Tag games: Vance Stevens revisits practicing blended learning in communities of practice for the ELC PD Committee at UTAS, Ibri, Oman

Learning2gether Episode 519


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On Thursday, May 27, 2021, I was invited to give a 35 minute talk plus 10 to 15 minutes for Q & A as a free webinar hosted by the ELC PD Committee at University of Technology and Applied Sciences in Ibri, Oman. The talk was recorded and posted on YouTube: https://youtu.be/J2zFcRHDfG4

Revisiting learning about blended & hybrid eLearning through engagement in communities of practice

Participation in CoPs is critical for ongoing teacher professional development. Drawing from experience coordinating teachers’ CoPs for the past 20 years, the presenter illustrates the evolution of groups into CoPs, as well as how CoPs interact in distributed personal learning networks, continually leveraging their participants’ PD and modeling ways to be applied later in teaching practices. This strongly suggests that teachers must be trained not only in the use of social media, but through its use.

I had been originally asked to speak on Blended learning and communities of practice, specifically to repeat my talk given earlier, blogged here:


I had since augmented that post with further thoughts at http://bit.ly/vance2021blue

I was going to have to alter my remarks anyway to adjust to the specified time-frame, so I crafted an original presentation on approximately the same theme, except that I broadened the topic to teachers learning virtually anything through their participation in communities of practice, and in turn modeling their way of learning to their students to help effect a break from pre-digital learning paradigms.

More information about the PD workshops in Ibri

Tag Games

I suggested during my presentation that settling on a consistent webinar tag would help to improve use of Twitter as a means for locating information about the UTAS series of webinars. I modeled this by posting my announcement of my presentation on the Twitter tag #utaswebinar and then showing how anything I posted to Twitter with that tag would appear in a search on that tag in Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=utaswebinar&src=recent_search_click&f=live .

I invited the audience to join me in a “tag game” and post about the webinar on the same tag and we would see their related posts appear at that link in real time. No one took me up on that while I was giving the webinar, but of course the game is still open and anyone can test the technique at any time using that tag and that search link, or since this is folksonomic classification, create their own tag and try to get tweets from many people to ‘aggregate’ around that tag on Twitter.

I was asked how this could be used practically in the classroom. I found it hard to answer that question, since the answer depends on the inventiveness of the teacher who sees an opportunity for collecting student feedback in the context of a particular learning situation. So I gave an example of tag games I’d played with students in recent workshops; I showed them the results of a tag game I had played with participants at a workshop on January 20, 2019 at Rangsit University in Thailand on the tag I had created for that group #jan20reli. That search is still viable over a year later, and can still be found here: https://twitter.com/hashtag/jan20reli?src=hashtag_click&f=live

All of the tag games I played with all the pre-service (student) and in-service teachers who attended my two weeks of workshops in Thailand in January, 2020, can be found at in the sidebar of the wiki I created for the event here: http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/

Here are the aggregations from all the workshop groupings copied from that sidebar:

Archived aggregations from all the workshops

The thrust of my message to attendees at this workshop was that teachers learn about such techniques through interaction with teaching peers in webinars like this one, which are offshoots of networked communities of practice. And also that the knowledge to be gained is often ineffable, which means that it must be experienced in order to be understood. So it’s hard to answer the question that prompted this reflection with an example off the top of my head, except to say “Try it,” and then you’ll see 🙂

And finally, I aimed in my webinar to point out the importance of modeling in teaching. For example, I did not specifically address the issue of blended learning per se in my talk, but the wiki I created for my workshops in Thailand was a perfect example of blended learning (by some considered to be a mode of teaching where online components are blended with face-to-face ones). In that wiki, I set out a document where anyone, and in particular my participants in Thailand, could see in retrospect what I was trying to model for them, and theoretically review the material and how we played our tag games and what the results were. So in teaching, I was modeling and demonstrating how blended learning works (being physically with them, but leaving them a live document tailored for each of their experiences with the workshop).

In learning through this blended approach, my workshop participants were left with something they could reflect on and also practice, just as any participant in the webinar I am writing about today could review what I have written here, and after reflection, decide to go ahead and try the tag game. That act of trying would be their practice.

If they feel they have learned something, having experienced the technique, they might then relate this to something they are trying to teach, and thereby model and demonstrate it to their students, who might in turn practice it, and on reflection perhaps feel they want to experiment with it in their own classrooms. From that point, the knowledge would be transferred (via me, having demonstrated the original model) on to a whole series of teacher to student relationships, and develop the concept the way memes form, as described by Richard Dawkins in his seminal work, The Selfish Gene (where he coined the word ‘meme’ in 1976).

I ended by pointing out that communities of practice encourage autonomous learning, and that in order to nurture autonomy in our learners, teachers need to themselves practice autonomous learning. I brought these threads to a conclusion borrowing slides from a talk I gave at the IATEFL conference in Exeter in 2008 https://www.slideshare.net/vances/lets-start-with-teacher-autonomy-multiliteracies-and-lifelong-learning/ . The slides were based on my article, Stevens 2007, which I had in turn been invited to Exeter to discuss as part of a panel addressing learner autonomy.


Stevens, V. (2007). The Multiliterate Autonomous Learner: Teacher Attitudes and the Inculcation of Strategies for Lifelong Learning. Independence, Winter 2007 (Issue 42).

The presentation was carried out over Microsoft Teams, https://tinyurl.com/2ns32mhu

There was connectivity lost in the middle of it, and some of what I said at that juncture was lost, but you can refer to the write-up if you wish to know more about what I was saying. Here is the bookmark:


Announcements were posted to these Facebook groups

By Faisal on Facebook

On Twitter



Vance Stevens hosts the podcast series Learning2gether with over 515 episodes. He founded the CoP Webheads in Action in 2002 and has coordinated TESOL CALL-IS Electronic Village Online since 2003, He has been lead moderator of EVO Minecraft MOOC since 2015. He received the 2019 CALL Research Conference Lifetime Achievement Award.


This is one of the most complementary instances of feedback I’ve ever received from a webinar participant. The name of the sender is included with permission.


The Language Center at Ibri followed up with a report on the presentation on their university website ELC homepage

Feedback analysis

One interesting aspect of the follow-up on this webinar was that Faisal Al Shamali polled his listeners. He logged 231 respondents to his feedback form, which might mean there were that many in the webinar, or at least that many. The 229 respondents indicating where they were from listed 42 different countries. Not surprisingly, 40 were in Oman, where Ibri is, but an almost equivalent number, 38, were in India. After that, there were 14 participants from each of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, followed by 13 from Indonesia, 11 from Turkey, and 10 from Nepal.

In single digits, 9 participants came from Azerbaijan, 8 from Bangladesh, and 7 from Pakistan. Morocco and the Philippines both had 6 participants in the webinar, whereas Iraq, Malaysia, and Tunisia each had 4. Algeria, Ecuador, Palestine, and Ukraine each provided 3 participants, and there were 2 each from Bhutan, Jordan, Libya, México, Romania, and the United Arab Emirates. The remaining participants came one each from Armenia, Australia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Gaza, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Nigeria, South Africa, UK, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zambia.

It’s interesting to have such demographics and to realize how many people from developing nations are taking part in these webinars. There were many from southeast Asia, Iran, and the Arabian Gulf, and from Africa. Participants came from Turkey further east from countries in the old Ottoman empire, but only one other from farther north in Europe (UK). There was one participant from Australia, but none from the Americas apart from 3 from Ecuador

All but one participant answered yes to “I highly recommend this webinar to a friend or a colleague” (vs. a single ‘no’). Participants were asked to rate 6 aspects of the presentation on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Here were the average ratings followed by the question.

4.6 – The event was well-organized.
4.6 – The event was very useful to me.
4.6 – The concepts and ideas were presented clearly and effectively
4.6 – The event was informative and practical to me.
4.7 – The guest speaker was knowledgeable on his topic.
4.7 – Personal approach and attitude of the guest speaker in explaining and answering questions was good.

This appeared to be a gratifyingly appreciative audience. Overall they rated the presentation highly. I’m not sure what the all choices were, but I received 3 categories of response in answer to the prompt for Overall webinar evaluation:

7  – fair
87 – very good
138 – excellent

The most interesting feedback was where participants were asked to offer any further comments or suggestions. Some of these related to webinar timing, audio quality, and two complaints about not using Zoom (Faisal told me this was an institutional decision; out of his control). Some expressed a desire to have the slides and recordings shared with them. One respondent said “Keep on organizing webinars!”

Some adjectives used to describe my presentation were  ‘awesome’ (2 respondents :-), 1 ‘perfect’, 1 ‘unforgettable’, 4 ‘wonderful’, and varying degrees of good, such as ‘excellent’ (17 tokens), ‘great’ or ‘very good’ (10), milder praise such as ‘good’, ‘good work’, ‘all well’ (14), 2 instances of ‘fine’, 4 indicated ‘nice’, and 2 went as far as ‘ok’. Three said ‘I enjoyed it’.

Some commented on the utility of the session. Six used the word ‘fruitful’. Eight applied the adjective ‘informative’, one going so far as to extend that to ‘highly informative’. Two said it was ‘useful’ (e.g. “It helps me to my teaching career in the future”). Other adjective were ‘effective’, ‘insightful’, ‘relevant’, and apt (“the topic is very apt”).

Two respondents wrote “Congratulations!” One wrote “Succes” (sic). My favorite was “great learning experience.”

41 respondents wrote variations on ‘Thank you’; e.g.

  • Thank you for these valuable MOOCs, Vance!
  • Thank you for this event. I really liked it. 🙂
  • Thank you. More power! 👏💕👏💕👏💕

One participant suggested “Maybe making it more interesting and interactive so that we can follow without losing our attention.” Another said that “Technical issues became a problem but the speaker was excellent.”

The most loquacious response was “Great Session. The Event Was Well Organized & Useful To Me. The Concepts & Ideas Were Presented Clearly & Effectively. The Event Was Informative & Practical. The Hon’ble Speaker Was Knowledgeable. Personal Approach & Attitude Of The Hon’ble Speaker In Explaining Was Excellent. Such Great Points.”

Two respondents purported to speak for all, saying “We like more sessions of this type.” and “We look forward to having more webinars on Engaging students in learning.”


Earlier Events

Just this, from the day before

Wed 26 May 1300 UTC – TESOL CALL-IS webinar on EVO: 20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide


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 January 4, 2022 01:30 UTC

TESOL CALL-IS webinar on EVO: 20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide

Learning2gether Episode 518


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On May 26, 2021, TESOL CALL-IS hosted a free webinar on
EVO: 20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide

Christine Bauer-Ramazani organized this special celebration of the 20th anniversary of EVO sessions as a CALL-IS webinar, in conjunction with the Electronic Village Online’s 20th anniversary.

This special EVO 20th Anniversary Webinar featured a panel of speakers that were instrumental in making EVO such a success over the last 20 years. As of 2020 EVO had trained almost 50,000 ELT professionals around the world! Critical in making this enormous feat of volunteerism happen are the EVO Co-founders and Lead Coordinators, who orchestrated the many activities carried out by the teams of EVO coordinators, some of whom have been with EVO for most of those years.

Accordingly, this special celebration of the 20th anniversary of EVO sessions featured the 3 EVO Co-Founders, 10 former Lead Coordinators, and Vance Stevens on a  panel of speakers. 


Vance Stevens presented for 6 minutes on
Webheads and EVO: Truly Lifelong Learning

I wanted to show how a popular EVO session I organized in 2002 led to my becoming a coordinator of EVO in 2003 and nurtured a series of Communities of Practice which have persisted and interleaved themselves in TESOL CALL-IS and in EVO to this very day.

To achieve this I prepared two versions of my slides. This link contains both versions:  http://bit.ly/EVO20Vance

The shorter version was designed to be delivered at the webinar and to encapsulate in 6 minutes what I wanted to say in an 18 minute video which I had pre-recorded to go over in greater detail what was in the longer version of the slides. The video is here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/YuoOzPOPWUc

The video shows how so many participants in early versions of Webheads for EFL students, and teachers who got involved in that, became founders, coordinators, and moderators of EVO after their participation in the several communities of practice associated with the Webheads in Action EVO session I offered in 2002.

The main event
EVO: 20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide

Christine advertised the webinar in a post sent to several ‘myTESOL’ groups prior to the event:

The Electronic Village Online (EVO) is excited to invite you to a special TESOL Webinar to celebrate the 20th anniversary of EVO sessions, the first 10 online/distance sessions held in 2001. During the pandemic, the 19 EVO 20th anniversary sessions held in January/February 2021 were especially pertinent to the 2,682 participating English teachers from 71 countries worldwide.

Presenting will be the three co-founders of EVO, Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Tom Robb, Susan Gaer, as well as the 11 lead coordinators of EVO–Dafne Gonzalez, Aiden Yeh / JoAnn Miller (Co-Coordinators), Carla Arena, Nina Liakos, Mbarek Akaddar, Nellie Deutsch, Carolina Buitrago, Martha Ramirez, and Vance Stevens–all known authorities in CALL and TESOL. They will address their contributions to EVO as well as their latest endeavors in the area of online teaching and learning.

SCHEDULE – posted on the EVO webinar wiki, and summarized below

There are 14 presenters in a 90-minute time frame.

In the first 20 minutes

  • Christine will start with the purpose of the Webinar, an explanation of what EVO is, then introduce the EVO Coordinators
  • Susan and Tom then talk about the founding of EVO
  • Christine gives a brief walk through history, including updates on the latest data on EVO participants and countries reached. I’m hoping this can be done in15-20 minutes.

Each presenter then has 6 minutes to talk about main accomplishments during your tenure and possibly any recent endeavors in “free professional development in online English language teaching and learning worldwide.”

WHEN:  Wed, May 26, 2021 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM (ET)

REGISTRATION for participants: on TESOL site: https://my.tesol.org/events/event-description?CalendarEventKey=253cf6e7-fc2e-493d-ad11-fd2ff4be3cc9&Home=%2fevents%2ftesol-events


Wiki link for SCHEDULE & uploaded presenter slides:


This recording was made from the Zoom cloud recording with everyone’s camera showing: https://youtu.be/JbvvIdFrOAE

There is also a version from a recording in Zoom made to computer: https://youtu.be/IKy4hOiyERE

At the end of the meeting, we all waved, smiled, and clapped at our successful completion of twenty years of thriving within our robust communities of practice and getting through 90 minutes of webinar pretty much within the allocated time frame.





EVO and CALL-IS promoted the events here

Announcements were posted to these Facebook groups

A few of the presenters and coordination team members sat for a group Zoom portrait prior to the event









Jane’s view of the closing applause



Earlier Events

Learning2gether episode 517 – Wed 19 May 1230 UTC
Vance Stevens on Communities of practice for teachers: From Webheads in Action to EVO Minecraft MOOC


Tue 25 May 1pm ET – myTESOL Lounge Live – Nonmembers welcome 


Come together with your peers, share your thoughts and experiences, and have a little fun at myTESOL Lounge Live!

FREE and open to members and non-members, myTESOL Lounge Live! is an online hosted conversation space for English language educators.

The next discussion, hosted by Doreen Ewert and Thomas Robb, took place on 25 May at 1:00 pm ET and went into detail on how extensive reading can work in the classroom.

Resources used

OER 101: How to Find and Create Open Educational Resources in your ELT Classroom
Chadia Mansour, Charity Davenport, and Sharon Tjaden-Glass

Links from the session



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

The date of this update is May 29, 2021 02:00 UTC

Vance Stevens on Communities of practice for teachers: From Webheads in Action to EVO Minecraft MOOC – GDGoenka Uplearn Academy webinar

Learning2gether Episode 517


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On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Vance Stevens was invited, in conjunction with GDGoenka Uplearn Academy (in association with GDGoenka University) as a resource person from Education, to speak about
Communities of practice for teachers: From Webheads in Action to EVO Minecraft MOOC
as a part of their webinar series

Here is a direct link to the Google meet recording.

and to the YouTube video embedded above: https://youtu.be/Ejeq_72O7yI

As usual I prepared documents in advance of my presentation


At the beginning of the event, Dr. Aabha asked those present to put on their webcams and show smiling faces.



I took these screenshots during the question period, to scroll through some of the questions asked in the chat.




Announcements were posted to these Facebook groups

Hashtag #GDGoenka – https://twitter.com/search?q=%23GDGoenka&src=typed_query&f=live

Tweeted at https://twitter.com/VanceS/status/1394606296813371399


This comment appeared the day following the webinar on the GD Goenka School of Education Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/soegdgu/


“Learning happens between and across communities, not just within them and is a continuous process…To create small scale change work through cohesive communities; to create big scale change, build a movement, by creating bridges between disconnected communities.” -Helen Bevan

Today’s economy runs on knowledge, and most companies work assiduously to capitalize on that fact. They use cross-functional teams, customer- or product-focused business units, and work groups—to name just a few organizational forms—to capture and spread ideas and know-how. In many cases, these ways of organizing are very effective, and no one would argue for their demise. But a new organizational form is emerging that promises to complement existing structures and radically galvanize knowledge sharing, learning, and change.

To bind together the shared expertise and a passion for a joint enterprise towards learning, School of Education at GD Goenka University organised a “Live Webinar for Specialized Learning – Communities of Practice for Teachers: From Webheads in Action to EVO Minecraft MOOC” in collaboration with GD Goenka Up Learn Academy on 19th May 2021, as a growing number of people and organizations in various sectors are now focusing on communities of practice as a key to improving their performance. The session was facilitated by Mr. Vance Stevens, Founder and Coordinator of  Learning2gether.net, Penang, Malasia and Dr. Aabha Sharma, Head, SoEd, GDGU as the Moderator for the session.

The session explored the vast spread of trends transversely coming through in last 20 years and has witnessed new paradigms in education, addressing to how EdTech is disrupting the way students learn and introducing them to blended learning. On the other hand, skilling and entrepreneurship have become the buzzwords of education infused into the school curriculum and HEIs. The focus overall is on strengthening the innovation ecosystem and making education learner-centric.

A special focus on the strength of communities of practice as self-perpetuating. As they generate knowledge, they reinforce and renew themselves. That’s why communities of practice give you not only the golden eggs but also the goose that lays them. The farmer killed the goose to get all the gold and ended up losing both; the challenge for both the students & learners these days is to appreciate the goose and to understand how to keep it alive and productive.
Reflecting on the trends of the past and how they have impacted the modern world of Learning & Development helps us better understand the current learning environment. Integrating the successful trends which have now become mainstays in the different areas of learning allows teachers to keep their finger on the pulse and ensure the execution of a relevant learning program.


Earlier Events

Tue 04 May midnight UTC Minecraft Mondays does a Dungeon Run on AZCraft Aster server – Learning2gether episode 516


Wed 05 May 1300 UTC Chadia Mansour, Charity Davenport, and Sharon Tjaden-Glass discuss Open educational resources in the ELT classroom


Come together with your peers, share your thoughts and experiences, and have a little fun at myTESOL Lounge Live!

FREE and open to members and non-members, myTESOL Lounge Live! is an online hosted conversation space for English language educators. Our next discussion, hosted by Chadia Mansour, Charity Davenport, and Sharon Tjaden-Glass, takes place 5 May at 9:00 am ET and will focus on how to find and create open educational resources in your ELT classroom.

All you need to participate is a device with an internet connection. Once you sign up, instructions for joining the conversation will be emailed to you.

Here’s how to sign up for the one on May 5

You need to log on to the TESOL website and then visit

This takes you to a page where you register for upcoming myTESOL webinars.

It looks like this

But you might be able to get there directly with this link

April 16-May 7 – Last days of 2nd international online TESOL conference – Blue Ocean Language School in Damascus



Fri 07 May 0100 UTC TESOL Career Path Development PLN hosts Lyzyl Lopez-Banuag – Flexible Teaching & Learning

Please join us for our next webinar with Dr. Lyzyl Lopez-Banuag who will discuss Flexible Teaching & Learning: Embracing the Better Normal in Education. This week, Thursday, May 06th at 9 PM Eastern time and Friday, May 07th at 9 AM Manila time.


Sat 8 May from 1345 UTC – Penn East TESOL Spring Virtual Conference

This conference is not only free but no registration is required.

The bit.ly link brings you here: https://www.penntesol-east.org/ where you can read

Please join us for this year’s PennTESOL-East spring virtual conference focusing on the theme of “Discovering Effective Pedagogical Strategies for Today’s Language Learners.” This event is free and open to all. We will also be holding a Raffle, giving away 5 free TESOL Memberships to individuals who have never held a TESOL Membership or have not done so in the last five years! We hope to see you there.

Pre-Registration is NOT required for this event.

To enter the event on Saturday, May, please use the following link:


Saturday, May 8 Schedule:

9:45-10:00 a.m.               Opening Remarks

10:00-11:00 a.m.             Keynote: Justin Shewell

11:00-11:15 a.m.             Short Break

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.     Plenary: JPB Gerald

12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m.    30-minute Break

12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.      Plenary Brittany Foose

1:45 p.m.-2:00 p.m.        Closing

*This event is sponsored by TESOL International

The only way they could improve on this would be if they would post the recordings afterwards!

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

The date of this update is May 25, 2021 07:00 UTC

Minecraft Mondays does a Dungeon Run on AZCraft Aster server

Learning2gether Episode 516


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


A dungeon in Minecraft is basically an air pocket near a cave containing a spawner and, usually, chests containing treasures of. They are generated naturally in the overworld through the game algorithm. The link above shows the picture here.


If you’ve been playing Minecraft for any amount of time you’ve likely come upon a spawner in a room like this. If there is only one spawner, and if you can successfully deal with whatever it’s spawning (like skeletons, zombies, spiders) you can plant a number of torches on or around it to neutralize it before looting whatever’s in the chests.


The dungeon we visited was strewn with spawners and was constructed in layers. A glass roof had been placed over the top and there was a stairway leading down to the first layer. There were boxes near the top containing diamond armor, diamond weapons and pickaxes, torches, buckets of water and milk (for dealing with blazes and spells), totems of undying (a charm you could carry conveying you its assigned power), food, and other things you might carry with you in case you survived long enough to manage to use them.

There were also beds at the top and before setting out we were advised to choose one and sleep in it so that your respawn point would be near the supply boxes and entrance to the dungeon, so you could re-equip and head back down if so inclined.

Before heading out, we all lined up for the requisite ‘those who are about to die’ selfie

As the hour wore on the boxes at the top became gradually depleted, but when players died in melee, whatever they were carrying or wearing would remain behind in a pile on the floor, and the ever helpful Dakotah Redstone was scooping these things up and taking them to the first level where he was putting them in chests there, so we could go there to resupply once the boxes at the top ran dry.

Dakotah set up a resupply station at the first level so that dropped items could be collected and recycled here

I think the first layer was meant to be benign but one of our group had spawned a few shulkers there so that when we started our adventure we came immediately under attack.

Creeper_Slayer was accused being caught in the act of spawning shulkers at the first level

Shulker bullets follow players they are aimed at, changing their trajectory at right angles. When they find their mark, the player loses some hearts and levitates. Since there was a glass ceiling overhead to prevent uncontrolled levitation, the fall when the levitation wore off was not serious.

Shulker bullets head for you but when you move they take a right angle turn and line up on you again

The goal of our adventure was to drop down through the layers of the ‘dungeon’ as many levels as possible. If you were among the first into a level you would find it dark and be set upon by whatever mobs were spawning there. I was an early arrival at the level shown in the picture below (second or third; I don’t remember exactly). The mobs came swarming at me before I was able to get down off the ladder I was descending. At first I tried fighting off the spiders and zombies, but their spawner is right there, on the right in this picture.  Realizing I couldn’t fight off so many at once, in this picture I’m trying to eat to keep my hearts from going down to zero.

I’m carrying a totem of undying (on the left in my quick bar) but it seems that you can lose it when really near death, so possession of one of these just prolongs the inevitable.

In this picture, taken less than a minute after the one above, I’ve lost my totem and I’m being attacked by skeletons, blazes, something that is causing pink bubbles of dizziness, and the zombie at my elbow on my right.

I don’t have the combat skills to ward off so many adversaries at once. In these pictures, I’ve resorted to eating to restore my hearts (strength) while attempting to teleport to Bobbi Bear, who was in a safer place :-). However I must have been forced to move and the teleport didn’t work. Meanwhile I was set afire by blazes and being tormented by zombies.

In the end, I succumbed to a shulker bullet that’s teleporting right at me.

Once a number of players had visited a level, they tended to have placed torches for better lighting and culled out the monsters so they were not so numerous; which is to say you had a chance of spending a few minutes there before being overwhelmed. If you survived the few minutes and found the way down to the next level, you could proceed.

Here are a few obstacles I encountered along the way

I’ve attacked the first skeleton and caused it damage but I’m realizing don’t have enough hearts to sustain that effort through all 3 of them, so I’m scrolling through my quick bar items trying to find food (and taking pictures as well 🙂

DarkNight is sporting a quill of skeleton arrows, has been set afire in a blaze attack, and is about to be sent back up top by a creeper

I’m carrying ten torches. I’m going to lose them anyway. I should have placed them all over this spawner.

The piglins across the water are ignoring me because I am wearing gold boots. If you wear any item of gold armor, they leave you alone. The lone piglin on my side of the water can’t join the others because they can’t swim and will drown if submerged. Piglins spawn naturally in the Nether, so I don’t know what they are doing here. We don’t appear to be in the Nether, so they must have escaped from the Nether to the Overworld (happens sometimes) or been spawned here for our entertainment, by someone with a sadistic bent, or a sense of humor, or both.

In the larger picture on the left above, I am coming under attack from blazes on the left,. shulkers in the middle, and there is a skele walking around on the right who doesn’t seem to have noticed me yet.

In the pictures below I’m under attack from at least half a dozen blazes (framed in this one screenshot), and taking fire damage, in addition to being fired on by shulkers.

And at the end of all that, it’s time to enjoy the sunset with a little rest and recreation among friends back at the top, who would not be back there had they not suffered fates similar to mine.


Some Facebook reflections


VSTE promotion of the event

This started out with the normal confusion over what day it would be. VSTE always announces it for Monday:
Monday, May 3, 8 PM Eastern Daylight Savings time, though K2sons has got quite good at working out the time in the part of the world east of the Atlantic

UTC (Time Zone) Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 12:00:00 midnight UTC UTC


Here’s what was announced: Dungeon Run!!

We will gather on Discord (VSTE Minecraft voice channel) and the AZCraft server we visited last month.

Come to the Aster server when you get connected by typing /server Aster
Jazmar and K4sons will help you with armour and weapons if you come early!

When you arrive on Aster be sure to type in text that you want to be part of the VSTE event!
Type /tpask Jazmar or /tpaskK4sons to join us

We will head to a cool dungeon that we have unearthed for you to see clearly. You can stand on the glass ceiling and watch or help us clear it and share in the loot!

Don’t be late. This is super fun!


There is a limit to how many people can be on this server at once so come early if you are interested.

Notification of this event was posted at this Facebook Group

Earlier Events

Fri 30 Apr noon UTC Q & A with Vance Stevens on the importance of learning about blended / hybrid / eLearning through engagement in communities of practice

Vance Stevens on the importance of learning about blended & hybrid eLearning through engagement in communities of practice

Sat 24 Apr 1430 UTC – Wesley Fryer – Lesson ideas and tips for language teachers using Scratch and Minecraft

Recording, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT86IqWtosg

Sat 01 May 1900 EDT Silver Lining for Learning hosts David Wiley on the Wonderful World of Openness

Episode #56: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Openness

by Curtis Bonk

Episode #56. Saturday May 1, 2021, 7:00 pm EDT

Episode Abstract: This show will explore evolving notions of openness in the field of education.

David Wiley, Co-founder and Chief Academic Officer, Lumen Learning, has been a leader in the open education movement for over two decades. If an interesting or ground-breaking open education project has happened, David likely is aware of it and perhaps even participated in it to make it so. Want to learn about open textbook research? Why not? David and his colleague, John Hilton, have conducted tons of it. OpenCourseWare advocacy? Here too David led the charge. MOOCs? Well, now, prior to the MOOC craze in 2009, David opened up his classroom to the world community and gave out certificates to those who joined. Open educational resources entrepreneur? As per his bio, there is no other like him. Organizer of the openness movement? David founded the Open Education Conference. Come to this session and find out how you can get involved in helping the world become more free and open for learning. You will likely learn about unique resources created for this open world as well as new trends and possibilities.

Brief Bio: David Wiley is Chief Academic Officer and Co-founder of Lumen Learning, an organization dedicated to increasing student success and improving the affordability of education through the adoption of open educational resources by middle schools, high schools, community and state colleges, and universities. In addition to enhancing student success, Lumen is dedicated to reinvigorating pedagogy and improving the affordability of education using a combination of open educational resources, learning analytics, continuous improvement, and professional development.

David has been a Shuttleworth Fellow, Education Fellow at Creative Commons, and an adjunct faculty member in Brigham Young University’s graduate program in Instructional Psychology and Technology. He has received an NSF CAREER grant and was a Nonresident Fellow in the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School as well as a Peery Social Entrepreneurship Research Fellow in the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University. As a social entrepreneur, Dr. Wiley has founded or co-founded numerous entities including Lumen LearningDegreed, and Open High School of Utah (now Mountain Heights Academy). In fact, in 2009, Fast Company named me one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. David is adjunct faculty in Brigham Young University’s graduate program in Instructional Psychology and Technology, where he is part of the Open Education Group (and was previously a tenured Associate Professor). Notably, he recently became President Elect of AECT. He enjoys hiking, running, amateur radio, listening to and making music, reading, and playing basketball.

Recent Interview as President Elect of AECT (Association for Educational Communication and Technology)

Recent open access publication:

Bonk, C. J., & Wiley, D. (2020). Preface: Reflections on the waves of emerging learning technology. Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D), 68(4), 1595-1612. DOI 10.1007/s11423-020-09809-x. Available: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11423-020-09809-x.pdf

Posted by Curtis Bonk | April 24, 2021 at 10:01 am | Categories: Episodes | URL: https://silverliningforlearning.org/?p=2407

Mon 03 May Extensive Reading MOOC with Tom Robb

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

The date of this update is May 6, 2021 10:00 UTC