Writing for Webheads 21-year reunion with original members Vance Stevens, Michael Coghlan, & Felix Zaniboni, and Dan Bassill

Learning2gether episode #419

Download the audio here: https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/2019sept08_w4wreunion_audio.m4a?

Skip down to Earlier Events

At the traditional meeting time of noon GMT, and on the usual day, Sunday, three original Writing for Webheads members convened in Zoom for a 21 year reunion. The date was September 8, 2019, and the original members who joined me, Vance Stevens, were Michael Coghlan and Felix Zaniboni.  We were joined by Dan Bassill, one of our original Webheads in Action members, who helped us better relate the Webheads movement with his Tutor Mentor Exchange.

The video recording is here: https://youtu.be/53NAeB5NX7U

These show notes are reconstructed from tabs left open on my computer.

I started by bringing up and sharing web pages from Writing for Webheads:

Felix has since started his own language school in Bahia, Brazil. Pto. Seguro I presume.

Michael was able to find and share with us some materials he had from his online days that pre-dated the beginning of my chat logs. He had a web page he’d used to deliver a presentation in Jerusalem in July 1998, which shows his involvement teaching online through Dave’s ESL Cafe and David Winet’s EFI (English for Internet at Study.com). http://michaelcoghlan.net/confrefs.htm. The slides he used in this presentation are still online: http://michaelcoghlan.net/conshort/index.htm


Michael showed us some of the materials he produced for online learners in 1997 and 1998, such as http://michaelcoghlan.net/toeflintroassign.htm, which he used in the class he taught in EFI. Others are mentioned in the chat log from the Zoom recording.

Felix remembered that Michael had sent him a certificate of completion of his online course from those days. When Michael was trying to remember it, Felix said he still had it on his computer somewhere (or maybe it was in a frame on the wall of his office :-). In any event he was able to find it pretty quickly and send it to us in an email. I couldn’t resist posting it here:


Zoom chat logs

20:20:31 From Michael : http://michaelcoghlan.net/TOEFLHOME.htm
20:27:11 From Michael : http://michaelcoghlan.net/confrefs.htm
20:42:07 From Daniel : Hi Vance and all. My camera’s not working but I can hear and see you all. Happy Webheads anniversary.
20:52:00 From Michael : http://www.michaelcoghlan.net/RWASSIGN1.htm
20:52:24 From Daniel : http://www.tutormentorexchange.net
20:55:29 From Felix : i just sent you an email with the certificate
20:58:26 From Felix : BRB
20:59:04 From Daniel : http://tutormentor.blogspot.com
21:12:57 From Vance Stevens : https://evosessions.pbworks.com
21:14:23 From Vance Stevens : skoll foundation
21:14:29 From Daniel : Skoll foundation – Social Edge
21:15:29 From Daniel : #etmooc #clmooc #dlmooc
21:18:47 From Daniel : Dan is Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Chicago area

Dan joined us late in the chat. He has been in the Webheads in Action Yahoo Group since 2005. According to the WiA community page here, http://vancestevens.com/papers/evonline2002/community.htm, he indicated when joining that he had “collaborated with Webheads on 3 eConferences since May 2004”. Dan is the force behind the Tutor Mentor Exchange that works to find ‘mentors’ for poor kids in Chicago and make a difference in their lives. He guided us through pages on his site and showed us pictures of people he had mentored who had remained his friends for life, and in come cases had gone on to help people who had mentored them, such as the guy in the picture below (I presume he’s the same one as the young man pictured with a much younger Dan in the photo below that):


He saw parallels with Webheads in the way we were each trying to connect with communities that would bring us members who could help us further our altruistic goals, tapping into what Clay Shirky called the cognitive surplus that the advent of the internet leveraged so ably. Dan steered us through the following links (that were working when we met but are not responding today; I’ll monitor this).

We visited http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/ and from there clicked onto http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/conferences-and-online-forums,
and from there linked to
to get a clearer picture of the connection between Webheads and the Tutor Mentor Exchange. You can follow that connection in the recording we made of the reunion.

In the video below Dan explains his work with Tutor Mentor.

Dan also told us to visit his blog and search on Webheads to find all the times we were mentioned there, which I did: https://tutormentor.blogspot.com/search?q=webheads

Dan has been doing this for a long time (over 45 years?). I found this at https://www.facebook.com/TutorMentorInstitute/


This event happened late evening for me. When I awoke in the morning I found via email alert that two colleagues had arrived in the Zoom room between 1 and 2 hours after we had already left it. They were Maha (I’ll have to find out which one) and Doris Molero, whom I met face to face for the first time at WorldCALL in Chile this past summer: http://vancestevens.com/papers/evonline2002/community.htm#keepshining

In these picture Doris and I meet for the first time in Chile after decades of collaboration on various projects, and in the picture on the right, she says that her long learning journey that eventually brought her to Chile began with Webheads in Action.

20181114_133413 IMG_0781

Here are some announcement that attracted Dan, Doris, and Maha to our proceedings:

For #Learning2gether episode 419, all are invited to attend a reunion actually of the old Writing for Webheads which started some time before September 1998 (Webheads in Action got going a few years later in 2001-2002). It takes place this coming Sunday Sept 8, at noon UTC. Michael Coghlan and Felix Zaniboni have agreed to join me to just talk about what we could possibly have been thinking way back then.

Felix  Michael  Vance

I’m not sure exactly when Webheads began, but we can talk about that today. Late last century Vance was teaching a course for EFI, English for Internet, an online language learning idea implemented by David Winet where he set up a website called Study.com, and got students to sign up for English lessons via Internet and recruited teachers to teach them, all for free, and mostly by email. One of my students showed me how to do this better by getting me started learning HTML and creating a website for it, http://prosites-vstevens.homestead.com/files/efi/webheads.htm. By then we had started calling it Writing for Webheads, and David had got a company called Coterie interested in the project to the point where they set up a muve Palace server where those interested could go and learn and teach languages.

David set us up with a classroom space in the Palace and from a server Vance was setting up at a language school he was helping develop in his real job in the UAE, he was able to enter the Palace and remain there all day using the LAN without having to occupy my phone line (that was back in the days of dodgy dialup connectivity). The time assigned for Vance’s class followed closely on that assigned to two other EFI teachers, Michael Coghlan and Maggie Doty. They were often still in the space when Vance appeared for his class, and we just merged.

I’m not sure if this was in 1997 or 1998, but this is where got to know the students mentioned in the first record I have of our chat logs there,

There’s a lot more that I can write here but on Sunday, Sept 8, Felix Zaniboni, whom we used to know as “Bahia”, and Michael Coghlan have agreed to meet me and whomever else we can recruit for the event for a discussion of old times and where we have all gone from there.



Announcements of this Learning2gether event on Facebook Groups


On twitter




This just in from Dan, https://twitter.com/tutormentorteam/status/1170690655674347520



Webheads in Action in the Literature 

From http://webheads.info


Earlier events


Fri, August 9, 2019 – Vance Stevens repeated “Supporting student writing with the help of voice-to-text”

live and f2f on August 9 at GLoCALL 2019 in Danang, Vietnam


Aug 19 VSTE Island Grand Opening in Second Life

VSTE Grand Opening!
Tuesday, August 20⋅12:00 – 1:00am (not sure which time zone; suspect it’s UTC)

Join the VSTE VE PLN on VSTE Island in Second Life.

More info at VSTE VE PLN on FB


Sun Sep 1 2300 UTC Nelba Quintana on Skype with author Andrés Cruciani

Nelba Quintana is holding a free video conference with Andrés Cruciani on Skype on Sept 1 at 23:00 UTC

 From LinkedIn


See Nelba’s message on Instagram


Prof Cruciani , writer and online editor, will speak about his short story “The Scientist”, read some lines and then you will have the opportunity to interact with him .

🔜 Send a private message on Instagram to get enrolled

See Nelba’s announcement on Twitter


Find out more about Nelba at https://nelbanet.org/

Wed Sept 4 – Fri Sept 6 2019 – Final conference of European policy experiment ‘evaluate’

One interesting thing about this conference is that, due to its funding, it is free to attend (on site).

For more information


2 thoughts on “Writing for Webheads 21-year reunion with original members Vance Stevens, Michael Coghlan, & Felix Zaniboni, and Dan Bassill

  1. Pingback: Learning2gether with VSTE at their monthly Minecraft Monday | Learning2gether

  2. It’s difficult to sustain connections over time, so I appreciate the post here as a reminder that there are ways and reasons to do so. I wonder if the faster pace of technology and shifting on social networking spaces makes this more difficult, or easier. I suspect, a little of both, and sustained connections requires a handful of people to act as nodes, reaching out with reminders of how things first came together and why (important) and where it might go in the future.
    Thanks for sharing (and to Dan, who shared as part our own connections in the CLMOOC affinity network)

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