CALL-IS Academic Session on SMALL: Research, Practice, Impact of Social Media-Assisted Language Learning – Webcasting from TESOL 2019 Atlanta

Learning2gether Episode 405

I was on the panel for CALL-IS Academic Session proposal number 1020-004276, titled, “SMALL: Research, Practice, Impact of Social Media-Assisted Language Learning,” which was included in the program proper of the TESOL 2019 convention in Atlanta. You can find it in the program on Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019, from 1300-1545 UTC

The panelists were Elke Stappart, Maria Tomeho-Palermino, Susan Gaer , Vance Stevens, and Sandy Wagner. We appear here backstage getting ready before taking center stage.


This was the link to our Academic Session page on the CALL-IS Webcasting wiki:


There were two recordings because the streaming computer crashed in the middle of our presentation, and there were also choppy audio issues that are slightly distracting but still comprehensible. But the two original recordings have by now been removed and consolidated into one long video:

In the video


We created our own wiki space to serve as a portal for our presentation

In that space, we provided information about our presentations (in the order presented)

Sandy Wagner talked on
Research on Social Media for Language Learning and Social Engagement
Presentation entitled
SMALL: Large Impacts on Language Learning and Social Engagement

  • Social Media_Assisted Language Learning (SMALL), grounded in the tenets of connectivism, offers “new virtual ecologies that afford language learning and socialization.” (Valnecia, J., 2016). Research provides deeper insights into these “new virtual ecologies” and offers a plethora of justifications, proven results, and recommendations for integration into language teaching and learning. The presenter highlights the spectrum of research-based rationale that opens the doors for greater student engagement, motivation, and interactions.
  • Link to Sandy’s slides here

Vance Stevens ( talked on
Thinking SMALL: A Case for Social Media-Assisted Language Learning
Vance’s contribution to this panel covered:

Elke Stappert (The New York Public Library/ talked on
Impact on Learning: Success Stories and Potential Drawbacks

  • Elke talked mainy about Whatsapp, with brief mention of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. She covered
    • Why Whatsapp? and how to set up a group
      • Different types of groups (by class, multiple same level classes, by topic. Set up by T or Ss)
      • from T involvement in the group to independent S communication
    • Successes (show examples / snapshots from Whatsapp groups)
    • Challenges (show examples / snaphots)
    • Conclusion: Choose best format for YOUR learning environment and set up clear rules
  • Elke’s presentation in Google slides (no link here)

Susan Gaer presented on
Social Media/Network Practical Examples

  • In a cleverly conceived video presentation, Susan demoed her ESL low beginning class from 2017 using Facebook Groups. She talked about the process she went through, how she used FB groups, and the benefits that she saw in terms of student engagement, extension and enhancement using Facebook Groups with ELL immigrant adult students at the low beginning level
  • Watch Susan’s video presentation here:

We announced that viewers could view the stream in these spaces

Here is more information about my presentation as part of the panel:

Vance Stevens presentation on Thinking SMALL: A Case for Social Media-Assisted Language Learning

Here is my slide show for the presentation

and a graphic I had included in the slide show:

In the presentation I described how I have been involved with bringing CALL enthusiasts together at TESOL since helping co-found the CALL-IS Interest section in 1985

  • I started engaging students in online spaces around 1998 with my online course Writing for Webheads which introduced features that presaged many introduced by Moodle in 2002 and Facebook in 2004.
  • In 2002 WfW morphed into Webheads in Action, a community of practice of language learning practitioners that formed to model for one another how to bring Web 2.0 to bear on teacher professional development. Web 2.0 was being gradually introduced to the popular zeitgeist before Tim O’Reilly made the term mainstream at the Media Web 2.0 Conference in 2004.
  • Principles worked out by WiA were put into action in three worldwide Webheads in Action Online Convergences in 2005, 2007, and 2009.
  • By 2010 I had converted the 72-hour webcastathon model to a more manageable weekly event called Learning2gether, which has just completed its 400th podcast.
  • I started mooting replacing the acronym CALL with SMALL, Social Media Assisted Language Learning, at the 2009 TESOL Conference in Denver.

Meanwhile colleagues identifying with Webheads were actively engaging in the CALL-IS Interest Section and in the TESOL Electronic Village Online. EVO sessions perpetuated the movement to bring educators up to speed with Web 2.0 and social media by helping them through their personal paradigm shifts and tool kits to utilize with their approach to their students.

  • One example was the EVO session Multiliteracies, which started out as a certificate course in the TESOL Principles and Practices of Online Teaching program. Multiliteracies increasingly took on elements of cMOOCs, following the emergence of connectivism as a learning theory for a new age, and itself merged into an EVO session called MultiMOOC.
  • Introducing gamification into the mix, I co-founded and have helped nurture and develop EVO Minecraft MOOC for the past 5 years.

Accordingly, my contribution to this panel covered:

  1. My involvement in social media assisted language learning since last century, before Moodle and FB were invented, before the terms Web 2.0 and MOOC were coined, as explained in his 2014 article Connectivist Learning: Reaching Students through Teacher Professional Development
  2. My consistent promotion of the term SMALL since his presentation at TESOL 2009 in Denver, at a session celebrating 25 years of CALL-IS
  3. Preliminary results (60 responses so far) from a survey aimed at gauging educators’ perceptions of various aspects of using social media with each other and with students.

Wed Mar 13 through Fri Mar 15 – Catch the live stream courtesy of the CALL-IS Webcasting Team

Selected presentations were streamed live from TESOL Atlanta by the TESOL CALL-IS Webcasting team. Here is a list of those selected and links to their recordings:

Find the CALL-IS Electronic Village (and including the Technology Showcase) program online here:

I webcast myself from the Electronic Village, but for the remaining events, I was part of the webcasting team using OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) to stream from two locations at the conference. The following article tells more about our efforts streaming and webcasting from TESOL conferences for the past two decades:

Bauer-Ramazani, C., Meyer, J., Reshad, A., Stevens, V., & Watson, J. (2017). A brief history of CALL-IS webcasting in the new millennium. TESL-EJ, Volume 21, Number 1, Available: Also available at:; pp. 1-16 in pdf.

Here are some pictures of the webcasting team in action in Atlanta (more when I find them):


Martha Ramirez being webcast live by Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Christine’s picture, posted here with permission. Sandy Wagner took the picture below at my request with my camera.


3 thoughts on “CALL-IS Academic Session on SMALL: Research, Practice, Impact of Social Media-Assisted Language Learning – Webcasting from TESOL 2019 Atlanta

  1. Pingback: Learning2gether webcasts from 4 events at TESOL 2019 Atlanta | Learning2gether

  2. Pingback: ELT event at Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University webcast via YouTube | Learning2gether

  3. Pingback: Vance Stevens on thinking SMALL at the 2019 PELLTA conference in Penang Malaysia | Learning2gether

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