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)

3 thoughts on “Learning2gether with Stephen Downes about eLearning 3.0

  1. Pingback: Vance Stevens presents ‘Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC’ at WorldCALL 2018 | Learning2gether

  2. I found your review helpful, as a frame of reminders for myself. Sort of like a text-based time-lapse camera. Thank you for taking the time to share back out the ‘breadcrumbs’ that Stephen has been leaving here, there, everywhere on the distributed network.

  3. Pingback: Learning2gether with the 2019 annual Electronic Village Online Kickoff event | Learning2gether

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