EVO Minecraft MOOC 1-day conference on language learning held in Minecraft

Learning2gether Episode 526


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


On Tuesday, February 8, all day from midnight UTC to bedtime in Malaysia, EVO Minecraft MOOC held its 1-day conference on language learning, the first such conference that we know of to be held in Minecraft!

Download pdf: EVOmc22conf_Feb08.pdf

Conference portal: https://bit.ly/evomc22conf

The full program with stream and connect-live links were developed through crowd-sourcing and maintained prior to the conference here, https://bit.ly/evomc22program

We had nine presentations, all recorded, and all listed in the archives of our evomc22 live events page

I have often pointed out that our community is a MOOC in the sense of ‘miniscule open online course’, and our conference was enthusiastically and appreciatively powered and enjoyed by the small number of passionate individuals who contributed either by attendance or by presenting to make it happen. If you missed it, every effort has been made to make it re-playable.


Midnight to 0050 UTC Conference Grand Opening and Train Ride

When the conference started, we gathered in Zoom to use voice for our conference opening, and screen shared what we were doing in Minecraft as we warped to our conference venues. At /warp conf22, we explored an extensive rail system created by Dakotah,  dealt with housekeeping, then moved over to the VSTE server

Facebook created a permalink here

The zoom video was uploaded to YouTube, https://youtu.be/gyz-IQMknyI


0100 to 0150 UTC VSTE Minecraft Monday networking event

We then moved over to the VSTE Minecraft server. VSTE Minecraft Mondays had invited us to join them in exploring lush caves found in forested biomes



This was their initial promotion of the event:

February 7th, 8 pm EST (This is Tue, Feb 8, 2022 1:00 UTC)  VSTE will venture into our new world, version 1.18 together, and look for the evasion Lush Cave. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jPPepwzvGI

If you are whitelisted you have the server information. That has not changed. If you need more details, please register with the conference and your details will be passed to the K4sons, Kim Harrison, at VSTE, for whitelisting.

The event will be streamed on YouTube for those who want to watch in real-time, https://youtu.be/82DA-JvPIBU

From a notice sent out just prior to the event

This month, February 7th at 8 PM EST the EVO Minecraft MOOC will be our guests on the Minecraft server, kicking off their “first-ever, free EVO Minecraft MOOC 2022 1-day conference on Language Learning starting midnight Feb 8, 2022 [UTC]. As far as we know it is the first such professional conference to be attempted in Minecraft.”

Our goal will be to find a “Lush Cave” on our newly updated version 1.18.1 server while chatting and enjoying each other’s company.

Lush Cave

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.

We started our adventure on the USS Dakotah

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

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 and add a server: Name VSTE Place IP: 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.


Discord is a voice and screen sharing application that will run on your computer or mobile device. Download and install it for free. Create an account. Many of us use the same name for our Discord account as our Minecraft account to keep things simple. Our channel is https://discord.gg/cp9tsWz  It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.


0200 to 0250 UTC James York leads discussion on Ludic Language Learning Pedagogy


James York & LLPeers – Q&A on how to teach with games

We then moved back onto our EVO Minecraft MOOC server where James York was awaiting attendees at the first ever Conference on Language Learning to be attempted entirely in Minecraft to join him and ask questions aimed at teachers that are actively using games and play in their teaching contexts. We found him via or dynamic map, which you can see at the left of the screen in our videos. He was holding court at Sura’s phantasmagorical desert build at /warp conf22 on our server.

Discussion questions included:

  • Why should we care about teaching with games?

  • How can we teach with games? (pedagogical focus)

  • How have we (guest speakers) used games in our own contexts?

  • What are best practices for teaching with games like, but not limited to, minecraft)

  • What are the barriers to entry to teaching?

While we talked, Dakotah Redstone created, on the fly and in Minecraft, a meeting table and surrounded it with chairs, a subtle invitation for us to all have a seat there. That was only one unique aspect to the venue. Jane pointed out another in this Facebook post:


0300 to 0350 UTC Robert Remmerswaal and Robert Dykes – Minecraft as a Self-Access Learning Tool

After James’s lively discussion, which we streamed in Zoom, we changed horses in mid-stream so to speak and used OBS to stream Robert Remmerswaal’s and Robert Dykes’s presentation – Minecraft as a Self-Access Learning Tool, streamed on



According to plan:

These teachers are using Minecraft in the Self Access Learning Center at their university. They will discuss what they’ve done in phase 1 of the project and the current plans for phase 2


The floor will be opened up to the audience to share ideas about activities for students, some great plugins or mods, or to share any other ideas they might have to improve our instance of Minecraft and increase student engagement.

Meet on the EVOMC22 server at /warp conf22ship where there is a wall and books prepared to collect ideas from the audience. Server members can post live or after the event at any time.

While the presentation was in progress, Dakotah Redstone was flying overhead and sprucing up the open-air venue with a roof and giving it a more aesthetic aspect (illustrating as always one of the affordances of working in an always-on readable and writable collaborative space). Voilà le résultat!


On visiting the venue some days later, I also noticed that more activity suggestions had been posted on the collaborative wall, that the notices had been highlighted in dye making the lettering easier to read, and that a few more had been posted.


See the follow up with Robert Remmerswaal’s and Robert Dykes’s Minecraft as a Self-Access Learning Tool, as reported by Jane Chien in May, 2022, in the feedback section below.


0900 to 0950 UTC Heike Philp – EXCALIBUR – a new EU funded project

From there our conference took a short break while Heike Philp prepared to come online with her trio of presenters. Heike managed her own streaming through Vance’s EVO Minecraft MOOC video channel (with Vance’s assistance starting and stopping the streams). She also recorded the individual Zoom presentations, and uploaded them to YouTube.

When she was ready, Heike started with her presentation of EXCALIBUR – a new EU funded project;; Zoom recording uploaded to https://youtu.be/iYT5dm32HY0


EXCALIBUR stands for EXpanding Content And Language Integrated Learning through BUilding a Sustainable Future in Realtime in immersive environments and is 2-year an EU funded project which takes place in Minecraft (3/22-2/24)

EXCALIBUR continues from GUINEVERE (2017-2019) and Heike Philp presented some of the deliverables of the GUINEVER project, see

1000 to 1050 UTC Chris Binder – Minetest as an open source alternative for Minecraft & the BLOCKALOT dashboard

Chris Binder – presented on Minetest as an open source alternative for Minecraft & the BLOCKALOT dashboard, Zoom recording uploaded to https://youtu.be/Xch8TZ9kNqU

Minetest (minetest.net) is a free block building game. Due to an active community and its LUA modding capabilities, the gameplay can be customized to the needs of educators

BLOCKALOT (blockalot.de) is a web dashboard that allows teachers to create online maps. It comes with features like user/rights management and custom maps for educational purposes. Despite being in Beta, BLOCKALOT is already used by many teachers. Chris had provided us with a tutorial in advance, How to install Minetest tutorial but none of us had noticed or read it.

Still all three participants , Heike, Robert, and Vance were able to install Minetest and join Chris in his world and follow him around as he explained the affordances and pleasures of this open-source project.

1100 to 1150 UTC – Andrea Benassi – At school with Minecraft: a large scale experience from Italy

Andrea Benassi was the last of Heike’s network presenters, and he gave a remarkable presentation on At school with Minecraft: a large scale experience from Italy. Andrea works with INDIRE, the research institute of the Italian Ministry of Education, and has been working with schools for a number of years. He presented on some of their projects, providing one answer with copious evidence to James York’s earlier question as to who was actually working with students effectively using Minecraft.

The Zoom recording was uploaded to


The full stream: 3 presentations back-to-back

The above presentations were streamed all three together consecutively in one long video,


1400 to 1450 UTC – Jane Chien – An analysis of Minecraft in-game activities: beyond vocabulary learning


I shared copies of the Zoom recording files with each presenter for whom Zoom recordings had been made. Jane uploaded hers to YouTube here, https://youtu.be/ibjnbbPYaww

After another break, we met Jane Chien online and streamed in Zoom to hear her Analysis of Minecraft in-game activities: Beyond vocabulary learning

Facebook permalink:

The presenter discusses the different types of activities conducted on the EVO Minecraft server and how she has used them in the course of her experiences with EVO Minecraft MOOC




1500 to 1550 UTC – Walton Burns – Beyond Adventuring: Tools to teach in Minecraft

We then warped on our server to /warp pagoda to meet there with Walton Burns, who showed us around his neighborhood and then screen shared from other devices he had at hand his in-world presentation on Beyond Adventuring: Tools to teach in Minecraft

The presenter demonstrated numerous ways he’s used elements of Minecraft (redstone, NPCs, command blocks, books, etc.) to practice language in fun engaging ways.

Facebook permalink: https://www.facebook.com/10159658213579719/videos/2148909801916228


Promotion and Feedback


How did the first-ever, free EVO Minecraft MOOC 2022 1-day conference on Language Learning come about?

In our EVO 2022 proposal,

it says for Week 3: Jan. 24-30, 2022

Network – Continue meeting in Minecraft and learning how to work with one another. Expand your horizons and contacts in Minecraft by meeting educators from, and in, other communities (including by means of a one-day professional conference on our EVOMC22 server).

This is something Vance Stevens mooted in an article published recently in TESL-EJ
Stevens, V. (2021). Virtual worlds at virtual conferences. Teaching English as a Second Language Electronic Journal (TESL-EJ), 25(1), 1-32. https://tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej97/int.pdf

(please scroll to the end here, http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume25/ej97/ej97int/ )


The rest is history 🙂

And here’s more of that history, a follow-on to Robert Remmerswaal’s and Robert Dykes’s presentation – Minecraft as a Self-Access Learning Tool, as reported by Jane Chien on Facebook, May 4, 2022


How exciting! Twenty-four students from Sojo University and NTUE attended this Minecraft Protect the Village event hosted by professor Robert Remmerswaal! Four teams competed against one another protecting four different villages. Team A and B built fancy walls and farms, Team C built an artistic walk to the sky statue, and Team D built a tall watchtower up on top of the hill to overwatch the village. It was wonderful to have our students team up with Japanese students, communicate in English and complete this fun mission! I would like to thank our EVO Minecraft MOOC community and Vance Stevens for hosting the Minecraft for Language Learning Conference back in February 2022 because that was where I learned about Robert’s Minecraft Self Learning Center project at Sojo University. Here’s the recording:


Earlier Events

Fri 17 Dec 0500 UTC Vance Stevens workshop on Tag games


Sun 9 Jan 1400 UTC – EVO 2022 Kickoff Webcast

EVO 2022 Kickoff Webcast

Time: Sunday, Jan 9, 2022,14:00 (2 PM) UTC (9:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Recording: https://youtu.be/TXku9CRXE-U

EVO Coordinator for 2022 Jane Chien posted:

Successful Kickoff of TESOL CALL-IS Electronic Village Online 2022! 

The EVO 2022 call for participation Smore page had over 4000 views. Over 790 people signed up for the kickoff, and approximately 200 people joined us as the 19 EVO sessions presented a brief overview and welcomed participants into their sessions.

This is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss to interact with members of our community and educators around the globe! Moderators will be able to share the achievements of their sessions at the BEST of EVO 2022 during the virtual TESOL international expo this March.

and on FB Jane added

Zoomfies at TESOL CALL-IS EVO2022 Kickoff! Over 790 signed up for the live zoom kickoff, and approximately 200 participants were present throughout the presentations! Caught some funny photos! Let the fun begin! Enjoy your sessions! #EVO2022 #TESOL #CALL

This one seems to have the best likeness of me (top row, far left)

EVO 2022 Call for Participation

Call for Participation SMORE


Tue Jan 11 and Sun Jan 16 1400 and 1500 UTC – Two fish fries on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server




NYS TESOL Webinars free-to-all scheduled for January 25, 26, and 28

NYS TESOL Webinars are free and open to all. Check out our impressive lineup of international presenters and innovative topics.  We provide certificates of attendance/presentation as a member only benefit.

NYS TESOL is committed to diving deeper into strengths-based, inclusive practices with each webinar we bring to you! You are cordially invited to submit a webinar proposal for the above Webinar Series. All topics are welcome! See how to submit a proposal here.

Each webinar requires a separate registration. Click each hyperlinked event to register.

We look forward to seeing you!

Upcoming Webinars in January

1/25/2022 – A Multimodal VR Approach for Immersive Learning Using Storytelling with Amany Alkhayat

1/26/2022 – Trauma Informed SEL Support for English Language Learners with Dr. Jordan González

1/28/2022 – Writing hurts: How a process of writing guides us toward inclusivity, healing, and humanization with Ethan Trinh

Sat 29 Jan TESOL CALL-IS Webinar: with Prof. Grazzia Mendoza – Engaging Teacher Training through Virtual Formats

TESOL CALL-IS Webinar: “Engaging Teacher Training through Virtual Formats” with Prof. Grazzia Mendoza

Date & Time Jan 29, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Sat Feb 5, Free VSTE Virtual Conference


Recipes for Success: Gather. Measure. Blend. Repeat.



NYS TESOL Webinar free-to-all scheduled for February 6

NYS TESOL Webinars are free and open to all. Check out our impressive lineup of international presenters and innovative topics.  We provide certificates of attendance/presentation as a member only benefit.

NYS TESOL is committed to diving deeper into strengths-based, inclusive practices with each webinar we bring to you! You are cordially invited to submit a webinar proposal for the above Webinar Series. All topics are welcome! See how to submit a proposal here.

Each webinar requires a separate registration. Click each hyperlinked event to register.

Upcoming Webinars in February

2/6/2022 – A Real life Approach to Authentic Assessment with Eman EL Difrawy



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 5, 2022 02:00 UTC