Zahra Shafiee interviews Vance Stevens regarding his views on the role of teachers in integrating technology with language teaching

Learning2gether Episode 392

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On Friday, April 27, I had a delightful conversation with Zahra Shafiee. based in Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran, currently doing a PhD in Applied Linguistics. For her PhD dissertation, Zahra is conducting an exploratory research on CALL teacher development and professional identity. As a part of this study, she is interviewing CALL professionals and practitioners to explore their opinions about the role of teachers in integrating technology with language teaching.  Zahra’s supervisor, Dr. Susan Marandi, suggested that Zahra interview me for her study. We conducted the interview in Skype and recorded as best we could.

I’ve posted with permission a screen shot of Zahra conducting the interview and a recording of what transpired.

Zahra graciously sent me a copy of her transcription of the interview. I corrected and enhanced it, annotated it liberally, and posted it here:

Here it is copy / pasted below, but without the graphics and annotations in the Google Doc version

Full text, and then some of
Zahra Shafiee Interview with Vance Stevens

Zahra: I am Zahra Shafiee from Iran. I am doing research on CALL, CALL teacher education. My supervisor, Dr. Susan Marandi recommended that  your experience and knowledge in computer assisted language learning will be a great contribution to this research. So she suggested me to interview you, and thank you so much for accepting my request for interview. 

I would like to know about your experience in teaching, and integrating technology in your teaching either regarding your language teaching or teacher education. 
Vance Stevens: Before answering these questions, may I ask you about your degree program, what are you hoping to get a PhD in?
Zahra: Yes, I am a PhD student of TEFL, and I am currently working on computer assisted language learning teacher education, you know, CALL teacher education, teaching language teachers how to integrate technology in their teaching. 
Vance Stevens: What aspects of it really interest you?
Zahra: I am interested in professional identity of CALL teachers,  the way that it is developed, the way that they can learn how to integrate technology in their teaching not based on technocentricism, not based on learning how to work with a particular tool, but how to develop some identity in themselves in order to see how they can learn wherever they are, in every situation they are, to develop themselves professionally.

Vance Stevens: Yes, that’s very important I think. that’s what I myself am interested in.


Zahra: I would like to ask some biographical questions about your experience in teaching English and training and helping English teachers to develop themselves.

Vance Stevens:  I started teaching English in 1974. So that’s around 45 years ago.  I think I started teaching other teachers when I was working in Saudi Arabia — this was in 1978 or 79. In that year I took charge of a program to train other teachers in developing materials for what we used to call computer-assisted-instruction.  The IT department had brought a big mainframe computer to the language centre and set it up there. It just sat there and did nothing, and one day I just went over to it and kind of like you’d play a piano, I just started fiddling with the keys, and my director came by and saw me doing that, so he put me in charge of the program that they were trying to develop to put some CAI (computer-assisted instruction) English lessons on that computer. I didn’t really know anything about how to go about it but someone gave me a manual and I read a little ahead in the manual and I was able to organize teachers to develop some English lessons. So I guess that might be the first real training of other teachers I had done up to that point in my career.

Then, while I was studying for my MA in 1983, I helped to organize the Computer Assisted Language Learning interest section in TESOL. This happened at a symposium held in Toronto in that year, where as a group we debated what to call ourselves and we deliberately agreed the acronym should be changed from instruction to learning, so that had a lot to do with helping other teachers learn about CALL, computer assisted language learning (Stevens, 2015).

And later in 1998 I started something called Webheads. I had been working in Oman for 10 years, and when I went back to the United States, I got a job in a software company in California.  That was the first time I had been out of teaching for all that time which would have been about 20 years up to that pont. So I got involved in online teaching, and this developed into what eventually became known as Webheads. Meanwhile, I got a job in United Arab Emirates, where I helped set up a language school, The Military Language Institute, where my job was to train teachers working there in CALL.

So at that time when I started the online Webheads, I called it Writing for Webheads, up until 2001, when I was physically in the United Arab Emirates, but training teachers to use CALL, the Webheads had developed into a community of practice of students and it was also attracting other teachers.  And we were going out to conferences (both online and on site) and giving demonstrations of what we were doing and how we were engaging students online and in online environments, in much the way that you just described as the focus of your dissertation. Because whereas when I did the project in Saudi Arabia, our approach was didactic. Teachers were taking exercises they were having students do in their workbooks, but copying them onto the computer. so basically computer assisted language learning back then was not as well understood as  it is today, and it had none of the social aspects. 

So by the year 2001, Webheads was about getting students to come online and to engage with each other and with teachers, and we were putting video, audio, pictures, anything that they (the students or participating teachers) wanted online — Basically I called it Writing for Webheads, but they were writing about anything they wanted to, and I was setting up what they were doing on a Web 1.0 website. And we were using voice applications. It was quite unusual that we were using synchronous voice applications back at the turn of the century. This was especially what attracted other teachers to it. 

So I suppose my teacher training really made a quantum leap in 2001 when I started setting up the Webheads in Action, an electronic village online sessions. Are you familiar with EVO?
Zahra: Yes, I am. I have already taken some courses in EVO which doctor Nellie Deutsch, Moodle for teachers…

Vance Stevens: Yes, she is the head coordinator of EVO at the moment.

Anyway, Webheads in Action  was a EVO session in 2002, which was the second year of the EVO program, and webheads in Action became a community of practice of teacher educators. Susan Marandi joined us. If you go to Webheads in Action at, you can see Susan’s picture there (actually, you have to click on a link at the top to see it here).  So she was a member of our community. Then I met her in Fukuoka in Japan, when she went to World Call conference there. 

So it was a nice mix of online blending into real life learning from one another with probably about a thousands people involved in Webheads in Action at one point or another. It is still exists. In fact I have just published an article in the TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching published by Wiley and I just saw it in the last TESOL conference in Chicago (Stevens, 2018). But there is an article there on Webheads, so Webheads is now a valid entry in a published encyclopedia. so it is a recognized entity that’s been going on for the last twenty years or so. This September will be our 20th anniversary. I just now thought of it. We’ll have to celebrate.

Zahra: Congratulations!

Vance Stevens: So anyhow, that’s teacher training the way I like to do it. And the way to do it is … Do you know David Cormier the Canadian researcher? instrumental in MOOCs? Actually he coined the term MOOC (massive open online course).  I am sure you are familiar with MOOCs, which have taken the world by storm in a way. So Dave Cormier came up with that acronym MOOC. Or he and Brian Alexander, there are some (friendly) controversies. Neither of them will say, now, who actually invented it (Stevens, 2013).

In his (Cormier’s) last MOOCs, one of them (Rhizo 14) was focused on community as curriculum (Cormier, 2008 and 2016). So basically it’s the community that establishes what they want to do in the class and that’s the kind of language and the model I instinctively used with Webheads in Action back in 1998. Community as curriculum is where community members set out what they want to do and interact around what they have in mind. And Webheads has always done that too. I’ve always been known as the “Cat Herder” on Webheads because I never tell anyone what they should do, they just do whatever they want to do, and in so doing, they learn from one another.

And most recently, in the last four or five years, I’ve been getting into Minecraft. It’s a game. I’m starting to get people where I work interested in starting a Minecraft Exploration Group. Again it addresses what you are researching, and that is, instead of coming at language learning from the point of view of teaching people grammar from step A to step B, etc., it puts people, whether students or teachers into a communicative environment where each person has his or her own agenda and they work with one another, learn from one another, and have fun doing it. Minecraft lends itself to just about anything you want to teach. If you want to teach language, it is a very good substrate for communication because it encourages creativity and problem solving, and critical thinking skills, and so if you can exploit the communication around that, then you can address language learning issues. The same holds true for other topics as well. At the website for, you can find lots of worlds devoted to topics such as chemistry, for example. I happened to notice the large number of chemistry worlds because I was looking into the worlds available to see if I could find anything that would lend itself to our situation.

Anyway, that’s the philosophy that has been behind all of these efforts. All my teacher training efforts are not really prescribing workshops that would work this way or another; rather they suggest that teachers would get together and agree on appropriate steps to learn about the tools, in the way we are doing right now. You might have a purpose that is not really the purpose of what you are really trying to do. For example, we might say, “Let’s get together and play minecraft.” “Oh, boy, that looks like fun!” But what are we really trying to do? It’s about gamification and how students are trying to do this. Gamification is something like chelow. You have to taste it, you cannot describe it. You need to experience it.

Zahra: I have realized that you use Blackboard Collaborate among other tools that you use. I would like to know about the major devices and about the theoretical perspectives and the learning theory you consider behind using them.
Vance Stevens:  For a while, I was kind of hooked on something I called “Do it yourself LMS, DIYLMS (Stevens, 2012). DIYLMS encourages people to create their own functioning LMS out of many free tools, instead of going to one thing like Blackboard, for example, which is expensive or as Nellie would suggest, why not just use Moodle, which is free and does very much the same as Blackboard. Moodle is a good step toward a “Do it Yourself” LMS because you can install Moodle, and you can use it for a lot of LMS features. But I use wikis quite a lot. I like PBworks in particular. PBworks is very robust, and I use it to organize all my face-to-face courses. Nowadays I always set up a PBworks for all the classes I teach. For example, if you go to, you can see what I’m teaching currently, and what I’ve been teaching where I’ve been for the last five or six or seven years.

So, anyway, that’s a way I’m organizing what I’m doing so that students can go to a link and, if they have missed a class, they can see what they missed. Or if they were in class, they can’t tell you they didn’t understand the assignments, because all the assignments are always there. Everything is there, all the resources they need are there. Everything is uploaded there, they just need to click on it, and they can download it, or there is a link to where can get it. And that link could in fact be to the resource in Blackboard,  because we use Blackboard here, so I sometimes link to things in the Blackboard. In that case they have to use their password to get it, but at least it is there, organized for them. If they go directly to Blackboard, they find a big, huge wall of text they have to get through in order find things. But if they are in my class, they just go to Vance’s Class and they can see, this is what we did on Tuesday, click here and do that.  So there, we’ve got two devices mentioned just now. Blackboard, could be one, or Moodle because is free and open source. Plus, you could have your own little “This is my class” wiki going.

In fact, I was teaching a course for TESOL, in the TESOL Principles and Practices of Online Teaching program, on Multiliteracies. Are you familiar with multiliteracies? If someone asked you to teach a course on multiliteracies, would you know what to do? When someone asked me to teach a course on multiliteracies, I wasn’t sure what it was, but I said “Sure, ok, I’ll do that.” So I figured it out. I read some things about it and found out it was a way of dealing with Web 2.0, and there are so many aspects to it. Basically it’s about being literate digitally, being able to converse, to write about, to implement digital multiliteracies. It is not just about traditional literacy, but also the literacies that you need in today’s day and age.

So I agreed to teach a course on that, and they wanted the courses to be in Desire2Learn, a LMS similar to Blackboard which they had purchased, and for which they were paying me, not much, just a thousand dollars a time. Actually, for the work you put into it, $1000 was just a token amount, a stipend. But a part of what they want to do was to develop their Desire2Learn platform with all the courses that  they were offering there,  but I sort of went around it. I used Desire2Learn as a chat forum, but i put the materials I planned to use in my own spaces;  for example in a wiki. And here again, you can go to where I eventually called this multiliteracies MOOC, in a set of web pages called Goodbye Gutenberg. So if you go to you can see the archives there,  all the iterations from the TESOL PPOT courses in 2004-2009, and for the ones that I did after that, from 2009 through 2014, for the EVO sessions.

In fact, actually to keep this courses alive,  to keep it current, I gave it for some time as both a TESOL paid course and as a free EVO session. I felt I needed to do that because TESOL removed everyone, both students and teachers, from the Desire2Learn space once the paid sessions ended, so I had no access to my course in the ten months I wasn’t teaching it, and it was not something that I could just restart and teach as a set of lectures whenever they wanted it. When they gave me access to my Desire2Learn course, this gave just a couple of weeks  lead time to open up the Desire2Learn space and rebuild my course there, and then run the course, which is set up in the Blackboard way where everybody, students and teacher, are suddenly enrolled there, and then cut off from the course at the end of it. But I was always doing the course off in another space, which I maintained as an EVO session, and which I could then use again the following year in the TESOL principles and practices course.

I think they kind of didn’t like that and they dropped me from the program. But I had interesting interactions with many of the people. Some of the people in the TESOL front office took my course — I think they were checking me out perhaps to see what was going on there. But my approach was certainly different; it was not the way that most TESOL courses were run (and not what most people who take those courses would have expected), but some of the people that were in the TESOL PPOT courses are still in Webheads or still my friends. Mark Algren is one of them, and he later became president of TESOL for a while. It was a different way of running a TESOL PPOT course.

It encompassed all the tools we just mentioned, Blackboard Collaborate, if that seemed to be the best way to do it, or what we are doing right now, we are using Skype, voice and video, works quite well. But this is not social. The main drawback of Skype — it does work well, kind of like Facebook, we could do this on Facebook as well, but Facebook is a little bit more social. You can actually bring people into it (by posting a link) — but it’s kind of difficult to do that in Skype though. We didn’t really set this up socially.

Another thing that I do, as far as a teacher trainer is concerned, is Learning2gether,, where you can see the podcasts I’ve been doing. This would be podcast number 392 or something like that. So, almost 400 podcasts since 2010, a little fewer than one a week, though I’ve been tapering off lately. You can find an index of all my Learning2gether podcasts here: You might notice that this is, again, based in a PBworks wiki space.

Learning2gether,  this podcast, is social. I had a little discussion with Nellie the other day. She said it was a wiki, I said no it’s a social network. And as we started conversing, I noticed she tweeted about one of my podcasts, and so I tweeted back and said “Ah, you see? It is a social network.”

Now, that’s a good example of how to combine the tools, to illustrate what devices or tools I use. I have a Facebook page for Learning2gether, I have a Google+ community for Learning2gether. I didn’t actually set this podcast (that we are doing now) like that, but some of those other ones that I showed you, I did. It depends on where you are going to have it. On Skype or if you are not sure where you are going to have it, you can’t really announce it. But if I had done that or if you wanted to come back to us and tell us about your dissertation once you have done it, or once you are well along with it and have something you’d like to share with us, then, we would announce your event on my wiki, and I would announce it on Facebook and Google + communities.

These reach a lot of people. Google + communities are quite powerful because a lot of people are Google + members. So I announce things socially. When I have done my podcasts, I “scoop” them . is a very nice site because it creates kind of an archive where people can go to; for example, you can go to can see a nice display of our recent podcasts. When you announce there it is also announces it on Google+ and on Twitter what you’ve done. So you get a lot of traffic that way, and it increases the social network. And when we use Google hangouts, then that goes to YouTube, and when I put something up on YouTube, for example, if I put this video up on YouTube, if you wanted, only with your permission of course, that would create another social aspect, so you get traffic from that. People would come to your page, and people would learn about it and your network expands in that way. So this networked learning is quite powerful, and if you can get one going, this social network going — Nellie is trying to set one up now. She wants to make it social, and we’ll see if it succeeds. Crossing from the idea of it to the social aspects takes a lot of people, going viral, takes a lot of virality to make it happen. That is the magic ingredient.
Zahra:  About your student teachers, the teachers that you try to teach them how to integrate technology into their teaching, I would like to know how they develop that confidence and efficacy of using technology in their teaching?  What happens in them that they develop and gain this confidence?

Vance Stevens: That’s a very good question.  When I put training sessions on, whether it is through TESOL or electronic village online, EVO,  I guess the people who self-select to join our courses in Electronic Village Online probably are predisposed in some way. First of all, they have taken on an on online course,  so they must have some skills. They don’t usually come into these courses without already having some of these skills. Let’s take a very good example: in the TESOL courses I was giving versus the Electronic Village Online courses on Multiliteracies. Some people, Laine Marshall is a good example, she was sceptical as she went through her first course online, one of the TESOL courses. She was probably one of the only ones who actually became enthused about the method in that particular iteration of that course, out of about a dozen people there.  But I would said she is a very good example of someone who learned the power of the tools in the course and then went on to develop her expertise with these herself. Now she is kind of a guru in flipped learning. And flipped learning goes back to a kind of tool set. If you are going to promote flipped learning or use it in your teaching, then you need to have a good grasp of all of these tools because you are putting things online so that students can get it in their own time. When they come to class you can use time for discussion if possible. So you cover the concepts in the flipped part of it, or if the students are not prepared, then they can prepare in the class while you are working with the students who got it.

As far as the training that I have done another good example to illustrate this concepts, because illustration is more powerful than explaining.  I mentioned that I am teaching teachers in our program how to use Minecraft, which involves an understanding of gamification, which in turn is a very difficult concept to grasp. I said earlier that the reason we are using Minecraft is that we are trying to learn about gamification. Because you just cannot understand until you experience it. So I asked people where I work, I said look, I’ve got 20 licenses. If you want one, we are going to start a Minecraft Exploration Group. If you want one, let me know.

I got back 6 or 8 people out of the 30 or 40, and counting the aviation and not just English faculty, probably 70 or 80 teachers there. So 10% of them of them said ok I’d like to know more about this. As the group got together, half of those teachers never responded to anything I put out but a couple of them, say two to four, are really, I say biting the coolaid, they are taking the drug, they are addicted, they are getting into it now.

So there is our seed, the flowers starting to bloom. Other people might see the flowers and say oh I want to be a flower too. Or, they’ll continue to ignore it, or they cannot understand the concept. Because this small group of people are asking me now, “what is the point? … Why are we doing this? How is this going to help our students” Then I have to go back and  I can take examples of what students (in my courses) have done. Here is one student who made a house, and he described why he made the house this way. So he created it in Minecraft, he had been doing that. Then he wrote something about it, and described his process. Now that is a very clear example of using language in Minecraft. Later on, he also made a machine that did things in Minecraft. But I never could get him to write about that just because of the nature of the course I was doing, just working with students. (I should have added here that I was basically taking advantage of an opportunity to show them some tools and let them manage their own curriculum, me acting as the cat herder on the side. So the fact that this mode of learning produced an essay that the student himself wanted to write, not that anyone made him do or gave him a grade for it, speaks to the efficacy of the value of Minecraft for tapping into intrinsic motivation.)

If you build this into your curriculum, then even the teachers as they are working together, the teachers are asking me “how do I this or that?” For example, “how do I make a map in Minecraft to see the world I am in?” I didn’t actually know the answer to the question myself. I looked it up in Google or YouTube, and I found the answer. You need to get some paper and a compass. YouTube video shows you quickly how to get paper, cut down some cane that is growing all around, and from that put three canes together to make paper. To make a compass you need some ‘redstone’ which is a little harder to come by — it’s a mineral that you find in mines that provides electrical power in Minecraft. Anyway, you get that and some metal, iron ore to be exact (and heat the iron in a furnace, make the furnace from cobblestone which you easily acquire in Minecraft) and from that you get the compass. You get those two things together and hold them up in a certain way as you walk around and it puts the map on the paper, so you can map your environment. So that was a nice questions that he asked me, “how can I make a map?” and so when we looked it up together, we figured out how to do it, (so we both increased our knowledge of the game using knowledge of the game in conjunction with critical thinking and research skills). Then of course we had to build something to display the map. Just that aspect, and another question he asked was “Where is the recipe book in Minecraft?” And I said, “The recipe book is in Google. In Google you just write “how to make xxx in Minecraft?” Then just keep the browser window open and search for anything you need and replace xxx with whatever you want to make; for example “how can I make a sword in Minecraft? So you can keep that recipe book handy there (in an open browser window) as you play the game. You are always having to research and learn more about the game. 

One of the aviation science teachers where I work, he was teaching survival (a course for airmen about how to survive crash landings). He said “how can I teach or use this in my survival training?” Minecraft has two modes, ‘creative’ and ‘survival’.  Survival (as a mode of play) is right there in Minecraft.  “But,” he said, “it is too difficult for me to teach my students how to do this. How will I find time to do that?” Because of course he doesn’t want to teach them how to play Minecraft in his course, he wants to teach them the subject, about how they can survive airplane crashes since they are going to be pilots. So, well, ok, here is the job for the English teachers. English teachers can teach them how to do this stuff using the language and take that knowledge into their survival class, and the two could work very well together, I think, in  my mind; but it’s very difficult for teachers to grasp this concept.

So you basically you can talk about it until you are ‘blue the face’ like holding your breath, you can talk about it and no one will really pay much attention. Actually, the way I got it working in my courses was that one of my colleagues, Jeff Kuhn, and I wrote an article and published it in TESOL journal (Kuhn, J. and Stevens, V., 2017). I doubt that anyone where I work has ever read that but the new dean at the college is really interested in gamification, and he read our article, and he became a convert. Now he wants to push gamification in the school (as a much needed way of engaging students). So it is all the time writing and talking about it for years and nothing ever happens. It is difficult, but once it starts happening, once you’ve got the spark, you have got flame, flowers. So you have got to get people involved, get them doing it, get them interested and doing things where they might be using those tools in other things. Like putting up a web page for their students. They might think, well let’s just put a text page down, but when you start bringing in multimedia into it,  and links and where all the links go, and flipping it and using your web page to flip your classes, it just goes. You know that people learn a lot about technology just by putting that together and then once they’ve learned it,  it is theirs.


Zahra:  what do your student teachers do when they get into trouble, when there is a connection breakdown technology breakdown?  and how can they gain the confidence and efficacy of troubleshooting?

Vance Stevens:  The answer to that is community: communities of practice. You cannot do this in vacuum. I can take another Minecraft example, something that I’m doing right now. We need to get our computers where we’ve installed Minecraft in the school I’m working at now talking to each other. We want the students to play in multiplayer mode, but it is not working where we are right now. The computers themselves run Minecraft, and one computer can see this other one over there but the communication between them doesn’t happen. The students are not able to join each other’s games in order to work together.

I started with our network specialist where I am and he took the problem to the IT department and they started to talk about this, so far without result. OK, never mind, that’s going nowhere, so I need I go to my own community.  I need to write to people there and say “look I have got this problem. What can I do?” You know, some or even one of the 5000 people in Minecraft in Education (Google+ community)  might help me. Somebody there might help (and somebody has, May 6). Or even closer-knit than that, EVO Minecraft MOOC has got few hundred people there, somebody will help. 

So you have to have a PLN, or personal learning network (Stevens, 2010a).  That is part of, you know, what successful technology-using educators are doing using these devices. I’m talking about social networks, so your available resources are not limited to just you and your students, or you and your colleague teachers sitting around you, but you and experts anywhere in the world. Troubleshooting involves going outside to develop your networks. Stephen Downes says that whatever knowledge exists in the network is available to you as long as you are connected. George Siemens says that the critical feature of the network is not so much the knowledge as the pipes, or as he famously put it, “The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe” (Siemens, 2004). So you might not have water in your house, but if there is water over there and you’ve got pipes you can bring it in. Even for knowledge, whatever you are trying to find out about, someone knows about it, and if you are connected,  even to someone that knows that person, then you can find it somewhere in your network. So you can solve problems that way. That is the best way. However you develop your network, whether it is to a network of teachers in your institution, or whether it’s a professional organization that might be just where you are in Iran for example, where Susan I am sure is connected to other people elsewhere, in Iran or how you have found me for example, to use this in your dissertation, that is how you gain confidence and efficacy of troubleshooting.

Stevens (2009) suggests how teachers can interact with numerous communities of practice and distributed learning networks where other participants are modeling to and learning from one another optimal ways of using social media in teaching. This strongly suggests that teachers must be trained not only in the use of social media, but through its use.

Zahra: I would like to address the roles of CALL teachers.  Are there any differences between the roles of CALL teachers and roles of a teacher in a regular class?

Vance Stevens: What do you mean by a CALL teacher? Do you mean someone who teaches computer assisted language learning to other teachers, or someone who uses computer assisted language learning in their classes? What do you mean by a CALL teacher?

Zahra: It can include both.  It can include a CALL teacher, a person who teaches English language through technology, and a CALL teacher educator.

Vance Stevens: You know, computer assisted language learning, to get really to the root of that question, everything is computer assisted. So it is kind of hard to distinguish, I don’t know if you have teachers who don’t use any technology. Most teachers use at least an overhead projector.  Even a piece of chalk is technology. But computer assisted, if you use cellphones, what are your students doing? They must be, Iran is famous for its social networking. So my impression is everybody has a cell phone. Am I right?
Zahra: Yes, exactly my students are equipped with cell phone and laptops. Also I put up some of their assignments on the social network in a group, they are in a group and this is kind of flipped learning. The session after that, we discuss something, different movies and tasks. Also we have got overhead projectors, every class is equipped. They are equipped with mobile, in the class they search something,…

Vance Stevens:  So everything is already computer assisted. But the problem is when teachers’ approach this computer assisted environment, and have not made the paradigm shift — they are thinking in the old way, the old didactic models. And they are not utilizing the technology in ways that are obvious or not so obvious to some. Even students who are supposed to be so attuned to technology are famously not aware of the power of learning that can be in the tools. They use them to entertain themselves. So teachers can also assume that computer assisted language learning means creating PowerPoints in your classes. That’s good, that’s better than the old way. By old way I mean 20 years old. But say 10 years ago there would have been a shift. For making PowerPoints for example, they are just on your computer. You can either put them on the (e.g. or better, you can use Google slides instead. So you can make your PowerPoint accessible to students. And you can perhaps even invite students to write on them, or ask questions and post comments.

I suppose a CALL teacher would be someone who is aware of the multiliteracies. The multiliterate teacher is someone who is aware of all the aspects involved and who can help others to understand those aspects beyond the level they are already at. Everybody is at a different stage. For example, one thing that I talk about is I encourage people to think SMALL. Think SMALL means social medial assisted language learning (Stevens, 2014a). So instead of talking about computer assisted language learning, which doesn’t really mean anything anymore, I think of it as social media assisted language learning, and some people call it MALL, mobile assisted language learning. How do you get students to use in class what they have got in pockets? You can use polls for example, you can give students Plickers cards, they can turn it four different ways and it comes up with four different A,B,C, and D, so they select their answers by turning the cards. So you can scan with your mobile and get their answers. You can set up questions and answers to poll the state of knowledge of your class at any given moment that way, if you download the app, prepare the cards, and set it up in advance.

Games like Kahoot, pretty simple, these work well work in classes (until they get tiring) but they are one way to jazz up your class. Polls are one good example and there are so many of them. Another example is PollAnywhere (actually it’s called PollEverywhere, but if you Google either of these it takes you to There are so many poll-based learning environments; Nearpod is a good example, there is so much you can do with Nearpod. Edmodo has polls and is also a learning management system.  There are many tools and they have different affordances. The affordances — if I write that word into anything with spell checking, it never knows the spelling of affordances. I guess some people, even myself the first time I heard it, maybe 10 years ago, I did not understand what the person who used the term ‘affordances’ the first time I heard that word was talking about. But affordances are the ancillary things that using a particular device or software makes possible, those are its affordances.  

So each device has certain affordances, and you have to be aware of them. And it’s a really easy to use something and not to be aware of it its affordances and not really exploit its full power. So the role of a CALL teacher, or a CALL trainer is someone who becomes aware of the affordances and can teach them. There is a guy named David Warlick (2010) who talks about master learners. If I go back to Stephen Downes (2007, slide 22), he says that teachers model and demonstrate, and students practice, and reflect. In my opinion (Stevens, 2011) a master learner is someone who does all the 4 of those things: someone who can model and demonstrates as well as reflect and practice effectively, in a continuing percolative cycle.

I like this master learner concept because its means, especially for languages, it means that you are not a really a teacher*. You are someone who has learned how to do all these things so now you can show other people how to be master learners as well. It’s like making coffee, good coffee needs percolation. If you do all of those things, modeling, demonstrating, reflecting and practicing all the time as a teacher you’re doing that. We are doing that right now, we are learning from each other. So we are practicing, and we are reflecting on what we are doing by talking about what we do. And also as teachers we demonstrate and model. A teacher models, demonstrates, and practices and reflects. So a master teacher, a master learner (not a master teacher, but a master learner) does all four of those things models, practices, demonstrates, and reflects. And that’s what teachers need to become: master learners. That’s what they are especially good at.

*At a plenary address I gave at a conference in Egypt in 2004, I said to the audience there, “There is no such thing as a language teacher. There are only language learners.” That was a radical statement to be making at the time at a conference of English teachers.  I published the text of my talk in Stevens, 2004 (I had written it out in advance and scrolled it on one computer while I managed my slides on another). Here is the context from that talk:

Now, let’s say you want to learn a foreign language. How do you go about that? Probably if you have just now decided to learn this language you might go out and buy a book. Or whatever your level of proficiency, you might enroll in a course designed to ‘teach’ you the language. But already you’ve run up against what I claim is an oxymoron. There is no such thing as a language teacher. There are only language learners. That’s you. If you’re lucky, your teacher will understand this and try to steer you in directions that will help you on your way to learning the language. But your teacher can only take you so far on this road, because this road gives only limited access to the surrounding countryside. As a passenger in your teacher’s bus, or car if it’s a private class, you are left to try and learn the language essentially by reading billboards at the side of the road. Through the windows of your vehicle you see native speakers of the language passing. How can you engage them? How do you gain access to the countryside? The key to that I think is to make use of your implicit membership in a community of practice.


Zahra: What about the constraints and different challenges that CALL teachers (those teachers who use technology in their language teaching), what kind of challenges do they face? May be your student teachers come to you and talk about different challenges and issues, like personal issues, administrative challenges, that they face. What are the major challenges they face?

Vance Stevens: Well, one of them is anxiety over their lack of knowledge. Because all of us have that. All of us lack knowledge of something. For example, there are a lot of learning systems are talking about Blockchain nowadays. Blockchain is what gives bitcoin its value, its a way of establishing through a ledger system, the validity of something, and ownership. Blockchain, in ways that escape me at the moment, a lot of people are thinking of ways of building education systems on Blockchain. As this becomes more and more important these days, some of us are going to become anxious because we don’t really know how it works.

So technology is always moving and shifting. The shifting sands (Stevens, 2010b), shifting paradigms, paradigm shifts are always going to be hard for teachers to get their footing with.

I didn’t mention the paradigm shifts that teachers must deal with in order to bring themselves in line with 21st century teaching mindsets

Presenting the shifts at GloCALL in Hanoi, 2007 Baker’s dozen of tools etc, ELTAI, 2011

Here’s a version from 2008, TESOL Conference presentation in NYC, slide 2

The one below from 2012, conference in Sharjah, slide 11 here

(More, from a Google search: )

But you have to keep trying, and keep engaging, and keep learning, and keep practicing. You have to be practicing and reflecting, then get out and model and demonstrate what you have learned, and that keeps you, if you do that enough, and don’t hide from it … About the practical aspects, I would say that a lot of teachers feel overwhelmed, and they don’t even want to get started, they don’t know where to get started. They worry that their students might know more than them. Some of the issues, itemizing technologies that teachers had to grapple with ten years ago, are addressed in Stevens, 2010c)

Minecraft was a good example of that. The best way to approach that dilemma is to go play Minecraft with your students and get them to show you. The mind shift that you need and the paradigm shift is to understand that you are not the font of all knowledge, and that knowledge is everywhere on the network. …. You could do projects where students could help you crack some of the more insurmountable problems that you have (Swier, 2014). So there are simple problems, complicated problems, complex problems, and there are wicked problems (called ‘chaotic’ in the Cynefin framework,, and see Stevens, 2014b). Simple and complicated problems are not too hard to figure out. But as we’re getting up into gamification we are getting complex, and then if you get wicked or chaotic,  that’s harder, like blockchain is the wicked problem for me I suppose

That’s the framework, which may not mean much to a teacher. The teacher would have more practical concerns. To address those, one thing I do is I put tutorials up, so for example my teachers every term have to write reports on students, so I have created Excel files, and do mine by Mailmerge and reports just come out pretty quickly and I am showing teachers how to do it. That is kind of a complicated problem, maybe even complex in some aspects. So I put a tutorial up to show them how to do it. I give them workshops or I just show them how to do it when they need to know. JIT, just-in-time learning, is very important, you have to hit people at the right time, just when they need the information. I always make tutorials and put them up in my wikis. If you want to see my tutorials, visit Then you can see the tutorials I have put up for teachers in my present work.

Also I am the chair of the professional development committee there, so here again I try to put things up online. People are always coming to me and asking what professional development did we do. I have a database, I have a Google sheet with all the information. I just point them there, and tell them they don’t really have to come to me, they can go there and find out what they want to know. So you know, there are lots of ways of working, you model, we are modelling in this case. Some people will reflect and actually learn to do it themselves, so we just keep things available. In the previous place that I worked in the Military Language Institute, the one I helped start when I came to Abu Dhabi in 1997, I made a website called Ask Vance. It was quite famous where I was working. If you wanted to know something, just Ask Vance and they would just go to my pages and find out whatever. Everything was recorded in the frequently asked questions section.

Another thing too, once one of my colleagues asked me “How do you do something with audioboom or audacity?”  I replied, “Why don’t you just Google it?” She said “What? Google it?” I said “Yeah, just put kbz or put my name, Google it” and she put it in there and Google brought up the wiki that I had prepared. So there it is, right there. So when you put things in that kind of open space, as opposed to Blackboard, where you can never find anything. Then, It just opens up a different mindset. People instead of being closed and enterprise and locked down, open it up, share it and everybody benefits. You develop your network that way.

Note: The where the search was performed had to be removed from public view due to workplace considerations. I will restore it to public view later this summer (late July 2018)

Zahra: I get to the final question. I would like to know about the ways that teachers who use technology in their teachings, as well as the educators can improve and update their knowledge and skills of using and integrating technology in their teaching. How can they improve their technological knowledge used in language teaching?

Vance Stevens: That is practice, reflect, then demonstrate … reflect on the models, so they learn how they use it when they need it. They learn how to do it when they need it. If you are trying to do something like create, let’s say … , if you want to make innovative lessons, there is something called Hot Potatoes, which is a way of creating some cloze passages. So what I do is I get some sound files, and I put them at the top of the Hot Potatoes, and students play the sound file and fills in the cloze based on what they hear.  (This works with video as well). That requires that you know a little HTML so that you can put the audio file somewhere in the neighborhood of the Hot Potatoes files. It becomes part of it as you incorporate that sound file in the package. You have to also find a player or code that will play a sound file on just about any device. And so once you do that, then you can create these exercises. If it is something that is useful to a program, then you want to get other teachers to do it. So instead of just you doing them all alone, you can teach that to other teachers. When people see if that is useful, and they want more of it, then they’ll have to learn how to do it because I cannot do them all. I think that is one way how people increase their knowledge of technology. That is just another example.

I think teachers are always modelling to each other also. What works in one class, other teachers want to know more about that. Maybe a good way to answer to that question is there needs to be a means for teachers to share what they are doing. Like we have occasional workshops, professional development workshops. We used to do something we called homegrown CALL. Homegrown means what our teachers have discovered in our environment and we could create a time they could have each week to make presentations to one another. That worked really well. They really liked hearing from one another and learning from one another. That again uses the master learner model where the teachers themselves are demonstrating to others and modeling to others what the should do, and everyone is learning about that, reflecting on it. If they want to use it, they practice it themselves, take it to the next level, and model something else for their peers again.

Zahra: Thank you so much for your great contribution and instructive comments.
Cormier, D. 2016. Rhizo14 – The MOOC that community built. Dave’s Educational Blog. Available:
Cormier, D. 2008. Rhizomatic education : Community as curriculum. Innovate 4 (5). (accessed June 2, 2008). The article is reprinted here with permission of the publisher,
Downes, S. (2007).Personal Learning the Web 2.0 Way. Stephen Downes: Knowledge, Learning, Community. Available:
Kuhn, J. and Stevens, V. (2017). Participatory culture as professional development: Preparing teachers to use Minecraft in the classroom. TESOL Journal 8, 4:753–767. and
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. elearnspace. Available:
Stevens, V. (2018). Webheads. In Liontas, J. (Ed.). The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. Wiley-Blackwell. 5824 pages. This work is also available as an online resource at Recent draft submission here:
Stevens, V. (2015). How the TESOL CALL Interest Section began (updated). On CALL (Sept 2015). Available:
Stevens, V. (2014a). Connectivist Learning: Reaching Students through Teacher Professional Development” in Son, J.-B. (Ed.). Computer-assisted language learning: Learners, teachers and tools. APACALL Book Series Volume 3. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. More information on the book can be found here:

A draft of my paper can be read online here:
Stevens, V. (2014b). What we learn from MOOCs about Professional Development and Flipping Classrooms – GLoCALL Ahmedabad 2014. adVancEducation. Available:
Stevens, V. (2013). What’s with the MOOCs? TESL-EJ 16 (4) pp. 1-14: Also available at:
Stevens, V. (2012). DIYLMS: Learner-centered Do-it-yourself Learning Management System. In Dowling, S., Gunn, C., Raven, J., Gitsaki, C. (Eds.). Opening up Learning: HCT Educational Technology Series. HCT Press: Abu Dhabi; ISBN 978-9948-16-864-5), pp.103-112. Available as pp.0-11:
Stevens, V. (2011). Reflections on a teaching philosophy. adVancEducation. Available:
Stevens, V. (2010a). “PLN: The paradigm shift in teacher and learner autonomy”.  Braz-TESOL Newsletter, Issue 4, 2010, pp.12-13. Available:
Stevens, Vance. (2010b). Shifting sands, shifting paradigms: Challenges to developing 21st century learning skills in the United Arab Emirates. Chapter 20 in Egbert, J. (2010). CALL in Limited Technology Contexts, CALICO Monograph Series, Volume 9. pp.227-239. Available:
Stevens, V. (2010c). How can teachers deal with technology overload: Reader response to Allan, J. (2009). Are language teachers suffering from technology overload? TESOL Arabia Perspectives 16(2), 22-23. TESOL Arabia Perspectives 17 (1), 22-23. Available: archive/2010teacher_tech_overload.pdf

Stevens, Vance. (2009). Modeling Social Media in Groups, Communities, and Networks. TESL-EJ, Volume 13, Number 3:

Stevens, V. (2004). The Skill of Communication: Technology brought to bear on the art of language learning. TESL-EJ 7, 4 (On the Internet).
Swier, R. (2014). Tasks for easily modifiable virtual environments. JALT CALL Journal 10 (3): 207-223. Available:
Warlick, D. (2010). Are they students or are they learners? 2 cents worth of seeking the Shakabuku. Available:

Doctoral candidates have in the past interviewed me and allowed me to post the interview at my blog; for example:
As regards follow up, researchers sometimes make reports to our community as Learning2gether events as well; for example … 



Earlier events

Fri Apr 20 1230 UTC Sheila Adams hosts her annual 7th grade webcast for Earth Day – lasts 4 hours


Mon Apr 23 1700 EDT Norma Underwood – Building Skills in Second Life – VSTE VE PLN Meeting

K4Sons writes:

Let’s build a bird house! Norma Underwood is going to lead us through the steps to make this cute little birdhouse Monday, April 23 at 5 PM SLT (8 PM EDT). You will get to practice many building skills that can help you with projects of your own! Please join us!

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


Sat Apr 28 Matt Miller on Classroom 2.0: 10 things to ditch in education and what to do instead

Saturday, April 28, 2018
“10 Things to Ditch in Education (and what to do instead)”
If you’re looking for inspiration coupled with practical tips and great insights, look no further than our fantastic presenter, Matt Miller! I know all of us at one time or another have wished that we could “ditch” some of the things we are expected to do but we’re not quite sure what to do instead. In today’s presentation Matt is offering us a lifeline with “10 Things to Ditch in Education (and What to do Instead)” Matt is always inspirational, passionate, humorous and filled with emotion about his desire to making learning the best it can be for students everywhere, and we are thrilled to welcome him back on Classroom 2.0 LIVE!!Webinar Description!
“10 Things to Ditch in Education (and what to do instead)” The world is changing, and education is changing with it … very quickly in some ways and very slowly in others. When we aren’t getting the results from “what we’ve always done” anymore, it’s time to change. In this webinar, we will talk about several things you might consider “ditching” — for a lesson, a week or the rest of your career. You’ll come away with practical ideas to use in class tomorrow AND some great opportunities and resources. Don’t miss it!Matt Miller is a teacher, blogger and presenter from West Central Indiana. He has infused technology and innovative teaching methods in his classes for more than 10 years. He is the author of the book Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom and writes at the Ditch That Textbook blog about using technology and creative ideas in teaching. He is a Google Certified Innovator, Bammy! Top to Watch in 2016, and winner of the WTHI-TV Golden Apple Award. Onalytica named him one of the top 10 influencers in educational technology and elearning worldwide. After trying to do the traditional “teach by the textbook” for a few years, he launched into a textbook-less path where learning activities were often custom-produced for his students as well as infused with technology. He likes the results a lot, and his students do, too.Matt has presented to thousands of teachers at dozens of workshops on a number of topics related to educational technology, world language instruction and more. He combines a conversational, engaging speaking style with loads of resources, leaving teachers equipped and inspired to move forward.

Remember to follow us on Twitter: #liveclass20

On the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! site ( you’ll find the recordings and Livebinder from our recent “Jennifer Regruth, Featured Teacher” session presented by Jennifer Regruth. Click on the Archives and Resources tab.

Visit Classroom 2.0 at:



Sheila Adams hosts yet another annual 7th grade webcast for Earth Day from Rye New Hampshire

Learning2gether Episode 391

The 7th graders in Sheila Adams classes in Rye, New Hampshire (USA) always do a live webcast for Earth Day. This year they presented on Friday, April 20, from 8:30 am EDT to roughly 12:30 pm EDT (maybe longer). The webcast was streamed in segments and subsequently archived at:

They invited anyone to join them at any time and please say hi in the chatroom!  You can still go to the chatroom and say hi:


Sheila set up a Flipgrid for anyone to leave a video message to play during the day or after the fact:

Peggy George liked my tweet 🙂 2018-04-21_1629earthdaytweet

Sheila contributed to an article she and her colleagues put together about teachers networking themselves and their students over Earth Day projects coalescing around Earthbridges and the Worldbridges network.

Last year I contributed a view of the world’s oceans from under water, which can still be seen in the archives available at at

Announcements were made

on Facebook

On Google+ Communities


Earlier events

Tue April 10 IATEFL Brighton 2018 begins streaming live presentations – through April 13

And now for something completely different: IATEFL Webcasting from 2011 through Brighton 2018

Learning2gether Episode 390

Though Learning2gether had nothing to do with its presentation or organization, Learning2gether monitored the IATEFL conference via its live feed when it opened in Brighton shortly after the conclusion of the annual TESOL conference, this year in Chicago. Learning2gether announced the event at its wiki, IATEFL Brighton 2018 streams live presentations – April 10 through April 13 (in its upcoming events at

IATEFL has embraced sharing its most recent conferences by streaming many of its plenaries and concurrent sessions live since 2011, and archiving them for anyone to view, online without having to be an IATEFL member. Previously the archives were left online temporarily or more permanently to paid members, but recently they started webcasting most of the conference and left the archive up online, free for anyone with the link, and they appear to have gone back and done the same with the entire archive.


The 2018 IATEFL in Brighton was similarly archived. To replay it, simply visit

I found the previous archives simply by substituting years in the URL. I went back to 2010 before I got no hits.  Just click on a session, and play its recording (for free, no need to log in):

Here is my view Apr 19, 2018 of the website with plenaries and “several sessions” available for viewing online, for free, by anyone with the link


These presentations cover a wide spectrum of pedagogical issues in teaching in foreign language contexts, whereas the TESOL CALL-IS webcasts (see previous post in this blog) focus on technology in language teaching.

In contrast, as noted at the end of my last year’s blog post on the 2017 IATEFL conference,, TESOL records many of its presentations and offers them for sale. The link given at the end of that post,, still works, and offers recordings of selected sessions from TESOL 2018 for $149 US dollars.


In April 2016, after enjoying sessions from the 2016 IATEFL conference online that year, I posted in my blog my answer to the question, Can a paradigm shift in conference business models reverse declining attendance at face to face conferences?

Ostensibly, the post was triggered by a question in the 2016 TESOL conference attendee survey: If you have any suggestions or comments regarding how we could improve the convention and/or English Language Expo, please enter them in the box below.

In the box, I duly typed …

You could follow the IATEFL model of webcasting plenary addresses and certain sessions, and sponsor a series of interviews during the event via an online web site updated throughout the event; e.g.

Going IATEFL one better, recordings should all go to a permanent online archive openly accessible to all, not just TESOL members. Counter-intuitively to some, this would not prevent members from attending or paying dues to any significant degree, but through the appreciation of those who could not attend, it would stimulate growth since it would create an aura of rock star English teachers and give non or lapsed members an incentive of great value this day and age to come and join in such a forward-thinking organization, and to attend conferences where they felt they ‘knew’ some of the people they would meet there thanks to their online presence, and would want to connect with them both online and personally.

According to TESOL member stats a quick glance shows a slight decline in membership over the past few years (13,000 down to 11,000 in Jan 2013 thru Jan this year). Perhaps a paradigm shift on the business model is in order.

By creating a conference archive and making it freely available as a gift to the profession, TESOL would benefit from the appreciation of potential members who would want to associate with an organization that was seen be uplifting the profession by sharing openly.

My suggestion was ignored 😦

There’s more at that post, and also at my recap of the 2017 IATEFL conference here:

The link above still shows membership in TESOL over the past decade and more. Pegging on March figures (the last currently available on the site, March 2017) and going backwards to 2003 (the earliest available) we find

in March 2017 12,176 members, and in March of each year …
2016 – 11,421
2015 – 11,978
2014 – 13,064
2013 – 12,355
2012 – 12,681
2011 – 11,957
2010 – 12,109
2009 – 12,782
2008 – 14,027
2007 – 14,301
2006 – 13,683
2005 – 14,241
2004 – 13,582
2003 – 14,806

So we do find a decline in membership numbers over the past decade, and most likely a decline in attendance at TESOL conferences. I have been to most TESOL conferences this century, and into the last as well. Many of my colleagues declined to attend this year, mainly for economic reasons (no funding, registration at the conference can top $500) and though the experience is always worthwhile for me personally, the network is diminishing.

I’m not able to find annual stats for IATEFL, but its web site claims over 4,000 members at present. It would be interesting to see if that is a growing, diminishing, or as with TESOL a fairly steady number over the past decade.

dee968f3b1644d0aae789d7eec75c6c9 (1).jpg
Photo credit:

IATEFL, in contrast to TESOL, is catering to a smaller audience perhaps but producing rock stars.

Here is an example interaction

In this post, Josh Underwood put out on the #IATEFL2018 hash tag an announcement of his poster session,


Graham Stanley picked it up, which is what called my attention to it


And the “poster” itself takes that concept into the next level. View it online here:

It’s a poster that is not only online in static form, but also in a video that shows Josh Underwood presenting what we might have seen him do at the conference, and he shares it here, for free, and for the good of our profession:


And this has to be the shape of blended conferences going forward. My next conference (after WorldCALL in Chile this November) might just be an IATEFL one.




This just in from TESOL, in my email


Scooped It


Vance Stevens’s insight:
This post reflects on a critical difference between two recent major international conferences, IATEFL in Brighton and TESOL in Chicago. I attended both, the one in Chicago, physically in the windy city, and the one in Brighton, virtually. I spent thousands of dollars from my teacher’s salary to attend the former, and nothing to attend the latter. However, the profit may accrue to IATEFL, the one I might be more likely to support on a sustained basis, considering that it’s more in line with a teacher’s desire to share good work without charging those who can ill afford it for every aspect of it (analogous to the mindset driving medical care in America vs that in UK).

Earlier events

Mar 27-30 TESOL Convention Chicago Illinois

Wed Mar 28 1500 UTC Preparing Teachers to Engage Learners with EVO Minecraft MOOC

Wed Mar 28 1530 UTC Best of EVO online event from TESOL Chicago

Tue Apr 10 0030 UTC – VSTE VE PLN meeting on lesson ideas for using Minecraft in school settings

Our next VSTE VE PLN meeting is in Minecraft! You are receiving this email because you are whitelisted in VSTE Place, the Virginia Society for Technology in Education’s Minecraft server. Please let me know if you wish to be removed. It is not my intention to spam you.

On April 9th we will tour lesson ideas for using Minecraft in school settings. Please build, between NOW and 8:30 PM on April 9th something you would have your students build. My suggestion is something the curriculum has as a diagram that students could instead build in 3D in Minecraft. ​

Here is what I (Vance) found when I went there:


There are building spaces set up for you at /warp schoolwork already. (Just type that into chat and you will get there.) If you need more space add it nearby. Please post signs that give your Minecraft name, project name, and grade level. Feel free to build more than one project.

We will leave this up as an exhibit for teachers new to Minecraft.

Tue April 10 1100 UTC – Globinar with John Traxler – Digital literacy and mobile learning wrt migrant education

Date: Oct 10, 2018 13.00h – 13.45h CEST

Access Link:

You won’t have to enroll, but there won’t be certificates either.

I’ll insist nevertheless on participants entering their FULL names (first name PLUS last name).

This presentation is made possible by Ton Koenraad (TELLConsult – Technology Enhanced LifeLong Learning, ) in an attempt to open Prof Traxler’s content to a larger audience,

Have a look at our full webinar schedule here:

or alternatively at:


E4.512-3978: StudentQuiz – Putting students into the Moodle driver’s seat


Frank Koch / Host: Mary Cooch

Access Link :

E4.512-3778 : Free audiovisual web tools for teaching

24. 05. 2018 | 19:00h – 20:30h CET

Zoé Gallou & Theodora Gkeniou

Acces link:

E4.512-4378: Moodlebox for teachers

19.06.2018 | 19:00h – 20:30h CEST

Nicolas Martignoni & Mélanie Auriel

Access link:


Learning2gether with CALL IS Webcasting from TESOL Chicago, 2018

Learning2gether Episode 389

Vance Stevens was with colleagues on the CALL-IS Webcasting Team from Tuesday, March 27 through Friday March 30 helping the team mount webcasts from the international 2018 TESOL Conference in Chicago.

I (Vance) posted two Learning2gether events from the most recent TESOL conference in Chicago in which I myself took part:

The first webcast was mounted by the presenters themselves, whereas the latter was a part of the CALL-IS schedule that was placed in convention bags for all who attended the conference, also available online at

CALL-IS announced that its webcasting team would be webcasting selected presentations from TESOL 2018 in Chicago according to the schedule here:


To do our webcasting, the CALL-IS Webcasting team used, for the second year in a row, Open Broadcasting Software. This technique was the brainchild of last year’s CALL-IS webcasting coordinator Abe Reshad, who trained the rest of us in use of the software and set up a number of YouTube channels for us.

We used three of these channels this year.

CALL IS: Technology Showcase

CALL IS: Electronic Village

CALL IS: Webcasting Team

This year the webcasting team was coordinated by Jennifer Meyer who went in the course of a little over a year from rank newbie to train herself in skills sufficient to competently lead the team at the conference this year.

We documented our learning journeys through these developments in a short history of CALL-IS webcasting over the years, and in an abbreviated report published in the CALL-IS newsletter.

In addition, I made the following presentations and blog posts last year in conjunction with developing my own understanding of this new technique:

Jennifer Meyer drives OBS while Vance Stevens monitors the stream and text chat at the Technology Fair webcasting “studio booth”picture by Juan Soto

I took on the job as sole roving reporter for the team at the conference this year. Mentored in this by James May, I used the Chameleon 3rd party app last year to make a few videos on my iPad, spontaneously shot as I moved around the Electronic Village, pointed my iPad, and pressed record. I tested the same app on Tuesday while we were setting up the room the evening before going live the following day, and uploaded this video to our Webcasting team channel:

Later James explained to me that this function was now taken over directly through YouTube/Live, so working through the YouTube app, I made the following videos from events taking place in the Electronic Village.

Roving reporter webcasts from the CALL-IS Electronic Village

These videos were streamed using Cameleon Live, When checked on Oct 8, 2018 the videos were found linked on YouTube but appearing like you see below, so I have de-linked them from here. But try, they could bounce back:



Christel Brodie surveys her audience from the podium at the Education Standard 2e, Teacher Training, Technology, Apps, and Digital Resources panel presentation. Christel’s presentation was interrupted several times by PA from a raffle being conducted elsewhere in the Exhibition Hall. In fairness, the rafflers turned down the volume when we reached them and explained the situation, but webcasting from such a space posed challenges for discerning audiophiles. – picture by Vance Stevens

Heather Benucci and Ellen Dougherty webcast Christel’s presentation, controlling the OBS Studio software and monitoring stream health, respectively. You can see how OBS allows you to queue scenes on the left side of the studio panel, where you can make manipulations and adjustments to them, while streaming what’s on the right. The queued view can be transitioned to the stream (with a variety of effects) at the press of a button between the panels. – picture by Vance Stevens

Webcasting Team output from the CALL-IS Technology Fair

As the webcasting happened over the three days of the conference, March 28-30, I updated the wiki at with the YouTube URLs as they happened.

Here are the webcasts made by the team in the CALL Technology Fair over the course of these three days

Wednesday March 28

Webcasting team member Ellen Dougherty’s post to Facebook captured a standing room audience for the Mobile Apps for Education panel, as presenters demonstrated the calming effects of their Mindfulness app

Thursday March 29

vance_heather_webcasting_croppedWebcasting team members Heather Benucci, Vance Stevens, and James May (back to camera) project Rick Rosenberg’s presentation in the OER panel to the world at largepicture by Juan Soto

Friday March 30


Regarding the latter video, it was flagged for copyright violation by Volkswagen and taken down. If we can recover the video (do we have access to it ourselves?) we might remove the offending material and try re-uploading it.

Reactions and Reflections


Webcasts from TESOL Chicago, March 2018

The CALL-IS (computer-assisted language learning interest section) in TESOL has been webcasting informally from TESOL conferences since the turn of the century, but the initiative is almost becoming institutionalized now. Normally CALL-IS is given a presentation room at each conference to set up as it likes with webcasting equipment, but at this past conference in Chicago the webcasting was done from an area in the Exhibition Hall at the conference, openly, in other words.

Last word

James May produces the definitive CALL-IS Technology Fair view


Check out the panoramic view, very cool:

Just getting started with Video is Making it a SMALL world. Come learn more about how to use video with your students #tesol18 #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA


TESOL does not promote the existence of CALL-IS webcasts on its TESOL Inc. website. In order to find them you have to (know to) visit a wiki maintained by the webcast team in CALL-IS,

Whereas CALL-IS in TESOL make a valiant effort to stream a portion of the conference out to live audiences, IATEFL does a truly impressive job. And it’s officially promoted by the conference organizers and The British Council.

See the next episode in this podcast series for more information on IATEFL’s approach to sharing its conferences with the world and profession at large:

Scooped It!

Vance Stevens’s insight:
At, I note that TESOL, Inc. archives its conference recordings behind paywalls; whereas IATEFL freely shares its archives worldwide. However, the CALL Interest Section in TESOL has been webcasting under the radar from TESOL conferences since 2002, and at its 2018 conference, even more openly than before, from its booth in the conference Exhibition Hall. This post provides some background to this and links to video recordings of all presentions webcast from the CALL-IS Technology Fair and from the Electronic Village in the Exhibition Hall at TESOL 2018, Chicago.


TESOL 2018 Chicago: Preparing Teachers to Engage Learners with EVO Minecraft MOOC

Learning2gether episode #387

Preparing Teachers to Engage Learners with EVO Minecraft MOOC was given as an on-site and online demonstration at a CALL-IS Electronic Village Technology Fair event on Wed, 28 March, 10am CDT (1500 UTC) at the annual TESOL conference in Chicago, 2018

Vance Stevens and Jane Chien, both live on-site in Chicago
Aaron Schwartz and Jeff Kuhn, supporting online from Ohio University, USA
Heike Philp, streaming from Belgium

Summary of the presentation, in the program book

Join EVO Minecraft MOOC teachers, in their 4th year as a community of practice, live in Chicago or online in Minecraft. Experience EV participants interacting with community members, controlling avatars in Minecraft, and learning how Minecraft enables language learning. Have your questions answered; even join the community if you wish.

Abstract of the presentation

EVO Minecraft MOOC has been a TESOL Electronic Village Online session since its inception in 2015. Having just completed its 4th consecutive year as a viable and expanding EVO community of practice, co-moderators and participants in EVOMC18 will meet physically on-site in Chicago and online in Minecraft to convey an impression of what this community looks and feels like when it assembles virtually in-world. Participants can interact with live and online moderators and participants to learn how Minecraft enables language learning, have their questions answered, control an avatar in Minecraft, or even join the community if they wish.

How to find this in the CALL-IS Electronic Village events program book,

  • Where it says “Click on a session to show the schedule for that particular session”
  • Under Wednesday, March 28, 2018, click on Technology Fair: Self-Access 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM Electronic Village (Exhibition Hall – Booth 491)

And this is what you should see:

Vance prepared a Smore flyer to be used as a handout at the event
replicated here as a series of screenshots


This handout is online at
You can download the Pdf of the Smore handout here:

From that I prepared a version in Word for the TESOL 2018 Chicago:
The Word version gave me for more control over formatting, and a pdf of this Word handout was uploaded to our listing in the TESOL 2018 convention app at

The QR code in the handout was meant to take live participants at our session to the Google Docs collaborative space used by the four presenters, which we made public and touted as our “extended” handout:

This blog post is derived from the state of that document on April 1, 2018

Heike Philp streamed us live on Adobe Connect

We are very grateful to Heike Philp for offering to stream our event on Adobe Connect from where she is in Brussels. To do this she entered Minecraft and followed us around in world while we shared our screen from the conference in Chicago. Normally we use Discord when we meet in Minecraft, but for this event we spoke to each other in Adobe Connect.

Heike announced the stream of our event on Twitter



Announcements were also made …
on Facebook

and on Google+ Communities

Quick Links to EVO Minecraft MOOC session documents

Here is an archived view of our dynamic map as it was at one point during EVOMC18


Recordings and photos

Adobe Connect Recording – Heike got this 40 min Adobe Connect recording

Jane took a lot of photos


After the presentation in the Electronic Village, Jane and Vance ran over to the CALL-IS Technology Fair where we presented on EVOMC18 in the Best of EVO session being webcast from there. There’s more information on that here:,

And here’s a shot of us doing that at the podium


Publications about EVO Minecraft MOOC

Kuhn, J. and Stevens, V. (2017). Participatory culture as professional development: Preparing teachers to use Minecraft in the classroom. TESOL Journal 8, 4:753–767. and

Stevens, V. (2017). Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC. In Zoghbor, W., Coombe, C., Al Alami, S. & Abu-Rmaileh, S. (Eds.). Language Culture Communication: Transformations in Intercultural Contexts. The Proceedings of the 22nd TESOL Arabia Conference. Dubai: TESOL Arabia. Pages 75-92. Available:

Dodgson, D. (2017). Digging deeper: Learning and re-learning with student and teacher Minecraft communities. TESL-EJ, Volume 20, Number 4, Available: Also available at:; pp. 1-12 in pdf.

Kuhn, J. (2015). Meaningful Play – Making Professional Development Fun. TESL-EJ, Volume 18, Number 4, Available: Also available at:; pp. 1-8 in pdf.

Smolčec, M., Smolčec, F. and Stevens, V. (2014). Using Minecraft for Learning English. TESL-EJ 18, 2. Available:, pp. 1-15 in

Presentations on EVO Minecraft MOOC

Presentations made in the course of conducting the Electronic Village Online EVO Minecraft MOOC January 14 through Feb 18, 2018

June 22, 2017 – Vance and Bobbi Stevens, Domagoj and Marijana Smolčec, Dakota Redstone, Maha Abdelmoneim, and Mircea Patrascu present EVO Minecraft MOOC at the Second Life MOOC 2017 online conference

May 5, 2017 – Dave Dodgson, Jeff Kuhn, Vance Stevens, and other moderators of EVO Minecraft MOOC present at the 9th Virtual Round Table Web Conference, hosted by Heike Philp

The following online presentations were made in the course of conducting the Electronic Village Online EVO Minecraft MOOC January 8 through Feb 12, 2017

Apr 24, 2016 Vance presented “Minecraft and the gamification of teacher and student learning” at the SLMOOC16 annual online conference, which served as Learning2gether Episode 330,

Apr 17, 2016 Mircea Patrascu, Rose Bard, and Vance Stevens addressed online one of the IATEFL YLT SIG Bi-Monthly Webinars to discuss EVO Minecraft MOOC, Learning2gether Episode 329,

March 10, 2016 – Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC presented by Vance Stevens at TESOL Arabia 2016 in Dubai,

Feb 21, 2016, “How effective is gamification for learners?” Question answered online by Vance Stevens For EFLtalks Answers 10×10 Sunday; Learning2gether Episode #319×10/;

Feb 7, 2016 – Vance Stevens presented at the Connecting Online Conference on “EVO MineCraft MOOC and Gamification of Teacher Professional Development”

Feb 3, 2016 – Vance Stevens presented on “Learning2gether with EVO Minecraft MOOC and Gamification of Teacher Professional Development” online to theTechno-CLIL EVO (Electronic Village Online) session. The presentation used an early rendition of this slide show:

Nov 15, 2015 – Bron Stuckey and Vance Stevens with Filip and Marijana Smolčec presented on Learning2gether meets Moodle MOOC 7, EVO, and gamification in TPD at the 8th annual SLanguages Conference online

July 6, 2015 – Vance Stevens presented a short paper on-site at the XVII CALL Research Conference entitled Minecraft as a model for gamification in teacher training, about what we have learned so far from EVO Minecraft MOOC about the gamification of professional development, how learning the game of Minecraft (ultimately while trying to stay alive in Minecraft) can inform educators on how professional development can be structured in a more meaningful sense than that which many of us often encounter. Here are the links documenting this:


CALL-IS gave out certificates this year


Here is Jane’s:


This was unexpected 🙂


Keep those cards and letters coming, folks 🙂

And there’s s’more fluff from Smore, only 999,968 views away from going viral now 🙂


Hyperlinks to specific areas of our presentation

These links take you to the corresponding spaces in the expanded handout document we presented at the conference:



Smore flyer

More online/social spaces where this event is being tracked and announced

Quick Links to EVO Minecraft MOOC session documents

Recordings and photos

Adobe Connect Recording

Jane’s pictures

Publications about EVO Minecraft MOOC

Presentations on EVO Minecraft MOOC


Earlier events

Tue March 20 1400 UTC PhD candidate Filipo Lubua intereviews Vance Stevens about CALL academic entrepreneurialism

Sat March 23 The Global Leadership Summit – Streaming Live from Boston

We’re in Boston today for the third annual Global Leadership Summit, hosted by ASCD and GlobalEd Events. We invite you to join us for portions of our day through a livestream broadcast on Facedbook at (click on “videos” to the left or refresh if you’re not seeing the live video).We will be streaming those parts of the program that are in bold in the agenda below. To see the speaker details, you can go HERE.

Agenda (US – Eastern Daylight Time)

8:00 – Coffee and sign-in
8:30 – Welcome
8:45 – Opening Keynote: Entryways to Global Education: Local Solutions for Going Global 
9:30 – Panel 1: Global Education Advocacy and Implementation Success Stories: Learning from Trailblazing Leaders
10:30 – Break
10:45 – Panel 2: Debating Global Education Barriers and Solutions: Expert Insights from Leaders in the Field
11:45 – Panel Debrief
12:00 – Lunch (provided)
12:30 – Ignite Talks
1:00 – Roundtable Workshops 1
1:45 – Roundtable Workshops 2
2:30 – Closing Discussion: Taking Ideas to Action 
3:30 – End of Event

About the Summit

Looking for innovative and effective ways to lead classroom, school, or district initiatives that prepare all students to thrive in college, careers, and as citizens in our diverse, globally-connected world? The day-long Global Leadership Summit, co-hosted by ASCD and the Global Education Conference Network, will convene classroom teachers, school and district administrators, and thought leaders to provide participants the unique opportunity to:

  • Develop the capacity to lead classrooms and educational systems that teach students empathy, valuing diverse perspectives, cross-cultural communication and collaboration skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving around real-world issues.
  • Network with innovative and inspiring teachers, principals, district leaders, thought leaders, and NGOs committed to educating students for a diverse, global society.
  • Receive resources and generate new ideas that can help you make immediate changes in your educational context.
  • Share best programs and practices in advocating for and implementing global learning initiatives with educators around the country and the world.
  • Find out how you can get involved with and utilize ASCD’s global engagement resources.
This professional learning event includes thought-provoking practitioner and expert panelists, inspiring ignite talks, and hands-on roundtable discussions that will provide practical tools, strategies, and ideas that you can immediately implement in your school, district, or organization. Lunch is included.
The Global Leadership Summit is a pre-conference special event at ASCD’s Empower18: The Conference for Every Educator and part of the Global Education Conference Network’s third annual Global Leadership Week.

Sat Mar 24 12pm EST Paula Fehlinger on Classroom 2.0 – Going Global in the Classroom with your Students

Saturday, March 24, 2018
“March Featured Teacher: Going Global in the Classroom with your Students”
Presented by Paula FehlingerOver the years, we have had presentations by many excellent educators who have shared their strategies and examples of global connection and collaboration with their students. In order to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world, young people need to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to engage in lifelong, cross-cultural learning and collaboration. More than ever, young people need the 21st-century skills for global competency, digital literacy, critical thinking and global collaboration among international peers. According to Anne Mirtschin, “Student’s believe that they can solve the problems of the world. If we help them to develop a global network and teach them how to collaborate then they may well do so!” We are really excited to have Paula Fehlinger as our March Featured Teacher who will be sharing her stories, experiences and teaching tools for helping her students to connect globally.Webinar Description:
Ready to break down the walls of your classroom and go global? Help students make real world connections to expand their world of learning. Learn how to use Twitter and Skype to make contacts and to participate in The Global Read Aloud, The Global Math Task Twitter Challenge and Mystery Skype Challenges on your schedule and at your own pace.Paula Fehlinger has been with the East Penn School District for 19 years and has taught both first and second grades at Wescosville Elementary School. She received her teaching certificate from Moravian College and earned Masters Degrees in Classroom Technology, Instructional Technology and Instructional Media from Wilkes University. Paula is a Keystone Technology Innovator Star 2016. She is currently working on becoming a Google Certified Educator. Paula is the second-grade level district leader at East Penn and serves on several committees within the district to support grading and curriculum initiatives. She also leads and teaches several PD courses in the district. Recently, Paula presented a session about taking her classroom global at the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference in Hershey, PA. When she is not teaching, Paula enjoys cheering on her two sons, Colin and Carter, at their sporting and middle school events.Remember to follow us on Twitter: #liveclass20More information and session details are at If you’re new to the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! show you might want to spend a few minutes viewing the screencast on the homepage to learn how we use Blackboard Collaborate, and navigate the site. Each show begins at 12pm EST (Time Zone Conversion) and may be accessed in Blackboard Collaborate directly using the following Classroom 2.0 LIVE! link at All webinars are closed captioned.On the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! site ( you’ll find the recordings and Livebinder from our recent “CREATE not just CONSUME: ENGAGING Strategies to Demonstrate Learning” session presented by Meredith Akers. Click on the Archives and Resources tab.

Visit Classroom 2.0 at:


The Best of EVO at TESOL, Chicago, 2018

Learning2gether Episode 388

Download mp3

The Best of EVO, Electronic Village Online


Vance Stevens was asked by the CALL-IS Electronic Village organizing committee for TESOL Chicago to organize a “Best of EVO” event, scheduled March 28, 2018 from 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM CST at the CALL-IS Technology Fair space in the Exhibition Hall of the conference. The idea was to ask anyone involved in Electronic Village Online who might be at the conference to be a part of the presentation, one of a series that would be webcast live from the on-site conference. A call for participation was issued to EVO moderators and participants asking who might want to join us in Chicago, but the call was answered only by Martha Ramirez, whom Vance asked to help co-organize the event in case he could himself not be there.

Shifting to first person now: Since only two of us had come forward to fill the hour and 50 minutes allocated to the event, I took the initiative to open the call to online presenters. Since the plan was to webcast the event FROM the conference in Chicago, it seemed almost seamless to bring presenters from a distance TO Chicago over the same bandwidth we would be streaming out on. This way we netted several additional presenters to commit to joining us online from wherever they would be at the time of our presentation in Chicago. These were: Nellie Deutsch, Carrie Terry, Maha Hassan, Daniela Martino, and Mbarek Akaddar. The program was further rounded out by Diana Salazar, co-moderator of the Flipped Learning EVO session, who accompanied Martha Ramirez from Colombia, and Jane Chien who presented live with Vance on EVO Minecraft MOOC at an event which actually overlapped with the start of this one, so she was available to join the on-site presentation team.

Recorded on YouTube:

Where online? In Zoom, link to be provided on the day. So that we could avoid the 30 minute limitation on the free version, Jonah Moos created an event under his account at Zoom and left it running for the duration of our presentation.

What? The following was proposed as a description of the event:

Coordinators, moderators, and participants in Electronic Village Online speak about their sessions and about how EVO functions. Moderators will overview their sessions, and participants are invited to describe their experiences as members of the EVO online community. Panelists will explain how to become involved as moderators or participants next year.

The handout prepared for the live presentation is at

The live and online presenters collaborated in a Google Doc space and came up with the following program. This blog post is derived largely from that document. The links below will take you back to that document, the content from which was copied here on April 2, 2018.

Presentation details

Live on-site presentations

Online presentations

Presentation details

This presentation was listed in the CALL-IS schedule, distributed in convention bags at registration, and available online here:


Where it says “Click on a session to show the schedule for that particular session”

Under Wednesday, March 28, 2018, click on

The Electronic Village Online (EVO): Best of 2018 – 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM – Technology Showcase (Exhibition Hall – Booth 540)


Live on-site presentations

10:00 to 10:45 – Martha Ramirez introduced the event with a Welcome to the Best of EVO

Martha Ramirez will open this symposium and explain how we will handle its mixture of on-site and online presenters. She can briefly overview how the Electronic Village Online bridges the work of the Electronic Village between on-site TESOL conferences.


10:45 to 11:00 – Martha Ramirez and Diana Salazar: Flipped Learning in Language Teaching: Highlights and reflections

This presentation highlights the five-week online workshop is designed for both those new to flipped learning and those who are already flipping their classes. Participants practiced with various video creation tools, gained skills in curating already existing media, and learned how to effectively incorporate these resources into their teaching practices.

Martha’s blog post on Flipped Learning:

Martha Ramirez, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia (

Martha Ramirez has an MA in Education from the Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) with an emphasis on Bilingualism and Technology. She is currently an English professor at the same university and is an independent academic consultant. Her main research interests include pronunciation pedagogy, flipped learning, and the use of ICTs in ELT. Martha is involved in a number of flipped learning projects which include moderating the flipped learning EVO session, being a Master Teacher for Flipped Learning Global Initiative – FLGI, teaching a Flipped learning MA course, and participating as an expert in Flipped Learning Certification Level II and Differentiation Specialist FLGI courses.

Diana Salazar, Saint Matthew School, Colombia (

Diana K. Salazar works as the Head of the Foreign Language Department at Saint Matthew School in Bogota and also teaches at the Language Center from Sergio Arboleda University. She has been teaching for 10 years, implementing elements from different teaching paradigms and methods. Her areas of research in Applied Linguistics are identity and teacher education. With Flipping, she is currently at a padawan status, but hopes to keep on sharing her experiences to the teaching community and grow stronger with the flipping force.

11:00 to 11:15 –  Vance Stevens and Jane Chien presented Four Years of EVO Minecraft MOOC


EVO Minecraft MOOC is for interested teachers to join in playing Minecraft in order to learn from each other about how Minecraft is being used for language learning.  In the process we learn about gamification as we experience a unique participatory culture. This presentation discusses EVO Minecraft MOOC, which has been an EVO session for the last four years, in the context of the Electronic Village Online from its beginnings in 2001 to the current year.

Relevant links


Vance Stevens and Jane Chien came along hurriedly after finishing their presentation on Minecraft in the Electronic Village. You can find out more about that presentation here:


Vance Stevens, HCT / CERT / KBZAC, Al AIn, UAE,

Vance works as EFL English Faculty at the air college in Al Ain, UAE. His online work includes founder of Webheads in Action, On the Internet editor for TESL-EJ, a podcast series Learning2gether with apprx. 390 episodes, and since 2002 one of the coordinators of TESOL CALL-IS Electronic Village Online. Vance has passed his 4th year as founder / coordinator  / co-moderator of EVO Minecraft MOOC.

Jane Chien, has taught pre-service EFL teachers for 12 years and is an assistant professor at the National Taipei University of Education. She is currently a visiting scholar at University of Central Florida, Orlando. She advocates that learners’ agency in Minecraft promotes English language learning.

CALL-IS gave out certificates this year. Here’s mine:


Jane also got a certificate


Online presentations

11:15 to 11:25 – Carrie Terry: Observations as both Moderator and Participant on Teaching Pronunciation Differently


This session highlights the experiences of the presenter as a moderator and a participant in the EVO session about teaching pronunciation. The session focuses on the ‘Articulatory Approach’, which teaches students what to do with their mouths to sound right.

Download the PowerPoint

Carrie Terry is PT Lecturer in EFL at Warwickshire College, UK, and Director of Clear Pronunciation ( She has been a moderator (2017 and 2018) and participant (2015 and 2016) on Teaching Pronunciation Differently.  

11:25 to 11:35 – Maha Hassan: Are You a Fair Tester?


Are you responsible for setting monthly and annual exams? Does this cause you a lot of stress? What tools do you use to help you? Join us to find out about successful and practical online and offline tools that can ease your mission!! This session highlights the EVO 2018 session designed for those responsible for setting monthly and annual exams. Participants in this session learned online and offline tools that can help them and alleviate the stress of managing testing.

Relevant links



Maha Hassan, Arab Academy for Training Technology,

Maha is a Teacher Trainer, founder of Teaching ESL Hub and Head of English Arab Academy for Training Technology. She has presented at International Conferences and has had a number of articles published as well. She blogs on

11:35 to 11:45 – Nellie Deutsch: Teaching as a Way to Learn


Nellie Deutsch will highlight how screencast-o-matic and PoodLL engage teachers in peer teaching and learning by teaching. The presenter will discuss her experiences in moderating two EVO sessions, Moodle for Teachers for the past 6 years and Teaching EFL to Young Learners for the past 4 years.

Relevant links

Nellie Deutsch, University of Phoenix

Nellie Deutsch (Ed.D) is a Canadian education technologist, curriculum and instruction developer, blended learning practitioner, relationship-based mentor, researcher, writer, speaker, and online community builder. She combines technology with mindfulness, the Alexander technique, and the Silva Method. She has been teaching English as a foreign language in high school and higher education face-to-face for over 35 years and teacher professional development online for over 20. She speaks at online and face-to-face conferences and organizes annual informal MOOCs (Moodle and Virtual World), online conferences (Connecting Online and Moodle Moot Virtual Conference), and gives free online courses and webinars at Moodle for Teachers and MMVC. Nellie joined the Webheads in 2004 and EVO in 2005. She had the honour of leading the coordination team in EVO18.  For more information on Nellie’s extensive credentials, click here.

11:45 to 11:55 – Daniela Martino: Teaching Listening: Principles, Techniques and Technologies


This session highlights the EVO session about teaching listening, a skill that a lot of teachers find tricky to teach. Participants in this session designed, experimented with, and discussed a range of listening activities informed by research and expanded their knowledge of online resources and tech tools for teaching listening.

Slide presentation:

Daniela L. Martino, Universidad de La Plata – ISFD 97, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Daniela is a teacher of English and Sworn Translator at Universidad de La Plata. She holds a Diploma in Education and ICT and is currently doing an MA in Technology-mediated Learning (Universidad de Córdoba, Argentina). She has been working as an EFL teacher at different levels for twenty years. She has also been an EFL pre and in service teacher trainer, lecturing in Applied Phonetics since 2009. Her research interests include the integration of ICT in teaching programmes, particularly in the teaching of segmental and suprasegmental features of spoken English.

11:55 to 12:05 – Mbarek Akaddar: Online Tools used in  EVO Sessions


This session will highlight some of the many tools used to moderate and participate in the Electronic Village Online sessions.

Relevant links


Mbarek Akaddar, Hassan II High School, Beni Mellal, Morocco

Mbarek has been

  • a teacher of English as a foreign language for thirty years at Hassan II High School
  • EVO Lead coordinator 2016-2017
  • Microsoft Innovative Education Trainer
  • Adobe Education Trainer
  • Certified Flipgrid Ambassador
  • E-Teacher and IEARN Master Teacher

Online/social spaces where this event is being tracked and announced

This event was webcast as described here,

Best of EVO –

YouTube recording:

Find this extended Google Doc handout at

To download the 2-page handout prepared for the conference, visit


Nellie Deutsch posted a pre-conference announcement here


That long link brings you here:

And Vance Stevens announced the event in several locations,

e.g. as Learning2gether episode 388



Other social networks to which Vance posted the above announcement

Announcements were made …

on Facebook

On Google+ Communities


PhD candidate Filipo Lubua intereviews Vance Stevens about CALL academic entrepreneurialism

Learning2gether Episode #386

Download mp3:

On March 20, Filipo Lubua interviewed Vance Stevens about his role as an CALL academic entrepreneur.

Filipo Lubua is a doctoral student in the Instructional Technology program at Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio. Dr. Greg Kessler, one of his dissertation advisors, recommended Vance to Filip as a suitable participant for his research, a study to understand academic entrepreneurial activities related to Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL).
As Filipo sees it, a CALL academic entrepreneur is any faculty, staff or graduate student who has created one or more technological tools or services that aim at providing support for language learning and/or teaching in any level of education. CALL entrepreneurs may not necessarily have established companies or firms for distributing their tools or services, but will have customers or target group of people who benefit from those products or services. In this episode, Filipo talks with Vance about the path he took during entrepreneurial opportunity recognition and exploitation, and the outcomes of that entrepreneurial endeavor.

Where? Google Hangout on Air

Vance’s normal streaming computer was out of commission and I had to use my wife’s Macbook. To record the hangout, I downloaded Screencast-o-Matic for the purpose. It did a great job as far as getting set up was concerned, and I was easily able to record my screen and audio, but the free version recording stopped after 15 minutes. At least it provides a talking head to associate with the audio that Filipo was recording and shared with me.

15 min Recording:

The mp3 of full the full two hour conversation is here

Announcements were made …

on Facebook

On Google+ Communities


Earlier events

Sun March 11 14:00 UTC Learning2gether with Helaine Marshall – International Film Club

March 15-17 VWBPE2018 virtual conference

The Call for Proposals for the VWBPE 2018 Conference is OPEN!

Shalley Minocha presents

Participants tune in to VWPBE events

What scares you, but intrigues you about the new tech trends that are coming, and how can they be used for our purposes?

What exciting potential do you see in Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality? How do we bring them into the classroom, the boardroom, the office, the studio – to push the boundaries of what we do thus far?

The three formats for this year’s conference presentations are Spotlight Presentations, Hands on Technology Workshops, and Compass Points Roundtable Discussions. Proposals for Exhibits and Immersive Experiences are open now as well. We are a community, and everyone has an opportunity to share, whether you are an educator or have another role. VWBPE is not just for teachers!

The deadline for presentation proposals is January 8, 2018. That seems like a long way off, but it will be here before you know it! Your colleagues want to know what you’re working on, and what you’re interested in. You want to know what they are working on – encourage the people you know to send in their proposals!

Sat Mar 17 1200 EST – Meredith Akers on Classroom 2.0 – CREATE not just CONSUME

Saturday, March 17, 2018
“CREATE not just CONSUME: ENGAGING Strategies to Demonstrate Learning”
Presented by Meredith AkersWe are delighted to welcome Meredith Akers as our special guest presenter for this week’s webinar! It is so exciting to be able to feature and learn from an administrator who “walks the talk” with the amazing ways she incorporates and models the use of technology with her teachers!Webinar Description: Let’s get students using tech to not only consume content but to CREATE! Not only does creation get students thinking at much higher levels, it is also much more engaging! Learn cool strategies students will be excited to work on in your classroom from easily creating animated videos to creating voice command choose-your-own-adventure stories to creating your own gifs, memes and many more simple to implement strategies that your students will love!Meredith Akers is a wife, mom, and elementary school administrator who believes that the best way to help others grow is to model expectations through relationship building, staff developments, meetings, hallway interactions, reflection, technology integration and application, and instructional practices. Her daily aspiration is to make a positive impact and to leave those she serves better off for having interacted with her.

Meredith currently serves as Assistant Principal at Ault Elementary in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD outside of Houston, TX. She is a Google Certified Educator Level 1 and 2 and a FlipGrid Certified Educator. Meredith has led numerous professional development sessions on her campus, for her district, at conferences, and as a consultant including book studies, Google apps workshops, and training for school leaders to better utilize tech tools. Meredith is passionate about helping educators connect and grow. She is a co-founder and co-moderator of #CFISDAPchat (every other Thursday at 8:00pm CST) and co-moderator of #TXed (each and every Wednesday night at 8:30pm CST). Join the conversation!

Meredith blogs at about educational leadership, ed tech tools and applications, and great instructional practices. You can connect with Meredith on Twitter by following @Meredith Akers.

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More information and session details are at If you’re new to the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! show you might want to spend a few minutes viewing the screencast on the homepage to learn how we use Blackboard Collaborate, and navigate the site. Each show begins at 12pm EST (Time Zone Conversion) and may be accessed in Blackboard Collaborate directly using the following Classroom 2.0 LIVE! link at All webinars are closed captioned.

On the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! site ( you’ll find the recordings and Livebinder from our recent “Differentiate Instruction with HyperDocs in the Elementary Classroom”” session presented by Joli Boucher. Click on the Archives and Resources tab.

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