Learning2gether with VSTE at their monthly Minecraft Monday

Learning2gether episode #420

Minecraft Monday Sept. 9 at 8 PM Eastern time (12 am UTC)

The first Monday of every month is Minecraft Monday. It happens at 8 PM Eastern time, in Maine USA. Unless that Monday is a holiday in the USA; then it’s the second Monday (like the Monday after Memorial Day in September, for example).

So on the second Monday in September 2019, at 8 in the evening on the eastern seaboard, USA, a group of miners, all educators from the looks of it, and mostly teachers of other young miners, met before bedtime for their monthly Monday play-date. By then I (Vance in Penang, Malaysia) was just waking up the following morning, Tuesday midnight Sept 10 UTC. So for me and folks in Europe and parts east of there, it’s Minecraft Tuesdays.

The event was announced by Kim Harrison (a.k.a. K4sons / Thunder in SL) as an informal discussion about ways to use Minecraft at school while building in the creative side of VSTE Place.

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

To participate in Minecraft Mondays, you must have a computer Minecraft account from https://minecraft.net/en/. There is a one time fee of $26.95. Download and install the software. Choose multiplayer and add a server:

  • Name VSTE Place IP
  • Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter. For that, email Kim Harrison at K4sons@gmail.com from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name.


Discord is a voice and screen sharing application that will run on your computer or mobile device. In order to talk with others in VSTE virtual environments, you need to download and install it for free. It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.

Create an account.

  • Many of us use the same name for our Discord account as our Minecraft account to keep things simple.
  • Our channel is https://discord.gg/nDX4mZv 

Discussion and links from the group chat in Discord

     Someone asked if people in the group were planning to use Minecraft with their students next term. I was quite surprised that one or two in the group answered in the negative, giving reasons of reduced funding for licenses and adequately powerful computers for students to use to run Minecraft, and poor to negligible technical and admin support, which again are additional symptoms of under-funding for staffing and overtime for after-school activities. If schools could fund creativity through increased staffing, it seems to me they would. It seems to me a step in the very wrong direction when a school system can’t support the efforts of teachers to integrate into their curricula something as creative and promotional of critical thinking as Minecraft. As someone else said in the chat, he thought you could teach anything in Minecraft. The point was discussed, and someone else pointed out the learning was in the discussion following the meaningful play, and that it takes a teacher with experience and the instincts to be able to convert game play into meaningful discussion, and from there into learning outcomes that jibe with the curriculum.
     Again, this is just my opinion, but it seems to me that the nation has a crying need to be led by someone who can let the people’s elected congress decide where the money gets spent and stop draining it off arbitrarily (from schools, from disaster relief, from the military e.g. military schools) on pet, cosmetic, and ineffective partisan projects, and someone who would appoint as secretary of the Dept. of Education a highly qualified person who was passionate about and seriously attuned to education, not ignorant of its nuances, and who rose to her position only through her wealth and whom she had graced with it.
     Anyway, it would have been unseemly to have raised all this in the chat, but I did mention that though I was not planning to use Minecraft with students this year, I was planning to use it with teachers, as I have done for the past five years, in the upcoming EVO sessions (Electronic Village Online, https://evosessions.pbworks.com). I invited those present to check our website (I say ‘our’ because two present at this event, Kim Harrison and Beth O’Connell) have been moderators of our EVO Minecraft MOOC sessions. I posted the URL for more information in the Discord chat, http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/.
     Speaking of discussion afterwards, as people were departing, I lingered to talk with someone named SunTzu about the comic books he was generating from his work with students in virtual worlds. Called Second Life Adventure Comics, SunTzu said he’d be “willing to do one for educators if we can come up with an interesting story narrative and visuals and hopefully have a purpose to use it”. See his work at

     SunTzu uses Gyayzo to get the screen captures for his books, https://gyazo.com/f09ad6d02347442005b72ae974bda5e5. To read the books click on the links at top of the images that say SCAC 19-01, 02, and 03 (the book icons also appear hyperlinked, so clicking on just the text above the icons was not intuitive).

     To visit SunTzu in world, follow this SLURL in Second Life


What happened on the day

Here are some of the screen shots I made while engaged in this event. There are more screen captures uploaded to the Discord chatroom for those who wish to talk with VSTE teachers.

Most of those present just started building, all in creative mode, with unlimited tools and resources at their disposal. We start with an overview taken from across the way looking back on where the building was taking place


And moving in closer as the building was getting under way


Mainecakes made a turtle pond, complete with turtle she’d either spawned or lured there. Once done, she set about decorating the area with some of the plants available in creative inventory.

K4sons set about making a saddlery shop. Some of the local mobs came around to have a look. I right clicked on one. I could have grabbed a few dozen lumps of coal from inventory and traded them with him for the emerald he had concealed under his cloak.

SunTzu and Beth_Ghostraven created a crenelated castle and when they moved to the second floor, the ground floor started attracting spiders and zombies, who tend to emerge during periods of relative darkness, such as rainstorms. In the screenshot below someone has slain a zombie and left its rotten carcass there for someone else to collect. If you accumulate such carcasses you can trade them with villagers for things you can’t find otherwise in Minecraft.

JazMar created something with impenetrable doors, so I had to catch him/her working with screenshots made through the windows. At one point a skeleton took up a position near one of the doors. He turned and faced me as I moved around him. However, as we were in creative mode, he did not attack. But then Beth appeared on the scene and took her sword to him. Before succumbing to that he got off an arrow that caught her on the bum. Ouch!

And when Dak arrived, he set about constructing one of his signature neo-monolithic structures. Asked how he could do it so quickly, he said he had done it so many times before. He is indeed a prolific and experienced builder. I followed him through the roof on the staircase leading to the ground floor, where I watched Dakotah making hasty improvements to the decor there, ignoring a llama and a neutered skeleton who had taken up residence downstairs.

I created my own monstrosity on a plateau behind where the others were building.



At the end of the day, we all gathered, as you do, for selfies and photos. There are more group photos in the Discord chat room. Those who are members can get there using this link: https://discordapp.com/channels/154391510064824320

Coming up at VSTE

Next week, in Second Life at VSTE Space we will talk about the books we read this summer.

Basic directions to join VSTE Space

If you don’t have a Second Life account, you can get one for free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/  Here’s how

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

We now have office hours every Saturday from 9 am to 11 am Eastern time.

Thanks to VSTE for hosting the event and reposting this article on their blog, https://vste.org/minecraft-monday/

Earlier events

Sep 8 1200 noon UTC – Webheads 21 year reunion with original members Vance, Michael, Felix, etc




Writing for Webheads 21-year reunion with original members Vance Stevens, Michael Coghlan, & Felix Zaniboni, and Dan Bassill

Learning2gether episode #419

Download the audio here: https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/2019sept08_w4wreunion_audio.m4a?

At the traditional meeting time of noon GMT, and on the usual day, Sunday, three original Writing for Webheads members convened in Zoom for a 21 year reunion. The date was September 8, 2019, and the original members who joined me, Vance Stevens, were Michael Coghlan and Felix Zaniboni.  We were joined by Dan Bassill, one of our original Webheads in Action members, who helped us better relate the Webheads movement with his Tutor Mentor Exchange.

The video recording is here: https://youtu.be/53NAeB5NX7U

These show notes are reconstructed from tabs left open on my computer.

I started by bringing up and sharing web pages from Writing for Webheads:

Felix has since started his own language school in Bahia, Brazil. Pto. Seguro I presume.

Michael was able to find and share with us some materials he had from his online days that pre-dated the beginning of my chat logs. He had a web page he’d used to deliver a presentation in Jerusalem in July 1998, which shows his involvement teaching online through Dave’s ESL Cafe and David Winet’s EFI (English for Internet at Study.com). http://michaelcoghlan.net/confrefs.htm. The slides he used in this presentation are still online: http://michaelcoghlan.net/conshort/index.htm


Michael showed us some of the materials he produced for online learners in 1997 and 1998, such as http://michaelcoghlan.net/toeflintroassign.htm, which he used in the class he taught in EFI. Others are mentioned in the chat log from the Zoom recording.

Felix remembered that Michael had sent him a certificate of completion of his online course from those days. When Michael was trying to remember it, Felix said he still had it on his computer somewhere (or maybe it was in a frame on the wall of his office :-). In any event he was able to find it pretty quickly and send it to us in an email. I couldn’t resist posting it here:


Zoom chat logs

20:20:31 From Michael : http://michaelcoghlan.net/TOEFLHOME.htm
20:27:11 From Michael : http://michaelcoghlan.net/confrefs.htm
20:42:07 From Daniel : Hi Vance and all. My camera’s not working but I can hear and see you all. Happy Webheads anniversary.
20:52:00 From Michael : http://www.michaelcoghlan.net/RWASSIGN1.htm
20:52:24 From Daniel : http://www.tutormentorexchange.net
20:55:29 From Felix : i just sent you an email with the certificate
20:58:26 From Felix : BRB
20:59:04 From Daniel : http://tutormentor.blogspot.com
21:12:57 From Vance Stevens : https://evosessions.pbworks.com
21:14:23 From Vance Stevens : skoll foundation
21:14:29 From Daniel : Skoll foundation – Social Edge
21:15:29 From Daniel : #etmooc #clmooc #dlmooc
21:18:47 From Daniel : Dan is Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Chicago area

Dan joined us late in the chat. He has been in the Webheads in Action Yahoo Group since 2005. According to the WiA community page here, http://vancestevens.com/papers/evonline2002/community.htm, he indicated when joining that he had “collaborated with Webheads on 3 eConferences since May 2004”. Dan is the force behind the Tutor Mentor Exchange that works to find ‘mentors’ for poor kids in Chicago and make a difference in their lives. He guided us through pages on his site and showed us pictures of people he had mentored who had remained his friends for life, and in come cases had gone on to help people who had mentored them, such as the guy in the picture below (I presume he’s the same one as the young man pictured with a much younger Dan in the photo below that):


He saw parallels with Webheads in the way we were each trying to connect with communities that would bring us members who could help us further our altruistic goals, tapping into what Clay Shirky called the cognitive surplus that the advent of the internet leveraged so ably. Dan steered us through the following links (that were working when we met but are not responding today; I’ll monitor this).

We visited http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/ and from there clicked onto http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/conferences-and-online-forums,
and from there linked to
to get a clearer picture of the connection between Webheads and the Tutor Mentor Exchange. You can follow that connection in the recording we made of the reunion.

In the video below Dan explains his work with Tutor Mentor.

Dan also told us to visit his blog and search on Webheads to find all the times we were mentioned there, which I did: https://tutormentor.blogspot.com/search?q=webheads

Dan has been doing this for a long time (over 45 years?). I found this at https://www.facebook.com/TutorMentorInstitute/


This event happened late evening for me. When I awoke in the morning I found via email alert that two colleagues had arrived in the Zoom room between 1 and 2 hours after we had already left it. They were Maha (I’ll have to find out which one) and Doris Molero, whom I met face to face for the first time at WorldCALL in Chile this past summer: http://vancestevens.com/papers/evonline2002/community.htm#keepshining

In these picture Doris and I meet for the first time in Chile after decades of collaboration on various projects, and in the picture on the right, she says that her long learning journey that eventually brought her to Chile began with Webheads in Action.

20181114_133413 IMG_0781

Here are some announcement that attracted Dan, Doris, and Maha to our proceedings:

For #Learning2gether episode 419, all are invited to attend a reunion actually of the old Writing for Webheads which started some time before September 1998 (Webheads in Action got going a few years later in 2001-2002). It takes place this coming Sunday Sept 8, at noon UTC. Michael Coghlan and Felix Zaniboni have agreed to join me to just talk about what we could possibly have been thinking way back then.

Felix  Michael  Vance

I’m not sure exactly when Webheads began, but we can talk about that today. Late last century Vance was teaching a course for EFI, English for Internet, an online language learning idea implemented by David Winet where he set up a website called Study.com, and got students to sign up for English lessons via Internet and recruited teachers to teach them, all for free, and mostly by email. One of my students showed me how to do this better by getting me started learning HTML and creating a website for it, http://prosites-vstevens.homestead.com/files/efi/webheads.htm. By then we had started calling it Writing for Webheads, and David had got a company called Coterie interested in the project to the point where they set up a muve Palace server where those interested could go and learn and teach languages.

David set us up with a classroom space in the Palace and from a server Vance was setting up at a language school he was helping develop in his real job in the UAE, he was able to enter the Palace and remain there all day using the LAN without having to occupy my phone line (that was back in the days of dodgy dialup connectivity). The time assigned for Vance’s class followed closely on that assigned to two other EFI teachers, Michael Coghlan and Maggie Doty. They were often still in the space when Vance appeared for his class, and we just merged.

I’m not sure if this was in 1997 or 1998, but this is where got to know the students mentioned in the first record I have of our chat logs there,

There’s a lot more that I can write here but on Sunday, Sept 8, Felix Zaniboni, whom we used to know as “Bahia”, and Michael Coghlan have agreed to meet me and whomever else we can recruit for the event for a discussion of old times and where we have all gone from there.



Announcements of this Learning2gether event on Facebook Groups


On twitter




This just in from Dan, https://twitter.com/tutormentorteam/status/1170690655674347520



Webheads in Action in the Literature 

From http://webheads.info



Earlier events

Fri, August 9, 2019 – Vance Stevens repeated “Supporting student writing with the help of voice-to-text”

live and f2f on August 9 at GLoCALL 2019 in Danang, Vietnam


Aug 19 VSTE Island Grand Opening in Second Life

VSTE Grand Opening!
Tuesday, August 20⋅12:00 – 1:00am (not sure which time zone; suspect it’s UTC)

Join the VSTE VE PLN on VSTE Island in Second Life.

More info at VSTE VE PLN on FB


Sun Sep 1 2300 UTC Nelba Quintana on Skype with author Andrés Cruciani

Nelba Quintana is holding a free video conference with Andrés Cruciani on Skype on Sept 1 at 23:00 UTC

 From LinkedIn


See Nelba’s message on Instagram


Prof Cruciani , writer and online editor, will speak about his short story “The Scientist”, read some lines and then you will have the opportunity to interact with him .

🔜 Send a private message on Instagram to get enrolled

See Nelba’s announcement on Twitter


Find out more about Nelba at https://nelbanet.org/

Wed Sept 4 – Fri Sept 6 2019 – Final conference of European policy experiment ‘evaluate’

One interesting thing about this conference is that, due to its funding, it is free to attend (on site).

For more information


Supporting student writing with the help of voice-to-text – presented on August 9 at GLoCALL 2019 in Danang, Vietnam

Learning2gether episode #418


After rehearsing this presentation before a live online audience as Learning2gether episode 418, https://learning2gether.net/2019/08/04/learning2gether-with-vance-stevens-at-mmvc19-supporting-student-writing-with-the-help-of-voice-to-text/, I delivered pretty much the same presentation face-to-face on Friday August 9 at the GLoCALL conference to be held in Danang, Vietnam.

Abstract :

The presenter demonstrates techniques that streamline correction and feedback on student writing utilizing Google Docs and voice input features native to tablet and mobile devices.

The workshop is in three parts.

  • The first part demonstrates giving feedback using Google Docs and shows video evidence of its effectiveness.
  • The second part shows how the same feedback can be given using voice tools, freeing the teacher to move among the students, speak into a handheld device, and have the spoken feedback appear as comments in the student’s Google Doc.
  • The third part shows how teachers can encourage writing fluency by speaking what students write on paper into Google Docs. The teacher returns the original paper with printouts of what the students wrote expressed in correct language. On the printouts are written suggestions for development of their ideas. The students revise in Google Docs from these suggestions. Subsequent revision cycles address both accuracy and fluency, but starting with a version of the student’s work which is not bogged down in errors from the outset.

Evidence of success with improving writing fluency will be presented and participants will come away from the workshop able to apply the technique in their own writing classes.

For latest updates, see https://glocall.org/mod/page/view.php?id=696

A few participants tried gamely to document the conference on the #glocall2019 Twitter tag


Vance Stevens@VanceS

I present in Danang today at on Supporting student writing with the help of voice-to-text. My presentation is written out at https://tinyurl.com/glocall2019vance , slides are at https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1DU67TWYqF2MxW0h36Js23upkTZKlw7oLsmVoi5nEUH8/edit?usp=sharing , & rehearsal video here https://youtu.be/6QnTds__hf0 . If you miss it it’s all there.

See Vance Stevens’s other Tweets

Here I am trying to get Google Docs to work on my iPad, and discovering after only a few awkward moments that I had neglected to connect the iPad to the GLoCALL conference wifi in Danang. Photo courtesy of Joseph V. Dias.


Once I had corrected the problem, when participants shared their Google Docs with me during the event, I was able to interact with them afterwards. Here is one of the interesting responses that I got in the comment thread of one of the Google Docs shared with me.

In one of the afternoon session, a Vietnamese presenter commented that the government was pushing Microsoft. Perhaps that is why participants weren’t creating and sharing Google Docs. They might not be all that familiar with it. Or maybe they aren’t that used to interactive workshops. I teach in Hong Kong and I know my local colleagues are still very teacher centred and not comfortable with this sort of student centred, interactive approach.

My response

In my past teaching post, we also had office 365 and I found it quite inferior to google docs. Also, I mentioned that I have records of every student I ever interacted with in my Google Drive, but my records of every student I ever interacted with in Office 365 are gone now that I am no longer in the enterprise system where the MS product was purchased. Also the students I was teaching in UAE were also not used to the close interaction over writing process but since that’s the way I did it they got on board and benefited.


There was a modest Twitter feed active at the conference


Minh’s reply with links to the following videos is here: https://twitter.com/mrminhenglish/status/1160663818021720065

I wasn’t able to find any videos on the “school’s Facebook page” – assuming he means this one, https://www.facebook.com/pg/University-of-foreign-language-DaNang-739336339473227/ (but the newest posts there are from 2014)

Please note Minh’s admonition that the videos are not “public”  – however when I paste the links below (from the post above) WordPress opens them automatically.

Opening Ceremony & Plenary Session #1

Plenary Session #2

Plenary Session #3

Plenary Session #4

GLoCALL presentations eventually make it into print

On Aug 31, 2019 Kazunori Nozawa announced here:
the latest publication (August 2019) of  CALL-EJ Vol. 20, No. 2 and No. 3 (special issue from GLoCALL 2018 Conference papers).

He said:
There are 10 featured articles and one software review in No. 2 and they are downloadable as PDFs at http://callej.org/journal/20-2.html;
while there are 10 papers from GLoCALL 2018 in No. 3 and also downloadable as PDFs at http://callej.org/journal/20-3.html.



Earlier events

Sun, August 4, 2019 – Learning2gether with Vance Stevens at MMVC19 – Supporting student writing with the help of voice-to-text



July 1 thru Aug 16 VSTE 3rd Summer of Survival in Minecraft

More information at https://sites.google.com/view/vstesofs17/home

The first Monday of every month is Minecraft Monday at 8 PM Eastern time, in Maine USA.

Mon Aug 5 midnight Aug 6 UTC – Minecraft Monday

This is part of VSTE’s 3rd Summer of Survival,  more information at https://sites.google.com/view/vstesofs17/home

The first Monday of every month is Minecraft Monday at 8 PM Eastern time, in Maine USA.

Tue Aug 6 and Sat Aug 10 iTDi Teacher’s Room with Steven Herder and Philip Shigeo Brown


Learning2gether with Vance Stevens at MMVC19 – Supporting student writing with the help of voice-to-text

Learning2gether episode 417

On Sunday Aug 4 Vance Stevens presented  “Supporting student writing with the help of voice-to-text” at the 8th annual Moodle Moot Virtual Conference MMVC19, hosted, as always, by Nellie Deutsch. The MMVC19 presentation took place online in Zoom and  Nellie uploaded the recording not long afterwards to this url, https://youtu.be/6QnTds__hf0 on YouTube:

Nellie posted on her Moodle site that we could access the live sessions of day 3 from:

Here is what the Google Doc looked like where my event was listed:

I prepared this presentation as a rehearsal for a live workshop I would do 5 days later on Friday August 9 face-to-face at the GLoCALL conference to be held in Danang, Vietnam

Here is the text chat from the live presentation

From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 09:52 PM Hi! This is Besma from Tunisia
From Harshita K to Everyone: 09:52 PM Good evening from India
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 09:52 PM Yes
From haifa aljuaid to Everyone: 09:52 PM yes
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 09:52 PM perfect
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 09:53 PM I remember we met in Mahdia long ago
From Harshita K to Everyone: 09:55 PM Maybe its because of internet bandwidth
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 09:55 PM voice is perfect, I mean
From Me to Everyone: 09:59 PM Here is the URL of the workshop where I met Besma
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 09:59 PM Yes! long ago.
From Zahra Shafiee to Everyone: 10:01 PM Hi Vance, Nellie, and Everyone
From Helen Chenoby to Everyone: 10:02 PM Hi Everyone
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:03 PM Hi Zahra You can go later. It’s in the conference area, too.
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:03 PM please put your link in chat
From Me to Everyone: 10:04 PM
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:04 PM thanks
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:04 PM Thank you
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:05 PM Anna, can you share the link of the discussion form under Vance’s webinar on Day 3 on the Moodle? Thank you.
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:06 PM Good!
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:07 PM Will do it Nellie
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:07 PM Thank you, Anna
From Laxmi Negi to Me: (Privately) 10:07 PM Vance I wanted to upload my documents but could not do it kindly guide me
From Harshita K to Everyone: 10:08 PM Yes
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:09 PM Google docs is amazing for language learning. There are so many Google add ons that you can use to help improve students’ writing and pronunciation, too.
From Hara to Everyone: 10:09 PM Hi Vance. this is Dr. Haraprasad I am a professor of Biotechnology. we have Google tools provided for us but have never tried to utilize the same. Hence wand to learn and optimise my skills
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:09 PM Done 🙂
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:10 PM Google docs is great for collaborative learning. Anna, did you share the link?
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:11 PM Yes I did sharing https://moodle4teachers.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=40511
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:13 PM I don’t see the link to the discussion forum, here, Anna. Sorry Thank you, Anna. Now, I see it. You can also add video conversations of Google docs.
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:13 PM Never tried but will
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:14 PM Anna, but you need to use Chrome not Safari.
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:14 PM OK will try to remember
From Fatima Mohammed to Me: (Privately) 10:15 PM I sent you my Google doc. too late
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:16 PM How can you see what all the students are doing ?
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:18 PM Yes
From Fatima Mohammed to Everyone: 10:18 PM me too
From Lyuba Stoycheva to Everyone: 10:18 PM yes
From Zahra Shafiee to Everyone: 10:18 PM yes
From Harshita K to Everyone: 10:18 PM Yes
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:18 PM yes
From Amalia Tipiani to Everyone: 10:18 PM yes
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:21 PM I have tried…
From Amalia Tipiani to Everyone: 10:22 PM how? it is not clear for me how to do it with the phone?
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:22 PM You record your voice.
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:23 PM super it works with mobile 🙂
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:23 PM I love my phone and using Google docs from there.
From Hara to Everyone: 10:24 PM do I have to download Google docs to create an account
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:24 PM So, the student can use their phone to respond.
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:26 PM is the mike microphone icon on ggogle doc; document?
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:26 PM Yes
From Fatima Mohammed to Everyone: 10:27 PM I shared you mine. where is it?
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:28 PM Vance, why not use the mobile for everything? Why do students need to use a desktop? Fatima, did you share the doc with Vance’s email?
From Fatima Mohammed to Everyone: 10:28 PM yes
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:28 PM need some time to check how it works
From Amalia Tipiani to Everyone: 10:28 PM yes I don’t understand how to put my voice
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:29 PM Amelia, you need to use a mobile device.
From Amalia Tipiani to Everyone: 10:29 PM I would like to know how to do it using the mobile phone because I don’t have an ipad
From Harshita K to Everyone: 10:29 PM Amalia you can download the googleDocs app on android phone
From Amalia Tipiani to Everyone: 10:30 PM thank you
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:30 PM good message Harshita Thanks
From Laxmi Negi to Me: (Privately) 10:31 PM I just share a document with you
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:32 PM You mean students send through google docs and the teacher comments through i PAD?
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:32 PM I just used it on my phone. It works
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:33 PM thanks vance
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:33 PM You need to open the doc on your phone and then speak.
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:33 PM but explain a little more
From Zahra Shafiee to Everyone: 10:33 PM I cannot find a mic icon on the comment box.
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:34 PM but what to do when I have to deal with more no of students at the same time
From Zahra Shafiee to Everyone: 10:34 PM thanks, I got it yes
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:34 PM OK I see
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:35 PM google docs needs more time
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:36 PM The same mic icon appears on you phone. You can also use your watch. Love it, Vance.
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:36 PM Go ahead please
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:36 PM same here Nellie
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:37 PM It’s great, thank you, Vance
From Viviana Diaz to Everyone: 10:37 PM Sorry I´m very late.
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:37 PM I hate my iPad. I prefer my iPhone.
From Laxmi Negi to Me: (Privately) 10:37 PM I didn’t get my answer Vance yet
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:38 PM Hi Laxmi! Did we meet in Morocco for the I-earn conference?
From Judy Wong to Everyone: 10:39 PM I prefer paper… I don’t i* anything 😉
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:39 PM Judy, I do both. I also need paper writing, but screen is fine, too.
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:40 PM no Bassoum, but I would surely love to meet you someday
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:41 PM My handwriting is very poor nowadays. Great idea, Vance.
From Hara to Everyone: 10:41 PM Vance mail I’d to share the Google docs file
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:41 PM Exactly mine
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:41 PM lucky I have got very good handwriting
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:42 PM Hara, it’s in the discussion in the conference platform. https://moodle4teachers.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=40511
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:42 PM sounds good vance
From Amalia Tipiani to Everyone: 10:43 PM Thank you I have already done it in my phone. I have understood how to do it.
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:44 PM This is handwritten Do you scan it to put on google docs?
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:44 PM He speaks it. So students improve their audio skills.
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:45 PM Great approach
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Everyone: 10:45 PM I’m for accuracy.
From Judy Wong to Everyone: 10:45 PM Great idea!
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Me: (Privately) 10:46 PM Vance, your time was up 2 minutes ago.
From Viviana Diaz to Everyone: 10:47 PM yes
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:47 PM yes
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:47 PM yes
From Dr. Nellie Deutsch to Me: (Privately) 10:47 PM 3 minutes ago
From Laxmi Negi to Everyone: 10:47 PM vance
From Anna Grabowska to Everyone: 10:49 PM Thank you Vance
From Zahra Shafiee to Everyone: 10:49 PM Thanks for your great presentation Vance.
From Harshita K to Everyone: 10:49 PM Thank you
From Judy Wong to Everyone: 10:49 PM Nice Vance!
From Viviana Diaz to Everyone: 10:49 PM I´ll watch the recording because I´ve missed almost the whole presentation. Thanks a lot Vance
From Bassoum Marmar to Everyone: 10:49 PM very interesting indeed!

Announcements of this Learning2gether event on Facebook Groups

Just before the event, I posted the following notice to all of the posts I had made in the FB groups above:

My workshop for #MMVC19 is ready for delivery at 1400 UTC today. I have written it all out at this Google Doc, https://docs.google.com/document/d/11GHi_E7u1yfcgsOW7DapcjLr9O9OCWKID3eQm3K9ljA/edit?usp=sharing. You can access the slides here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1DU67TWYqF2MxW0h36Js23upkTZKlw7oLsmVoi5nEUH8/edit?usp=sharing.

If planning to attend, please help me simulate a class for the workshop by doing this:
– Create a document in Google Docs
– Title it MMVC19 and your name
– Briefly, in just two or three sentences, introduce yourself, tell me why you are here, and what you hope to learn in this workshop
– Share your document, for editing, with vancestev which is my Google account.

Thank you, and hope to see you there.

After the event, I posted this notice in the same spaces

Thanks all who attended my presentation. Even if you didn’t attend you can see the complete show notes: write-up, link to the slides, read the chat logs, and replay the video, which is embedded where I blogged the event as Learning2gether episode 417 at
https://learning2gether.net/2019/08/04/learning2gether-with-vance-stevens-at-mmvc19-supporting-student-writing-with-the-help-of-voice-to-text/. Hope you enjoy it.

I also posted something similar on the following forums at
https://Moodle4teachers.org (https://moodle4teachers.org/enrol/index.php?id=249)


This event was one of many at the three day MMVC19 online event

Fri Aug 2-Sun Aug 4 The 8th annual Moodle Moot Virtual Conference MMVC19  hosted by Nellie Deutsch

The 8th annual MoodleMoot Virtual Conference (MMVC19) for 2019 is a free annual online event that will take place August 2-4, 2019.

Badges and Certificates will be awarded to presenters and participants for free.

For more information, see

See speaker details here:

Nellie says, in a related post, “The 8th annual Free MoodleMoot Virtual Conference (MMVC19) for 2019 will take place from August 2-4, 2019. The purpose of the conference is for educators to engage in learning best practices and challenges involved in teaching and learning face-to-face and online (blended and fully online learning) using Moodle and other technologies. The theme of MMVC19 is teaching and learning with and without technology.”

Partipants must enrol in the MMVC19 Moodle site to get access to the live sessions, content before and after the conference, your badges and final certificate for reflecting and presenting.

Enrol here https://moodle4teachers.org/course/view.php?id=249

Day 1 recordings are up on the Youtube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8JUcjyABKxm5uR9lWkqglcyRffHw0Apr&jct=MUQ2GP1owWqNq0v6vXpZnDZcdX1IYw

Sat Aug 3 Day 2 of the conference

You can access the live sessions from Day 2 of the virtual conference from

Please note that the meetings have a code at the end of the link.

The recordings from Day 2 are up on the Youtube playlist for MMVC19: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8JUcjyABKxm5uR9lWkqglcyRffHw0Apr&jct=MUQ2GP1owWqNq0v6vXpZnDZcdX1IYw


Earlier events


Fri, July 12, 2019 – Vance Stevens receives the Lifelong Achievement Award for 2019 at the CALL Research Conference in Hong Kong


Sun July 14 – Reach2Share Summer Conference

My social networks are lighting up with artifacts showing webinars that, when I find out about, have already happened

Reach2share is based here, https://reach2share.com/. There are tabs at the top that page pointing to blog, https://reach2share.com/community/l and community. The community space points to a Facebook Group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/reach2share/ That’s where the conference announcements are. In order to join the group, you must first join the community Moodle.

The Facebook page invites you to register yourself at the Zoom meetings.

These meetings appear to have taken place July 14. I just discovered that I was sent a message on Twitter July 9 inviting me to this meeting. I only saw it a week later, my bad 😦

Ah, the courses themselves are not free

I wish Nellie and her presenters all success and in no way disagree with paid courses or fair compensation to presenters. This is a step in the right direction, and is further evidence of Nellie Deutsch’s  commitment to both her network of presenters and to continuing to provide both free and paid content to their audience 🙂


July 20 1300 UTC NNEST webinar on The NNEST Movement – Foundations and New Directions

Ana Solano-Campos has announced on myTESOL Lounge July 12, 2019

that NNEST is holding their first webinar of the year: “The NNEST Movement: Foundations and New Directions.”

Please RSVP via the following link:


According to the link,

The purpose of the webinar is to (re)introduce members to the NNEST movement and to explore the different theoretical perspectives framing the study of marginalization and privilege in ELT. There are three guest speakers:

  • Dr. Lia Kahmi-Stein, California State University
  • Yasemin Tezgiden, Winner of the 2019 Outstanding Paper in NNEST Issues, Middle East Technical University
  • Seyma Toker, NNEST IS newsletter Co-Editor, Georgetown University

THey will address topics such as “what is native speakerism?” “how is the term ‘native speaker’ understood?” “what should I know about how people position themselves and are positioned by others as ‘native’ or ‘nonnative’ speakers?” “what new scholarship has emerged in our field?”why is knowing more about native speakerism important for my role as an ELT professional?”

As she has announced to all and encouraged all to share, I believe that all are welcome at this event, that it is not restricted to TESOL members



Vance Stevens receives the Lifelong Achievement Award for 2019 at the CALL Research Conference in Hong Kong

Learning2gether Episode #416

I was supposed to attend the CALL Research Conference in Hong Kong in person, was on track to go there and very much looking forward to it, when something unavoidable came up and I had to cancel my trip. When I contacted Jozef Colpaert, the guiding spirit at the CALL Journal and annual research conference to tell him I would have to miss an editorial board meeting on the first day, followed by my own presentation, plus taking my seat on a reviewer’s panel on the final day of the conference, he took a couple of days to respond.

When he finally replied, he pointed out that there was one other event I had failed to consider, and that was my appearance at the closing ceremony where, I wasn’t supposed to know this, but a jury had selected me to be the recipient of the CALL Research Conference Lifetime Achievement Award for 2019. Another complication was that rules stipulate that the recipient must be present at the conference BUT as I had paid my registration fees, had been fully intending to come, and was legitimately prevented from traveling, and after all, this WAS a conference whose theme was Social CALL, perhaps I could receive the award via Skype.

The video shows what happened next. Jozef convened the closing assembly and handed off to my good friend and colleague, and 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Phil Hubbard, who gave what he said was the talk he would have given the previous year had he not been taken so by surprise at the time. After his remarks, he set about introducing me, and mentioned three of my websites in particular. I mentioned these in the post I made on Facebook after I had made a recording of the ceremony and posted it there.


This says: “I was honored and humbled to be awarded this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for my contributions to computer-assisted language learning at the closing ceremony of the #CALL2019 Research Conference in Hong Kong today. I used Camtasia to record the event as it transpired in Skype: https://youtu.be/djNE0rzqCSI.”

Specifically cited were three of my websites

I said in my post that I was grateful to all concerned (I meant when I posted that, my colleagues at the conference) but now, a day later, also to all those who responded to my post. So far, in just one day, there are over 150 likes and almost 100 comments (at last count, up to 215 likes and 128 comments). The outpouring is heartwarming. But as I said in one of my replies to my own post, this award is for a collective endeavor:

Thanks everyone, I am a part of many deeply and broadly populated communities of practice that have made my work possible. I simply represent the people who have responded here. The award is deserved by all in these communities

Meanwhile Jozef had been kind enough to allow me to deliver from a distance my paper that had been accepted at the conference, “Thinking SMALL about social media assisted language learning,” in Zoom during its normal presentation slot two days earlier. As usual I had put online my prose preparation for the talk, the slides I created from those notes with all the URLs I referred to hyperlinked, plus recordings of me giving the presentation in both video and audio format, and called it Learning2gether episode #415:

I was going to append my award video to the bottom of that post but I decided instead to make it into a separate Learning2gether episode. After all, it’s not often one gets the chance to indulge oneself like that, at least not in my life.

As Phil mentioned in his introduction, his being awarded the same honor last year doesn’t mean that it’s all the icing on the cake of life served each person at birth. It’s just the start of what we have left to deliver in our time remaining in which to continue the story with more if not better accomplishments.

Here is the award ceremony as seen through lenses recording the event in Hong Kong

Here is 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Philip Hubbard making some opening remarks and introducing my lifetime achievements


Here, the award is being made, the audience claps

Phil shows me the award where I virtually “receive” it in Penang


Here, Prof. Dr. Jozef Colpaert shows me the audience


And here, the audience poses at the conclusion of the closing ceremony


Here is the paper version of the award


Here is me receiving the physical award in my home in Penang



Follow the Twitter posts on #CALL2019 here


Earlier events

Wed July 10- Vance Stevens presenting at the CALL Research Conference Hong Kong on Social CALL




Thinking SMALL about social media assisted language learning – Vance Stevens presenting at the 2019 CALL Research Conference, Hong Kong

Learning2gether Episode #415

My proposal was accepted at the Social CALL: The XXth International CALL Research Conference at the Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 10-12 July 2019, https://www.call2019.org/

On July 10 at 15:30 I presented Thinking SMALL about social media assisted language learning, as seen in the program here: http://www.call2019.org/schedule.php

The presentation was webcast in Zoom as Learning2gether episode 415. The YouTube video can be found here: https://youtu.be/bwG-4nNKSkE

A photographer in Hong Kong snapped this view of my audience during the presentation:


Here is the abstract from a draft of the paper submitted to the 2019 CALL Research Conference proceedings. The paper submitted was reduced slightly from this more detailed, draft


This paper makes a case for a more appropriate acronym than CALL to reflect the reduced significance of the microprocessor in language learning and emphasize instead the most salient affordances computers bring to the process. Early CALL theorists note that the term might not transition to an era of network based learning. This paper describes such learning, and its use with language learners from the time the terms social media and Web 2.0 were coined. Since social media is an enabler of the meaningful and authentic communication so critically necessary to effective language learning, the paper encourages language practitioners to “think SMALL” and model for one another the use of social media and Web 2.0 in language learning. The paper shows how engagement in communities of practice spills over into changes in teaching practices and reports results of a survey of teacher perceptions of how effectively students and teachers are able to transition use of social media in their personal lives to their professional ones, for the purposes of both teaching and learning.

This blog post with its embedded video and audio mp4s from the Zoom recording during the presentation is the Learning2gether archive of the event. In addition, my presentation incorporates the following documents:

  • A blog post where I introduced and articulated what I planned to say during the 30 minute presentation – Stevens, V. (2019). Why not call CALL SMALL? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://advanceducation.blogspot.com/2019/07/why-not-call-call-small.html
  • The final pre-publication version of the chapter I submitted to the conference proceedings containing my findings and shared publicly here:
    Stevens, V. (2019). Thinking SMALL about social media assisted language learning. In J. Colpaert, A. Aerts, Q. Ma, & J. L. F. King (Eds.). Proceedings of the Twentieth International CALL Research Conference: Social CALL (pp. 257-272). Hong Kong: The Education University of Hong Kong. The unpaginated PDF submitted for inclusion is available:
  • The slides I used in the presentation with all links working at https://www.slideshare.net/vances/. The direct link is the one pointed to from the TinyURL I gave out to attendees at the session, https://tinyurl.com/call2019vance. However, this is no longer the most up-to-date version of my presentation.
  • The updated and replacement version of my slides which I had to upload to Google Slides because Slideshare.net removed an essential function from its service, the ability to replace slides uploaded before giving a presentation with a version with the tweaks you make after the presentation. The latest and definitive version of these slides is here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1iqCH3O-b5XELHiUx77qhmC6_7DlBASB8_KET2Flrp1U/edit?usp=sharing.
    I will always be able to update these slides easily whenever needed in the future.
  • The recording of my presentation in Zoom which is embedded in this blog post and is available on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/bwG-4nNKSkE

And there are more notes on SMALL documenting my past decade of work on what I touch on here, at http://tinyurl.com/small2014

Here’s where I noticed that Slideshare.net, now owned by LinkedIn, had removed this essential functionality, in this forum:


Proposals for this conference consist of two parts, Research and Conference Theme. Here is the proposal I submitted (updated)

Part 1: Research

CALL is by definition computer assisted language learning, but computers are integrated into almost everything electronic. Bax (2003) argued that computers have become so normalized that the C in CALL is decreasingly descriptive. A better acronym would more accurately characterize the role of computers in language learning.

What computers do best is for language learners is to facilitate communication amongt them and with native speakers of a language, largely through social media. I believe that SM assists LL more than does the old C and over the past decade I have encouraged people to “think SMALL” in recognition of the diminished role of computers themselves in the process of language learning vs. how they actually help learners acquire a target language.

The purpose of language is communication, and students internalize languages through meaningful, authentic communication. Although correct form in language shapes effective communication, and developing predictive knowledge can help with understanding by helping to decode what people are saying, these are best honed through practice during authentic communication which forms the substrate for sustained language learning. Social media is a ubiquitous enabler of that.

Many acronyms have been proposed to replace the C in CALL; e.g. MALL, TALL, TELL, etc. A panel has been formed at the 2019 TESOL Conference in Atlanta to discuss the case for SMALL. This paper will extend my brief remarks as one of the panelists there, where I review my published rationale promoting SMALL since 2009 and present survey data from peers (in preparation) on their perceptions of their competence and effectiveness in using social media in language learning vis a vis that of their students. This is to establish a benchmark while drawing from observations during my past two decades using social media with peers as editor, collaborator, and founder of numerous communities of practice (CoPs). Collaboration in CoPs shows teachers how utilizing social media creatively with one another helps them model social media techniques most effective in learning, and informs the teaching practices of everyone in the participatory culture. When practices change, then novel techniques for using social media with students can develop, such as those that served as the impetus of my research.

Bax, S. (2003). CALL – past, present and future. System, 31 (1), 13–28. Retrieved from http://www.u.arizona.edu/~jonrein/internettech10/bax_03.pdf

Part 2: Conference theme

My professional work since the turn of the century has always had a strong social dimension. I have worked throughout my professional life in contexts where information has not been easily accessible locally. I have spent the past 20 years in countries where libraries have been poorly resourced and I have turned not just to the Internet but to the communities of practice (CoPs) that congregate there for information and professional development (PD). In order to sustain my own PD, have founded CoPs that have thrived for decades, and more importantly overlapped and formed wider networks over that time. CoPs that I have founded range from one developing our keen interest in Web 2.0 at the turn of the century, through to multiliteracies and seeding MOOCs, and more recently, to nurturing online sandboxes where teachers can experience gamification.

As I work with colleagues in CoPs I find my practice changing. I have honed my online techniques through projects online with language learners and with other teachers in our various CoPs, learning environments where social media tools figure significantly. Techniques employing social media find their way into my face-to-face classrooms as well. My paid work with students has always been face-to-face, but I always have an online component in my classes, e.g. some form of course and learning management systems, but other free web tools as well that facilitate blended learning environments. Social media tools fit nicely into blended learning and become a means of collaborating with students, and them with each other, both inside and outside the classroom.

One area where I have been exploring use of these tools lately has been in working with EFL student writers. The challenge in working with this particular cohort has been their weakness and disinterest in writing vs. the overly-ambitious level of performance expected of them in our assessment-based context.  The research reported here draws from my ongoing exploration of using voice tools with a variety of apps these past few years, in this instance using Google Docs. The study analyzes progress achieved with students in terms of attitude to writing and revision through a technique I devised where voice was used to get students using iPads, despite their having to write without proper keyboards, more quickly into meaningful revision of their writing.

My interest in the topic of SMALL, social media (SM) as opposed to computer assisted learning, is something I have been writing about for the past decade. Until now, when I have suggested this acronym, colleagues have shrugged it off in favor of their own preferences, but at the 2019 TESOL Conference in Atlanta in March, I was asked to be on a panel discussing social CALL, and after some discussion and sharing of published work, my co-panelists agreed to accept my acronym in the title of the panel. For that panel I surveyed teachers in my networks on their perceptions of their own use of SM and that of their students, to learn which group has the better command of SM and, more importantly, is more knowledgeable in using it in the learning/teaching of languages.

These are some of the threads of inquiry I hope to bring together in addressing the challenges of social CALL and possible solutions under the concept of SMALL. This work includes the following dimensions:

  • Language for specific purposes (small target groups in that the population of students I was working with were pilot cadets who were interested more in soccer and flying than in improving their language skills, writing being a particularly low priority for them) and my research used a novel technique which addressed their particular needs.
  • As the work was done in a wiki (Google Docs) and involved my giving feedback and eliciting their response, there was learner-learner and learner-NS Interaction, the teacher being a NS of the target language, English.
  • Social media was used in the form of a variety of wikis designed to guide their learning and get them interacting in multiple blended learning spaces, but the paper addresses social media used with teachers in particular, and in so doing, the ecology of the teacher working within communities of practice.

Bio Data

Vance Stevens lives in Penang and podcasts occasionally on Learning2gether.net. His publications at http://vancestevens.com/papers/ elucidate how students use computers to learn languages, and how teachers learn to teach using technology by engaging in communities of practice and in participatory cultures. His most recent focus is on gamification in language learning through 5 years coordinating EVO Minecraft MOOC .



Earlier events

Thu Jun 27  Learning2gether Episode 413 with NileTESOL LTSIG – Hanaa Khamis interviews Csilla Jaray-Benn


Wed Jun 26-Fri 28 Learning2gether Episode 414 from Melaka at the ICCTAR conference



Postponed to Mon July 8 midnight July 9 UTC – Minecraft Monday is team-building a city in creative mode

The first Monday of every month is Minecraft Monday at 8 PM Eastern time, in Maine USA. This meeting was postponed to Monday, July 8 due to the holiday weekend in USA

You can join VSTE’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/vsteonline/

and the VSTE Virtual Environments Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

VSTE are in several virtual environments, Minecraft being only one of them.

Meet at VSTE Place, VSTE’s Minecraft world; see this document for instructions

We get together in voice on VSTE’s Discord channel simultaneously. Once you are in Minecraft we will announce the Discord address if you don’t have it. Come early if you want help.


Vance Stevens Plenary at ICCTAR, Melaka, on Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through EVO Minecraft MOOC

Learning2gether Episode #414

On Friday, June 28 Vance Stevens was in invited to be a featured plenary speaker at the ICCTAR conference in Melaka, Malaysia (International Conference on Creative Teaching, Assessment, and Research in the English, http://icctar.com/, organized by Prof. Dr. Jayakaran Mukundan). There I delivered a plenary 28 June 10:30 to 11:20, on Gamifying Teacher Professional Development through Minecraft MOOC

2019jun28vanceICCTARplenaryPhoto by my son, Glenn Stevens, who happened to be in the auditorium audience.
Glenn also recorded the video at the top of this blog post.

I decided at the last minute to record my presentation using Zoom from the podium with the laptop screen aimed at the projector and me standing with a handheld microphone between the laptop and the auditorium projection screen. This didn’t turn out so well because the acoustics on-stage were horrible. The sound was fine just outside the stage via the PA system directed at the audience, but on stage, the sound echoed badly as picked up by the computer mic. However my son Glenn was in the audience and he was recording on his Samsung cell phone. He got the recording which I’ve now placed at the top of this post, with reasonable sound quality. Meanwhile I uploaded the Zoom file to YouTube and here it is:


Minecraft is a game that has sustained the attention of teachers wanting to introduce elements of gamification into their classrooms despite their encountering two steep hurdles: (1) the complexity and depth of the game itself, and (2) understanding how students will experience self-directed critical and collaborative learning by engaging each other in appropriate video games. I started EVO Minecraft MOOC (EVOMCM) in 2015 to learn with teaching colleagues how to experientially address both these issues.

EVO (Electronic Village Online) consists of over a dozen sessions on topics proposed by language teachers who develop their proposals into professional development courses of interest to other teachers. The Minecraft EVO session has become an ongoing community of practice of language practitioners learning about gamification by interacting with each other in Minecraft for over 5 years now.

This talk is about the nature of learning in sustainable distributed communities of practice as embodied in EVO, and in particular understanding how video games can be leveraged into opportunities for language learning once teachers grasp the ineffable nature of their participatory cultures through engagement with peers, and in learning hands-on through meaningful play how games such as Minecraft might be used in their own teaching contexts.

This was conducted as a flipped presentation. That is, the link to the slides and to the prose write-up were given out to the audience at the beginning of the presentation. The audience were invited to follow along in the slides as I presented, if they wished, and have access to the links I referred to as we went along on our learning journey together:

The complete slide set here – https://tinyurl.com/vance2019icctar
And there is a text version of this talk at https://tinyurl.com/icctar2019vance

You can download the ICCTAE program book (onto your device) from here

Here is the schedule for the third day of the conference

I recently created a blog post, with slides and show notes, from a presentation given to a live audience at WorldCALL in Chile, Nov 2018, though there was no recording there of the presentation itself:

Photos from the event

Some participants at the conference have passed me their photos in which I was included. I’m posting them here as a souvenir of our time together in Melaka, Malaysia.


Pictured here are Kadek Sonia Piscayanti, Alan Maley, and Ni Made Ratminingsih to my right, To my left are Alvin Pang, Ken Mizusawa and Lee Su Kim.


On the left are Lee Su Kim, a Nyonya author, educator and cultural activist, and Alvin Pang. I am standing between Ken Mizusawa and Kadek Sonia Piscayanti, a literary figure from Bali who writes profoundly about women’s issues in her home country.


Kenny Ong Kian Meng showed me his poster on the Use of Audio Recording Applications on the Mobile Phone in Improving Pronunciation Performance among University Students. I thought he might like to look at this article about resources for teachers to help them teach segmental and supersegmental pronunciation features:

Cox, J., Henrichsen, L., Tanner, M., and McMurry, B. (2019). The needs analysis, design, development, and evaluation of the ‘English Pronunciation Guide: An ESL Teachers’ Guide to Pronunciation Teaching Using Online Resources’.TESL-EJ, 22(4), 1-24. Retrieved from http://tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej88/int.pdf (also available: http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume22/ej88/ej88int/)



Earlier events

Thu Jun 27  Learning2gether Episode 413 with NileTESOL LTSIG – Hanaa Khamis interviews Csilla Jaray-Benn