22nd Weekly Webheads – Back to School Open Mic Sandbox FUNinar

You can download this audio

Learning2gether Episode 487
22nd Webheads Revival Weekly Sunday Sandbox Open Mic-inar


Skip down to the Chat Logs
See our promotion and feedback for this event

Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post


On Sunday, August 30, at the usual time of noon UTC, Webheads in Action held its 22nd Weekly Webheads Open Mic Sandbox FUNinar, this one on the topic of Back to School in the New Normal.

We planned to talk about going back to school in the midst of a pandemic and the elephant in your classroom.

Is this the elephant in your classroom?

Image source: Jernej Furman (Flickr)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/91261194@N06/49787269708 (cc license 2.0)

Webheads in action are at it yet again.

On Sun 30 Aug noon UTC it’s Back-to-School for the 22nd Weekly Webheads Open Mic Sandbox FUNinar.

A lot of us are returning to Teaching and Learning in the New Normal, either virtually or face-to-face or in some combination of these.

Come tell us, how is that going for you?

If you have something to share with us or want to hear from colleagues about how they are coping in the new school year, please join us.

About a dozen turned up. Minnie arrived first and played for us on her gǔ zhēng
古筝 (弹拨乐器)so that as the others trickled in they were treated to musical candy. Marijana was next to tell us about her situation in Croatia, followed by others including Cheikh Oumar from Dakar Senegal, who had found our topic online and decided to join in. It was a lively discussion.


Zoom and Facebook Chat Logs

20:05:31 From Mike Kenteris : Hi everyone
20:05:55 From Vance Stevens : hi mike we’re opening with a musical overture tonight
20:06:44 From Vance Stevens : please mute while Minnie is playing otherwise you might grab the camera inadvertently
20:07:02 From Mike Kenteris : Great!
20:24:05 From cheikh oumar ba : hi can I say something
20:25:35 From Marijana Smolcec : Since March 16 we had remote learning and we mainly used MS Teams
20:25:52 From Nina Liakos : MS?
20:26:08 From Marijana Smolcec : SInce Vidoeconferencing in Teams was not suggested due to many Internet problems, many collegues used Zoom and I also used Google Meet.
20:26:19 From Marijana Smolcec : @Ninam Microsoft Teams 🙂
20:26:24 From Nina Liakos : Thx
20:28:02 From Marijana Smolcec : Something like that was mentioned in Croatia, 3+2 solution, where some kids would come certain day in schools
20:30:53 From Marijana Smolcec : Forbes on Mr Kim https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2013/08/11/south-korean-tutor-makes-4-million-a-year-can-you/#5808db9b697c
20:31:10 From Barbara Dieu : Hello, good morning/evening everyone!
20:31:47 From Marijana Smolcec : hi
20:31:59 From Nina Liakos : med cram?
20:32:14 From Marijana Smolcec : Is it this https://www.youtube.com/user/MEDCRAMvideos
20:32:15 From Nina Liakos : medcram
20:38:00 From Marijana Smolcec : wow!
20:38:43 From Barbara Dieu to Vance Stevens : Thank you for the certificate, Vance. It was submerged in the mail I got, so only saw it today. I have not been attending any weekend lives for my own sanity, as I stay connected the whole week for my classes, preparing, correcting and attending synchronous meetings – made an exception today 🙂
20:39:13 From Marijana Smolcec : I totally understand what Chee is explaining, using Technology also motivated my students to learn langugaes and to get more self-confident 🙂
20:40:27 From Vance Stevens to Barbara Dieu : nice to see you here 🙂
20:41:07 From Barbara Dieu to Vance Stevens : big hug to Bobbie – have been following your photos on Face 🙂
20:41:15 From Vance Stevens to Graham Stanley : hi graham are you engaged here and can I call on you?
20:44:26 From Graham Stanley to Vance Stevens : yes, of course. let me turn on my camera
20:45:11 From Marijana Smolcec : Great background Graham 🙂
20:47:44 From Barbara Dieu : Agree, Graham.
20:48:14 From Mike Kenteris : Sad… but realistic…
20:49:45 From Barbara Dieu : I read a good article this week which sums up well the situation of going back to school. It is for the US but I can relate to it in Brazil. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-08-26/how-to-reopen-schools-in-person-and-remotely?srnd=citylab&sref=aGTrSb9U
20:49:48 From cheikh oumar ba : thanks a lot graham
20:49:58 From Phil Brown : Hi everyone. I’ve been watching via FB live but just able to join you here, too.
20:51:04 From Phil Brown : Lots of great resources archived on TeachingEnglish – British Council & edutopia over the past few months to support teachers during the pandemic 🙂
20:53:01 From Graham Stanley : https://www.britishcouncil.com.sn/en/digital-library-senegal
20:53:21 From Graham Stanley : https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/support-teachers-teacher-educators
20:54:10 From Phil Brown : Nice one @Graham. Here’s the edutopia link:
20:54:10 From Phil Brown : https://www.edutopia.org/topic/online-learning
20:54:18 From Vance Stevens : thanks


20:55:37 From Graham Stanley : https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/teaching-remotely-limited-technology-getting-started
20:59:22 From Graham Stanley : This free course could help your teachers, Stephanie https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/teaching-young-learners-online
21:00:14 From Vance Stevens : Here are some blended learning and curriculum tips http://workshops2020.pbworks.com
21:00:04 From Barbara Dieu : I have resources in French if you are interested Stephanie21:00:17 From Barbara Dieu : I teach English at a French school
21:01:19 From Graham Stanley : Re. parents supporting remote learning, this may help: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=255969049038124
21:01:47 From Vance Stevens : Can I call on Bee and Phil? for any last words?
21:02:06 From Graham Stanley : and this https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/helping-parents-caregivers-support-remote-learning-home
21:02:27 From Vance Stevens : cheers Graham, always helpful with the links
21:02:39 From Heike Philp to Vance Stevens : Can I close with a song?
21:03:01 From Barbara Dieu : Must go now…some other time. Thanks for all and see you.
21:03:49 From Vance Stevens : nice to see you bee, thanks for joining us
21:05:24 From Phil Brown : For each of our contexts, there are significant questions to address relating to (1) Teachers, (2) Students, (3) Parents, (4) Technology (access as well as use, (5) Attitudes & beliefs, plus expectations, … and more, no doubt, but these seem to be recurring considerations and talking points for teachers I’ve heard from around the globe (Phil posted details in the Facebook chat, see below)
21:05:58 From Vance Stevens : I wanted to ask you to give us a last word phil, are you up for it?
21:06:23 From Nina Liakos : Fascinating discussion, thank you all! I have to hop off now. Wishing you a terrific school year, as well as health for you, your families, and your students.
21:06:54 From Vance Stevens to Heike Philp : heike we’re getting into dinner time, can we do the song next week? We can schedule it 🙂
21:12:36 From Vance Stevens to Heike Philp : next week we can start with a song
21:08:56 From Heike Philp to Vance Stevens : am running a workshop this week
21:08:56 From Phil Brown : Thanks but still percolating a bit, to be honest, and thinking how to add something meaningful and useful in a nutshell 😉
21:17:19 From Mike Kenteris : There’s a nice free MOOC starting soon on Virtual worlds for teaching. Have a look here https://www.facebook.com/groups/vwmooc/
21:18:05 From Vance Stevens : Lot’s of other free webinar opportunities are listed at http://learning2gether.pbworks.com
21:18:33 From Phil Brown : We had a FB Live, yesterday, too on the same topic: https://www.facebook.com/iTDi.Pro/videos/337367387688138/
21:18:51 From Phil Brown : Back to School: From Reactive to Proactive (iTDi Monthly Roundup)
In the past half year, teachers worldwide have stepped up to the challenge of Emergency Remote Teaching. However, we often found ourselves in a reactive mode and struggling with multiple issues.
Now, as many of us head back to school, how are we taking control over our situation with a more proactive approach?
21:19:22 From Phil Brown : Thanks!
21:19:23 From c chee : YouTube. Tai chi baytalk



Maru Del Campo · 8:00 Nicely played Minnie, thanks for sharing your music
Marijana Smolčec · 0:00 Sorry guys I got disconnected abrubtly but we had a sudden power loss and I couldn’t get online for hours!
Philip Shigeo Brown · 1:10:18 Just returning to share 5 practical things for schools/teachers to do/consider … and would love to see other people add theirs, too!

A) Returning face-to-face with social distancing, etc in place
– whilst there’s been inevitable and legitimate frustration, concerns, and stress, how we process and deal with it so as not to affect our kids/students is worthy of attention and support.
For example, whilst hearing a couple of teachers naturally lament about all the things they wouldn’t be able to do in class on top of all the new rules they would have to get kids to follow, rather than feeling sorry for the kids, etc some teachers spun the situation for their young learners to treat it as a new game. They invited kids to follow the new path to find their seat, for example, and to use bigger gestures and body language to communicate across the physical gaps. I think we’re being challenged to get more creative but we’ll always find teachers to inspire us along the way when we can’t think of something ourselves.
2. The need for PHYSICAL ACTIVITY and BRAIN BREAKS as so many kids here in Malaysia came back from school inevitably complaining after sitting down for most of 4 hours everyday since schools weren’t allowed to let students out of class. I’m hoping, however, that they can find ways to do this and if short-staffed, invite parents to volunteer on rotation to enable some classes to be taken outside under adequate supervision (e.g. for a nature walk or biology experiment).
3. Be PREPARED to return to online classes in the event of a local outbreak or second wave (as we’ve seen in a number of countries already).
B) Online classes
A few schools I’ve observed and/or consulted with took certain helpful steps to support their teachers with the transition to Emergency Remote Teaching, notably:
1. Having 2 teachers and/or a staff member host in each online class. Firstly, this mitigated against a teacher losing their internet connection (as the other teacher could step in if needed), and, secondly, enabled teachers to focus on their teaching, whilst someone else focused on the tech and admin.
2. Lesson rehearsals online with other teachers (i.e. peer-teaching practice). Although this added to teachers’ prep time, it evitably led to better quality classes with peer-support and feedback. From checking technology to improving instructions as well as seeing how well activities might run online compared to the classroom – teachers really benefitted from this. Many teachers needed to think how they could FLIP learning or use a BLENDED approach to ensure greater interaction and personalisation online – and this was completely new territory for most of them.


Philip Shigeo Brown · 31:03 @Chee – a lot of teachers and parents initially hoped that we’d be back in school after a couple of weeks, then a month. But after 6 months of closure, and May came around, the reality sunk in that it was going to be a few months. Combined with the fact that everyone had begun to get used to the range of SOPs governing our daily lives, it seemed to make it easy to get everyone onboard with putting things online more consistently. However, there were notable differences between what individuals could do, either due to technological know-how, access, work-family-life situation, etc.
However, it was apparent that with better coordination regionally as well as nationally, teachers’ workload could have been substantially reduced simply by not having everyone reinventing the wheel for their own classes. For example, if they’d set up teams across the region or country for each subject and year group, they could feasibly have created online Quizizzes, video lessons, and PDFs for the entire term. A team of leading teachers in each district could have worked on one unit each, for example, then just compiled the efforts from around the region/country.
Anyway, at least Quizizz were easy to copy and edit plus share, so these quickly became popular among teachers from the ground up, esp as they were very well received by the kids.
On returning to schools, as a parent, I wish they’d kept the Google Classrooms and/or at least continued to update parents (e.g. via Whatsapp) with what’s being covered at school since not all students have chosen or been able to return to school, even if the majority have. It’s also a pity that they haven’t continued to use Quizizz which (a) lead to students trying and retrying questions repeatedly and enjoyably, plus (b) reduce teachers’ marking load. Overall, the tech used during ERT basically seems to have been a stopgap with a missed opportunity to innovate teaching and learning, unfortunately, at least for now.
Philip Shigeo Brown · 27:37 Thanks for sharing, @Cheikh Oumar Ba. Like yourself, Malaysia is mostly characterised by more traditional teaching approaches (i.e. teacher-centred, chalk and talk) and large class numbers with no real use of tech.
When classes switched to online in April one month after lockdown, public schools just used Google Classroom to post assignments but mostly communicated via WhatsApp. Many students, as well as parents and teachers, didn’t necessarily have access to the internet (either due to coverage and/or lack of devices).
At first, kids didn’t have their schoolbooks so some teachers made worksheets or quizzes with Google Forms or Quizizz. Once parents were able to collect their books, most teachers just informed students/parents which pages to read in their textbook and what workbook pages to complete. Some lessons were shared via Youtube and national TV.
Philip Shigeo Brown · 22:30 Marijana Smolčec – must be a lot of stress/anxiety but hopefully as decisions are made and issues resolved, teachers and parents will have more certainty which will help with planning, etc.
Here in Malaysia, government schools started to go back from July after 4 months of lockdown. There are up to 40 students to class with 1m social distancing and optional masks. Later, they recommended wear masks after a small outbreak in one part of the country. New case numbers have, however, been under 30 news cases/day, thankfully for the past month. Kids have to stay at their desks for 4 hours, except to go to the toilet.
Private kindergartens and tuition centre had more stringent SOPs.
Philip Shigeo Brown · 18:09 Great suggestion, Heike Philp, to use a mobile phone as a mic to pass around.
Do you get feedback issues or can that be resolved by just muting/unmuting the main computer and mobile device?
Philip Shigeo Brown · 9:06 Good to use art and music in class, too, even if only for brain breaks!
Philip Shigeo Brown · 7:43 Nice idea, Heike, to do art during that, too! 🙂
Philip Shigeo Brown · 3:20 Beautiful playing, Minnie. So glad it was recorded 🙂 Thank you!
Marijana Smolčec · 7:25 clap, clap
Marijana Smolčec · 4:08 I am a bit late, love the music 🙂

Promotion and Feedback

This event was posted to these Facebook Groups

And posted as a calendar event at this Groups.iohttps://groups.io/g/webheadsinaction/message/32712

And was streamed from Zoom on



Note: this is just an image

Earlier Events

Sat 29 Aug noon UTC – Vance Stevens and Heike Philp present Bouncing Talk to teachers in Egypt


Sat 29 Aug 1300-1500 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free.

VSTE recommends setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here:

Download and install the software. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this link

et voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

About this intitiative, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/

Time where you are Aug 15, 9-11 am EDT, 1300 UTC


Jaz and Thunder are at VSTE Space in Second Life every Saturday morning from 5 am to 7 am Pacific time. Feel free to come learn more about the VSTE VE PLN there.

Please follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

Below are directions for joining the VSTE VE PLN in Second Life and Minecraft

Basic directions to join VSTE Spaces

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this link http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Soulgiver/155/144/58
  3. and voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

Sat 29 Aug 3 pm UK Phil Longwell at IATEFL webinar on student collaboration in Zoom breakout rooms

See https://twitter.com/teacherphili/status/1298152168701276160 to find where

Phil Longwell @teacherphili invites people via twitter to join him this Saturday for an in-depth look at Breakout Rooms (Groups).

This will be the second @iatefl_ltsig Monthly webinar, a workshop where you are invited to fully take an active part!

DM @teacherphili for the classroom link!

Many appear to be going according to the lengthy Twitter thread. Most of the messages are about how to DM Phil, since you can’t DM someone unless they follow you. So when someone tweets they have a problem, Phil DMs that he’s followed them. Problem solved, sort of.

Sat 29 Aug 1730 ET Catlin Tucker on Silver Lining for Learning

Silver Lining for Learning is a podcast by Scott McLeod which takes place every Saturday, presumably at around this time

Episode 24 | Blended and online learning with Catlin Tucker

by Scott McLeod

Over the spring and summer there was one name I heard on the lips of P-12 educators more than any other. On August 29 at 5:30pm Eastern (USA), we are delighted to have Dr. Catlin Tucker as our guest on Silver Lining for Learning. Hope you can join us!

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 August 31, 2020 04:00 UTC

Vance Stevens and Heike Philp present on blended learning and the future of education at Teaching ESL Hub Bouncing Talks series

Learning2gether Episode 486
During this event I said it was episode 485. That was just an estimate 🙂


Skip down to the Chat Logs
See our promotion and feedback for this event

Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

Vance recorded the event in full desktop view using Camtasia

In this webinar, Maha interviewed Vance Stevens and Heike Philp about “comparing and contrasting ideas on blended learning … ” She asked us to consider these 4 questions:

  • What  do you think  of blended learning? Is it the best choice?
  • How has this changed along your experiences?
  • What practical examples of teachers you trained reflect this?
  • What do you think of the future of education?

Vance wrote out his answers here: https://tinyurl.com/bouncing2020blended

Maha Hassan had invited Heike Philp and Vance Stevens to participate in
“a new round of talks in August. We call it Bouncing Talks where we will invite two guests as a kind of panel where they would talk about similar topics comparing and contrasting their points of view.”

Maha’s invitation said:

We will be meeting @Heike Philp and @Vance Stevens for the Second Bouncing Talk about Blended Learning and the future of education.

We’ll be in Zoom but if you can’t find the link you can join us on Facebook: Teaching ESL HUB [LIVE]


Facebook Chat Logs

Teaching ESL HUB was live.
Ayat Tawel · 1:42 Hi lovely people.. can’t find the zoom link . So will follow on FB
Rochelle Jauod Ubiña · 2:50 Good evening from Commonwealth, Quezon City, Philippines
Nesreen Sayed · 7:13 Hi
Houcine Fendou · 8:46 Good afternoon
Ma Eleta M Asuncion · 11:19 Blessed day
Ayat Tawel · 12:34 Maha Hassan can you post the zoom link here ?
Ahmed Magdy El-Nagar · 14:06 Ahmed Gohar
Rikki Evanz · 14:27 Blended learning is a hybrid of of asynchronous and synchronous learning.
Ahmed Magdy El-Nagar · 15:34 Good luck, Miss Maha Hassan 🙂
Ahsan Ul Kabir Mukul · 15:48 hello From Bangladesh
Heike Philp · 16:53 May I ask you all, what is blended learning for you? and how does this work for your students?
Heike Philp · 17:57 Thank you Rikki, a hybrid of asynchronous and synchronous learning
Heike Philp · 19:35 hi Ayat, I will paste the link to Zoom in privat chat ok?
Ahsan Ul Kabir Mukul · 22:08 hello From Bangladesh
Heike Philp · 23:59 hi Ahsan, great you joined
Heike Philp · 24:05 and Ionela, lovely to see you
Ahsan Ul Kabir Mukul · 24:48 Heike Philp @thanks
Ahsan Ul Kabir Mukul · 28:11 excellent presentation
Ahsan Ul Kabir Mukul · 30:23 thanks From Bangladesh Open University. Bangladesh 🇧🇩
MT Hoque · 32:25 Hi teachers, l an so happy to have you. Thank you very much for so much beneficial live class.
Heike Philp · 33:33 so what do you use?
Teaching ESL HUB · 33:26 Ahsan Ul Kabir Mukul thank you Ahsan for joining us
Ahsan Ul Kabir Mukul · 35:12 I am so happy to with you
Hari Singh Karki · 36:07 Glad to join you from Nepal
Ionela C. Mateș · 19:23 Hello from Romania
Heike Philp · 38:34 May I ask the question to all of you: what do you think of blended learning and what do you use?
Heike Philp · 38:48 do you have an LMS in place and which one?
Michael Birch · 43:48 It’s easy to assume that the passive ones are underachievers, but it’s not necessarily the case. Maybe they find the MOOC materials too limited or prescriptive.
Heike Philp · 56:18 what apps or tools do you know about on doing assessment
Hanaa M. Khamis · 59:10 ELSA Speak
Heike Philp · 1:02:08 hi Hanaa – lovely to hear from you
Heike Philp · 1:02:10 🙂
Julie Diamantakou · 1:03:45 It is definitely going to be less time consuming for students.
Heike Philp · 1:05:16 Julie, fabulous point, special educational needs
Heike Philp · 1:05:50 this is a big question
Heike Philp · 1:06:24 oh, big point
Heike Philp · 1:05:45 could technology help provide access for learners or prevent them from having access
Hanaa M. Khamis · 1:07:26 Same issue v equity
Rikki Evanz · 1:09:35 Thank you everyone. 🍀
Heike Philp · 1:10:12 http://www.menti.com 4438955
Heike Philp · 1:10:22 thank you so much
Julie Diamantakou · 1:10:39 thank you very much!!!!
Nesreen Sayed · 1:11:08 Thanks alot
Julie Diamantakou · 1:11:03 appreciate it.!!!
Nesreen Sayed · 1:11:49 Bye
Heike Philp · 58:56 and last question: what do you think is the future of education
Hanaa M. Khamis · 1:01:06 Less of traditional test types
Teaching ESL HUB · 0:00 Sure Hanaa M. Khamis I totally agree 🙂
Rikki Evanz · 46:56 Ever since, we teachers have been stepping up to make our lesson or instruction engaging and effective. I reckon we need to leverage technologies to humanize teaching and learning.
Teaching ESL HUB · 1:02:42 If you have any questions for Vance or Heike please write it here in the comments.
Hanaa M. Khamis · 1:06:24 Q: Is MS Teams an efficient n user-friendly platform?
Julie Diamantakou · 1:02:22 Online learning is not going to work with young learners.and especially for those with dyslexic and those with attention deficit.
Teaching ESL HUB · 0:00 Julie Diamantakou The problem is that they need a guide or a parent to be with them. I have heard for a specialist that special needs students enjoy the private attention they get from online sessions. Do you agree with this?
Syeda Fozia Naz · 1:05 HELLO


Promotion and Feedback

The event was promoted on Learning2gether in the usual way as follows

An event was set at Learning2gether and shared with the following Facebook groups

And posted as a message at this Groups.io

And on twitter:

Maha promoted her event at the Teaching ESL Hub

The event was streamed on Facebook


Note: this is just an image


This says: Here is the link to our latest Bouncing Talk with Heike Philp and Vance Stevens last Saturday on our You Tube Channel


Earlier Events

Tue 25 Aug 0001 UTC or Mon 24 Aug ET Minecraft Monday – All about banners



Tue 25 Aug 16:00 EDT TESOL RCIS Social Hour on Race and Racial (In)justice for English Learner Students Around the World

Ilene Winokur hosts the RCIS Social Hour on Tuesday, August 25th at 4:00 PM EDT. The Social Hour is an informal monthly event for sharing casual conversation and ideas about a topic of interest to TESOL members. This month’s topic is Race and Racial (In)justice for English Learner Students Around the World.

We’ll talk about the challenges teachers and students face and discuss different approaches to overcoming those challenges to create an equitable and inclusive space for our learners and ourselves. Your questions and suggestions are highly encouraged and valued since it’s a conversation among professional colleagues.

The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88644767481


Wed 26 Aug noon UTC Create Connection & Build Community Through Play!

Judy Wong wants us to know “It’s Free!!!! Join Me!!! …Especially my tribe on the other side of the globe!!!!…Join me and the amazing Magoa Hanke…Wednesday!! August 26th at 8am NY time… Click here for your time: https://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/…&

RSVP here now:”


Here is the session description at the link above

Join our weekly hour-long play “workout” for people of all ages around the world! Take a play break with your family or on your own – suitable for children, teens, adults and elders! Create connection and community while having fun – alleviate stress and anxiety through play. Bring whatever you have to play with … emotions, language, humor, your challenges and your hopes for our world. Hosted by international performance activist and comic educator, Marian Rich, and an international team of co-facilitators. This week’s co-facilitator is Judy Wong. Sessions are conducted in English.

I had another event at that time but I attended this one when it began. It started out with music playing which was disorienting for newcomers since it prevented communication with others (I was let into the room 8 minutes after the top of the hour – it was possible I had been let in late after the meeting had already started through I was on time). The music had a purpose as a mood-setter, and we were then to put in our feelings into the text chat. By then I said I was feeling conflicted since I was already late for my other meeting, and excused myself that I needed to leave. I existed as another musical segment started playing.



Wed 26 Aug 1700 UTC- TESOL Intercultural Communication Interest Section Coffee Hour on Building classroom community

TESOL’s Intercultural Communication Interest Section will be hosting their next coffee hour on Wednesday, 8/26 at 1:00 p.m. EST on the topic of building inclusive classroom community in language and intercultural communication courses.

Coffee hours start with about 15 minutes of welcome and sharing content, 25 minutes in breakout rooms with others, and about 15 minutes for sharing out ideas as a whole group. Come share your thoughts and walk away with some new ideas!

Zoom invitation:
Time: Aug 26, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://psu.zoom.us/j/96373160021


Wed 26 Aug 1800 UTC 6th NileTESOL PD Coffee Night

Hanaa M. Khamis wants to know …

Have you ever seen any bizarre/unique customs & traditions around the world as an ESOL practitioner in some international cultural encounters? Participate with a 3~5-min talk in which you express how this may have caused funny/awkward/uneasy moments of misunderstanding, but has become a teachable moment about tolerance and openness to others.

Speakers: Achama Isaac, Anastasia Jean, Fatmah Azam Ali, Hind Elkhatim Elyas, Maria Bossa, Salma Tarek Al-Feqqi 


Fri 28 Aug noon UTC Mick King on TESOL Career Path PD Net

The requisite screenshot selfie:

Here’s the recording with chat logs and transcription of the spoken audio


Liz follows up with thoughts on resiliance


Fri-Sun 28-30 Aug VWEDU Opensim Fest 2020

#VWEDU: Update 8/17/2020 . Opensim Fest 2020 coming August 28-30 STÖMOL is a feature-length sci-fi video done in Second Life®


Information at the above link is robo-churned, but there is a website for Opensim Fest here

There are buttons there for:

There is a video you can watch: https://youtu.be/mrDuZ7urdHc

The video says that with 60 days to go all the “performers” were signed up, but they were looking for “exhibitors, merchants, and volunteers”

and then there is this stipulation …

And that’s all I know …



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 August 31, 2020 06:00 UTC

VSTE Minecraft Mondays for Aug 24, 2020 – Learning how to make banners

Learning2gether Episode 485


How to join the regular VSTE events
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post


Minecraft Mondays met this month on August 24th instead of the normal first Monday of the month. Because there were no students present I was granted permission to record it. This one was …

All About Banners


K4sons says, “I believe it was Mainecakes who suggested this topic. How do you make banners in Minecraft? So, We will explore banners in creative and survival. I’ve been trading for banners of various colors from villagers so we will have plenty to choose from there.

Come make banners with us! We will be in creative at /warp banners. Bring your knowledge because we don’t know it all.

Let’s have fun creating patterns and using color. In this image I turned my banner into a shield. Do you think my flowered shield will scare away mobs?”

K4sons posted the link to her slide show on Discord:

How to join the regular VSTE events

About this intitiative, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/
Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

Basic directions to join VSTE Place, VSTE’s Minecraft world

The VSTE Virtual Environments PLN is proud to maintain a Minecraft world for educators who want to learn more about Minecraft for teaching and learning and for educators who just love to play in Minecraft. We meet nearly every month on the first Monday of the month from 8 to 9 PM eastern time. The server is open all the time.

You must have a computer Minecraft account from https://minecraft.net/en/ to join.

  • There is a one time fee of $26.95.
  • Download and install the software.
  • Choose multiplayer
  • Add a server: Suggested name VSTE Place; it’s IP address: minecraft.vste.org:11002.
  • Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter. Email Kim Harrison at K4sons@gmail.com from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name.

Please note the new server address:  minecraft.vste.org:11002

The old address still works. Visit it for a unique and changing experience! 

Voice chat with other players in Discord

Discord is a voice and screen sharing application that will run on your computer or mobile device.

  1. Download and install it for free.
  2. Create an account. Many of us use the same name for our Discord account as our Minecraft account to keep things simple.
  3. Our channel is https://discord.gg/nDX4mZv

It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.

Here are directions for joining the VSTE VE PLN in Second Life

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this link
  3. and voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

Earlier Events

Sun 16 Aug noon UTC Doris and Minnie at the 21st Weekly Webheads Revival Open Mic FUNinar


Tue 18 Aug Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy: Bridging the Gap hosted by TESOL’s Social Responsibility Interest Section (SRIS)

Thank you TESOL’s Social Responsibility Interest Section (SRIS)
for posting the link to the recording of Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy: Bridging the Gap, and here is the link to the webinar recording: https://youtu.be/W1va-ljSaiA

Wed 19 Aug 1800 UTC NileTESOL IATEFL debate on physical classroom vs remote learning

https://tinyurl.com/niletesol-pd-debate3 to connect with Zoom room

Wed-Fri 19-21 Aug free online Conference on English Studies in India

There is a 3-day National Conference on ENGLISH STUDIES IN INDIA : CHALLENGES, POLICIES AND POSSIBILITIES during August 19 – 21, 2020.

There is no Conference Registration Fee.
Here is the link to register online : http://thegaes.org/conference-registration

Sat 22 Aug 1100 UTC MAPSTAMP Workshop on Digital Imagery, Motion Graphics, Visual Communication

MAPSTAMP is pleased to invite you to attend one of the many series of our Professional Development Workshop this weekend.

In this workshop, we will introduce you to Digital Imagery, Motion Graphics, Visual Communication

The workshop will run for 3hrs if all goes well


I attended the introductions, but becuase I had a bandage on my face that I didn’t think looked well in my web cam, I did not remain in the Google Meet. Hopefully I’ll be able to post a recording.

Sat 22 Aug 1300-1500 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

I dropped by to chat with the ladies and Driver Fallen

Jaz and Thunder are at VSTE Space in Second Life every Saturday morning from 5 am to 7 am Pacific time. Feel free to come learn more about the VSTE VE PLN there.

You can join us next Saturday.  If you don’t have a Second Life account get one for free.

VSTE recommends setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here (I have no idea why): https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/


Sat 22 Aug 1400 UTC Maha Hassan hosts Patrice Palmer and Heather Donnelly in Bouncing Talk on Teacher well-being and self-care

Patrice Palmer and Heather Donnelly will be joining Maha Hassan for the First Bouncing Talk 🙂
Both will bounce talks on Teacher well-being and self-care.

Register on the following Link
Note that the form requires that you submit a phone number. If you don’t have one you wish to provide, you can join the event on this Facebook PAGE: Teaching ESL HUB [LIVE]

EVENT LINK and recording


Sun 23 Aug Claire Siskin speaks at ELTAI Webinar Series 2020 on Supporting Learners in Autonomous Learning

ELTAI Webinar Series 2020 – Session 18
“Supporting Learners in Autonomous Learning”
23 August 2020 (Sunday) – 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm

Register at https://event.webinarjam.com/channel/ELTAI18

Dr Harleen Kaur
ELT@I NCR-Greater Noida Chapter

Dr Claire Bradin Siskin

I’m writng Claire to see if there is a recording

She replied: Here is the recording of Sunday’s webinar on autonomous learning:

It asks for name, email, and phone number, but actually you can just type in anything, and it will let you in. (When I tried this, it needed any text string, any string with an @ and a .com in in it, and any number – I used 1234567).

This Webinarjam platform is disconcerting because there seems to be no controller bar to control the video in terms of fast forwarding, going back, etc.   If you can figure out a way to control the video, please let me know! 🙂 (I discovered you could click on the video to stop it and click again and it would resume, but that’s all.)

Mon 24 Aug noon ET B-MEIS Webinar: Do Black Lives Matter in Bilingual Education?

B-MEIS Webinar: Do Black Lives Matter in Bilingual Education?”.
Date Time: Aug 24, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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 September 2, 2020 05:00 UTC

Doris Molero and Minnie Wang edutain us at the 21st Weekly Webheads Sandbox Open Mic FUNinar

You are welcome to download this audio:

Learning2gether Episode 484
21st Webheads Revival Weekly Sunday Sandbox Open Mic-inar
38th TALIN webinar in a series of 38


Skip down to the Zoom Chat Logs
See our promotion and feedback for this event
Find more about the TALIN¹ transformation into TALIN²
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post


At last Sunday’s Learning2gether/Webheads webinar, Doris Molero invited Minnie (Michelle Wang) from China to join her project where she teaches English by having her students develop narratives that revolve around historical scenes set in virtual worlds. She invited Minnie to participate in the part described here.

As Doris says, this Sunday, I can show you what the project is about and maybe Minnie can give us some tips on how to make it more accurate. We already have in place a representation of what there is in the series in a creative way, but it’s not a historical site like the ones you find in a museum. We can talk about the terracotta army and the tomb.. This is episode 3 and 4 in the project. I have already set the site and the tools and the quest and gaming elements.

Doris has encouraged Minnie to contribute a musical background to the project. Last week, Minnie showed us two instruments that she plays. She said that she is “going to share at least one music on each instrument on the coming Sunday.”

Minnie explains about her instruments: In Chinese, we say Guzheng for the one with 21 strings. It used to have 38, 16, 8, and 25 strings in history, now mostly 21. It was first used as an instrument in 2500 years ago.  And Guqin, the one with 7 strings, first appeared more than 3000 years ago. The culture behind the instruments is splendid, amazing. My English language is limited, but that would be in a long email in future.

Here are the names in Chinese and links where you can hear their correct pronunciation

Find [gǔ zhēng] pronunciation at https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%8F%A4%E7%AD%9D/66910

古筝 (弹拨乐器)

Find [gǔ qín] pronunciation at


This kind of instrument is called Chinese zither, or gin,

Minnie sent me a website in Chinese which she translates as follows

The Guqin,is also called Chinese ancient zither or Qixianqin (Chinese severn-string zither). It was first made about 3000 years ago, according to the figure of a phoenix. It can also be said to correspond to the human body, and more than that.

The body of the Guqin is of a length that represents 365 or 366 days of the year (it is about 3 chi 6 cun and 5 or 6 fen long.[about 120-125cm). It has an arc-shaped face and a flat bottom, which symbolize heaven and earth respectively. Its head is six cun wide, symbolizing the six aspects, heaven, earth and four directions, in harmony; and the tail is four, symbolizing four seasons. Below the forehead of the Guqin is a high bridge called the “great mountain”. The strings look like water. High Mountain and Flowing Water are two Guqin masterpieces of music. Its two pegs, are called the goose feet (yanzhu), and are used to support its body, to tie the strings, and also to hang it on the wall.

The Guqin originally had only five strings, which are meant to represent the five elements, gold, wood, water, fire, and earth, with five notes, gōng shāng jué zhǐ yǔ [kind of do re mi so la], symbolizing the five social hierarchies of emperor, minister, people, matter, objects. Later, Zhou Wenwang and Zhou Wuwang [father and son,kings in Sang dynasty.] added two strings of wen and wu [whose characters mean letters and martial arts] to symbolize the harmony between the monarch and the minister.

The underside of the base has two sound holes, the larger of which is called the “dragon pond”, and the smaller “phoenix pool” . Each qin is given a unique name, which is engraved on the back side or inside of the instrument, along with date it was made, and poems and seals of the maker.

There are 13 dots of ivory, jade, or mother-of-pearl [the rich ones use gold ] that indicate pitch positions, the right place to make overtone, symbolize 12 months a year and the intercalary month added every few years to synchronize the lunar calendar with the solar calendar. In the middle there is the biggest dot, which represents the lord’s , the other are smaller ones represents the ministers’.

In performance Guqin symbolize the union of heaven, earth and mankind, which are represented by overtone, open sound and stopped sound. A stop sound could be amazing by adopting the four skills yin (quick trill), nao (slow trill), chuo (upward portamento [pitch bending]) and zhu (downward portamento).
In my point of view, it is the sound of nature and of peace, it is the sound of soothng and of healing.

Minnie also provided a link to recordings of her playing the Gugin.

She explains
There are five recordings here of me playing Guqin. The music, Threefold of Yangguan, was from a poem written by Wang Wei in Tang dynasty

A Farewell Song

No dust is raised on the road wet with morning rain;
The willows by the hotel look so fresh and green.
I invite you to drink a cup of wine again;
West of Sunny Pass no more friends will be seen.

[Wangwei’s poem, song yuaner shi anxi, translated by Xu Yuanchong]

Zoom Chat Logs


20:28:20 From Doris Molero : https://www.lucasinfografia.com/Terracotta-Warriors
20:29:58 From Doris Molero : https://www.chinadiscovery.com/shaanxi/xian/terracotta-warriors/terracotta-warriors-facts.html
20:30:25 From Doris Molero :
20:33:32 From Doris Molero : https://edpuzzle.com/media/5ec3e32a9daeb23eef0b0f07/
20:36:57 From c chee : very interesting
20:37:33 From Helena : Doris the background music is loud. we can hear you
20:37:45 From Helena : yes Vance
20:40:23 From Helena : 259 BC
20:40:43 From Helena : oh that’s right
20:43:11 From Vance Stevens : thanks helena
20:43:32 From Doris Molero : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Madhupak/65/154/514
20:43:34 From Helena : slurl
20:45:28 From Michael Birch : just googled second life china. It seems you do need a VPN
20:46:49 From Doris Molero : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Madhupak/155/147/74
20:48:11 From Vance Stevens : we are recording, I’m getting sound cut outs too
20:49:48 From Michael Birch : but now I found another site which says secondlife is available in China! (shoulder shrug)
20:51:27 From Vance Stevens : [gǔ zhēng] Pronunciation at https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%8F%A4%E7%AD%9D/66910 古筝 (弹拨乐器) [gǔ qín] pronunciation at https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%8F%A4%E7%90%B4/6153 古琴(弹拨乐器) This kind of instrument is called Chinese zither, or gin, https://www.britannica.com/art/qin-musical-instrument
20:53:43 From Doris Molero : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ew-wl9hai5JcMDMxDzhjICell7N4pb4JWClr0JJk75U/edit
20:53:52 From Doris Molero : This is the link to the VWMOOC 2020
20:54:11 From Vance Stevens : Thanks Doris
20:55:34 From Michael Birch : this post dates back to 2015 but the dns checker still works https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/362139-sl-acces-from-china-and-hong-kong/
20:58:53 From c chee : they have WeChat
20:59:16 From c chee : no they can’t
20:59:25 From c chee : China block
21:01:22 From Vance Stevens : https://learning2gether.net/2020/08/09/20th-weekly-webheads-revival-sandbox-minnie-demonstrates-dingtalk-for-language-learning/
21:03:26 From Doris Molero : Minnie Monday, August 17⋅9:00 – 10:00am Join Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/77788288215?pwd=eTladzVGYzNZZHQ4ZWo1OVdHN2JNZz09
Description: ────────── Doris Molero le está invitando a una reunión de Zoom programada. Unirse a la reunión Zoom https://us04web.zoom.us/j/77788288215?pwd=eTladzVGYzNZZHQ4ZWo1OVdHN2JNZz09 ID de reunión: 777 8828 8215 Código de acceso: nDy1uj
21:04:05 From Vance Stevens : https://join.secondlife.com/
21:04:31 From Vance Stevens : https://secondlife.com/
21:07:52 From Vance Stevens : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ew-wl9hai5JcMDMxDzhjICell7N4pb4JWClr0JJk75U/edit
21:08:28 From Helena : EduNation Islands on SL and EVO Village have been a hive of teacher activity and I believe you will soon hear more about teaching in-world!
21:09:11 From Vance Stevens : http://evosessions.pbworks.com
21:16:21 From Helena : Thanks for this session, Vance. I’ll have to go earlier but my EVO team and I will be back with more news soon
21:16:52 From Helena : Sorry, I really must go earlier, everyone. See you soon!!
21:17:09 From Doris Molero : Besitos helena!
21:17:11 From Helena : Thanks Doris.
21:17:18 From Helena : Besitos!
21:17:26 From Mike Kenteris : 🙂 Bye Helena
21:17:38 From Helena : Bye, Mike7

Promotion and Feedback

This event was held in Zoom and was posted to these Facebook Groups

And posted as a message at this Groups.io

And streamed from Zoom on


And this is what our friends were saying in the Facebook chat

Jane Chien · 43:54 Hello 👋 I’m here, too! Wow! I can hear traditional Chinese music. What dynasty is that?
Jane Chien · 52:46 Is that for EVO 2021?
Graham Stanley · 0:00 Hello! Watching on Facebook today.
Graham Stanley · 57:19 Fabulous
Jane Chien · 44:43 Are the emperors tomb gold and red?
Jane Chien · 47:57 Oh! Is that built for Emperor Qin Shihuang
Helena Galani · 11:42 Hello from me too!! 🙂
Graham Stanley · 1:12:51 Master Jedi lol
Jane Chien · 52:24 Virtual Mooc?

Farewell to TALIN¹ – Welcome to TALIN²

Teaching and Learning in IsolatioN, a.k.a. TALIN1 has been retired,
but TALIN2 (TALIN squared, or Teaching and Learning in the New Normal)
continues as a subset of Learning2gether.net, and as a Facebook group at

You can find a listing of all 38 TALIN webinars between March 30 and August 16, 2020, here

Earlier Events

Sun 9 Aug noon UTC 20th Weekly Webheads Revival Sandbox and final TALIN1FUNinar


Mon 10 Aug 1400 ET TESOL TEIS Townhall on how teachers are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic

TEIS Townhall (Monday, Aug. 10, 2:00-3:00pm ET): Language Teacher Educators & coping with the  COVID-19 Pandemic

Please join us for a TESOL Teacher Education Interest Section Town Hall on Monday, August 10th from 2:00-3:30 ET. We’ll discuss how teacher educators around the world are coping with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • flexible programming options,
  • teacher education classroom modalities,
  • innovative approaches to student teaching/practicum,
  • and student supports during this challenging time.

Michelle Benegas, TEIS Chair-Elect will moderate.

To join the town hall, register at: zoom.us/meeting/register/…

Here is the link to the webinar recording: https://youtu.be/v_yjhswyRvE

Below is more info from the TEIS’ first townhall on Monday, Aug. 10th
Textual Chat Summary: docs.google.com/document/d/…

You will see  in the text chat summary, feedback to the TESOL “mothership”  namely:

  • Flesh out our Teacher Ed Standards for Online Teaching.
  • Consider making next year (2021) a double-conference year i.e. one online and one in person. TESOL 2020 Virtual Conference was amazing!

Also you will see in the brief summary, current efforts etc. and video sources suggestions that emerged from one of the main concerns expressed i.e. how to provide meaningful practica to teachers.

We at TEIS are cheering on all our colleagues as we begin the new semester. We are in for a “wild ride,”! Whee!

Mon 10 Aug 1700 ET – Teacher’s Perceived Loss of Control During the Pandanemy



  • Christel Broady, Ph.D. Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY and
  • Anastasia Khawaja, Ph.D., University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

After the TESOL Convention, my TESOL Lounge started a My TESOL Lounge Live where educators/administrators etc from all over the world can come together on zoom various times a month on different days and times to accommodate different time zones to engage on a variety of topics related to TESOL.  It started back in May and went through June.  We took a break in July for the convention, and now the lounge is coming back.  This topic is all about us.  Join Christel Broady and myself on Monday, August 10th 5pm EST to discuss Teacher’s Perceived Loss of Control During the Pandanemy: Coping and Self Care Strategies.  Throughout the spring and summer, our focus has of course been on our students – their well-being, their engagement.  Our professional development has focused around how to work with new technology, new techniques, etc.  But this Monday, we will take a step back and take time to reconnect with ourselves and each other as we share self care strategies and talk about our own needs as we gear up for another busy and still quite unique semester.  Please click on the link below to join.

Topic: Teacher’s Perceived Loss of Control During the Pandanemy: Coping and Self Care Strategies.

For more details register here:

From me (Vance)
One of the questions when you register is, are you a TESOL member?
You can answer yes or no. I don’t know what happens if you answer no (probably it’s ok)

Christel Broady posted this to Facebook after this event

Christel’s comment: Tonight, I attended a super interesting meeting with reps of the Philippine Department of Education, the US Embassy in Manila, a Relo in Asia,and two English Language Specialists. We collaborate on a project to deliver Professional Development for teachers in the Philippines to address the challenges of the Pandemic. I am proud to be part of this group!

Wed 12 Aug 3 pm EST TESOL Social Responsibility and Teacher Ed  and AL Interest Sections webinar

Please join the Social Responsibility Interest Section an intersection webinar with the Teacher Education and Applied Linguistics Interest Sections! We will be discussing the intersection of social justice in teacher education and applied linguistics and how to bridge theories and practice. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, August 12th from 3pm-4:30pm EST which is 7pm GMT. Please note that by registering, you will get a recording of the webinar if you aren’t able to attend. But we hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please let me know:)

Sat 15 Aug 1300-1500 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free.

VSTE recommends setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here:

Download and install the software. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this link

et voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

About this intitiative, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/


Sat 15 Aug Silverlining Learning Episode 22 conversation with Stephen Heppel


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 August 25, 2020 06:00 UTC

20th Weekly Webheads Revival Sandbox – Minnie from China demonstrates DingTalk for language learning

You can download this audio here:

Learning2gether Episode 483
20th Webheads Revival Weekly Sunday Sandbox Open Mic-inar
and the 37th and final TALIN¹ webinar


Skip down to the Zoom Chat Logs
See our promotion and feedback for this event
Find out more about TALIN
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

On August 9, 2020, Webheads in Action were at it again, in the usual open mic-inar format.


In this video: https://youtu.be/z71i0eZ0E00 Minnie from China shows us an app, DingTalk, that she and 70 other students in her group were using to learn English under the direction of Han Chee, a teacher living in Texas who has been involved in teaching English online to Chinese for some time. Chee joined us in the discussion, as did Doris Molero, Heike Philp, and Maru Del Campo. Doris asked Minnie to participate in her project where she is having her students develop personal narratives of a visit to the terracotta warriors in Xian, China. Minnie showed us her collection of Chinese classical musical instruments and promised us a concert soon. Stay tuned!

Before that, Vance had explained the transition from TALIN1 – Teaching and Learning in IsolatioN, to TALIN Squared – Teaching and Learning in the New Normal, as explained at https://tinyurl.com/talin2020

Many of us realize that we are all passing through a world where the old normal was the problem. Many are hoping to return somehow to that old world, and hopefully some of the things we truly miss and wish to preserve will be recoverable. But if we see that in many glaring respects, the old way of doing things was unsustainable, so how do we escape the all too obvious untenabilities of the old order and carry ourselves into a more enlightened future? And as regards education, and so much else, what does that future look like when we do emerge from this pandemic and are in a position to recover from the overriding disease of which the pandemic was but a symptom, in our past?

Read more about this below

Zoom Chat Logs

20:07:17 From Heike Philp : Rethink
20:07:48 From Heike Philp : Podcasts
20:08:19 From Heike Philp : https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08gt1ry/episodes/downloads
20:14:05 From Vance Stevens : http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/
20:14:52 From Heike Philp : I love Learning2gether
20:15:16 From Vance Stevens : https://www.facebook.com/groups/talin2020/
20:19:17 From Heike Philp : Dingtalk
20:19:25 From Heike Philp : looks like Skype

In the image below, Minnie is recording her voice as she talks us through the app


Below, she converts the recording to text by selecting an option in the app


Here is the result of the speech to text … 


Now she requests a translation of the transcribed speech


In this way, students can speak to one another, get text renditions of that speech, and translations of the speech to text into their native language, all in one app


20:27:43 From Maru Del Campo Velasco : ROSETA stone
20:34:43 From Doris Molero : Can you write the name of the app in the chat?
20:41:12 From Vance Stevens : chromebook
20:41:15 From Doris Molero : chromebook
20:42:49 From Heike Philp : fyi, I am on the road now… am listening using mobile
20:44:25 From Doris Molero : Great! always connected!
20:49:25 From Vance Stevens : Stevens, V. (2002). A day in the life of an online language educator. TESL-EJ 6, 3. http://tesl-ej.org/ej23/int.html
20:51:01 From Vance Stevens : Wu, Junjie Gavin. (2018). Mobile Collaborative Learning in a Chinese Tertiary EFL Context.TESL-EJ, Volume 22, Number 2, Available: http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume22/ej86/ej86int/. Also available at: http://tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej86/int.pdf; pp. 1-15.
21:05:16 From Vance Stevens : Xian
21:07:20 From Maru Del Campo Velasco : You are so wonderful Doris!

Promotion and Feedback

This event was posted to these Facebook Groups

And posted as a message at this Groups.io,:

And streamed from Zoom on

What is TALIN?

Sunday August 9 could be the last time we hold what we call a TALIN webinar, as we transition from TALIN¹ – Teaching and Learning in IsolatioN to TALIN Squared – Teaching and Learning in the New Normal, as explained at https://tinyurl.com/talin2020


So, what does TALIN2, Teaching and Learning in New Normal, look like?

TALIN as an idea and concept continues as long as educators are operating under circumstances that force them to grapple with meeting their students online and engaging them in quality education. But now that this is becoming the new normal, speakers are less attracted to presenting in a forum dedicated to the purpose for which this movement was started. It has come time for TALIN to merge into mainstream Learning2gether, which has been going on since 2010 b.c. (before covid).

At my blog post here:
https://advanceducation.blogspot.com/2020/04/teacher-training-in-time-of-covid-19.html I noted that Webheads in Action had been experiencing a revival that

accelerated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This prompted me to take yet another initiative which I called TALIN, Teaching and Learning in IsolatioN. 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.”

I go on to report that TALIN

has held or is planning a webinar every two days through the first three weeks in April. I expect this to be sustained for as long as schools are closed for the pandemic, but the group is under my https://Learning2gether.net umbrella, and its activities should extend the number of podcasts produced under that project since 2010 to well over 450.

TALIN gained greater traction than expected, and by now, since March 30, we have had 37 open mic-inars and more formal webinars conducted under the TALIN umbrella and increased the number of Learning2gether episodes up to 483.

Looking back on this, we see that this set of webinars was prompted by a desire expressed by Webheads co-founder Michael Coghlan to revive the Webheads weekly meetings on the assumption that we all shared a need for online contact to help counteract the anomie of lockdown.

Soon afterwards Jane Chien and I organized our Best of EVO presentations in three separate sessions online in response to the cancelation of the on-site event scheduled at the Denver TESOL convention. These events were timed to take place in the same week in which they were originally scheduled to be held at the physical conference, as a proof of concept that such events need not be postponed due to inability of participants to convene face-to-face.

Over the next four months, we heard from Barbara Dieu and Susana Canelo from quarantine in Brazil and Argentina, and we learned about SOFLA (Synchronous Online Flipped Learning Approach) from Laine Marshall, Simplifica from Carla Arena, and what to expect from Jing’s replacement tool from Rita Zeinstejer. We had a tour of Minecraft conducted by the EVO Minecraft MOOC and VSTE communities at the 2020 Virtual Round Table conference, an introduction from Karen Schwarze on using Natural Language Processing in English Classes, and a webinar from Nick Peachey about useful tools while teaching in lockdown. An incident at Nick’s webinar caused Heike Philp and I to then carry out a systematic study on how to prevent Zoom bombers and present our findings in a series of TALIN webinars.

Dilip Barad in Maharashtra shared with us the remarkable means by which he conducted remote hands-on workshops for huge classes in India, and then he invited Heike Philp, Ania Lian, and I to participate in one such webinar a few weeks later. Meanwhile Heike had taken us on a Virtual Campus tour in OpenSim and Susan Marandi had introduced us to her students taking her CALL professional development courses in Iran.

When Graham Stanley started appearing regularly at our events in his virtual Facerig and real-world pandemic face mask guises, he had us play-testing Miro and interactive storytelling games. When Laine Marshall and Ilka Kostka produced an article for TESL-EJ on SOFLA for a column I was editing, I trialed the idea in a virtual workshop I was giving for doctoral students in Morocco.

When Gavin Dudeney thoughtfully broached the question recently, “Why the Obsession With Tools?” some of us realized we indeed had such an addiction which we have recently started to question, as well as develop, and justify as best we could, keeping in mind best practices.

We’ve had many engaged and engaging participants as well in our open mic sessions, and I may have even left out a presenter or two, but the full list of all 37 TALIN webinars can be found in our archive of TALIN1 webinars here,

All this shows us that this effort has been thoroughly worthwhile, but now we are beyond the emergency online teaching stage for which TALIN1 was created. Now many of us are entering TALIN2 and having to decide how to cope with returning to school, or continuing to teach online, or both. So by moving into TALIN2, we enter a phase where we go beyond Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) and enter the era of school reopenings.

In taking that ongoing discussion back to Learning2gether, I have no intention of shutting off the flow of webinars; I only mean to channel it from Teaching and Learning in IsolatioN, which was where we began and where we met teachers trying to grasp, and help each other with, Emergency Remote Teaching, into a New Normal which is hard to imagine at this writing.

Some schools are attempting to reopen across the board, some are opening fully virtual, and some are attempting a mix of blended, hybrid, covid, you name it. Teachers around the world are wondering how to plan, what to do, what will happen, and very soon now, we’ll all be wanting to know, what happened?

If you have something to contribute to that conversation, please join us at future Learning2gether events, which is where I’ll be channeling energies from now on, as we see what happens with TALIN Squared – Teaching and Learning in the New Normal. It has a new superscript, TALIN2, but same hash tag, #talin2020

We can continue to hear each other’s TALIN2 stories in the Facebook group community. The webinars continue as episodes here and at http://learning2gether.pbworks.com .

Earlier Events

Sun 2 Aug noon UTC – 19th Webheads Revival Weekly Sunday Sandbox OpenMic-inar


Sat 8 Aug 1300-1500 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

VSTE recommends setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/

Download and install the software. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this link http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Soulgiver/155/144/58

et voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

About this intitiative, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/

Sun 9 Aug 1630 India ELTAI Webinar Series on Techniques to learn ESL


ELTAI Webinar Series 2020 – Session 17
“Multiple Techniques to Learn English as a Second Language”

09 August 2020 (Sunday) 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm

Register at https://event.webinarjam.com/channel/ELTAI17

Moderator: – Akansha Saxena


  • Alex Anderson, USA
  • Vaishali Pradhan, Nepal

Special Guest:

  • Lalita Pradeep, Director, SIET, UP

Fri-Sun 7-9 Aug 9th annual 3-day MMVC20

Join educators worldwide at the 9th annual 3-day MMVC20
Moodle MOOT Virtual Conference 2020 (MMVC20)

August 7-9, 2020 (ZOOM Meetings)

Events are scheduled here, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QmO9ak_X2JQKYT3ut9t-9UIVVmemBAFrL60g8BYsE78/edit. Timings are:

  • Fri Aug 7 – from [ 0900 EST / 1300 UTC ] to [ 1500 EST / 1900 UTC ] 9 pm to 3 am in Malaysia
  • Sat Aug 8 – from [ 0900 EST / 1300 UTC ] to [ 1500 EST / 1900 UTC ] 9 pm to 3 am in Malaysia
  • Sun Aug 9 – from [ 0800 EST / 1200 UTC ] to [ 1500 EST / 1900 UTC ] 8 pm to 3 am in Malaysia

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 August 12, 2020 04:00 UTC

FUN at the 19th Webheads Revival Weekly Sunday Sandbox OpenMic-inar with green screens and Facerig

You are free to download this audio

Learning2gether Episode 482
19th Webheads Revival Weekly Sunday Sandbox Open Mic-inar
and the penultimate TALIN webinar #36


Skip down to the Zoom Chat Logs
See our promotion and feedback for this event
Find out more about TALIN
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

We had thought to carry on with the recent topic, do teachers really have an obsession with tools? — and of course we indulged in our own obsession with tools, and addressed how these obsessions might be utilized in leveraging language learning, when the tools become the prop, the dogme environment, which holds student attention while language happens within that environment. Vance Stevens and Graham Stanley showed off some green screen magic, while Heike Philp and Vicky Saumell morphed into their respective Facerig guises.

We had FUN playing with tools, such as Facerig and green screens. Tools are like arrows in a quiver and teachers need to know through familiarity born of trial and error, which to select and aim at a given pedagogical purpose. We concluded that, used correctly, tools can be useful in engaging learners (if our experience using them to engage one another in frivolous unanticipated nonsense is anything to go by).

Graham followed up with this post on Facebook. Click on the pic to reach the link.


Zoom Chat Logs

20:23:36 From GrahamStanley : Sorry…bandwidth issues. I keep dropping out
20:24:14 From Vance Stevens : np
20:24:20 From Maru Del Campo Velasco : Don´t worry dear, keep trying please
20:41:17 From Heike Philp : How did you reverse the greenscreen effect Graham?
This was at 39:27  in the YouTube video, here – https://youtu.be/5cUlxrnTohE?t=2367
Graham said he had done it by mistake 🙂

20:48:23 From Maru Del Campo Velasco : Congrats Minnie
20:57:28 From Heike Philp to Vance Stevens(Privately) : I am really happy you are saying this
Saying what?? Could this be at be at about 54:17? Why the obsession with tools? https://youtu.be/5cUlxrnTohE?t=3259
21:04:00 From Maru Del Campo Velasco : Sorry I keep crashing
21:04:06 From Maru Del Campo Velasco : crashing


Promotion and Feedback

I used this as our event logo, or just the image part


I asked participants planning to join us to find out what FUN stands for here, https://prosites-vstevens.homestead.com/files/efi/papers/tesol/arabia2007/09.htm

and I promised a pop quiz on this at the webinar, but forgot about it, so be ready,
at some future webinar, when you least expect it, nyaa haaah haaaa

This event was posted to these Facebook Groups

And at this Groups.io, as a calendar event:  https://groups.io/g/webheadsinaction/message/32691

It was also streamed from Zoom on

What is TALIN?

TALIN stands for Teaching and Learning in IsolatioN, https://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.

TALIN has attracted speakers for 36 webinars under the TALIN brand in the past 4 months, but speakers have not been leaping from the woodwork as eagerly as before, and I think the webinar side of TALIN will be more manageable in future if it merges back with Learning2gether, certainly one less ball for me to juggle.

In practice, these past 4 months, I’ve been announcing TALIN events on Facebook and sharing them with my other Facebook communities. All the communities have been growing almost equally, so what will happen now is I’ll be creating events at Learning2gether and sharing them with the other communities including the TALIN Facebook group. Members of any one community shouldn’t notice much if any difference.

I’ve altered the TALIN portal page here https://tinyurl.com/talin2020 to note that I won’t be continuing to schedule or archive our webinars as TALIN¹ ones on that page. The Facebook community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/talin2020 will continue with TALIN² events as before.

So in practice nothing will change, except that I won’t have to keep track of TALIN webinars any more, and things should go on as normal, with regularly scheduled webinars continuing under the auspices of Learning2gether and Webheads.

Webheads have had some remarkable meetings lately, and we’ve been experimenting with green screens and games and enjoying it more than ever. The videos are a hoot to watch as well, all at https://learning2gether.net.

Earlier Events

Wed 29 July Time 1400 UTC – Gavin Dudeney on Why the Obsession With ‘Tools’?


Thu 30 July 1300 EDT Sharon Tjaden-Glass and Jennifer Lacroix host conversation about listening and intercultural competence in the classroom

Please join us for a casual conversation about encouraging listening and intercultural competence in the classroom. Sharon Tjaden-Glass and Jennifer Lacroix will host a casual conversation about this topic.

What is listening competence? What is intercultural competence? How does the research overlap? Where are the gaps? How can teachers encourage both the development of listening and intercultural competence? Join us!

ICIS Coffee Hour Invitation, Thursday July 30th, 1:00 PM EST

Topic: ICIS Coffee Hour: Intercultural Listening
Time: Jul 30, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 952 3074 5689
Password: 414829
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,95230745689# US (New York)
+13017158592,,95230745689# US (Germantown)

I don’t think this was from this particular event, but it happened around this time …

From a post on Aug 8, 2020 by Sharon Tjaden-Glass, in the TESOL Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section community forum:

We had a successful networking session among 26 TESOL professionals who are looking to get into instructional design as well as those who have made the transition or in the process of doing so. I am grateful that I was joined by four other amazing professionals who shared their experiences getting into instructional design, proof again that it can totally be done!

From TESOL to Instructional Design: Experiences from the Trenches


Fri 31 July 0200 ET TESOL TEIS hosts webinar with Michelle Benegas and Amy O’Conner Stolpestad

Date and Time: July 31, 2020, 2:00-3:00pm ET

Presenters: Michelle Benegas (TEIS Chair Elect) and Amy O’Conner Stolpestad

TEIS continues its TEIS webinar series in July, discussing ESL teacher leadership in the context of the project, English Learners in the Mainstream (ELM).  Funded by a generous National Professional Development grant from the United States Department of Education, ELM draws from distributed leadership theory to train ESL teachers to be teacher leaders in order to better serve English learners throughout the school day. In tandem with state education associations, local education associations, and school building partners, the Benegas & Stolpestad support the development of leadership structures that fit within existing systems to make the work of the ESL teacher leader, referred to as an ELM peer coach, both feasible and successful. Participants in this session will learn about findings to date from this four-year study as well as be provided examples of how Hamline University has redesigned their ESL teacher preparation program to cultivate teacher leadership.


Michelle Benegas, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Hamline University. In her work with teachers and schools, she promotes a model in which ESL teachers serve as site-based experts and coaches to their colleagues. Her research interests include ESL teacher leadership, teacher leader identity, and systemic approaches to improving EL services. She is also the TEIS Chair Elect.

Amy O’Connor Stolpestad currently serves as the director of The ELM Project and also consults with local, regional, state, and higher education institutions. Stolpestad is a Minnesota licensed K-12 ESL teacher and experienced teacher educator. Her research interests include teacher leadership, instructional coaching, teacher identity, and organizational change management.

To register, go to:  zoom.us/meeting/register/…

Sat 1 Aug 1300-1500 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free.

VSTE recommends setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/

Download and install the software. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this link

et voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

About this intitiative, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/


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 August 9, 2020 05:00 UTC