and Jane Chien, with Don Carroll aka Abu Fletcher taking charge as natural master of ceremonies. The event was recorded by Vance Stevens as Learning2gether.net episode 399 (erroneously announced in the recording as being episode 499 — we’ll get there; wait for it). EVO Minecraft MOOC resides at https//missions4evomc. pbworks.com

Here is a document entitled Building Challenge for Language Learners professionally prepared by Rose, Dakota, and Jane:

Teacher Vance made this recording

The event was announced here:

This says that +Rose Bard, +Dakotah Redstone, and Jane Chien are hosting a building challenge. This is an activity designed for beginning English language learners. Please join us for a test run and we welcome your input afterwards.

Place: EVOMC19 Server, we’ll meet at /warp 14k

Here’s how to join our events

  1. Purchase your login to Minecraft from Mojang http://minecraft.net
    With your login credentials, all logins plus software downloads including server software and client software for multiple devices are free;
    you pay around $30 for your unique login credential
  2. Register with EVO Minecraft MOOC by filling in the Google form, https://tinyurl.com/evomc19-register
    Here you tell us your Minecraft user name so we can whitelist you on our server
  3. Once we’ve whitelisted you, you can create a profile in Minecraft for build 1.12.2 and drop by our EVOMC19 server at this address mc.evomc.net
    For detailed instructions, see
  4. Once you’re in Minecraft we can text chat
    If you want to speak to us in voice, activate Discord by following these instructions
  5. Use the Minecraft text chat window to warp to 14k. At the beginning of the line type, starting with the slash /
    /warp 14k

Vance didn’t stream the event. I was distracted getting Discord to work.


Earlier events


Mon Jan 21 1400 UTC Learning2gether with EVO MInecraft MOOC


This posting includes the Sat Jan 19 1300 UTC

1.13.2 server extreme survival adventure


Tue Jan 22 1330-1500 UTC Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear hold a Guided Practice Sandbox on the EVO Minecraft MOOC 1.12.2 server

Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear plan to hold a Guided practice on the EVO Minecraft MOOC 1.12.2 server today Jan 22 from around 13:30 (we hope to get back home in time for it) until 15:00 max (bedtime)

This is for anyone with questions or who wants some guided practice or who just feels like playing and happens to be there. We’ll be in Minecraft 1.12.2 and in Discord.

What did we do?

EVO moderators met in Discord and talked about how to help participants who were weak in English. In the background we worked on our projects individually. Teacher Vance traveled to the 20k area and found a desert temple there. I hope to return there with an expedition to excavate it.


Wed Jan 23 1300-1500 UTC EVO Minecraft MOOC helps Michiyo build a home

No event was declared for today, but Teacher Vance went into Discord at around 1300 UTC to see who was there. Rose was there working on a project she was planning with Jane. I went to the server and found Michiyo there. I tracked her down wandering around the boat buildings near the Birch House. I asked her what she wanted to do. She said she wanted to build a house, so we wandered up the hill opposite the causeway leading out to the floating structures. I found a flat area, a clearing in the woods, and as the sun was getting low on the horizon, I suggested we build there.

We set to it. There was not a lot of conversation because Michiyo wasn’t in Discord and there was little time for text. I decided to model the process. I laid down dirt walls and when it got dark I planted some torches. When I ran out of dirt I added cobblestone for the ceiling. Michiyo followed my actions and helped building.

Soon Dak arrived, followed by Jane. By then I had pulled some glass from my inventory and made windows, and donated my bed (I can always make another). Dak added a door and attractive flooring. When Jane arrived I left them to complete the job because I had a real life dinner cooking in another room. When I returned next day, I found the place appearing much as I had last seen it.

There have been discussions among moderators as to the “correct” approach to getting newcomers into the game. Ideally it would be good to have workshops IF we could get people to attend them. Workshops can lead people efficiently into building, but self-guided tutorials are helpful for just-in-time learning. My approach is to just “be” on the server when I can and help people when they have a question. So when Michiyo said she wanted to learn to build, I was there to model it for her. Now that she knows what she wants to do, and as she often drops by the server, we learn more about how we can guide her, but in the MOOC way, in response to learning what SHE wants to know.

Both approaches have their merits. It’s good if a group of moderators can work on both approaches in aggregate.

There has also been much discussion about how we can help participants who are weak in English improve their language skills, or at least achieve a point of flow where they feel comfortable to where they want to learn enough language of their own accord to interact with us in English, and we have in fact written a lot ourselves on the language benefits we believe accrue from playing Minecraft, but that is for another post, perhaps for discussion of some sort as suggested by Don in this post on the Google+ Community.

But meanwhile, here is Michiyo’s house:

Sat Jan 26 0400-0600 UTC Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear host Sandbox Adventure on EVO Minecraft 1.12.2 server


We have created a Doodle Poll for Saturday Jan 26 for the times in the morning we can be available.

You can find the poll here, hopefully times given in your time zone (starting at 2 am UTC, 8 pm in Chicago): https://doodle.com/poll/ae98udezap5ce5ib.


If you’d like to join us, indicate your availability in the poll,

we’ll see it, and we’ll schedule a time we will definitely be in Minecraft when we know that others can be there.

We can either meet with no plan, or if you would like an adventure, we can explore the jungle mansion near the spawn point

Or go looking for desert temples. Teacher Vance knows where two are, at least one of which (the one pictured above) is likely unexplored (hence not yet looted).

Pictures from the Sandbox Adventure Sat Jan 26

In the end, EVOMC19 participants were online only briefly, so Dak and I chatted in Discord while Teacher Vance roamed around the server, making discoveries which would help me lead adventures later and creating paths.

In search of the Woodland Mansion I happened on mountains where alpacas live. There were several herds of brown and white ones.

I found a tower just west of my homestead

Southwest of that I came across a village. The alpacas were in the mountains in between.

 I created a path from the village heading back toward the tower but I didn’t complete it because Dakota appeared and helped me find the mansion

I spent my last two hours in world setting a torch trail from the mansion back to Dak’s mushroom tower. The last part nearest the tower was over treetops (no torches)

Dak helped me find my way through the tunnel and into the pools to the north that exited again to the north on views overlooking my house and his builds

My way was torch-lit already up the mountain to my Scraggly Tower and down to my mountain eyrie, where I found a bed and a good night’s rest






Learning2gether with EVO Minecraft MOOC – Wilderness adventure trek to Black_Kitten’s village

Learning2gether Episode 398

The 2019 rendition of EVO Minecraft MOOC, http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/, entered its second week on Sunday, January 20. On that day I had announced my availability for around 1400 UTC in one of our Guided sandbox practice sessions  where I promise that Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear will be online to meet participants in-world and help in whatever way we can to get them up and functioning on our EVO Minecraft MOOC 1.12.2 server.

In my guise as Teacher Vance, I went online at the appointed time and found “Black_Kitten” there. The odd thing was, she was in the game in text chat, but I couldn’t find her on the map, here. She was confused herself about where she was. She had built a house somewhere on our server but had wandered away from it and now couldn’t get back to it.  So I offered to teleport to where she was, and I found her in a village with an extensive library and librarians who will trade emeralds for paper. But having joined her, I couldn’t even find myself on the map now, so we were both lost.

She said she could find her house if she could start back at the spawn point on our server, so we both warped there, to the Birch House, and she showed me how to get to her house from there. It was an interesting way: she entered a warp closet in the Birch House and we were both teleported to an area that Dakotah Redstone had recently located as a “wilderness” area, and once I’d followed her there I knew exactly what I was going to do for my streamed event which I had set the next day, and which I immediately announced as follows:

Mon Jan 21 1400 UTC – Learning2gether with EVO MInecraft MOOC – Wilderness adventure trek to Black_Kitten’s village to help develop the seaport there

I managed to stream it successfully and here is the recording (https://youtu.be/lIP_CiRfSgw):

Where? My instructions were to meet at Birch House on the EVO Minecraft MOOC 1.12.2 server. Birch House is the 2019 spawn point, or from anywhere on the server, you can use /warp 14k to get there.

Or join the stream: We wanted people to join us on the server, but I told people to look for what’s streaming on Vance’s YouTube channel:

i said we would use Dak’s Wilderness Warp in the BirchHouse to arrive in The Wilderness, an untamed and as yet unmapped place where the air is clear and the land pristine. When we arrive we’ll head west, the direction shown in this image.

But you can see in the video that when I got there, I told the group to go east, my bad – fortunately others knew the way so we eventually arrived at “Black Kitten’s Village,” which I also found out had another name, Riverbend.

Black Kitten had told me the day before that she wanted help finding clay to make flower pots and in setting up a kind of dock to act as an exchange point for travelers who might find her home. I followed up on that by adding a few planks of wood to the extended pier, but soon went off to try and find what others were doing.

Apart from that, the village, and the area, was interesting to explore.  Don Carroll (Abu Fletcher), Dakotah Redstone, Jane Chien, OliveTree Lighthouse, Mircea Patrascu, and Mattie had all turned out for it. The group soon focused on helping  Abu Fletcher build a swank California style house near the village. I built a tunnel from there up to a bridge that I discovered Dak had built (in case you were wondering what I was doing for much of my time in the video), and in the end we visited where OliveTree and Dak are curing a zombie on a mountain top near the 24k warp point, and learned some details about that process.


Earlier events

Sat Jan 12 1400 UTC Electronic Village Online 2019 Kickoff event



EVO Minecraft MOOC also left a record of its first week of activity

Mon Jan 14 noon UTC – Guided sandbox practice – EVO Minecraft MOOC server with Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear

Vance and Bobbi team up to meet and greet visitors to the 2019 EVO Minecraft MOOC server each day this week at noon UTC

This is 4 am in California (say what??), 5 am in Colorado (maybe for lumberjacks), 6 am in Chicago (gotta be up for work anyway) but 7 am eastern time USA and western South America up through 11:00 in Brasil (y’all can manage that can’t you?)

The rest is easy: noon in London, 14:00 in Cape Town, 16:00 in Dubai and Moscow, 17:30 in New Delhi, 19:00 in Bangkok, 20:00 in S’pore and Shanghai, 21:00 in Seoul and Tokyo, and 23:00 in Sydney

What happened during the event

From: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106487653908364511859/posts/jQEHm3eCR5u


Mon Jan 14 1300 UTC – Dakota Redstone and Maha Abelmoneim help you Hug a Creeper on the EVOMC 1.13 Aquatic server

“Share the Love” will be held on Monday, 14 January 2019, 13:00 UTC
This event will take place using Minecraft version 1.13, hosted on the “Aquatic” server

How to join us? ADAPT these instructions:

How to adapt? Use these details where you enter the IP address of the server: and enter using a 1.13.2 profile

RECORDING from  the Share the Love – Hug a Creeper event at 1300 UTC Mon Jan 14

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/5SphD4qxg40

More information: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JaneChienTaipei/posts/YDXVuZwcbjo

About “Share the Love” – a.k.a. Hug a Creeper – lessons in seeing things differently, or “Why dying’s not so bad after all”. We’ll talk about the meaning behind the event during or after we finish it, according to the preferences of the participants.

NOTE: this event will take place using Minecraft version 1.13, hosted on the “Aquatic” server… If you would be interested in attending, please let us know if you need some assistance in getting more familiar/comfortable prior to the event.


Monday Jan 14 at 1800 UTC – The Treasures of The Halls of Knowledge On EVO Minecraft 1.12 Server

Follow the white path, read the signs, be guided by tiles of gold, listen to the messages, talk to helpful villagers and travelers, find your way to the halls of knowledge and claim your treasure of gold. Remember to take pictures and at the end take a selfie to show everyone your achievement.

This activity has two  main objectives:

  1. Guide participants who are new to gaming in general and Minecraft in particular through learning the basic skills of how to move and interact with different in-game tools and items. 
  2. Give participants an opportunity to  experience an example of some of the Minecraft items and functions/mechanics that can be used in learning activities.

Tue Jan 15 noon UTC – Guided sandbox practice – EVO Minecraft MOOC server with Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear

What happened during the event

Here, Teacher Vance shows Michiyo how to make a bed (she asked me how it was done)

The screenshot below shows my desktop showing my map view plus my Minecraft window where I had a crafting table open. I passed Michiyo a link to the screenshot in MC text chat so she could see how it was done. I had left her some wool in one of the boxes, and she already had the planks, so she made a bed which she carried with her on our next adventure

Here is the map which anyone can see through this link (zoomed in about 5 levels)


Tue Jan 15 1300-2100 UTC Dak in Minecraft – Expedition to explore the Woodland Mansion

What happened during the event

We started out on a path not far from the 2018 Longhouse where Michiyo found a horse and mounted it while we waited for Dakota Redstone to arrive and start the next adventure

It was getting dark (and Bobbi had to call her mom :-), so Vance and Michiyo warped to the Woodland Mansion, but it turned out to have been already tamed. I (Teacher Vance) saw from the map that we were not far from southeast of the spawn point for this year so we headed on a northwest trek, digging an L shaped cave to stay safe one night, then putting our beds on a well-lit beach the next (I always carry torches). I reached the Birch Mansion at the spawn point the following day but Michiyo, who had been trekking wonderfully for the past half hour, even following in swims downstream, somehow drowned just short of the goal. It was time to return to real life anyway 🙂 so I quickly completed the trip alone.


Wed Jan 16 noon UTC – Guided sandbox practice – EVO Minecraft MOOC server with Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear

What happened?

Michiyo was on the server but she had to go and tend to her studies. Mattie Tsai, Jane Chien’s son, was there and I noticed he was in the vicinity of a house he must have built in a swamp not far from the spawn point, so I headed out overland to reach the spot. It’s about a day’s trek from the spawn point if you know where you are going, but I didn’t so it took me longer, two nights. The second night I camped out on a beach on my bed and survived the night. Next morning I found myself surrounded by slime. Olivetree in Discord told me they were hostile, but I could slay them for slime balls, so I did that.

Moments later I found Mattie, mired in the swamp, and under attack by zombies which I slew snicker snack with my vorpal blade.

Maneuvering around Mattie I found that he was changing color from gray

To red, to grey / red, and back and forth again.  I sent a screen shot to Olivetree and Dak in Discord, for their diagnosis.

Dakota in Discord explained that Mattie had unfortunately, erm, uh, passed away. His mom will be sorry to know that.

From there I retraced my steps back to my house near the spawn point and laid down a track as I went, in shoveled earth and in torches.

Next day I will try to improve the path. I may lay a similar one from the spawn point to the Woodland Mansion, though bereft of it’s original mobs, it seems to be of little interest to hard-core community members.


Thu Jan 17 noon UTC – Guided sandbox practice – EVO Minecraft MOOC server with Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear

What happened?

Today we all gathered at the longhouse (/warp longhouse). Several moderators were there as well as participant Michiyo, one of Abu Fletcher’s students. Mattie was around as well but somehow got stuck in the APLACKA

We decided to follow the river over to Jo Kay’s old place. We survived the night there. In the morning we went up the mountain looking for Rose Bard’s old place but  couldn’t recall how to get there. But I spotted a settlement of some kind to the northwest.

I was using the map and trying to keep the group together for most of the day. But people dropped back one by one. As you can see in the map view below, it’s after midnight already and I can see the lights of the village. I’m heading for it. It was getting late in real life too. I just wanted to reach it before I had to leave the server, or die in the attempt. I survived by spending the night in a tower.


Fri Jan 18 noon UTC – Guided sandbox practice – EVO Minecraft MOOC server with Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear

What we did

Michiyo appeared at the appointed time, and I joined her at the spawn point. We decided to go in search of the House of Knowledge which entails talking to avatars outside the birch house and then following the speckled white path to the riverside where boats are waiting. I got in a boat and invited her to do the same. I saw her in the river and she kept going down it in a fast-paced swim, so I followed. I finally caught up with her near the mouth of the river at the edges of terra incognito. Dusk was near, so we planted torches, laid out some beds, and made it light again, since it was only us on the server.

I asked if she wanted to go back or onward, she said onward, so we explored the coastline to a point where we could see Dak’s mushroom structure on the mountain top in the distance to the west.  It was getting dark so we set up beds in torchlight where we were and survived safely until it got light suddenly.

I said I would remain one more Minecraft day and suggested we head back toward the mushroom structure. We traveled through a forest and came to the back of the mountain where we climbed up toward the mushroom on the other side and walked on the top of it, where passing clouds sometimes obscured our view on the green valley below. It was getting dark so I started heading toward my home base via my mountain tunnel to the north.

I lost Michiyo suddenly and Dak told me in DIscord that she had found his secret tunnel and would emerge the other side, so I went down the mountain to try and intercept her. I could see on our map that we were right on top of one another, though she was inside the mountain. I started up the mountain to my tower on the top and since it was dark I laid torches for her to follow.

She found them and was soon nearby. We were nearing the top of the mountain and the tower when skeletons attacked. I managed to fight them off and head back uphill, passing Michiyo, but she was heading downhill, away from me and my shelter. It was time for me to leave in real life and I saw she had been slain by a zombie, so I went on up the mountain and followed my trail of light down the other side to my mountain eyrie. I took a screen shot at that point:


Sat Jan 19 noon UTC – Guided sandbox practice – EVO Minecraft MOOC server with Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear

Teacher Vance and Olivetree Grove show Maestra Mirelle around the builds near the spawn point – images and YouTube

Maestra Mirelle was moving about quite well, following instructions in Discord and successfully swimming the river to enter the cave full of minerals at the Temple of Lost Knowledge.

To facilitate travel, I built a land bridge from the Temple of Lost Knowledge to the landform leading to my castle. I must remember to go back and remove it lest mobs use it for nefarious purposes.

I recorded this exploration of the Temple of Lost Places while waiting for Mirelle to appear

My posts to YouTube are tweeted automatically


Sat Jan 19 1300 UTC 1.13.2 server extreme survival adventure


Abu Fletcher’s post

Wow! That was something else. We managed to “survive” for 5 days. However, we took some casualties and we sure didn’t have Seal Team coordination. : )

It was too hectic for me to take any photos and while we communicated a LOT we were also talking over each other and often engaged in overlapping conversations much of the time (which is a possible feature of group interaction anytime there are more than three participants).

One failing (if we can consider it a failing) is that we never had any clear objective other than just surviving. I suppose that’s OK.

On the plus side, as a group, we divided tasks, shared resources, worked together, all of which required substantial language use. This would have been too overwhelming for my Japanese EFL learners, but would have worked for more intermediate learning, I think.

Dakotah’s “above the fray” view

(For best results, play videos on YouTube in HD or highest resolution possible)


Teacher Vance’s view from the trenches up to where he drowned in one of them

Jane reacted on Twitter





Learning2gether with the 2019 annual Electronic Village Online Kickoff event

Learning2gether Episode 397

On Saturday, January 12, at 1400 UTC, coordinators, moderators, and some participants in the 2019 round of Electronic Village Online sessions met online for their annual Kickoff event. The event was held in Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/417142783

Zoom produced a recording of the event, now available on YouTube

The YouTube URL is https://youtu.be/pe2LW5U8Zzs

For the benefit of participants from Uzbekistan and other countries where YouTube is blocked, the recording was placed on Vimeo (courtesy of Nellie Deutsch)

The PPT (actually a Google Slides presentation) for the Kickoff session was collaborated on by all the EVO coordinators. By kickoff time, it was ready to be shown to the world at large:

During the event all moderators present spoke about their individual sessions. Here are the  sessions on offer this year, followed by links to their descriptions:


Preparation for Best of EVO at the upcoming TESOL 2019 conference in Atlanta

Thursday, March 14 2019: 10:30-12:20 pm in Atlanta
Friday, March 15, 2019: 1:45 – 3:00 pm in Atlanta

The event ended with an invitation to all moderators of 2019 EVO sessions to join us either face-to-face in Atlanta in March for the 2019 TESOL conference or from a distance at either of the two events shown in slide 21 of the presentation embedded above.


EVO moderators are welcome to present (in person or online) but anyone will be able to watch the presentation when it is streamed live from Atlanta.

How to join us is explained on the slides


Earlier events

Learning2gether was in haitus over the end-of-year break, as were many of the other events we follow. In November “we” (meaning Vance) were in Chile for the WorldCALL conference, and in December I tried to catch up with the #el30 MOOC that Stephen Downes had been running.

Fri Nov 16 – Vance Stevens presents ‘Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC’ at WorldCALL 2018



Mon Dec 17 – Learning2gether with Stephen Downes about eLearning 3.0



Learning2gether with Stephen Downes about eLearning 3.0


Stephen Downes has been teaching a course on eLearning 3.0 since last October, find it at https://el30.mooc.ca/. I have been following the course obliquely up to now but it’s coincided with a long trip I had to make, traveling from Penang where my wife and I ended up in August, to Abu Dhabi in October to dispense with loose ends stemming from winding up our 20 years there, and then go to Doha to visit sons and grandchildren. From Doha, in November, we traveled on to Grand Rapids to visit Bobbi’s mom who was moved into assisted living there. In December we dropped down to Katy, Texas to deal with the house that Bobbi’s mom left. Meanwhile, for two weeks in November, I dropped down to Chile to put in an appearance at WorldCALL 2018, https://learning2gether.net/2018/11/16/vance-stevens-presents-gamifying-teacher-professional-development-through-minecraft-mooc-at-worldcall-2018/

I couldn’t find time to work on Stephen’s course during that time, apart from following its progress in a general sense. But the great thing about Stephen is that he is so open and transparent. He lives it; he models it. He is the epitome of sharing knowledge. He archives what he shares in a way that deliberately teaches it to others. So now that I’m back “home” in Malaysia, it’s not hard to pick up the breadcrumb trail to see where the course has got to before it ends with its final event on December 19.

Since Stephen has laid down a fine trail of breadcrumbs, the course is easy to follow asynchronously. Stephen’s course is shared under this Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/. This stipulates that anyone can share these materials as long as we attribute their creator, and do so non commercially. The only caveats are that any alterations made must be noted, and also, the materials must be shared alike. All the foregoing are the case with postings in this blog.

Here are a few things I had figured out before I left for my trip in October.

Stephen Downes describes how he built this course in gRSShopper, here

This is worth looking at because in part 5 Stephen explains where you can find the video archive for the course: https://el30.mooc.ca/course_videos.htm. (I came on that before I discovered that this link is actually the Video link in the right hand sidebar)

The syllabus for the course is probably best retrieved from its newsletter postings, which are indexed here: https://el30.mooc.ca/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?page=course_newsletter.htm

There you can see that the course was announced in a post on October 10 and slated to start on October 15. The first reading posted for the course (and listening, the post includes videos) was on Why Data Culture Matters, an article (simplistically speaking) on the pros and cons of sharing data and results of its analysis.

The next newsletter appeared a week later, on Oct 16

Here Stephen declares this to be “‘Week 0’ and the topic is E-Learning 2 and 2.” He says the course will start officially on October 18. He says, “I hope to be prepared by then (but probably won’t be).” He adds that “I will be incorporating tasks into the course. Don’t worry about falling behind – I’m already behind in incorporating them.” However, he does say that he will be interviewing George Siemens shortly, gives the event page as https://el30.mooc.ca/event/79, and there, sure enough, we can find the video recording.

Stephen has made it pretty clear that he won’t mind if I share it here:

In that recording Stephen says that the course will begin NEXT day with the talk he’s giving on E-Learning 3.0 at the Online Learning Summit. He said in the newsletter that he would not be able to stream the event, that he’d post a recording afterwards, but he says while waiting for George that he will attempt to stream it anyway. All this is classic Stephen, rough edges surrounding a solid gold core.

In their video George Siemens notes that all the energy that accompanied the early days of MOOCs since their first one in 2008 on Connectivism and Connective Knowledge has been followed by 5 years of “wilderness” which is beginning to get interesting again with the recent interest in artificial intelligence, and its implications for human intelligence, and “what it’s left for humans to do.” This gets to the question of what IS uniquely human? George points out that humans have a “reset problem” whereas machines get better with more data and don’t tire. What about creativity? he wonders aloud, foreshadowing one of the topics in Stephen’s course-to-come. It may not be a domain unique to humans anymore. “Beingness” may be “our final domain of human control.” Stephen interjects that if we can learn something, probably a machine can too. But we have “purpose” and “goodness”.  George agrees that humans are “being” entities, we are inherently learning entities; “we cannot unlearn.” Computers on the other hand can outlearn us.

Speaking of which, this slide from his presentation on eLearning, Oct 18 in Toronto, gives the nine essential precepts of the course-to-come. The slide set accompanies the video at https://youtu.be/iCcsLZOD9fk:


These precepts are all elaborated on in brief annotations in the course outline, and more fully developed in the focus of each week, given in the sidebar at: https://el30.mooc.ca/course_outline.htm

As I poke about at this course I also see that this diagram appeared in Stephen’s introduction to the course here: https://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2018/09/approaching-e-learning-30.html. I like Stephen’s approach to who should take this course, as shown here:


So, back to the video, what should we be teaching in our universities when a student has such a disadvantage against machines? This segues into a conversation on connectivism and how much more relevant it has become given how the world has evolved today. Stephen sums it thusly: technology is helping us extend ourselves out into the world. George asks if we should move to a relational / random / exploratory kind of model in our educational systems. Stephen adds that the capacity to choose might be a key element in future learning, our focus of support. George concurs on the developmental aspects – we need a model of the intersection of AI and human intelligence; how they can work together to guide our educational institutions and return us to reflective, contemplative practices.

At this point in the video, George shifts the conversation focus onto Stephen’s projects. Stephen explains how the eLearning 3.0 course will focus his recent work on PLNs, connectivism, and blockchain. In the course he will be recasting old problems such as the problem of fake news, and how to reach a “knowable, trustworthy consensus” where the “bad actors don’t wreck the entire system”. He calls this “the joker problem” wherein “sometimes you just want to see the city burn”.  He says that “to get from here to there, wherever there is, this problem has to be solved.” George talks animatedly on how recent events in Turkey, Koshoggi’s murder, were spun by the major players in such a way as to warp reasoned discourse. Two more topics of the upcoming course emerge: the issue isn’t just consensus, but also one of focus. Spinners throw out enough distraction to dispel (thus control) the narrative. That’s the joker effect. George articulates a quote whose source is not quite on the tip of his tongue: “Information abundance consumes attention.”

At the end of the hour, Stephen reveals that he forgot to check the chat. He apologizes but notes that one participant thinks that one strength of his courses are they are so messy. He warns his followers to get ready for more mess, to which George intones, “Making sense of the mess IS the learning, it’s not a distraction from the learning.” Indeed! And this slide wraps up what this all means for education:


Stephen streamed an introduction to his course, the mechanics of it, on Oct 11: https://youtu.be/hoR4VuJOa9g. He reiterates the concepts, how we got from eLearning 1 and 2 to eLearning 3 here https://el30.mooc.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?module=4. But he considers his official launch video to be this one from his Online eLearning Summit presentation Oct 18, e-Learning 3.0 and an outline of the core concepts. He archives this in an event called E-Learning 3.0 – The impact of the Next Wave of Emerging Learning Technologies, here: https://el30.mooc.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?event=77

In the video he says we are in Week minus 1 of the course, but his newsletter from just after this is entitled Week 0 wrapup, https://el30.mooc.ca/archive/18/10_21_course_newsletter.htm

So, as we can see, I’ve only just started finding out what the course is about. However I want to bring into this post, into one place, what I have been following as the course was in progress. I’m bringing these here from where I’ve been making notes in my Learning2gether wiki and in my last posting here at Learning2gether.net. I’m doing this because I want my notes all in one place, for my future reference, and for yours if you are learning about Stephen’s course through me.

2018-12-20_0949In this tweet, I meant for the next 12 months, not just the rest of the calendar year 2018, which is almost over 🙂

Messy notes from this messy course, taken down as they appeared when Stephen’s newsletters hit my inbox, collated below seemingly at random …

In early November I noted from one of Stephen’s newsletter these
Tasks for the week beginning Oct 30;
the following wording is Stephen’s from https://el30.mooc.ca/archive/18/11_01_course_newsletter.htm

We have two tasks to choose from for this week:

  1. Subscribe to the course feeds – using the feed reader of your choice (here’s a selection) use the course OPML file (here it is) to subscribe to the course feeds. To get a badge you’ll need to show you’ve done this, maybe by writing a blog post).
    Vance’s note: THIS is the feed you need to follow, https://el30.mooc.ca/course_newsletter.xml
  2. Create a task – using a blog or some other sort of online application, create a task for participants in this course. You can do this any time through to the end of the course, so be sure to specify which course module it applies to (if you are not providing a feed to be harvested, you can email the url to me (I’ll be setting up a ‘task submission form’ soon)

And from
https://el30.mooc.ca/archive/18/11_08_course_newsletter.htm; the
Nov 07, 2018 Conversation with Ben Werdmuller was postponed to Thu Nov 8 –

from https://el30.mooc.ca/course_videos.htm
Conversation with Ben Werdmuller Nov 08, 2018 video Now working with Unlock, Ben Werdmuller co-founded Elgg and Known, worked on Medium and Latakoo, and invested in innovative media startups to support a stronger democracy at Matter. We talked about blockchain, decentralized applications, indieweb, and how people can have their own online presence. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QM8mAX3cV0

from Stephen’s email, but also from Week 3 Graph,

A Gentle Introduction To Graph Theory
Vaidehi JoshiBaseCS, 2018/11/05

This is a gentle introduction to graph theory. Graphs are data structires in which entities – called ‘nodes’ – are connected to other entitis via some sort of a link – called an ‘edge’. In graph theory there are no limits on what can be connected, nor how they can be connected. Defining graphs in specific ways, however, creates the structures that underlie most of the modern web.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

The Neural Network Zoo
Fjodor van Veen, 2018/11/05

Neural Networks are types of graphs. In the past I have stated that in order to be a network, a change of state in one entity in a graph must be capable of producing a change of state in another entity. Neural networks are therefore dynamic and interactive graphs. This resource describes a bunch of different neural networks. Different neural networks have different capabilities, and today are playing an increasingly important role in artificial intelligence.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Types of Machine Learning Algorithms in One Picture
Vishakha JhaTechLeer, 2018/11/05

The diagram in this resource descibes some different types of neural networks. Take a look at the specific tasks they perform – neural networks are good at things like classification and recgnition, as well as regression (that is, finding a trend or regulrity in data). I got this image from this page, which has more resourcs on neural networks.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Graph Data Structure And Algorithms
GeeksforGeeks, 2018/11/05

Graphs are important types of data structures. Instead of thinking of things in rows and columns (the way we would in a spreadsheet or a database) we think of things as nodes and edges. This page has a very brief description of a graph data structure and then a long list of things that can be done with graphs – cycling, sortinfg, spanning, searching. This page is meant to explore, not to learn – follow the links, try running some of the code (click on the r’run in IDE button’).

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

What college students should learn about Git
Christopher JefferyMedium, 2018/11/05

You may have heard of GitHub – the open source software repository that was recently acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion. GitHub is important because it allows authors to release related versions of their software, to incorporate and merge contributions from many authors, and to allow people to create their own version (or ‘fork’) any application. To do this, GitHub is structured as a Directed Acyclic Graph, creating a series of relationships among code libraries.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

On Nov 6 Stephen wrote us about Distributed Ledger Technology:

Today we’ll take a brief look at blockchain. Although presented as a type of currency, blockchain is in essence a graph technology. It creates a record of transactions by chaining them together such that you cannot change or revise one transaction without revising or changing all transactions. Because this is expensive and in some cases impossible, blockchain becomes a permanent record of transactions.

Topics in Distributed Ledger Technology

This is a presentation I gave twice this fall, summarizing some of the major themes in blockchain, describing how it works, surveying a number of applications, and discussing issues related to its use. https://www.downes.ca/presentation/495

The Blockchain Papers

This is a very large resource shared as a Google Doc assembling a lot of the reading I have done on blockchain over the last year or so. I am constantly contributing to it (and welcome suggestions or ideas for additional resources). Here’s the link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DX5nYbkd5mQ81xrLggovceIkE43rCFrOMbFLYUkBhZQ/edit#

Building a Blockchain

I also built my own toy blockchain engine last spring. Here it is: https://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2018/03/building-blockchain.html It steps the reader through fundamental concepts of a blockchain and the major elements of a blockchain engine.

Blockchain Technology Overview
Peter MellNik RobyKaren ScarfoneDylan YagaNational Institute of Standards and Technology, 2018/11/06

This is a good crisp summary that doesn’t shy away from technical detail but steps through the major elements of blockchain technology with clarity and precision. The sections on blockchain components (section 3) and consensus models (section 4) are particularly strong. It even comes with a fun blockchain use case flowchart.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Blockchain explained: What it is and isn’t, and why it matters
Brant CarsonMatt HigginsonSimon LondonMcKinsey, 2018/11/06

This podcast transcript provides a level-headed overview of blockchain technologies focusing especially on the trade-offs the use of blockchain entails (for example: less efficient databases in exchange for immutability). There’s also a nice table depicting the major use cases for blockchain. And there’s a nice look at the different motivations for employing blockchain.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Blockchain in Education
Alexander GrechAnthony F. CamilleriJoint Research CentreEuropean Commission, 2018/11/06

This is a long (136 page PDF) and detailed report on blockchains in education. The authors work slowly and deliberately in their pursuit of accuracy and clarity, which results in a presentation that will be easily understood by most readers. There is a wealth of examples in the document describing use cases, scenarios and pilot projects, and companies involved in the space.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

I found Week 3 (above) of special interest because of its  exploration of the implications of blockchain for education.

Nov 14, 2018 Conversation with Maha Bali
Wed Nov 14 2018 21:00:00 GMT+0400 (Arabian Standard Time)

For week 4 of E-Learning 3.0, a conversation with Maha Bali, Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning & Teaching at the American University in Cairo (AUC), on topics related to identity.

Here is more from my notes in my Learning2gether wiki on the latter part of the course, an attempt to keep a catalog of the video presentations I was missing

Wed Nov 21 at 2100 UTC next event in e-Learning 3.0 – Connectivist learning by Stephen Downes

Nov 21, 2018 Conversation with Sukaina Walji

Week 5 of E-Learning 3.0 features Sukaina Walji, Online Education Project Manager, Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), University of Cape Town (UCT).

From the archived video listing at https://el30.mooc.ca/course_videos.htm this turned out to be a Conversation with Sukaina Walji and Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams Nov 21, 2018 video

We look at the topics of open educational resources and open practices, consider some of the challenges around reuse of OERs, and discuss the potential of new resource networks (like the distributed web) to address those challenges. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sY6M58v3Pg

Wed Nov 28 at 2100 UTC next event in e-Learning 3.0 – Connectivist learning by Stephen Downes

Nov 28, 2018 Conversation with Viplav Baxi
Wed Nov 28 2018 21:00:00 GMT+0400 (Arabian Standard Time)

Viplav Baxi joins us for week 6 of E-Learning 3.0. He is currently  Director – Product and Digital Transformation at Oxford University Press in New Delhi, India.

We’ll talk about resources, recognition and community.

From the video list at https://el30.mooc.ca/course_videos.htm
Conversation with Viplav Baxi Nov 28, 2018 video Viplav Baxi joined us for week 6 of E-Learning 3.0. He is currently Director – Product and Digital Transformation at Oxford University Press in New Delhi, India. We talked about resources, the role of MOOCs in education today, his new ‘WhatIfEdu’ project, testing, badges and recognition, and community. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuSaeFStpwc

Mon Dec 5 at 2100 UTC next event in e-Learning 3.0 – Connectivist learning by Stephen Downes

From the video archive for the course at https://el30.mooc.ca/course_videos.htm we see that the topic for today was a Conversation with Pete Forsyth

Dec 05, 2018 video Week 7 of E-Learning 3.0 with Pete Forsyth, Editor in Chief of the Signpost, a community newspaper covering Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement., and serves on the Advisory Board of the GLAM-Wiki U.S. Consortium. We talk about how Wikipedia approaches questions like managing fake news, reaching consensus, and managing content. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Urc4EW9hiE

Wed Dec 12 at 2100 UTC next event in e-Learning 3.0 – Connectivist learning by Stephen Downes

Dec 12, 2018 Conversation with Amy Burvall (postponed to Dec 13)

After 25 years in K-12 education, Amy Burvall is currently consulting, creating, and curating in the fields of creativity, visual thinking, and digital literacies. She joins us in week 9 of E-Learning 3.0.

Amy’s video is posted at the activity center Dec 17 as being here: https://youtu.be/idRrG8v8AkQ

The following materials are copied from Stephen’s follow-on email from the above event. You can find them online here: https://el30.mooc.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?task=12


Create Your Experience

Be creative! Using the medium of your choice, create a representation of your experience of E-Learning 3.0. Then post your creation (or post a link to your creation) on your blog. Here’s a good example of the sort of thing you could create, by Kevin Hodgeson (who apparently also studied mind reading as he completed this Task before it was posted). If you need inspiration, visit the DS106 Assignment Bank and select one of the assignments, and then interpret it in the light of E-Learning 3.0.


The World Beyond the Word Dec 13, 2018 video Visit this page for both slides and video (the link shows a slide/video from a Seminar, Aug 19, 2012.). In order to manage the deluge of data produced by modern technology, a rapidly changing society, and challenging environmental and economic systems, we need to relearn what we understand as social and scientific literacy. The students of today and the innovators of tomorrow will speak languages we barely recognize today. What are the fundamentals of these new literacies, how do we learn them and teach them, and how do they redefine innovation in the future? In this talk I describe a future in which learning is a creative act and give an overview of the environments and technologies that will be needed to support this learning. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M060w0NLFas


Stephen’s Web: Creativity
Stephen DownesStephen’s Web, 2018/12/13

I’ve covered the topic of creativity quite a bit over the years. This is a listing of the posts I’ve written referring to different resoruces on creativity. There’s a lot to pick and choose form.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

The Sources of Innovation and Creativity
Karlyn AdamsNational Center on Education and the Economy, 2018/12/14

The following pages represent a comprehensive summary of current research and theory on the sources of innovation and creativity, both in individuals and organizations.  Based on the recurring concepts in the existing literature, the paper concludes with some recommendations for how education systems can best foster these attributes in students.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Sun Dec 16 noon EST Stephen Downes in conversation with Amy Burvall

Amy Burvall is getting up really early on a Saturday to join us.

The conversation will start at noon Eastern time (see the Event Page to see the time in your own time zone.

(That’s very clever, the page discerns your time zone; or you can click here to double check)


From her web page: “Amy Burvall (amyburvall.com) is a professional dot-connector who helps people think and live more creatively. A 25 year veteran educator, she now freelances as a consultant specializing in creativity and visual thinking.”

Here are (some of) her videos


The tasks are replicated from those set for the last session on Dec 19 this week

Create Your Experience

Be creative! Using the medium of your choice, create a representation of your experience of E-Learning 3.0. Then post your creation (or post a link to your creation) on your blog.

Here’s a good example of the sort of thing you could create, by Kevin Hodgeson (who apparently also studied mind reading as he completed this Task before it was posted).

If you need inspiration, visit the DS106 Assignment Bank and select one of the assignments, and then interpret it in the light of E-Learning 3.0.

I’m posting this on Dec 17-18 and plan to work more on it between now and Dec 19, the date of the last event of the course, Dec 18, 2018 Conversation with Silvia Baldiris and Jutta Treviranus. This talk Dec 19 for me, 1 am in the morning, which is the reason I’ve been missing all the live events since I’ve been back in Penang
Wed Dec 19 2018 01:00:00 GMT+0800 (Singapore Standard Time)
Here is its newsletter information, on Agency: https://el30.mooc.ca/archive/18/12_17_course_newsletter.htm

And the last episode was

Conversation with Silvia Baldiris and Jutta Treviranus


Conversation with Silvia Baldiris and Jutta Treviranus Dec 18, 2018 video For the last week of Learning 3.0 we had a conversation with Silvia Baldiri, who works with the Fundación Universitaria Tecnológico Comfenalco (Colombia) and Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (Spain), and Jutta Treviranus, Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor at OCAD University in Toronto. We talked about inclusive design, agency and the Social Justice Repair Kit. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIFG8rpLdYA


The Three Dimensions of Inclusive Design
GitHub, 2018/12/18

The three dimensions of the framework are:

  1. Recognize, respect, and design for human uniqueness and variability.
  2. Use inclusive, open & transparent processes, and co-design with people who have a diversity of perspectives, including people that can’t use or have difficulty using the current designs.
  3. Realize that you are designing in a complex adaptive system.

You can edit this work on GitHub.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Social Justice Repair Kit
Inclusive Design Research Centre, 2018/12/18

The goal of the Social Justice Repair Kit project is to support youth at risk who have learning differences to re-engage in education through an inclusively designed social justice platform that integrates authentic project-based learning. For youth with identified and unidentified learning differences, the Kit will add inclusive design supports to remove barriers to participation.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Contando el valor de la diversidad!
Cuentalo, 2018/12/18

These stories serve as a reference to other people who identify themselves in them and who discover in them similarities with their own life story, which in some cases may turn out to be unfavorable, however, in this discovery, possible methods of coping are identified that allow resolving or resignifying adverse situations optimistically.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers
u HongScott E. PagePNAS, 2018/12/18

“We find that when selecting a problem-solving team from a diverse population of intelligent agents, a team of randomly selected agents outperforms a team comprised of the best-performing agents.” See also Problem Solving by Heterogeneous Agents, by the same authors.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]


However, Stephen announces: One Final Live Conversation

Let’s wrap up the course with an online conversation anyone can join. When? I’ve set a default time but I’d rather set a time by consensus. This page is open for editing. Join in and help decide when to wrap up and celebrate the end of the course.

And with this post I (Vance) have placed all my notes in one place and have set out a possibility of follow up at this blog or at one of my others. Stay tuned …


Earlier events taking place between postings at this blog

Fri Nov 16 – Vance Stevens presents ‘Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC’ at WorldCALL 2018


Mon Nov 19 1700 UTC – Factors Affecting Learner Collaboration in 3D Virtual Worlds

The EFLIS held its 3rd webinar for this year by Dr. Iryna Kozlova on Factors Affecting Learner Collaboration in 3D Virtual Worlds
Mon, Nov 19, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

Here is the recording:
Factors Affecting Learner Collaboration in 3D Virtual Worlds

If you are interested in learning about research in online language learning, particularly 3D Virtual Worlds, then this is a great opportunity for you and we hope to see you online!

Factors Affecting Learner Collaboration in 3D Virtual Worlds

Dr. Iryna Kozlova

University of Pennsylvania

Learners’ development of collaboration skills has important implications for their language learning (Donato, 2004), fluency development (Huensch & Tracy-Ventura, 2017), and the development of interactional skills (Johnson and Johnson, 2004). When working together towards achieving a common goal, learners use language to mutually construct new knowledge by sharing their own ideas and accepting contributions from other participants (Donato, 2004). 3D virtual worlds (VWs) can provide learners with the opportunities to collaborate through multiple communication channels, which may facilitate language development (Meskill, 2005). Drawing on the results of the study on learner collaboration in 3D VWs (Kozlova, forthcoming) when students used an audio channel to interact with their peers and a text-based channel to make notes on a collaboration board, this presentation discusses the factors affecting learner collaboration. These factors include (1) learners and instructors’ familiarity with 3D VWs, (2) learners’ familiarity with the format of the learning activity, (3) learners’ experience with the spontaneous use of the second language, and (4) instructors’ use of pedagogical techniques that facilitated collaboration. Although this presentation draws on the findings of the research in 3D VWs, implications of the findings to face-to-face classroom will also be discussed.

Presenter’s bio: 

Iryna Kozlova, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the TESOL Program, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the use of second/foreign language spoken discourse in the classroom and in casual conversation, application of technology for second/foreign language teaching and learning, task-based learning, and teacher training. She has taught Applied Linguistics, ESL, and Russian in the United States and internationally.

Webinar’s details: 
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

First GoToMeeting? Let’s do a quick system check:

Mon Nov 19 8 PM EST Data Informatics and Data Visualization in Second Life on VSTE Island

Untitled presentation.png

In Virginia students start in elementary school collecting, organizing, and interpreting data in math, science, and technology. The older the student gets the more sophisticated the expectations become in dealing with data. We imagine it’s the same with the students all over the globe.

Data Informatics examines and helps students make sense of data; reading, scanning for trends, and interpreting the data. Data Visualization is a way to take that data and make it easier to understand, more user friendly. Through data visualization we have techniques to make data easier to interpret. In 2D and 3D mediums we can show off data in expressive and meaningful ways. Bluebarker Lowtide (SL), Vasili Giannoutsos (RL) will show us examples of Data Informatics and Data Visualization and give us opportunities to build our own.

Whether you teach students to read and interpret data or you yourself are struggling for meaningful ways to share data you collect, there will be something for you in this session.

Meet us on VSTE Island in Second Life Monday, November 19, at 8 PM EST (5 PM SLT) to learn about Data Informatics and Data Visualization.

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/ Download and install the software. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this link http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/VSTE%20Island/61/104/22 and voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

Nov 20 Library 2.0 Webinar – Responding to an Active Shooter in the Library – A timely talk but not free


TOPIC: “Responding to an Active Shooter in the Library: Protecting Patrons and Staff From a Rare But Catastrophic Event.”

PRESENTED BY: Dr. Steve Albrecht, author, Library Security: Better Communications, Safer Facilities (ALA, 2015)

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20th, 2018, 4:00 pm US-EST (1-hour presentation + 30 minutes with special guests). Click herefor time zone conversions. The recording of the Webinar will be available immediately following the live broadcast, and available to all who register.

COST: $99/person

A sign of the times, unfortunately

Thu 22 Nov – 24 Nov IATEFL web conference – Finding yourself as a teacher

IATEFL Web Conference “Finding yourself as a teacher”

A 3-day web conference by IATEFL with focus on ECT Early Career Teachers


You need to sign up for each day separately.

This year’s web conference is entitled: ‘Finding yourself as a teacher’ and will focus on the needs and challenges of the beginner teacher. While remaining open to all language teaching professionals, the conference is focusing on the early career teacher area. Over three days it will provide different sessions on topics relevant to that area including a look at the different types of language teaching both contextually and thematically, CPD options and how best to make a career out of teaching.

Day 1 – 22 November 2018
Please note: All times shown are UK time. Click here to convert to your time zone.
14.00 Web Conference Opening
Margit Szesztay, IATEFL President and Roy Cross, British Council
14.10 – 14.30 Linking and supporting beginner teachers
Margit Szesztay
14.35 – 15.35 Why we should be taking the fun out of the classroom
Diana England
15.45 – 16.45 Encouraging interaction in large classes
Zarina Suhan
17.00 – 18.00 How to get started with teaching students one-to-one
Helen Strong
18.15 – 19.15 So I’ve gotta teach kids now!?
Chris Rowland
19.30 – 20.30 The teacher and the bifocal lens
Nick Bilborough

Day 2 – 23 November 2018
Please note: All times shown are UK time. Click here to convert to your time zone.
08.45 Web Conference Day 2 Opening
09.00 – 09.45 Why should I be teaching fake news (and how?)
James Taylor
10.00 – 10.45 Dear new teacher self – advice for novice teachers (discussion)
Nati Gonalez
11.00 – 11.45 Life after training
Panel discussion
12.00 – 12.45 Using a coaching and lesson recording process with novice teachers
Valéria Benévolo França
13.00 – 14.00 Digital skills for beginner teacher courses
Marisa Constantidies
14.15 – 15.00 Lesson planning Q&A
Sandy Millin and Ruth Walpole
Day 3 – 24 November 2018
Please note: All times shown are UK time. Click here to convert to your time zone.
10.45 Web Conference Day 3 Opening
11.00 – 12.00 Managing the group dynamics
Georgia Papamichailidou
12.15 – 13.00 Minimum preparation, maximum excitation
Dominick Szulinski
13.15 – 14.00 Beginner teachers’ ELT challenges in India, Nepal and Pakistan
Panel discussion
14.15 – 15.15 The challenges of the first-year teacher – 3 Hungarian Teacher perspectives
15.30 – 16.30 How can you “…be true to yourself in the classroom”?
Open audience discussion and Q&A
16.45 – 17.15 A Teaching Assocation – what’s in it for me?
Božica Šarić-Cvjetković
17.30 – 18.15 IATEFL – taking your career to the next level
Judith Mader
18.30 – 19.30 Moving from Early Classroom Teaching into the Creation of ELT Materials
Jen Dobson and Michelle Worgan

Mon Dec 10 5 VSTE Virtual Environments PLN Meeting 8 PM Eastern Standard Time

When? December 10 5 SLT

Come to VSTE Island in Second Life! Bring something you learned at the last conference to attended to share with the rest of us.

Recent VSTE attendees will share how the sold out conference went!

I have a little app to share that I learned about in a Blues Bar in Second life! You never know where you might learn something cool if you are a lifelong learner!

See you at 5 SLT.


If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here:https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/ Download and install the software. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this linkhttp://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/VSTE%20Island/61/104/22 and voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

Tue Dec 11 1700 UTC TEIS Webinar Series: Critical Competencies for Online Teaching

TEIS Webinar Series:Award Winning Online Teachers & Critical Competencies for Online Teaching


Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2018. 12:00-1:15 pm (EDT)



Description: The Teacher Educator Interest Section (TEIS) webinar series ends the year with a discussion with Kiran Budhrani, an Instructional Designer on E-Learning from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.  The discussion will focus on timely research on online teachers and teaching. The explosive growth in online education at the higher education level, (1.6 million in 2002 to 6.7 million students in 2015), has resulted in the need for more faculty to teach online and has changed the role of the teachers and their teaching practices. The research undertaken by Budhrani and her team involves the perspectives of 8 award winning online instructors on:

  • the core and emerging roles of online instructors
  • the key competencies for successful online teaching

The webinar will be in a conversation format moderated by Faridah Pawan, the TEIS Chair Elect-Elect. The webinar is free to all TESOL International Members and everyone else interested in the topic. (See the attached poster for additional information)

Vance Stevens presents ‘Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC’ at WorldCALL 2018

Learning2gether Episode 396

On November 16, 2018, Vance Stevens presented ‘Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC’ at WorldCALL 2018

20181116_214638Picture credit: Susan Mirandi

This was my proposal:


EVO Minecraft MOOC is an ongoing community of practice of language teaching practitioners which invites newcomers to join in every January / February and then continues throughout the year with a dedicated group of teaching peers who have been interacting online in Minecraft for the past 4 years. This presentation explains how the group was formed, how it functions, and what we have learned about gamifying learning by experiencing it ourselves when playing the game Minecraft with one another. More importantly we reflect continually on how this informs our approach to teaching and learning. This presentation shares our insights and perspectives with our audience and invites them to join us online if they wish to learn more about what gamification feels like as a learning experience.


Electronic Village Online is an annual teacher training event run under the auspices of TESOL CALL-IS. EVO Minecraft MOOC is a 5-week session that has taken place in Minecraft, a wiki, and Google+ Community space each Jan / Feb since 2015. The presenter conceived the idea for EVO Minecraft MOOC as a way that he himself could develop expertise in the game and thereby use it with students. Other teachers were attracted to the concept, including some who had some experience in the game. Participants were attracted to the session for the same reasons — not that their learning paths had been prescribed for them in a neatly pre-set syllabus but that by entering the “game” or session, learning would happen for them in a way that participants would come to understand by experiencing the process that Ito et al (2010) characterize as “hanging out, messing around, and geeking out.”

We have found that Minecraft is capable of reversing the normal student teacher dichotomy whereby teachers traditionally are assumed to know more than their students. We have found through the experience of participants in our EVO session that that participants tend to take charge of their learning by guiding one another in the vagaries of the game.

This presentation explains what teachers (who are learning about the game through the experience of playing it as learners) are learning about designing worlds within the game context that will meet their curriculum objectives and create an engaging and enjoyable experience and task-based environment for learners. But above all, the paper explores how teachers can be made aware of the affordances of Minecraft by creating such spaces for one another and interacting in those spaces. It also serves as an example of how we teachers can use what we have learned through our experience with MOOCs to form communities of practice to reboot our own learning, using the community as curriculum (Cormier, 2008).

Here are the slides:

I converted this into a script for a 5 minute trailer entitled

Learn to engage your students in a gamified classroom through experiencing the participatory culture inherent in Minecraft by interacting with like-minded teaching peers in EVO Minecraft MOOC

Hi, my name is Vance Stevens. I’ve been teaching English to speakers of other languages for over 40 years. My methods have evolved over the years from the behaviorist and cognitive approaches prevalent when I started teaching, through more communicative approaches, teaching through communities of practice, through connectivism, and most recently through gamification.

Minecraft is a game that for the past decade has caught and sustained the attention of teachers wanting to introduce elements of gamification into their classrooms. However, there are two steep hurdles for teachers: (1) First is the complexity and depth of the game itself, and (2) secondly, understanding how students will interact and communicate with each other in Minecraft by engaging in self-directed critical and collaborative learning. I started EVO Minecraft MOOC to address and resolve both these problems.

EVO stands for Electronic Village Online. The actual Electronic Village is physical space that the CALL Interest Section in TESOL established as a fixture at annual TESOL conferences way back last century. In 2001 Electronic Village Online was established as a virtual event taking place each January and February ever since then. EVO consists of a baker’s dozen of sessions on topics proposed by language teachers who develop their proposals into training courses of interest to other teachers. Session moderators work from passion, no one is paid, no one pays, it’s free, and it happens every January-February. Find out more at http://evosessions.pbworks.com

EVO Minecraft MOOC is one of these sessions. We started it in 2015 and it has since become an ongoing community of practice of language teaching practitioners which invites newcomers to join in every January / February and then continues throughout the year with a dedicated group of teaching peers who have been interacting online in Minecraft for coming on 5 years now.

In November 2018 I’m presenting at WorldCALL 2018, in Concepción: Chile, about our work in EVO Minecraft MOOC. The presentation explains how the group was formed, how it functions, and what we have learned about gamifying learning by experiencing it ourselves when playing the game Minecraft with one another. More importantly we reflect continually on how this informs our approach to teaching and learning. This presentation shares our insights and perspectives with our audience and invites them to join us online if they wish to learn more about what gamification feels like as a learning experience.

As EVO Minecraft MOOC prepares to enter its 5th year engaging teachers hands-on with peers in the participatory culture their students will experience when playing the game of Minecraft, this presentation invites you to join us.

Writeup for the WorldCALL 2018 conference proceedings

Presenters have been invited to prepare a 1000 word article describing their presentations. What follows is a version that is almost twice that length, but contains about what I would like to say. I’ll have to cut my submission back substantially, but I am blogging the expanded version here:

1. Introduction

Minecraft is a game that for the past decade has caught and sustained the attention of teachers wanting to introduce elements of gamification into their classrooms (Dikkers, 2015). However, there are two steep hurdles for teachers: the complexity and depth of the game itself, and understanding how students will interact and communicate with each other in Minecraft by engaging in self-directed critical and collaborative learning (Kuhn & Stevens, 2017). EVO Minecraft MOOC was formed to resolve both these problems.

Electronic Village Online (EVO) is an annual professional development event established in 2001 under the auspices of TESOL CALL-IS and has taken place every January / February since then (Hanson-Smith & Bauer-Ramazani, 2004). EVO consists of a baker’s dozen of sessions on topics proposed each year by language teachers who develop their proposals into training courses of interest to other teachers. Moderators hope only to learn by teaching others, and participation is open to anyone free of charge.

EVO Minecraft MOOC is one of these sessions. Since it was started in 2015 it has become an ongoing community of practice (CoP) of language teaching practitioners which invites newcomers to join in every January / February and then uses its server for community development throughout each year. The community explores how teachers can be made aware of the affordances of Minecraft by creating virtual spaces for one another and interacting in those spaces. The core group of moderators have for the most part been returning year after year to sustain their practice of teaching languages and enhancing the professional development of peers through Minecraft. Participants who enjoy playing and learning with us often join the team.

This paper explains what teachers participating in EVO Minecraft MOOC are learning about the game through the experience of playing it as learners, and what they are learning about designing worlds within Minecraft that will meet their curriculum objectives and create an engaging and enjoyable experience and task-based environment for learners.

2. How Minecraft MOOC was formed and how it functions

The author has been teaching English to speakers of other languages for over 40 years. His methods have evolved over the years from the behaviorist and cognitive approaches prevalent when he started teaching (references), through more communicative approaches (references), teaching through communities of practice (references to Wenger, Lave), through connectivism (Downes, Siemens), and most recently through gamification (Gee, references).

The author became interested in Minecraft after hearing other teachers enthusiastically describe in podcasts how they were using the game with students ever since Minecraft was created by Mojang in 2009, but he was thwarted in finding a community of learners actively playing who would accept an adult in their midsts. Eventually he conceived the idea of forming EVO Minecraft MOOC as a way that he himself could develop expertise in the game and thereby use it with students.

The seed took root when the author collaborated at a distance with a Croatian colleague on an article in which she interviewed her 11-year old son on how he had become fluent in English by engaging with other European players in Minecraft, even starting his own YouTube channel (Smolčec, Smolčec, & Stevens, 2014). In conducting the literature search for that article the author discovered other teachers using Minecraft in language learning. When he proposed an EVO session on the topic, he invited Jeff Kuhn and David Dodgson to join the effort, and both accepted. Jeff Kuhn set up our first Minecraft server and other teachers were attracted to the concept, including some who already had considerable experience in the game and were able to help mentor the developing Minecraft literacy of others (Stevens, 2017).

Minecraft MOOC takes place primarily online in Minecraft. In order to attract new participants we renew our proposal each year to become an EVO session and invite people to join us at our Google+ Community (G+C), where we can interact asynchronously. In addition to a syllabus, we also have a wiki at http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/ where we can suggest a structure for the course.

Although we have always had a syllabus, participants are attracted to the session not because their learning paths have been prescribed for them but because by entering the game, learning happens for them in a way that participants come to understand by experiencing the process. Ito et al (2010) characterize the steps in the process gamers go through as “hanging out, messing around, and geeking out,” and this is what happens with people who join us without much knowledge of Minecraft apart from a vague interest in using it with their students. Those who persist eventually become remarkably creative and capable of guiding other teachers, and their students, into adapting the game to their diverse learning goals. Our session applies the community as curriculum model whereby the community negotiates the operative syllabus for the MOOC (Cormier, 2008).

3. Discussion

This section discusses what we have learned about gamifying learning by experiencing gamification ourselves when playing the game Minecraft online with one another. First of all we have penetrated the Minecraft community of learners by becoming learners in Minecraft ourselves, learning hands-on how gamification works and might apply to our own contexts. In so doing, we come to grips with the complexity and depth of the game, understanding through doing it ourselves how students will interact and communicate with each other in Minecraft (in our case using the text chat native to Minecraft as well as Discord, a 3rd-party VOIP app frequently used by gamers, to speak to one another while in-world). Through carrying out our own projects, such as discovering temples, both on land and underwater, and excavating them for their loot, we engage in self-directed, spontaneous learning.

Through experiencing the game ourselves, we see how Minecraft brings essential skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, and language and communication skills to bear on a range of concepts including, architecture, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, coding, history, and the list goes on and on.

This article has already cited one example of students using Minecraft to practice and improve learning a foreign language (Smolčec, Smolčec, & Stevens, 2014). That article cites many other instances, including the work of Jeff Kuhn who used Minecraft to generate ideas for ESL students writing about disaster management, and Dave Dodgson using Minecraft in Turkey in an EFL context (see also their more recent articles: Kuhn, 2015; and Dodgson, 2017).

We have found that Minecraft is capable of reversing the normal student-teacher dichotomy whereby teachers traditionally are assumed to know more than their students. We have found through the experience that participants tend to take charge of their learning by scaffolding one another in the vagaries of the game. We have also seen when, as often happens, teachers bring their children with them into the game, that these kids often become proficient more quickly than their parents, and mentor not only their parents but other adult players as well. Through this we see that a productive strategy of using Minecraft with younger students would be to set up a play space for them, encourage them to set their own goals within the curriculum, and empower them to become the experts, even to the extent of teaching the teacher how to use Minecraft to learn more about their curriculum.

More importantly we reflect continually on how what we learn through our experience collaborating with each other in-world informs our approach to teaching and learning. Our G+C has been an ideal space for sharing our screenshots and videos from in-world, and conversations around all our topics of interest ranging from helping noobies to showing each other our builds and projects. Lately we have discussed there how to replace our G+C when Google drops support for the platform in April, 2019. Meanwhile we are looking into alternatives such as Google Classroom and Moodle. We don’t intend to let what happens with G+C curtail our learning in the 2020 rendition of EVO Minecraft MOOC.

4. Conclusions

In our proposal and session materials, we invite other teachers to join us who consider themselves to be teachers with a gaming problem, gamers with a teaching problem, and teachers of gamers with a learning problem. By this we mean to address teachers who don’t already play games but would like to understand how gamification might work in their teaching contexts; teachers who already play games and would like to adapt what they know to teaching their students, and teachers who see that their students like games, and want to know how they might leverage this by fitting Minecraft into their curriculum. We consider it axiomatic that when asked by skeptics if Minecraft is in the curriculum, the reply is usually that the curriculum is somewhere in Minecraft already. We encourage our peers to join us so that together we can figure out how and where Minecraft can be utilized in anyone’s teaching curriculum.

By the time these proceedings are published, the Minecraft MOOC EVO session for 2019 will have completed its 5th year as a formal session engaging teachers hands-on in the participatory culture their students will experience when playing the game of Minecraft. However, we expect there will be an EVO Minecraft MOOC in 2020, in which case we invite any interested participants to join us. We can be easily found via EVO, http://evosessions.pbworks.com/ or in a Google search on EVO Minecraft MOOC.

5. References

Cormier, D. (2008). Rhizomatic education: Community as curriculum. Innovate, 4(5). Reprinted with permission of the publisher; available:

Dikkers, S.(Ed.). (2015). Teachercraft: How teachers learn to use Minecraft in their classrooms. Available from http://press.etc.cmu.edu/fies/Teacher-Craft_Dikkers-etal-web.pdf

Dodgson, D. (2017). Digging deeper: Learning and re-learning with student and teacher Minecraft communities. TESL-EJ, Volume 20, Number 4, Available: http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume20/ej80/ej80int/. Also available at: http://www.tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej80/int.pdf; pp. 1-12 in pdf.

Hanson-Smith, E. & Bauer-Ramazani, C. (2004). Professional Development: The Electronic Village Online of the TESOL CALL Interest Section .TESL-EJ 8, 2.(On the Internet) http://tesl-ej.org/ej30/int.html.

Ito, M., Baumer, S., Bittanti, M., boyd, d., Cody, R., Herr-Stephenson, B., Horst, H., Lange, P., Mahendran, D.,  Martínez, K., Pascoe, C., Perkel, D., Robinson, L., Sims, C., & Tripp, L. (2010). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Available: https://www.academia.edu/4898770/Ito_Mizuko_S._Baumer_M._Bittanti_d._boyd_R._Cody_R._Herr-Stephenson_H._Horst_et_al._2010_Hanging_Out_Messing_Around_and_Geeking_Out_Kids_Living_and_Learning_with_New_Media._Cambridge_MIT_Press and https://www.dropbox.com/s/h69b0vyd6tumixw/8402.pdf?dl=0

Kuhn, J. & Stevens, V. (2017). Participatory culture as professional development: Preparing teachers to use Minecraft in the classroom. TESOL Journal 8, 4:753–767. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesj.359 and http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tesj.359/full

Kuhn, J. (2015). Meaningful Play – Making Professional Development Fun. TESL-EJ, Volume 18, Number 4, Available: http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume18/ej72/ej72int/.  Also available at: http://tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej72/int.pdf; pp. 1-8 in pdf.

Smolčec, M., Smolčec, F. and Stevens, V. (2014). Using Minecraft for Learning English. TESL-EJ 18, 2. Available: pp. 1-15 in http://www.tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej70/int.pdf

Stevens, V. (2017). Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC. In Zoghbor, W., Coombe, C., Al Alami, S. & Abu-Rmaileh, S. (Eds.). Language Culture Communication: Transformations in Intercultural Contexts. The Proceedings of the 22nd TESOL Arabia Conference. Dubai: TESOL Arabia. Pages 75-92. Available: http://vancestevens.com/papers/evomcmooc_TACON2016.pdf and in readable text at



Mark Pegrum (to my left, above)  included a summary of my presentation in his blog post here: http://elanguage.edublogs.org/2018/11/15/global-call-gathering-in-latin-america/

“In his presentation, Gamifying teacher professional development through Minecraft MOOC, Vance Stevens explained that over the last 40 years he has taught English through behaviourist and cognitive approaches, then communicative approaches, followed by communities of practice, connectivism (aligned with the original idea of MOOCs as community-driven), and most recently gamification. He indicated that Minecraft has caught the attention of many educators over the last decade; it promotes critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, language and communication, and has been used for architecture, engineering, chemistry, mathematics and coding, in addition to language teaching. Gamification, he said, is about learning not in a top-down format, but by exploring in a bottom-up way. The challenges for teachers are: penetrating Minecraft communities of learners; the complexity and depth of the game; and understanding how students will interact and communicate with each other in Minecraft, and how they will engage in self-directed critical/collaborative learning. The EVO Minecraft MOOC started in 2015 to address and resolve these problems, and newcomers are welcomed every January/February.”


Here are some more photos taken by Susan Mirandi, during the presentation:

In the course of preparing for my presentation I produced a “lightning talk” which I blogged here

The lightning talk took the form of this 6 minute video, which was a precursor to my longer talk in Concepción:


This longer talk was presented at the …

Nov 13-16 WorldCALL 5 – Universidad de Concepción Chile


Conference page: http://worldcall5.org/

Accepted abstracts

My paper is listed on p.3 in the list of abstracts, entitled
Gamifying teacher professional development through Minecraft MOOC

Earlier events

Mon Nov 1 1545 UTC Vance Stevens presents lightning talk on Engaging students in gamified classrooms using Minecraft


Sun Nov 4 1700 UTC EVO Moderator Development live session 3

Where: presumably https://zoom.us/j/940453286
When: presumably Nov 4th, 2018 6PM UTC

Here’s the link to the revised slide show for Week 3:

Nives Torresi has provided this link to the chat transcript from the meeting

The link to the live recording should eventually appear here

Sun Nov 4 0001 UTC to 2000 UTC YLTSIG Annual Web Conference


Heike Philp tracked presentations at this conference with a series of tweets

Mon Nov 6 0100 UTC Dakota Redstone at VSTE Minecraft Mondays



Monday, November 5th, EST, we will meet at VSTE Place to work on a neighborhood which Dakotah_Redstone has already begun. Each person may try recreating their own home in the neighborhood. We will meet at 8 PM Eastern.

Time where you are:


This week we will look at two resources our members have shared: music creation: within Minecraft using Note Blocks and red stone, and 101 Build Hacks. Both can help us furnish our homes!

You must have a computer Minecraft account from https://minecraft.net/en/ to join. There is a one time fee of $26.95. Download and install the software. Choose multiplayer and add a server: Name VSTE Place IP Our server is protected. If you want to be whitelisted to enter anytime you want to continue building this, or anything else, email Kim Harrison at K4sons@gmail.com or kvharris@vbschools.com from an educational email address with your real name and minecraft name.

We are currently using Minecraft version 1.12.2

Thu Nov 8 at 2000 UTC next event in e-Learning 3.0 – Connectivist learning by Stephen Downes

The materials that were here have been posted to


Fri Nov 9 1300 to 1700 UTC – IATEFL LTSIG and TESOL CALL-IS joint online event on AI in ELT – Friend or Foe

9 November 2018, 1pm GMT – 5pm GMT

IATEFL LTSIG and TESOL CALL-IS joint online event

This is the call for proposals page

The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in ELT: friend or foe?

A 4h online event on AI, an innovative mix of 15min ‘input’ presentations and 30min audience participation sessions.


Christine Sabieh
Posted by
Christine Sabieh

Poster information shared on Facebook: The Role of AI in ELT, Learning and AssessmentGeorge Kormpas created the invite. www.facebook.com/events/339686013468775/permalink/…The link to the event in Adobe Connect is posted on the FB pageNo preregistration is needed to be part of the webinar– Please spread the invite.

Fri Nov 9-10 Rockcliffe University Consortium Conference – The Future Present

The Rockcliffe University Consortium Conference: The Future Present took place on November 9-10, 2018 at the Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, California

Registration closed Sept 30, 2018 but there is supposed to be virtual participation possible (I don’t see how, and it might not be free, but stay tuned)


Sun Nov 11 final live online chat for EVO moderators development

Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Wx6WvsnIf9drHh_hs_jnhRYTnyD-Wh1xbOpxwHCO6os/edit?usp=sharing

This is what it was about

Nives Torresi posted the chat transcripts here

The slides used for the event