Learning2gether with Mike McKay, Professor Merryman and Cyprischat in Second Life

Learning2gether Episode 178

Download mp3


YouTube recording:

A lovely conversation with Mike McKay tonight, talking about early days with Webheads, Fire Centaur, Kip Yellowjacket, English Village, and why more people don’t make use of this creative space for language learning, and for that matter, why only 10% of Mike’s students are drawn to the space, despite the contageous passion of the teacher …

What: Mike McKay runs Cyprischat, a space in Second Life where you can practice speaking English 24 hours a day for free.

Who: Mike McKay a.k.a. Professor Merryman https://plus.google.com/u/0/103790083971725299488/about

On his Google+ profile, Mike has written:

“Adjunct English “Professor”, 2005 – present

I teach 4-6 classes each semester in the English department. My classes range from speaking and writing, to presentations and interactive web environments. I am not a tenured professor and do not ever intend to be one. I enjoy teaching, not writing. A student’s smile is good for the heart.”

Mike presented at SLanguages 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyWZbNV3HrA

Check out the Murder Mystery there, parts 1 and 2

Heike Philp introduced Cypris as being the only FREE sim dedicated to English Language Learning


Also tonight, 

Penny Ur was online with SEETA for a live webchat on Sunday 29 September

Topic: what matters and what doesn’t in our profession, what we should and shouldn’t worry about

You can view a recording of the chat here  https://www.bigmarker.com/marker120195/room26



Learning2gether with Benjamin Stewart and Maria Colussa at conferences in Mexico D.F. and Buenos Aires

Learning2gether Episode 177

On Friday September 27, Learning2gether facilitated breakouts from two conferences in Latin America

Ironically, neither worked out very well.  Benjamin in Mexico City was doing fine with the setup but lost his Hangout just as he was starting his presentation.  We had Maria ok at FAAPI but her sound cut out once she started presenting. Consequently, the video posted here is of value only as archive tokens, but we were unable to record presentations.

Hangout with Benjamin Stewart – EFL Educators Share or Perish

This event was delayed at the start and re-scheduled to begin 45 late waiting for the live audience to arrive.  Elizabeth Anne and Vance were in the Hangout with Benjamin, but just as we could hear the audience coming into the room, Benjamin dropped from his Hangout. He apparently had to begin the live presentation without the Hangout as the recording appeared at his live stream at http://benjaminleestewart.blogspot.mx/p/channel.html, indicating that Google had terminated it and posted it at YouTube. The Hangout did not resume, so this is as much as we got: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfRa4RM3IGg&feature=share



Benjamin Stewart wishes to invite the Learning2gether community to this TILL event (Teachers for Interactive Learning) in hopes of getting some perspective regarding what it means to share.

The format for the HOA (Hangout On Air) is 20-30 minutes of Benjamin’s presentation, followed by 20-30 minutes Q & A (or discussion).  Discussions may come from face-to-face interactions and/or via the HOA.

Although the target audience is the EFL educator (pre/in-service), all educators, trainers, etc. are encouraged to participate in the discussion.

Blog; http://benjaminleestewart.blogspot.mx/2013/09/efl-educators-share-or-perish.html

Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1OYBCrpnIcA0Wpu2I8Esi-WUruxuKf5adj1C0PXu7fe8/edit

Twitter: #eltchat   #edchat

Survey: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/773353/quizzes/845306

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c3fh6vubio0u89o7n68499icmcs

Direct link to Hangout: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/stream/f02791024d9a2ad1df00bb765b1b80f6ed71d697?authuser=0&hl=en

Live stream: http://benjaminleestewart.blogspot.mx/p/channel.html


Hangout with Maria Colussa at FAAPI in Buenos Aires

María Colussa presented at the FAAPI conference in Buenos Aires (an English teachers´ big annual event) on her personal journey to become a connected educator in which EVO and the Webheads / MultiMOOC / Learning2gether communities play such an important role.  She will try to be connected by twitter (#FAAPI13) and on Friday at 20:00pm GMT she will try to post a link (depending on the internet signal) to a hangout to be active for some minutes before the actual workshop.  Learning2gether coordinated with her, started and streamed the hangout, but we lost sound from Buenos Aires once the presentation started.

Blog: http://mariacolussa.blogspot.ae/2013/09/on-presenting-workshop-at-faapi-2013.html

Where: Either Hangout or Skype (if Hangout not possible)


There was another event announced on Learning2gether this weekend

Sat Sept 28 16:00 GMT Moodle MOOC 2 on WizIQ


Moodle MOOC 2 on WizIQ will start on October 1, 2013. Join this class to learn more about the MOOC.

Participants will learn about the course areas, the workload and tasks for the course, and about the certificates of participation.

Electronic Village Online – Where teacher networking impacts student learning

Learning2gether Episode 176

The audio is two hours long and has been broken into two segments:

Part 1 (first hour)

Download mp3 part 1 here:

Part 2 (second hour)

Download mp3 part 2 here:

Sun Sept 22 at 13:00 GMT – Electronic Village Online – Where teacher networking impacts student learning

Proposals for the TESOL-sponsored EVO are due today, or by the end of this week, so that acceptances can be sent out by October 6 as promised.

Today’s discussion seeks to call attention to this worthy effort, to encourage you to submit a proposal soon if you haven’t done so already (about half a dozen have been received for far with several known to be in the works), and also to suggest to all others that it would be a very worthwhile investment of time to participate in EVO this January and February by following a course or two, if not actively moderating one.

Who: A discussion hosted by Vance Stevens

What: What’s going on with networked learning and how should this inform our teaching practices

Where; Google+ Hangout on Air

This discussion can take place in a wider context including some special recent events such as the CIDER seminars where Terry Anderson just presented, and the STEMx free online conference that ended yesterday.  The latter was organized by Steve Hargadon, who teams up with Shelly Terrell in the 4th Reform Symposium (RSCON4) scheduled Oct 11-13 <http://www.futureofeducation.com/page/2013-reform-symposium>, and the TESOL CALL-IS and IATEFL LTSIG one-day conference to be held on Oct 12 <http://ltsig.org.uk/events/13-future-events/318-121013-special-event-using-technology-in-teaching-principles-in-practice.html>.

These are but two (that happened to take place in the past week) in a firehose of events that have been increasing in frequency, often not weeks, but days apart. The MOOC concept, whether xMOOC or cMOOC, provides steady often overlapping opportunities for deeper, more prolonged engagement not only with niche topics, but more importantly with others interested in those niches.  Google Hangouts on Air now make it possible for anyone to simulcast an event, and many do, extending invitations to colleagues in a mushroom field of communities.  It seems there is something of this nature going on every minute, and social media is working virally to spread the word among educators.  Stepping back to a wider perspective on this phenomenon, what is going on every minute is networked, connectivist learning.

Every minute! Open education, driven by learners connecting with other learners, is taking place around the clock, around the globe, in countless free spaces, bound only by the amount of time participants can make to engage and absorb the knowledge inherent in their networks.

So our discussion can touch on how we might rethink our role as educators, or perhaps more importantly, encourage others to follow our example. The Hangout today is another example of how participants in social networks acquire the tools for re-thinking how they engage their students.

Networked learning is ineffable in that it must be experienced to be understood, and those without that experience have difficulty grasping a full range of its affordances. As the behavior of participants in online networked learning changes, so their teaching styles change, and the better they are able to model for their students characteristics of what they find most effectively leads to their learning what they want to know in an increasingly interconnected world.

(This happens to be what Vance will be talking about at the upcoming RSCON4 conference in October, and I hope today’s discussion will help us conceptualize some of the issues to be addressed.)

What happened at the event:

This conversation was two hours long.  There’s not much we can do about the YouTube video without putting in considerable effort, but I can cut the mp3 rendition into Part 1 (when most people left) and Part 2, where it was me staying out of the way of a conversation between David Weksler, Rob Perhamus, and Scott Lockman.

Nina asked in the chat if the Google+ text chat was preserved. The answer is ‘no’ unless someone ‘ding!’ copies the chat and pastes it into a text file in some reduced and meaningful form, as I have done here.

Present in the Hangout

  • Elizabeth Anne
  • Rob Perhamus
  • David Weksler
  • Marilina Lonigro (on a mobile device)
  • Marijana Smolcec
  • Nina Liakos
  • Dafne Gonzalez
  • Claire Siskin
  • Sedat Akayoglu
  • Vance Stevens

The following URLs were mentioned:

Maker Faire http://makerfaire.com/

Rob showed us a free book by Ray Kurzweil, downloadable here


Marijana Smolcec told us about TeachMeets http://teachmeetinternational.org/

Sedat Akayoglu showed us oldman vs ipad


Nina Liakos showed us


Mindcraft came up, Vance suggested

David Weksler showed us http://minecraftedu.com/page/

Rob Perhamus kept mentioning

from the gemba

and Sarah Hill

We recalled Sunday, January 15, 2012 – Super Sunday Streaming with Jeff Lebow: Hanging out in Second Life withHeike Philp, PetchaFlickr with Scott Lockman, and more


Rob Perhamus showed us pranav mistry no pads needed

David Weksler mentioned know your audience? Bob Fass – WBAI?

Rob Pehamus mentioned Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi; scott lockman suggested this helpful mnemonic – Chick Sent Me High

David Weksler offered this quote:

Do not forget as you walk these classic places you are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish the world if you forget the errand — Woodrow Wilson


Two recent events alluded to in this presentation were

Wed Sept 18 1700 GMT CIDER features Terry Anderson – Exploring research issues

From https://landing.athabascau.ca/groups/profile/289790/cider/tab/359765/sessions

“In this session, Professor, former Canada Research Chair, and CIDER host Dr. Terry Anderson will overview the contents of a new open access book to be released by AU press this fall. The book overviews the major issues that researchers in online education are researching and on which they are publishing. But what are the issues that you are concerned with? Join your colleagues in some small group discussions, focussing on questions that really need research energy … Please logon to the CIDER sessions – https://connect.athabascau.ca/cidersession/ – as a “guest”. You will then be prompted for your name, and you could add your location or institution as well, if you wish.”

The Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research (CIDER) is a Centre for Distance Education research initiative at Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University. The next CIDER session is Wed Oct 2 1700 GMT

What Kinds of Learning Can We Scale with Online Resources and Activities (and what can’t we scale)?

Thomas Carey, Athabasca University

These events are free to anyone to attend.

There is no mention of recordings of these sessions at this site (that I can see)

But I have been passed this link: https://connect.athabascau.ca/p58595205/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal

but more content is available to those who can log onto the site with one of the following credentials

September 19-21, 2013 – Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference

the Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference, the world’s first massively open online conference for educators focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and more. The conference will be held over the course of three days, September 19-21, 2013, and will be free to attend!

STEMxCon will be a highly inclusive event that will engage students and educators around the globe and will encourage primary, secondary, and tertiary (K-16) educators around the world to share and learn about innovative approaches to STEMx learning and teaching. The call for presentations has been issued. More information below.
Please register at http://www.stemxcon.com to attend and to be kept informed

Learning2gether with TAEdTech SIG PDPs

Learning2gether Episode 175

Download audio:

Co-hosted with Jim Buckingham (TAEdTech, Tesol Arabia EdTech SIG)

Opening discussion on

1) TAEDTECH Sig – An Introduction

We will provide a short introduction on the TESOL Arabia Education Technology – Special Interest Group(now you know why we use an acronym). This will include a short history, a review of its current mission and an intro into the PD opportunities if affords for those prepared to get involved and make a difference.

This should lead into a discussion on where the Group can and should be heading. Vance Stevens will take the view that it should be promoting more global connections for EFL educators. Jim Buckingham will take the view that it needs to provide a predominantly regional focus for EFL educators in the region. Both Vance and Jim will invite others to help present their views.

Presentation outline: http://buckinsand.titanpad.com/281

Google Hangout


In this event, Vance Stevens and Jim Buckingham engage in a mock debate.  Jim and I both work in the UAE and we are both active in TAEdTech SIG (TESOL Arabia EdTech SIG, based in the Arabic region).  Jim is promoting integration of Learning2gether with TAEdTech and he will argue the importance of doing that with emphasis on the local context while I will be emphasizing the importance of integration with a more global context.

The debate has relevance because many here (and in many contexts) tend to focus on their local situation and treat global outreach as a distraction.  Jim doesn’t feel that way but he might argue that practically speaking, a localized chapter of a global organization should be focused more inward than outward.  I might argue that outward focus would create conditions for attracting a critical mass of participants.  Either side could be right.  Come and join the debate.

This discussion was postponed to a later opportunity

2)  PDPs: why bother?

In support of TAEDTECH’s monthly theme – PDPs – why bother? we will take a quick look at what exactly a PDP(Professional Development Plan) is and why you might be interested in realizing one. We will look at who is promoting their use, the rational for their use, the frameworks used to help realize them, and relevant examples.

PLN Show and Tell: What does your PLN look like? How do you manage it, and why?

Learning2gether Episode 174

Download mp3: https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/learning2gether-with-till-about-our-plns.mp3

PLN Show and Tell was intended to be co-hosted with Benjamin Stewart (TILL, Teachers for Interactive Language Learning) Sunday September 8 2013 at 1400 GMT but Benjamin got sick and had to bow out; however the Learning2gether community gathered largely thanks to notices being disseminated by Google+ communities, an illustration of PLN in action

In Hangout: What does your PLN currently look like?  How do you manage it, and why?


Scott Leslie has been collecting diagrams of what his PLN thinks their PLNs look like since 2008



Google Hangout, more information forthcoming; see http://webheadsinaction.org for updates, and direct link


There was a follow-on event after the hangout:

First OpenSim Community Conference resumes Sun Sept 8 at 1400 GMT

Last event is at 23:00 Sunday, Sept 8


The conference is full but you would need to register at the site (free) in order to get an account and avatar with OpenSim

  • so you can attend the conference in the OSCC viewer, which you must also download.
  • Registration and viewer are available at the link above

The conference is also being streamed.  Thanks Heike Philp for providing links to the UStream pages capturing the program as follows:

More details and RSVP on Avalon: http://avalon-project.ning.com/events/opensimulator-community-conference

Learning2gether with Benjamin Stewart (TILL, Teachers for Interactive Language Learning): What new technique, strategy, web tool, etc. do you plan on implementing this year?

Learning2gether Episode 173

Download mp3: https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/what-new-tool-technique-etc-are-tesol-educators-implementing_.mp3

September 1 2013 – What new tools do you plan on implementing this year?

Co-hosted with Benjamin Stewart (TILL, Teachers for Interactive Language Learning)

From the TILL Google+ Community portal



Google Hangout, join the STREAM at http://webheadsinaction.org/live

Direct link to hangout: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/c8c3abb27352f40f1edf2c9c7d477715113509cb?authuser=0&hl=en

Google+ Event

Google+ TILL Community

Google+ learning2gether Community