Minhaaj Rehman, CEO of Psyda, interviews Vance Stevens to discuss their life and career trajectories and convergences this century

Learning2gether Episode 501


See our promotion and feedback for this event
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

Minhaaj’s video recording is here, https://youtu.be/gKbLRnjfRaU

Some early participants in Webheads in Action might remember Minhaaj Rehman, who has since become CEO of Psyda https://psyda.co/, which is a company into different kinds of academic research; e.g. AI and data analytics.


Among many other initiatives, Psyda mounts a podcast series,

with topics such as this one, an interview with Dr. Premkumar Elangovan, developer of a writing software package called Ref n Write, https://youtu.be/RsVMDr2MNEg

Many of the topics of these podcasts appear somewhat even more esoteric than the one above.

One of Minhaaj’s lesser esoteric of these podcasts occurred on December 6, 2021, when Minhaaj interviewed Vance Stevens on a wide ranging variety of topics, stemming from Vance’s background in computer-assisted language learning going back to the late 1970s, and into when Webheads in Action was founded 20 years later. At around that time Minhaaj, one of the early Webheads, met up with Vance and Bobbi frequently online and later over several meals in Abu Dhabi.

Bobbi, Vance, and Minhaaj in Abu Dhabi, circa 2006

In our interview we caught up with what we’ve been up to since then, and how our respective interests and career trajectories intersect.


Minhaaj invited us to meet him in StreamYard on Sunday, Dec 6, at 0800 UTC,
Streamyard is very similar to Zoom. You can find detailed instructions here:

Minhaaj produced this attractive poster for the interview


Minhaaj wrote this about the event on Facebook:

Tools like Grammarly, Ref n Write and Scholarcy are all outcome of Natural Language Processing and helps in writing academic papers that are of high quality. On December 6th, i’ll be talking to an expert in computer assisted language teaching Vance Stevens. Vance has trained pilots in UAE and has spent 40 years working around the world teaching English using cutting edge technologies such as SecondLife. We will be discussing issues like academic writing and modern day tools for intelligent research like MAXQDA and NVivo. You can read more about his work at https://vancestevens.com/papers/CurriculumVitaeVance.pdf 

Note from Vance: a better link is to stop further back at the URL above, where all my publications are listed and many are linked in full text, here: https://vancestevens.com/papers/

On teaching writing to (low-level) EFL students

In preparations for this interview, Minhaaj mentioned Ref n Write, a microsoft word addin for better academic writing. I mentioned that in my last years teaching EFL in UAE I was focusing my most novel work on writing.

I told Minhaaj that I had described and demonstrated a technique for giving feedback on student writing to teachers at SQU in Oman, online, and posted this archive of it.

I note there that I gave an improved version of the presentation online in preparation for a face-to-face presentation I would be giving at GLoCALL in Danang a few days later. These links are:

These links reference articles I have published on and around the topic

I said I could address the topic above if  Minhaaj wanted to bring it up in the interview. He replied that “that’s a very good topic and method to teach students. You can elaborate that in detail.”

But the topic never came up. I include it here because it seems to be something Minhaaj wanted me to mention, and anyone can follow the links for more information.

Promotion and Feedback

Vance’s announcements beforehand

This event was announced at these Facebook groups

And shared with …

The event was also posted at this Groups.io –  https://groups.io/g/webheadsinaction/message/32753

Minhaaj promoted the event on Facebook and on LinkedIn







This is the video as it appears on Facebook, for as long as it stays there 🙂

Long-time Webhead-in-Action Maru Del Campo sent us this much-appreciated feedback


Earlier Events

Sun 29 Nov 1400 UTC Webheads in Action 30th revived Open Mic FUNinar and 500th Learning2gether Webcast Party

An archived work in progress can be found at https://learning2gether.net/2020/11/29/webheads-in-action-30th-revived-open-mic-funinar-and-500th-learning2gether-webcast-party/

Tue 1 Dec 1500 UTC CALL-IS and State Dept Office of English Language Programs webinars – Tech Tips for Teaching Today

Heather Benucci, CALL-IS Chair, 2020-2021, informs us of a collaborative “Tech Tips for Teaching Today” OER webinar partnership between TESOL’s CALL-IS and the U.S. Department of State’s Office of English Language Programs designed to meet the needs of teachers around the world facing an unexpected shift into online learning environments due to the current global pandemic.

Tentatively planned for Tuesday, November 17th at 10am Eastern Time and Tuesday, December 1st at 10am Eastern Time

Sat 5 Dec noon UTC – Free Graphic Design from EVO Moderator Omal Peter

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Weekly: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZMsdOygpz8tHNc_WLlu_kPfIuQ_zb0fF75W/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGvrzgvEt2Rtx-ERpwEBYjCZ_zxmClago1eoyjJDzVsaTPwH_dzDah9QN72

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 871 3589 4763

Passcode: 6Bgf8n


Remaining sessions, all at 07:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Every week on Sat, until Jan 9, 2021

Sat 5 Dec 1400-1600 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

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

Time where you are Dec 5, 9-11 am EDT, 1400-1600 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. Follow VSTE 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 5 Dec 1430 UTC KSALT Teacher Talks

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 December 9, 2020 08:00 UTC

One thought on “Minhaaj Rehman, CEO of Psyda, interviews Vance Stevens to discuss their life and career trajectories and convergences this century

  1. Pingback: VSTE Minecraft Monday regular monthly webinar for December 2020: Fun with skins and resource packs | Learning2gether

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