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Webheads in Action:
Community formation online and its role in language learning


Gallery | URLs and YahooGroups | What's this session about? | Community members | Syllabus | Archive of Synchronous Online Activities | Cybertours

What to do if you have an Encounter ...
If you meet another Webhead and take a picture, post it at

Here are some experiences online reported by Webheads in Action on the dates indicated
Also, view the Archive of Synchronous Online Activities for more 'Cybertours'
Who? When? What?
26 Jan 2002 Some of us are beginning to find each other online. I met Shun in Tokyo at Yahoo today and found out that he puts together his own computers from component parts. I met Dafne in Spain in Yahoo Messenger and introduced her to Yaodong in Liuzhou China and we explored the concept of MOOing through Tapped In, where we learned a bit about robots characteristic of MOOs (which make good virtual pets). Tomorrow the Writing for Webheads class meets at Tapped In,, and you are welcome to join us if you wish, noon GMT (Sunday). If you have any interesting encounters when meeting other Webheads in Action, report them to the list. Find out where to meet other Webheads in Action here:
28 Jan 2002 I just wanted to share some ideas from last days session in yahoo messenger as was planned in the sessions schedule: First, I found some available online friends that I invited to join the session. They were: - Aiden - Maria - Lena - Yanos - Dafne and myself. Before I start, I want to draw your attention to one thing which is that I consider each new experience a FUN and I like to look at the good sides of it. That is to say that in spite of the fact that the session was short in general but very effective and fruitful to me. I want to thank all those who could make and look for others to join us. I really was tense in starting this session. I joined many differnt chat saession befores but not as a coordinator of a session anyhow. So, this experience was great for me. I saved the session as a text where I could read it again. This is something I never did before. I learned that a ccordinator of a session like that may try to prepare an agenda in adavance. You may think of somethink similar in your sessions. I also knew some nice people in there and finally, I had self confidence in which it may help me in future sessions or projects. Sincerly, Ismail Fayed
29 Jan 2002 Hi All, Today I decided to try new roads. I went to Vance's Homestead site and left a message in his guest book because there was nobody around. Later, I tried the Wimba voice discussion board and I heard all the messages filed there including DanB's and Gary`s ideas for the Language Exchange. But when I tried to record my message, it appeared on the screen but I could not listen to me when I tried to play it. After a couple of trials I gave up. If you happen to go there, please let me know if you can listen to it. After that frustration, I visited the Group Board and spent some time drawing silly animals and stick figures. I would love some instructions on how to use this board. Whenever I tried erasing one part of the drawing the whole thing kept disappearing. But it was fun. Susanne how did you create your beautiful portrait? Finally, I installed Real Player and spent the whole afternoon listening to rock music from American radio stations while scanning pictures of Modernist buildings from Valencia (Spain). This is a report on my cybertour. Dafne
31 Jan 2002 yesterday I have a voice chat with a friend of mine from Japan through Yahoo! messenger. We sent several picture files and text files to each other. When we received the files, we were very excited by the fact that it had worked.

I want to tell you, that I participated in Tapped in Eurolanguage Forum. My participation was more silent, than active, but it was very interesting to see some webpages, the more experienced teachers shared with each other. The theme of the Forum or the Session was Foodquest. Barbara Dueu from Brazil did it and showed it to everybody. You know, I was very impressed. I think webquests are very functional. There was introduction part, where students should make their choice who they are: chefs, waiters or some other employees of the restaurant Copacabana. The was a Task part(or a weabhead), then Discussion part( I supposed that it should be some Forum also), and Credits part. I like the idea that every person in the team does his own job. He can show his ability to fulfil the task and makes his input in the project. I also feel, that different references and Ensyclopedias are very useful, but activities where students can work together or exchange the opinions and information and teach each other are more important. This is only my opinion, of course.

I noticed that the conversation was spontanious, but the leader PhilB directed conversation, when it was going too much spontanious. It seems to me that e-moderator's function (one of the functions) is to help the others to be on track. From this point of veiw, some agenda would be helpful, at least some general ideas. Best regards Lena.
31 Jan 2002 I have just left Tapped In. It was great! I met up with ShunI and we chatted in the cafe. Then we joined KeikoS and PhilB. We went to a classroom for some quiet and privacy..(it said that the scent of 30 sweaty students permeated the air, but I didn't think it was too bad!) We chatted about our various interests. Phil showed us an interesting website that he's involved with. We toured around that. Then wrapped up our visit with drinks! It was a very pleasant, informative and interesting time! I think that this is the first of many visits to the friends and colleagues at Tapped In! My initial impression is good.... I hope to meet more of you there! I noticed that the others had icons by their names, so my next task will be to attach one to my own name... so by the time I meet you all there, I hope I will have succeeded in this task!
1 Feb 2002 Regarding last Sunday's TI session, besides being a complete newbie to TI, I think my basic problem was not being a member. I am now. I went back there last Tuesday for the Eurolanguage session. It was great and PhilB and DeeB gave us access to fabulous materials they and their students are creating. I sometimes got lost, or thought I was lost -- effects of totally new technological environments to me. But it's great to explore them with other newbie colleagues while having veterans patiently guiding us along the way.

Hi, Vance and all other cyberfriends! Last night I decided to have my first go at Yahoo Messenger and chatted with Dafne Chavez for about an hour. It seemed quite simple, but I know I still have several potentials of this tool to explore. Anyway, we talked about ourselves, where we live (we came to the conclusion we're almost nextdoor neighbors! Lisbon, Portugal and Valencia, Spain), what we do/are doing, why we are in this group, how all these synch comm tools are so new to us, but how much we've already learned, etc. Everything came naturally, which was great and very pleasant. If I compare Sunday and Tuesday's TappedIn sessions to last night's session, it seems to me that when there are only a few people involved (btw, Janos made a quick appearance), it is easy to keep the conversation going without a preset topic. However, with a larger group, I guess a topic helps 'keep things on track', not get too muddled up.
31 Jan 2002 I was prepared to chat at MSN and Yahoo. Technology had its word: my built-in mic decided to be disconnected, so we limited ourselves to tex chat. Instead of having a conference with a group, I had four different one-on-one chats because people showed up at different moments. I was visited first by Nelba from Argentina, she has just incorporated to group, so I tried to fill her in as much as I could (I had met her in November in an online course that we both attended). Then, Pete, from Greece, dropped by and I learned, among other things, that he lived in Spain for a time.Later, Maria Irene, from Venezuela, showed up and we shared our experiences in the course (I have known M.I for many years). Last, but not least, I noticed that Chris, from Barcelona, Spain, had added me to her Yahoo list, so I went to meet him. We said hello and good night to each other because it was almost midnight in Spain, with the promise for future chats. My reflections:
-Agendas are not so important in our chats. As we talk about each other and what brought us here, the topics come spontaneously.
-It is importat to keep the record of the conversations because going back to those notes we can check on links shared, on the topics that interest people more, etc.
-I met Ismail a week ago, in a chat and we have been chatting spontaneously. I n these chats we have reflected about these sessions: members interaction, the role of the group coordinator, what we have learned about establishing online communities, and so forth.
-Through Vance (in a chat) I met Yaodong, a Chinese teacher who invited me to visit his virtual office in a MOO environment like Tapped In, where I had the opportunity to talk to a bot (first time in my life) that kept complaining because Don and I were LOL at him.
-All of these are learning experiences (for a newbie like me) that I would have missed if I had not participated in the chats offered (including chaos navigation and multitasking).
That's all for now, I am having another chat today from 20:00 to 22:00 (GMT) at Yahoo (dygonza) or MSN( you are all invited. see U all, Dafne
1 Feb 2002 Hi there everybody, Last night I had the opportunity to hold a Yahoo conference with Teresa, from Portugal, and Janos, from Hungary. We didn´t follow any preestablished agenda but we talked about our jobs and about our experiences in CALL. By the way, we all agreed that being in this group has been a very rewarding and enriching experience. Both, Teresa and Janos have great personal webpages: Janos': Teresa's:
5 Feb 2002 Vance, Maybe we can put this information and invitation under the virtual fieldtrip partition of thie ever growing webheads homepage hyper system? This Sunday after the ordinary TI session, we had a discussion about freeware for course development because Nigel asked for substitutes to BB (BlackBoard). Even If I know we already have lots and lots of tracks to explore in this 8 week class, I wanted to present you some day to the VirtualU Open Course software, recently having set the code free as open source for developers. Anyone can arrange a free session and get some facilitating and announcement support, and I dare say it works faster and smoother than BB, also because they recently developed an offline reader for users with slow or expensive connections! Honestly I like the Virtual U much better than BB, even if it still have some things that could be working better. You need to install no extra software, it is browser based. Apart from some research or study related SIG (Special Interest groups) and the free and open seminars held in GEN, I am not aware of the availability for schools and universities You can learn more about how the Global Educators' Network (GEN) using VirtualU and sometimes also tapped In to support free online seminars, and for those who like to know more please meet the facilitator of GEN, Sylvia Currie from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada (and myself) in our Open HOuse session in Tapped In this very Thursday February 7, at 6 pm GMT Feel free to ask me for more information, go to the registration site (please be very patient, the long list of past and recent seminars decriptions is getting long and slow to load) and in case you like this, and get a free membership and password mailed to you!
6 Feb 2002 While I was waiting for webheads to show up for our chat session, Yaodong, from China, reminded me (via chat) of Heinle Videoconference which had just started. I logged in and both, the image and the sound were excellent. The topic was "Multilevel Language Courses". Six professors were sharing their experience in Spanish and French courses. They talked about evaluation, entrance level standardized tests and class activities. They also used prerecorded videos and Power Point presentations to illustrate their talk. It was great! This is my first videoconference from my computer. But the best was that Yaodong and I were chatting about the topics discussed. We even sent questions and they were read and answered by the panelists. I would have loved to record the conference but I did not know how. Is it possible? Let me know. btw, Nigel, they all agreed that chats allow for the negotiation of meaning, therefore they consider it a good tool for language learning. They agreed with Shun in the sense that those students who seem very shy in class are more responsive when chatting. At the end, they thanked Yaodong and I for our participation :-)) I think we were the only people from outside the US to send questions. Usually, they keep the videoconferences on line.
May 30, 2002 Aiden records her cybertours in imaginative web pages. Check this one out: "Here's to the Bat! click here to view"

2 June 2002 Hi all, yesterday evening I was a virtual guest in Keiko's house in New Mexico! Carrying around her wireless DSL connected "airport" receiving laptop and webcam, she was able to show me everything in detail, kitchen and garage included. Fortunately, the quality of webcams is not so sharp that I was able to have a peek at all the dust the virtual video hostess was assuring me would be there, but the very best thing was to speak to her dog, an elderly looking black labrador retriever, having his own bedroom in the big house! Keiko's husband was waving hello to me, too. We used iVisit, and thanks to Keiko's fine step by step instruction, I managed to find my way. My voice went thorugh well, although I am a webcamless person, for the time being, because the computer dealer refunded the price as I complained about the lousy quality. But in a while, I promise I will get another, of a better quality and more stable construction. I am going to meet those who would to join the traditional Webheads Sunday class in Tapped In in a few minutes, but also having a coffee break with hubby who is a World Championship soccer fan (or football, as we call it), watching tv from Korea and Japan all the time for the next month or so. Did you know that Denmark did win the first match yesterday against Uruguay, 2-1, Thomasson scoring both goals?
June 4, 2002 After meeting participants at a workshop Michael was giving, Vance wrote: a pleasure to have met your group

Michael replied: The feeling was mutual I assure you. One woman was spellbound. She had tears in her eyes at the immediacy of the experience! It's amazing when you demo this stuff to people who've never communicated by voice on the Net. They simply cannot believe it! Thanks as ever Vance.

July 17, 2002 Webheads in Action participants present an online cooking school as part of the Tapped In Summer Carnival 2002 at and The following Webheads prepared websites geared to showing how they prepare their favorite dishes: Apropos to empanadas, Janos offered a site on "the unearthy Hungarian pancake" at, and Dafne found a site on the Venezuelan arepa having "a recipe close to the original":
For more info on paella, JohnLi pointed us to Also, Susanne wants us to try out these recipes for ablongous pie and crumbobblious cutlets
Wait, there's more: Susanne has uploaded "Cooking in English with the Webheads: An international collection of recipes" to the Webheads in Action site:
31 Jul 2002

Teresa mailed me some days ago to tell me about what a good Sunday chat I had missed. So I felt happy when Vance announced that the relevant log was up on our homepage. By the way, I appreciate the quick way they sessions have been resumed, with a list of active participants.

Once more, I feel the pleasure of reading a chatlog from a session where I was myself behindered to participate, like this last Sunday. Again, I appreciate the remarkable mix of informal and fun social interplay and the more "serious" professional references to our ongoing work with peer support and knowledge building - the more I study this phenomenon, the better I understand how it has deep roots in our previous timetaking making online friendship and collegiality. This logged transcript is a great tool for thinking; as I read, I make some innner remarks, some of these I would certainly have shared with you, in case I had been there with you?

The topic that I was especially interested in, was of course, Dafne's report from her online classes in EFL on Valencian architecture, created as a natural follow on our WIA seminar, and the discussions concerning the new community tool, CommunityZero (or CZ), that I've also played a little with now - and the questions about GEN. It was so interesting to see the surprise welcoming of the long absent Nigel (member of the late team BB) , who was a little intrigued because he had no idea what was the previous action - a projection of the GEN intro URL. There was a natural return to our previous explorations of Blackboard (BB) and other courseware and community tools, and then, someone asked if we still had the Special Interest group we created in Global Educators' Network, the Webheads SIG. Yes, we do, although it has been quite inactive for some time, mostly due to my own lack of ability to juggle with many balls, I am afraid. It is open for registered GEN members. And , the free offline Course Reader in question is a newly released Open Source tool that can be used in connection with VirtualU, as well as Blackboard or WebCT courseware, for use at home with no connection to internet, and places where the login time is expensive. Some of the GEN people have been deeply involved in the Course reader programming and design, and the community has been beta-testing and discussing it in GEN seminars.

GEN is created in the asynchronous conferencing part of the classic learning environment, or courseware called VirtualU, (VU) Sylvia Currie is one brilliant GEN expert, developer and facilitator - and she is very interested in new ideas for online seminar topics. She and I are hosting a monthly session in Tapped IN - we decided to do this, mostly because the synch chat tool in VU is not really functional. Someone referred to me as the GEN "expert" which is far too flattering , as I myself still has many questions concerning the uses and implementations of VU. But as a devoted GEN community member, I did introduce our Webheads In Action community to the GEN community, because I wanted to point your attention to the interesting free seminars about online learning, teaching and facilitating as seen from many aspects, and initated by educators and researchers in the field.

You might find some clues in the recent paper I published (with Nini Ebeltoft), there was a description of both Tapped In and GEN, seen from the aspect of "Cooperative Cultures in Sociotechnical Communities"

Aug 21 and 22, 2002 Webheads assisted Michael Coghlin with his conference session on Cross Cultural Communication Online at an online conference running out of Australia from August 19th - 30th.
Michael's site created for the event -
Rita's reaction was typical of the feedback received: "I also feel I need to thank Michael publicly for having given us the chance to live this memorable event, sharing and enjoying so many "situations" that generously added to our knowledge and professional development as well as to our experience; unpredictable, life-like "situations" which allowed us to make new valuable human contacts that otherwise would have not been possible. I'm more than thankful, Michael, and congratulations on your effort and on your success."
Sept. 1, 2002

During the Virtual Australian Networking 2002 all online conference, I was very active and engaged, as I discovered a wealth of inspiring activities emerging among the active part of the about 2700 participants (many were readers only, and some decided to 'delurk* and write about their experienses, ask questions or join the incredible storytelling collaboratives - in the asynchronous discussion threads, often connected to a workshop, a virtual fieldtrip or a chat session.

Our Cross Cultural Communications seminar where Michael Coghlan had expected a chaotic amount of cats to herd for the chat, but finally turned out to be a Webheads dominated event with some very interested guests. One reason might be that other interesting chat sessions were scheduled at the same time, but in several of the 14 chat sessions I was part of, I saw a low rate of participation, and I often encountered an overall skepticism towards the true value of chats

As the chat facility in the WebCrossing environment is not too stable, it happens often that you lose sight of your chat window and I lost my connection - then it is good to read the recorded chatlog, I think we got into some important aspects of the cross cultural aspects of our communication. The async CCC discussion with some of the other conference participants involved difficult but important questions of tolerance.

What really gave me, personally, a kick forwards, was the Weblog workshop. A weblog, also called a B-log, or just blog, is a very easy and instant way to document your own material on the web, for yourself, for a closed group of readers, or in public. Many personal weblogs are mostly commented links to special topics or news. In my blog, I was able to save the messages I posted in the discussion groups, and add links back the the relevant discusssion, very comfortable as the overall navigation interface in the NW2002 was not too easy - new discussions were emerging, some were for one or a few days only, and the first week I had not much idea of who was interested in what, or why.

Now, until the 30th september, the conference area is open to participants, only, but after that time, it will be public and a great example on the layered complexity of an all online conference with so many different actors and interest groups,all the eay from local community hubs and one person field trips, over outback schools and vocational traning centers, to software and content developers, the Australian minitry of educatation, and, maybe the most dymanic ones: the educators educating the educators!

So I'll click on my editor button to the Xanga Blogtool, copy and paste this mail, and ask you to go there if you wish to know more about the NW2002

Sept, 2002

My first time for both voice chat and using a webcam happened one time last spring when I saw that Dafne was on YM. I was really surprised that I could see her on her webcam when I didn't have one. Even more than that we could have a conversation from opposite sides of the world, and it was FREE! Yes, a phone conversation is usually clearer, but how much do we pay per minute to call from the US to Spain? You also can't see the other person even in a rather jerky image. I guess it goes back to a similar adage to "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I was quite thrilled to be able to talk to someone so far away. After that, I was able to virtually visit one of Vance's sessions at TESOL last spring where he was broadcasting the voice and webcam of the person speaking. Meanwhile I was sitting in my office and getting ready to go to class. Since I was unable to attend TESOL last year, that was another thrill.

Dafne writes, Feb 2003: " This is a surprise for a dear webhead! Check it out!"

Nov 27, 2002 This morning I had the pleasure to meet Aiden's conversation Class from the university of Kaoshuing, Taiwan, They were finishing a talk chat session with Michael from Australia about his lyrics, then spent some time with me in Yahoo Messenge text chat - where I was happy to see Aiden's new Bluetooth vebcam in action from the classroom. I believe some of them were also able to see my webcam. Thanks to Aiden and her class for welcoming me, even if our connection was not too stable.
12 Dec 2002 Hi Teresa, Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your paper on the benefits of using chat for language learning. I thought it was very well written and really conveyed your enthusiasm for this medium. Although I am very new to this area, your comments really expressed my own excitement about the language learning possibilities of chat. Aside from participating in the Tapped In weekly discussions I have also been reguarly attending the EFI chatterbox chat site as a volunteer teacher. Chatterbox uses simultaneous text and very good sound quality voice chat and also allows the attending teacher to easily send students Web pages to share. Last night I had a particularly rewarding session with a group of ESL learners, many of who are almost nightly attenders and who have therefore developed a lovely sense of shared community.The session revolved around different country maps which volunteers used to give mini-presentations using voice chat on places and things of interest in their countries. They also answered other participant's questions. Everyone was very encouraging of each other's efforts and the interaction between participants felt very authentic. Although it can be limiting that only one person can speak at a time, the text chat really makes up for this by allowing those who are not currently talking to give a running commentary on what is being discussed. Those who lacked microphones were all actively encouraged by others to get them so 'we can hear your voice". I really felt a sense of mutual respect and an openness to learn from each other. I found it very easy to take a back seat role and let the students do most of the 'talking'. My role was just to keep things moving, make the occasional correction or clarification, to make sure that everyone was sent the web page under discussion and knew what was being discussed. This is more difficult a task than might first appear as new people are constantly dropping in and out of the chatroom. One feature of chatterbox I find really useful for a beginner like myself is how easy it is to send web pages to participants, all you have to do is right click on their name and press send to. The right hand browser window displaying the web page currently under discussion is always open in any case so its not such a shock to newcomers when they are sent a page as it is when you project a page through 'Tapped In'. I guess Yahoo has the same feature although I haven't used it much yet. Another feature of chatterbox I really enjoy is being able to have the simultaneous voice and text chat. This makes it really easy to welcome and 'brief' newcomers without disrupting the flow of the voice chat discussion. It also allows less confident learners to take a back seat and just contribute through the text chat or to have quiet 'asides' with others in the chatroom. Its also great from the teaching point of view because it allows you to make smooth corrections and modelling alternative ways of expressing ideas. I think what made last night really special for me last night was how different students each took the 'expert's' role when sharing their knowledge of their homelands. Although none of this stuff is probably new to all you 'old hands' I'm still feeling that sense of wonderment about it all taking place in real time even though we are all spread across all corners of the globe. At one point, a young Polish lady was talking about her 'place' and her dog started barking loudly in the background. This created a lot of amused commentary from participants because it was such a homely sound and seemed like it was coming from just around the corner! It really underlined for me the feeling of participating in a 'borderless' community. Yes Teresa, I'm already 'hooked on' chat despite the fact that prior to a few weeks ago I had never ever been into a chat room in my life . I'm really looking forward to next years conference!
12 Dec 2002

Hi, Sonja!

Thank you for such nice and enthusiastic comments. I'm glad there are newcomers to this community who feel the same way many of us felt ten months ago and still feel today - excited about all these state-of-the-art forms of communication!

Your description is very interesting and lively. Do you mind if I add it to a comments section to my paper? I think it would be an interesting idea that just occurred to me.

I haven't tried Chatterbox yet, but from what you said I'm really looking forward to try give it a go!

You seem to have a great group of interested and committed students who "have developed a lovely sense of shared community". You are all achieving something extremely important.

Your session last night is a very interesting idea/suggestion to bear in mind. Are your students from very diverse places and communities? And you really played the role of 'the guide on the side'.

Yes, hearing the voice is a fabulous experience. It says a lot about a person, especially when we get to know someone a little better. It reveals moods and if eople are feeling better/worse when they've been sick, for example.

"Although none of this stuff is probably new to all you 'old hands' I'm still feeling that sense of wonderment about it all taking place in real time even though we are all spread across all corners of the globe." Sonja, I still feel the same 'sense of wonderment', believe me! And I think most of it comes from the fact that we are so far/spread out, but in fact so close! No, that sense hasn't gone away with time, thank God!

Glad you've also become 'hooked' on chat through this fabulous community. It doesn't take long, does it?

Hope Vance uploads your description of Chatterbox. It's great!

13 Jan 2003 Our netmeeting was adventurous yes but really interesting. Somehow my first efforts to contact Teresa failed and she later had to go. Chris joined and downloaded everything but then hurried off to his meeting. Emma and I tried to Netmeet but I think she had no audio installed so we had problems there. Finally me and Yaodong had a great Netmeeting. I was sending video to Yaodong and we both communicated via audio and text. The audio wasn't great at times but was OK. (My best audio until now is from Paltalk). Yaodong and I also tried the whiteboard but what was really great was the desktop sharing. It was fascinating. Yaodong even showed me a powerpoint presentation. Loved it! I definitely will be trying it again. Sophie
30 Jan 2003 This is just a posting on the practical benefits of a distributed community of practice. Maria has been having a problem with her chat software. The other day we encountered on line and I helped her troubleshoot the problem. She was not able to get her Yahoo voice or video to work, so we tried it out. I could see her web cam fine, which is typical firewall behavior. Firewalls don't usually stop you from broadcasting; they just stop other people's packets from getting IN through the firewall. She was on a DSL connection at home and seemingly had unfettered access to the Internet. We suspected her antivirus software so she disabled it. Once the a/v 'firewall' was out of the picture, everything worked fine. I didn't have a web cam handy but we tested with voice and were able to converse fine using Yahoo Messenger. Coincidentally, Jane from Beijing (now in Nanning) happened along and we had a three way conversation.
Feb 8, 2003 Daf reports: This is my web report on the new Wimba chat Tool: Voice Direct Buthaina Othman comments: "Hi michael, Thank you for the Wimba voice tool.I went to wimba and managed to enter the room.It looks neat and easy to use.I clicked the speak button and left some written messages there. I don't know if the voice worked as the room was empty.I will try it again during tomorrow's meeting." Here's the tool:
Feb 9, 2003

I've been doing some catching up today. After I learned about Wimba, I directly logged on, and BINGO, I found myself in Room 1040 right away with Yoadong and Venny. While Venny was busy with his student on MSN, Yoadong taught me how to use Wimba. We had voice chat and text chat in turns. The voice was loud and clear. I have intented to copy our text chats but it didn't work. Anyway, it was a very nice experience. And I would love to go there again.

I also started my journal at Xange. Actually, I would like to try other weblogs before I publish my "journal" on "what I have learned from EVonline courses."

To all of you, thanks for inspiring me so much and I feel so intellectually powerful now. I hope soon my students can benefit from all these learning experiences.

Hi Alice,
Wow! you made it! I have also used your comments to document our Wimba exploration. Scroll down to the bottom of the page ;-)
hugs, Daf

Feb 12, 2003 To celebrate Buth's use of video, Elizabeth made a little slide show of the video pictures on Buth's Webpage. Elizabeth reports: "Sorry the quality is poor, as the shots were quite tiny, and I had to scale them up. BTW, this is from Gifbuilder, a handy free utility for Mac." You can access the file at the URL
March, 2003 Sus held an intersting "Educational Chat" with my students enrolled in the Remedial General English course # 090, last week.The chat took place at the students' Groupboard on my home page, during the first session in this semester.I think Sus is too brave to have tackled some critical cultural topics with the girls! kindly go to, to view the chatlog and some drawings by sus and the students, which were done while they were chatting: To view another page with photos of the female students and some more of Sus's drawings , please go to: Moreover, the first C-Lab session for my male Science students,was held last Sunday. I brought my Webcam with me and took some photo shots of my students and published two of them on the course main page. Please have a look:
14 Apr 2003 Just wanted to make a more public thank-you to two very helpful Webheads who pitched in for me this past weekend: I was asked by the Electronic Village people at California TESOL to do "something" for them--a mini-presentation. When I got to Pasadena for the convention, nothing much had been organized, so I suggested an impromptu chat. I then got online, wrote to Dafne and a couple of other Webheads, and tried to persuade them to get on board. Daf managed to find Sus on short notice, and so the three of us (Spain, Denmark, California) chatted with four participants in the EV, first in Yahoo Messenger, then in TI, than in Daf's office in TI2. I wish you could have seen the surprised and delighted faces on the CA group as they worked in pairs--they didn't type much, but they had a very eye-opening time. Only one had used chat before, but that was only as a replacement for quick telephone calls to colleagues in the same building! Veronica will, I hope, join the Webheads, as she was really excited about the pedagogical possibilities that Daf and Sus talked about. So thanks again, you guys--it is most appreciated, and definitely in the WIA tradition of volunteering and helping each other out. What a great Community! --Elizabeth
April 13-16, 2003 I ended up in the hospital with a bad case of pneumonia, prompting Webheads to send a profusion of emails and greeting cards (the one at right being the prize-winner!). Naturally I had my laptop with me and had it hooked up to the Internet via the phone line in my room, where I almost immediately received an instant message from a colleague from a university near where I work in Abu Dhabi. During our chat I discovered that he had learned of my hospitalization not through the local grapevine but through Webheads, of which he is a member, which suggests that news travels faster through a distributed community of practice than it does by word of mouth. Thanks to all who sent greetings! - Vance
24 Apr 2003 Fernanda and I just tried the new Wimba url and everything worked fine. The login is friendlier. Take a look at and see
30 Apr 2003 Today, we started our videochats with the students from Universidad Simon Bolivar, in Caracas, Venezuela.

All materials were ready, and we were all eager, and to tell you the truth, scared to death.

We met our students as soon as they got to their e-lab. After all the presentations and getting used to the chat environment. Students left us alone to watch the video and complete the HP exercises. Then, when they finished with the task, they came back to chat with us. That's when we had some organizational and technological problems to divide the students in groups and get to different conference windows with the students. But finally we had our two group chats. Students had to leave in a hurry because they had an exam, and the e-lab is very far from their architectural premises.

The second group of students(2 hours later)were a little bit regarding the use of chats, and it was a little bit more difficult to get them into task. Finally, I left to another room with Sus and a group of students and they participated and left happy with the activity, promising to meet me in cyberspace if they need help. These are some of the comments they wrote in the worksheet:

  • "yeah, i already knew the answers, cuz i saw the video before, because of the other questions, nice exercise"
  • "i liked a lot this class and of course i enjoy it a lot"
  • "Yeah!!!! Finally, i understood a video!!!!

For homework, they have to write some comments on the discussion board, and some of them have already posted their comments there. You can check them out here:

To read the whole unit: And do not forget to see the photo gallery!!

I really enjoy these activities, where the teacher does not have the whole control of the situation. This afternoon, I remembered the time when some other webheads and I gathered at tapped in for our first Sunday chat. I will keep you posted about this unit.

Thanks Mike, Sus and Elizabeth!!!!!


30 Apr 2003

Michael adds: I was also nervous at the beginning of the chat with students, and I had good reason to be: the organizational problems were overwhelming for me, but we will chalk that up as good experience, since there will be another session with these architecture students (from the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas) in the near future using a different video lesson.

For more details, and to see pictures of the students involved, check out, which contains most of Daf's links to all the files which have made this activity a very complete one.

It was fantastic to get feedback directly from the horse's mouth, as it were, since this was indeed the first direct feedback from actual student users of REO that I have so far seen.

15 Aug 2003 This message is dedicated to Michael to thank him for the great voice chat sessions, he held, recently, at LT using Wimba chat room.I have participated in two sessions and have learned more about using voice in the language classroom.I will post more comments on Michael's sessions, later, which were part of his participation in an online conference by Learning Scope, in Australia.Thanks again Michael, appreciate your efforts and well done job ... <later --> I would like to inform you that I was invited by a Learning Times member, Geoffrey, to see his conference room or vClass.The meeting was great, and have created a web-page, summarizing my feedback or comments on Geoff's room.To have a look, please go to the URL: Moreover, Geoff invited me to explore more features included in his vClass/Conference room.We agreed to meet again today so that I can learn more about his room and would definitely update the page and post it to the list for you all to view. Regards, Buth
September 6, 2004 Let me share a good exemplary story about how Wendy wanted me to meet with another teacher colleague some weeks ago, so we opened a conference in YM, and as Doris logged in, she had an invitation, as well. Doris brought in one of her teacher colleagues from her recent workshop, also from Maracaiobo - and Paula was bubbling with enthusiam because she had already had experienced succes in using online components in her university classroom, just after having followed the one week's workshop with Doris and some other webheads. I can assure you this was a great motivation for everyone. After having spent some time with Wendy and her friends, reviewing their suggested blended learning EFL course design and showing how other webheads are using blogs, YM and homepages, I did learn another lesson about sacffolding novices, and for each episode like this one, I feel better prepared for teaching online one way or another. Wendy, I know you find good inspiration by following our mail conversation, looking at homepages and projects. Do not hesitate to ask for an opinion, some good advice, or just sharing your own learning whenever you feel like it. As you can see, Webheads are unfolding a broad fan of different opportunities to jump in and be present, either as presenters of just as supportive participants. And, I know for sure that for each of us that are active and openly contributing, there are many more that are just reading along and taking away what they can get. Which is fair enough. But the more we're together, the happier! For example, this Sunday I think all in all 20 or more people came in and joined us in our weekly Tapped In chat. This begin already at 12 noon GMT which is terribly early for you West coast people, but most Sundays people come and go for several hours; today I still saw some activity around 15 GMT when I closed my connection down. And a richness of planned projects were discussed. Hopefully the earlier tradition of sharing the chatlog will be taken up again: I could post it in our Files folder. You can locate it on the left side menu when you get to the homepage of evonline2002_webheads Yahoogroup. No more for now, the rest was said in a quick YM chat with you just now :-) yours, Sus
July 9, 2005

Rita Zeinstejer presented at the 11th National Congress of Teachers and Students of English in Rosario on Saturday July 9, 2005, where "I gave my pres on "The Blogging Impact on Language Learning". There were 800 people in all, and I had full house in my room (350 seats), of people totally ignored the subject --when I asked who was familiar with it, only two raised their hands, unbelievable! Needless to say, from the start to the end Webheads were all with me, not only in my oral quotes and anecdotes shared, but also in my thoughts. And in my gratefulness...;-)) First of all, as I didn't want to speak about "the unknown", and as most unfortunately, I didn't have an internet connection !!-- I showed several blogs of yours to give them a general idea of what they are, which I had all downloaded on to a CD. I explained features as I went through the show, pointing out different aims, formats and add-ons, which gave colour and a sense of reality: bloggers were there. I managed to show only some, unluckily, as I was pressed by time (I had only got an hour for the whole pres), so I displayed Tere's, Bee's, one of Daf's stds', Sus´s Mystery Guest blog and then Michael Coghlan's blog. My intention was showing different approaches and genres, so I had also chosen some others from the web, to give a wide sampling range. l also had in mind, when preparing the show, the possibility of downloading Michael's charming voice (;-)) together with his blog to allow the audience to get that "extra energy" voice conveys..., but didn't manage to, not even with the help of my technician, who came home to give me a hand. So I sent a message to Michael, who, no wonder! sent me a brief, concise, moving greeting to the audience...., who melted at his so personal voice...Imagine, 340 women together ! ( almost no male teachers of English here, another Argentinian phenomenon). Then I showed a short ppt, very briefly speaking about different types of blogs, and focused on educational blogs, their characteristics and features, suggesting several practical ways in which blogs can contribute to our daily teaching, developing and honing skills. Needless to say --and THANKS, Sus! for your reminder this morn at TI--, this has compensated the sore experience I had with my colleagues at school last month...;-)) Many in the audience came up to me after the pres and thanked me for having opened up their eyes to a new world... Btw, I was asked to do some research on the possible uses of Corpora for LL, any ideas?? I have some urls, which I need to investigate, but will take my time. Meanwhile, if you have anything to recommend, I'll be more than grateful. A very warm hug to all of you who have so unselfishly shared and shown me the way. Rita

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