EVO Minecraft MOOC 2020 Grand Finale – Mattie’s Wool Race Game

Learning2gether Episode 436

See Jane’s take on this same event
See Mattie’s perspective on the event he created
Skip down to Earlier Events

On Saturday February 15 in the 13:30 UTC time slot organized mainly by Jane Chien, EVO Minecraft MOOC held what was perhaps the final Play and Learn event for EVOMC20 to take place on the  “classic” 1.12.2 server for the Electronic Village Online sessions just ended. Jane asked that the session be recorded and Vance and Olivetree (Maha) both complied.

Vance’s recording is here, at https://youtu.be/ati9_FQrU2A

Mattie’s recording of the last half hour starts about where Vance’s leaves off 🙂

In this event, Mattie (Jane’s precocious young son) had set up a contest in which he had placed sheep in a specially constructed flat map on the classic server. At a signal, participants were to collect wool from the sheep until all the sheep were gone. At the end of that round we moved via a series of portals to other locations where more sheep were kept. At the end of each round of wool gathering lightning would strike and set the sheep alight as well as spread to players if they weren’t careful to avoid the conflagrations. Those scenes were very dramatic :-). At the end of all the rounds, players deposited their wool in boxes set out for them and the wool was counted and multiplied out by the number of points each color was worth to get a total points for each player. We then entered a final warp where there was a special stand erected as if in a sporting event where the winner took the highest position, 2nd place slightly lower, 3rd place, etc. The winners were announced and photos taken of them on the podium. It was all great fun, and a powerful illustration of the powers Mattie had acquired under Magician Dak’s tutelege, which if you asked me (or perhaps his mom), would have contributed to his fluency in English.

Another illustration of his powers came on my arrival in the game where Dak had just died (some think it was suicide) due to a set of armor that had been given him by Mattie. When I arrived Dak’s possessions were still on the ground (players in this version of the game would lose their possessions when they were ‘killed’ in game, and these objects would be on the ground ready for anyone to scoop up). I saw the armor and picked it up and despite warnings from other players not to do so, I put it on. It turned out that Mattie had put a curse on the armor, it could not be removed, and the player would experience strange behavior including death rattles while trying to get rid of it. So that was me, and I managed to record myself going through this experience in the video I recorded. Later when Emmanuel (Rose’s equally precocious son 🙂 arrived, he put on the armor, and experienced the same. I had switched off my recording by then but perhaps Olivetree got it on hers.


It was a nice end to our EVO session, if indeed it was the end. Tomorrow we will be in the official EVO closing ceremony scheduled at 1400 UTC, the hour after we normally meet (at 1300) for the EVOMC20 sessions that Jane has been leading consistently throughout this year’s sessions. Other events that met consistently throughout this year’s event were the ones organized by Olivetree Grove at 1600 UTC almost every day, and those that took place on the 1.14.2 Haliwell server at 19:30 UTC each day put on by Dakotah Redstone and Carol Rainbow.

These aforementioned moderators between them put on at least 50 live events, according to my count at
http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/w/page/134715012/2020_Live_Events, and that list (of 48) does not have all of them. Thanks to them, and to Aaron Schwarz who overcame obstacles to get the server back up and running for us, and others such as Kim Harrison and Beth Ghostraven who hosted us at VSTE, and Abu Fletcher who had to bicycle in the snow to his office in the middle of the night to join us due to the impending and eventually actual destruction of his living quarters (and byzantine delays in getting Internet installed in his current abode, which still hasn’t happened) whew, where did this sentence begin?? and to others as well whom I might have neglected to mention, EVOMC20 can be considered to have been a great success!

At the event last night, there was some talk of finding a common platform for next year. This past year we were divided into silos where some of us followed the proceedings at Groups.io and others adhered to Facebook. We discussed carrying forward with the Moodle provided to us by Nellie Deutsch, which she has kindly provided us but which we didn’t activate for this year, and looking into Schoology, which Teacher Vance is using for some online workshops he’s giving over the next three weeks. Talk of a 7th year of EVOMC(21) is always encouraging, a sign that what we have spawned over the past 6 years has transformed into a true community of prractice.

Thanks to all our fine moderators past and present who contributed in many small and in many very large ways as well to this grand endeavor.

Details of the event tonight (or afternoon or morning, depending on where you are on the planet)

When: Saturday, 15 February 2020, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, (GMT+00:00) UTC
Where: EVO Minecraft and Discord Servers

View Event

Organizer: Jane Chien and Vance Stevens
Description: Yes, we’ve reached the last week of EVOmc and it’s time to reflect. However the playing and the learning continues. Join us to continue exploring, building, trading and learning. If you have questions, ideas, suggestions bring them all with you.

Groups.io Link to message #187

Jane’s take on this same event


Jane’s post to the EVOMC group on Facebook was more descriptive than mine, above

Jane Chien‎ to EVO Minecraft MOOC

Thanks for participating in the wool race that Mattie built. There were three rounds of wool sheering with a point system assigned to the different colors of wool, one point for white wool and 10 points for color/Jeb wool. We were all going for the Jeb sheep but Olivetree was the lucky person who found all the Jeb sheep, one for each round.

The first round was in a desert. Then a portal opened where we were dropped to the second round, which is the overworld. We were bounced off to a field of green slime blocks with grass growing on it. When we sheered off all the wool from the sheep, strikes of lightning were aiming towards the sheep and we had to avoid being struck by lightning. (Mattie, why the lightning?)

Unluckily, Vance was struck when we were ready for the third round, which was the Nether. Oh, no! He lost his sheers after he respawned. I immediately gave him my spare ones.

There were so many sheep in the Nether round that I got so excited until I found out there was another round of lightning and we had to stay away from the sheep in order not to be struck by lightning. Olive shouted: “But I’m away from the sheep!!!! I was standing away from the sheep when I got struck!” Dak explained that there was an area of effect so we needed to stay far away from the sheep. I was so happy that in the end, we all survived the last round!!!

After calculating the points, the winners were teleported to the winner’s podiums and there were fireworks in the background to celebrate their wins!!! Congratulations, Dak, for winning the first place, Olive for winning second, Joe for winning the third place, and Vance the fourth place. I only got 164 points so I was there with Emanual to take pictures and congratulate them! Hurray!!

Here is the thumbnail view from Jane’s Facebook post after the event, from which the above text is taken


and one more thing, Vance Stevens posted on FB that Jane couldn’t help but tell her breakout group in the EVO annual live wrapup event for 2020 about Mattie Tsai‘s accomplishments, and when the participants reconvened Mike Kenteris relayed that information to the whole group, and on YouTube, as you can see here, 


Mattie’s perspective as developer and game controller


The recording itself is at the top of this blog post, or here on YouTube – https://youtu.be/VAxRqI2dego

More perspectives


Jane Chien Thank you so much, Vance!!! Thanks for giving Mattie the opportunity to learn to host this game. He still has so much to learn and thank you for this wonderful experience! I really enjoy watching your video and Mattie’s as well! I did not know Mattie could record the game.

Jane Chien Aaron Schwartz Thank you so much for hosting the classic server! We wouldn’t have had such great fun learning together without having the variety of options to in-game play, the fun plugins like GodMode and all! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!


Olivetree’s post continues, after language learning …

Also, the learning doesn’t stop. When you want to learn something new, if you need help, or you just want to play and experiment while having a chat, just drop us a line on Discord letting us know when you’d like to meet. We will also announce whenever we have community play time. Lastly, you are most welcome to drop in and play on either of the servers, EVO and Haliwell anytime you feel like it.

Nice wrapup 🙂

Earlier events

Sun Feb 9 0420-0450 UTC – LEARNING2GETHER 435 – Vance Stevens on Teaching English through practical projects in coding


Mon Feb 10 CodeVA Computer Science Educator of the Year at VSTE Space in SL

001VSTE Space CodeVA_001.png

CodeVA Computer Science Educator of the Year at VSTE Space

Monday, February 10th, at 5 PM SLT, come hear Willoughby Lorefield (Fara Faust in RL) share information about about CodeVA and their mission to bring computer science to every student in Virginia. She will also share teacher education opportunities offered through CodeVA.

Hope to see everyone there! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Soulgiver/171/130/58


See the announcement at VSTE.org



Joining Second Life 

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


Teaching English through coding using collaborative projects that don’t require specialist skills or even a computer

Learning2gether episode 435

Skip down to Earlier Events

I attended the CamTESOL 2020 Conference in Phnom Penh from Friday, February 7 to Sunday February 9. My proposal for a workshop was accepted and scheduled to be delivered on Sunday Feb 9, 11:20-11:30. The title of the workshop was

Teaching English through coding using collaborative projects that don’t require specialist skills or even a computer

The workshop was recorded in Zoom


The workshop sought to show how language skills can be developed when the focus of a lesson is not necessarily on the language itself but more on tasks involving using English communicatively and thoughtfully. Many students and teachers realize that some knowledge of coding is an essential skill in the modern workplace, and are therefore receptive to learning more about it. The presenter gives examples of language teachers who use coding in language classes to promote the 21st century skills of critical and creative thinking, analysis, and problem solving, in addition to the more obviously language-related skills of communication and collaboration.

The workshop introduced and guided participants through a simple activity using a step-by-step approach, presented in accessible terminology, that would clarify for them this relationship between coding and language development. The activity is set out in a handout that participants can use during the workshop and with students later in class. The activity requires neither a computer nor prior knowledge of programming, only the instructions on the handout, and participants were pointed to repositories of many more such activities.


Here is how it appeared in the program

From page 16 in the conference program here: https://camtesol.org/Download/Conference%20Schedule%20v7.pdf


Attendees were provided at the start of the event with the following information, which would also comprise the session’s archives

The link above was created for a longer, 45 minute, similar workshop at ThaiTESOL on January 31, 2020


The same proposal was accepted for presentation at CamTESOL on February 9, 2020, but only as a 25 minute “workshop” with 5 min allocated for questions.

This was too short a time to get participants engaged in doing much of anything beyond grasping the concept, but it was ample time to deliver the presentation as a webinar and leave a recording that participants can review later,

so I made plans to webcast it as Learning2gether episode 435, indexed at archiveindex

Where? In Zoom

Topic: Vance Stevens on Teaching English Through Coding
Time: Feb 9, 2020 04:00 AM Universal Time UTC

This was my plan of delivery

  • A tea break preceeded my presentation so I was able to go into the room half an hour beforehand and get set up before I needed to actually get started at 11:20 in Cambodia
  • I tried to explain the topic briefly and show the audience that a prior lesson could have been on sorting algorithms.
  • I got the face to face audience to play the battleship game and discuss its benefits for teaching English.
  • I had to stop the presentation at 4:50 UTC (11:50 in Cambodia)

I invited distant participants to join us (but no one did)
When? 04:20 to 04:50 UTC on Feb 9, 2020


Announcements were made on these Facebook Groups

And on Twitter



Earlier events

Thu Jan 30 – Sat Feb 1 The 40th annual Thai TESOL Conference 2020

Thu 30 Jan 0630 UTC – LEARNING2GETHER Episode 434 – Plenary talk at Thai TESOL by Vance Stevens on The What, Why, and How of Flipped Learning


Fri 31 Jan 0915 UTC – Workshop at Thai TESOL by Vance Stevens on Teaching English through coding without a computer

I have been invited to give a demonstration and workshop of 45 minutes including discussion, at the 40th Thailand TESOL-PAC International Conference at the Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand on the topic of: Teaching English through coding using collaborative projects that don’t require specialist skills or even a computer, on DAY 2: Friday, 31 January 2020 16:15-17:00 in Thailand

Sat Feb 8 2300 to 0100 UTC NYS TESOL TELL-SIG Webinar Double Header on Wikis, AI, Blockchain, and AR

http://bit.ly/webitell to register


Join Zoom Meeting
Time: Feb 8, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Time (presumed to be given in New York time), 2300 UTC to 1 am Feb 9


Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain & Augmented Reality Digital Technologies (ARDT)

Thoughts on Language Acquisition for the 21st Century

Prof. Jasmin B. Cowin, Ed.D.

Gen Z and Gen Alpha continue to drive Augmented Reality Digital Technologies (ARDT) expansion into all industries from corporate environments, marketing to healthcare, and gaming to language education. Location independent, virtual environments hold the promise of exponential expansion beyond the brick-and-mortar presence of schools, colleges, universities and other institutions of learning such as Virtual Schools and Universities. These learning centers are being transformed by intelligent systems that help humans learn better and achieve their learning objectives. The breadth of areas in which AI is already inserted in education includes intelligent tutors or chatbots, personalized learning, smart teaching, learning analytics, reducing student drop-off, education administration, data privacy and ethics. The Blockchain offers new ways of storing, tracking and verifying students’ credentials. This 30 min. webinar presentation will explore these concepts in education, and looks at what the future might mean for language professionals, students and institutions in the 21st Century.

Using Wikis to Develop Learners’ Critical Literacy Skills

Lesley Painter-Farrell


Developing critical literacy skills means arming learners with a variety of skills, which allow them to decode texts, understand text bias and draw on cultural clues to process and synthesize information. Ultimately, learners become empowered information managers (Shapiro and Hughes, 1996), which in this age of clickbait and fake news has never been more important. In this webinar, the presenter aims to illustrate how wikis can be used in and outside the classroom to effectively practice and develop learners’ critical literacy skills and how this application is conducive to detailed and directed text interrogation.Ttwitter

Vance Stevens Plenary at ThaiTESOL on The What, Why, and How of Flipped Learning: Harmonizing diversity by developing skills in podcasting, webcasting, and digital storytelling

Learning2gether Episode #434

Find out more about the Jan 20-29 Workshops in Thailand
Skip down to Earlier Events


This plenary address was delivered live face-to-face at the ThaiTESOL conference in Bangkok, Thailand, and simulcast by Jeff Magoto as a live webinar recorded in Zoom for the benefit of the EVO Flipped Learning session – here: https://youtu.be/FXEhAHul0bU?t=662

Links to the text

Links to the slides

If you arrive at one you can easily link to the other


From https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/1725292/assignments/13587716 (link available to registered participants in the Flipped Learning EVO course for 2020)

I was invited, https://tesol.conferences.in.th/?go=invited_speakers, to give a plenary address at the 40th Thailand TESOL-PAC International Conference at the Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, at 13:30 on DAY 1: Thursday, 30 January 2020, on the topic of:

The what, why, and how of flipped learning: Harmonizing diversity by developing skills in podcasting, webcasting, and digital storytelling

The plenary was preceded by 2-weeks of English Language Specialist workshops in Thailand, which can be seen online now at http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/. The link was given out prior to the workshops to institutes where the participants were, which does not mean the links always reached the participants in advance, but this would have made it possible for the workshops to be flipped so that background information would have been previewed by participants, who would then focus primarily on the activities in the workshops themselves. Then after the workshops, all participants still had an archive of what they did at the same link.

Following the workshops I gave the plenary at ThaiTESOL on Flipped Learning and Jeff Magoto streamed it directly to the Flipped Learning EVO session as one of their weekly webinars. My plenary took place right after lunch, so I went to the auditorium ahead of time and got set up there and connected in Zoom with the Flipped Learning Webinar, so that the webinar was in session and on the big screen, audio issues more or less resolved, when the plenary audience arrived.

More about the EVO Flipped Learning session here:

The webinar began at 6 am UTC in Zoom, https://zoom.us/j/188490722

Announcements: Facebook


Also announced on the Flipped Learning canvas LMS as follows:

The announcment above and the link to readings (and viewings) can be seen by registered FLEVO participants here:


Getting ready for the big event

Outside the auditorium


Setting up with Jeff Magoto


This video explains what I had planned here in its wider context

More about the Jan 20-29 Workshops in Thailand

These are for an
English Language Specialist Project:  Workshops in Thailand January 2020

At http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/ find the HOME portal for a series of workshops conducted by English Language Specialist Vance Stevens at various universities and language centers in Thailand to English lecturers and undergraduate and graduate university English majors on using CALL (computer-assisted language learning) and technology for blended classrooms. The workshops model how teachers can create blended learning environments using free Web 2.0 tools and websites.

These workshops encourage and train teachers to learn best practices from peer models, in order to in turn model for their students how technology can best be utilized and applied appropriately in their students’ learning.

There are two workshops in 4 and 2 modules respectively. The modules are designed to be delivered in the amount of time allocated to those workshops at each presentation location in Thailand. Details can be found at http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/

Earlier events

Sat 11 Jan EVO Minecraft MOOC kicked off its 6th season in Discord and Minecraft


Sun 12 Jan 1400 utc EVO kickoff meeting

The EVO20 annual Kickoff event is on January 12, 2020 at 2 PM UTC (9:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Sat Jan 11 – EVO 2020 sessions begin now until Feb 16

More information, http://evosessions.org

EVO is Electronic Village Online. Its annual 2020 sessions go from Jan 11 to Feb 16 this year.

There’s more information here http://evosessions.org/ and a Call for Participation here: https://www.smore.com/sbzya

In 2020 there are 15 sessions

Click on the links to find out how to sign up

The following invitation was generated from Heike’s Ning …

Invitation to EVO session

Immersive Language Learning in Virtual Worlds

11 January 2020 – 16 February 2020

To talk to others live online is the best and sometimes cheapest way of practicing a language in real-time with via internet. Virtual environments offer opportunities to meet speakers of other languages and native speakers alike but there are many 3D spaces out there and sometimes it is difficult to decide which one to join. Which virtual world is suitable for language education? What kind of equipment or software do you need? How long does it take to get to know this world before we introduce this to our students? Is this virtual space safe for our learners?  Come join to find out. For a period of 5 weeks we meet online twice or three times a week to explore some 12 different virtual 3D environments and look at how these could be used for language teaching and learning. An EVO session is a free online workshop aimed at professional languageeducators with teaching experience, language consultants, language schools or publishers.Everyone can attend even without a fast computer and you do not need an HMD headset nor any special technical skills. We will meet in a video conferencing solution called Zoom and will use screensharing to showcase. We hope our participants join us actively in trying to evaluate these environments to come up with our top 5 virtual spaces suitable for language learning. For more information see http://vlanguages.pbworks.com and we look forward to you signing up using this Google form https://forms.gle/DDtKoB8TiVPsuFUr8

Jan 21 Vanessa Paz Dennen and JiYae Bong describe research on participants a MOOC that focused on social media use

Posted in MyTESOL Lounge, https://my.tesol.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?MessageKey=b61e8024-8b22-4635-86be-784225f6dd14&CommunityKey=a4e6ad60-89a2-4c3f-9e37-cb7e3acad5fe&tab=digestviewer#bmb61e8024-8b22-4635-86be-784225f6dd14
Faridah Pawan
The URL below is the recorded conversation undertaken on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Vanessa Paz Dennen and JiYae Bong from Florida State University describe their research on the dialogues and the engagement patterns of an international group of participants a MOOC that focused on social media use. Although their perspective is that of instructional designers and researchers, their insights may be of use to the TESOL audience interested in the online medium as a medium of instruction.  As with all ongoing research, the speakers demonstrate constant problematization at several levels including at the theoretical level (Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions theory) and in the appropropriateness and adequacy of the conceptual categorizations of “national,” organizational and tool cultures.  Pedagogical implications are discussed with the caveat that there is much that remains unknown and to be explored.

URL: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG0ZTFzAZAM

Paper: Dennen, V. P. & Bong, J. (2018). Cross-cultural dialogues in an open online course: Navigating national and organizational cultural differences. TechTrends, 62,  383–392. doi.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0276-7

EVO Minecraft MOOC kicks off its 6th season with Electronic Village Online

Learning2gether Episode 433

EVO Minecraft MOOC kicked off its 6th consecutive season as an Electronic Village Online session on the first day of EVO 2020, Saturday, January 11, 2020. We dubbed this a “final preparation” to be held in Discord and Minecraft, but besides many of this year’s moderators (and their kids), we had several newcomers turn up. It was encouraging to have several new participants appear on the very first day of our activities.

You can find more about EVO Minecraft MOOC, including a description of the current session, which any educator is welcome to join, along with all our archives since our first session in 2015, at http://minecraftmooc.org .

In this, our first adventure of the 2020 season, we showed our newcomers some of the resources around the spawn point and stepped through the wilderness portal there to arrive at our wilderness outpost. From there we followed a path and crossed a river to reach the nearby village, and headed for a tower due west of there. Continuing west along the river we arrived at a second tower built atop a shelter, from which we set off to neutralize a nest of skeletons emanaing from the spawner that Teacher Vance had discovered earlier in explorations around the wilderness portal. When it was working, the spawner was a great source for bows and arrows.

On the first day of EVO20, and 24 hours before the official EVO kickoff event Jan 12 we attracted several moderators and a few newcomers to Minecraft.

We announced our event

Where? We had announced our meeting to be held in 3 places

Heike joined Vance briefly in Zoom (pictured below) but I left that space after half an hour in order to focus on the others on the EVO Minecraft server and speaking in DIscord

When? The event was set for Sat 11 Jan at 1400 UTC

We gathered at the /warp Whitetower (or /warp spawn) and then went over to the /warp hub

Someone named ~tour_helper joined us there. Could it be … ???

From there we stepped into the Wilderness portal and were beamed up to the wilderness outpost

There is a high point there with a ladder up a tower where you can then jump into the treetops and get a nice view

From there we took a trail signposted “to the village” and crossed the river to the village with a red building added by Dak

Heike had had a run in with a skeleton by then

From the red building you can see a tower to the west

From that tower you head for another tower in a bend in the river at the base of the mountains

Here are the coordinates for the second shelter

From there, going down to the bend in the river, you find your way signposted up the mountain. Follow the torches.

Up the mountain we found the spawner guarded by skeletons

Lots of skeletons (they just kept coming). There was a grand battle

Most of us survived, barely

Hi mom, it’s meeeee !!

You can suppress the spawner by putting torches on it. Mobs don’t spawn in bright light.

Dak built a wall around the spawner designed so that skeletons coming out of the spawner wouldn’t be able to shoot out but someone outside could shoot in.


In preparation for EVOMC20 in early January

Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear and Jane Chien and Olivetree Grove and others have been exploring the area northwest of the Wilderness Warp at 20k x 20k on our classic server. Those are the X (-west +east) and Z (-north +south) coordinates you see when you press F3 in Minecraft.

Our new area is in the tiaga at around 19.5000-X and 20.5000-Z  Here are some screenshots of the area:

You can tame llamas nearby if you give them about ten bundles of wheat

If you feed parrots seeds they might sit on your shoulder

Be careful, some of the candlelit paths up the mountains come out on a skeleton spawner


You can recover wherever you respawn. Right click on a bed inside this shelter to set a bed spawn here.

Here are the coordinates for this shelter

Down across from the bend in the river you find your way signposted up the mountain

You can see some of the torches marking the way up behind AbuFletcher. The spawner is a good place to pick up a few arrows, and you might collect some bows if you manage to get a few skeletons before they get you. If you linger there they’ll overwhelm you.

There are ways to deal with spawners. The first step is to light up the chamber. We’ve put enough light there where we can see our way in the dark cave, but we’re leaving this for a group of EVOMC20 adventurers to sort out. Welcome to join us.


Earlier events

Wed 11 Dec 1500 and 1900 UTC -Macmillan hosts Deborah Healey on Gamification in ELT



Sat-Sun Dec 14-15  OpenSim Community Conference

Get the links from Heike Philp’s tweet, https://twitter.com/heikephilp/status/1205866030637232128

And more from Facebook about the OpenSim conference, https://conference.opensimulator.org/2019/

The link to the conference livesteam leads to a nice thumbnail but not to a playlist of recordings unfortunately,




Tue 17 Dec 1200 UTC – iTDi interview with Gianfranco Conti

Dec 17th (Tue) – An interview with Gianfranco Conti

Link to The Teachers’ Room: https://zoom.us/s/867202173
(Zoom Meeting ID: 867202173)

Find out more: https://itdi.pro/itdihome/the-teachers-room/
Check out previous sessions: https://tinyurl.com/utvjan8



Sat 28 Dec 0100 UTC iTDi Teachers’ Room Open Mic session

Dec 28th (Sat) 0100-0200 GMT – What on your mind? Open mic session

Link to The Teachers’ Room: https://zoom.us/s/867202173
(Zoom Meeting ID: 867202173)

Find out more: https://itdi.pro/itdihome/the-teachers-room/
Check out previous sessions: https://tinyurl.com/utvjan8


Learning2gether about Gamification in ELT with Deborah Healey hosted by Macmillan Education

Learning2gether Episode 432

On Wednesday December 11, 2019, Macmillan Education hosted Deborah Healey speaking in a pair of free webinars on Gamification in ELT.  These were presumably the same webinar held at two different times in order to span time zones and widen the audience. Learning2gether.net attended this event but played no role in its organization.

Participants were able to register for the webinar, for free, here:

The above link gives the following information:

“Games have long been part of language teaching methods. Gamification is something else, and teachers can benefit from learning about the elements of games that may be effective in connecting to today’s learners. Very importantly, teachers can develop a way of thinking about teaching and learning that takes a gaming approach and changes potentially passive “students” into active “players” in the classroom environment. As with anything else in education, it’s how the techniques are used that makes a difference. This webinar will give a brief introduction to gamification with some insights from research, and present how teachers might use game elements effectively in their teaching. Suggestions for technology supports will also be offered. A website will provide links to additional resources and specific examples that teachers can use in their own classrooms.”

The Macmillan moderator mentioned that Dr. Deborah had produced a “white paper” on her presentation and gave out this link to Gamifying your classroom: The basics https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VF1TmjztGQK4lJePYgjLzUqkBcjVHn6n/view

That document gives links to 14 useful reference and resource material items and lists the following Key Concepts of gamification (the 5 key concepts and final comment below are all quoted from that document)

Key concepts

  1. Gamification isn’t about using games; it’s about adding game elements to ordinary classroom activities to create a novel feeling and achieve goals, such as enhanced motivation and engagement
  2. Teachers already use some game elements. Now we need to add “game thinking” and “players”
  3. Counting up is more motivating for most learners than counting down (deducting from an initial A+)
  4. Project-based learning fits very well with gamification: quests, epic challenge, team work
  5. Gamification has to be done well to work. Too much focus on extrinsic rewards can reduce intrinsic motivation

Final comment: The teacher’s role is to establish the learning environment that is motivating, engaging, and linguistically rich. The teacher needs to build intrinsic motivation, not just extrinsic with points and badges. When learning is motivating, that’s intrinsic motivation. It’s where we want our learners to be. – Dr. Deborah Healey

At the top of that document there are two links. One is  to

This sends us to a shared folder in Google Drive, here

Here we find three additional resource documents. The first one, #3, Healey Gamification Resources A4.pdf, is the one that we were looking at that contained the tiny URL. Here is what else you can find and download from that folder:


The other link at the top of the document mentioned above is to Dr. Deborah’s plenary presentation at the PELLTA conference in Penang in August, 2019:

Pasting from that link, we find a depth of background information on the topic:


Gamification is becoming an increasingly popular concept in teaching. Today’s “digital residents” have grown up with video and computer games, and they look for excitement. The fast pace of many games fits their short attention spans. The concept of “gamification” – using game elements in non-game contexts to motivate and persuade – is moving from marketing to teaching. While games have long been part of a language teacher’s bag of tricks, teachers can benefit from learning about the elements of games that will help us appeal to today’s learners.
The page on Game Mechanics offers a description of several of the game mechanics that could be used in the classroom, while the Games and Gamified Activities page points out ways that game mechanics can be added to specific classroom actions.
The Resources page provides references and links to additional reading, including a download of my brief article on the difference between gamification and game-based learning.
August 2019 AfricaTESOL PPT in PDF format
Handouts and worksheets for April 2019 PELLTA2019 Penang worksheets; April 2019 PELLTA PPT (Slideshare)
Handouts and worksheets for 2018 IATEFL presentationApril 2018 IATEFL PPT in PDF format
Handout for 2017 Asia TESOL/TEFLIN presentation (PDF); 
July 2017 PPT in PDF format
Creative Commons attribution-non-commercial-share and share alike
Created by D. Healey; last updated 30 August 2019

Finally, here are some screen shots I made from the earlier version of the webinar:



Earlier events

Fri Nov 29 iTDi Monthly Roundup on FB Live – Getting error correction right


Tue 03 Dec 0100 am UTC VSTE Minecraft Monday – Holiday Pixel Art

The day above should be Tue (Monday in Maine) but if I change it now it will break the link. The timeanddate link below is correct

The Minecraft Monday event for Monday, December 2nd 8-9 PM Eastern time is Holiday Pixel Art

Let’s make VSTE Place festive for the season!

Meet at VSTE Place Minecraft world, and create holiday or winter pixel art.

  • Find a design online or create your own on graph paper before the meeting. This is much easier than cross stitch!
  • If you can share your pattern with a friend, you might get help with your creation!

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.

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. Choose multiplayer and add a server: Name VSTE Place IP
  3. 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.

VOIP 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 from https://discordapp.com/
  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
  4. It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.

Tue 3 Dec 1200 UTC iTDi Teachers’ Room Open Mic session

International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi) posted

Feel free to join us in The Teachers’ Room in December, hosted by Steven Herder & Philip Shigeo Brown 🙂 🙂

Dec 3rd (Tue) 1200-1300 GMT – What’s on your mind? Open mic session

Link to The Teachers’ Room: https://zoom.us/s/867202173
(Zoom Meeting ID: 867202173)

Find out more: https://itdi.pro/itdihome/the-teachers-room/
Check out previous sessions: https://tinyurl.com/utvjan8

Tue 03 Dec 1600 UTC – Online Students – Who they are? What they look for? What is online learning satisfaction?

TESOL’s Teacher Educator Interest Section (TEIS) is continuing its live webinar series. We begin the series this season on students in online education.

Credentialled TESOL members can download a ppt associated with this presentation here (but I presume the webinar, in Zoom, is free)


A recent Babson Survey Research Group reports that about 33 percent of college students are taking at least one course online.  More than 2500 U.S. colleges and universities are offering courses online and Indiana University (IU) is one of them. It has seen a significant upswing in enrollment (130%) between 2013 and 2019. The IU EFL/ESL teaching certificate program has seen a similar spike.

Given the high interest in online education and the increasing number of TESOL online programs, TESOL’s Teacher Educator Interest Section (TEIS) is organizing a webinar on who are the online students, what they are looking for and what gives the students the most satisfaction?

The webinar features as speakers, IU Associate Vice-President and Director of the Office of Online Education, Chris Foley and Associate Director, Sharon Wavle. The webinar will be moderated by Faridah Pawan, TEIS Chair Elect, Professor of EFL/ESL Teacher Education at Indiana University

The details are as follows:

Date and Time: December 3, from 11-12pm EST (same time as New York City)

Location: https://iu.zoom.us/my/fpawan


In the recorded TEIS webinar below that took place on Tuesday, Dec. 3, IU Associate Vice-President and Director of the Office of Online Education, Chris Foley and Associate Director, Sharon Wavle discussed and shared information on who online students are; what they look for; and what online learning satisfaction is for them. The webinar was moderated by Faridah Pawan, Professor of EFL/ESL Teacher Education and TEIS Chair Elect.


Coming next: In January 2020, the second webinar in the series will feature Venessa Dennen & Jiyae Bong from Florida State University on Cross-Cultural Dialogues and Cultural Differences in Online Conversations.

Posted to

by Faridah Pawan, TEIS Chair Elect

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN


Sat Dec 7 1500 UK IATEFL Monthly Webinar hosts Maha Hassan – Are you a fair tester

Find out more about Maha’s webinar and register at: www.iatefl.org/events/37

Mon 09 Dec 1200 UTC EVOMC20 Planning and a Minecraft Field Trip

This was announced in our EVO Minecraft Facebook Group

Meet in Discord on the Party-planners channel and OliveTree will guide us

We are meeting to plan for our EVOmc session starting around a month from now.

1- A brief tour of two Spawn areas on two public, family friendly Minecraft servers.

2- Decide what needs to be updated and who can help with it.

3- Advertising and invitations.

4- Main Discussion area(s).

5- Any other issued that you have in mind.

If we need to meet again we can agree tentative dates and times.


A spontaneous discussion on Getting error correction right: an iTDi MonthlyRoundup on FB Live

Learning2gether Episode 431


I was first alerted to this event when Philip Shigeo Brown posted this reminder on Facebook just the day before:

International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi) MonthlyRoundup (FB LIVE) with Philip Shigeo Brown & Steven Herder: Fri Nov 29, 1200-1300 GMT:

The graphic was interesting 🙂 so I decided to drop in. I had intended only to see how this event worked. I hadn’t had enough notice to make it a Learning2gether episode in its own right, and I didn’t know I would be called on to participate. When I arrived, Steve was explaining how he had prevailed on the powers-that-be at the most recent 2019 JALT conference to stream their most recent plenaries and put the recordings on open access:


JALT 2019 plenaries streamed and recorded:

At first I was only listening to Phil and Steve on my PC talking in Zoom while broadcasting that through Facebook, so I got the event up on my iPad and took it into the kitchen to do the dishes. But when I heard them talking about my interview with them the previous week, I dried my hands and made a screen shot. You see? I was starting to get engaged.


And then when Steve invited anyone listening in Facebook to come into the Zoom room and join the conversation, Andy Boon and I obliged, joined later by Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto.

Also in the listening audience were Doris Molero, a long-time collaborator in Webheads in Action, whom I last saw at WorldCALL 2018 in Concepción, Chile, and Barbi Bujtás a one-time co-moderator of EVO Minecraft MOOC (these networks are constantly colliding :-).


And here is what it all looked like:


Some Links that came up during the discussion

More screen shots



Earlier events

Thu Nov 21 noon UTC – Steve Herder and Philip Shigeo Brown on iTDi and the challenge of commercial viability vs social community needs


Steve Herder and Philip Shigeo Brown on iTDi and the challenge of commercial viability vs social community needs

Download m4a audio:

Learning2gether episode 430

Skip down to Earlier Events

On Thursday. November 21, Steve Herder and Philip Shigeo Brown talked to Vance Stevens about iTDi and the challenge of commercial viability vs social community needs

Vance Stevens, founder of Learning2gether, talked with iTDi Director and Cofounder, Steven Herder, together with TESOL Certificate Course Director, Philip Shigeo Brown about iTDi, how it came about: when it began to be planned in 2010, then launched in 2012, and why, what it does, where it’s going, and how it serves the field of language learning.

In particular, how does iTDi balance the needs of the #iTDiCommunity with the need to remain commercially viable? In the context of that challenge, what kind of teacher development opportunities are offered and should be offered in the future?

Where? in Zoom

Suggested gist of the conversation

Learning2gether promotes efforts that share knowledge in a free and open manner (share-alike in creative commons terms). As founder and coordinator of L2g, Vance is both interested in and impressed by the aspects of iTDi that do that. Whereas L2g does not promote commercial interests, I have no qualms whatsoever about spotlighting the altruistic work of for-profit entities that help to spread knowledge in our wider communities.

I gather from talking with Steven and Phil in the past that they seem to embrace that mindset while at the same time they and others at iTDi are seeking a fair return on the parts of their work where their professionalism shows devotion of time, expertise, and investment.

Achieving a return on investment is only right and fair, but I’d like to discuss how iTDi straddles the challenge of providing a service to the field while at the same time being compensated for it, and recruiting others to their team in return for their just compensation as well. In discussing these issues, I hope to find out more about how iTDi manages these challenges, and of course where they see it going. – Vance

These questions were alluded to during the conversation

Regarding this balance of service to the community vis a vis iTDi’s right to support itself and its investors (of time, money,expertise) I believe these questions were touched on in the discussion.
  • The iTDi website says that attendees are welcome to attend the Teachers Room sessions for a particular amount of time.before they are expected to subscribe. For this reason, I don’t announce them on L2g. When I have been there it seems you have welcomed participants. How does that work in practice?
  • We talked about JALT and IATEFL streaming sessions, in other words providing free content while making money elsewhere on the paid event (presumably). Does iTDi have a parallel model?
  • What can people do or participate in for free as community members vs what they must pay for, given of course that the paid areas would be ones where they could gain certification perhaps? Do you know W3 Schools? All their materials are free (choose from dozens of programming languages and help yourself) but if you want to be certified, you pay for that. (In the conversation, we found that iTDi had experimented with something similar).
  • What does iTDI do to develop their community. What benefits are there to community participation? How would users increase those benefits by upgading to paid services?
  • I presume you are teachers like me with a passion for sharing and contributing to the field, but are hoping to monetize the process to some extent for yourselves and others for reasons similar to why people don’t write books for free? What makes this tick?

All of these issues were touched on in the recorded materials. Have a listen!

Announcements made on these Facebook Groups


Philip Shigeo Brown followed up with this post to Facebook

Gotta stop playing and get the grading done. Plenty of time to play with friends and colleagues in September at Equinox 2010


Philip Shigeo Brown Blast from the past … Steven Herder and I were just talking about Equinox 2010 in an interview last night with Vance Stevens for Learning2gether, and fondly reminiscing how much we enjoyed it!

Thanks again for making it such an awesome series of conferences!

Earlier events


Wed Nov 20 0900 UTC Hanaa Khamis and Vance Stevens at GEC – Participatory culture of CPD through self-sustaining PLNs


Wed Nov 20 Credly presents Focus on Skills to Create the Perfect Workforce


Learning2gether slept through this one, but anyone can fill out this form to get a recording