TALIN hosts Karen Schwarze on Teaching Natural Language Processing in English Classes

Download this audio:

Learning2gether Episode 461
and TALIN event #16


What almost happened to the recording? Eventual solution
Find out more about TALIN
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

On Monday, May 11, at 1300 UTC, TALIN conducted a webinar where Karen Schwarze spoke to us about Teaching Natural Language Processing in English Classes. The event was conducted in Zoom but there was a problem with converting the recording, as explained below. At present I am hoping to resolve the issue with any assistance that Zoom might provide its paid Pro users.

English language/literature classes can be a great environment to introduce students to natural language processing (NLP). NLP is a subset of Machine Learning (ML), which is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Using NLP, computers can understand and respond to human written and verbal communication. Teaching basic NLP concepts can reinforce students’ understanding of English while exposing them to computer science.

Karen’s Introduction on LinkedIn is better than the one above: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/karenlschwarze_codingeducation-naturallanguageprocessing-activity-6664285446450884608-PL3R

I’m very excited to give a talk about teaching NLP in the English classroom! For my fellow Californians, this is starting at 6 a.m. on Monday, May 11. If you’d like to start off your day with talking about Python, similes, and English grammar, I hope you’ll join the call 🙂 … Thank you to Vance Stevens and the TALIN community for hosting me!  #codingeducation #naturallanguageprocessing #englishlearning

In her presentation, Karen mentioned her work with https://www.tynker.com/

This event was posted to these Facebook Groups 

And was announced on Groups.io here

and on LinkedIn at

What almost happened to the recording? Eventual solution

Slap forehead

This problem came about when the session ended and I left the meeting. At this time, I was prompted to convert the recording, as always happens. The conversion bar came up and started indicating that conversion was in progress. This would take some time, perhaps half an hour.

Meanwhile Zoom was also prompting me to update Zoom, another process that could take a little time and is not always convenient to do. I decided to initiate that while waiting for the recording to convert to usable audio and video files.

In an ideal world, the Zoom updater might check to see if there were any critical processes ongoing before shutting down Zoom, or prompt me, are you sure you want to shut down Zoom at this time (since you have a conversion in progress). But the updater simply went into action, aborted my conversion abruptly, and shut down Zoom without any prompting or checks to see what the other side of the program was doing.

The program did leave me a message which remained on the screen after shutdown informing me that I could convert the file through the app interface / Meetings / recordings. I immediately pursued this option and found the raw files, but corruption may have occurred due to the abrupt abortion, and double clicking on the file that usually results in conversion this time evoked a standard Windows message asking me what program I wanted to use to open the file i had clicked on. Uh oh …


I attempted to contact Zoom. In the past there has been live chat available and the person on the other end has been able to help me recover my files. In these times of COVID-19, when Zoom is being offered free to millions to help them get their classes online, live chat has apparently been discontinued, and help desk sends you through an endless loop of FAQ files that bring you back to where you started no matter how you vary the path (because there is not enough variation).

I’m a fee-paying Pro user. There should be some way that pro users can get help ahead of the queue of free riders. But all I could do in this instance was raise the issue.

Pro User ticket filed with Zoom 

This is what I wrote on the ticket file May 11, 2020:

When I was converting the recording of this meeting I was prompted to update zoom. This aborted my recording. Now I can’t get it back.  Meeting ID: 433 888 485, initiated the recording at 2 am UTC, local recording. The icons are in the zoom folder 2020-05-11 21.03.32 TALIN – Teaching and Learning in IsolatioN 433888485. When  I double click on them they ask me what program I want to use to complete the process. They seem to have data (large files, screenshot https://www.screencast.com/t/ZnrlYWhL

Note the sizeable amount of data in the files on my disk, but lack of icons, meaning Windows cannot determine how to open these files

The files could have been corrupted. I hope not, but usually files in that folder are recoverable.

The eventual solution

Zoom never returned my call, but to while away time as I waited, I explored Windows. I went into the Program Files folders on the C: drive, but could not find a Zoom folder in either of them. I opened a Windows explorer window on My PC and typed Zoom in the search box. This pulled up a number of hits including to a Zoom folder in Documents, which is where the files I was trying to recover are stored, so I knew about that one, but there was also a Zoom folder in my user profile under AppData, in the Roaming folder.

I don’t know what you know about AppData, but if you go to your profile on a Windows C: drive and look at the folders there, you will not see AppData. To get to AppData, you need to click to the right of the path at the top of the window which gives you a folder view of where you are, in my case > This PC > Acer (C:)  > Users > Vance. Click to the right of that, and it turns to the DOS command line C:\Users\Vance. Now to the right of that, type in the backward slash AppData, so it looks like this C:\Users\Vance\AppData. Be sure to capitalize the A and the D, hit Enter, and now you are in AppData, and you see three folders there, Local, Locall.ow, and Roaming.

The Windows Explorer search on Zoom told me there was a Zoom folder in the Roaming folder of AppData, and sure enough it was there, so I browsed to that folder, C:\Users\Vance\AppData\Roaming\Zoom, and one of the folders there was called bin, so I opened that one.

There were fout executable files here. One of these might be the program that would convert the raw zoom data into usable audio and video files.


So in the first screen shot iin this section, https://www.screencast.com/t/wz9hGAuv, with the double-click to convert file selected (the one with the most data in it) where it asks, How do you want to open this file? you have to click on More Apps, none of which will be of any use, so scroll down to where it says “This PC”. Click there and browse to or just paste in C:\Users\yourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Zoom\bin, and click on the zTscoder icon, which I found by trial and errot was the one that does the conversions. Click ‘Apply’ at the bottom of the window, and now all files of that nature will be “associated”  with this app, so when you encounter one like this if you need it again, it will open with the correct app.

When I did that with the file shown in the last screen shot, it processed the conversion without further ado, and left me with video and audio files, both of which I have embedded at the top of this post. So, once again we squeak by 🙂


On May 26 I received an email from Zoom that said

If you no longer need assistance on ticket #5425638, please click Close My Ticket below. Otherwise, we will get back to you as soon as we can but please understand that this will take much longer than normal due to COVID-19.

There was a big orange button “below” that said “Close My Ticket”

I clicked there, left them this note, and referred them to this blog post if they want further information:

The problem and eventual solution is described in detail here. It tries to be fair about the stress Zoom must be under in providing its services to those in need during this time of pandemic, and that is to be commended. On the other hand paying Pro users are finding strikingly reduced levels of support

More about TALIN

TALIN stands for Teaching and Learning in IsolatioNhttps://tinyurl.com/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.

Learning2gether can host TALIN events in Zoom during times of isolation/lockdown if they are intended to be recorded and shared with the wider community, and if they take place between 02:00-14:00 UTC

TALIN events here are open to all and free to attend.  If you would like to propose an event or invite others to meet in conversation

  1. Visit this page https://tinyurl.com/talin2020
  2. Click on “Request Edit Access” to the left of your profile picture at the top of the page
  3. Wait for approval
  4. Write in your event on the schedule. Give the time in UTC if you can, and give the time in your location also as a double check on time

You can host the event yourself, but if you want Learning2gether to host it and promote it, please allow enough time to check that I am available, at least a few days in advance.

After the Virtual Round Table Conference May 8-9, 2020, there’s even more about TALIN here:
https://bit.ly/talin2020 and https://youtu.be/iOYPkmWPAiY

Earlier Events

Sun 10 May Noon UTC Regular Webheads Weekly Revival Meeting 7 – repeats each Sunday


This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

The date of this update is May 26, 2020 22:30 UTC

3 thoughts on “TALIN hosts Karen Schwarze on Teaching Natural Language Processing in English Classes

  1. Pingback: Nik Peachey on the Uberfication of language teaching: What next with teaching in lockdown? | Learning2gether

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