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

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


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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

One thought on “22nd Weekly Webheads – Back to School Open Mic Sandbox FUNinar

  1. Pingback: The 23rd Weekly Webheads Open Mic Sandbox FUNinar Karaoke Night, jukeboxes provided by Heike Philp and Han Chee | Learning2gether

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