The annual Global Education Conference: Why online teacher trainers should know about cMOOCs

Learning2gether Episode 301

Download mp3:

On Tue Nov 17 1400 UTC Vance Stevens scheduled a presentation at the annual online Global Education Conference to explain why EVO moderators in-training should know about cMOOCs and xMOOCs. Thus the presentation was both a GEC and EVO Moderator Training Week 3 event, as well as episode 301 of Learning2gether. The presentation was entitled:

Why online teacher trainers should know about cMOOCs

GEC Conference Presentation Page

Bb Collaborate Recordings:

EVO 2016 Moderators event page

Vance Stevens will explain how the cMOOC model is relevant to EVO sessions, following on the article by Bates (2014). The talk is directed at EVO moderators but has been scheduled as part of the Global Education Conference being held Nov 16-19. This event takes place in Bb Collaborate (Elluminate) but not in the Webheads one being used by EVO. The GEC BbC room must be vacated before 1500 UTC. Therefore Vance proposes a follow-on discussion in BbC Webheads Virtual Office

Full Session Description:

Electronic Village Online (EVO, is a series of “class roots” professional development sessions that have been put on by teachers for other teachers over 5 weeks in January and February each year since 2001. They are organized and implemented by volunteer coordinators and session moderators from countries all over the world, and are offered for free to participants from around the globe as a service to the profession. Thus EVO significantly increases opportunities for building education-related connections worldwide.

Although anyone can propose to give a session, there is a quality control procedure. Proposals are vetted and those with potential are provisionally accepted pending session moderators’ completion of training each November. The training is designed to ensure that each session included in the general call for participation in December meets standards expected of trainers in the profession. This system invites innovation and creativity in how sessions are mounted, as each should not simply train teachers in a skill or expertise, but should model how such training can be applied to learners.

One such model is MOOC, in particular cMOOC. A MOOC is by definition a massive open online course. The term MOOC was coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier and / or Brian Alexander, who were involved in the seminal MOOC that year called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, the first of many of what became known as cMOOC ( Many people however associate the term MOOC with the xMOOC model initiated by Peter Norvik  and Sebastian Thrun in 2011, the latter of whom went on to start Udacity. Coursera appeared soon after, followed by EdX, whose name Siemens co-opted in making the distinction between cMOOCs (or connectivist MOOCs) and xMOOCs (Siemens, 2012).

Some who have engaged in online training for the past decade or more are considering whether what they have been doing might have fallen under the definition of MOOC all along. EVO, now in its 15th year, could conceivably claim to be a precursor MOOC by virtue of its comprising a set of courses conducted entirely online, leaving behind permanent artifacts on open access, and reaching thousands of participants each year.

As instances of online courses, both xMOOCs and cMOOCs utilize what has become known as flipped learning, an idea that many consider to have been first implemented on a wide scale in Khan Academy courses in 2004 ( However, this common feature of MOOCs belies other significant differences.

In guiding development of future EVO sessions, it’s worth looking at what characterizes and distinguishes cMOOCs from xMOOCs. This presentation lists affordances of the former which resonate with what normally happens in EVO sessions; e.g. use of social media, participant driven content, distributed communication, and no formal assessment, as specified in an article by Bates (2014) which is being used in EVO training this year.

Furthermore, EVO is all about networking and communities of practice. The sessions strongly build content not only from a set syllabus in each course but in most cases from the discussion and creativity brought to each subject by participants from diverse perspectives from all over the globe. Thus EVO can benefit from considering its activities to be informed by elements of the cMOOC framework.

This presentation will suggest that teacher training has much to gain from the cMOOC model of learning through exploring a topic and negotiating social consensus as opposed to the xMOOC model of learning through prescribed and guided training. Online courses (e.g. EVO sessions) should have elements of guidance as well as social networking, but this presentation suggests, as does Cormier (2008), that the community can be instrumental in setting the curriculum, and that learning in a setting where learning outcomes are not clear from the beginning (as in learning languages for example) can draw for success from the cMOOC model. When this model is transposed onto courses that take place in an international arena, further benefits from fertile cross-cultural perspectives accrue from adopting the cMOOC approach.

Post-show: EVO moderators met to discuss cMOOCs and xMOOCs

Download mp3:

BbC Text chat transcript

Tue Nov 17 1500 UTC Vance Stevens had suggested a discussion of MOOCs and badges in Webheads Bb Collaborate. It was envisioned as a discussion among moderators and anyone else interested of how the points made in Vance’s GEC talk might apply to EVO sessions
Where? Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate)

Those in attendance besides Vance were Nina Liakos, Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, Elizabeth Anne, and Nellie Deutsch


Mon Nov 16-19 free annual GEC Global Education Conference

The recordings for all the sessions include links to the original Bb Collaborate session recording, the mp3 rendered from the recording, and the mp4 as well. The media files may either be played in the browser or downloaded to your computer:

Vance’s take: The annual Global Education Conference, is a unique and refreshing annual event that brings together teachers from all over the world as presenters and participants, The conference takes place online Nov 16-19, four days around the clock, so SOME presentations will be convenient to attend, AND even if you do miss it, the presentations are recorded, so like the K-12 Online conference, they’re just sitting on a server somewhere waiting for us to get around to checking them out going back through years of archived recordings.

If you want to attend, just tune in. The schedule is set to multiple time zones. If you want to present, that too is simple. Follow the instructions, which are essentially to join the presenters’ Ning, create a discussion (this will be your proposal), copy the template, paste it to the discussion, fill in the details, make sure it will be in the pending discussions group (it’s in the instructions) and submit. Someone will approve it or at least look at it quickly and get back to you with advise on how you can make it comply with the mission statement (I was told to include wording on how my proposal promoted international connections with teachers) and you can resubmit and get approval a day or two later. Your proposal will be moved to the accepted group and you’ll be forwarded to a tool that will let you schedule it. It’s brilliant how it works, and how inclusive it is yet high quality, as often happens with crowd-sourced professional endeavors.

Learning2gether interviewed Lucy Gray in September, where she told us more about how they organize these conferences,

There follows Steve Hargadon’s email promotion, well worth a glance.

To say that Lucy and I love this conference would be an understatement (and see the quotes below from a previous year). It’s a very unique and incredible opportunity for educators and students around the world to connect with each other, and whether you’re presenting for the first time or the 100th, we’ve structured this event to allow the maximum personal connecting possible: from submitting proposals into our social networking platform and being able to connect immediately and directly with others; to sticking with the Blackboard Collaborate session platform because it makes conversation among the audience not just easy, but inevitable!

Conference Hash tag #globaled15

OK, now on to volunteering!

Reason number 2 (out of a gazillion) to love this conference is the incredible outpouring of volunteer help during conference sessions. If you haven’t been a “volunteer moderator” for GlobalEdCon before, we’re telling you, seriously, it’s a great experience. Not only might you be the lifeline to someone presenting for the first time and who’s super-nervous, but you get to experience the camaraderie of being in the volunteer lounge with other terrific folk from all over the world–and friendships are most definitely built in the process! There’s already something magical just from helping others, plus add to that the excitement of making sure every room is covered each hour and helping answer questions or troubleshoot together, and you will find this experience builds a special bond with a very special group like-minded and globally-generous souls.

Steve Hargadon
Co-Founder and Co-Chair
Global Education Conference

What others have said about this conference

This is the event of the year where educators worldwide can come together to inspire and be inspired.
-Torsten Otto
Hamburg, Germany
The conference allows educators around the world to become part of the story and fabric of who we are as human beings.
-Lori Zataveski
Delran, New Jersey, USA
It’s a fascinating learning journey; it enables to connect and share experiences that will inspire educators all over the world!
-Ikram Eseghir
Kenitra, Morocco
The conference is one the best things ever to happen to individuals who want to develop their capacity in research, teaching and learning. It saves one the time, money and other resources that would have been spent to travel abroad for a conference of international status.
-David O.
Great piece of work…if we had more teachers taking up such ideas, the world would be a transformed place to live in full of geniuses. Love it all.
-Ibrahim Bahati
Kampala, Uganda
It offers the world’s educators huge opportunities to learn from each other and to improve their daily practices.If two heads are better than one, then how about thousands of heads?
-Abdeljallal Elhariri
Agadir, Morocco
The conference was indeed enriching. The use of this technology to connect with others ourside of our school to inspire them to rise to the challenge of understanding and taking a stand to support indivduals that are homeless is commendable. I am proud of these students and the dedication, preparation and research they have displayed throughout the cycle of the project and beyond.
-Lenora Scott
Riverdale, Maryland, USA
A great opportunity to share outstanding ideas with other online participants and new connections and friends made for future online communication and collaborative problem solving with teachers and students! Invaluable experience! Thanks!
-Mark Wickens
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Just when I thought I heard everything — new doors opened — hundreds of new ideas flooded through, and once again, I probably will not sleep tonight as my mind recalls all that I have learned and replays it over and over as I attempt to drift off to sleep so I will be refreshed for early morning sessions!
-Cookie Schultz
Orlando, Florida, USA
It is an honor to be among these globally connected teachers. I am humbled and incredibly motivated all at the same time!
-Heidi Hutchison
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The conference has broadened my vision as a teacher educator.
-Sebastian Panakal
Cochin, India
Love the Global Education concept and the fact that teachers are sharing with each other around the world.
-Rich Cantrell
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Most impressive, proactive and reflective on the trends and paths of learning that each global teacher must know.
-Ibrahim Bahati
Kampala, Uganda
A very unique way to share experiences and perspectives on education with people from all over the world without barriers.
-Paulina Borja
New York City, USA
The power of networks and community is exemplified here. What a way to spread learning and models among passionate educators around the world.
Seattle, Washington, USA
Amazing experience. Amazed at how much work and how many things can be achieved when we connect.
-Maria Colussa
I am always blown-away by the fact that there are so many of us at this conference from around the globe that share several common goals. This gives me hope for the future! It’s uplifting. Thank you to all that make this conference a reality.
-Lorena Martinez
Brownsville, Texas, USA
This is one of the most valuable virtual conferences I’ve been too, especially learning about emerging technologies and applying ideas to other projects I’m doing.
-Marie-Ella Williams
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Great sharing of innovative learning ideas – and wonderful to connect with educators from around the globe!!
-Dr. Eva Malisius
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Fantastic. I thought I would be going through withdrawal since the Rabini Trust did not sponsor the International Bahai SED Conference in Orlando, Florida, USA this year, but this conference has not only filled my “void” for education and networking, but kindled the flame of learning and teaching in my heart! Can’t wait to tell my friends about this wonderful conference.
-Cookie Schultz
Orlando, Florida, USA
GEC is the most real, vibrant and alive virtual experience.
-Claudia Popescu
Brasov, Romania
Inspiring, motivating, and a great opportunity to learn from teachers all over the world.
-Ana Espinar
Ribarroja, Spain
Love the ability to learn on my time.
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
I have found this one of the best conferences I have attended this year.
Bantry, Ireland

Visit The Global Education Conference Network at:

GEC suggested solutions to problems with Bb Collaborate? 

The conference organizers have a document that’s easy to navigate with a “before starting” section you might look at, The guide suggests you follow these steps to troubleshoot BbC

  1. make sure your computer is running a compatible version of Java,
  2. See the Collaborate Help FAQ
  3. or join the live Conference Chat,

The following were other GEC sessions by colleagues appearing regularly on Learning2gether

Thu Nov 19 ( 0200 UTC) Benjamin L. Stewart hosts a Global Education Conference session

Note, this event is at 8 pm (20:00) on Wed Nov 18 where Benjamin is presenting from, in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Here is the link to the recording:

Presenter: Benjamin L. Stewart, PhD, English-as-a-foreign language (EFL) educator and researcher

School or Organization Name: Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
Language in Which You Will Present: English (and Spanish if necessary)
Target Audience(s): Anyone interested in teaching English to speakers of other languages and those interested in connecting with others with the same interest, and those learning English as an additional language.
Short Session Description: Making the TESOL educative experience transparent through writing
Full Session Description:  During this session I will share two different writing classes, which were designed for English-as-a-foreign language (EFL) trainers, and will explain how transparency and technology together afford a more educative experience when setting out to improve both skill and pedagogical development.  I will explain situational and instructional considerations when teaching openly online, and will provide opportunities for attendees (both educators and learners alike) to connect with others who have similar interests.
Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:  Composition | Academic Writing

Tags: 2015EFA, 2015Students, 2015Teachers


Mon Nov 16 2300 UTC Rita Zeinstejer on Fuel Engagement with Humour at GEC conference

Rita Zeinstejer will be presenting on Monday 16th, at 23 hs  GMT, on “Fuel Engagement with Humour “, when she’ll talk about the importance of integrating humour into Language Learning, as much as we have already integrated drama and video ;-), with examples of appropriate tools and activities.

Link to the recordings:



2 thoughts on “The annual Global Education Conference: Why online teacher trainers should know about cMOOCs

  1. Pingback: Learning2gether about details of Ali Bostancioglu’s research into Webheads in Action | Learning2gether

  2. Pingback: Robert Wachman organizes a discussion of Shaping the way we Teach English with developers Deborah Healey and Jeff Magoto | Learning2gether

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