20 Years After: Michael Coghlan and Vance Stevens convene a Webheads in Action Reunion and launch TALIN

Download audio: https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/2020mar30webheads_audio_only.m4a?

Learning2gether Episode 444

Skip down to the Zoom Chat Logs for the Webheads reunion
Skip down to events taking place between episode 443 and 444

With Australia having just gone on lockdown, Michael Coghlan wrote this in an email to Barbara Dieu and I on March 22, 2020.

I think I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that for the first time in my adult life I cannot go whenever I want whenever I want! And I think it’s time to put the skills many of us picked up years back back into good use. To that end: I was wondering whether we might rekindle the weekly webheads meeting till this crisis is over. You said you still have access to a (Blackboard) Collaborate room. What do you think? Not to teach English obviously ūüôā – but just a place and time to give any webhead who wants to come and chat about whatever’s on their mind. Or just hang out for an hour … Seems silly not to use the technologies and skills we have to help us all through this…

Then one week later, he asked me in Facebook chat if I could meet “now”. I told him I was about to attend another online meeting, but how about tomorrow. He agreed. Time? About this time. So it was settled.

On 30 March 11 am UTC we convened a 20 year Webhead in Action Reunion. We announced the event in various Webheads channels and met in Zoom;
recording here https://youtu.be/eieCKZj3C-I

Vance had already been thinking along these lines and had set up TALIN
Teaching and Learning in IsolatioN at https://tinyurl.com/talin2020
Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/talin2020/

The idea for TALIN was prompted by suggestions in numerous cross-fertilizing communities of practice that there was needed a space where members of these CoPs could meet online and talk informally to one another about how they are dealing with changes in their personal and professional contexts and what they are doing to help others in this trying time of pandemic.



More of Vance’s screenshots

Chat logs from the Zoom chat

The 21 Participants (any more? Please inform us)

Aiden Yeh, Anisoara Pop, “Bee” Barbara Dieu, Chris Fry, Clair Siskin
Doris Molero, Elizabeth Anne, Heike Philp, Laine Marshall, Mbarek Akaddar
Michael Coghlan, Mike Kenteris, Nina Liakos, SaŇ°a Sirk, Sedat Akayoglu
Stella,¬†Sus Nyrop. Susan Marandi, Teresa Almeida d’Eca, Tom Robb
Vance Stevens

Nina Liakos : Hi everyone. I lost my audio
Michael Coghlan : chat here
Heike Philp : Captain’s log Corona Stardate 79
Anisoara Pop : Hello everyone
Vance Stevens : chatting here, feel free to unmute and go on web cam if you wish
Vance Stevens : hi anisoara
Elizabeth Anne : Hi Anisoara ūüôā
Anisoara Pop : Hi Elizabeth, Hi Teresa, Heike, Nina
Teresa : hi Anisoara!
Nina Liakos : Hi Anisoara
Elizabeth Anne : I get more people on my phone when I swipe left ūüôā
Vance Stevens : cool
Basia : Hello, good morning! Basia is Barbara in Polish. I have used Zoom with the family, that’s why the name there.
Teresa : hi Basia and Aiden!
Vance Stevens : hi basia
Vance Stevens : welcome
Vance Stevens : bee
Vance Stevens : /basia
Vance Stevens : ūüôā
aiden yeh : hi there
Vance Stevens : Hi Aiden, good to see you
Teresa : hi Sasa!
Bee : Hello Sasa!
Sasa : hi all
Teresa : Hi Bee!
Bee : Beijinhos Teresa ūüôā
Teresa : beijinhos back ūüôā
Michael Coghlan : – Sus is trying to get in but is being asked for a PW
Heike Philp : I didnt need a pw
Sasa : i wasn’t asked for one…
Heike Philp : what if she just adds the number – zoom.us
Heike Philp : 253 507 955
Michael Coghlan : wbhat number is that Heike?
Heike Philp : or the mobile
Michael Coghlan : OK.
Heike Philp : or try this K2tBbDBQR05Qb0xZOVFuWDBtYUsxUT09
Heike Philp : as a pw
Heike Philp : https://zoom.us/j/253507955?pwd=K2tBbDBQR05Qb0xZOVFuWDBtYUsxUT09
Vance Stevens : what is that?
(answering my own question, it’s the Zoom link I gave out with password encrypted, so no one would need to type it in)
Heike Philp : there seems to be a pw to the link
Heike Philp : can she try this link?
Bee : Sorry, I must go guys, just popped in to say hello. I have a meeting with the school board in 15 minutes and must get my stuff ready (show them I have been working…). Let’s meet again! Hugs to everyone.
Elizabeth Anne : Yes Great to see you all – I have to good too. Really pleased 2 have seen you all. BIG HUGS.
Anisoara Pop : bye Elizabeth
mbarek akaddar : Hi everyone! whohoooo
Heike Philp : haha
Heike Philp : Mbarek
Vance Stevens : woohooo mbarek
Vance Stevens : here is that document I mentioned, meant for heike https://tinyurl.com/covid19teaching
Heike Philp : is she Stella Maris Berdaxagar ?
Laine Marshall : Tapped In
susnyrop : Hello in the txt chat!
Heike Philp : must go now…
Anisoara Pop : bye Heike
Michael Coghlan : http://michaelcoghlan.net/webheads/WEBHEADS%20THEME%20%232.mp3?
aiden yeh : Susan, nice jammies
Susan Marandi : sorry, everybody. just realized my front camera is working
Michael Coghlan : ūüôā
Susan Marandi : i’m guessing you’ve been watching my feet! LOL
Michael Coghlan : We weren’t sure!
Vance Stevens : we see your head now, frozen though
Anisoara Pop : No… just some flower
aiden yeh : no need to apologize, things like that happens when you‚Äôre live online ūüėČ
Susan Marandi : still fooling around trying to figure this out
tom : Sorry, folks, I’ve gotta go. Great to see you all!
csiskin : by tom!
Susan Marandi : how nice! ūüôā
Mike Kenteris : Awesome
Susan Marandi : I love this.
Susan Marandi : Brings so many memories
Susan Marandi : I really missed this
Nina Liakos : Me too, let’s do it again next week
Susan Marandi : great!
Susan Marandi : Agreed
Anisoara Pop : how do you take a snapshot?
Vance Stevens : https://tinyurl.com/talin2020
susnyrop : The link for the meeting planner?
Susan Marandi : it was great; thanks everybody!
Chris Fry : it was great to catch up with so many we heads. I must go and have lunch. Goodbye!
csiskin : Bye chris
Susan Marandi : bye chris!
Vance Stevens : https://tinyurl.com/covid19teaching


Tapped In is still online, did you know that? https://tappedin.org/

Announcements were made on these Facebook groups 


On Groups.io lists




More pictures below courtesy of Nina











Aiden wrote: “I rushed home from my yoga class to be in this once-in-a-lifetime meeting with dear Webheads. 20 years of friendship and online teaching/learning- when technology was quite limited yet we had great collaborative online projects with our students- all with the help of the Webheads online community. Webheads was my source of Sunday happiness back in the day when TappedIn was the in thing; it was the coolest tool back then, and Yahoo messenger was our back channel. Today‚Äôs #Zoom meeting made me reminisce those days. We were already doing what first time online teachers nowadays are doing. Like what Laine Marshall said and I‚Äôm paraphrasing here ‚Äėtools are just tools, and tools change, they always do, but it‚Äôs us (people/teachers) who make a great learning community‚Äô. We can say the same thing to our/your students.”


Earlier Events since episode 443

Wed 11 March 1400 UTC Blended Learning Classroom Showcase Event with Vance Stevens on the MOOC community space extension to the course



Thu 12 Mar 2200 UTC Immersive Language Learning Webinar by Heike Philp

Technology Enhanced Language Learning SIG is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Immersive Language Learning Webinar by Heike Philp
In Zoom, Time: Mar 12, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada; 6 a.m. in Malaysia)

Thu Mar 12 РACE webinar on Swiftly Pivoting to a Fully-Remote Campus: Responding to COVID-19

Please join ACE for a free webinar TOMORROW, Thursday March 12: “Swiftly Pivoting to a Fully-Remote Campus: Responding to COVID-19.”

As COVID-19 spreads, a wave of campuses are migrating indefinitely to online-only courses. In this webinar, a panel of experts will address pressing issues, answer your questions, and share best practices to rapidly adapt regardless of the state of your campus’s online readiness.¬†¬†The webinar will include several breakout discussions, and one of them will no doubt appeal to the many hats you all wear.¬†¬†Note that we have a diverse panel of expert speakers including Kai Wang, Senior Dean of Strategic Innovations, Wake Technical Community College; Laura Niesen de Abruna, Provost, York College of Pennsylvania; and GianMario Besana, Associate Provost, Global Engagement & Online Learning, DePaul University.

The webinar will be hosted on the¬†ACE Engage(r) platform.¬†¬†Click¬†here¬†for information about the webinar – if you’re not already registered for¬†ACE Engage, just click “sign up” and you’ll be able to register, login, and access the webinar.

Just a note. I was blocked from signing up with my Gmail address. I tried putting in my last institutional address and this cleared the blockage (but I no longer get mail there) – Vance

Fri 13 March 1100 AM to 1600 UTC ALIS Webinar: TQ Authors Talk

This event is associated with  Applied Linguistics (ALIS)

and was posted in this myTESOL forum


The forum would be available only to TESOL members but the invitation to the event  states that all interested are encouraged to attend, so I am copying the announcement here:

Event Image


The aim of this webinar series is to connect the authors of popular TESOL Quarterly articles with TESOL practitioners. We hope to bring theory and practice closer together by encouraging researchers to tell the stories of their studies. In our first webinar, we feature the authors of one of the most downloaded TQ articles in the last few years: ‚ÄúNative and Nonnative Teachers of L2 Pronunciation: Effects on Learner Performance.‚Ä̬†Those interested in pronunciation instruction and applied linguistics research are encouraged to attend.¬†Webinar participants will have the opportunity to interact directly with the authors.

Levis, J. M., Sonsaat, S., Link, S., & Barriuso, T. A. (2016). Native and nonnative teachers of L2 pronunciation: Effects on learner performance. TESOL Quarterly, 50(4), 894-931.


John Levis, Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESL at Iowa State University, studies second language pronunciation and speech intelligibility, with a focus on how second language pronunciation research affects the teaching of pronunciation. He is the founder of the annual Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching conference and is the founding editor of the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation. He is co-editor for the Phonetics & Phonology section of the Encyclopedia for Applied Linguistics, and two books, Social Dynamics in Second Language Accent (DeGruyter, 2014) and the Handbook of English Pronunciation (Wiley, 2015).

Sinem Sonsaat Hegelheimer received her PhD degree from the Applied Linguistics and Technology, Iowa State University in 2017. She is the editorial assistant of Journal of Second Language Pronunciation and an assistant professor at TED University in Ankara, Turkey. Sinem’s research interests include pronunciation teaching, materials evaluation and development, and computer-assisted language learning. She published her work in TESOL Quarterly, CATESOL Journal, and The Routledge Handbook of English Pronunciation.

Stephanie Link is an Assistant Professor of TESOL/Applied Linguistics at Oklahoma State University. Her research involves technology-mediated language learning with a focus on development and use of automated writing evaluation tools and intelligent tutoring systems for second language writing and written scientific communication. Her work can be found in top journals, such as CALICO Journal, Language Learning and Technology, System, and Journal of Second Language Writing. She is also the co-editor of Assessment Across Online Language Education (Equinox Publishing, 2018).

Taylor Anne Barriuso¬†received her Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Utah, where she used an online implementation of high variability phonetic training to look at whether learners are able to implement target contrasts in a lexical task in parallel with perceptual gains. More recently she collaborated with John Levis‚Äôs team to investigate whether having a “golden speaker” model voice raises learners’ awareness of their non-targetlike pronunciation to a greater extent than other model voices. She is an instructor and undergraduate linguistics adviser at Iowa State University.

Online Instructions:

Url: http://global.gotomeeting.com/join/444647301

Time noon ET, 1400 UTC


Ben White on user name bwhite at domain smcvt.edu

ALIS feartured some articles from presenters it was planning to have speak at the conference in Denver in April, now canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, in its newsletter here


Sun 15 Mar 1600 UTC Nellie Deutsch hosts an experimental GoBrunch session on Self-care for Educators

Nellie Deutsch is giving a GoBrunch session and inviting all to join: https://gobrunch.com/events/42226

Sunday March 15, 2020¬†at¬†4 PM UTC¬†or 12 PM EST –

She hopes to have better success than she had with her students on Friday. But just in case, she also created a backup on Zoom session for an hour later,

I was unable to make the GoBrunch recording and wrote Nellie to ask how it went. Here is her reply

I was disappointed to learn that the MP4 only recorded the moderators’ webcam, if that was open, and the mods audio. I guess you have to screenshare to have ssomething else showing.¬† An hour after the GoBrunch session on Self-care for Educators, I had a session with the same title on ZOOM.

Here’s the link to the recording of the session:¬†https://youtu.be/taASAoDAc1E

I’m not happy with GoBrunch right now. I’m in touch with Richard, the CEO because he wants to learn how to improve it.

Nellie as given her permission for me to archive her remarks here.

Tue-Wed 17-18 March 1400-2300-1800 UTC – TESOL virtual town hall meetings

I’m not sure if this restricted to members only, but this comes from a mail sent out to TESOL members March 14, after cancelation of TESOL Conference in Denver this year. The links below take you to GoToMeeting.

TESOL will be hosting several virtual Town Hall meetings where you will have the opportunity to ask questions and share your thoughts and ideas with the Board and staff. We invite you to participate in these discussions and hope you will join us as your schedule allows.

More info for TESOL Members, https://www.tesol.org/town-hall-meetings

I’m not sure if this is available to the public, but for TESOL Members
To view each of the three virtual town halls,¬†please visit TESOL’s YouTube channel

Wed 18 March 0001 UTC next ISTE Virtual Environments Network regular Tue meeting in SL

The International Society for Technology in Education’s Virtual Environments Network meets regularly for planning, exploring, socializing and more at this Eduisland HQ. Visit often, especially on Tuesday evenings at 5 p.m. (Pacific) which is midnight Wednesdays in UTC

More information


Wed 18 March noon and 2100 UTC РFree Webinar 1 of 3 by National Geographic Learning for English Teachers who are new to online teaching

TESOL Global Partner National Geographic Learning is offering a Free Webinar Series for English Teachers who are new to online teaching featuring online teaching experts Dr. Joan Kang Shin and Dr. Jered Borup from George Mason Unviersity.

Part 1: Engaging Students in Meaningful Learning Activities 
Wed, March 18, 2020  8 am and 5pm EDT

  • 8 am EDT is Noon UTC (8 pm Malaysia)
  • 5 pm EDT is 2100 UTC (5 am Malaysia, next day)

You can register and access more resources here

Here are some highlights from the 8 am EDT session (screen shots by Vance Stevens)

Thu 19 Mar NYS TESOL webinar on making online quizzes from 4-5pm

This literally came in the mail, as is. “Today” not specfied. Time zone not specified. No link to more information.

If you like to join today’s NYS TESOL webinar on making online quizzes from 4-5pm,

here is info to join.


Meeting ID: 148 317 322


Christine Rosalia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of TESOL
Department of Curriculum and Teaching
Hunter College/CUNY

Sun 22 Mar 1400 UTC TESOL CALL-IS hosts Rob Howard – Chalk and Talk vs. Skype and Swipe: The Need for Proper Training of Teaching Technologies

TESOL CALL-IS cordially invites you to attend the webinar “Chalk and Talk vs. Skype and Swipe: The Need for Proper Training of Teaching Technologies” with Rob Howard.

Date: Sunday March 22, 2020.

Time: 10:00 am (EDT) / 2:00 pm GMT

Please join this webinar from your computer, tablet or smartphone by going  to the CALL Interest Section-TESOL YouTube Channel.

Use the following links: www.youtube.com/channel/UChnWYx1ZGtHnzzpV5t98J4Q or bit.ly/call-ischannel

Then, go to the video that says “Live” Session and has the title of this webinar. Click the play button and enjoy it!

This is the direct URL, as in the screen shot below.

Sun 22 March 1600 UTC – Nellie Deutsch hosts Free Tools for Online Instruction and Learning

Description РNellie Deutsch will be discussing the following tools and others in this playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8JUcjyABKxlDfsBcdMzzaJUKLwwjbV9n

If you’d like, you may also join an ongoing online course I developed for educators on what they can do with their students these and other hard times: https://www.integrating-technology.org/course/view.php?id=554

Time –¬†Mar 22, 2020 16:00 UTC; 12:00 PM in¬†Eastern Time (US and Canada)

There’s also a Smore to go with this,

which characterizes the course as:

Live Online Virtual Engagement (LOVE) is an 8-week free online course that aims to provide you with practical know-how on how to connect and interact with your students, family, business associates, colleagues, and others in a live online class. You will learn how to use ZOOM, WizIQ, GoBrunch, ezTalk, Google Meet, Microsoft Team and other free web tools.

Dr. Nellie Deutsch and other experts will discuss free platforms and tools you can use to engage your audience.

Later Dr. Deutsch informed us that

The meeting “Free Tools for Online Instruction and Learning ” at Sun, Mar 22, 2020 12:00 PM EDT has been cancelled.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

As far as I know the course it was introducing will go ahead as planned. – Vance

Mon March 23 2020 Learning Revolution online conference starts and goes on for 2 months

In a slight shift on the concept of free conferences, this one is free to attend. However, access to recordings will cost $99.

This puts presenters in a quandary. When you sign up to present at a conference like this you might get a handful of participants in your live presentation, but the recording of that presentation goes online, formerly on free access. You could yourself point to the freely available link on the free and open Internet where all your work was encapsulated.

In the old system of share and share alike, people were happy to contribute their time and effort. Under the new scheme, it remains to be seen what will happen. For me personally, this could be just enough of a bump in the road to prevent me from traveling down it, as a presenter.

I’ve written Steve about it and he’s replied. There is a complicated set of concerns here, some financial, and he deserves to be supported. And¬†if you want to attend for free, you can still do that.

The 2020 Learning Revolution online conference will be an historic event. Conference sessions on all aspects of teaching and learning will be held daily over the course of two months, all free to attend live.

A calendar will list all sessions as they are scheduled on a rolling basis, and a daily email will give the final schedule for each day. The sessions will also be recorded. Access to the archive of recordings will be available for $99.

The call for proposals opens on March 23rd. Presentation acceptances will be made on a rolling basis almost immediately, and presenters will be given the opportunity to choose a presentation day / time that is convenient to their own schedule.

The technologies of the Internet and the Web are reshaping when, where, and from whom we learn–and even how we think about learning. As the boundaries of these learning worlds increasingly overlap, we believe these conversations will be critical to framing and preparing for the learning revolution starting to take place.

The conference is being hosted by my¬†Learning Revolution Project. I’ve held over 100 online and physical learning events during the past 10 year, and I have a combined audience membership of 160,000 educators, administrators, librarians, students, and parents.

Mon 23 March thru Apr 22 – First of 6 free PRISM workshops on Moodle begins

This was sent out in email to PRISM Members, with the suggestion that

If you know someone who may be interested in the courses, feel free to pass this email along to them.

PRISM are offering six FREE online Moodle training courses this spring. They offer Professional Growth Plan (PGP) points for each course.

Basic Moodle for Teachers (10 PGP Points)¬†‚Äď A basic introduction to the Moodle LMS. You will learn how to build a classroom course and populate it with files, assignments and quizzes.

Dates: March 23 ‚Äď April 20

Intermediate Moodle for Teachers (10 PGP Points)¬†‚Äď A continuation from the Basic Moodle for Teachers course. Choose this course if you already have Moodle experience and would like to learn how to use some of the more advanced features like wikis, databases, lessons, and RSS feeds.

Dates: March 24 ‚Äď April 21

Advanced Moodle for Teachers (10 PGP Points)¬†‚Äď A continuation from the Intermediate Moodle for Teachers course. This course will take the Intermediate level course a step further as participants learn advanced grade book features, groups and groupings, conditional activities, and the workshop activity module.

Dates: March 25 ‚Äď April 22

Crash Course Activities and Resources for Moodle (8 PGP Points)

This course focuses on learning how to use the Moodle activities and resources to develop quality lessons for students on the online Moodle platform. Teachers will learn how to grade assignments and other activities more efficiently and provide feedback to students in a secure online environment.

Dates: March 23 ‚Äď April 20

Crash Course on Gradebook & Grading for Moodle (8 PGP Points)

This course focuses on learning how to use the Moodle grade book. Teachers will learn how to add, edit, and update grade items in addition to advanced grade book topics.

Dates: March 23 ‚Äď April 20

Crash Course on Quiz Question Types for Moodle (8 PGP Points)

This course focuses on learning how to create and use the various Moodle quiz question types.

Dates: March 23 ‚Äď April 20

Special Note:  The Crash Courses are meant to be an introduction to the Moodle LMS and these specific features. These courses are intended for existing Moodle users looking to enhance their existing courses.

Let me know if you have any questions or would like more details about the courses. All of the courses are completed online at your-own-pace.

If you would like to register for a course, please visit the PRISM website (www.rose-prism.org), log in (create an account if you need one), and click the ‚ÄėEvent Registration‚Äô link. Use the drop-down menu to select the appropriate course. You will see a complete description of the course. To sign up, scroll down, enter your information, and click the ‚ÄėSubmit Registration‚Äô button. You should receive a confirmation email.

Wed 25 March noon and 2100 UTC РFree Webinar 2 of 3 by National Geographic Learning for English Teachers who are new to online teaching

TESOL Global Partner National Geographic Learning is offering a Free Webinar Series for English Teachers who are new to online teaching featuring online teaching experts Dr. Joan Kang Shin and Dr. Jered Borup from George Mason Unviersity.

Part 2: Making Your Screen Come Alive
March 25, 2020 8 am and 5pm EDT

You can register and access more resources here

Wed 25 March 1500 UTC International Association for Blended Learning QA on transitioning courses online

Everyone is cordially invited to the free webinar that Chadia Mansour, Past Chair of TESOL EFLIS 2019-2020, is co-moderating with Rima Al Tawil to answer questions about transitioning courses online. This webinar is organized by the International Association for Blended Learning (IABL). Bring you questions and join us!

Where: https://t.co/LCp8ykW8yS

Day: Wednesday, March 25th

Time: 11 AM EDT ( Toronto time)

Thu March 26 – Library 2.0 Special Pandemic Mini-Conference on Serving the Needs of Communities in Crisis

The following is replicated from an email send from the https://www.library20.com/ Ning

We are expanding our planned Library 2.0 special broadcast webinar for librarians to a special mini-conference, being held in conjunction with PCI Webinars and Andrew Sanderbeck. Please note the new expanded times.

These events were streamed! Recordings might be available here: https://www.library20.com/youtube

RECORDINGS: We’ve posted the a video recording, an audio-only recording, and the chat lot for each of the four sessions. Additionally, where provided, we’ve posted presentation slides and handouts. All are available at¬†https://www.library20.com/page/crisis. You do need to be a member of¬†Library 2.0, but there is no cost to join.

DATE & TIMES: Thursday, March 26th, 2020 | 1:00 Р6:30 pm US-Eastern Time (4 one-hour sessions with 1/2-hour breaks) From 1 am in Malaysia

COST: Free

REGISTRATION: To register for the mini-conference, please join Library 2.0. Those who are already members of Library 2.0 do not need to do anything.

ATTENDING: The schedule with the live session links will be sent to all members of Library 2.0.

PLATFORM: The mini-conference platform is Zoom. To make sure your computer or mobile is configured for Zoom, please visit zoom.us/test.



1:00 PM US-Eastern Daylight Time
Click here to see in your own time zone
As libraries deal with the global crisis of 2020, staff have many difficult choices to handle every day. From deciding whether to stay open to managing the constant flow of information, the work can be all-consuming. In this webinar, we will talk about how to take time out of your day to focus on yourself and to nourish your own growth.

Participants will:

  • Learn methods and exercises for staying in the moment and remaining mindful while dealing with stress and uncertainty
  • Spend time discussing their challenges and how they are working to handle them, while planning mindfully for the future
  • Focus on healthy self-care activities
Cari Dubiel
Adult Learning and Information Services Manager at Twinsburg Public Library

Cari is the Adult Learning and Information Services Manager at Twinsburg Public Library. She is also a writer, teacher, and podcaster. She is a former Library Liaison to Sisters in Crime, an organization of 3600 crime writers and readers nationwide.


2:30 PM US-Eastern Daylight Time
Click here to see in your own time zone
We are certainly “living in interesting times” … and working in them too. Even if your building is closed, your library is still offering services‚ÄĒbut are you telling people that?

While it’s tempting to look at these pandemic-related closures as much-needed downtime, librarians don’t have that luxury. People still need you. In fact, people who haven’t used libraries in years need your boredom-breaking services and your long-trusted guidance, too. So it’s vital to keep marketing your libraries now, for three reasons: 1) telling people what’s available online and how to get it; 2) being the trusted source of info that people expect; and 3) proving your value to retain funding after the crisis.

In this webinar, specially created to help your library be as useful as possible during the current Coronavirus pandemic, library marketing maven Kathy Dempsey will share her best advice on these topics:

  • Working at home (Dempsey has worked at home for 10 years)
  • Turning today’s chaos into a Crisis Communications Plan in the near future
  • Exactly what services and products to promote (some might surprise you)
  • How to get the word out, beyond your own social media followers
  • How to approach messaging in trying times
  • Why today’s promotion will help secure next year’s library funding
  • Why to scratch out mini marketing plans to make your work effective
  • Resources for self-care and for social sharing

In a time where everyone is inundated with information, the world still needs their librarians and librarians. The “new normal” will likely have super-tight budgets, so proving how essential you are during this crisis may well determine whether your organization survives the virus.

Kathy Dempsey
Libraries Are Essential

Kathy Dempsey wrote the popular how-to tome¬†The Accidental Library Marketer¬†and founded her own marketing consultancy,¬†Libraries Are Essential. Her work is dedicated to helping librarians and information professionals promote their value and expertise in order to gain respect and funding. Kathy has been the Editor of¬†Marketing Library Services¬†newsletter for 25 years, and was formerly Editor-in-Chief of Computers in Librariesmagazine. She also blogs at The ‘M’ Word. She’s a member of the New Jersey Library Association, and Founder of the¬†Library Marketing and Communications Conference, which she chaired in 2015, 2016, and 2017. This writer, editor, and marketing maven has been giving presentations across the U.S. and Canada for 20+ years, always sprinkling them with humor to make marketing concepts more interesting and accessible. She continues to fight the stereotypes that librarians are boring and that “marketing” is a dirty word.


4:00 PM US-Eastern Daylight Time
Click here to see in your own time zone
Helping people make decisions based on facts and evidence is what libraries of all types do everyday. With libraries closing to the public and reducing services because of COVID-19, how can we continue to provide the facts in this fast-paced changing environment? And how can libraries provide the services that their communities will need to remain vital to the health and welfare of their communities?

This interactive and informative webinar will help attendees find the latest resources and information available to help them serve their patrons and communities, as well as looking into how libraries are responding to community needs of today and will focus on the work ahead as we shape the future of library services after the pandemic passes.

Andrew Sanderbeck
PCI Webinars

Andrew has been developing and conducting training programs for libraries and library organizations for more than fifteen years. He has presented Web-based, On-line, and Face-to-Face sessions on Management and Leadership, Customer Service and Communication Skills in the U.S. and numerous countries around the world. He is a board member of the Haywood County Public Library and a monthly donor to EveryLibrary, advocating for libraries everywhere that support is needed.

Kathy Zappitello
Executive Director of the Conneaut Public Library in Conneaut, Ohio

Kathy has worked for fifteen years in Ohio libraries and is currently the Executive Director of the Conneaut Public Library in Conneaut, Ohio. Kathy serves on the National Board of Directors for the Association for Rural and Small Libraries and is co-chair of the Partnership committee. Locally, she produces educational content for one of Ohio’s cable access channels that provides programming to households in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.


5:30 PM US-Eastern Daylight Time
Click here to see in your own time zone
As libraries engage in social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are placing new emphasis on our online services. Is your organization ready?

In this interactive and Informative program, we will discuss how to prepare your digital branch for an influx of users, and examine best practices for virtual reference and digital collections as you work to meet your community’s needs.

Nick Tanzi
Assistant Director of the South Huntington Public Library

Nick Tanzi has been incorporating emerging technologies into the library as a children‚Äôs librarian, the founding member of a digital services department, and most recently, as the Assistant Director of the South Huntington Public Library. During this time, he has spoken in the U.S. and abroad on topics ranging from social media marketing to 3D printing. He is the author of Making the Most of Digital Collections through Training and Outreach (2016), and Best Technologies for Public Libraries (2020). He writes ‚ÄúThe Wired Library‚ÄĚ column for Public Libraries Magazine. Tanzi was named a 2017 Dewey Fellow by the New York Library Association, and currently serves as President of its Making and STEAM Round Table.


With current and ex-library staff members located throughout the USA, PCI Webinars has one simple mission: To be the leading provider of quality webinars and online programming for library employees and library organizations.

We serve individuals, public and academic libraries, regional library systems, library consortiums and state libraries providing quality live and on-demand programming from some of the most respected experts in our profession.

Visit Library 2.0 at: https://www.library20.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Thu 26 March – Sat 28 March 13th Virtual World Best Practices in Education

This was STREAMED! No excuse now not to at least check it out ūüôā

And each YouTube stream link becomes the archived recording when the session is done! https://www.vwbpe.org/watch

The 13th Virtual World Best Practices in Education takes place on March 26-28 2020


The VWBPE Conference is a completely virtual conference that is conducted using simulated environments. Participants experience the conference through a virtual reality type setting including conference rooms, theatres, exposition halls, meeting spaces, and other types of venues similar to a brick and mortar type conference.

The conference is free to attend. The cost of the conference is covered by sponsorship and donations.

Check how you can get involved and mark your calendar.

If you have never been in a Virtual World and you are interested in learning more, reach out. https://vwbpe.org/


Recording links at https://www.vwbpe.org/watch

  • 8:00 am Opening Ceremony
  • 9:30 am Opening Keynote: L. Robert Furman
  • 10:30 am Spotlight: Overcoming technical limits of LSL (SL and OpenSim)
  • 10:30 am Spotlight: Design for Difficulties and Disorienting Dilemmas
  • 1:00 pm Spotlight: Can SL improve access to STEM education
  • 2:00 pm Above the Book: What‚Äôs up at the Lab?
  • 3:00 pm Spotlight: Interstellar ‚Äď Learning in Space


Time range 1500 to midnight UTC

Stream and recording links at https://www.vwbpe.org/watch

  • 8:00 am Keynote: Virtual Worlds and Social Justice
  • 9:00 am Spotlight: Virtual conferences and social responsibility
  • 10:00 am Spotlight: Scholars VR ‚Äď Engaging New Audiences with the Scholarly
  • 11:00 am Spotlight: Immersive Language Learning in virtual worlds
  • 12:00 pm Spotlight: Only what we do is real. Let us do VR.
  • 3:00 pm Spotlight: Join the Team: Ready to Launch?
  • 4:00 pm Spotlight: Survey Says! Developing Criteria for VR Courses


Time range where you are, 1600 to 0200 UTC

Stream and recording links at https://www.vwbpe.org/watch

  • 9:00 am Spotlight: You Don‚Äôt Have To Go To Space for Effective PD!
  • 10:00 am Spotlight: Boldly Go ‚Äď Celebrate Success & Cataclysm Stories
  • 11:00 am Keynote: Lessons Learned from the 2020 Educators in VR Conference
  • 12:00 pm Spotlight: Soul of A Charioteer in Virtual Orbit Around Mars
  • 1:00 pm Social: Second Squares
  • 2:00 pm Above the Book: Catching up with the Thinkerers
  • 3:00 pm Spotlight: Virtual Reality in Education: Intentional Immersion
  • 3:00 pm Spotlight: Reflections from three-dimensional immersive digital environments
  • 6:00 pm Closing Ceremony and Thinkerer Award

Sun 29 Mar 12 noon UTC Nellie Deutsch hosts Facilitating Learning Online

Teaching and learning online would be more effective, if we adopted a non-coercive attitude to instruction and learning. There are many erroneous ideas an practice on what to do online. Do we give online assignments and continue as usual or do we step up and change the way we teach and learn?

Join me in a discussion on “self-determination theory”, my personal and professional experiences as a teacher in the public school system (K-12 and higher eduction) and how they relate to the theory, your views on the topic, and what other stakeholders think of rewards and punishments.



On registration, you will be sent a link to the zoom room, unique to you

Screen shot by Vance

Final webinar for Blended Learning Classrooms with Vance Stevens, Sharon Graham, and Jane Chien

Learning2gether Episode 443

Skip down to most recent Earlier Events prior to this latest one

On Wednesday 11 March my turn as an English Langage Specialist ended for the year 2020 when I hosted this final Blended Learning Classroom Showcase Event with Sharon Graham and Jane Chien about their experiences with online teaching in coping with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with me introducing the MOOC community space extension to the course toward the end of the webinar.

This was Learning2gether episode 443 and the last live event of the course on Creating and Using a Blended Learning Classroom at https://tinyurl.com/blended2020. The course started on Feb 20, 2020, and officially ended with this closing webinar on March 11, on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/e91cDKYp2_c. I had anticipated making it an opportunity for participants to come together and show each other what they’ve learned through their creations.

Sharon Graham was supposed to be teaching in China by now but instead she is teaching  the students there online from her home base in Hayes, Kansas. She showed us a number of the tools she uses; for example, VidGrid, https://www.vidgrid.com/, a platform designed to engage students in video content making them active interactants with the videos, rather than simply passive viewers.

Jane is meeting her students in Taipei face-to-face but she has one student from mainland China who is unable to travel now, and whom she is trying include as a participant in class. We talked about how she could do that by turning her computer / web cam out to the class. It turns out that among the students is where she likes to be in classes, and as she was checking in to our zoom chat from her cell phone, its seemed she could better include this student if she set up a Zoom meeting on the class computer on one account and joined it from her own account on her cell phone. Then the students would be “face to face” on the computer screen, and her absent student woud see his classmates and better experience the context of the class.

Before turning out the lights on the eLearning course, I made preparations to flip the course into MOOC / Community mode by creating an extension to the course in the form of a MOOC / Community space, with more information in the Green Folder in the Schoology portal here, https://app.schoology.com/course/2362600716/materials?f=183558388.

Participation in or enrollment in the Schoology course is optional; in other words you don’t have to be interacting there in order to participate in the MOOC Community. I have set up spaces outside of Schoology for that. But if you wish, you CAN enroll in the Schoology course. It’s set up to run to the end of the year and I can renew it then if I wish.

Also, in setting up this space, my main purpose is two-fold. Fold one is to model how a community could be managed as an extension to a course, if there were sufficient interest in that, and fold two is to see what happens :-). Maybe a community will form there, maybe not.  Either way, another possibility of blended online classrooms, the possibility of perpetuating them as community spaces, is modeled.

The last half of the 3-week course coincided with a time when schools were closing in unprecedented numbers over concerns with the COVID-19 outbreak. This has sent an equally unprecedented number of teachers into a search for stratgies they can use to transition their classrooms online. Going from face-to-face straight to online is a daunting transition, and one that requires some kind of portal space that will attempt to center the course and provide coherence to activities that cannot be simply explained in class.

This course has been focused on helping teachers conceptualize and create that center space. When teachers have to come up with components for such spaces on limited funds and resources, I call this DIYLMS, or do-it-yourself learning management systems. For teachers who have already been running blended learning classrooms, that center space was already there, and the shift to a totally online environment is simply a matter of layering syncronous activities onto the existing asynchronous ones.

With more schools worldwide closing suddenly almost every day now, many teachers have been stretched to come to grips with the demands of their situations, and many others not yet in that situation are doing what they can to level up and prepare for whatever contigency.

Accordingly, the last week in our course we were hearing from teachers who were having to come up with strategies for dealing with meeting students purely online. Jeff Lebow, who has been working online for years and, like me, incorporating what works online into blended environments for his students, showed us how he had already set up classes for his whole department in blogger and now all they had to do was just add Zoom. In our penultimate webinar we talked with Suzan Stamper and Bonnie Calanchini, two teachers from Hong Kong, about how they were coping in international schools with kids and in the tertiary setting with adults. And in this webinar we discussed with Sharon Graham and Jane Chien how the outbreak has impacted them and what they are doing about it.

These made for interesting webinars but were mere ripples in the tsunami of information that is becoming apparent as the days go by. I’ve been accumulating crosses my radar here:

Since this is a dynamically developing situation, and as there is a chance that we in this community could both learn from and contribute to the ongoing conversation, I have created a kind of static extension to the course in the form of a MOOC / Community space, with more information in the Green Folder in the Schoology portal, as noted above.

I set up a MOOC Community space at http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/ (and added it to the sidebar there; direct link here:

I created a Groups.io for ongoing discussions at
https://groups.io/g/blendedclassrooms/ and of course I tweeted about it.


In this webinar, I came online to talk more about that, and wrapped up the course on Creating and Using Blended Learning Classrooms in the company of Sharon Graham and Jane Chien, who both joined in Zoom

Announcements were made on these Facebook Groups

Here is the text of the follow up announcement I posted to the above spaces:

The #blended2020 Learning Classrooms online course ended Mar 11 with a webinar attended by Sharon Graham & Jane Chien. and archived as #Learning2gether episode 443.

But though the course has ended, the MOOC community can potentially carry on.
See here how that could happen: http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/w/page/138923232/MOOC_Community_Extension

And this is the last best practice that I plan to model in this round of #ELSpecialist online activities.

For the archive of the webinar, YouTube video and show notes, please visit https://learning2gether.net/2020/03/11/final-webinar-for-blended-learning-classrooms-with-vance-stevens-sharon-graham-and-jane-chien/ (no need to click; that’s this page)

Also announced here:

If you have any comments or suggestions about the course, let us know

Earlier events

Mon 9 Mar 1330 UTC LEARNING2GETHER 442 – Two Special guests from Hong Kong – What if your school closes?


Tue 10 March 1200 to 1500 PST Library 2.020 Wholehearted Libraries

WHOLEHEARTED LIBRARIES | A 3-hour mini-conference
March 10 | Free | REGISTER HERE
Hosted by: Library 2.0.

This is the first of the popular Library 2.0 mini-conferences of the year, and organized in partnership with iSchool Associate Professor Michael Stephens. He writes: ” We should bring our hearts to work, and qualities such as open-mindedness, emotional intelligence, and reflective action are all part of this process. Services steeped in humanism, compassion, and understanding should be the cornerstone of what we do, and why we do it, for all members of our communities, including the underserved. Not only do libraries need high tech, they also need staff who approach their work with a wholehearted attitude.” The mini-conference will explore the human side of 21st-Century information work. We will define what soft skills are, how and when to use various soft skills, types of training that can improve soft skills, and how to share emotionally engaging stories. Learn what libraries are doing now to extend services, create welcoming spaces, and engage users with soft skills such as compassion, empathy, creativity, curiosity, and finding balance. Sessions will focus on how we can nurture a positive mindset in our employees, use the power of stories to promote understanding, and extend our reach into our global communities. Soft skills are heart skills.

(Register to get the actual session links)

12:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time
(Click here for international times)

Opening Keynote Panel
Michael Stephens, Associate Professor in the School of Information at San Jose State University | Loida Garcia-Febo, International Library Consultant | Christian Lauersen, Director of Libraries and Citizens services, Roskilde Municipality, Denmark | Rivkah K. Sass, Library Director + CEO, Sacramento Public Library

1:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time(Click here for international times)

Finding the Heart of Library Service
Hope Decker, Member Library Liaison, Pioneer Library System

Library Leaders Are Failing Librarianship: Soft Skills Needed for Human Library Leadership
Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian, Temple University Libraries

Mindfulness in the Public Library: a Secular Buddhist Approach
Jeremy Morelock, Database Maintenance and SysAdmin Assistant, Superiorland Library Cooperative

Radical Transparency in the Library Classroom
Bria Sinnott, Arts + Communication Librarian, Albert S. Cook Library, Towson University | Elisabeth White, Science, Technology + Mathematics Librarian

The Library Workplace Bully Versus the Wholehearted Librarian
Sharon Clapp, Associate Librarian, Information Systems and Resources, Central Connecticut State University

1:30 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time(Click here for international times)

Bibliotecas de todo coraz√≥n – Nuestro sistema bibliotecario al servicio de la comunidad a trav√©s de las diferentes habilidades de aprendizaje y ense√Īanza.
Judith de Méndez, Librarian, Learning Resources Centre (LRC) Academia Britanica Cuscatleca | Jennifer Garcia, Melissa Hernández, Hilda Gómez y estudiantes.

Empathy from the Inside Out
Rene Tanner, Associate Liaison Librarian for Sustainability and Life Sciences, Arizona State University

The Healing Library: Nontraditional Lending in Response to Trauma
Megan Schadlich, Creator, The Healing Library

Libraries: Places for wholehearted social change
Suji DeHart, Director of Educational Programs, Make A Difference Travel (MAD Travel)

Wholehearted Hypergrowth: Scaling Up in Silicon Valley
Elizabeth Borghi, Knowledge Program Manager, Knowledge Bee Knowledge Management Consulting

2:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time(Click here for international times)

Challenging Unwritten Rules Using Practical Wisdom
Joe Stoner, Branch Manager, Newark Library, part of Alameda County Library

Library Cat Herding: Holding the Herd Together Without Getting Ripped to Shreds
Raelynn V. Richardson, Library Services Coordinator for Circulation and Reserves, University of New Mexico University Libraries

Putting the heart [back] into an online library
Lise M. Dyckman, Executive Director, PlaneTree Health Library

The Power of Stories
Kylie Carlson, Senior Coordinator Library Services and Partnerships, Yarra Libraries, Yarra Council | Dr Michael Stephens, San Jose State University | Felicity Macchion, Manager Libraries, Arts, Culture and Venues

Wholehearted Training: Fostering Connection, Compassion and Joy in Digital Literacy
Leana Mayzlina, Senior Program Manager, NTEN | Emily Flores, Training Officer, San Antonio Public Library

2:30 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time(Click here for international times)

Closting Keynote
Stacie Ledden, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Anythink Libraries

Penultimate webinar in the EL Specialist online course on Using and Creating Blended Learning Classrooms webinar: What do you do when your school closes?

Learning2gether Episode #442

Download audio: https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/2020mar09audio_only.m4a?

Skip down to

On Monday 9 March, 2020 English Language Specialist Vance Stevens hosted a webinar as the next to last live event¬† in the course on Using and Creating Blended Learning Classrooms on the topic of “What if your school closes?”¬†Officially, it was the 7th office hour of the course, intended to explain or to help anyone with how to set up some kind of portal or activities in their own Blended Learning Classrooms. But for this one, Vance invited special guests from Hong Kong Suzan Stamper and Bonnie Calanchini, both of whom returned from their Chinese New Year holidays at the end of January to find that their schools were declared closed until further notice, and that was 6 weeks ago.

This webinar will be especially relevant if you are in the position of having to jump like a lemming into teaching online, since it focuses on this one particular ramification of the COVID-19 outbreak relevant to the course on blended learning, where schools have been forced to close in so many countries worldwide, and teachers have had to suddenly transition from developing blended learning classrooms all the way to going totally-online in one challenging leap.

Teachers caught in this situation are doing what they can to engage students at a distance in the curriculum, and Bonnie and Suzan came online to discuss with us how they and their colleagues have managed this leap after their respective schools were closed weeks ago.

  • Bonnie Calanchini,¬†a American teacher¬†who works (from home now) at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong as an Inclusion Specialist, primary level.¬† Her school has been closed since Chinese New Year in January, and she and her colleagues are going into their 6th week of home learning.¬†Bonnie’s take:¬†“I can say that my school is doing a fantastic job implementing distance learning and the kids are responding well.”
  • Suzan Stamper¬†teaches at Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education where she’s a Senior Lecturer of English and the English Language Support Leader. Her school made the sudden announcement to go online in February, and it is expected that classes will be online until at least after Easter.¬†Suzan’s take:¬†“Going online at the tertiary level has raised challenges for students and teachers.” She notes that her school faces unique struggles with teaching adults at the tertiary level, and teachers have had to go online with little preparation.

We were also joined by Don Carroll in Japan and Nergiz Kern in Turkey, with a cameo appearance from the course beautiful assistant Bobbi Stevens, on YouTube at https://youtu.be/B7R3lZqPcuI


Show notes and Zoom chat logs

Screen shares by Vance during the webinar

Julia Hollingsworth. (2020, Feb 29). Millions of children across the world aren’t going to school [Blog post]. Retrieved from¬†https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/28/asia/remote-school-education-intl-hnk/index.html

Seesaw –

Classin – https://www.eeo.cn/en/

Second Life – https://secondlife.com/

Zoom chat logs

Nergiz Kern : Hi Vance and all. I’m in Turkey right now, but teach mainly Chinese Uni students in the summer in the UK (pre-sessional courses).
Barbara Stevens : classin is at https://www.eeo.cn/en/
Barbara Stevens : Hi Nergiz, welcome to our course.
Suzan Stamper : Yes, that is the link for Classin
Barbara Stevens : Our sons who are teaching in Qatar have been told today that they have to stay home and teach online starting tomorrow…no notice
Barbara Stevens : I wonder how art and music teachers are teaching online.
Barbara Stevens : I think that online teaching part-time and then part-time class attendance makes sense. That would help the environment as well if students don’t have to drive to school each day. But still have the classroom experience.
Nergiz Kern : I agree Barbara, that would be ideal.
Barbara Stevens : I wonder if cheating is easier for online learning.
Suzan Stamper : A clever student response:
Barbara Stevens : Marijana Smolńćec just shared this on Facebook:
Suzan Stamper : @Barbara – Thanks for the link
Barbara Stevens : Bye everyone. I have enjoyed listening.


Kathleen Morris. (2020, March 8). Resources for teaching online due to school closures [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Our theme for Week 3 in the course on blended learning is focused on how so many countries are trying to contain a global pandemic in part by delaying the start of school terms, putting teachers worldwide in the position of having to set up online learning for their students on short notice, or at least give serious consideration to the possibility.

Posted on Facebook by one of the members enrolled in the Schoology course on Creating and Using a Blended Learning Classroom

Announcements of this event were made on these Facebook Groups

Also announced here:

The text of the latter announcement read as follows:

The webinar coming up tomorrow is interesting if you are in the position of having to leap like a lemming into teaching online since it focuses on one particular ramification of the COVID-19 outbreak relevant to the course, where schools have been forced to close in many countries worldwide, and teachers have had to suddenly transition from developing blended learning classrooms all the way to going totally-online in one challenging leap.

So on Monday March 9 in Zoom at 13:30 UTC we look forward to welcoming two teachers in Hong Kong, Suzan Stamper and Bonnie Calanchini, when they will discuss with us how they and their colleagues have managed this leap after their respective schools were closed weeks ago. Suzan incidentally, has been a longtime participant in Webheads in Action.

The event coincides with #Learning2gether episode 442 and you can find bioblurbs of our guests, the link to the zoom room, and the time of the event wherever you are in the world here:

All are welcome. You don’t need to be enrolled in the course to participate.

After the event


Same text, more characters added, and posted on Facebook

Video and show notes from yesterday’s #learning2gether episode 442 webinar in the #blended2020 course on Using and Creating Blended Learning Classrooms can be found here:¬†https://learning2gether.net/2020/03/09/vance-stevens-hosts-penultimate-using-and-creating-blended-learning-classrooms-webinar-what-do-you-do-when-your-school-closes/. The discussion lasted for 1.5 hours and ranged from how teachers are coping with having to go suddenly from f2f to online due to #caronavirus #COVID2019, through portals they might use, including SeeSaw, Classin, and Second Life. Thanks to Suzan Stamper and Bonnie Calanchini in Hong Kong, Don Carroll in Japan, Nergiz Kern in Turkey, and beautiful assistant Bobbi Stevens in Malaysia, for taking part in this stimulating and informative event.

If you have any comments or suggestions about the course, let us know

Earlier webinars and “office hours” from Week 3 of this course

Announcements of the final 5 events in the course were made on these Facebook Groups

Here is the same thing in soft copy …

In my role as an English Language #ELSpecialist I have started a 3-week course on Creating and Using Blended Learning environments, #blended2020 on Twitter, http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/w/page/138546024/Create_Your_Blended_Learning_Classroom

If you are free Tue March 3, Thu 5, Sat 7,  Mon 9 or  Wed 11 at 1400 UTC and are in the mood for a conversation in Zoom about blended / flipped / online learning, or digital storytelling, or portals where these activities take place, I hope you will join us in one (or more) of the events described on this page, http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/w/page/138675954/eLearning_Archive

At the link above, you will find Zoom links, times where you are, and also archived recordings of past events in this series, and links to their blog posts.

There are over 40 people registered on the Schoology site and consistent participation but not that many turning out for the online webinars and “office hours” which I am holding every other day at 1400 UTC between now and March 11. You can still register for the course if you want to, but it’s not necessary and you are welcome to attend the live events as guests

The events are informal, tailored to whomever appears, and though I have been quiet here lately, as you can see from the most recent posts at https://learning2gether.net/, #Learning2gether has been hopping. Hope to see you soon at one of these upcoming events.

Sat 7 March 1400 UTC Blended Learning Classroom Week 3 DIYLMS – Office Hour 6

The 6th office hour in the course on Creating and Using a Blended Learning Classroom was intended to help anyone with DIYLMS (do-it-yourself-leaning-management-systems) how to set up some kind of portal or activity in their own Blended Learning Classrooms. Of course the instructor, English Language Specialist, can help with any other aspect of the course to date.

Present: Hala Salah Abbas, Rita Zeinstejer, Vance Stevens

The meeting was in Zoom. Here is a recording


I uploaded this video at midnight to YouTube without announcing it anywhere and when I work up in the morning I found this comment on it.

Thu 5 March 1400 UTC Blended Learning Classroom Week 3 Digital Storytelling & DIYLMS – Office Hour 5

The 5th office hour was intended to help anyone with the Week 2 materials on Digital Storytelling or with¬†DIYLMS,¬†how to set up some kind of portal or activity in their own Blended Learning Classrooms. For the first time in the course, no one attended today’s office hour.

Facilitating in a quiet online space can be disheartening. Why is no one responding? Am I doing something wrong?

But then this appeared, extracted from a DM on Twitter in such a way that it disguises the sender:

A million thanks for this! Good timing ūüôā

Tue 3 March 1400 UTC Blended Learning Classroom Webinar – Weeks 2 and 3 Digital Storytelling and DIYLMS

The 3rd Webinar for the course on Creating and Using a Blended Learning Classroom¬†is intended to help anyone with the Week 2 materials on Digital Storytelling and presage what’s coming up in Week 3 on DIYLMS, do-it-yourself leaning management systems. Once Week 2 issues have been addressed, the webinar will focus on the materials here:

The video is here on YouTube –¬†https://youtu.be/jlr9saLeFQM?t=120

Earlier events

Sun 1 March – Jeff Lebow drops by Blended Learning Classrooms to discuss how he creates his DIYLMS: Told as a digital story


Tue 3 Mar 0100 UTC Minecraft Monday March 2nd at 8 PM Eastern time

VSTE Place sign (1).png

Tonight we will have a tour of villages in 1.15 on VSTE Space. We will show you what we have discovered, how we are trying to keep villagers safe, and welcome suggestions!

Jeff Lebow drops by “Blended Learning Classrooms” to discuss how he creates his DIYLMS: Told as a digital story

Learning2gether Episode #441


The sun had set over the sea and mountain jungles in orange tendrils emanating beneath darkening blue skies, which had long since transitioned to darkness in Penang, Malaysia when my old friend and long-time online colleague Jeff Lebow, himself half cloaked in darkness in his workspace studio in Pusan, Korea, popped by my Zoom chat to see how things were going with my eLearning course, Creating and Using Blended Learning Classrooms, based at https://tinyurl.com/blended2020. Jeff had caught me at one of my scheduled late-night “office hours”, midway through the 3 week course, in the middle of Week 2, which focuses on tools for digital storytelling, on the assumption that these tools can be useful in creating and augmenting blended learning classrooms.

Because of that focus, I’m trying to spin everything I post this week as a digital story, hence the scene-setting introduction above. But here’s the digital video storytelling part:

The video is on YouTube at https://youtu.be/rIm1mhlIUhk

Jeff is teaching at a university which, as with many around the world, has delayed start of courses for a month due to the presence of corona virus in Korea, and like many teachers in the countries most affected, Jeff has been put in the position of having to gear up to meet classes at a distance. In his case the transition was minimal because he has for years been keeping his courses on Blogger.

Each course has a tab or category, as Jeff shows us here:


I do something similar in my PBworks site where I can archive previous courses and run the current course from the front page, but the concept is similar. Jeff can keep old courses up onine and bring the material into current courses which can then be topped up with new material. Here’s what one of mine looks like at http://vancesclass.pbworks.com/


If you were in one of my classes when this page was current you would find your section to the left of the plane, and if you clicked on your class, you’d find what you were expected to do in class that day, and in all the classes all term leading up to the present.

Classes that were completed could find records of their learning journeys with me in the archives at right, going back years from when I began this wiki. I showed this example because it’s one where the archives are at the top of the sidebar, so I could capture new and old in a single Jing screenshot. But I have many wikis like this; for example:

Jeff and I use Blogger and PBworks for counterpart purposes, as portals for our courses, where students can go for information about what’s coming up, what they didn’t understand, or what they missed. As teachers we can use these portals as repositories for materials that we can recycle and repurpose into new courses. A portal is an essential part of a DIYLMS.

Now what, you might ask, is a DIYLMS? That’s my term for a do-it-yourself learning management system. Why do it yourself, why not just buy one? Well, that would be expensive and might not meet all your needs; whereas you can utilize free tools to take the place of, or augment, an LMS portal, such as Blackboard (very costly) or Moodle (free, with the catch that it has to be hosted), or Schoology (which we are using in my current blended classroom course). As I explained in the video, even when course materials are on Bb I find it convenient to send my students to those materials via direct links in my own DIYLMS portal, where I can collate all the activities I plan to use for a given day, and the students can operate from and return to a single site order to keep straight what I have planned for them in a given class.

DIYLMS is the topic for Week 3, the last week in the blended classroom course, so while I had Jeff with me I asked him how he managed the other parts of his blended classroom environment. His first contact with his students appears to be in Kakao, a Korean company that makes social connectivity tools, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kakao, and which is managed for all students at Jeff’s university by the IT department. From there Jeff gets them into a Band site, which he mentions was created by another Korean company. I had never heard of Band, https://about.band.us/, which has more information at its video channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo4nNxPug24w15_YhvYMYoQ. It appears to be completely free, functions similarly to Edmodo, and looks at first glance like Facebook.

Here’s where Jeff talks about how Kakao gives way to Band and then where Blogger and Google Drive fit into his blended learning classroom.

In keeping with the narrative of the digital story, this video is queued to start at the moment Jeff starts describing his DIYLMS, 19:10 into the video: https://youtu.be/rIm1mhlIUhk?t=1149

So far we’ve described a CMS or content management system, a space like PBworks or Blogger where materials can be stored. An LMS or learning management system hosts content but also has ways of allowing students to submit work and for teachers to track their progress. I asked Jeff how he handled that in his DIYLMS and he mentioned Google Docs, Google Forms, and Quizziz as being useful for this purpose. Schoology teams with Dropbox in its enterprise version for submissions, but I find Dropbox a little awkward to work with (and a DIYLMS assumes you don’t have access to the enterprise version) so in this course I’m asking students to mount their work online and write in the course forums or comment on the assignments (what I call missions) and then Tweet on our course tag #blended2020 the URLs where we can find what they have done.

Recap and response

Basically Jeff had always in recent memory run his university courses on his Blogger site where each course has its own tag or label, while course materials are in Google Drive. Jeff has dozens of courses, and ports from earlier ones to the more recent iterations, and changes those to keep them current. This blended learning classroom system was in place before corona virus came along and the only addition — now that students are staying home and face-to-face teaching is not possible — is that synchronous work now occurs in Zoom.

Moving on to the last week in the course

The 4th office hour of the 3-week course on Creating and Using Blended Learning Classrooms that took place on March 1, 2020 in Zoom was intended to

  1. help anyone with the Week 2 materials on Digital Storytelling,
  2. or catch up with the Week 1 mission on coming to grips with digital tools and how to mount a digital “poster”
  3. or anticipate DIYLMS in the third week of the course.

When Jeff Lebow dropped in we took the opportunity to do the latter and discuss how an expert in blended and online learning creates and uses blended learnng classrooms in his current context. And I hope you have enjoyed this digital story about how he has moved from a blended environment where students usually met face to face to add Zoom so that now the students can meet in a completely online environment until regular classes resume where he works in Korea.

You can read more about Jeff here:

Lebow, Jeff. (2006). Worldbridges: The Potential of Live, Interactive Webcasting. TESL-EJ 10, 1. http://www.tesl-ej.org/ej37/int.html .


Earlier events

Wed 26 Feb 1400 UTC Blended Learning Classroom Webinar introducing the Week 2 materials on Digital Storytelling