Klaus Michelsen – Social business and blended learning in cash-strapped Lima public schools? Panacea or deadly combination?

Learning2gether Episode 194

On Wed Dec 18 Learning2gether hosted Klaus Michelsen on the topic of Social business and blended learning in cash-strapped Lima public schools? Panacea or deadly combination?

Audio and video content removed at request of presenter

This webinar took a look at some of the insights gained from a recent four-month-long professional development course aimed at a small group of EFL public school teachers based in Lima, Peru.  The whole project was run via blended mode. It was put together by Klaus and run with the great help of two hard-working American colleagues – the first based in Santa Cruz (Bolivia), and the second in sunny California.

Text chat transcription

Here’s the abstract for the case study Klaus is currently working on:

This article reports on a blended teacher development course currently being piloted in Lima, Peru. The course, which the author designed at the request of the Ministry of Education in Peru, is designed for a group of practicing English language teachers who teach both in Lima and across the state (cash-strapped) high school system, where English is mandatory.

The course addresses two common problems identified by both the Ministry and the author: first, the need to improve teachers’ basic English speaking skills and second, the need to design oral fluency activities that are neither book-driven nor dominated by a grammar or lexical syllabus approach to language teaching and learning. Many high school teachers are not English teachers by training and do not possess a fluent command of the language. As in most other parts of both Peru and the region, an alarming number of state school teachers lack the motivation to move out of their comfort zones and are therefore unwilling to explore more situated and creative pedagogical models. Not surprisingly, both traditionally assigned teacher and ICT roles (i.e. teachers as suppliers of knowledge, digital technology as a tool or tutor, etc.) remain largely unchallenged.

In light of the above, the author proposes a tailor-made blended learning framework which draws on a number of blended learning principles outlined in a recent publication (2013) commissioned by the British Council. The suggested framework is then grounded on a situated pedagogic model which is in turn informed by the following three learning approaches: Web 2.0 pedagogy, TBLT (Task-Based Language Teaching) and gamification. Through the current professional development course, the article seeks to demonstrate the extent to which the proposed framework has met the aforementioned objectives.

Since the blended learning principles and suggested pedagogical models (Web 2.0, TBLT and gamification) have not yet been empirically tested in any of Peru’s state school classrooms, it is hoped that the lessons gained from this case study can be used in the design and implementation of future pre-service and in-service professional development programs, not only in Lima, but also across Peru.

In conversations with Klaus, he explains further about Social Business – a business not run for profit maximization but to solve a social problem

As he explains,

“All  language schools I’ve worked for in the UK, Saudi Arabia and here are for profit only. In other words, they are run like any other regular business. BUT is education a business? And when you prioritize making money, what happens with quality education? Second question, what happens with teachers’ salaries? Social business is a totally unexplored concept in English Language Teaching and Learning.”

Klaus cites three writers who have influenced his thinking in moving forward this project:

  1.  Muhammad Yunnus’s book Creating a World Without Poverty
    summarizes really well the busniess model behind Blended English Peru.
  2. Slahberg’s book is absolutely brilliant too. Follow his blog, http://pasisahlberg.com/
  3. And Diane Ravitch’s, http://dianeravitch.net/

Muhammad Yunnus has been interviewed on Democracy now by Amy Goodman

I was thinking of another Amy Goodman interview, with Chilean “barefoot economist” Manfred Max-Neef


Earlier this week

Wed Dec 11 0800 GMT Delin and her students at Taiwan Air Force Academy in BbC / Elluminate

On Dec 11 there was a workshop with Delin Xiao archived here:

This followed an earlier Learning2gether recording made Dec 5 to show teachers where Vance works how to use Bb Collaborate / Elluminate, and to document the training for them.

Fri Dec 13 2000 GMT Headless ds106 Campfire


What’s it about?

Join us for a live hangout around the ds106 campfire as we celebrate the stories and accomplishments of headless ds106. Help us now by tweeting links to your best work with a #ds106headlessbest  tag. If you join us around the campfire, please come ready to talk about some of your favorite moments and the work you saw others do that inspired you.  This was going to be via Google Hangout and crosscast to ds106 radio, but now …

Because the lighting is tricky around a campfire, and as our camera person really would rather be toasting marshmallows than hoisting the camera, we will be broadcasting discussion LIVE on ds106 Radio (audio only, that’s how radio works. folks).
To tune in, use  the web player athttp://ds106rad.io/listen or for a media player, use http://ds106rad.io:8000/ds106radio_64.m3u

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Giulia Forsythe: http://flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/5394469018/

Dec 14 Featured Teacher-Wes Fryer on “Coding & Games with Kids: Hopscotch, Scratch and Minecraft”


You can find recordings at the link above and at Wes’s blog, Moving at the Speed of Creativity


Dec 14 and 15 Maria Collusa invited Webheads to chats associated with the Global Classroom Project


Dec 15 1400 GMT IATEFL seminar – Plan Ceibal English with Mercedes Viola and Graham Stanley


Fri Dec 20 at 2030 GMT Heike Philp Christmas Party on Avalon


Heike Philp a…Heike Philp aka Gwen Gwasi
Heike Philp aka Gwen Gwasi has invited you to the event ‘Christmas Party on EduNation’ on AVALON!

Check out “Christmas Party on EduNation” on AVALON

Heike Philp aka Gwen Gwasi

Christmas Party on EduNation Time: December 20, 2013 from 8:30pm to 11pm
Location: EduNation in Second Life
Organized By: Heike Philp aka Gwen Gwasi

Event Description:
Christmas Party on EduNation Friday, 20 Dec 2013, 8:30pm GMT /12:30pm PDTCome join us for a Christmas party on EduNation
with DJ Mick Stanton Where? EduNation III
When? Friday, 20th December 2013, 8:30pm GMT / 12:30pm SLT
|^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| || | ……..DJ Mick Stanton ♪…..| ||’|”;, ___.
|_…_…___________  __===|=||_|__|…, ] –
Ice skating, sledging and fun!
˜*•. ˜*•.•*˜ .•*˜ ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.•°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜
•°~°•~ MERRY XMAS! ~•°~°•
.•*˜ .•°*”˜.•°*”˜”*°•.˜”*°•. ˜*•.
.•*˜ .•*˜*•. ˜*•.
See more details and RSVP on AVALON:


Meeting with Delin Xiao at Taiwan Air Force Academy in BbC / Elluminate

Learning2gether Episode 193

On Wed Dec 11 teachers in Al Ain got in touch with Delin at Taiwan Air Force Academy via BbC / Elluminate

Halima in Tashkent also joined us. Delin’s students could not join us (they had physical training exercises)

Delin’s Edmodo profile: https://www.edmodo.com/home#/profile/20948949

What is this about?

Vance Stevens is introducing his EFL teaching colleagues at KBZAC to Delin Xiao and her students at RoC Air Force Academy. In this session we informally discuss means of connection and collaboration between teachers and / or students in the UAE, Taiwan, and elsewhere (so all interested are welcome)




Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate)


This follows an introduction to Bb Collaborate given to teachers in UAE:


and on a previous meeting in Bb Collaborate with Delin and some of her students

About the UAE Air College

Read more about this Graduation Ceremony and view the enlarged photos here


Khalifa bin Zayed Air College is mentioned in the Wikipedia article on the UAE Air Force



About the RoC Air Force Academy 


Academy Web site:



Phil Hubbard on Digital content curation for CALL using TED Talk YouTube video

Learning2gether Episode 192

Download mp3:

On Sunday Dec 8 Phil Hubbard spoke with us on Digital content curation for CALL using TED Talk videos on YouTube

This post documents a great session with Phil Hubbard  where Phil explained his system for curating TED Talk videos according to their vocabulary and language load for the students. It was a very well attended event and generated a lot of discussion not only in the chats, which we captured (I found out you can copy from Hangout chat and paste it into Google Docs and of course it comes out with avatars and emoticons intact 🙂 but in the Google Group, where Claude Almansi entered an energetic discussion and even made a transcript to subtitle the video record in Amara.

Where? We were in Google Hangout

Philip Hubbard presented this 45 min Research and Development paper Digital content curation for CALL on 10th July at the 2013 WorldCALL conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

His PowerPoint slides are here:


To date, CALL work has focused on four major and sometimes overlapping areas: tutorial CALL, use of technological tools for CALL, CALL tasks, and CALL environments. The first two are linked to Levy’s (1997) tutor-tool framework, CALL tasks are most comprehensively acknowledged in Chapelle’s (2001) framework, and CALL environments have been defined by Egbert & Hanson-Smith (2007), as well as through work in Activity Theory and ecological approaches. To these foundational domains of the field I propose adding a fifth: curated digital content. Digital content—text, audio, video, and multimedia—is growing almost exponentially, especially in commonly taught languages and others with large bases of Internet users. This volume can be overwhelming to both teachers and learners.

Aimed at imposing order on this chaos, CALL content curation can be defined as the collection and organization of digital content with value added by a language learning expert who serves much the same role as a curator of exhibits in a museum. In this talk, I first present the concept of curation and distinguish it from related concepts such as simple content aggregation, tagging, crowdsourcing, content adaptation, and lesson development. I then offer a preliminary framework for identifying promising sources for curation and for desirable characteristics of curators and curated material. As an example, I describe a curation project from my advanced ESL listening class, built around videos of TED talks (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) curated from http://www.ted.com and designed to support autonomous learning. This section includes a discussion of how the effective use of curated content by language learners requires informed use of a range of technology tools for extracting form and meaning in the pursuit of language learning objectives. I conclude by emphasizing the importance of content curation as a long-term priority ripe for further Research and Development.

Claude Almansi has made some interesting comments on Google+ …

Here is the full text of Claude’s observations:

Just some remarks re: the very useful http://www.stanford.edu/~efs/693b/TED1.html list, mentioned in the PDF. TED talks viewed on TED.com or on YouTube:

  • have subtitles and interactive transcripts generated from them in usually heaps of languages. So you can have the subtitles in the original language and the transcript in your own language, or viceversa: this allows learners to use a talk even if they have a limited vocabulary,  and it also makes the need to provide a glossary less important;
  •  can be downloaded with subtitles in any of the provided languages burned in (open captions): useful when learners don’t have access to a good connection
  •  can be subtitled by learners themselves by joining  http://www.amara.org/en/teams/ted/ , and subtitling is a great language exercise. Moreover, the subtitle timing is sometimes more accurate on amara.org (where they are made) than on ted.com, due to codex things I don’t understand 😉

That’s the case with those for the “Andy Hobsbawm: Do the green thing” video mentioned in the PDF and in the list: there’s a lag in http://www.ted.com/talks/andy_hobsbawm_says_do_the_green_thing.html , whereas there is none in http://www.amara.org/en/videos/cVZdvmYJzuHc/info/andy-hobsbawm-says-do-the-green-thing/ .

One more thing: once you’ve downloaded a TED video as MP4 (or any MP4 video for that matter), you can open it as audio in Audacity if you install the FFmpeg library (see http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq_i18n?s=files&i=wma-proprietary for more info). And with Audacity, you can change the delivery speed without altering the pitch, either via the “Change Tempo” effect, or via the reading speed slidebar. This would allow learners to overcome understanding issues due to  fast delivery.

Moreover, you can also add labels to the audio with Audacity: see http://audacity.sourceforge.net/onlinehelp-1.2/track_label.htm . So a teacher could e.g. make and download a label track with either glossary indications or questions, and share it with the students, who could re-use them with their audio file in Audacity too. And then, such an audio version could also enable, by comparison, a reflection on use of visuals in the video: some TED lecturers use them, some just speak.

This thread continues at some length

in comments on the event announcement at the Learning2gether Google+ event page here:

Transcript of this session

in addition, Claude and others have subtitled this talk using the transcript posted in Amara, here:


The version with  English captions can be edited and improved (some words are still missing) at
http://www.amara.org/en/videos/57VzK4F5LToL/en/ .

On July 14, 2013 Claude and her colleague Lucia Bartolotti joined us on Learning2gether to explain Amara and its use as a media caption tool in language learning


More about WorldCALL


Program: http://www.worldcall2013.org/programme.asp 

Proceedings were here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/p3853ngyb94dazq/Short%20Papers.pdf (link broken)


Earlier this week

Wed Dec 4 at 1000 GMT Jennifer Maddrell hosted Designers for Learners webcast

Please join us at http://designersforlearning.org/live for our next Designers for Learners webcast on Wednesday, December 4th at 1:00 p.m. CST. Here is the start time in your area: http://bitly.com/1aN32cy. The webcast will focus on opportunities to develop service-learning and Open Educational Resource (OER) projects to support General Educational Development (GED) test preparation. Our guests for the webcast have extensive experience in OER development, including Ronda Neugebauer and David Wiley of Lumen Learning (http://lumenlearning.com), and Quill West, OER Director at Tacoma Community College (http://open.tacomacc.edu).

In the past few months, we have received inquiries from nonprofits in need of instructional design help to support GED test preparation, including resources for learners, as well as for staff and volunteers who work as tutors. In 2014, the requirements for the GED test will change significantly from the existing 2002 version of the test. In addition to changes in the content and test items, all students will be required to take the test via computer vs. pencil and paper. Instructional materials are needed to support a range of subject-matter, including math, science, social studies, language arts, and computer use. Please join us to contemplate the adaptation, development, and use of OER as an alternative to existing commercial offerings, such as those in the GED marketplace (http://www.gedmarketplace.com).

We look forward to seeing you on December 4th! If you can’t make the live session, the recording will be available at
http://designersforlearning.org/category/webcast or http://www.edtechtalk.com.

Connect with us on twitter at:
Quill: http://twitter.com/quill_west
Ronda: http://twitter.com/RondaNeugebauer
Jennifer: http://twitter.com/JenM
David: http://twitter.com/opencontent
Designers for Learning updates are posted at:

Our website: http://designersforlearning.org/category/news
Facebook: http://facebook.com/designersforlearning
Google+: http://plus.google.com/+DesignersforlearningOrg
Twitter: http://twitter.com/design4learn

Thu Dec 5 at 0800 GMT Vance Stevens introduced teachers in Al Ain UAE to Bb Collaborate




Vance Stevens introduces teachers in Al Ain UAE to Bb Collaborate

Learning2gether Episode 191

Download mp3
On Thu Dec 5 Vance Stevens introduced teachers at his workplace in Al Ain, UAE, to Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate, formerly known as Elluminate, holds many possibilities for online professional development and sharing among teachers, as well as for collaboration with and among students.

Vance Stevens showed how to use the version of Bb Collaborate at this URL http://learningtimesevents.org/webheads/



Here is a screenshot of the tool when used with some of Delin Xiao’s students at the Republic of China Air Force Academy earlier this week (and we are hoping that Delin can come online and chat with some of our teachers on Dec 11 at 0700 GMT)/


In the session today (Dec 5) BbC / Elluminate was introduced to teachers with little prior experience with the program.

Here are survey results of 11 who responded to a poll on the topic:

In a follow-on event to this one, teachers at KBZAC in Al Ain, UAE met Delin from the RoC Air Force Academy in Bb Collaborate on Dec 11, 2013


Maggie Sokolik and the College Writing 2.1x MOOC

Learning2gether Episode 190

Download the mp3:

On Monday Dec 2 we were Learning2gether with Maggie Sokolik and the College Writing 2.1x MOOC

About …

The U.S. Department of State and UC Berkeley are offering a 5-week writing course College Writing 2.1x: Principles of Written English.  This course is an open online course available to both English language learners and teachers interested in academic writing.This course is free and open to any interested participants.The course begins Friday, November 8th and will be 5-weeks long. All coursework is asynchronous (meaning the content can be accessed at anytime during the week and there are no live sessions to attend) and assignments are due at the end of each week. Learn more and register here: https://www.edx.org/course/berkeley/colwri2-1x/college-writing-2-1x-principles/1194.  You can also visit the course Facebook Page.Check with your local U.S. Embassies and American Corners as some are hosting supplemental facilitation sessions to collaborate with students and colleagues during this learning process. Or consider forming your own learning group!


This event will strain our streaming hangout protocol and test its ability to scale.  Maggie says:

“I’ve announced it in our courseware as well as set it up as a Facebook event for our Facebook group for the course. 200+ in the Facebook group have said they’re attending (our FB group has approx. 10% of the students from the entire course—54,000 currently in the course, and about 5,100 in the Facebook group).”

This should be interesting 🙂


Additional archives


New book by Maggie Sokolik and Dorothy Zemach, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N9U27ZE/


Earlier this week

Wed Nov 27 1000 gmt Talking VTE with Stephan Ridgway and Michael Coghlan

2013 is fast drawing to a close so Michael and Stephan thought it would be a good idea to convene another TalkingVTE hangout. If you able to make it add your name on the session wikipage @ http://sridgway.wikispaces.com/talkingvte38
A few of us have recently been to conferences and many have things to report and reflect on the years significant issues, feel free to add topics of your own.

I had an exploratory chat on Nov 28, 2013 with students at R.O.C. Air Force Academy, whose teacher is Delin Xiao

Fri Nov 29 Vance Stevens was asked to host hangout with teachers from Uzbekistan

Halima Ozimova has suggested an online event to correspond with the UzTEA Annual Conference in Uzbekistan


Prospects do not look good for this event. Stephen Downes advises us to persist in the face of adversity:

“The system will push you back!”

One way to push back on the system is to promote accountability through transparency … (or perhaps the organizing committee will agree to allowing a Hangout 🙂

Assuming we are able to proceed, Halima proposes

  • She interview some colleagues on Professional Development and they share their ideas, findings on applying Google tools in the English class room
  • They participate in the virtual class in the @BlackBoard room: http://learningtimesevents.org/webheads/ and the recording would be demonstrated/discussed at the Annual Conference.
  •  All discuss the issues of Professional Development in Halima’s google drive docs.
  • discuss Professional Development issues at Twitter
  •  We’d participate in GOOGLE+ HANG OUT under Vance Stevens’s Moderating,which ends up with a YouTube, which we’d demonstrate at the UzTEA Annual Conference.

She assumes that the last approach is the best one.  Vance is available for hosting on the morning of Nov 29

Here is more information from Halima

Thu Nov 28 – Fri Nov 29 Global Education Dialogues: 21st century universities

Global Education Dialogues: 21st century universities – the future of higher education in South Asia

Taking place Nov 28-29 on site in Dubai, more information here:


Live stream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-vk6wq23rY&feature=share

Fri Nov 29 and Sat Nov 30 International House 60th Anniversary Conference Live and Online


Recordings are being uploaded here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ihlanguages


Scott Thornbury was on the program above at 1400 (What’s wrong with Dogme?) and again at 1500 GMT at the event below

Sat Nov 30 1500 gmt IATEFL free Webinar with Scott Thornbury


When:  November 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm GMT – You can check your local time here

Where: IATEFL Adobe Connect: Click here

You can read more about it in Mercedes Viola’s blog here

Sun Dec 1 1400 GMT IATEFL LTSIG Appaganza with Carla Arena, Joe Dale, and Sean Wilden

LTSIG Appaganza http://ltsig.org.uk/
with Carla Arena (Brazil), Joe Dale (UK) & Shaun Wilden (UK)

Carla Arena  Joe Dale  Shaun Wilden

When: Sunday 1 December 2013, GMT 14:00 (London Time)
Find the time in your time zone by clicking this link.

Where: The event takes place in the IATEFL online conference room.

Click here to join the webinar.