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, https://youtu.be/MnCUvIrt9oU 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.

This video is a 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, https://youtu.be/ZWpDpKaV8Tk

What is this?

According to https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html#evo 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, https://youtu.be/AROQgp7Xzpw

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 https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html#evo

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 https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html#tf2 

Here is the video: https://youtu.be/GHOKZ3yPupA

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: https://youtu.be/Orzgx74Jj94


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 http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/

00:51:25 Jane Chien: Thanks! I like our promotional video as well! 😀 https://youtu.be/JUF2-loSL0E
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 https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/160Fa_C1raxyVLKiWvyrODdL_twgRnOrwhxpyF9cnNsU/edit?usp=sharing
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 https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1KbdL_M-qT9hyRBcyCT5yZGDx2Cgx_lvhbPCZGszTBMw/edit?usp=sharing

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: http://mc.evomc.net:8123/

01:38:21 Jane Chien: https://padlet.com/aschwar/moegyvkptftcdvfr
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 chat..in 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: https://www.alphabetpublishingbooks.com/minecraft 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: https://mattietsai.com/2020/02/23/minecraft/
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: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7dsf91jk6p14ec8/AABbrPutP_o_BytmlM-af5wQa?dl=0
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 Kucha.org 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. bzsedriks@gmail.com
00:34:05 DR.MD.ALAUDDIN: dralauddin129@gmail.com
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: https://view.genial.ly/60498754f5458d0d987a5a8a/presentation-ovccalltesol
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: https://view.genial.ly/603b123c0e04680d5d718c71/interactive-content-oleharrypotterescaperoom
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: https://padlet.com/jotterbur/TESOL
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 https://view.genial.ly/60182ad2e9f82d0d9de686c0/presentation-olevilla
00:48:12 Presenter: Oliver Rose: https://sites.google.com/view/lingolabsiteshelp/lingobingo-live
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 LingoLab.co 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: jotterbur@atlantic.edu
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: https://sites.google.com/view/lingolabsiteshelp/lingolab-online
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: https://view.genial.ly/60182ad2e9f82d0d9de686c0/presentation-olevilla
01:09:29 Presenter: Oliver Rose: oliverrose@kwansei.ac.jp


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 https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html#evo

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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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: https://flipgrid.com/b510543a
Mine can be found here: https://flipgrid.com/374152e3

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, https://youtu.be/SfusidwHFs0

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 –

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: https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html#tfc

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: https://youtu.be/yli6L6lefC0?t=1914

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, https://youtu.be/g3vWb7-BOJ8

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 https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html

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

The slides prepared jointly by the panelists are here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D1q19yeu9xRdgWbWthzcpABnXO1bWIxr/view?usp=sharing

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 [https://coi.athabascau.ca/coi-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: https://youtu.be/OYOfnxhcZ9Q.

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)

VIdeo: https://youtu.be/Orzgx74Jj94


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

OpenSim in ELT – Virtual World Demo – https://youtu.be/Hhz8vdXlrrQ
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 qahussain87@gmail.com
00:08:39 Randall: Here is my handout to my session.
00:08:42 Randall: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KMhAScm_oGC7vlH5tC28iAvxnujbbOWr/view?usp=sharing
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: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/products/learning-tools
00:10:18 Christine Sabieh: great idea!
00:10:18 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Is it this one ? https://www.busuu.com/en/mobile
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: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/make-your-word-documents-accessible-to-people-with-disabilities-d9bf3683-87ac-47ea-b91a-78dcacb3c66d?ui=en-us&rs=en-us&ad=us#PickTab=Windows
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: amycook@bgsu.edu.
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: https://help.goreact.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002946031-Assignment-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 https://360stories.com/amsterdam/story/van-gogh-museum
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: https://www.ttelt.org/
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 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoNGZMzLjocgAdyw-Nes0iA/videos
00:07:55 CALL-IS TESOL: https://us02web.zoom.us/postattendee?id=9
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, https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html
00:09:47 Marijana Smolčec (Croatia): Thank you Vance! 🙂
00:09:50 CALL-IS TESOL: Peereval.mobi
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): https://peereval.mobi/
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: bookcreater.com
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: https://www.tesol.org/convention-2021/schedule

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, https://sites.google.com/view/electronicvillage2021/home
and its shortened link – http://tinyurl.com/electronicvillage2021

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, https://www.smore.com/5p3zm

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 https://flipgrid.com/bfb0ef28
    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 https://flipgrid.com/75f54086 
    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 https://call-is.org/ev/2021/schedule.html

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, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/

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: https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

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: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/

  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
  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: forms.gle/LRMGvX9uazCGXHy6A

FOR the EVENT DETAILS CLICK THE LINK of the Teacher Caravan 2021 Site: sites.google.com/view/teachercaravan

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 https://minecraft.net/en/ 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: minecraft.vste.org:11002.
  4. Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter.
    Email Kim Harrison at K4sons@gmail.com from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name.

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 https://discord.gg/cp9tsWz

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, https://www.vwbpe.org/cfp2021

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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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 https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/The_End, 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, https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Ender_Dragon.

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, https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Enderman. 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 https://youtu.be/1FfCGuxnafo?t=4353 (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, https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Experience (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, https://learning2gether.net/2021/02/09/week-4-in-evo-minecraft-mooc-highlights-networking-with-and-learning-from-students-and-peers/#Finch, 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, https://historyhouse.co.uk/articles/macbeth.html)

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, https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/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 https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/End_City#End_Ship. 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 https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Shulker#Behavior 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, https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Levitation

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 Groups.io

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 https://my.tesol.org/events/event-description?CalendarEventKey=253cf6e7-fc2e-493d-ad11-fd2ff4be3cc9&Home=%2fevents%2ftesol-events

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!  https://youtu.be/6d5FA0nvjh4

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 https://evominecraftmp.wordpress.com/2021/02/13/a-story-about-friendship/

So when I saw Mircea on the server via our dynamic map http://mc.evomc.net:8123/
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: https://realms.gg/temZGkU1hH4 

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, http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/w/page/142133859/2021_Live_Events#TeacherVanceandBobbiBearBlazeatrailfromOlivetreesSandboxMeadowtoShipwreckCityandtheSkyboxShelter, 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 https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Silk_Touch
and https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Enchanting 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,
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14kSDVi8jhLN7LGyYpoBj61IFaJa0kFG3fe1QOaOisuM/edit?usp=sharing 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, https://www.facebook.com/events/2924842307743694

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: https://youtu.be/shFEzKJ59d8


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: https://cm.languagecert.org/en/about-us/events/2020/languagecert-teachers-seminar

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, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/

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: https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

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: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/

  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
  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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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, http://evosessions.pbworks.com. 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, https://youtu.be/wOsxn1lQDaw

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, https://youtu.be/DBuBmgzyw3E

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, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14kSDVi8jhLN7LGyYpoBj61IFaJa0kFG3fe1QOaOisuM/edit#gid=0

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
minecraft.vste.org:11002. (GMT -5)

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

You must have a computer Minecraft account from https://minecraft.net/en/ to join. There is a one time fee of $26.95.

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. Make sure you have installed and are running version 1.16.5
  3. Choose multiplayer and add a server: Name VSTE Place IP: minecraft.vste.org:11002.
  4. Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter.
    Email Kim Harrison at K4sons@gmail.com from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name.
    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 https://discord.gg/cp9tsWz

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, https://drive.google.com/file/d/11ifTKuK_w1Jve_GM0c5iEBGa_BjtSJgW/view

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, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/

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: https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

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: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/

  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
  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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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

Week 3 in EVO Minecraft MOOC highlights – Trading string for emeralds and networking on the AZcraft server

Learning2gether Episode 507


How we used string to buy emeralds and arrows at the Tower Mall
Flights of fancy on the AZcraft server

Other highlights from EVO Minecraft MOOC Weeks 2 and 3
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post


We have just passed week 3 of EVOMC21 the five-week EVO Minecraft MOOC session, http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/. EVOMC21 is in its 7th year now in the annual round of professional development offerings from the Electronic Village Online, http://evosessions.pbworks.com

EVOMC21 is not technically a MOOC, although I have expropriated the acronym to fit what I think it is: a miniscule open online course. However, participants in the session each year generally follow the progression laid out in Cormier’s five steps in coping with connectivist MOOCs: orient, declare, network, cluster, and focus; explained here https://youtu.be/r8avYQ5ZqM0.  It’s been around for a while, but I really like this video:

As the EVO sessions run for 5 weeks, the numbers line up, so we anchor each week’s activities in what participants in any MOOC would be doing at about the same time in a similarly-paced open online course

I also need to reiterate that I am talking here about cMOOCs. There are also xMOOCs, somewhat different kettles of fish. A succinct but substantive explanation can be found here: http://blogs.onlineeducation.touro.edu/distinguishing-between-cmoocs-and-xmoocs/

The first week in a cMOOC is for orientation. cMOOCs are known to be disorienting. Since they emerge from free platforms, some of their bells and whistles might not at first appear to be in synch. But they are, as participants eventually discover, if they stay around long enough (many fall by the wayside in MOOCs). Once they understand the routine inherent to the MOOC they are in, they might be moved to declare, over time, who they are, what they are doing in that particular cMOOC, and what they might want to get out of it. Once participants start to find out more about one another, they start to network among themselves, but as each individual is likely to be a node in some wider network as in a set of venn diagrams overlapping with EVOMC21 in the center, they start to learn about each other’s networks as well.

This post takes a snapshot of this process at it stood after Week 3 in the EVO Minecraft MOOC, ostensibly the week devoted to networking. The cluster and focus weeks are yet to come; these are the weeks where some participants find what they have in common and cluster together around topics and projects that interest them in the MOOC. The final week, focus, is where participants start to think beyond the MOOC, where some of the participants in clusters might formulate projects deriving from the MOOC and carry on with them. One of the chief take-aways of MOOCs is always the extension to one’s network, the people you meet there and bond with professionally and personally, because cMOOCs are very personalized.

Now when I say the highlights of Week 3, I mean those as perceived through my eyes and those of others who might have engaged with me and my wife Bobbi Bear (i.e. people in my cluster, such as it has emerged from this particular MOOC). As we are a 24/7 MOOC with participants from all over the world, many of us are active while others sleep.  So my highlights reflect what I have seen and recorded and was able to convey in media, from my own perspective, while other equally or more outstanding activities were no doubt taking place outside my waking hours on other parts of the EVO Minecraft MOOC and other servers, but participants in these need to write their own blog posts. I hope they do and tweet about them using the tag #evomc21. That’s how these different clusters might learn more about what each has been up to.

At the moment there are only three hits on the tag #evomc21 on Twitter
My tweet about this post will be the fourth.

Announcements were made after the fact at these Facebook groups

And at Groups.io

I have tried to record all of the events I have found out about and that left some kind of record here: http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/w/page/142133859/2021_Live_Events.

Here then is a blogged encapsulation of my highlights from the 3rd week of EVOMC21.


How we used string to buy emeralds and arrows at the Tower Mall

Sun-Mon 25-31 Jan EVO Minecraft MOOC Week 3 – Network

EVOMC 2021 Week 3 – Network – Mon-Sun, Jan. 25-31, 2021

Sun Jan 31 Teacher Vance, Bobbi Bear, and Mirea Artican gather string to trade for emeralds with savanna villagers and then buy arrows with the emeralds

We had learned about the stringfarm from Sura, who suggested we go there for string, so so we did. The stringfarm is in a dangerous place deep underground because it contains spawners, rendered more or less safe by Sura. For example, Sura had put a lot of torches all over, including on top of the nearby spawner, in effect neutralizing it, and she had left the spider spawner to allow spiders to spew forth, but built a glass wall to contain the spiders, who eyes glow red and menacing in the dark, as in the image below. You can get to this place on the evomc21 server at  /warp stringfarm.

She put lots of torches around to suppress the mobs’ ability to spawn here.

She build an opening in the glass were participants can slay the spiders safely, with a chest beneath to collect  their accumulated string.

But you have to understand there are no guarantees in such volatile dark spaces, as Mirea discovers, below.

Why do we need string? Read on ==>

The main limitation to becoming a proficient archer in Minecraft is the amount of flint you can accumulate for the arrowheads. You can kill skeletons and get their bows and a few arrows, and you can kill spiders for string, and chickens for feathers, but for flint you need to break about 100 gravel blocks to get enough flint for just ten arrows.  Bows are much simpler; you need only string and sticks, but of course to shoot a bow, with any effect, you need a lot of arrows.

The pictures above are from this page:

I found a better way for those of us on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server in 2021 to get arrows in quantity for our bows. It involves getting string from the spider stringfarm and then finding fisherman villagers who will trade string for emeralds, and with the emeralds buy arrows from fletchers, villagers whose calling it is to craft arrows.

Another way to collect arrows is shown in the Facebook post below, but these are absorbed by the body and can’t be recycled.


On Facebook, Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance offered to show any participant in EVOMC21 how you can make a bow and then use two /warps on our server to get a quiver full of arrows in maybe half an hour, most of that trekking from the nearest warp to the right villages. Obviously users on our server could eliminate the trek by setting a home point to what I call the Tower Mall (reason obvious from the video), but until some admin sets a warp to it, the only way to get there the first time is to trek there from the nearest warp (at this writing, that’s /warp bank), so I wanted to show my viewers how to get there by orienting on our dynamic map at http://mc.evomc.net:8123/.

In a matter of minutes Mirea took us up on our invitation, and the video below was the result. Maybe if others in our community follow the technique in this video, we can form a merry band of EVOMC21 archers 🙂


Flights of fancy on the AZcraft server

Thu Jan 28 1700 UTC – Play and Learn and Network with Olivetree Grove on the AZcraft Minecraft Server and Discord


Event created by Olivetree Lighthouse and EVO Minecraft MOOC
An EVO Minecraft MOOC event on the AZcraft Minecraft server and EVOMC21 Discord Server
Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 5 PM – 7 PM UTC

This was one of our announced networking events for this week. Olivetree told us we would “be visiting a family friendly public server where we can go on a boat trip, a scary ride, dive and swim through a coral reef, play with dolphins and turtles, ride horses, go shopping at some creative shops, and more. The server is called AZcraft – The address to add it is azcraftbc.mcraft.pro .”

Video title
Teacher Vance & Bobbi Bear Play, Learn & Network with Olivetree_Gro on the AZcraft Minecraft Server

The video above includes 20 minutes of metered flying time around some phantasmagorical builds created by young people working strictly in survival mode on a private, open, but well structured server, and includes a phenomenal roller coaster ride and a swim with sea creatures on a coral reef after quaffing special potions bestowing 8 min. of underwater breathing.


Other highlights from EVO Minecraft MOOC Weeks 2 and 3


Thu 28 Jan 0300 – Bobbi Bear shares the art of cat taming with Teacher Vance and Mirea Artican and others interested at EVOMC21

It was still Wed in San Francisco when Mirea Artican joined us online after her supper to catch Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance just finishing breakfast Thu morning in Penang, Malaysia. But it was be just the right time in Minecraft for Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance to demonstrate collecting string at the local /warp stringfarm and then put a pair of strings together with three sticks to make fishing poles, and with the newly crafted polls go off to catch some fish. Next step was to go where there were likely to be some cats (a village somewhere) and attract them with raw salmon and cod. That’s the tricky part, but Bobbi has perfected the technique and she had promised to try to pass it on to participants present. Once you have a cat, your life will be purrrfect; it will follow you, even when you teleport, and you will wake up to find useful bits and bobs the cats have collected such as feathers and rabbit hides and feet (must bring good luck, yeah?). 



This event came about after this one a few days before:

Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear Blaze a trail from Olivetree’s Sandbox Meadow to Shipwreck City and the Skybox Shelter

On Jan 23 we had promised to be available on helpdesk but as there was no one around, Bobbi and I blazed a trail from Olivetree’s sandbox meadow over to the home we had built near Shipwreck City, and we video’d the result: https://youtu.be/Fh3Ci4blZLk

In this EVO Minecraft MOOC Meaningful Play Adventure Safari Hangout, Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear show you the path we blazed from Olivetree’s Sandbox Meadow (which she is using to introduce newcomers to the game) to Shipwreck City, and we show you around the Skyhouse we built nearby.

We built the Skyhouse after venturing from Olivetree’s Sandbox Meadow and finding the nearby village. We decided to build a home in the mountains back of there since it’s near the village on the ocean, cats hang out around villages, and Bobbi thought she could catch fish in the sea there and use the fish to try and tame some of the cats.

We spent many pleasant Minecraft hours in blazing the trail through the spruce and mushroom-filled oak forests. Then we went back over it again and again and put in street lights and made road improvements. Here you can vicariously retrace the results of our endeavors.

And that’s how Bobbi got her first cat!

Bobbi is so proud of herself. She says she did it the hard way. She wasn’t able to tame any cats at the shipwreck village, but she killed spiders to get string, cut wood to make a pole, and then went fishing around the spawn area. She caught cod and salmon there and tried it out on cats lurking around the spawn area. She finally found one that would love her after purrrfecting her technique, after wasting many fish on 3 other cats. Now she’s happy, and so is the cat.

What happened on this meaningful play adventure we were talking about earlier, where Bobbi Bear shares the art of cat taming with Teacher Vance and Mirea Artican?

Video Title: 
Bobbi Bear shares the art of cat taming with Teacher Vance and Mirea Artican in EVO Minecraft MOOC

We start at the spawn point, and Teacher Vance begins by briefing the plan, which is to /warp to the stringfarm, the gloomy place in the pictures above at level 26 under ground. That’s about 38 blocks deep from the surface and it’s where Sura found a couple of spawners: fire baskets that spawn mobs (e.g. skeletons, spiders, and zombies). These baskets will churn them out unless they are surrounded with torches including one placed on top of the spawner to staunch the flow of mobs, at which point visitors can move around them without being incessantly attacked.

Sura has set the stringfarm up so that the spider spawner is left operational but behind glass, so visitors can approach the glass and kill spiders with their swords through a slat the spiders can’t get through. Their string and eyeballs (objects that spiders always ‘drop’ when slain) go into a box which is constantly filling, so if you take away some string and put it in your pockets, more will appear. You can take string in bunches of 64 at a time. With just 30 strings you can buy emeralds from Liam the librarian back at spawn, so you could get yourself an endless supply of emeralds by tp’ing back and forth and feeding Liam, who would just keep giving you emeralds. Not sure what you’d do with those, maybe deposit them with Zzidkha at the /warp bank on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server.

(Later, I discovered that you could trade the emeralds for arrows, something that IS quite useful, and you can get a better deal on string for arrows from the fisherman in the kiosk next to the fletcher at the Tower Mall, as described in the lead article in this blog post)

It’s easy to /warp into the stringfarm but I had not been able to find a sporting way out, and I wanted to be able to get out of there in a manner that just anyone on our server could replicate, and go from there over well worn paths that Bobbi and I have set to a nearby village, where we’d seen cats. I found the warp marker on our dynamic map and noticed that it was right under one of our trails between the ark and our castle. I also found a small cave just off the path there and saw that if I dug north at an angle down I would come out right on the spawner, which I did until I hit a spot where the bottom fell out, and I soon worked out that I was right over the mineshaft where the spawner is. But I couldn’t jump down and be sure of getting back up, so I had to corkscrew around lower and lower until I’d worked my way low enough to step down into the abandoned mineshaft which contained the spawner chamber. By creating a stairway down I had thus created one back up.

So the day before this adventure Bobbi and I came here and made sure we could find those steps quickly, going back up from the bottom. Mineshafts can be confusing but we put sufficient torches down to both find our way accurately and protect us from skeletons and zombies, which had already caused us to have to make trips back here to collect our death chests, and I installed a salt and pepper diorite staircase over the cobblestone block one I’d made coming down, much easier to find and follow upwards. At the top I had installed a door to keep monsters from getting in from the cave or out from the spawner area, and outside the door I’d installed in the cave, I had left a chest and a crafting table as well as a bed.

So on the day of our meeting, we warped from Sura’s build at the Spawn point to the stringfarm where the spawners are, got some string, and took it up top and out the door, where in the video I illustrate how to craft fishing rods on the crafting table there. Someone slept in the bed, and in the morning we exited the cave and followed the path down the hill to the river, where we fished for cod and salmon. Then we headed for the village, following paths that took us through our castle house, and ended at the village where there are lots of cats. Bobbi showed us how to sneak up on them and feed them enough to get their trust and next thing you know, best friends for life! I had won over a cat.

We tp’d back to our home base and the cat I had tamed followed. Bobbi showed us another couple of things about cats, but it was time to end the video. Bobbi said that no one ever gets bored with cats, but in that case they can find their own. If you find us in Minecraft we’ll show you how.

On this adventure, Mirea got her first cat! 🙂 <jump> <jump>


The eternal question remains: What is the right number of cats?

One or two is ok

Four or five is a bit much

Over a dozen, a cat circus, you can’t open half your boxes.

Don’t be like Bobbi Bear!


These highlights are from Week 2 in  EVO Minecraft MOOC – Declare

EVOMC21 Week 2 – Declare – Mon-Sun, Jan. 18-24, 2021


Sat 24 Jan and Sun 23rd 1230-1430 UTC Join Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance in Meaningful Play – Adventure Safari Hangouts

Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear keep trying to find an evomc21 event title that will characterize what we are trying to do when engaging participants on our Minecraft server. We’ve settled on Meaningful Play – Adventure Safari Hangouts

First we have to find a time when participants are likely to be available. We set events to draw them to our server and monitor our Discord #serverchat channel to see when they are there on their own. If we find a participant online we send them a message in world and ask if we can assist. If they want help we go there.

We don’t set plans in advance for teaching people about Minecraft since our participants range from newbie to knowbie, and we have other moderators who are mounting more systematic approaches. If you need to be shown what to do we can help you with whatever you need to learn. If you know a bit about Minecraft and want to be shown around some interesting places on our server, we know of a few.

Either way, clueless or clued-in, you need to come online so we can show you. The ultimate goal is for you to become familiar enough with the medium so you can work out in your mind, Aha! THIS is how I might use this with MY students! We are all in pursuit of such aha moments; hopefully there will be more than one.

What do we mean by Meaningful Play – Adventure Safari Hangouts?

Meaningful play is a term Jeff Kuhn threw into an article we wrote together. You can find the original reference for it here:

Kuhn, J. and Stevens, V. (2017). Participatory culture as professional development: Preparing teachers to use Minecraft in the classroom. TESOL Journal 8, 4:753–767. 
https://doi.org/10.1002/tesj.359 and http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tesj.359/full

Pre-publication proof available: 

Adventure Safari is where we agree on a destination and go there and talk through where we are headed and what we are doing using Discord. I feel that this is where we all learn best how to function in any multiplayer communicative/collaborative game environment, whether it be Minecraft or learning a target language by moving around a city where they speak that language and interacting with the natives there. You call on resources you already have and develop new ones as the need arises. It’s like meeting your friend on a street corner and starting with “Whatdya feel like doing today?” (“I dunno, I hear Olivetree found a skele spawner near her farm area, wanna go look?” – or wherever, and off we go).

Imagine doing that in a target language. You would learn and use the language you needed for the situation you were in, just as you would if making friends in a foreign country.

If you aren’t up to moving about quite yet, then we can hang out with you and help get you up to speed.


What happened over these two days?

One thing was that Bobbi Bear and Teacher Vance built the Skyhouse and Bobbi tamed her first cat.

and the other was …

Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear meet Dakotah Redstone on his realm, and [itsasecret]

The next day, same time same station, we found Dakotah Redstone streaming his Minecraft screen into Discord from his Haliwell Realm and I made these screen shots from my Discord view of his stream. First I watched Dak as he flew above his realm and captured images from his streamed arial view of the confluence of biomes there.

Below is a manor house that he is using as one of the buildings in his Haliwell campus.

The juxtaposition of biomes makes intriguing panoramas.

Then Dak invited me to join him there and talked me through entering his realm. When you start the Minecraft launcher, where you can choose to play single player or multiplayer, the third option is to play on a realm. Under that option I had to first find Dak’s invitation to join his realm, and when found that, I was able to join him there. These screenshots show my desktop with my Minecraft realm play view at the upper left, concurrent with Dak’s view of what he saw as seen in his Discord stream, on the right.


Here we are looking at each other. Dak is wearing cactus armor, I believe.


Then we went over to the EVO Minecraft MOOC server and went to Dak’s recent build at /warp itsasecret. Anyone can go there but not many will find the many secrets lurking underground and behind the bushes.  Many of these latter are revealed in the video, filmed with Dak’s wholehearted permission.

Here’s the video: https://youtu.be/WVKu_DJ8lAU

Wait, there’s more

You can see whatever traces have been made of all the EVO Minecraft MOOC events that have taken place so far, from Week 1 forward to however far we’ve got to now, here:



Earlier Events


Mon 11 Jan 1400 UTC – Teacher Vance, Jane Chien, and Bobbi Bear host EVO Minecraft MOOC kickoff event in Zoom and Minecraft


Followed, six days later, by Jane Chien and Rose Bard’s presentation:




Fri 15 Jan 1000 ET – Bilingual-Multilingual Interest Section (B-MEIS) webinar on Multilingualism, Social Justice and Intercultural Competence in the Remote World of Virtual Exchange

Through a dialogue format that will include both students and teachers in the virtual exchange program between the U.S. and Spain, we will engage in a critical discussion of language and culture, their power and the challenges in supporting cross-cultural collaborations.



Devin Thornburg is an educator, psychologist and committed advocate for social justice and human rights in his teaching, his scholarship and his life. He is a tenured Full Professor at Adelphi University and just published a book on trust within learning.



Óscar Ceballos is Academic Director and professor at CIEE Seville, where he has developed multiple programs for undergraduate students and faculty from the U.S.. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the University of Seville in 1989 where he also holds an MA of art and philosophy.



Dr. Clara Vaz Bauler is an associate professor of TESOL/Bilingual Education at Adelphi University. Her research focuses on how digital media technology can be used to support multilingual learners’ academic writing skills while valuing their voices, linguistic assets and composition strategies, ways to better prepare pre-service an in-service teachers to effectively work with linguistically diverse learners in face-to-face and remote learning environments, and integration of disciplinary content, academic discourses, and translanguaging practices to support and empower emergent bilinguals.


Sat 16 & 23 & 30 Jan 1400-1600 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

About this intitiative, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/

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: https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

 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: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/ 

  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 
  3. and voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.  


Sat 23 Jan starting 0900 UTC – Prof. David Crystal at the English Department of Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering virtual ELT conference 

The English Department of Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering, Chennai, India – as an extension of its virtual ELT conference – is hosting plenary webinar talks by Prof. David Crystal on 23 January 2021.

Session 1: 2:30 to 3:30 pm presumably in Chennai – The future of Englishes


Session 2: 4:40 to 5:30 – English Accents – Past, present, future


The event flyer with all the details can be accessed here.

You can check the local time of this event by clicking here.
In case you are interested please register here so as to receive the webinar joining instructions by email.

They have not announced a recording to my knowledge.


Sat 23 Jan 1400 UTC TESOL CALL-IS webinar – Open Educational Resources 101

TESOL CALL-IS cordially invited visitors to the webinar: 
Open Educational Resources 101: Finding and Using Free Resources in Your Classroom 

Presenters: Dr. Christine Sabieh, Dr. Nellie Deutsch, Charity Davenport, Sharon Tjaden-Glass

Registration link: http://tinyurl.com/CALLIS-OERwebinar 




This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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





Rose Bard and Jane Chien discuss Key Aspects for Teacher Development in Minecraft

Learning2gether Episode 506


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

EVOMC21 moderators Rose Bard and Jane Chien helped us bring Week 1 of EVO Minecraft MOOC to an end with a live session to help participants reflect on the key aspects for teacher development when it comes to implementing Minecraft in Education.

As they put it:

In order to get started in education with Minecraft, teachers will need to delve into the world of the game and develop a new set of skills. In this live event, we would like to introduce you to the key aspects for teacher development to enable teachers to implement Minecraft in their context and also help you define your learning goal(s) for EVOMC21 MOOC.

Bring your thoughts to our live event and be prepared to actively share and discuss!

Some screenshots from the event
showing who was there and content displayed

The presenters introduced the TPACK, Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge, model https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_pedagogical_content_knowledge

There were polls using http://www.menti.com


This statement was made on one of the slides and participants were asked to go on to Mentimeter and agree or disagree, and say why not. More responses can be seen in the video.

The concepts of language acquired in, through, and for gaming is covered in Jane’s article in TESL-EJ

Chien, Y. (2019). The language of massively multiplayer online gamers: A study of vocabulary in Minecraft gameplay. TESL-EJ, 23(3), 1-16. http://tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej91/int.pdf. Also available: http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume22/ej91/ej91int/

Group selfie:

Zoom Chat Logs

I need to ask if Zoom chat logs can be made available, in full or excerpted form.

I never found out if a chat log was available, or parts of it that might be of interest, but meanwhile, Rose has blogged a reflection on a later presentation for EVO Minecraft MOOC, here

I left a comment at that blog mistakenly pointing here. I tried to correct my mistake by leaving an additional comment on Rose’s blog post.

But in case you have arrived here via my original comment on her post, please carry on to the correct link here:

My mistake should be clear if you follow the links. Abashedly, Vance

Promotion and Feedback

The event was announced as taking place in Zoom, courtesy of Jane Chien

There was an event announcement made on Facebook

Rose Bard’s post on Declaring Goals Now and Then in EVO Minecraft MOOC
Here, Rose contextualizes how she discovered Minecraft, came to grips with it, and expanded on her knowledge to use it with students, leading up to this presentation on Key Aspects, in her blog post here:

Earlier Events

There had been several EVO Minecraft MOOC events since the previous Learning2gether episode 505 posted here:

Mon 11 Jan 1400 UTC – Teacher Vance, Jane Chien, and Bobbi Bear host EVO Minecraft MOOC kickoff event in Zoom and Minecraft


Wed 13 Jan 2300 UTC – Sura hosts Weekly Warping Wednesday

Where mc.evomc.net server and Discord


Join us each Wednesday as we explore fun locations in our Minecraft world!
Get set up in Discord and grab some items from our Spawn Base before we go.

Make a sword too, as we will need it where we are going! Hope you can join us!

Facebook event:

Wed 13 Jan 1000-1100 UTC – Olivetree Lighthouse hosts Play and Learn in Discord and on the EVOMC21 Minecraft server

For newbies we are going to go through the basics, of the Discord set up, where to find things and how to communicate. In Minecraft we will practice moving, teleporting, warping, getting our first resources in the wild including dying and finding our way back 🙂 We’ll have fun playing and later reflect on the language that we used and how the environment can be used for learning.

If you are not new, come get acquainted with the server and the different builds that we have, and find a place for yourself.

You’ll need to set yourself up in Discord beforehand; see 2021_Discord

If you need back-channel asynchronous help, join https://groups.io/g/minecraftmooc/ and ask your questions there.

Thu 14 Jan 1300-1400 UTC Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear facilitate meaningful play in Discord and on the EVOMC21 Minecraft server

Facebook event created: https://www.facebook.com/events/424587512083164

Teacher Vance and Bobbi bear will hang out on the server and greet anyone who wants to come online and get any kind of help with learning and playing with us in Minecraft.

It will help if you set yourself up in Discord beforehand; see 2021_Discord

If you need back-channel asynchronous help, join https://groups.io/g/minecraftmooc/ and ask your questions there.

If you want to arrange to meet us at different times, you can send us a message through Groups.io, or in any of our other online spaces (but Groups.io will reach Teacher Vance most directly).

We recorded a part of what we did here

We met at the spawn point but went exploring Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear’s tracks with special guest Walton Burns who had dropped in for the Meaningful Play experience. As Bobbi and I had been about to create part 21 of our trek through various biomes we’d visited the past couple of months, we invited Walton to join us as we journeyed through icebergs from Savanna Beach to Greenland and continue by boat to an eroded badlands biome, ending in a shelter on a lonely mesa as part of a Meaningful Play experience in EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021

After that we went with Walton, at his request, back to the spawn point and then over to Ari’s builds where Walton climbed the tricky scaffold that leads up to the balloon. We visited Ari’s colored wool factory, and found where he keeps bees, then tp’d to spawn and started on a trek to Dak’s pyramid, when Walton needed to go because his son needed more bandwidth for his school project. So Bobbi and I kept on up the trail with the blue glass markers, past a panda lying on its back across the trail, and found the bed at the entrance to Dak’s where we went from dusk to dawn. Then we took our boats northeast to where Ari has made his hole in the ocean. We continued to the island just beyond but got caught in a spillway there where the boat rode it down and got lodged in a crevice. Fortunately it was easy to just walk back to the top. There we found an ender chest, one of only a few objects on the flat postage-stamp sized island, but we’d spent a couple of hours already, and tp’d back to our own beds.


Sun 17 Jan – Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear at Meaningful Play – At Home Office Hours on the EVOMC21 Minecraft Server

Between the hours of 1 pm in Malaysia to 8 pm Teacher Vance and Bobbi Bear will keep an eye on the EVOMC21 dynamic map: http://mc.evomc.net:8123/ and Discord #server chat in case anyone wants to drop by our server and needs help.

If you need a hand with anything or want to take a tour, hope to see you there

To connect

Sun Jan 17 1600-2100 UTC Dakota hosts Great Expectations, Herding Cats

Found under the door in the Google Calendar, a note … who could have left it … and what time ??? where ?

Wait, scroll down, there’s more …

For “2-legged avatars” we are going to go through the basics of education in Minecraft
we will focus on discussing “What could happen?”,

oh my goodness, you mean “Things could happen?!?!?”  [yep, and dollars will get you donuts… they will.]

investigating what 2 and 4-legged avatars are up to in the wild, including how to prepare for and hopefully to cope with when we (inevitably) fail… and Why Failing Is A GOOD Thing. 🙂

We’ll have fun playing and later reflect on the language and the environment that can be used for learningctrl-H ctrl-H ctrl-H ctrl-H ctrl-H ctrl-H ctrl-H telling stories.
(and chasing, err I meant to say herding cats.)  😉

[hey… wait a minute… haven’t you said that education/learning is the exact same thing as telling stories???…   Shush!!!!!!]

< /teaser off >

Organizer: EVO Minecraft
Created by: Dakotah Redstone

Here are two other events that Learning2gether had listed this past week

Fri 15 Jan – Bilingual-Multilingual Interest Section (B-MEIS) webinar on Multilingualism, Social Justice and Intercultural Competence in the Remote World of Virtual Exchange

When:  Jan 15, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 10:00 AM (ET)

Multilingualism, Social Justice and Intercultural Competence in the Remote World of Virtual Exchange

Through a dialogue format that will include both students and teachers in the virtual exchange program between the U.S. and Spain, we will engage in a critical discussion of language and culture, their power and the challenges in supporting cross-cultural collaborations.


devin_thornburg.jpgDevin Thornburg is an educator, psychologist and committed advocate for social justice and human rights in his teaching, his scholarship and his life. He is a tenured Full Professor at Adelphi University and just published a book on trust within learning.

oscar_ceballos.jpgÓscar Ceballos is Academic Director and professor at CIEE Seville, where he has developed multiple programs for undergraduate students and faculty from the U.S.. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the University of Seville in 1989 where he also holds an MA of art and philosophy.

clara_bauler_jpeg.jpgDr. Clara Vaz Bauler is an associate professor of TESOL/Bilingual Education at Adelphi University. Her research focuses on how digital media technology can be used to support multilingual learners’ academic writing skills while valuing their voices, linguistic assets and composition strategies, ways to better prepare pre-service an in-service teachers to effectively work with linguistically diverse learners in face-to-face and remote learning environments, and integration of disciplinary content, academic discourses, and translanguaging practices to support and empower emergent bilinguals.

The webinar was held in Zoom

Sat 16 Jan 1400-1600 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

About this intitiative, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/

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: https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

 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: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/

  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
  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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

The date of this update is February 15, 2021 08:00 UTC

EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021 kickoff event in Zoom and in Minecraft – How the EVOMC21 ecosystem works

Download this audio:

Learning2gether Episode 505


Skip down to the Zoom and Facebook Chat Logs
See our promotion and feedback for this event

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

On Monday, January 11, Teacher Vance, Jane Chien, and Bobbi Bear organized and hosted this 7th annual EVO Minecraft MOOC kickoff event in Zoom and Minecraft.

We met in Zoom and many of our colleagues and participants who were whitelisted on the #evomc21 server joined us from there as well. Jane, Vance, and our server administrator sysop Aaron Schwartz shared their screens from Minecraft and explained how this EVO session is being organized in Discord, Facebook, and optionally in Groups.io. Inexplicably, but serendipitously, some of our colleagues managed to tune in from Discord, and voice-broadcast through Zoom. Others participated in the text chat associated with the Facebook stream from Zoom. J

We started where most visitors will begin, at the spawn point, where, although we are in survival, mobs (monsters) have been suppressed for their safety (safety of both the mobs and our participants). And we ended at, of all places, with the ultimate experience in Minecraft, a rare visit to the Enderdragon engineered by our Minecraft server guru Zzidkha, aka Aaron Schwartz.

This event was intended to be an informative visit, the main purpose being to make a recording of how participants could join us in-world, and how we would welcome them there and tend to their needs as they immerse themselves into the challenging world of our Minecraft server, and it ended with an out-of-this world visit under the hood, covering the gamut of ways people might interact with us in EVO Minecraft MOOC this 2021 EVO season.

EVO is Electronic Village Online, http://evosessions.org.
For more information about EVO Minecraft MOOC see http://minecraftmooc.org

This and all #evomc21 events are being posted at http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/w/page/142133859/2021_Live_Events
and their YouTube videos, when available, are being archived there as well.

The picture shows our resident turtle at the EVO MInecraft MOOC spawn point

Zoom and Facebook Chat Logs


22:18:57 From Marijana : hi everyone,
22:19:08 From Jane Chien : hello
22:20:22 From Claire Siskin : Hi Sedat!!
22:20:28 From Sedat Akayoğlu : hi Claire
22:20:41 From Marijana : I am on my tablet, because
22:20:45 From Sedat Akayoğlu : hi Vance
22:21:06 From Marijana : my laptop is having some problems. Filip is trying to fix it for me. 🙂
22:21:10 From BARBARA STEVENS : Hi everyone
22:21:20 From Sedat Akayoğlu : hi all
22:21:25 From BARBARA STEVENS : Oh good luck with your laptop
22:21:54 From Marijana : @Vance, you always have fun!
22:22:07 From Marijana : Thanks Barbara! 😗
22:22:09 From BARBARA STEVENS : We try 😉
22:22:42 From Serdar Sen : Hi Sedat hocam
22:22:55 From Sedat Akayoğlu : hi Serdar…
22:24:31 From Marijana : hashtags will help us all more to find the important information
22:29:04 From Caterina Skiniotou : What is each playground about?

To answer this question, we make available a number of channels in Discord (which we call playgrounds) so we can have multiple separate conversations. For example when Olivetree was conducting an orientation recently, we saw that Serdar was more advanced than the other players, so Bobbi Bear and I went into another channel and talked to him there as we went elsewhere on the server

22:30:20 From Marijana : I am on tablet so, it’s a bit hard to follow
22:30:38 From Marijana : Playground is for you to speak while playing in Minecraft
22:31:02 From Marijana : I suppose you can join certain playground with certain players
22:31:12 From Marijana : Aaron has microphonia
22:32:10 From Caterina Skiniotou : @Marijana, thanks!
22:36:55 From Marijana : No problem Catarina. Let’s say newbies use Playground 1 with few of us mods, and more expert Minecraft players can talk in Playground 2. but you always need to connect to voice to be able to use mic and speak in channel. while you should disconnect others
22:38:16 From Marijana : Playing Minecraft and using Discord is a process, but you will be able to see how our students and kids do this at the same time. I have witnessed that with both of my sons 😁
22:39:23 From Marijana : @Aaron, is this an octopus?
22:43:03 From Jamie Harrison : Does the night end for everyone if one person sleeps or just for that one person?
22:43:06 From Caterina Skiniotou : So, when is nighttime exactly?
22:46:08 From Jane Chien : https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1ILqfvWUAMvwYIfIir10w0Qj-J2jmUXChr-OB_YarrYA/edit?usp=sharing
22:46:25 From Caterina Skiniotou : Is the list of plug-ins recorded somewhere so we can explore?
22:50:32 From Vance Stevens : nighttime is every 20 minutes
22:51:22 From Claire Siskin : every 20 minutes?????
22:51:36 From Jane Chien : Super cool!!!
22:51:41 From Vance Stevens : day night cycles, you have to get your business done in 10 min and then get to a bed or get to a shelter. If you sleep it gets light immediately. If not you have to wait another 10 min
22:52:35 From Vance Stevens : https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Daylight_cycle#:~:text=Sunset%20is%20the%20period%20between,lasts%205%E2%81%846%20minutes.&text=During%20sunset%2C%20the%20Sun%20descends,rises%20on%20the%20eastern%20horizon.
22:53:11 From Marijana : Night is more scary in survival mode , but you can cheat, hahaha, my sons love survival mode as well
22:54:00 From Vance Stevens : checking that, I think the day and night together are 20 min
22:54:53 From ROSEMERE BARD : Survival mode creates some interesting interactions between players
22:55:22 From Tilly Harrison : I thought it was shorter than 20!
22:56:13 From Caterina Skiniotou : I am still in the dark as to the objective(s) of the game: is it to build and/or destroy? Do we as a group of players set the game objectives?

To answer this question, the objectives are very much open ended. It’s up to the teacher to find ways to channel the inherent interest kids have in Minecraft toward educational objectives. There have been books written about this subject; a good one is Teachercraft, listed on this page in our wiki, giving articles, presentations, and blog posts about EVO Minecraft MOOC: 
But the best way to learn is through a community and that is what we are here for. Join us and learn through doing and by example; through modeling best practices in Minecraft for one another.

22:56:41 From Caterina Skiniotou : We focus a lot on technical stuff but I am so far unable to connect the dots.
22:56:45 From Marijana : You will get to test both modes
22:57:12 From Tilly Harrison : Hi Caterina – I was the same as you when I started. But when I tried Survival it started to make sense – that is where the game gets fun because you really have to work hard to not get killed.
22:57:14 From Marijana : My suggestion is to read the week 1 orientation and just get yourself familiar with Minecraft
22:57:40 From Jane Chien : XD yes work on not to get killed
22:57:43 From Vance Stevens : hear hear
22:57:43 From Marijana : Creative is to huild, Survival is to stay alive and kill zombies.. 😉
22:58:03 From Marijana : sorry, guys, I am on tablet so I make spelling mistakes
22:58:06 From Dani Hersey : I’ve gotta run and teach a class. Thank you for this introduction!
22:58:14 From Marijana : bye Dani!
22:58:16 From Claire Siskin : If you kill all the zombies, are you safe?

To answer this question, on our server you are pretty much safe in the daytime as long as you are out of doors and it’s not raining. Clouds and dark places in caves is where mobs (zombies, etc. ) hang out during the day. You are also safe if you’ve protected yourself inside a shelter. We have shelters spaced throughout our server. You can see examples of what Bobbi Bear and I do to protect ourselves in our videos, here
You can see how we move around freely during the daytime and take care to get indoors at night. Join us on the server and we’ll show you.
But I didn’t answer the question. Mobs spawn algorithmically in Minecraft. Sometimes you can kill one and there are no more, but sometimes they seem to swarm you if you are in a dark cave without light or out at night. As you might have gathered, light intensity is a factor in their propagation. Best to carry torches and a good sword.

22:58:16 From Jane Chien : Thanks Dani!
22:58:19 From Jane Chien : Bye!
22:58:28 From Tilly Harrison : When you realise how hard it is to stay alive, you REALLY appreciate advice from experienced players – but it’s better for it not to be too easy.
22:58:55 From ROSEMERE BARD : Minecraft is pretty much like a sandbox. You can do a lot of different things there. As Marijana says, once you start experimenting and also participating in the ‘play and learn’ sessions, you will understand more and more how the game Works and what the possibilities there.
22:59:04 From Caterina Skiniotou : The story line sounds pretty limited so far.
22:59:41 From Tilly Harrison : It’s like ‘Little House in the Big Woods’ – just surviving!
22:59:48 From Jane Chien : Bobbi says: Claire, you asked about Zombies. If you kill one others you are safe from that one but others might appear.
23:00:01 From Claire Siskin : Thanks, Bobbi!
23:00:07 From Don Carroll : I don’t think there is any “story line” in MC.
23:00:38 From Claire Siskin : The “story line” seems to be like life!
23:01:19 From Claire Siskin : I mean, we live life but we are not always aware of what the story line is,
23:01:33 From Don Carroll : You can really do whatever you want.
23:01:44 From Don Carroll : If you want to build things you can do that.
23:01:56 From Don Carroll : If you don’t want to build, that’s fine tool
23:02:16 From Don Carroll : I really just run around, find stuff, and take photos.
23:02:30 From ROSEMERE BARD : You create your own stories
23:02:41 From Jane Chien : Yes, we like your photos! And your adventures!
23:02:50 From Marijana : I personally loved riding the rollercoasters one of our experts builds. so much fun.
23:04:19 From Marijana : I am very bad at bulidng, both Filip and Domagoj always laugh at me, I used to build and destroy at the same time, by just a wrong mouse click 🙄
23:05:21 From Marijana : oh no Jane! 😄
23:05:22 From Claire Siskin : What is AFK?
23:05:33 From Nazlı Ceren Işıklıgil : away from keyboard
23:05:38 From Claire Siskin : Thanks!
23:05:47 From Marijana : there will be many abbrv. in Minecraft
23:05:49 From Anne Hendler (complete noob) : What other abbreviations do we need to know?
23:06:27 From Marijana : Those are similar for all social media, for example BRB
23:06:32 From Marijana : be right back
23:06:34 From Sedat Akayoğlu : I think we will learn in time as you suggested
23:06:40 From Caterina Skiniotou : Thanks, everyone. I will be exploring things on single-player mode and come up with more questions to post on groups.io.
23:06:48 From Caterina Skiniotou : Buy for now!
23:06:49 From Don Carroll : The abbreviations used in MC text messages are pretty much the same as regular text messaging.
23:07:04 From Jamie Harrison : Thank you for this intro. I’m glad to be part of this EVO group. I’ll do my best to be part of things and learn a lot! I have to go now – but I’ll be back! 🙂
23:07:20 From Don Carroll : If you join via Discord you won’t really need to use the text messaging within MC.
23:07:27 From Marijana : Sure Caterina, 😉
23:07:46 From Marijana : Yes, as you speak, so no need to use chat in Minecraft
23:09:41 From ROSEMERE BARD : Emanuel took me and my husband to the End yesterday and took him almost an hour to get crystals and kill the dragon. Guess where hubby and I were at that time? hiding in a shelter ahahah I can survive there, but I won’t dare to fight the dragon yet. ahahah
23:09:47 From Don Carroll : I’ve got to go. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to participate this year.
23:10:03 From ROSEMERE BARD : you can survive if you are wearing a good armour
23:10:06 From Don Carroll : This year happens to be really busy.
23:10:08 From Anne Hendler (complete noob) : I guess I’ll have to go in and figure out what my questions are.
23:10:09 From Claire Siskin : Must go too. Thanks for a most informative session!
23:10:17 From Marijana : Great Rose, bye Don, take care, sure no worries
23:10:35 From Marijana : I also need to go, I have meeting in 30 mins in Adobe. 🙂
23:10:45 From Marijana : bye guys, see you soon
23:10:50 From Vance Stevens : thanks for coming
23:10:53 From Sedat Akayoğlu : thank you so much for this intro… I will join MC today..
23:11:08 From Sedat Akayoğlu : I will have more questions when I start using it
23:11:15 From BARBARA STEVENS : Bye Thanks for joining us everyone.
23:11:22 From Nazlı Ceren Işıklıgil : Other than live events like this, are we going to have specific times to play together? I normally play with Olivetree since I know her from last year and learning from her but that would be great to play with others as well

To answer this question, we moderators set up times to be online where we tend to find others active. For example, Bobbi and I usually go for our evenings around 14:00 UTC (GMT). This is early morning for people in South America and two hours before midnight in Asia where Jane and I are. But we are up from about 1 or 2 am UTC, in case anyone wanted to make an arrangement to meet. During lockdown we stay home usually, so if you want to meet suggest a time. Or go to our server map at http://mc.evomc.net:8123/. If we are you can join us. You can page us in world right on the chat bar at the bottom of the map.

23:11:37 From Jane Chien : Thanks for joining everyone!
23:12:08 From Jane Chien : I’m doing research on language learning in Minecraft, if anyone is interested 😉
23:12:42 From Nazlı Ceren Işıklıgil : Yeah that would be great!
23:12:42 From Jane Chien : Also, we’re building Minecraft language learning lessons 🙂
23:12:47 From Marijana : Great Jane. Have you checked our old article, written in 2014, bye Vance, Filip and me
23:12:53 From Nazlı Ceren Işıklıgil : If we know who are up for playing at what time generally

We are from all parts of the world, so we are up at different times. If you are in Turkey you are near those of us from Egypt, Croatia, Romania, and Asia (in Asia we are 24 hours away from USA)

23:13:03 From Jane Chien : Yes, I cited your article when I wrote mine 🙂
23:13:39 From Marijana : great
23:13:53 From Marijana : ok, need to go now. see you later, bye all
23:14:12 From Vance Stevens : Smolcec, Smolcec , and Stevens (2014) is listed here: http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/w/page/142599177/Pedagogy_of_Minecraft
23:14:56 From Anne Hendler (complete noob) : Thank you for all the information! It’s after midnight here, so I have to turn in. See everyone in game.
23:15:12 From Aaron Schwartz : thanks everyone for coming
23:15:13 From Nazlı Ceren Işıklıgil : Thank you!!! See you in Minecraft 🙂
23:15:13 From Serdar Sen : thanks for the instruction, see you later in the game 🍃stay safe ✨
23:15:26 From BARBARA STEVENS : Bye all
23:15:36 From Sedat Akayoğlu : bye all
23:15:42 From Sedat Akayoğlu : thank you all
23:15:46 From Sedat Akayoğlu : for this great intro
23:16:00 From BARBARA STEVENS : see you all in the game!


Facebook live stream

Krisztina Tisza · 53:49 Just joined on Zoom! It’s awesome! Thank you!
Walton Burns · 44:04 Does warp creative mean you go into creative mode?
Virgínia Oliveira · 38:13 I`m watching on facebook but the audio is very low!
(Teacher Vance – Huge Hint, the passcode is in the email confirmation)
Aaron Schwartz · 28:26 i’m also being asked for a passcode
Virgínia Oliveira · 25:44 what`s the password?
Jane Chien · 0:00 I don’t have the password?
Jane Chien · 15:41 https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZctf-6trzMsG9P-x&#8230;
Welcome! You are invited to join a meeting: Mon 11 Jan 1400 UTC etc
Jane Chien · 11:19 Let me get you info
Don Carroll · 10:49 The server is popping on and off.
Don Carroll · 10:25 How do I join the Zoom?
Jane Chien · 0:00 Hi! You’re early! I’ll be back soon! Give me five minutes!
Don Carroll · 5:11 Hi Vance and Bobbi.
Mike Kenteris · 0:52 In the backdrop … not available to attend at this time!

Promotion and Feedback

Announcements were made
on these Facebook groups

And at Groups.io

Live stream
And the event was live-streamed on https://www.facebook.com/groups/evomc
but the recording ended up at my facebook page under videos: https://www.facebook.com/vance.stevens.3/videos/ and to that add the code 10158846255149719
to complete the URL (if I write that out in full here, it converts into what you see below)

We started the stream about 15 min before we started the Zoom recording,

I’ve faced this problem in the past, when I stream to a private group, I can’t post the video in such a way that anyone can see it. I’ll have to make a Camtasia recording, maybe of just the first 15 minutes until we started the Zoom recording (they should be the same). And in FUTURE stream to a public group, such as Learning2gether. Later for this.

Earlier Events

Electronic Village Online Opening Kickoff and EVO Minecraft MOOC pre-session server party


This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

The date of this update is January 14, 2021 10:00 UTC

Electronic Village Online Opening Kickoff and EVO Minecraft MOOC pre-session server party

Learning2gether Episode 504


The Electronic Village Online Opening Kickoff
The EVO Minecraft MOOC pre-session server party

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

January 10, 2021 was a big day in the compatible but overlapping worlds of EVO, Electronic Village Online, and EVO Minecraft MOOC. The former held its annual kickoff event on this date, starting at the internationally sweet spot time of 1400 UTC, tentatively expected to last an hour, and the latter was holding a server party event at the same time (through no fault of my own; CoP cats are known to be difficult to herd) but set to go on for two hours. I attended and presented in the EVO annual kickoff until 1500 UTC (it went on for another half hour after that) and popped over to the Minecraft server to catch the last half of the party there.

Here’s the story of these two amazing events.

Electronic Village Online Opening Kickoff for 2021

EVO2021 officially began with an opening ceremony in Zoom on Sunday Jan 10 1400 UTC


More information: http://evosessions.org 

All interested #EVO2021 moderators and participants were welcome

Announcements were made in these

Facebook groups 

And at Groups.io 

At the EVO Minecraft MOOC spaces above, we also noted that:

For #EVOMC21 participants there is a BBQ at Dak’s place on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server coinciding with the start of this event at 1400 UTC but extending for an hour after the EVO session ends (or we slip out early, see you there 🙂.)

Meanwhile, back at the EVO 2021 kickoff

A job well moderated by EVO Lead Coordinator for 2021, Martha Ramirez

EVO announced its sessions Jan. 11 – Feb. 14, 2021, with Registration: Jan. 3 – 10, 2021

Celebrate EVO’s 20th Anniversary with us!

It is a pleasure to announce the Call for Participation for the Electronic Village Online (EVO) 2021. As a project of TESOL’s Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS), EVO has been offering free, open online professional development sessions and workshops to teachers of English around the globe for 20 years.

For five weeks in January and February, TESOL experts and participants from around the world engage in collaborative online discussions or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by land-based professional development conventions and allow a fuller development of ideas than is otherwise possible.

Sessions are free and open to anyone around the globe. It is not necessary to be a TESOL or IATEFL member nor to attend the TESOL Convention in order to participate. All you need is access to the Internet. The sessions carry no academic credit, and participants may choose the level of involvement that works for them.

This year, we are pleased to offer a record 19 five-week sessions, with the EVO21 Kick-off event on January 10, 2021 at 2 PM UTC (9:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada). Register in advance for this meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItfu6gqzMoG9xWVH-w1JTo9FsvscdihdOz. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting

Please inform your colleagues about this unparalleled professional development opportunity! For descriptions and abstracts of all sessions, visit the Call for Participation at evosessions.pbworks.com/w/page/10708567/…

Here are links to all of the sessions

  1. CEFR VS Assessment: How can new revisions help?
  2. Classroom-based research for Professional Development
  3. Digital Imagery and Designs
  4. Effective Presentation Skills
  5. EVO Minecraft MOOC 2021
  6. Flipped_Learning_in_language_teaching 
  7. Grammar for TESOL 
  8. Immersive Storytelling in Virtual Worlds
  9. Intercultural Competence 2021 
  10. M4TEVO21
  11. Scientific Literacy and CLIL
  12. Self-Care for Educators with Mindfulness 
  13. Shaping New Ways of Teaching English for Tourism in Uzbekistan
  14. Synchronous Online Flipped Learning Approach
  15. TECHNO CLIL 2021
  16. TEFL2YL EVO21
  17. Tools for Student Collaboration
  18. Technology for Spoken English
  19. Wellness: A Happy and Healthy You

Please share this invitation with your colleagues and e-lists. Thank you for helping us spread the word!

For additional information about EVO, visit http://evosessions.org


EVO Minecraft MOOC pre-session server party

Here is the recording of the Sun 10 Jan EVOMC21 pre-session Kickoff & BBQ. Having left another online Zoom meeting and come directly to this one, Teacher Vance started it quickly and did not take time to make a test recording first. Everything usually works fine, but maybe because I had taken my USB mic to another computer for the Zoom session, Camtasia switched my mic off for this recording once I put it back in. I was devastated to discover that at first, but then it dawned on me that no one needs to hear me natter on all the time, so here is the result

YouTube URL https://youtu.be/c6O9emiidWQ 

In this video we meet at the spawn point developed by Sura so meticulously over the past week or so. I exit the gate to look for MrMikeGR whom I find standing near the chest full of shears, provided so that newcomers won’t simply slaughter the sheep in order to get wool to make beds. However the sign says “Please use shears to get wool. Do no kill the sheep”, but it looks like a sign posted in a park somewhere. The newcomer doesn’t know that it’s posted on a chest, let alone how to to right-click to open it, and then how does he use what he finds inside on sheep? Being in Discord would help us to explain. However MrMikeGR is a brave newcomer here in this survival world for the very first time, though the area around the spawn point has been rendered ‘peaceful’ – no monster mobs. I am even unable to place a boat in the water here except in the designated safe swimming area directly off the pier.

We travel across the water to Dak’s and climb some vines to reach the terrace where the BBQ is in progress. We meet Dak’s cured zombie, Captain Francis, who guards a freezer full of fish and dairy supplies. He is standing near a chest where we can get fishing poles and take them down to the water to catch our own fish. Back on the terrace Dak has prepared special mesquite charcoal for us to cook our catch, which is delivered unfathomably into a separate delivery system. Go figgah!? Meanwhile Olivetree Grove is busy digging her own firepit that emits puffs of smoke that would pollute any real world, but here the smoke has zero effect on the environment. 

Mattie comes along and brightens up the night with an incessant display of fireworks, though when his mom Jane is handed an ‘Old Betsy’ fireworks launcher she turns out to be equally hedonistic amongst this group of staid and serious educators. Just kidding (about the educators)! We all pose for photos on the landing, we can probably find them posted in Discord, although the video renditions are not that bad either. They just won’t hold still.

Eventually MrMikeGR finds his way to where we are and we pass him snacks and I pass him my finest stone sword. It is not an easy process explaining to someone who is not in Discord the seemingly simple series of keypresses required to eat something, so that takes some time.

Finally it approaches midnight in the uber-overworld where Teacher Vance, Bobbi Bear, Jane Chien, and Mattie Tsai go about their real lives (Mattie is still up? we thought he has gone to bed already). Teacher Vance and Bobbi /home home off to their castle elsewhere and though you can’t hear it on the video, we are all saying goodbye to one another in Discord.


Mr Mike’s take

My reply
Hi Mr Mike, it was great to see you in world with us. Thanks for the family portrait. I’ve produced a lot more videos starting from the spawn point where the shear sign is (that’s a chest, btw, you can right click on it to open it and help yourself to shears inside. Then with a shear in your hand, you right click on a sheep, and it ‘drops’ wool. You walk over the wool to pick it up.

The updated videos are here, http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/w/page/142108218/Video_Tutorials. The first one here, https://youtu.be/iLxoWmbbJpw is a better one for showing you how to survive in the wilderness. The rest of the videos guide you down paths that others have made, where there are shelters along the way.

My advice is to go on the server and meet people there. Contact us through discord to see when we’ll be online, or write us at https://groups.io/g/minecraftmooc/. I follow all messages posted there. Also, you can visit our dynamic map at http://mc.evomc.net:8123/ and see who is online now and use the dialog box at the bottom to chat with people on the server whether you are in game or not.

There’s much to learn, but many on hand to help you, especially if you want to learn by doing. When you get into discord and can speak to us this will speed up the process because then we can explain to you quickly, directly, and hands free what you should be doing. Look forward to seeing you in #evomc21


in the Google Calendar in the screenshot above,
and on the EVOMC21 live events page

In Facebook groups
EVO MInecraft MOOC – https://www.facebook.com/groups/evomc 

At Groups.io
EVO Minecraft MOOC – https://groups.io/g/minecraftmooc/message/198 


Earlier Events

Sat 19 Dec 1500-2000 UTC – Free CETE/TESOL (Virtual) Annual  Online International Conference, with Deborah Healey plenary


Mon 21 Dec – TEIS Webinar Recording: Lessons from Africa: Teacher Development through Language Teacher Associations

Webinar URL: youtu.be/NXos-eysyXs

Aymen Elsheikh, (President of Africa ELTA (formerly known as Africa TESOL) & Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University at Qatar) and Chadia Mansour (Athabasca University), discussed unique circumstances, opportunities and challenges language teacher associations in the region face in language teacher development. Amongst the many points raised included the uniqueness of Africa ELTA’s focus on diversity, its community-based orientation, and its emphasis on cultivating leaders as well as the fronting of expertise from within its membership. Amongst Africa ELTA’s challenges included garnering resources to support its members and navigating turf lines amongst sponsors. The discussion began with Elsheikh & Effiong’s 2018 research on the subject. With the participation of audience members, the discussion concluded with a recognition of the monumental efforts it took to establish the association, with minimal funding sources, and based heavily on the work and unwavering belief of volunteers and advocates.

Sat 26 Dec and Jan 2 & 9 noon UTC – Free Graphic Design from EVO Moderator Omal Peter

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Weekly: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZMsdOygpz8tHNc_WLlu_kPfIuQ_zb0fF75W/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGvrzgvEt2Rtx-ERpwEBYjCZ_zxmClago1eoyjJDzVsaTPwH_dzDah9QN72

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 871 3589 4763

Passcode: 6Bgf8n


Sat 26 Dec and Jan 2 & 9 1400-1600 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

About this intitiative, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/

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: https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

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: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/ 

  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 
  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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

The date of this update is January 14, 2021 06:00 UTC

Learning2gether at the CETE/TESOL (Virtual) Annual Online International Conference – Deborah Healey keynote

Learning2gether Episode 503


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

I have occasionally in the past made Learning2gether episodes out of events I did not myself organize. My involvement in this one was almost accidental. I received a message from a colleague that the Center for English Teaching Excellence affiliate of TESOL, CETE / Georgia was looking for speakers for their upcoming virtual conference and suggested I put myself forward. On making enquiries I discovered two important things: (1) the conference was to be held from 7 pm to midnight Tbilisi time, odd timing for Georgians, but most probably to accommodate their plenary speaker Zooming in from west coast USA; and (2) the plenary speaker was Dr. Deborah Healey, a long time colleague in CALL-IS in TESOL, and past-president of, and current roving / virtual ambassador to, TESOL.org. When a TESOL affiliate needs a speaker, Deborah is often called on and often accepts (and always makes a great presentation).


The conference started at 11 pm my time in Penang, Malaysia. I had scheduled a meeting of moderators of my EVO 2021 group, EVO Minecraft MOOC, for 10 pm my time, and as long as I’d be online anyway, I decided to stay up for Deborah’s presentation.

I don’t see where there is a video recording yet, but if one becomes available I can embed it here. Meanwhile, we’ll have to make do with my screenshots and the materials Deborah posted at http://tinyurl.com/healeycete

Deborah’s Tiny URL points to a Google Drive folder where there are three files. One is to a getting-to-know-you Google form. One is to a breakout activity she may have been planning for her presentation (or perhaps meant it as a model for one). And the third file is to her slide presentation, direct link

The presentation was timely, entitled
Building community in difficult times: Pandemic and online teaching

She set the presentation in the context of the sudden shift in demands on teaching, followed by suggestions for effective teaching and community building online, couching the discussion in the framework TESOL’s 6 Principles for Exemplary Teaching of English Learners. She closed with a discussion of resources that teachers could access worldwide for free, and from TESOL often for free or at nominal cost. She made clear when one of her suggestions might cost something; e.g. in the neighborhood of $35, what a year’s global membership subscription to TESOL would cost people overseas in Georgia, for example.

My other meeting had run a little overtime, and I arrived at about the point when she started talking about the 6 principles:healey06ps

You can see in the slides where for Principle 1 she talked about ice breakers in Zoom; using surveys and playing games such as scavenger hunts to get to know participants and their opinions.


On Principle 2 she gave her insights into conditions for interactivity in virtual classrooms. One of these was to have students switch cameras on, which I interpreted as a signal to turn mine on immediately. No one likes to talk to a wall of static icons. Also her breakout activities would have fit in here, all explained in the slides.

Also on the same Principle 2, on Slide 11 (page 11 in the pdf version) Deborah introduced the Flipped Learning approach, https://flippedlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/FLIP_handout_FNL_Web.pdf. She mentioned its tenets and then suggested her listeners go to the Electronic Village Online page which has on it a Call for Participation in the sessions taking place this January and February, 2021, http://evosessions.pbworks.com/

She suggested that teachers find in the list on that page the link to the session on Flipped Learning in Language Teaching, whose direct link for those interested is http://evo2021proposals.pbworks.com/w/page/141324927/Flipped%20Learning%20in%20Language%20Teaching.

She did not mention that there is also a session given by one of the chief proponents of Flipped Learning, Laine Marshall, on her trademark SOFLA, or Synchronous Online Flipped Learning Approach, http://evo2021proposals.pbworks.com/w/page/141322005/Synchronous%20Online%20Flipped%20Learning%20Approach.

So participants in EVO this year could take one or both of those. EVO sessions are free and available to all.

The part of her presentation that I warmed up to most was about Principle 3, designing high quality language lessons, because she gave practical examples of tools that might be used to implement the three online presences in Garrison, Anderson, & Archer (2000); per Slide 12:


Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical Inquiry in a Text-Based Environment: Computer Conferencing in Higher Education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2, 87-105.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(00)00016-6; also available http://cde.athabascau.ca/coi_site/documents/Garrison_Anderson_Archer_Critical_Inquiry_model.pdf

As can be seen at the CoI portal page (https://coi.athabascau.ca/coi-model/) there are three presences represented in the Venn diagram reproduced in Deborah’s slide. For Social Presence, Deborah suggests the following tools, plus Webquests, which she added just before she changed slides, and before I could refresh my screenshot.


For Cognitive and Teaching Presences, she suggested these tools as an appropriate fit to the revised Bloom’s taxonomy for constructing meaning in a digital age (shown on her slide 14):

But the part of the presentation where she made this a Learning2gether episode was when she reached her discussion of Principle 6, Engage and collaborate within a community of practice:


On slide 20 she made mention of Learning2gether as a salient example of teachers helping one another in times of need; most recently in reference to ERT (emergency remote teaching) and whatever the new normal is in this era of pandemic


This was followed by a full list of resources, many of which are not hyperlinked in the PDF version of the slide show, but there are usually umbrella links at the bottom of the slides, and failing that, there’s always Google. One such set of resources was the https://my.tesol.org/ COVID-19 Resources Group.


This group has informed a substantial portion of materials I have been sharing since last March 2020 in my Crowdsourced Google Doc on COVID-19 Teaching. This document was created at the outset of the ERT phase as a part of the TALIN webinar series whose 38 webinars took place from from March to August 2020. TALIN at the time stood for Teaching and Learning in IsosatioN, but it has since morphed into TALIN2, which, whenever possible, I represent with a superscripted 2 so that it reads “TALIN squared” – standing for Teaching and Learning in the New Normal.

From the TALIN Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/talin2020

So, this was a very stimulating presentation, overlapping nicely with principles and mindset of the ongoing Learning2gether project.


If more links for this presentation become available in the near future I’ll add them here.

Promotion and Feedback

This event was promoted at the CETE / TESOL Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1406931896220617

And in email from the organizers, which had this welcome announcement:
Thank you for registering for the 12th (Virtual) Annual Online International Conference “Pandemic and Online Teaching” which will be held on the 19th of December from 19:00 to 24:00 Georgian time

Plus the email had a Zoom link, and an attached schedule (to my knowledge, not online)

From Nino Chachanidze’s follow-up post to the
CETE/ TESOL Conference 2020 Dec 19


Earlier Events

Tue 8 Dec 0100 UTC Learning2gether Episode 502 – VSTE Minecraft Monday regular monthly webinar for December 2020: Fun with skins and resource packs


Tue 8 Dec 1500 and 1800 UTC – CALL-IS and American English Live Tech Tips webinars

ELT educators around the globe have faced new and often unexpected challenges during the recent shift to online and hybrid learning. To address some commonly reported virtual instruction concerns, the U.S. Department of State’s American English Live webinar team and TESOL International Association’s Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS) are jointly presenting two special Tech Tips webinars on December 8, 2020.

Please join us on the @AmericanEnglishforEducators Facebook page (facebook.com/AmericanEnglishforEducators) for one or both of these free 45-minute sessions; times below are listed in US Eastern Time (Washington, D.C.), and you can confirm your local broadcast time here: bit.ly/ChecktheTime.

Registration is not required. Recordings of both professional development webinars will be available on the CALL-IS YouTube channel at tinyurl.com/call-is-youtube

posted by Heather Benucci
TESOL Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS) Chair, 2020-2021

10am EST – “Flipped Instruction in the Virtual English Language Classroom” 

Martha Ramirez will explain the concept of flipped learning and examine how to apply it during courses that include live virtual sessions. We will also discover how flipping has become an effective practice for differentiating learning during online instruction.


Martha shows us (in a compelling and insightful way) how learning can be messy


“Flipped Instruction in the Virtual English Language Classroom” with Martha Ramirez

1pm EST – “New Frontiers in Classroom Management: Effective Practices for Live Online Instruction

Justin Shewell will share a selection of practical strategies and accessible tools that can help teachers manage their e-classrooms during live online sessions.



“New Frontiers in Classroom Management: Effective Practices for Live Online Instruction” with Justin Shewell

Wed 9 Dec 1300 EST B-MEIS Webinar: Hip-Hop and Translanguaging: Negotiated Community Participation

Here is the link to the webinar recordinghttps://youtu.be/WjMj3LAd7E8


 This panel brings together a group of critical scholars who look at the intersection of hip-hop and translanguaging scholarship. Drawing upon their own experience as a hip-hop artist and/or scholar-activist and work with people from language-minoritized groups in different regions of the world – Hong Kong, U.S., South Korea, and Serbia, panelists (Chang, Im, and Schreiber) will discuss how individuals adopt and adapt hop-hop and translanguaging practices to participate in local and global communities with the purposes of amplifying their voices, expressing their multicultural and multilingual identities, and resisting the dominant ideologies and discourses. Panelists will also offer implications on how hip-hop and translanguaging can be used as pedagogy in classrooms to promote bi/multilingualism and advance a social justice agenda. Our discussant, Angel Lin, will synthesize ideas and guide overall discussion to help develop further theoretical understanding, practical applications, and future pathways toward engaging in hip-hop and translanguaging as a form of negotiated community participation.


Benji Chang is Assistant Professor of Equity Education in the School of Education, and International & Global Studies, at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He is also Adjunct Faculty at the Education University of Hong Kong. Dr. Chang’s work focuses on teacher education, community engagement, and language, literacy and culture, with publications in venues like Linguistics & Education and Curriculum Inquiry. He currently serves on the Teachers College Record board and is Co-Editor of Critical Inquiry in Language Studies. Prior to UNCG, he was a hip-hop artist, inner-city classroom teacher, and Fellow of NCTE and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Jae-hyun Im is a PhD candidate in the department of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University Bloomington. He is interested in translingualism, teacher identity, hip-hop-based education, and discursive psychology. His recent publications can be found in Applied Linguistics Review and Journal of Multicultural Discourses.

Brooke R. Schreiber is an Assistant Professor of English Department at Baruch College, CUNY, where she teaches courses in writing and linguistics. Her research focuses on second language writing, pedagogy, and teacher training, as well as global Englishes and translingualism. Her work has appeared in TESOL Quarterly, ELT Journal, the Journal of Second Language Writing, Composition Studies, and Language Learning and Technology. She is the co-editor of a forthcoming collection with Multilingual Matters on linguistic justice and multilingual writers.

Angel M. Y. Lin received her doctoral degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto in 1996. Her research and teaching have focused on critical discourse analysis, critical literacies, bilingual and multilingual education. She has published six research books and over 100 research articles and book chapters, and serves on the editorial boards of leading international research journals. She was a full professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong before moving in 2018 to Simon Fraser University to take up the position of Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Plurilingual and Intercultural Education.

Register for the Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcrc-2qpz0pG9H6QXIwpAfx9A6s3CogvtQK

Fri 11 Dec 1500 UTC – AQUEDUTO


Fri 11 December 11 1500 EST – Christine B., Liz England, Sara Stevick, and Ashley Jennings

Sharon Tjaden-Glass: I’m happy to share the recording of our most recent #networking session between TESOL/education professionals and instructional designers. Thanks so much to our speakers, Jennifer Davis, Laine Istvan, MSID, Jennette Skaggs, and Elisabeth Huber for sharing their stories of moving from the field of teaching to #instructionaldesign.

Our next networking session will be held on Friday, December 11th from 3-4 p.m. EST, and our speakers include Christine B., Liz England, Sara Stevick, and Ashley Jennings, MA. To register for our next session, please visit this link: https://lnkd.in/dZi2hD6

Recording of most recent networking session: http://bit.ly/ArtsCreativity
(The bit.ly link opens onto the Zoom recording)

Sat 12 Dec noon UTC – Free Graphic Design from EVO Moderator Omal Peter

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 871 3589 4763
Passcode: 6Bgf8n


Remaining sessions, all at 07:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

  • Dec 19, 2020 07:00 AM
  • Dec 26, 2020 07:00 AM
  • Jan 2, 2021 07:00 AM
  • Jan 9, 2021 07:00 AM

Sat 12 Dec 1400-1600 UTC – VSTE Second Life Saturdays – repeats each Saturday

About this intitiative, https://vste.org/upcoming-events-virtual-environments-pln/

Time where you are Dec 12, 9-11 am EDT, 1400-1600 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: https://www.facebook.com/VSTEVEPLN/

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: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/

  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
  3. and voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

Thu 17 Dec Diversity in L2 Writing: Creating Inclusive Pedagogical and Administrative Approaches

What: Diversity in L2 Writing: Creating Inclusive Pedagogical and Administrative Approaches

L2 writers in English-speaking colleges and universities come from across the globe and bring myriad academic and life experiences with them. Panelists discuss research and practical applications for creating equitable spaces for English learners with disabilities, refugee students, and international students in writing classes and institutions. Teachers and researchers of L2 writing as well as administrators of writing programs will learn important information about how to make their programs more equitable for all learners.


  • Betsy Gilliland is past chair of the Second Language Writing Interest Section and an associate professor in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai’i Manoa.
  • Caroline Torres is an associate professor in the second language teaching program at Kapi’olani Community College in Honolulu, Hawai’i.
  • Shawna Shapiro is Associate Professor of Writing and Linguistics and Director of the Writing & Rhetoric Program at Middlebury College in Vermont.
  • Megan Siczek is an assistant professor and director of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at George Washington University, Washington, DC.
  • Aylin Relyea the current chair of the Second Language Writing Interest section and faculty at Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College in California.

When: Dec 17, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (ET)
Register here: my.tesol.org/events/…

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

The date of this update is February 23, 2021 07:00 UTC
Added certificate of participation forwarded from Georgia organizers

VSTE Minecraft Monday regular monthly webinar for December 2020: Fun with skins and resource packs

Learning2gether Episode 502


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

In the USA where my VSTE friends were convening in Discord and talking each other through their preparations for the day’s event, it was Monday evening, December 7. But for me on the other side of the world it was almost 9 in the morning of Tuesday December 8. Still, in deference to my friends, I go along with how they like to call their monthly event: “VSTE Minecraft Monday”.

This Minecraft Monday was streamed in Discord by K4sons and recorded in Camtasia by the mysterious alter ego Streamer Vance, who made it available for replay at https://youtu.be/y3RExV7vcMw

My VSTE friends, two of whom were also moderators in EVO Minecraft MOOC (and some other VSTE folk who are occasional EVOMC participants), were in Discord getting set up for their regular monthly event. I had offered to record it. There are various ways of doing this, but the easiest way for me is to use Camtasia since I bought a copy years ago and Techsmith still honors my license after all these years and not only that, lets me download and install the software onto multiple devices at any given time using the same purchase key. Camtasia is the quickest way to get a screencast up and running unless you plan to stream out to the Internet as well, in which case OBS (Open Broadcast Software) is usually my choice; it’s free but trickier to configure, therefore takes more time to pick and choose what you want to record and test beforehand. Camtasia costs a couple hundred dollars, but I’d already bit that bullet, and it is pretty good at recording whatever part of the screen you want to include and whatever sound is coming out of the computer, and getting your mic sound if you tick it in, and and your web cam if you choose to include that. I just have to test it once, and it’s usually good to go.

I had arrived in Discord early to find out if K4sons (a.k.a. EVOMC21 co-moderator Kim Harrison) was going to stream the session in Discord (‘stream’ here means stream someone’s screen in Discord, but visible only to others with permission to view that group’s doings in Discord; and the stream can’t be recorded in Discord). I had offered to record that if that was what they were going to do, in which case I would need to bring along Streamer Vance, one of my alter egos, to assist. Teacher Vance, my Minecraft character, can be in Minecraft and record that in Camtasia on one computer, but Teacher Vance would become quite disconcerted if he were having to track both his view of Minecraft and a stream from someone else’s perspective taking place on one patch of laptop computer screen real estate (and Camtasia itself records a region of the screen which would consume a large part of that real estate). So I invented an imaginary sidekick Streamer Vance whose job it is to go onto another of my computers, insinuate himself into Discord there, and record the stream. However, in order for me to record a stream in Discord, Streamer Vance would need to become a member of the VSTE Discord group

This meant that K2sons had to add the new member to the group while trying to get set up for the event, but she’s pretty good at that, so well before start time Streamer Vance was happily in place and testing the setup, and giving us the thumbs up that all was good to go.

We waited for Show Time! K4sons had sent an email just four hours before the two Vance’s had got out of bed in the morning which said:

Take a break from your shopping and decorating to reconnect with your VSTE Minecraft friends. Tonight we will play with changing skins and resource (texture) packs. Let’s dress up Minecraft for the holidays!

And what a great session, as I noted on Facebook …


Among the items presented were:

Toward the end of the session (we were playing in survival mode) we were attacked by phantoms, flying mobs in Minecraft that appear at night, seemingly out of nowhere. Here’s what they look like when they are dangerously bearing down on you. It’s rare (for me) to get a screenshot of them:


Here are the same phantoms once Jaz had kindly gone to sleep, and switched the lights back on for all of us:


Burn in peace, duckies!

Meanwhile, those of us on the EVO Minecraft MOOC server noticed that we were prompted in November to accept a resource pack that turned our world into fall colors. After Thanksgiving, another resource pack was offered that has thrown us into Christmas, with wreaths on the doors and snow on the ground (fortunately the paths we’ve painstakingly made are still visible 🙂

Here’s the view from the top of my house these days:

It seems that the Resource Packs that our EVOMC21 server admin Zzidkha has prompted us to install are running on the back end, but if you want to install your own resource packs, in your Minecraft Settings window you click on the button that says “Resource Packs”  and this is what I see in mine:


It looks like we can revert to the default look or load in the classic view, both built in (I tried it though; didn’t work, still got the resource pack imposed on us from the server). If you want other options you have to install them on your computer. But after this session, we can now see now how to install service packs more to our taste and just run them at will when we launch Minecraft.

Promotion and Feedback

Here are K4sons’s instructions on how to join Minecraft Mondays each month

Minecraft Mondays occur on the first Monday of any month at 8 PM Eastern time on the VSTE Place server
minecraft.vste.org:11002. (GMT -5)

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

You must have a computer Minecraft account from https://minecraft.net/en/ to join. There is a one time fee of $26.95.

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. Make sure you have installed and are running version 1.16.4.
  3. Choose multiplayer and add a server: Name VSTE Place IP: minecraft.vste.org:11002.
  4. Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter.
    Email Kim Harrison at K4sons@gmail.com from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name.


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

  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 https://discord.gg/cp9tsWz

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

Promotion on Facebook

This post was made to the EVO Minecraft MOOC group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/evomc/

Earlier Events

Sun 6 Dec 0800 UTC Minhaaj Rehman interviews Vance Stevens to discuss their life and career trajectories so far this century


Sat-Sun 5-6 Dec two-day OpenSimulator Community Conference

From 5-6 December 2020 starting at about 3pm GMT (Sat) the OpenSimulator Community Conference takes place on the AVACON grid. Come join us for 2 days of learning all about OpenSim.

To HyperGrid jump to the OSCC conference grid:

  • Click the Map button at the bottom of your screen
  • In the Search text field on the right side of the map, paste this link: http://cc.opensimulator.org:8002/   (note the trailing slash)
  • Click the Teleport button at the bottom of the screen to teleport to a Landing Zone on the conference grid where there will be maps & info signs.

New to the conference and interested in creating an avatar?
If you registered and requested a new local account be created for the OSCC Conference Grid, you should have received an email with the login details. View this step by step video and visit the Login Info page for instructions on how to download an OpenSimulator viewer and more information about how to connect to the grid. If you have a Local Account from a previous OSCC event and have forgotten your password, use the Forgot Your Password link to reset it.

Sun 6 Dec 1630 UTC Heike Philp presents on EVO storytelling in virtual worlds at the OpenSim Community Conference

On Sunday 6 Dec 2020 Heike Philp will present a short 20min session about her EVO session coming up (9 Jan – 14 Feb 2021 EVO Storytelling in Virtual Worlds), showcase EduNation in OS purposely built for EVO, but perhaps there to last, and she will mention her latest EU funded project proposal EXCALIBUR.

6 Dec 2020 at 4:30pm GMT (UK time) or 8:30am SL time; World times
Heike Philp: ‘Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and Anvil, is rightwise king born….’

EXPO Zone 4
Also Heike created an expo area/ booth on Expo zone 4 where you will find more information about EduNation in OS, the upcoming EVO session and EXCALIBUR. Here is the link to the expo:

Looking forward to seeing you there!
Rgds Heike

Here is my screenshot of the crowd at the last session in the conference

Here I am testing my ability to embed a video I can’t get the plugin to accept at this page

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

The date of this update is December 10, 2020 09:00 UTC