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

Learning2gether Episode 517


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

Here is a direct link to the Google meet recording.

and to the YouTube video embedded above:

As usual I prepared documents in advance of my presentation


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



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




Announcements were posted to these Facebook groups

Hashtag #GDGoenka –

Tweeted at


This comment appeared the day following the webinar on the GD Goenka School of Education Facebook page,


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

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

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

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

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


Earlier Events

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

It looks like this

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

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


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

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

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

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

The link brings you here: where you can read

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

Pre-Registration is NOT required for this event.

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

Saturday, May 8 Schedule:

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

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

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

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

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

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

1:45 p.m.-2:00 p.m.        Closing

*This event is sponsored by TESOL International

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

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You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

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

Minecraft Mondays does a Dungeon Run on AZCraft Aster server

Learning2gether Episode 516


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a few obstacles I encountered along the way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Some Facebook reflections


VSTE promotion of the event

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

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

Here’s what was announced: Dungeon Run!!

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

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

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

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

Don’t be late. This is super fun!


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

Notification of this event was posted at this Facebook Group

Earlier Events

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

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

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


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

Episode #56: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Openness

by Curtis Bonk

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent open access publication:

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

Posted by Curtis Bonk | April 24, 2021 at 10:01 am | Categories: Episodes | URL:

Mon 03 May Extensive Reading MOOC with Tom Robb

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

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

Download audio here:

Learning2gether Episode 515


Skip down to the Zoom Chat Logs
Promotion of Blue Ocean webinars, and feedback for this event

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

On Friday, April 30, 2021, Vance Stevens gave a presentation on the importance of learning about blended and hybrid eLearning through engagement in communities of practice


And here is the transcript of this video: 

The following was posted April 30, 2021, on Facebook
What an honour to have an international TESOL expert with over 150 publications in the field !!
Thank you Vance Stevens..

Vance Stevens lives in Penang, Malaysia. Founder/coordinator of Webheads in Action  and, he has produced over 500 podcast episodes since 2010. He has been On the Internet section editor of TESL-EJ since 2002. and has over 150 publications, many available at, dealing with students using computers to learn languages and teachers learning to teach using technology by engaging in communities of practice and in participatory cultures. He has co-coordinated TESOL/CALL-IS Electronic Village Online (EVO) since 2003, and has co-moderated EVO Minecraft MOOC for the past 7 years. He was recently awarded the 2019 CALL Research Conference Lifetime Achievement Award.

You can follow the presentation slides here: 
Results from the Poll Everwhere survey and from the Padlet wall are included in the slides.

It was good to see Mike Kenteris and Benjamin Stewart there.

Mike shared this page in an effort to get into a finer definition of CoPs


Zoom Chat Logs

20:08:34 From Vance Stevens :
20:11:10 From Vance Stevens :
20:17:48 From Mona Zubi : Could we get all the links in the chat please?
20:17:58 From Mr Mike KEDU :
20:18:07 From Mona Zubi : Thank you!
20:18:33 From Sundos Ismail : I can’t have an access to the links
20:19:01 From Blue Ocean : try the one Mona put on FB
20:20:17 From Mona Zubi : You might need a VPN 😊
20:20:52 From Sundos Ismail : Okay… I’ll try thanks
20:28:53 From Benjamin : personal learning network
20:53:28 From Vance Stevens :
21:05:49 From Mr Mike KEDU :
21:09:33 From Benjamin : Thank you Vance for a great talk!
21:10:10 From Benjamin : To be autonomous: build a personal learning network.
21:11:02 From Benjamin : Perhaps those in your PLN are those you work with while others might come from building professional relationships with those outside your workplace.
21:11:20 From Benjamin : A PLN involves setting personal and professional goals.
21:12:26 From Benjamin : Connecting with others and sharing and reflecting on your own teaching and learning practice is key.
21:17:26 From Benjamin : Thanks everyone!


Promotion of Blue Oceans webinars, and Feedback

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

The second international online TESOL conference organized by Blue Ocean Language School in Damascus with many international speakers in the line-up took place in Zoom, hosted by Safwan A. Kadoura 

The conference schedule was posted here (in the comments)



Safwan’s post announcing the event was shared to these Facebook Groups

Here is the Facebook stream of my presentation:

You can attend via the conference Zoom link or choose to watch live on our Facebook page
Recordings are accumulating here: 

Here is

Amany AlKhayat’s presentation on May 3, 2021, on artificial intelligence and integrating ICALL into English language teaching and learning, posted to Facebook here



Earlier Events

Sat 17 April 1400 UTC Vance Stevens Keynote on Virtual Words at Virtual Conferences


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



Wed 28 Apr noon UTC – Claire Bradin Siskin on Demystifying Digital Literacy and Autonomous Learning

The ELC PD Committee at University of Technology and Applied Sciences-Ibri, Oman cordially invites you to join a webinar on Wednesday 28 April 2021 at 04:00 pm Oman Local Time (GMT+4)

Claire Bardin Siskin (USA) will speak on the topic: Demystifying Digital Literacy and Autonomous Learning

The event took place in MS Teams:




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The date of this update is May 10, 2021 06:30 UTC

Vance Stevens Keynote on Virtual Words at Virtual Conferences at VirtuaTeLL Conference TeLL SIG / NYS TESOL

Learning2gether Episode 514


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

Sat 17 April 1400 UTC Vance Stevens Keynote on Virtual Words at Virtual Conferences

I’ve been asked to speak at the VirtuaTeLL conference TeLL SIG at NYS TESOL #vtcon2021.  The conference theme is: Equity, Access, and the Digital Divide: Challenges and Opportunities for Language Learning and Teaching. The event is scheduled for April 17th from 9 am to 7 pm EST virtually.

I was told I was invited to present because “Your EVOs on Minecraft have always been inspiring to many attendees”

Title of my talk
Virtual Words at Virtual Conferences


With the onset of COVID-19 and the continuing need to move both teaching and professional encounters online, novel approaches providing effective ways of doing both are gaining increased attention. One such approach is an exploration of alternative online environments, such as virtual worlds. There was of course considerable work being done in virtual environments long before COVID-19 became a factor, but now it is becoming the norm for conferences once held exclusively face to face to be moved entirely online, as is the case for classroom environments. As should be obvious, development in classroom approaches to remote teaching can be modeled for teachers in virtual conferences, and vice versa as regards virtual classrooms providing models for how virtual conferences might most successfully be run.

One compelling model for virtual classrooms has long been virtual worlds (Stevens, 2008), with large communities of educators having formed in Second Life, Open Sim, and MInecraft involving students in those environments as well. Conferences have often been held in these virtual world spaces; in particular the SLanguages conferences starting in 2007 (Pegrum, 2007Vickers c.2007), the Virtual Round Table conferences with archives going back to 2009,, and Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education with archives extending back to 2010

Taken from these perspectives, this talk takes a look at online versions of major conferences, in particular the TESOL 2021 Virtual Conference just ended, and its parallel track implemented and managed by the CALL-IS Interest Section in TESOL.

The focus of my discussion will be the Virtual Worlds presentations offered in the CALL-IS Electronic Village venues, with presentations and tours in Second Life / Open Sim and Minecraft. This talk will suggest that, apart from how such presentations are aimed at showing language teachers how they might incorporate virtual words into their online or blended teaching,  organizers of major conferences would do well to borrow from what presenters are modeling at their events.

I encourage participants to follow my presentation slides online, and click on the hyperlinks during my presentation

The writeup accompanying this presentation on the day I presented it is here

Meanwhile the writeup has been published as
Stevens, V. (2021). Virtual worlds at virtual conferences. Teaching English as a Second Language Electronic Journal (TESL-EJ), 25(1). Unpaginated HTML version:


See promotion of VirtuaTELL and Feedback

Sat 17 Apr 1300-2300 UTC – VirtuaTeLL conference TeLL SIG at NYS TESOL

#tag vtcon2021

Official schedule

Earlier Events

Fri 16 April 1100 UTC Vance and Bobbi Stevens at VRT Webcon 2021 demo Getting started in Minecraft

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The date of this update is May 14, 2021 07:00 UTC

Vance and Bobbi Stevens demo Getting Started in Minecraft: Surviving and Thriving at the 2021 VRT Webcon

Learning2gether Episode 513


Skip down to the Zoom Chat Logs
Promotion of the VRT Webcon and feedback on this event

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

Fri 16 April 1100 UTC Vance and Bobbi Stevens at VRT Webcon 2021 demo Getting started in Minecraft

Here is the recording:

Getting Started in Minecraft: Surviving and Thriving

This live demo shows where to get Minecraft, how to set it up, and then how to cope with the most daunting moment newcomers to Minecraft will likely face when joining a survival server for the first time: arrival in a strange world without resources, making shelter, crafting tools, surviving the night, and thriving thereafter.

Even on servers with protected spawn points, players may face this challenge when moving into the world beyond. You’ll learn about arrival, survival, and developing strategies for thriving in Minecraft by finding food and wool for a bed to return you to a predictable point after mishap, and keeping materials there to avoid having to restart from scratch. With a successful strategy, the game becomes enjoyably challenging. All you need now is a community where you can scaffold one another into becoming ever more proficient in understanding the depth of this powerful learning platform and how you might apply it to your professional context.

Writeup: This users manual for this presentation is available at

Slides: The associated slides are available through  

Here is the final hand clapping screenshot


After explaining the difference between Java and Bedrock versions of Minecraft, and how to obtain and configure the Java version, I demonstrated in my demo how to arrive in world for the first time, chop trees, make a crafting table, craft a pickaxe, mine cobblestone, make a furnace, create charcoal from a tree log, make torches, complete my shelter, put a door on it, and light the shelter with torches — all in the ten minutes I had to work before nightfall. That left Bobbi Bear and I safe for the night in our secure shelter where we would be just fine until we starved (players have to eat) or gone outside, had an accident, and had to respawn. Respawn means you return to the game, but lose whatever you were carrying before your demise, and you respawn to a random spot somewhere near our original spawn point. But to get control over where we respawned, we could make a bed and put it in the shelter so that we would respawn each time inside the safe shelter.

To make a bed we would need some wool, and until we could find iron and make a set of sheep shears, the quickest way to get wool is to sacrifice a few lambs in the meadows. When you kill them with your sword, they drop wool and meat, and three of them produce enough wool to make a bed, and also leave you a bit of raw lamb meat, which you can cook in the furnace, and eat. So I Bobbi Bear and I went out into the meadows, found a few sheep, and dispatched three of them This raised a hue and cry from the participants, some of whom did not like the idea of taking out a few digital avatars representing sheep just in order to get their wool.

But we were able to craft a bed and put it in the shelter, and when I clicked on it, it became my “bed spawn”. Now we had a strategy; we could accumulate things in a chest we had left the shelter, go outside and mine minerals and accumulate more resources to expand our domain, leave some of these things behind in the shelter, carry just what you need outside, and if something bad happens to you, you end up back inside your shelter, bereft of what you were carrying, but with a chest in the shelter containing whatever you had left there against this eventuality.

Heike asked to be shown what would happen if I got killed, and I agreed to show her. It was night time and I started walking in the darkness. I expected to be caught by a zombie or a skeleton but instead I walked over a trench and ended up in the bottom of it. Unusually, there were no monsters to be found there and I could see no immediate way out (apart from hacking steps up and out, which would have taken time), and no way to commit suicide there, so Bobbi offered to teleport to me and kill me quickly with her sword.


This had the desired effect. I “died” (only temporarily) and respawned back in the shelter where I had created the bed crafted from the three pretend digital sheep we had killed earlier. Heike’s question was answered, but interestingly, there was no hue and cry from the participants this time. The slaughter of three digital sheep was apparently more wrenching than witnessing the slaughter of a digital human. That’s what TV has done to us.

Another interesting thing was that Bobbi was able to retrieve my ‘skull’ after she killed me. Here she has it in her hand and can view it in her inventory (when she mouses over it in her inventory, it tells her that it is the skull of Teacher Vance).




In the last picture she’s thrown it onto the floor where you can see that it indeed looks like me (or like my avatar). I had never seen a player’s skull in Minecraft before. In Minecraft, you learn something new each time you play (but try not to lose your head over it).

This webinar has been mounted as a course on

Zoom Chat Logs

19:11:14 From  Bendaoud Nadif : Hi, professor Stevens

19:11:24 From  Bendaoud Nadif : I am from Morocco

19:11:36 From  BARBARA STEVENS : Hi, welcome

19:11:58 From  Bendaoud Nadif : I attended your session last summer with prof Yamina Elkirat

19:12:12 From  BARBARA STEVENS : Nice

19:12:32 From  Vance Stevens : 

19:19:01 From  Heike Philp : Jane Chien is on the fb livestream and cheers you on

19:19:19 From  BARBARA STEVENS : sweet of her!

19:19:48 From  Zeynab Moosavi : Thank you all for your patience, It is my presentation slide

19:19:51 From  Zeynab Moosavi : 

19:21:14 From  Heike Philp : thank you so much Zeynab, I will add this to the program – is this ok?

19:21:46 From  Zeynab Moosavi : yes of course

19:22:21 From  Vance Stevens : 

19:34:40 From  Heike Philp : wow Vance you are so fast!!!

19:34:50 From  Heike Philp : in only 10min you created all this?

19:34:53 From  Heike Philp : incredible

19:35:29 From  Georgia Maneta : Lots of homework again Heike and attendees!

19:35:52 From  Heike Philp : what Vance is doing in 15min took me 3 weeks!

19:37:09 From  Chris C : I can imagine it would take me 3 months! Could we ask how long it has taken Vance to become this proficient?

19:41:29 From  Heike Philp : haha

19:41:56 From  Heike Philp : this does not give you the right to slaughter them!

19:42:09 From  Heike Philp : I am a vegan in Minecraft

19:43:26 From  Heike Philp : a bed!

19:46:41 From  Heike Philp : haha

19:47:04 From  Andrea Kovács : I remember following my son as he was playing as a teenager with his friends. (almost 8 years ago)! I was very happy ’cause while playing, they were speaking on Skype  about all kinds of serious topics and were collaborating so nicely in building their “dream house”!

19:47:37 From  Georgia Maneta : Videogames DO have advantages Andrea I guess…

19:47:48 From  Heike Philp : ahhh

19:51:05 From  Andrea Kovács : Yes, and they were speaking in English, that was one of the advantages too! I was very happy about it, ’cause he didn’t really liked to speak with me, the teacher!

19:51:12 From  Michael Birch : Vance is invancible.

19:51:30 From  Andrea Kovács : like

19:54:12 From  Georgia Maneta : Yes Andrea! My son managed to speak also in English!

19:55:56 From  Andrea Kovács : WoW! I like the sustainability idea!

19:57:28 From  Heike Philp : brilliant!

19:57:31 From  Zeynab Moosavi : Thank you so much dear Vance, you are amazing…

19:57:53 From  Amal Abdulhaleem Al-Hakimi : Thank you

19:58:06 From  Andrea Kovács : Thank you, it was amazing!

19:59:10 From  Chris C : Thanks very much for this…. really impressive to watch.

19:59:41 From  Heike Philp : Ever so well done – exactly what I was hoping for – a real new user guide

19:59:54 From  BARBARA STEVENS : Glad you all enjoyed it!

19:59:58 From  Minnie : Great, thank you Vance and Barbara!

20:00:15 From  BARBARA STEVENS : You are welcome!

20:05:48 From  Vance Stevens :\ 

20:06:07 From  Chris C : 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

20:06:15 From  Michael Birch : Great stuff Vance and Bobby!

20:06:34 From  Joe McVeigh : Thank you Vance and Bobby ! ! !

20:08:51 From  Vance Stevens : Thanks @joe McVeigh

20:09:28 From  Vance Stevens : Here is the article where Filip’s mother explained how he became fluent through Minecraft 

20:10:30 From  Vance Stevens : Here is the wiki where I explain through 13 video snippets how they relate to the affordances of Minecraft which I mentioned 

20:12:28 From  Adrijana Rozdijevac : Thank you, Vance! 

20:13:36 From  Sana Nasfi : I missed yesterday session unfortunately. Where could I find the recording, please ?

20:14:15 From  Heike Philp : – all of the recordings are mentioned there

More background on this presentation:

Promotion of the VRT Webcon and Feedback

Heike Philp has closed her community NING site and created her new website for VRT:

She invited all to come and join her for a tools festival, app swap party and games con!
Tools, apps and games for language education. We love them!

Tools for teaching and learning a language, for student engagement communication apps for parents, lesson planning software, games, apps for assessment, learning management systems, websites, webservices, professional development qualifications and much more.

Heike did a great job promoting and delivering this conference. She streamed to Facebook via Zoom and simultaneously to YouTube by capturing the stream from Facebook and streaming that out via OBS. As always she crowdsourced her program, added Zoom links, and followed that up with links to presenters’ slides and other materials as well as with YouTube recording links posted right below where there presentations appeared in the program. She placed all of the videos in an amazing resource: the 12th Virtual Round Table 2021 YouTube playlist

She also released some impressive statistics corroborating the impact of her efforts:
1598 participants – 412 in Zoom, plus 824 watching on Facebook, and 591 on YouTube.

Opening networking session screenshot, April 15

Opening networking warmup with April 16

Conference program:


Links to recordings are given in each presentation listing in the program here,

hashtag #vrtwebcon

Heike introduced the EVO Minecraft MOOC presentation by setting up this event on Facebook:

To which we added our postings to these Facebook Groups

And to these

Earlier Events

Fri 9 April 1000-1800 AEST – APACALL free Webinar

Sat 10 April 0700 Peter Omal hosts adobe Indesign free webinar

The time given is Jamaica time, meeting in Zoom

Sat 10 April Nazarbayev University’s Writing Talks series of free webinars

Jane Hoelker was promoting the Nazarbayev University’s Writing Talks free webinars offered starting April 3 at 10:45 AM and ending at 11:30 AM . The time zone is not specified, but here is the info.

NU Writing Talks, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan

Join the free professional development online lectures called Writing Talks hosted by Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. Every Saturday in April a different topic will be discussed by a new Panel from 11:00 to 12:30. (April 3rd begins at 10:45 with Welcome.)

NU Writing Talks | NU WCP Website

The Writing Center Program (WCP) at Nazarbayev University is pleased to announce the first edition of NU Writing Talks, a symposium dedicated to all aspects of academic writing and open to all perspectives on the teaching and learning of writing in English for academic and STEM research purposes. The aim of these webinars is to share experience and resources to support a wide range of learning outcomes and activities, across disciplines and institutions.

Symposium events will take place this coming April  3, 10, 17 and 24.

Recording in English, Russian and Kazakh will be made available after the live session.

Sat 10 April 1300-1500 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

About this intitiative,

Jaz and Thunder are at VSTE Space in Second Life every Saturday morning from 5 am to 7 am Pacific time.

Feel free to come learn more about the VSTE VE PLN there. Follow VSTE on Facebook:

 Below are directions for joining the VSTE VE PLN in Second Life and Minecraft

Basic directions to join VSTE Spaces

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here:

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

Tue 13 Apr 11 am EDT Joe McVeigh and Sandra Story – Faces and Places across the United States

Here is a great opportunity for you (or your students) to practice your English and learn a little bit about the United States. On Tuesday, 13 April at 11:00 a.m. EDT (UTC-4) I will be in conversation with Sandra Story from the U.S. Department of State as part of a series called Faces and Places across the United States.  I’ll be talking about my home state of Vermont and what life is like here. To be sure that the conversation is accessible to intermediate level students, we’ll try to keep the language from getting too complicated.  The conversation will be held live on Facebook at this address:  I hope you can join us! If you’d like to share this opportunity with friends, colleagues, and students. In cast you aren’t free at the time of the live conversation, a recording will be made available on YouTube afterwards.

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is May 21, 2021 12:00 UTC

Vance Stevens’s invited talk on Engaging Teachers and Learners in EVO Minecraft MOOC at APACALL free Webinar

Learning2gether Episode 512


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

Fri 9 April 1000-1800 AEST – APACALL free Webinar

The Zoom recorded video of my presentation can be found on YouTube here

This recording was made in Zoom by APACALL, the Asia-Pacific Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning, at a free Webinar held on Friday, 9 April 2021 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm AEST (time in Brisbane, Australia). The webinar was organized by Jeong-Bae Son, president of APACALL,, who hosted the one-day conference, and webcast it via Zoom.

Here is the program of events

The recordings are in the APACALL Channel below. The presenters of the sessions have kindly agreed to make their presentations available online.

The screenshot below was taken at the start of the conference:

2021-04-09 (2)

Phil Hubbard led us off, followed by Claire Bradin Siskin

2021-04-09 (4)

And then it was my turn

Vance Stevens was invited to talk on Engaging Teachers and Learners in EVO Minecraft MOOC

2021-04-09 (7)

I was asked to be an invited speaker for the webinar. I gave a 30-minute live talk and sat for a few minutes of Q & A afterwards.

Here is my brief  Abstract:

The speaker founded the Electronic Village Online (EVO) Minecraft Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) community of practice in 2015 as a way to help teachers learn Minecraft through collaborative projects with peers. Lately, young learners have become markedly more involved with EVOMC. This talk discusses various ways we engage and learn from our younger community members.

I invited those present to follow these slides during the presentation, with all hyperlinks live:

You can also reach the prose write up at this link:

If you reach one you’ll find a link to the other, in case you forget if the link is apacall2021vance or vance2021apacall

Either will work 🙂

Promotion and Feedback

The following announcement was posted on the Facebook pages indicated below

Just a few hours to go now before the start of the #APACALL free web conference on April 9, starting at the stroke of midnight UTC.

The program at features 3 invited speakers at the start of the day, Phil Hubbard, Claire Bradin Siskin, and Vance Stevens. Vance will talk about engaging teachers and learners through the EVO Minecraft MOOC community. The entire event wraps up at 08:00 UTC with a presentation followed by a panel hosted by webinar organizer, Jong-Bae Son.

This was posted to these Facebook Groups

Earlier Events

Minecraft, Virtual Worlds, and MWIS/CPPLN March 25 at the 2021 Virtual TESOL Conference

EVO Minecraft MOOC and Best of EVO at the 2021 TESOL Virtual Conference March 26-27

Mon 29 March 2300 UTC -VSTE Swap Meet in Second Life


VSTE Swap Meet in Second Life

We will show you how to create a giver box and put in it five things you have to share. If you don’t have anything we can help with that, too. We will each get five fun things from each other and have fun exploring them.

Basic directions to join VSTE Space in Second Life

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here: When you do this your avatar’s “home” is set to be the Rockcliffe University’s sim, bypassing the normal Second Life welcome area.

Download and install Second Life viewer software. You will be directed to download the Second Life viewer but we prefer the Firestorm viewer at Either one will work but Firestorm has some advantages.

When you are ready to join us, while your Second Life viewer (software) is open, click this link to teleport yourself to VSTE Space. Look for an avatar and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest. Someone is there most Saturday mornings from 9 to 11 AM Eastern Time (Same as New York).

Sat 3 April 1300-1500 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

About this intitiative,

Time where you are April 3, 9-11 am EDT, 1300-1500 UTC

Jaz and Thunder are at VSTE Space in Second Life every Saturday morning from 5 am to 7 am Pacific time.

Feel free to come learn more about the VSTE VE PLN there. Follow VSTE on Facebook:

Below are directions for joining the VSTE VE PLN in Second Life and Minecraft

Basic directions to join VSTE Spaces

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here:

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

Sat 03 Apr 1700 UTC – TESOL Career Path Development Professional Learning Network Tea Party

TESOL Career Path Development Professional Learning Network Tea Party. Join us on Saturday, April 3rd, 1 PM ET for an informal chat to share experiences and ideas for our CPD Post-TESOL Convention 2021 Tea. All are welcome. Attend with your favorite cup of tea! No pre-registration required.

Tue 06 April 0100 UTC Minecraft Mondays Visits AZCraft (Part 1)

This takes place on Monday, April 5th  8 PM Eastern time, 5 PM SLT, Midnight  UTC

 2021-02-21_10.44.55 Castle Dungeon.png

We will visit a different Minecraft server that K4 and Jaz have been enjoying.

If everyone likes it maybe we can pursue bringing some of the mobs to VSTE Place: an economy, dungeons, voting for rewards?

What actually happened?

I arrived a little late for this one, and by then the crowd had all moved off to WoW (World of Warcraft)

However., they were planning to meet the following week in AZcraft, so Dakota Redstone offered to take me to the server they would be using and get me set up there. Here are some screenshots from that:

Dakota and Dragoslayer show me their humble abodes:


Dragoslayer mounts a skeleton horse in the corner of one of the builds


Dokotah and Dragoslayer kindly help me lay claim to a parcel of land and establish myself there:

I’ll be back before the next Minecraft Monday, first Monday in May.

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

You must have a computer Minecraft account from to join. There is a one time fee of $26.95.

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. Make sure you have installed and are running version 1.16.5
  3. Choose multiplayer and add a server: Name VSTE Place IP:
  4. Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter.
    Email Kim Harrison at from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name.

VSTE uses its Discord server for voice communication while playing Minecraft

Discord is a voice and screen sharing application that will run on your computer or mobile device.

  1. Download and install it for free.
  2. Create an account. Many of us use the same name for our Discord account as our Minecraft account to keep things simple.
  3. Our channel is

It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is May 7, 2021 07:00 UTC 

EVO Minecraft MOOC and Best of EVO at the 2021 TESOL Virtual Conference March 26-27

Learning2gether Episode 511


Best of EVO March 26-27
Minecraft MOOC at Best of EVO
EVO Minecraft MOOC server tour
Facilitation – CALL-IS EV Tech Tips session
Sat 27 March Facilitated – Intercultural Competence 2021 and TECHNO CLIL 2021
Skip down to the Zoom Chat Logs
See our promotion and feedback for this event

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

Friday March 26

Best of EVO March 26-27

This was a big day for EVO Minecraft MOOC at the TESOL 2021 Virtual Conference. We presented a Best of EVO presentation at 10:30 a.m. EDT followed by a tour of the EVO Minecraft MOOC server at 11 a.m. We had planned the tour to begin with a discussion at first, so at 11 a.m. EDT we just carried on talking. But we were asked to stop there to make a correct break between our Best of EVO session and the server tour, which we had been expected to record in a new video.

The recording here, compiles the EVO Minecraft MOOC best of EVO presentation and the server tour afterwards into one video separate from the CEFR session that preceded ours.

In the EVO Minecraft MOOC Best of EVO and Tour video there was a lively discussion of the benefits of using Minecraft with language learners. I made a transcript of the parts relevant to language learning from the closed captions and placed it online here:,

The timestamps in that document are from this video., the compilation of the EVO Minecraft MOOC contributions to the following two events

Fri 26 March 1430 UTC Minecraft MOOC at Best of EVO March 26-27

I was involved in facilitating the Live/Synch session in which our Best of EVO event occurred. It was planned as a joint hour session on Fri 26 March 14:00 – 15:00 UTC (10:00-10:30 US EDT) shared between
CEFR VS Assessment: How can new revisions help?
and EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021

Facilitators Christine / Vance

Here is the video for the combined session as recorded per the directions of CALL-IS,

What is this?

According to here is how the event was listed on March 21 noon UTC

EVO Minecraft MOOC at the Best of EVO

This session was organized by Aaron Schwartz, Don Carroll, Jane Chien, Rose Bard, and Vance Stevens.

Google Slides

Fri 26 March 1500 UTC EVO Minecraft MOOC server tour

Immediately following our “official” Best of EVO Aaron Schwartz, Jane Chien, Vance Stevens, and Don Carroll conducted a virtual tour of the EVO Minecraft MOOC server. Marijana Smolčec was there as well and contributed significantly to the discussion.

We let everyone know they were welcome to come to Zoom and join the discussion as we screen share from Minecraft, and if you are whitelisted on our server you are welcome to join us there (but note that voice is via Zoom)

Bobbi Stevens and Dakotah Redstone joined us in Minecraft on the tour.

Here’s the official CALL-IS video of the event,

but the full and contiguous Best of EVO Minecraft MOOC presentation followed by discussion and tour is embedded at the start of this post.

What is this?

According to

Updated information from March 23,10:00 UTC

What will happen?

The tour will continue via screen share in the same zoom room as was used for the Best of EVO EVOMC21 event which will have started at 10:30

For the Minecraft Tour at 11 am EDT

  • Aaron will start the session (10 minutes)
  • Jane Chien will next share her views on Minecraft and Vocabulary Learning (with one slide)
  • Jane will ask Don questions (not in-game) about his views on the utility of Minecraft for ESL/EFL learning and the nature of in-game talk (10 minutes).
  • After that, Vance will share his screen showing the server (in-game) and give our audience a world tour in Minecraft to explore tasks that engage language learners


Fri 26 March noon UTC Facilitation – CALL-IS EV Tech Tips session

From 08:00-09:00 am EDT
according to 

Here is the video:

Saturday March 27

Sat 27 March Facilitated – Intercultural Competence 2021 and TECHNO CLIL 2021

On Saturday, March 27, 3:00 – 4:00 am EDT (= 7:00 – 8:00 UTC) I helped facilitate
Intercultural Competence 2021 and TECHNO CLIL 2021

Facilitators Jane / Vance

2021-03-27 (3)

The video is here:


Zoom Chat Logs

EVO Minecraft MOOC at Best of EVO

00:01:02 MushtakHusen: Hello from India!
00:01:36 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: Hello, Mushtak! I was just looking for the form you want.
00:01:49 MushtakHusen: Ok
00:02:04 MushtakHusen: You can get it after your session. Thank you.
00:40:15 Shereen Mahfouz: Thank you Mrs Maha for this beneficial session
00:50:25 Naglaa Salem: That was great!

The image is from

00:51:25 Jane Chien: Thanks! I like our promotional video as well! 😀
00:53:48 Naglaa Salem: Excellent use of the PBwiki!
01:00:33 Moderator, Vance Stevens: Thanks, I have a system for archiving old sessions so we never have to delete one
01:05:32 Moderator, Vance Stevens: Here is the link to our slides
01:09:28 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: The pedagogical aspect is great, and that is what the goal is, right?
01:09:35 Moderator, Vance Stevens: Christine is reminding me that we want time for qustions
01:09:35 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: Or one of the goals?
01:16:06 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: And how does language enter into it here?
01:17:12 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: It is really project-based learning (PBL).
01:18:12 Walton Burns: Some teachers do role plays in-world as well. In fact, some players do role-playing pretending to be a settler from the 18th century or living in a medieval fantasy world.
01:18:43 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: Is there collaboration among the players–in English?
01:18:58 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: Negotiation of meaning?
01:20:13 Camyla Yamashiro: I play Minecraft and there is a lot of negotiation of meaning because other players are all over the word and English is the main language. It is an amazing game!
01:20:23 aaron schwartz: Yes… the game itself provides no instruction, so players have to interact to learn how to do anything
01:20:37 Jane Chien: Yes, there is a lot of chance to negotiate of meaning immersed in the Minecraft world.
01:21:18 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: Glad to hear it, Jane. (I knew but wanted to be sure to get this across in the session.)
01:22:08 Walton Burns: Absolutely! My son and I are starting to do big complex builds and we do all sorts of planning about resource collection, design, task assignment, etc…
01:22:16 Donald Carroll: I would consider the “in world” language learning opportunities to be “poor” as compared to the out-of-game MC resources, e.g. YouTube videos, wikis, forums, etc.
01:22:25 aaron schwartz: discord
01:23:29 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: We are already 7 minutes over time, but there is no session here after us.
01:24:09 Camyla Yamashiro: and now it has Twitch, where they can see live streams about it and participate in live interactions
01:24:10 Jane Chien: The next session is Minecraft for ELT
01:24:23 Jane Chien: With Aaron as the host for the session.
01:24:31 IELTS & More: Is Maha Hassan’s session after this one?
01:24:36 Jane Chien: But we’re having a great discussion.
01:24:49 Jane Chien: Maha finished her session already.
01:24:50 Christine Bauer-Ramazani: Maha Hasan presented first.
01:26:59 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Sorry, if I talked a lot
01:27:25 Jane Chien: Aaron is our host
01:28:24 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Shall we leave

EVO Minecraft MOOC Server tour

“The quality of the learning that takes place when we focus our attention only on the items to be learned is different from (and probably inferior to) the quality of learning that is incidental to something else that we are trying to do.” –
Earl Stevick 1982 Teaching and learning languages (pp. 131-2)

Slide 23 at

01:30:33 Moderator, Vance Stevens: you can stay we are gong to share minecraft
01:30:40 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Go, go guys! 🙂 #EVOMInecraft!
01:30:53 Donald Carroll: What will be used for audio in MC?
01:31:05 Moderator, Vance Stevens: Zoom, right where you are
01:31:11 Jane Chien: Welcome Aaron’s students!
01:31:42 Munavvara Xudoyberdiyeva: Thanks, glad to join in
01:31:51 Mokhlaroy: ☺️
01:32:58 Samsung: Thanks, glad to be here
01:35:37 Walton Burns: As a teacher, it seems like the map would be helpful to keep track of students though.
01:36:02 Moderator, Vance Stevens:

01:38:21 Jane Chien:
01:38:35 Jane Chien: If you let me share screen
01:38:43 Jane Chien: I can show them padlet
01:44:16 aaron schwartz: “this thingy”
01:46:11 aaron schwartz: English as lingua franca for kids in different countries
01:46:33 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Definitely, it is for my sons and it has been for the past 10 years
01:47:03 Camyla Yamashiro: not only for kids, for sure… all my students are adults, and most of them are over 30 and use English to play games! it is an amazing tool!
01:49:04 aaron schwartz: I’d like to hear more about the books… Which Minecraft Books are really good?
01:50:40 Camyla Yamashiro: for me, I improved my English playing with native speakers using the voice a EFL context, that was my only opportunity to improve my speaking and vocabulary skills, mostly phrasal verbs and expressions
01:52:53 Oylola Ibrohimova: Great, I’m in favour of you. Game i the best way to upgrade vocabulary
01:53:17 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): I heat the sheep @Jane :))
01:53:18 Walton Burns: Books: I think the official Minecraft for Beginners by Mojang book is a great place to start. If I can plug my own Basic Minecraft for Kids books, I’m producing short and easy ebooks for basic builds that young kids can handle: I also love Megan Miller’s books. Really nice build ideas, some big and complex and some pretty easy.
01:53:28 Jane Chien: Great points, Camyla! Would you like to take the mic and share?
01:53:29 Samsung: Is there a book on Minecraft? I didn’t know that…
01:53:30 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Sorry, it’s Vances :))
01:53:39 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): There are many books on Minecraft
01:53:50 aaron schwartz: aren’t there some children’s fiction books set in minecraft?
01:54:05 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): I love the crafting and creative part of Minecraft.
01:55:08 Walton Burns: Diary of a Minecraft Zombie is a series of books written inside the Minecraft world that look cute. Never gotten my son into them so I don’t know if they’re any good.
01:56:14 aaron schwartz: intrinsic motivation
01:56:23 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Yes Aron
01:56:31 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): My sons have learned so many things from games
01:57:16 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Game within the game
01:58:04 aaron schwartz: and spider eyes 😛
01:58:07 Walton Burns: I prefer sending my son to books because some of the YouTube videos even the ones aimed at kids have some salty language, or lots of slang, or promote lots of stuff, or the kids talk at 100 miles a minute. I wouldn’t want my students exposed to that stuff either.
01:58:39 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Yes, so true Walton, my sons have picked up that bad language :/
01:59:09 aaron schwartz: have the students write a series of steps
02:00:21 aaron schwartz: reflective journal entries based on in-game experiences
02:01:35 Jane Chien:
02:02:02 Jane Chien: This is mattie’s blog and writing about Minecraft as an EFL learner.
02:02:13 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Awesome jane, will check it ouz
02:02:53 Walton Burns: Great blog! Nice simple writing task!
02:03:53 aaron schwartz: When Jeff Kuhn initially just tried to add Minecraft to his writing class, it failed — During his next opportunity, he changed the focus to do a unit on disaster preparedness (and the students read World War Z) — then they had to make anti-zombie plans and try and implement them in game — then reflect on their success in writing afterwards
02:04:36 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Great, I have just watched WWZ with my students and I love creative writing – it works great.
02:05:20 Camyla Yamashiro: I am using videogames to teach pronunciation
02:05:23 aaron schwartz: The book is more nonfiction than the film and lays out specific strategies they can try
02:06:32 Camyla Yamashiro: that is really true, I also type really fast because of games!
02:12:20 aaron schwartz: “tricked them to learn” — Nice Marijana
02:12:27 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): You get exposed :))to many different accents
02:12:31 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): :))
02:13:41 Camyla Yamashiro: that’s what I love the most! With the other medias, you mostly get exposed to American/British accent… but on the gaming environment, there people literally all over the world!
02:17:26 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): You really had fun this January and Feb, I am so busy and I couldn’t join as I wished, hope join soon
02:17:47 Walton Burns: Oh my gosh. I hadn’t realized that. I just thought phantoms randomly attacked sometimes and didn’t. It never occurred to me there was a rule!
02:18:13 Oylola Ibrohimova: thank you all for sharing
02:18:18 Munavvara Xudoyberdiyeva: Yes It was great to be informed about the minecraft
02:18:48 Jane Chien: Thank you for coming!!
02:18:55 Munavvara Xudoyberdiyeva: Thank you all sharing
02:19:20 Andrew Bowman: Good work, everyone. Great to see you all again.
02:19:33 Munavvara Xudoyberdiyeva: You are welcome!
02:19:37 Moderator, Vance Stevens: thanks great to see everyone
02:24:37 Oylola Ibrohimova: Hot conversation it was thanks

CALL-IS EV Tech Tips session

00:16:20 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: Welcome everyone!
00:16:32 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: Please feel free to ask questions of the presenters.
00:16:42 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: Welcome everybody! 🙂 Where are you from?
00:17:30 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: Kansas via Latvia!
00:18:23 Mr Khamis Atteyat-Allah Hegazy: Hello from Egypt
00:18:28 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: Great!
00:18:42 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: I am from Trujillo, Peru 🙂
00:18:47 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: Salam and hola!
00:23:32 Eric Grunwald: Students as Virtual Tour Guides: Link to documents and students presentations:
00:24:13 Omar Moussa: greetings from Egypt
00:24:35 Omar Moussa: thank you Mr Khamis Attia for invitation
00:30:49 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: Any questions?
00:31:26 Camyla Yamashiro: Hello! Baiba Sedriks, thank you for the presentation! I saw the video and I tried the website… how do we use the function that allow students to see presentations that are happening around the world? Or did I understand that function wrong?
00:32:31 DR.MD.ALAUDDIN: Nice Program
00:32:57 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: The Pecha Kucha website has thousands of videos your students could watch. I do not know if they are by country. I search by topic. Did you look at the official Pecha website?
00:33:21 Moderator Vance Stevens: If you want to ask a question about a specific presentation you watched, please put the speaker’s name here and we’ll let you speak it, or ask your question here
00:33:22 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: Feel free to email me.
00:34:05 DR.MD.ALAUDDIN:
00:34:44 Larisa A Olesova: I have a question to Judith about padlet and specifically about peer feedback via comments. Thanks for a sharing great ideas on the use of padlet.
00:35:26 Muhammad Abdul Wahid: Welcome to all
00:35:38 Camyla Yamashiro: Sara Sedriks: I looked the website right before watching your wonderful presentation. I want to start to use this app instead of Google Slides or Pretzi. I will take a closer look and if I cannot find it I can post another question on the Flipgrid or send you an email! Thank you!
00:36:18 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio:
00:41:09 Shereen Mahfouz: Awesome first time to know about them.
00:41:40 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: Thanksa lot 🙂
00:42:01 Moderator Vance Stevens: Does anyone else have a question directed at a specific presenter? if so we can take your question.
00:43:03 Camyla Yamashiro: Olenka: Hello! Thank you for your presentation! The Hogwards genially theme that you showed in your flipgrid… that was a template or your own creation?
00:43:54 Omar Moussa: thank you
00:44:11 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: This is not the free version, one colleague shared with me in Spanish and I changed it into English.
00:44:18 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: Let me share with you the link
00:44:19 Eric Grunwald: Students as Virtual Tour Guides: Invaluable information, Judith, thank you.
00:44:39 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio:
00:45:14 Camyla Yamashiro: Olenka: Thank you very much! That is an amazing tool!
00:45:37 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: Yes, try it! You will love it!
00:45:55 Presenter Judith Otterburn-Martinez: Here is a link to the padlet I presented:
00:46:11 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: Thanks a lot Judith 🙂
00:47:19 Larisa A Olesova: Thanks Judith for the link
00:47:58 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: You can find me on the Social Media
00:48:12 Presenter: Oliver Rose:
00:48:30 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: Thanks a lot Oliver 🙂
00:48:44 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: Arigatou Gozaimasu, Oliver!
00:49:46 Michelle W.: Thank you!
00:51:03 Camyla Yamashiro: Oliver Rose: thank you for your presentation! Does the bingo work as an app on the cellphone or does it open in the browser? Or both? thank you!
00:51:35 Presenter: Oliver Rose: Hi Camyla – works in both
00:51:57 Presenter: Oliver Rose: …in the browser on phone, tablet, PC
00:52:11 Camyla Yamashiro: thank you!
00:52:12 Larisa A Olesova: Oliver, how long can you keep LingoBingoLive? For example if I want to use for asynchronous mode and students come at different time and play. Is it possible?
00:52:50 Michelle W.: Is it available when having live sessions on Zoom? I mean playing the game.
00:53:41 Presenter: Oliver Rose: Larisa – it is really for synchronous, I’m not sure how it could work asynchronously (but you could try my other site for asynchronous )
00:54:43 Presenter: Oliver Rose: michelle – yes, works well via zoom
00:55:10 Michelle W.: The students need to get an account, right?
00:55:45 Michelle W.: so I can play with the students via zoom?
00:56:02 Presenter: Oliver Rose: michelle – no , no account needed
00:56:50 Larisa A Olesova: Thanks Oliver
00:57:53 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: Socrative is wonderful for instant grading.
00:58:50 Michelle W.: thanks Oliver, I will try it.
00:59:48 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: That’s right, Baiba. Another app that I use is nearpod.
01:01:39 Larisa A Olesova: Thanks Rana
01:02:08 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio: Thanks a lot, Rana 🙂
01:02:14 Camyla Yamashiro: Vance: the presenters already kindly answered me! thank you!
01:07:49 Presenter: Baiba Sedriks: 20 secs
01:08:39 Presenter Judith Otterburn-Martinez:
01:08:55 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): hi all, LIVE from the kitceh again :)) Greetings from Croatia
01:08:58 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): kitchen*
01:09:18 Presenter: Oliver Rose:
01:09:21 Eric Grunwald: Students as Virtual Tour Guides: Speaking of 20/20: A public service announcement: I had my annual eye exam in December and things were mostly fine—no change—but then had to go back for my dilation in February, and it was found that my vision had deteriorated quite a bit. The doctor said she’s seeing this all over from staring at screens—certain muscles don’t relax, other’s atrophy—and it can become permanent. She recommended 20/20/20 or another app which reminds you every 20 minutes to look off into the distance for 20 seconds. It’s helped a lot.
01:09:26 Presenter: Olenka Villavicencio:
01:09:29 Presenter: Oliver Rose:


Promotion and Feedback

We organized ourselves around this info from CALL-IS:

In addition to the live sessions such as our Best of EVO sessions March 26-27
and those listed at

There are 6 asynchronous Best of EVO sessions scheduled uploaded to FlipGrid


For more details about the TESOL 2021 Virtual Online conference and for the associated CALL-IS Electronic Village virtual events please see the previous post at the bookmark here, labeled
Promotion of and preparation for the TESOL 2021 virtual events


Earlier Events

Minecraft, Virtual Worlds, and MWIS/CPPLN March 25 at the 2021 Virtual TESOL Conference



This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is April1, 2021 03:00 UTC 

Minecraft, Virtual Worlds, and MWIS/CPPLN March 25 at the 2021 Virtual TESOL Conference

Learning2gether Episode 510


Presentations on March 25
— Minecraft MOOC at CALL-IS Classics Fair
— Virtual Worlds for ELT
— Creating Materials in a Digital World
Facilitation – Immersive Storytelling in VW and Scientific Literacy and CLIL
Skip down to the Zoom Chat Logs
Promotion of and preparation for the TESOL 2021 virtual events

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

The TESOL 2021 International Convention & English Language Expo took place from Wednesday to Saturday, 24–27 March of that year. This blog post is about the involvement of Vance Stevens and Learning2gether at that event. All but one of the events in which I participated took place under the auspices of CALL-IS, the Computer Assisted Language Learning Interest Section in TESOL which I co-founded in 1985. The other event was an academic session accepted as a part of the main TESOL program.

In addition to presenting I also served as facilitator of several sessions through my active, though undesignated, and continued involvement in CALL-IS. I will include notes below of any session that I was involved in on the first day of normal sessions of the conference, Thursday, March 25.


Presentations on March 25

Thu 25 March noon UTC EVO Minecraft MOOC at CALL-IS Classics Fair

I was invited to present in the CALL-IS Classics tech fair on Thu March 25. Classics Fair topics are ‘invited’ re-runs or updates on topics that seemed to go well in the past. Presenters uploaded their asynchronously prepared 5-10 minute videos to Flipgrid, (and these were later uploaded from there to the CALL-IS YouTube channel.)  In addition, presenters could make themselves available to take synchronously asked questions at a live Q&A at either 8 am or 12 noon on March 25 in zoom.

My talk was called 
Preparing more teachers to engage learners with EVO Minecraft MOOC

Asynchronous version of my presentation

All asynchronous presentations in the TESOL 2021 Virtual Conference Tech Fairs Classics are here on Flipgrid:
Mine can be found here:

50 word summary

EVO Minecraft MOOC teachers continue interacting through their 7th year while engaging one another as well as young learners online in Minecraft, using Discord for live chat and (with Facebook) as a robust community portal. See how, as the community of practice grows & develops, so does knowledge within the community.

100 word abstract

EVO Minecraft MOOC continues to develop as a community of practice illustrating the benefits of meaningful play in learning through engagement in participatory cultures. Minecraft is a compelling & flexible environment for language learning, promoting engagement through gamified elements and through ample opportunity to exercise creativity & critical thinking. Participants include EVOMC21 moderators, teachers, & their children and students. Teachers learn from peers how to manipulate the environment and from learner participants Minecraft’s many affordances for facilitating language learning. New members in our community are welcome, and playing within a supportive community is key to learning how to use Minecraft effectively with students.

Rehearsal long version of my presentation

I actually prepared two versions of my presentation. One was a long rehearsal version, almost 20 min,

This longer presentation was then cut down, using Camtasia, to 10 min for submission to Flipgrid.

The links at the end of the presentation point to

I also created a working Google Doc to accompany my presentation. It contains some additional information but the wiki now has the most updated information ––lPg/edit?usp=sharing

Synchronous Q&A

I attended the Q&A session for the EV Classics Fair at 8 am EDT; there were two of them, the other at noon EDT (midnight my time). These sessions were listed on the CALL-IS Electronic Village schedule page here:

Since many of the same people attended both renditions of event, the recordings are similar.

The video of the one I attended is embedded here:

My segment where I am asked to explain briefly what I intended to convey in my 10 min video starts at 31:54 here:

I sliced that part (3 minutes) out of the longer video using Camtasia, created an mp4, and uploaded it to this wiki.

Thanks to Marijana Smolcec for posting this screenshot to Facebook, snapped during the 3 minutes I was speaking at the Classics Q & A session




Virtual Worlds for ELT panel

I also presented on a Virtual Worlds panel scheduled for 9-10 am EDT

Panelists were: Randall Sadler, Jeff Kuhn, Vance Stevens, Aaron Schwartz, & Laura Briggs; Jane Chien moderator

Here is the video,

Jeff starts talking about EVO MInecraft MOOC at 24:25 in this video and then “kicks it over” to me at 25:55 

Laura  was planning to demo her Mars Protocol MC on Windows 10 but had to drop out at the last minute.

The event is listed here

This is the view as it appeared on March 23 10:00 UTC

The slides prepared jointly by the panelists are here:

Jane posted this on Facebook

Here are the panelists as they appeared during their presentation in Zoom

2021-03-25 (3)



Thu 25 Mar 1700 UTC live Q and A session for MWIS/CPPLN Academic Session Creating Materials in a Digital World

Taken from the program book:


As the world becomes more dependent on technology, ELT professionals find ways to adapt. This presentation shows participants in all stages of their career paths various ways they can adapt, create, and develop materials for digital learning in a variety of contexts for language teaching and teacher training.


  • Liz England, Ph. D. (moderator) – Introduction – 7 mins
  • Justin Shewell, Ph. D. (moderator) – Gamification (ditto on name here)  – 17 mins
  • Vance Stevens – Keeping Up and Upskilling (I made it up so change it, Vance, by all means!) – 18.5 mins
  • Jessica Burchett, Ph. D. – Teacher education (ditto on name)  – 12 mins
  • Michael Bowen – honorary organizer

Each of the panelists prepared in advance a video of his/her presentation. All presentations submitted in this way were uploaded in MP4 format (with accompanying handouts if any) to TESOL’s google drive.

The link above works but the files that were there have been removed or hidden. However, I created my own folder for the files created by our panelists and shared it publicly. The folder where I stored all the files associated with our presentation, ID 1926. is here

I compiled the videos those on our panel had uploaded there into one long presentation using Camtasia and uploaded the final video to the conference Google Drive location, where it was uploaded to the conference website, shown below. 

The final prerecorded video compilation was approximately 55 minutes.

Presenters were supposed to be available for text chat at the time our presentation was scheduled for release for consumption by conference attendees (to emulate our all having congregated in a brick and mortal location and speaking through Internet time and space to the assembled attendees). In theory, attendees would play our video for the very first time then. We panelists had agreed to be on the portal at the time scheduled for the live text chat Q&A session for the Academic Session ID 1926, entitled Creating Materials in a Digital World. 

This was the procedure.

It was a little confusing how this was going to work. On March 24, this is what I saw right after our presentation had been readied on the portal. 

When you click on the Sessions button, either in the main panel or in the sidebar as I’ve highlighted here, you can search on the presentation you are looking for. Ours looks like this:

When you click on Start Session, it looks like this. I made these screenshots before the appointed start time so I filled in the blank space with the two callouts shown below. At 1 pm EDT on March 25 the promised widgets duly appeared.

After the presentation I tried to copy the text from the text chat but copy functionality was disabled, so I was unable to retain a copy of what had happened during the time I spent there. No names appeared in the chat, only conference attendee registration numbers, which meant nothing to anyone else in the chat (so identity did not appear to be an issue). I identified myself several times in my chat posts as being Vance Stevens, one of the presenters.

When I arrived at the widget what was going on in the room was completely dark to me. I was only aware of others when they started asking questions, which they did pretty much from the start of the event, questions like, “Is this a live presentation?”  and “Where are the handouts?” Some of the attendees must have been playing the videos because eventually a few questions were asked about the videos themselves, which the attendees could not have seen in advance and would have to have been working through for the 55 minutes it took to play the whole thing. I had no idea how many were there, or when they came into the room, or when they left just as silently.

The chat had its interesting moments, albeit all ephemeral. Someone remarked that this was a poor model of teaching online. Indeed, in the Community of Inquiry Model [], the interface was almost completely lacking in Social presence “the ability of participants to identify with the community (e.g., course of study), communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop inter-personal relationships by way of projecting their individual personalities.” (Garrison, 2009)

Afterwards it felt anti-climactic. We had put a lot of work into our presentations, but were able to experience only the bare minimum of appreciation for the work, as would have been possible if we could have seen each other’s faces and expressions, even if not present in the same room together. When we used to use text-based chat clients at the turn of the century, we were able to form communities around them as our personalities emerged over time, but this experience was a throwback to that time without the feeling afterwards of having particularly existed in it, or of having any possibility of expanding our networks through the experience due to the extreme anonymity of the interface. Rather than coming away enriched, the feeling was one of anomie.

Panelists and their draft proposals

Justin Shewell:

I could give presentations on several different topics, either broad or more specific. I could talk about gamification in online courses, including the use of digital badges . I could also talk about principles for engaging content. I have included proposals for both here. Although Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are gaining in popularity, they generally have low completion rates (average completion rate is less than 10%). Several factors account for low completion rates, such as lack of student engagement with course material. The presenter co-designed a MOOC that utilizes innovative strategies to engage and motivate learners. These strategies include movement away from lecture ­style instruction toward the use of research­ based multimedia principles such as personalization and voice, the dual­ channel principle, signaling, interactivity, and online enjoyment. These strategies have contributed to the success of the MOOC (average completion rate is higher than 25%). Keeping students engaged in online learning is a constant struggle for teachers and course designers. In online settings, if a student becomes bored, they just turn off the video. Teachers can use several ideas borrowed from the world of game design to keep students motivated and engaged. These principles include leveling, the use of core tasks, and rewards.

Here is one of Justin’s slides from Justin’s presentation, where he had related Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to their parallel constructs in online learning:

Vance Stevens:

In my segment, I used myself as an example of how I have remained current by continually fostering communities of practice (CoPs). This is critical for maintaining cutting edge skills but especially important with regard to gamification, where materials developers need to understand how players network within participatory communities through their own experience in compatible CoPs where they can practice with one another to boost their skills. Teachers and materials developers need to form communities of practice in order to learn what they need to know about acquiring the necessary skills, and how to apply them with greatest effect to today’s learners. I will point to many instances where I and others have documented where this has been achieved and sustained in one CoP after another since the turn of the current century.

As I normally do, I prepared a set of interlinked multimedia to help participants prepare for and later review my presentation, and assigned them a mnemonic to each of two URL shorteners vance2021academic:

Also, I prepared a  28 min. rehearsal version of my TESOL presentation and uploaded it to YouTube here:

In the YouTube version I elaborated a little more fully than in the presentation I pre-recorded for TESOL, which I had to cut back to 18.5 minutes, to be compiled with the others in the final 55 minute video.

Jessica Burchett:

I could present on online second language teacher education from a practical teacher educator (ideas, suggestions, examples, ways to get students to interact, strengths/weaknesses, helpful ideas).

Facilitation in Virtual Worlds

Thu 25 March 1000 UTC facilitation – Immersive Storytelling in Virtual Worlds and Scientific Literacy and CLIL

In addition I facilitated a pair of Best of EVO presentations scheduled to share an hour time slot Thu 25 March 6:00 – 7:00 AM US EDT (= 10:00 – 11:00 UTC) 6 pm in Asia

The presentations were Immersive Storytelling in Virtual Worlds and Scientific Literacy and CLIL

Facilitators Jane Chien and Vance Stevens (Jane also presented on the later topic, that of her EVO session)



Other virtual worlds tours hosted by CALL-IS EV Tech fairs

OpenSim in ELT – Virtual World Demo –
Thursday, March 25th, 10:00-11:00 AM
Heike Philp
This world tour in OpenSim will showcase how you might use OpenSim for English language learning and immersive storytelling.



Zoom Chat Logs

EV Classics Fair

00:01:14 Quratulain Hussain: Great
00:01:51 Quratulain Hussain: Tina this is wonderful.
00:01:55 Nergiz Kern: Great idea Tina!
00:02:02 Sergey Petrenko: Telegram @QuizBot
00:02:23 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): I got kicked out the room
00:03:00 Camyla Yamashiro: me too
00:03:05 Sandra Botero: that’s great Tina. I’m looking forward to checking that presentation. I think it’s very useful
00:03:30 Heather Casteel: Tina thank you for sharing – I’m really interested in learning more about those materials!
00:03:33 Tiina Matikainen: Thank you! I hope you will enjoy it and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.
00:03:41 Laura Ramm: Typically, we’re kicked out of Zoom because the Zoom client is not updated.
00:04:11 Camyla Yamashiro: the message said the host finished the meeting to start a new one
00:06:45 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): I will definitely check it out Amy!
00:07:06 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Have you ever used imerrsive reader as a part of Microsoft apps
00:07:59 Quratulain Hussain: I am interested to collaborate with people in teacher education.
00:08:21 Quratulain Hussain: My email is
00:08:39 Randall: Here is my handout to my session.
00:08:42 Randall:
00:08:57 Camyla Yamashiro: using PDFCreator instead Adobe might works
00:09:18 Amy C Cook: I have recommended the immersive reader to students–there are some cool features!
00:09:47 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Super, I love it as well and use it witinh OneNote esp. for my students with learning disabilities 🙂
00:09:59 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): busuu
00:10:15 Amy C Cook: Here’s info about the MS immersive reader:
00:10:18 Christine Sabieh: great idea!
00:10:18 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Is it this one ?
00:10:41 Nergiz Kern: Thanks Amy!
00:10:46 Heather Casteel: Thank you for the immersive reader link!!
00:11:24 Collin Blair: busuu
00:11:32 Amy C Cook: And here’s more info from MS about accessibility:
00:12:29 Sandra Botero: I hear you! I’m making breakfast for my family
00:12:43 Sandra Botero: Venezuelan cachapas
00:12:57 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Perfect!, Thank you
00:14:48 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): @amy thank you for sharing the link, I will definitely look into it. I will send you contact via TESOL website as soon as it become available again 🙂
00:15:28 Amy C Cook: Sure thing, Marijana! You can also reach me by email:
00:16:49 Nergiz Kern: Heather is GoReact like Flipgrid or is there a difference?
00:18:25 Heather Casteel: Hi Nergiz – it’s MUCH more interactive because it allows continual time-stamped responses. There are a few different types of assignments. This is a good into to the types:
00:19:01 Heather Casteel: One big difference is that it’s all contained within GoReact though (you wouldn’t be able to publicly share what students have uploaded. It would be contained to just the class)
00:19:06 Nergiz Kern: Thanks a lot Heather!
00:19:40 Camyla Yamashiro: Heather: Is GoReact a free app?
00:20:17 Heather Casteel: That part I’m not sure about because ours is integrated to our LMS, so the university has a license. However, I do know that it exists as a stand-alone client, jut not sure if that stand-alone version is free
00:20:20 Laura Ramm: That’s fantastic, Manrique!
00:20:34 Camyla Yamashiro: okay, thank you! =D
00:20:41 Jota Manrique: thanks
00:20:55 Miguel Frontado: That’s cool Jota!!!
00:21:26 Miguel Frontado: Would you share the name of the app again?
00:21:34 Jota Manrique: Streamlabs
00:21:40 Nergiz Kern: Great!
00:22:06 Evelyn Izquierdo: Hello, Miguel!!!!! Cheers!!!
00:22:33 Evelyn Izquierdo: Love your topic!
00:22:59 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Super, VR is still something to explore for me :)) But, I would like to use it more in my class, I tried AR
00:23:39 Evelyn Izquierdo: Sounds fantastic!
00:24:10 Sandra Botero: Miguel, given the very low bandwidth in Venezuela, what’s been your experience with VR?
00:24:33 Nergiz Kern: How easy is it to access VR headsets for students in Venezuela?
00:27:15 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Van Gogh’s museum 360
00:29:03 Miguel Frontado: That’s great Marijana!! Thanks for sharing. Students don’t need goggles for that
00:29:41 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Yes, I think EU sites have even more. I can’t share more as I am in the kitchen but this one is great I sue it in class when talk about musems and art
00:29:46 Christine Sabieh: Vance – link is not there
00:29:49 Tiina Matikainen: Sounds great, Vance, but we didn’t get a link from you.
00:30:00 Gena TTELT:
00:30:06 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Great Vance! 🙂
00:31:51 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Nice work Gena!
00:32:12 Ella Dovhaniuk: Thank you for sharing the link!
00:32:18 Nergiz Kern: Thanks everyone! I have to leave now, but will join the next session on virtual reality.
00:32:48 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): LyricGaps 🙂
00:33:02 Michelle W.: kahoot
00:38:31 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): do we have twitter hashtag for these sessions?
00:39:10 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): lovely, Ella
00:39:51 Vance Stevens: Please use #TESOL_EV in your tweets, in addition to the #TESOL2021 convention hashtag
00:40:07 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): thanks Vance :))
00:41:29 Miguel Frontado: Sandra. We do not necessarily need a good bandwidth to work with VR technology. YouTube works just fine with 360 degree videos
00:42:10 Miguel Frontado: Apps for VR can be a bit heavy, however, they can be downloaded overnight
00:43:30 Miguel Frontado: Thanks for your comment Evelyn Izquierdo!!!
00:43:46 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Thank you all, great ideas! I will have lot to explore :))
00:44:11 Miguel Frontado: Thanks everybody

Virtual Worlds for ELT

00:04:52 Nergiz Kern: Hi everyone!
00:05:01 Gena TTELT: Hi
00:05:02 Vance Stevens: hiiiii
00:05:11 Nergiz Kern: Greetings from Turkey (3pm here).
00:05:38 Nergiz Kern: Hi Vance 🙂
00:06:32 Nergiz Kern: Agree, it took me a while to find my way here.
00:06:35 Randall: It would be impossible to moderate an open Zoom link.
00:07:50 Nergiz Kern: Oh, right, Randall is right about moderation.
00:07:53 Vance Stevens: This is where Nellie is storing videos
00:07:55 CALL-IS TESOL:
00:08:15 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Hello everybody! 🙂
00:09:17 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): That app sounds familiar. 🙂
00:09:26 Evelyn Izquierdo: Hi Tom!!!! Greetings from Caracas!!!
00:09:27 Sandra Botero: hello, I’m Sandra Botero from Venezuela. I’m looking forward to hearing about your presentations
00:09:36 Vance Stevens: Hi Maijana, and this is where the links to CALL-IS events can be found,
00:09:47 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Thank you Vance! 🙂
00:09:50 CALL-IS TESOL:
00:10:01 Christine Sabieh: welcome everyone
00:10:05 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): I couldn’t access the TESOL main site, is it down?
00:10:22 Evelyn Izquierdo: Vance!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
00:10:26 Amy C Cook: Yes, I’ve heard others are also having trouble getting into the main convention site this morning.
00:10:49 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia):
00:11:55 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): 🙂
00:13:09 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): hi Tiina
00:14:15 Evelyn Izquierdo: (Hi, Marijana!) 🖖🏼😄

Immersive Storytelling in Virtual Worlds and Scientific Literacy and CLIL

00:03:53 Samuel M Adams: The next event in this room starts at 8:00 AM EDT, so no worries about going over time!
00:04:16 Jane Chien: Thanks Sam!!
00:09:35 Vance Stevens, Moderator: Open Sim yes, VR only at conferences
00:10:28 Jane Chien: Yes, I had a tour in open sim thanks to Heike! VR for gaming 🙂
00:10:41 Camyla Yamashiro: VR only for games for me too!
00:11:52 Jane Chien: Wonderful graphic novel!!!
00:19:04 Zeynab Moosavi: what was very amazing in this team, was their support and patience
00:32:44 Vance Stevens, Moderator: You did a really good job Zeinab, are you a teacher as well?
00:35:05 Heike Philp, Brüssel: do Taiwanese students or teachers watch American teacher’s lectures?
00:36:01 Heike Philp, Brüssel: that would be so great if teachers could observe other teachers’ sessions to learn globally
00:36:34 Heike Philp, Brüssel: brilliant
00:36:55 Darija Tomasic: I totally agree with you Heike 👍
00:42:24 Jane Chien: Yes, totally agree with you Heike! Great suggestion!!
00:43:48 Michelle W.: Very interesting
00:46:52 Helena Galani: Particularly inspiring
00:47:53 Vance Stevens, Moderator: Is the virtual worlds team ready to resume?
00:48:05 Jane Chien:
00:49:21 Vance Stevens, Moderator: is it free?
00:51:14 Helena Galani: yes, it is free
00:52:25 Rose Bard: How great. Thanks for showing. I’m certainly going to integrate into my classes
00:53:47 Halima Kalanova: Hello to ALL from Uzbekistan! Heile the idea of importing is very timing!
00:53:50 Camyla Yamashiro: it is amazing, and it is so good that it is free!
00:54:20 Michelle W.: How wonderful
00:54:26 Jane Chien: So cute!!!
00:55:19 Helena Galani: This is the ‘Selfish Giant’s’ garden
00:58:52 Michelle W.: Agree, Heike
01:01:04 Merve Kıymaz: Thank you so much!
01:03:45 1 Valentina Holubeva, Minsk: Sorry, I have just joined. Is it the end or soemthing else will follow?
01:04:00 Heike Philp, Brüssel: another session follows at the top of the hour
01:04:05 Heike Philp, Brüssel: TEFL for young learner
01:04:09 Helena Galani: I have lost your sound and screen sharing
01:04:28 1 Valentina Holubeva, Minsk: Thanks!
01:06:18 Helena Galani: relogging
01:06:37 Jane Chien: Thank you all everyone for joining Best of EVO!
01:06:39 1 Valentina Holubeva, Minsk: Thanks a lot for exlaining.
01:07:26 Camyla Yamashiro: thank you
01:07:32 Farag, Islam Medhat Abdelaziz: Thank you
01:07:33 Jenny Chen: bye-bye!!
01:07:36 Amany: Thank you
01:07:40 Jenny Chen: thank you!!


The 2021 Virtual TESOL Conference – Promotion and Preparation

Wed-Sat 24–27 March 2021 – TESOL 2021 International Convention & English Language Expo

Bring your passion and excitement for the field of English language teaching (ELT) to the TESOL 2021 International Convention & English Language Expo, 24–27 March 2021! At the largest ELT event, presented virtually in 2021, you’ll leave empowered after attending an array of sessions, engaging keynote presentations, exhibits, and networking opportunities. Connect and learn with thousands of English language professionals from all over the world.

Learn more on the Convention website.

Schedule overview:

The TESOL convention is entirely online this year

  • Most of the sessions are pre-recorded, but for events accepted in the regular TESOL program, the option for a session with live text Q & A allows for 15-20 additional minutes of interaction between presenters and attendees at a given time slot.
  • There is a “view on demand” alternative, which does not require any attendance from presenters (nor a time slot).

TESOL asks presenters to be present to answer questions for additional 15-20 minutes after the length of the pre-recorded presentation. For example, if the session is scheduled to be available at 2 pm and it is 60 minutes long, presenters should stay and answer questions at least from 3:00 until 3:15 pm.  Presenters can arrive earlier and/or stay longer if they choose to.

CALL-IS events overview

Here is the CALL-IS portal,
and its shortened link –

What can you do here?

  • EV Tech Fairs – short, practical on-demand videos grouped according to four themes: Making Your LMS Work for You, Tools and Activities for Synchronous Virtual Instruction, Tools and Activities for Asynchronous Virtual Instruction, and Tech Fair Classics. These presentations are hosted on Flipgrid; there are options to meet live with the presenters, too!
  • Best of the Electronic Village Online 2021 – celebrate the outstanding work and lessons learned during the 2021 EVO sessions through live and recorded events. This is the 20th Anniversary of the free Electronic Village Online ELT professional development sessions!
  • Virtual Worlds for ELT: Live world tours and expert panel – how might you use platforms like Minecraft and OpenSim for language learning?
  • Please use #TESOL_EV in your tweets, in addition to the #TESOL2021 convention hashtag!
  • There will be live Tweet-ups with new discussion prompts posted at 8am EDT each day, please hop in and model how to use Twitter for professional development for the convention attendees. Participate using #EV21chat 
  • Participate in our daily asynchronous Jamboard and Poll Everywhere events; again, attendees will benefit from your modeling
  • View and comment on asynchronous Tech Fairs, Classics, and Best of EVO presentations via FlipGrid.

Nellie’s Smore on Best of EVO,

Most CALL-IS events will be 10 min pre-recorded and uploaded to Flipgrid, but some will be live in Zoom

These are in turn being relayed to this YouTube channel

For CALL-IS events the live Q&A events will be in Zoom room arranged through CALL-IS 

Flipgrid links

Coordinators and moderators of EVO sessions have been asked to submit introductions to Flipgrid in the following spaces

  • Coordinators are asked to record short (2-3-minute) testimonials
    As of March 8, recordings submitted are Martha Ramirez, Chris Jones, Nina LIakos, Nellie Deutsch, and Natasa Bozic Grojic, Vance Stevens
  • Moderators moderators are aske to record short (2-10 minute) testimonials 
    As of March 8, recordings from EVOMC21 moderators are Vance Stevens and Marijana Smolče

The two Flipgrid recordings I submitted to introduce my involvement in EVO are here:

To see all the Flipgrid videos submitted to all of the CALL-IS EV fairs, see Marta Halaczkiewicz’s Flipgrid channel here,
At the top of the page, upper left, click on “view 6 topics” to find a treasure trove of short tips and tricks and etc. presentations

Some of these may be moved up to the  CALL-IS YouTube channel here


Zoom links

Zoom links will be updated on the EV site on March 25.

  • Access if visa the url with the embedded passcode.
  • On social media from the CALL-IS accounts, everyone will be directed to the EV site rather than promoting individual Zoom links to sessions.

TESOL 2021 – Electronic Village Zoom rooms were posted at

Planning for CALL-IS events was conducted on this spreadsheet

The tabs at the bottom allow for different views:

  1. EVO21 sessions listed alphabetically,
  2. EVO21 sessions LIVE/by day/date,
  3. EVO21 by time slot, and
  4. EVO21 pre-recorded/asynchronous sessions.


Earlier Events

Sun Feb 14 – The End of EVO Minecraft MOOC and Electronic Village Online wrap-up for 2021

Sun 14 Feb 1400 UTC EVO 2021 annual wrap up Zoom meeting

Thu-Sat 18-20 Feb from 0600 UTC – 1st International Conference on Emotional Intelligence, Happiness, and Wellbeing in Higher Education

The 1st International Conference on Emotional Intelligence, Happiness, and Wellbeing in Higher Education will be held Feb 18-20, 2021.

Conference Chairs:

  • Lana Hiasat
  • Christine Coombe
  • Faouzi Bouslama


Designing Localized Bilingual Surveys for Emotional Intelligence
Christine Coombe, Faouzi Bouslama & Lana Hiasat, Dubai Men’s College, Higher Colleges of

Getting Through Challenging Times – It’s On Us
Liz England, Consultant TESOL and ESL, Principal, Liz England and Associates, LLC

Foundations for Success: Developing Student’s Emotional Intelligence through Interactive Games, Simulations, and Behavioral Assessments
Dennis A. Trinkle, Director, Center for Information and Communication Sciences, Ball State University

The conference poster, schedule, and list of plenary speakers can be found in a Google Drive folder here

Fri-Sun 19-21 Feb Connecting Online Conference CO21

Sat 20 Feb 1400 UTC – CALL-IS hosts Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson on The OER Movement for Social Justice and English Language Teaching

CALL-IS free webinar with Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson on the topic of “The OER Movement for Social Justice and English Language Teaching.” This webinar will be moderated by Chadia Mansour and Mary Allegra.

Date: Saturday, February 20, 2021
Time: 9:00 a.m. EST / 2:00 p.m. GMT

Ebba Ossiannilsson, Sweden, Professor, Dr. Consultant, Expert, Influencer and Quality Assessor in the field of open, flexible, online, and distance learning, is an advocate and promotes and improve open and online learning in the context of SDG4, and Futures of education. She is on the Board both for ICDE and EDEN. She works as an international quality assessor for EADTU and ICDE. Ossiannilsson chairs the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee, since three years ago (2017) and she is appointed as Chair for another mandate period 2021-2024. She has even several other missions for ICDE, as ICDE Quality Network, and she was research director for the Global Overview of Quality Models Study 2014/15, and on Blended Learning 2017. Ossiannilsson received the title EDEN Fellow 2014, the EDEN Council of Fellows 2018, the Open Education Europa Fellow 2015, and ICDE Ambassador for the global advocacy of OER 2017. Ossiannilsson has nearly 20 years of experience in her field. Ossiannilsson works in addition with the European Commission and ITCILO. She is a member of the Ed Board for several scientific journals and regularly invited as a keynote speaker at conferences. Her publications comprise over 200+ At the national level she is Vice President in the Swedish Association for Distance Education (SADE) and National Organization for e- Competence (REK).

Recording of The OER Movement for Social Justice and English Language Teaching

Sat 20 & 27 Feb & 6, 13, 20 & 27 Mar 0900-1100 EDT – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

About this intitiative,

Jaz and Thunder are at VSTE Space in Second Life every Saturday morning from 5 am to 7 am Pacific time.

Feel free to come learn more about the VSTE VE PLN there. Follow VSTE on Facebook:

Below are directions for joining the VSTE VE PLN in Second Life and Minecraft

Basic directions to join VSTE Spaces

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here:

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

Wed Feb 24 0100 TESOL ICIS – Short “lightning” talks from doctoral candidates about their current research

#TESOL International’s Intercultural Communication Interest Section (ICIS) invites you to listen to a series of short “lightning” talks from doctoral candidates about their current research. More details on presentation topics to follow.

Topic: ICIS Lightning Talks

Time: Feb 24, 2021 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Zoom Meeting

Sun 28 Feb 1000 ET Christine Combe – Recharging your professional battery

Sun 28 Feb 6am EST Teacher Caravan 2021 – Teaching to Innovate and Inspire

The International English Language Teachers Association is inviting ALL Educators AROUND THE WORLD for the first-ever TEACHER CARAVAN 2021 “TEACHING TO INNOVATE AND INSPIRE”. Bringing together fourteen Distinguished Speakers from fourteen different countries!

Live on the International English Teachers Association Facebook page
Click the link to register:

FOR the EVENT DETAILS CLICK THE LINK of the Teacher Caravan 2021 Site:

Tue 02 March 0100 UTC Minecraft Mondays egg hunt on the VSTE Minecraft server

VSTE will be meeting in Minecraft on Monday 8 pm Eastern time,  which is 1 am UTC (GMT) Tuesday

Come for an EGG HUNT !Jaz and K4sons have hidden 24 shulker boxes full of treasures in a beautiful flower forest in survival. You will WANT these treasures if you ever play on our server. Come hunt and see what goodies you can find.


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

 You must have a computer Minecraft account from to join. There is a one time fee of $26.95.

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. Make sure you have installed and are running version 1.16.5
  3. Choose multiplayer and add a server: Name VSTE Place IP:
  4. Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter.
    Email Kim Harrison at from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name.

VSTE uses its Discord server for voice communication while playing Minecraft

Discord is a voice and screen sharing application that will run on your computer or mobile device.

  1. Download and install it for free.
  2. Create an account. Many of us use the same name for our Discord account as our Minecraft account to keep things simple.
  3. Our channel is

It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.

Wed 3 March 1400 UTC Susan Hillyard free on-line workshop commemorating Sir Ken Robinson

This is a practical, experiential on-line workshop for anybody who wants to explore their inner life and sense of creativity to find their ELEMENT and so change their life. You will meet people from around the world who also want to change everything and re-imagine education.

Join us in Zoom to have lots of creative fun and leave with high energy to change the world for the better.

This will be a part of the Fringe Festival <– here

Sat 6 Mar 0900 EST – TESOL CALL-IS Free webinar on How to Use Wikieducator and Create OER with Dr. Nellie Deutsch

TESOL CALL-IS cordially invites you to attend the FREE webinar
How to Use Wikieducator and Create OER” with Dr. Nellie Deutsch.

Dr. Nellie Deutsch (Ed.D) is a Canadian education technology relationship-based mentor to educators worldwide. Nellie has been teaching English in middle school, high school, and at the college level for 40 years and integrating technology into face-to-face programs since 1992. She organizes free annual online events such as Moodle & Virtual World MOOCs, online conferences (Connecting Online and Moodle MOOTs) on Moodle for Teachers site. She is an EVO coordinator and moderator. She practices team-based peer learning, supporting learner autonomy & integrating technologies such as Moodle, Jitsi, Congrea, Google Meet, MS Teams, ZOOM, Screencast-o-matic, Kahoot, Padlet, Quizlet, and google drive to engage and empower learners.

Sat 06 Mar Kariman Mohsen discussed Promoting the Effectiveness of Education by Implementing Change

Announced on myTESOL Lounge:

Kariman Mohsen who will discuss Promoting the Effectiveness of Education by Implementing Change.
Saturday March 06, 2021, 7 AM ET, 2 PM Cairo time. No pre-registration required.

The-Sat 18-20 March VWBPE 2021 Reconnaissance

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference: * Reconnaissance * March 18-20, 2021

Call for Proposals is now closed, but to get an idea of what to expect,

Accepted Immersive Experience submissions will be scheduled in the 2 weeks before and after the conference dates.

Mon 22 Mar 1600 UTC Ohio U. Patton College panel on Global Issues on Immigration

Check out the flier below for a professional development opportunity hosted by Ohio University’s Patton College of Education. This is open to all.  If you can’t attend live, a recording will be available on YouTube after the event.



This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is March 31, 2021 10:00 UTC

The End of EVO Minecraft MOOC and Electronic Village Online wrap-up for 2021 – Week 5 Focus on Community

Learning2gether Episode 509


Follow EVOMC21 miners as they win the dragon head in the End
EVO wraps up its latest round of 20th anniversary sessions
See more highlights from EVOMC21 Week 5
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

I should begin this post by saying that although Minecraft is not necessarily a game per se, it has an End. According to, the revered creator of Minecraft, Notch, was quoted saying in 2009 that “”While it could be fun to just see how long you can survive in survival mode, I believe there might be a need for some kind of goal,” and in 2011 in the Gallery on The_End page, you can see the first screenshot of an ender dragon ever released, in 2011, and here as well,

A few years later, on March 19, 2016, EVO Minecraft MOOC miners went on a quest to slay the Ender Dragon, an in-world adventure shared among EVOMC16 miners Linda Gielen, Rose Bard, Mircea Patrascu, Aaron Schwartz, and Vance Stevens, recorded for posterity at 

This produced three videos. This is the first one, where Rose activated the End portal

That was only my 2nd year playing Minecraft and I participated only with the coaching of my esteemed colleagues who told me what to bring and where to hide. The End is full of endermen, who don’t like water, so we created a shelter two blocks high (they are too tall to get under that) and surrounded it with a moat and stood our ground.

This is how we, or I should say, my more knowledgeable colleagues, secured our base in the End in 2016

I really didn’t have a clue about what the End was or what I was doing there. But being there is how we learn.

Now seven years into our series of annual EVO Minecraft MOOC sessions, I still would not independently know how to get into the End, because it’s not something that has fallen into the natural just-in-time progression of what I’ve felt I needed to know about Minecraft (though I now recall entering through the portal shown in our videos above). Just recently, Aaron screen shared a live-streamed encounter with the ender dragon in our EVOMC21 kickoff event and we caught it on YouTube, queued to the spot just before it appears here (and if that doesn’t work 1:12:30 in the YouTube video). This probably made little impression on much of our audience that night, because you have to have already thrown yourself into a participatory culture before you can comprehend the power and impact your move can have on your practice. For most users, myself included, any hope of experiencing the End is the embodiment of community effort. For those of you teaching language learners, you might extrapolate this out as a community-based project in your own language class.

But one of the remarkable things about learning in a community of practice is that community members are continually scaffolding you. Some of what you thought you didn’t need to know is modeled for you by more advanced players. For example, I’ve skirted for years around the issue of enchantments until Olivetree finally took the time and showed me how (because I asked; when the student is ready the teacher appears, search for the video further down in this post) – and suddenly experience points (XP in Minecraft) make a lot of sense, (you need XP to catalyze enchantments; incidentally this is one of numerous examples of gamification in Minecraft, in case someone wants to argue with you that Minecraft is not a gamified environment).

I’ve learned this and that about redstone along the way but never saw where I needed to make machines myself, until Finch offered to show us how to create piston-driven traps,, and suddenly the penny drops: maybe catch animals or wandering mobs outside your house overnight. There are many more imaginative things you can do with this knowledge, but finally, after 7 years dabbling in Minecraft, I suddenly want to learn more about enchantments and redstone, and more importantly actually exercise what I’ve learned, and maybe soon I’ll be ready for the nether and more of the End.

Learning through a community can sometimes be daunting and seem overwhelming, because there is so much there that just breezes over your head at first. You nod and say, that’s nice, but what I really need to know is ‘how can I create a dirt shelter minutes before nightfall using only my hands and some wood and cobblestone I’ve spent the day gathering.’ And then you realize how far you have to go to become a Minecraft teacher. One approach is to get your students to teach you, as we did with Finch :-), or as I did in gathering together a number of colleagues in 2015 who could teach me enough about Minecraft that eventually I could teach others. But to succeed you need to work your community. The more they know the more you know, and the more you will be able to learn. You’ll soon rise to their level. Soon? Well I’ve been at it for 7 years, but there are people like our participant Mirea this year who have put in the time and persistence and requested help and good company when she felt she could use the support, and now she is teaching us (search for her name in this post below 🙂 )

On Feb 12, 2021 Mirea posted this in our Discord chat:

Mirea Artican at 2:32 PM – For the record, 1 reason I tend to TP more often to you, BB vs. TV is ’cause I’m actually afraid of zombies, skeletons, and other unfriendly creatures too! :see_no_evil: Good thing TV bravely leads us in front often! :slight_smile:
TeacherVance at 2:34 PM – I used to be concerned about them as well, so one reason I’m making these videos is to show they are really nothing to be afraid of, an inconvenience at worst, and working as a team, you can easily overcome them and accomplish your goals, and have FUN too
Mirea Artican at 2:37 PM – It’s always more fun together with good company like you. 😀
TeacherVance at 2:39 PM – yep, community of practice, participatory culture, scaffolding and support networks


I didn’t expect that EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021 would come to such a definitive End, but that’s what Dakohah Redstone had in store for us on the night of Feb 13, 2021, as Bobbi Bear and I were about to go to bed. I suppose this was the final official event of EVOMC21 before the EVO 2021 wrap up event 24 hours later.

A question and a more explicit answer to the riddle (and thanks for the question 🙂


Read on, Macduff!
(From a common misquote of Shakespeare,

Sat 13 Feb 1430 UTC Dakotah Redstone guides EVO Minecraft MOOCers from the Endicot signpost to capturing the dragon head in the End

Bobbi and I had hung out online all day on our next to last day of EVOMC21 looking for anyone who wanted to engage in meaningful play, but as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, EVOMC21 miners generally sleep while Bobbi Bear and I monitor from Malaysia for any activity on the server. We hadn’t planned this one, but the event spawned when we found Dakotah Redstone in Discord #serverchat just as we were sitting down to dinner and he told us that he had put himself down to man the nightwatch our last night in EVOMC21 and his last day there. This was nightwatch for us, but breakfast or lunchtime for many of our miners.

Dak likes to announce his events in Google Calendar. We have to monitor that as well; otherwise they are easy to miss.

We had our dinner quickly and eagerly went back to the server to see what Dakotah had cooked up for us. He was waiting for us in an overhang shelter near a signpost pointing to Endicot because it’s in the End part of Minecraft where the ender dragon resides, though he had nothing in store for us as banal as having yet another go at the ender dragon. We were heading for End City,, and Dakotah would be our skilled and venerable guide to accomplish his last mission to End EVO Minecraft MOOC for 2021

We equipped ourselves as instructed beforehand (melee weapons, bows and arrows, iron armor but not diamond because we were told to bring nothing we didn’t want to lose, and tp’d to Dakotah.

Video title
Dakotah Redstone guides EVO Minecraft MOOCers through Endicot to capture the dragon head in the End

Dak had created 2-block high structures for defense against ender mobs along the shulker-strewn route from the Endicot signpost all the way to our destination which, though we didn’t know it yet, was the End Ship hovering over End City On arrival we cowered under one of those and surveyed the endless fields of dimly lit lime colored end stone. He instructed us on how to approach shulkers and avoid their missiles, which when they hit you, they make you rise to heights where, when their effect wears off, you fall and die, unless you are under something that will prevent your infinite rise.

See for more information and a gif on how shulkers fire their bullets, and here for the levitation effects if you are hit by a shulker bullet,

We proceeded, under attack most of the way, to a bridge leading to a strange castle where we had to eliminate shulkers by locating where they were shooting from and take them out with bows and arrows as if we were in combat, climb its towers, always under attack from shulker fire, and then cross over from there to the End Ship floating in the void by constructing a bridge to the ship where at the prow there was a dragon figurehead which Jane Chien, who had joined us by then, and at Dak’s encouragement, removed but dropped — but Dak had anticipated that and created a pool far below into which we all leapt (safely because we landed in water), and recovered it. Jane put it on and we all celebrated Chinese New Years with her while outside our house in real life Penang, fireworks were popping off all around town. These were private celebrations though, as no lion dances were allowed in Penang this year due to lockdown.

At the prow we had found some elytra wings; but it was getting late at night for Bobbi and I so we tp’d back home to our Palace to preserve our gains, but without the contents of Bobbi’s death chest which she had lost by leaping wide of the pool, and we assumed her chest had been lost in the infinite void. But next day Dak let her know he had found it and she was able to recover it.


So our evening and this year’s EVO Minecraft MOOC session for 2021 Ended on this big bang, with Olivetree joining us at the very end.

The video is long, an hour and a half, but unique, and interesting, if you like that sort of thing.

Places where we have posted regarding our completion of and reflections on EVO Minecraft MOOC

On Facebook groups

And at

The inevitable tweet

In the End, we Ended up with 9 tweeted reflections from two EVO Minecraft MOOC participants aggregated at this link

Sun 14 Feb 1400 UTC EVO 2021 annual wrap up Zoom meeting

All EVO participants were invited to the EVO 2021 annual wrap up Zoom meeting on Feb 14, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

All participants and moderators of TESOL CALL-IS Electronic Village Online sessions were welcome to attend and help close the 20th annual 5-week culmination of this year’s EVO.

Here’s the slide show

Feedback from Christine Bauer Ramazani

We just concluded the live 20th anniversary of EVO Closing Ceremony, celebrating the successful conclusion of five weeks of intensive teaching and learning in 19 incredible EVO sessions. What an amazing experience it’s been! This is probably THE most meaningful endeavor of my 40+-year teaching career. We have reached over 50,000 ESL/EFL teachers on every continent That is inclusive learning and teaching! My gratitude goes to all past and present EVO coordinators, EVO moderators, and EVO participants. This endeavor would not have been possible without you! Get ready to join us for a special 20th anniversary Webinar hosted by TESOL on May 26, 9:00-10:30 am US EDT on “20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide”; Registration is at

Vance’s screenshot perspectives

A slightly different grouping in each of these 🙂

EVO Minecraft MOOC co-moderator Chien Jane speaks for all of us

Hurray!! Concluded EVO’s 5-week free PD sessions for educators around the globe; this year we had 19 sessions!! We will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of TESOL’s CALL-IS Electronic Village Online during TESOL 2021 Virtual Conference Best of EVO and on May 26, 9:00-10:30 am US EDT, TESOL is hosting the 20th anniversary Webinar entitled “20 Years of Free Professional Development in Online Teaching/Learning for English Language Teachers Worldwide.” We’re inviting past EVO Lead Coordinators to celebrate this important milestone!!

Thanks, Christine Bauer-Ramazani for taking us on this incredible journey and for organizing this important event! Thanks, Martha Ramirez our Head Lead for this year, Natasa Bozic Grojic, Lead Coordinator, and Nellie Deutsch, incoming Lead Coordinator for this Amazing year!! I’ve learned so much working with you! High five to the rest of us on the EVO Coordinating Team: Vance Stevens, Rose Bard, Larisa Olesova, Sanja Bozinovic, Sheryl A. McCoy, D G Andrea Juliana, Mbarek Akaddar! And as Christine put it, the fun continues!

I would also like to thank my colleagues I-Shan Jenny Chen and Michelle Jose for co-moderating Scientific Literacy & CLIL with me and hosting live events every week!

Also, to our Minecraft Mooc lead moderator Vance Stevens and the moderating team Bobbi Stevens, Rose Bard, Aaron Schwartz, Maha Abdelmoneim, Laura Briggs, Kim Harrison, Don Carroll, Mircea Patrascu and Dakotah Redstone for another fun year interacting in-world in Minecraft. Love the adventures we had together! Thanks Rose for giving the talk on Key Aspects of Teacher Development in Minecraft  with me and for selflessly sharing your experience building MineAcademy!!!


More highlights from EVOMC21 Week 5

Sun 14 Feb Teacher Vance hiked out from the palace to find Mircea Patrascu and his horse Vifor wandering in the badlands

On the next-to-last day of EVO Minecraft MOOC, the famous explorer MP was interviewed by Mircea Patrascu, who reported it to us on Facebook:

Read the blog post, and many more engaging tales of the adventures of the incorrigible MP, here

So when I saw Mircea on the server via our dynamic map
and saw he was not far from where I was, I didn’t bother to teleport, I just headed out over the badlands and caught up with him by positioning my avatar ever closer to his as I tracked him on the dynamc map. When I caught up with him, I found he wasn’t in Discord voice, so we chatted in Minecraft text, which is programmed to feed into the EVO Minecraft MOOC Discord channel #serverchat. This gives us the option to monitor or engage in-game text chat from either app.

Referring to to blog post above, I told Mircea I’d read “so much” about his horse, Vifor

Vifor seemed happy to hear this

Here, Mircea is letting me have a ride on Vifor before I hand him back.

Actually I didn’t really want to ride Vifor around, I just wanted a selfie 🙂

MP had dropped his lead when he’d handed off the horse and I’d walked over it. We didn’t see it at first, which is why he was looking for it, but when I checked my inventory and found it there, I Q’d it back at him (pressing Q on the keyboard ejects whatever is in your hand and throws it on the ground). Then I pressed S a couple of time to step back so I wouldn’t pick it up again (objects on the ground tend to fly back at nearby players). That’s where Mircea said he had found it, and I said I had found it right after that, meaning I’d found it in my inventory (and thrown it at him).

Last seen, the intrepid MP was heading off into the sunset on his faithful horse, Vifor.


Sat 13 Feb Teacher Vance and Bobbi Dare Bear invited company for Meaningful Play Sandbox Adventure at Pirate’s Cove

Sura (a.k.a. Laura Briggs) posted this on our Facebook page while Bobbi Bear and I were sleeping so when we woke up in the morning, it was the first thing we saw.

So we tried to organize an adventure. This was Teacher Vance’s reply:
Bobbi Dare Bear and Teacher Vance will check this out Saturday at around 2:30 am UTC.
Anyone is welcome to join us if you like to do such things in a merrie band and in good company.

Then we saw that Abu Fletcher had responded to Sura’s post by asking about the warp point for Ocean Temple Arena so while waiting for anyone to take us up on our initiation, I created the map below and posted it with this message. 

Hi Don Carroll I made a map here showing the locations and warp points for the attractions Laura aka Sura has created in the double_villages area. No one is around to experience these with us this morning except Sura is online. I’ll see if she wants to show us around; otherwise work on other things while awaiting anyone else who might want to join us.

Just then Sura went offline so we are waiting  now to see if anyone will join us, at 3 am UTC.

No one did, so Bobbi and I spent this day busy with our own projects but keeping our eye on the dynamic map and the spontaneous meetup spreadsheet here:

Eventually, we went to Pirate’s_Cove ourselves, negotiated the maze of walkways that once you are on them, it’s hard to find your way back, and eventually escaped to climb a few waterfalls. We didn’t find the secret entrance through. We really need a guided tour to narrow down for us which of the three waterfalls we should be focusing on and otherwise help us make it an efficient visit unless we break through blocks to get to where we think we should be. Sura has created this as a set piece though, se we didn’t want to do that.

But Sura’s builds in EVOMC21 have been examples of modeling for teachers what someone with the requisite skills (and perms; permissions on the server) could create that might be useful in crafting environments for student learning. Sura created the spawn area in a matter of days, and opened up access to mines there full of minerals at the sweet spot, level 11 as well as at Pirate’s_Cove, and at two other locations we visited and archived below, /warp awesome and /warp FlowerForestContinuousCaves. She was good at creating notices that presented her builds as attractions; I noticed that Mirea spend a lot of time at her /warp double_village, and once Bobbi Bear and I had shown it to her, repeatedly visited Sura’s walled desert city nearby. None other than Mircea, the illustrious MP, trekked overland, sometimes leading his horse Vifor, to make a pilgrimage there to view its colorful squares and tall towers. 

Some days after the end of EVOMC21, Sura posted in Discord that she had created a build on her Bedrock realm to commemorate the NASA Mars Rover Landing February 19, 2021: Celebrating the NASA Mars Rover landing on Mars today, I have added a Mars MC game to my Bedrock (not Java) realm. You are invited to try it out and survive on Mars as you build a base and explore the alien civilizations. Join link: 

I reposted it to Facebook with the following commentary:



Fri 12 Feb 0200 UTC Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear pursue a treasure map found on a shipwreck to a happy ending

We announced this adventure in our spontaneous meetup spreadsheet here:

Some time ago Olivetree was helping Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance survive the looting of a shipwreck near a place I dubbed /warp shipwreck_city (because the wreck was on a sandbar near a village). More on that here,, but thanks to her, I just barely came away from that with my my original possessions intact, but I managed to filch a treasure map from the submerged chest inside the shipwreck. I’ve been hanging on to it for safekeeping, thinking to pass it on to my children, but then Bobbi Bear and I were looking for something to do today so we decided to pull out the treasure map and dust it off.

So we made the announcement in the screenshot above. Then we went to one of our homes in the hills behind Shipwreck City, a place I call Glasshouse, and what Bobbi calls ‘ducks’ in her list of home destinations, and had a look at the map. There is a little white dot showing where you are on the map, and if that dot is at the edge of the map it means you are off the map itself but your destination lies in the direction of the red X relative to the dot. For example, I saw that, as viewed from Shipwreck City, the dot on the map was in the upper left corner of the map, the far northwest corner, meaning the treasure marked by X on the map was to the south east. But it could be anywhere to the southeast.

One area we’ve been playing around in lately, /warp FlowerForestContinuousCaves, lies to the south and east of shipwreck city, so I warped there and had a look at the map. From that I was able to triangulate on the approximate location of the treasure chest marked by the red X on the map.

Armed with the map and that approximate triangulation, we set out on today’s adventure, and the video shows how we got there and what we found.

Video Title:
Teacher Vance & Bobbi Bear follow a treasure map to a happy ending on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server


Thu 11 Feb 1400 UTC Meetup with Olivetree for learning about enchantments and potions

Video title:
Olivetree_Gro tutors Teacher Vance & Bobbi Bear from Knowhere Zero to Enchanted – EVO Minecraft MOOC

What is this about?

Olivetree Grove graciously offered to spend time with Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance and show us how to get started with enchanting objects. She took us through all the steps in three ways to acquire enchantments. The last one was to find villagers who would sell you an enchantment which you could then take to an anvil and expend the required experience points to enchant the object you wished lay the enchantment on.

Bobbi and I are both divers-in-lockdown, so our choice was to create enchanted helmets which we could put on to give us extended time underwater. Having succeeded in that, we went with the helmets to the nearby reefs and chased dolphins before I came up on a spot of land, shook myself dry, and ended the video 🙂

How did this event come about?

The genesis of this event is again illustrative of how events in EVOMC21 occur. It started when I woke up in the morning and checked the Discord #serverchat to see what had taken place overnight. Because I am in Malaysia, half a world away from where many of our participants are, the server is often active while Bobbi Bear and I sleep.

This conversation intrigued me. Mirea Artican has found an enchanted book, in this case one that enchants an object with silk touch, see
and for an overview of enchantments.

mireaartican (Fisherman) » OMG!!! I finally got the SILK TOUCH enchanted book! ❤

OlivetreeToday at 3:34 PM – very useful . The best three enchants that I always look for are Mending which can go on everything, Infinity which goes on a bow and with it you need only one arrow and Efficiency which allows you to mine or dig much faster. Silk touch is also very important up there maybe even better than Efficiency because with it you can pick up Bee hives and other stuff without losing them.

bobbi Today at 3:54 PM – how did you get the enchant? I have two books but have not used them yet

TeacherVance Today at 4:09 PM – There are three days left in evomc21, maybe @Olivetree can show us one or two of them, or possibly after this session we’ll have time to Google them and have a look in those books. Personally I’d like to know how to make an infinity bow and also learn how to breath under water. Right now I’m tied down with rendering videos, working on one of three still in the hopper :slight_smile:

mireaartican (Fisherman) » I got the books from a temple in the desert…

bobbi Today at 4:16 PM I have two enchanted books; I need an anvil to get them to work though right?

mireaartican (Fisherman) » The anvils in the tutorial room will work for both nametags and more enchantments. 😀

bobbi Today at 4:21 PM yay!

Olivetree Today at 4:33 PM – You can get enchanted books in three ways. 1- As treasures from chests in dungeons and temples or from mobs or fishing. 2- creating them on an enchanting table using a book, lapsi lazuli and your XP. 3- Buy them from a Librarian Villager using emeralds, and for this you need to know how to work with librarians to get what you want instead of just any random book which requires time and patience. :slight_smile: and yes @bobbi you need an anvil to add a book to an item.
@TeacherVance I can do a session about books and enchanted books and maybe librarians tomorrow if you want.

bobbi  Today at 4:37 PM – That would be cool!

TeacherVanceToday at 4:44 PM – That would be super. I wonder if you could visit the spreadsheet here, because it gives you time in SFO (pacific times in Discord) times GMT to which you can easily recalculate your time (or I could add a Cairo column for you) and times in Malaysia. If you can find a time that’s convenient for you and for @Mirea Artican and @bobbi  that would be SUPERcool.  I’ve already penciled in a event there but you can bump me if you want, I haven’t announced it anywhere but here. Thanks so much for the offer :slight_smile:

Olivetree Today at 6:00 PM – 1400 UTC today is doable and yes sure you can record  @TeacherVance

TeacherVance Today at 9:11 PM – wow, thanks, cya in discord for further instructions

And that is how Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear got a private tutorial (anyone was invited, but no else came) with the very knowledgeable and enchaning Olivetree_Grove. Fortunately, we recorded it 🙂

This was a busy day. Earlier Sura had posted this


abufletcher joined the server

TeacherVance Today at 8:23 PM – hey abu

abufletcher (No Job) » Hi, Vance. I had to login to see the stronghold. But I’m not sure which is more exciting, that or the above ground ocean temple.

TeacherVance Today at 8:25 PM – i was planning to visit that tomorrow but I can catch a sneak prview if there’s room for two

abufletcher (No Job) » Curious. As I enter the Ocean Temple Arena all my inventory disappears.
Room for many: /warp OceanRuins&Stronghold. Or just tp to me. No Discord on this computer.

Surajmuhki Today at 8:28 PM – In the Arena, the gamemode is changed to Adventure and you survival inventory will be saved and return when you are out of the Arena region. Don’t forget to click the Kit sign once downstairs in the Ocean Temple- which is also called an Ocean Monument…no guardian fish mobs… :slight_smile:

Today at 8:29 PM – abufletcher (No Job) » OK. Well, here I go!

TeacherVance Today at 8:29 PM – sorry talking to olivetree, go where?

abufletcher (No Job) » Hey there!

TeacherVance was slain by Zombie

bobbibear joined the server

abufletcher was slain by Zombie

abufletcher left the server

abufletcher joined the server

TeacherVance was slain by Zombie

~Vance (No Job) » I’ll have to find out more about that place before revisiting, I got some pictures though

Greeting party on arrival 🙂

I sidestep. Abu Fletcher distracts the attackers

Now they turn their attention on me

This is all happening very fast

I’ve turned to run

Teacher Vance’s last stand

SurajmuhkiToday at 8:33 PM – Did you do all 4 waves of mobs?

TeacherVanceToday at 8:34 PM – couldn’t get through the 1st one

SurajmuhkiToday at 8:38 PM – @TeacherVance If you run away for a second, they will spread out and be easier to get once separated a little, sort of come at them from behind

Today at 8:40 PM – abufletcher (No Job) » So where’s the entrance to the stronghold?

SurajmuhkiToday at 8:40 PM – look in the buildings for a stairway that goes down

Today at 8:41 PM – abufletcher (No Job) » I’ll check again. Haven’t seen any stairways.

SurajmuhkiToday at 8:41 PM – middle tall building, I think it is
you are there Abu, do you see the stairs?

Today at 8:42 PM – abufletcher (No Job) » Thanks. Found it.

SurajmuhkiToday at 8:42 PM – cool!

This is what we had forgot to do. Go here first and then try it.


Thu 11 Feb 0230 UTC Meetup with Mirea for Mining in Zombieland

Yesterday Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance met Mirea Artican at a a place on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server that Sura had enhanced in a flower forest biome called /warp FlowerForestContinuousCaves. We created a video but then ventured into an unsanitized part of the cave complex. We enjoyed it so much we plan to return tomorrow, but not carry anything we would miss if we couldn’t retrieve it. You are welcome to join us.

Above is a screenshot of the cave exterior. Below is our video from before things got hectic

If there’s time we may visit the nearby /warp awesome mining spot as well. If we go there you might want to bring a chest to leave your valuables at the door and prepare to hold your breath, but once inside it’s awesome mining.

Where does this happen?

  • On the EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021_server
  • You can text chat in Minecraft but it’s so much easier if we can speak to one another in our EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021_Discord
    • We’ll be in Playground 3

When exactly? Thursday 02:30 UTC Feb 11; but Wed Feb 10 if you’re west of the Atlantic

We had arranged to meet Mireaa through her entry on the spontaneous meetup facilitator spreadsheet

What happened?
This morning we had two rounds of Meaningful Adventure Sandbox Play on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server


Revisiting /warp FlowerForestContinuousCaves

Video Title:
Teacher Vance, Bobbi Bear, & Mirea Artican revisit mobs in Flower Forest Continuous Caves at EVOMC21

In this video Teacher Vance, Bobbi Bear & Mirea Artican returned to the place that Sura had found in a naturally occurring Flower Forest biome and designated it /warp FlowerForestContinuousCaves. We were there yesterday and left a base with crafting table, furnace and chests at level 11 right off some magma. We had also ventured up and down again to another part of the cave where we were overwhelmed with zombies and skeletons, also at level 11. The zombies were not able to reach us until we hacked our way down to them, and after we were overwhelmed by them and barely escaped with our goodies, we removed the blocks we’d crafted for our way down and thus blocked their way up. For our part, we discovered we didn’t need a crafted way down; we could jump down to where they were at the cost of only a heart or two, easily replenished by noshing on a carrot or a potato cake.

So our destination today was to revisit that place. Our video today is a comedy of errors and strategies we contrived on the fly to work as a team to try and leave at least one member standing so from wherever we respawned, we could /tp back to to recover our death chests — or if we all died, go to a /home somewhere to re-equip and then go all at once back to our death chests. That way, two of us could cover one miner recovering items, and then two cover the next person’s retrieval and so on. We also put torches around to try and minimize the presence of mobs, but in the end, as on the day before, we were happy to extract a few precious minerals from there and return to our base11 chests, all unscathed and richer from the experience, and feeling like accomplished pirates 🙂


Exploring /warp Awesome with its 50-block water slide and awesome zombie mining

On our second round of Meaningful Adventure Sandbox Play on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server on the morning of Feb 11, 2021, Teacher Vance, Bobbi Bear, and Mirea Artican warped to a spot on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server that Sura has been developing at the site of a previously existing desert village there. The village is across the water from Dak’s pyramid and is in walking distance through the marsh past the witch’s hut to Dak’s skysaucer. Sura created a channel to what was once an inland lake near the town and opened it to the sea and built a pier there with a causeway to the town and placed a sign on the pier that instructs miners to enter the water, sink to the bottom, and follow the light, all while watching their bubbles vanish until, if they’ve done it correctly, they flush out into the thankfully well-lit caves on the other side and into a water slide. If you stay on the water slide you arrive all the way down at level 11, where all the goodies are.

In this video you see Vance, Mirea, and Bobbi orient on the environment, dig passages off the lava beds in hopes of finding diamonds there, and fend off creepers, zombies, skeletons, and even witches while gathering minerals, dying occasionally, respawning, and working as a team to successfully recover our materials and minerals, and in the end, surviving to mine another day. That is after all, the name of the game, the name of this mode of gameplay at any rate.

Video Title:
Teacher Vance, Bobbi Bear, & Mirea Artican ride the awesome water slide for zombie mining at EVOMC21


Wed 10 Feb 0200 UTC Meetup with Mirea for Meaningful Play Adventure Sandbox

Mirea indicated that she wanted to meet at 2 am UTC and

  • Practice making signs, creating stuff, and better decorating for parkour, a math mine, and the inside and outside of a home.
  • Progress on building a turtle or scute farm. (e.g. Collect more nautilus shells from shipwrecks &/or treasure chests for an underwater conduit &/or add ‘silk touch’ to a pickaxe.)
  • mireaartican (Fisherman) » have yet to figure out how to use the nametags with anvils…

To this I added, visit flower forest continuous caves

Inside the flower forest continuous caves

Where does this happen?

  • On the EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021_server
  • You can text chat in Minecraft but it’s so much easier if we can speak to one another in our EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021_Discord
    • We’ll be in Playground 3

When exactly? Tuesday 02:00 UTC Feb 10; but Mon Feb 9 if you’re west of the Atlantic

Arranged though the spontaneous meetup facilitator spreadsheet

Announced on Facebook,

What happened?

We had two adventures this morning.While waiting for Mirea to come online we took the Lodestone compass that Ari had left us for a walkabout, and when Mirea appeared, we went with her to explore what lay beneath the flowers at /warp FlowerForestContinuousCaves


Teacher Vance & Bobbi Bear follow a lodestone compass to Ari’s Hidden Build in EVO Minecraft MOOC

Video title
Teacher Vance & Bobbi Bear follow a lodestone compass to Ari’s Hidden Build in EVO Minecraft MOOC

We had a little too much fun on this one. Mirea was delayed so Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance decided to check out the lodestone compass that was left at our home palace by Ari Bin Lazar in this box.

When held in the hand the compass has a pointer on it that show the direction you should travel to the ‘hidden build’. That direction was pretty much due east from our house, so we followed it out the trimmed paths to the river and crossed into the badlands terracotta-formed biome. We could see from there a spire of light going skyward, not exactly the way to hide a build :-).  It led us to Ari’s train creation, and we could see that Ari was there. I used the map to try to locate Ari but he must have been underground because our icons crossed paths on the vertical plane but obviously not on the horizontal one. After exploring what progress he’d made on this build (we had stumbled on this place before) I noticed the compass was still pointing east so we went that way until nightfall when we could see Ari’s huge balloon looming overhead.

We figured it was a compass pointing us east to whatever we did with it so we returned home for the night, but later Ari told me it pointed to /warp rockridge, a Blazing Saddles set he had created. I had earlier warped there as well, or actually to /warp The_Real_Rock_Ridge. So had we followed it further we might have ended up here:


Fun with Mirea exploring what lay beneath the flowers at /warp FlowerForestContinuousCaves

Meanwhile when Mirea came online Bobbi Bear and I took ourselves to /warp FlowerForestContinuousCaves, a place that Sura has enhanced with fields of flowers set amid the dark oak forest, and created a lighted cave entrance with water slides leading to the far reaches all the way down to level 11. Mirea tp’d to us there and the video is an adventure getting down to that point, and a study in cooperation in working out how to assemble the tools for continued mining, from getting iron to setting up a crafting table and furnace so we could turn the iron ore into iron pickaxes so we could get at the redstone, to placing chests to store the things we held in excess of what we could carry so we could make room for the additional minerals. And we demonstrated the technique of tunnel mining, 1-block wide by 2 tall every two blocks apart so we could find all the resources in between.  We also cautioned about taking care digging below level 11 (never dig straight down) and how to quickly stem a sudden influx of water.  And then we said goodbye.

Video Title:
Teacher Vance, Bobbi Bear & Mirea Artican mine Flower Forest Continuous Caves in EVO Minecraft MOOC

And after that, now off camera, we explored a little further and came to a deep hole where skeletons were shooting up at us. They couldn’t get to where we were though so we were able to practice using our bows on them.  Still they manage to kill Mircea from below and I overextended my reach by hacking a way down to them and getting killed, and then we had to all go down there and help each other recover our death chests. This became a cycle until zombies started coming at us like playing cards spewing from — a spawner maybe? – too many at a time. We finally regrouped at our palace, re-equipped with the bare essentials, and returned all at once to the place where the melee had occurred. We covered each others tails as each of us recovered our death chests and then used /home to get out of there.

But before we left we each made a /sethome there so we could go back, it was so much fun 🙂

Earlier Events

Jan 9 – Week 4 in EVO Minecraft MOOC highlights – Networking with and learning from students and clustered peers


Wed 10 Feb 0200 EST – TESOL B-MEIS Webinar on Bilingual Education Leaders at the Graduate School Level


B-MEIS Webinar: Cultivating Bilingual Education Leaders: Tensions, Successes and Lessons Learned at Graduate School Level
hosted by TESOL’s Bilingual-Multilingual Education Interest Section (B-MEIS).

Here is the link to the webinar recording:


This webinar proposal showcases original studies that attempt to recreate the different aspects of a bilingual education program and our participation in it as instructors, mentees, mentors, and direct protagonists of the challenges and tensions we encountered as we worked with novice and seasoned bilingual teachers and engaged in the figured world of bilingual teacher educators (Holland et al., 2001). The authors examine bilingual education preparation programs beyond the induction of future bilingual teachers with a focus on the exploration of its role in the continuous professional development of experienced teachers to become school leaders back to their school districts or to prepare teacher educators and researchers in other higher education institutions in the country. We discuss the tensions we encountered due to contradictory institutional language ideologies and practices, differing stances toward activism, and growth as bilingual teacher educators and researchers.


Wed 10 Feb 1500 UTC – Free Webinar with Nik Peachey & Russell Stannard

Nik Peachey will be presenting along with Russell Stannard at the LanguagCert conference on the 3rd and 10th of Feb.

Russell will be presenting a range of tools for the remote classroom and Nik will be talking about creativity and sharing some ideas that you can integrate into your teaching in the remote or physical classroom.

For more details go to:

Register to attend –

Wednesday 3 February 2021 at 7:30am GMT
Wednesday 10 February 2021 at 3pm GMT

Thu 11 Feb 1416 Oman time – Webinar on Teaching Media Literacy in the EAP Classroom by Dr. Anastasia Khawaja

English Language Centre at University of Technology and Applied Sciences-Ibri, Oman cordially invites to join a webinar on: Deconstructing Media and Decentering Perspectives: Teaching Media Literacy in the EAP Classroom by Dr. Anastasia Khawaja, USA on 11 February 2021 at 2:16 pm Oman Local Time GMT+4)

Sat 13 Feb 1400-1600 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

About this intitiative,

Jaz and Thunder are at VSTE Space in Second Life every Saturday morning from 5 am to 7 am Pacific time.
Feel free to come learn more about the VSTE VE PLN there. Follow VSTE on Facebook:

Below are directions for joining the VSTE VE PLN in Second Life and Minecraft

Basic directions to join VSTE Spaces

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here:

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



This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is February 23, 2021 07:00 UTC

Week 4 in EVO Minecraft MOOC highlights – Networking with and learning from students and clustered peers

Learning2gether Episode 508


Learn about MineAcademy from Rose Bard
Learning redstone basics from Jamie’s young son Finch
See other highlights from EVOMC 2021 Week 4 – Cluster

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

Mon-Sun 1-7 Feb EVO Minecraft MOOC Week 4 – Cluster

EVOMC 2021 Week 4 – Cluster – Mon-Sun, Feb. 1-7, 2021

2021-02-08_21.37.34Bobbi Bear attracted a cluster of arrows on this visit to a dark alcove.

EVO Minecraft MOOC has ended as of this writing (see current date at bottom of this page as opposed to publication date above). This post provides an encapsulation of and a reflection on Week 4 of the 5 week EVO workshop session.

EVO is Electronic Village Online, EVO is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. EVO Minecraft MOOC (EVOMC) is in its 7th year. I started EVO Minecraft MOOC (EVOMC15) so that I could learn about Minecraft and how I could possibly use it with students. My first forays with Minecraft were rather clumsy but we had gathered together a group of other noobs like myself as well as a smattering of colleague gamers who served as our gurus, plus some equally knowledgeable children. In that first and subsequent years the community has scaffolded us noobs into becoming less clumsy, little by little, year by year. Along the way we in EVOMC have become a true and vibrant community of practice inculcated into the participatory culture inherent in the game Minecraft and its surrounding larger community of Minecraft players and teachers everywhere.

I decided to dedicate each week to one of Dave Cormier’s five stages of success in MOOCs. These stages describe a natural progression of people becoming involved in MOOCs: Orient, Declare, Network, Cluster, and Focus.

2021-02-07_18.52.08One day the itinerant trader brought his llamas to cluster in our house for a while. No telling how they got in 🙂

Week 4 is the week that people in EVOMC21 might logically cluster according to the interests of certain members of the group. In our case, I think we formed two distinct clusters according to our timeszones.  Where I am in Malaysia, I was 12 hours distant from participants in the USA. There were many in between, but the most active participants in the USA, UK, and Egypt gravitated to the AZcraft server (Arizona?) where there was a very lively community of highly creative young miners. Thus our group tended to cluster on just diurnal rhythms.


Dakotah Redstone confronts a hoglin one eventful evening in the nether. He encourages me to plunder the chests we find; says he’s in it for the bacon 🙂

Others of us found compatible players to accompany us in game. Bobbi Bear and I (Teacher Vance) clustered naturally with Mirea, a night owl teacher in San Francisco who seemed to enjoy our style of tutelage at first and quickly became proficient enough to teach us a few ropes. We also had a significant didactic encounter with Finch, the young son of one of our other participants. Finch took Bobbi Bear and I through the basics of redstone and showed us how to trigger mechanisms with it. We recorded that and posted it on YouTube, and archived it here as the second article in this blog post.


Mirea Artican joins Dakotah and I and completes the cluster in the nether. Survival is possible under Dak’s expert guidance. Bobbi Bear passes messages from the overworld.

We also carried on with our networking with other co-communities. One of our longest running of these associations has been with VSTE, Virginia Society for Technology in Education. Kim Harrison, aka K4sons, hosts a Minecraft Monday event on the first Monday of every month. She is also a co-moderator of EVOMC21, and so our first event in Week 4 (last article in this post) featured K4son’s hosting of Dark Knight’s redstone workshop, part 2.

This post leads with an introduction to Bard Rose’s MineAcademy English Club, which she has set up as a space to allow her students to grow into English language learning though the meaningful play that we teachers are enjoying in order to learn what we want to know –> how Rose and other teachers in our community are using Minecraft to achieve desired outcomes with students. As this will be her focus for some time to come, and as she has invited us to join her in her MineAcademy journey, her presentation segues us nearly into week 5 of our MOOC, the focus stage.

Sun 07 Feb 1400 UTC – MineAcademy English Club – Bard Rose hosting

🙃Topics of the session and pre-session reading task:
✅MineAcademy project: what I’ve done so far and what is next
✅Pedagogical approach: language learning and project-based frameworks I’ve designed in 2020
✅Discussion on Managing learners community in-game

📑Before discussing in-game management for educational purposes, I’ll discuss techniques of how game designers build community in and out of game.
💭“A ‘community’ can be thought of as a group of people who share informal relationships that are intimate, enduring, intense, and emotional. Communities form around a shared interest, need or expertise”

Online Community Building Techniques Used by Video Game Developers…

This event was announced

Session description:

If students can learn English in a physical classroom with limited concrete resources, why wouldn’t they develop their communicative skills if class could happen inside in immersive ludic environment? Minecraft provides concrete experiences and meaningful opportunities to learn and practice the language. In MineAcademy English Club the official language is English; projects are negotiated and agency is promoted.

I’d love to share with EVOMC community how MineAcademy started, give an overview of the pedagogical frameworks I’ve created for language learning and managing project-based learning, and discuss managing students in-game.

And here’s the recording,

Rose has blogged her own reflection on her presentation, here

There are many insights here but a pleasantly graphical one was how she characterized answers to one of the questions she had the audience answer in Mentimeter. The question was: “What challenges would you think we could face while running a class with children and teens in Minecraft (participants)?” and here is how she categorized the responses:

Credit: Categorizing participants’ answers as either cognitive or affective challenges (Rosemere Bard, 2021)

Learning redstone basics from Jamie’s young son Finch

Tue 09 Feb 0300 UTC Learning about Redstone with Finch and Jamie

This image is one of Teacher Vance’s screenshots from Dark Knight’s Tue 3 Nov VSTE Minecraft Monday workshop on Redstone basics

Teacher Vance knows a little about redstone in theory but has never built anything with it. Jamie’s son Finch is eager to show us what he knows about creating traps with redstone. Hopefully that means traps not meant for other players, using skills that can be applied to triggering mechanisms in general.

Finch agreed to meet Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear online at 3 am UTC on Tue Feb 9 and show us what he knows

I thought we would have these problems, assuming we would be playing in survival mode, as we usually do.

  1. We’ll have to find some redstone
  2. We’ll have to find a safe and appropriate place for our sandbox activities
  3. Finch will have to show us the basics
  4. We’ll go from there, avoiding inconvenience to other players

But we solved these problems by playing in CREATIVE MODE at /warp creativespawn on our EVOMC21 server.

The informal tutorial was recorded and is available here,

This event is a good example of many of the basic tenants of Minecraft pedagogy. Kids like to be clever and creative and apply critical thinking to projects that engage them. They like to communicate about their projects though spoken discourse and even create records of them such as written or multimedia descriptions in order to teach their teachers, if one is available, but more so to communicate with their peers who may in turn be sharing what they know with them. The situation is ripe for presenting opportunities for community-based authentic communication in a first or target or tandem language language environment.

Minecraft-driven learning is just-in-time learning where students use google to research solutions to immediate conundrums (e.g. how do I make a hoe / start a farm in Minecraft). It is student-driven but can be teacher mediated if the teacher is familiar enough with the environment to mediate it. Thus it can be serendipitous and unpredictable, but with a teacher skilled in massaging the Minecraft environment, those features can be used along with the many inherently gamified elements in Minecraft to keep students playing as linguistic (or other) concepts are acquired.

Heartwarming feedback, speaks for itself (I’m in it for the participants, be they kids or peers):

Thanks Vance – Finch had a great time and talked about it all day the next day – thanks so much for the opportunity. He has been brainstorming since then about he and I could start a Minecraft English school together… so, while I’m not sure about THAT, I do love the collaborative opportunities it could bring! 🙂

***** (6 hours later, and I still haven’t emailed this)*****

As soon as finch got home from school today he started creating a ’school’ in Minecraft and talking more and more about his plan to start a school. I’m trying to lean him toward creating a list of topics that he’d like to teach about… and then we’ll go from there! 🙂 If I can figure out how to get our accounts unlinked from each other, I could be his pupil and we could do a Minecraft for Moms series…

Anyway, thank you for the fun event and I love this group and the way you have it set up. I’m sorry I struggle to be more involved during the 5 week sessions – but I do hope to keep up with you all in EVO from time to time moving forward.

Where did this happen?

  • On the EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021_server
  • We were able to speak to one another in our EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021_Discord

Announcements of this event were made

Tweeted accordingly:

We now have 8 tweeted reflections from 2 EVO MInecraft MOOC participants at this link

Other highlights from EVOMC 2021 Week 4 – Cluster

Sat-Sun 6-7 Feb Spontaneous meetups on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server

In an attempt to increase the likelihood of connecting with tutors / tutees I started a spreadsheet with I maintained hour by hour while I was monitoring the server (pretty much in COVID lockdown here in Malaysia; not wise to be out much).

Mirea noted on the spreadsheet when she would be around


I noticed from the dynamic map that she was spending time at this /warp double_village and made a screenshot to show here that there were interesting builds in her neighborhood. I didn’t want to intrude but just let her know that Bobbi Bear and I were available.

She didn’t respond right away so Bobbi and I found our way to the desert village that Sura had created, reaching there by water from the double_village warp.

Mirea joined us there. We showed her how to get back on the river, but she wanted to spend more time at the village.

Later she sent us some information on what she had learned about cactus, besides that it cost you hearts if you ran up against it in the desert.

Thu 04 Feb 0200 UTC – EVOMC21 explores together what’s beyond the door that says Enter if you Dare

Bobbi Bear and I decided to recruit volunteers to accompany us in an exploration of what lies behind the sign teasingly placed on a door somewhere on our EVO Minecraft MOOC server.

In this spreadsheet,

Mirea Artican posted that she would like to explore together what’s beyond the door that says, “Enter if you dare!”

Moderator team Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance entered our names in the moderator column to volunteer to accompany her

Here is the door in question;

and its position in our world relative to Spawn

Teacher Vance went down to reconnoiter and found a set of caverns, fairly well lit, with waterfalls that help with orientation.

Though precipitous drops I could see magma below. I only went down to about level 40 or so. Later we discovered that you could step down and land in pools of water at the bottom and not be injured, or ride waterfall elevators for much of the way down to level 11, where the goodies are, but it’s just above the magma.

When I revisited I will carried only things easily replaced,

  • a bed,
  • a stone sword
  • both stone and iron pickaxes
  • torches and spare sticks and coal,
  • some carrots or any sufficient food
  • a chest, in case I want to leave anything I find in a safe place before exploring further
  • a stack each of dirt and cobblestone, handy for marking the way back, making bridges and repairs, and easily removed afterwards

Where did this happen?

We made announcements made on

Video Title:
EVO Minecraft MOOC miners cluster behind the door that says Enter if you DARE! on the EVOMC21 server

What happened?

In this Meaningful Play Sandbox Tutorial Adventure on the EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021 server, Bobbi Bear and I opened the door that says Enter if you DARE!  Behind it we explored towering caverns flowing with waterfalls and magma, all the way down to level 11. While we were still above level 20 Mirea joined us, after resolving problems with her computer or connection.

We soon realized that this cave area fell within the EVOMC21 protected spawn area, so there were no monsters here. Bobbi Bear and I also realized when we came upon the house that we had created here just off the river flowing through the deep trench, that we had been here before, though it seemed that the ways out had been altered. The boats were still on the river, but there were no mobs sitting in them, no archers on the ledges above, and looking at the map, we saw that the trench itself had been re-terraformed. It was not the gash in the land that it once was and just a small part of it remained exposed to the open sky.

However, ample rewards awaited our pursuit of the way down to level 11. That area had been meticulously strip mined, with multiple 1-block wide by two-blocks tall passages made to expose mineral deposits in the walls. We found redstone and diamonds and even a bed of obsidian, which Mirea used to make bridges in the lava so we could reach further diamonds.

By now Jane had joined us along with Mattie, who went swimming in the lava and emerged as if from water. Bobbi’s and Mirea’s cats both tried that but with the expected sadly different results. Zzidkha and Sura noticed five people on the server and came down to see what’s up, so we had achieved a cluster for Week 4.

After almost an hour Zzidkha and Mattie and Jane warped over to the wool race course on the old server, which I have a feeling we are going to hear more about before the end of Week 5. The rest of us joined them but Bobbi Bear and I stopped the video and returned to real life, where we had been delaying our breakfast.

Tue 02 Feb 0100 UTC VSTE Minecraft Monday in conjunction with EVOMC21; K4sons hosting

VSTE Minecraft Monday in conjunction with EVOMC21; K4sons hosting, took place at 8 pm EST on Feb 1, which is 1 am UTC; hence the disparity in days

It was recorded by Jane Chien on behalf of EVO Minecraft MOOC

Dark Knight did part two of his redstone tutorial. Part one was on Monday, 2 November, 2020. Teacher Vance attended on that day, but did not record it without permission; plus I saw that the Minecraft app was being streamed into Discord.


That’s when I learned that Discord doesn’t do recordings. I made it a point to record this one. The last one was great.

On Nov 2, I only made these screenshots. It was hands-on and took place in the workshop space shown here in Minecraft. We moved from challenge to challenge, and the last challenges were left to this second session. I hope Dark Knight will recap the first ones.

Minecraft Mondays occur on the first Monday of any month at 8 PM Eastern time on the VSTE Place server (GMT -5)

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

You must have a computer Minecraft account from to join. There is a one time fee of $26.95.

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. Make sure you have installed and are running version 1.16.5
  3. Choose multiplayer and add a server: Name VSTE Place IP:
  4. Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter.
    Email Kim Harrison at from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name.
    K4sons told me that for this event the whitelist will be switched OFF so no need to worry about that on this day.
    But if you want to return, you’ll need to get whitelisted.

We’ll be using VSTE’s Discord server

Discord is a voice and screen sharing application that will run on your computer or mobile device.

  1. Download and install it for free.
  2. Create an account. Many of us use the same name for our Discord account as our Minecraft account to keep things simple.
  3. Our channel is

It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.

K4sons will post an invitation link in our EVOMC21 Discord server the day before the event. The invitation is good for one day.

We will distribute the invitation link as best we can for anyone wishing to join us in this well established and highly creative and knowledgeable community of educators and students.

Earlier Events

Sun 31 Jan, 2021 – Various EVO Minecraft MOOC moderators and participants engage during Week 3 in EVO Minecraft MOOC highlights – Trading string for emeralds and networking on the AZcraft server

Fri-Sat 5-6 Feb 2021 NileTESOL free Virtual Conference

The 25th NileTESOL Conference will take place online on February 5 and 6, 2021. The theme of the conference is “Digitize Globalize”. This year, we are celebrating the conference Silver Jubilee and it is the hope of the Organizing Committee to offer you a great and memorable professional development experience with our selected Egyptian and international plenary, featured, and conference presenters.

Please find information on our conference plenary speakers on this link.

The conference is offered this year for free to support EFL professionals in Egypt and internationally. There is no pre-registration required. All you need to have is the Webinar ID and Passcode in the program book to enter the Zoom room and enjoy a diverse program of sessions for two days. Please note that the Zoom room capacity is limited, so please login on time to secure a place.

Find the 2021 NileTESOL Virtual Conference Conference Program, with Zoom IDs and passcodes on this link.

Direct link to program,

Fri-Sun Feb 5-7 – The 17th Annual CamTESOL Conference, held virtually

The 17th Annual CamTESOL Conference will be held virtually on 5-7 February 2021, under the theme ‘Actions and Innovations in Teaching and Learning.’

The CamTESOL virtual conference continues to ensure that presenters and delegates’ journey at the conference is convenient and friendly. At the upcoming 17th CamTESOL virtual conference:

  • The ‘CamTESOL App’ and ‘Zoom’ platform will be used for presenters to deliver their 45-minutes interactive sessions
  • There will be a chair and a coordinator in each session to ensure a smooth flow, including Q&A
  • Special training and tips on ‘How to present virtually’ will be provided to all presenters if their abstracts are accepted

Conference Registration (it wasn’t free)

Early rate

(Paid by 17 January 2021)

Standard rate

(Paid after 17 January 2021)

Citizen of ASEAN countries US$ 20 US$ 40
Non-Citizen of ASEAN countries  US$ 25 US$ 50

Sat 6 Feb 1400-1600 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

About this intitiative,

Jaz and Thunder are at VSTE Space in Second Life every Saturday morning from 5 am to 7 am Pacific time.

Feel free to come learn more about the VSTE VE PLN there. Follow VSTE on Facebook:

Below are directions for joining the VSTE VE PLN in Second Life and Minecraft

Basic directions to join VSTE Spaces

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here:

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

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under

The date of this update is February 19, 2021 13:00 UTC