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See a current Listing of Online Events

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

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Archive version of a page active only through the TESOL Conference 2002

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See what interesting websites Webheads have created as a result of participation in this session

The events archived here were associated with the Webheads in Action sessions up through April 2002. Events are still taking place online of course, but as they are no longer associated with the Webheads in Action they are being monitored here: Online Events pages

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The sessions are now over, but you can see where Webheads are likely to be each: Saturday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Archive (also, see Cybertours, where Webheads report on online activity)

Monday 18 March, 14:00 GMT - "The Magic of Educational Technology for Language Teachers and Educators A Practical Overview of Others' Experiences with Technology Implementation for EFL," a meeting of the Educational Technology Special Interest Group EgypTESOL hosted by Ismail Fayed with guests Vance and Dafne. Contact with ismailfayed should be made in Yahoo Messenger. >> Click here for presentation handout <<

Dear great folks,

First, I would like to apologize for the late response. Second, all my thanks and gratitude to Vance and Dafne, in specific, and to everybody who particiapted in the Online session with EgypTesol last Monday.

Personally, it was a great experience of how teachers could make use of simple technology for their tecaching experiences. I guess also, I have contributed with all of your help, to raise the awareness of some Egyptian shcholars, in a way or another to get a better idea about how they can make use of this technology for multiple purposes.

My boss here even suggested how we can try to make use of this method we tried to connect some educatioanl centers in Egypt so teachers and supervisors can make a wide and easy to access link, where they could exchange their experinces and efforts, as is the case with list-serves. This is a success story and not an end in its core. and I wanted to share it with you as dear and active colleagues and pals.

Another point, is many thanks to Vance for the script. I would ask if anybody made a recorded sound file of our session. In case yes, you may want to add it to the files page in the list (after converting it to ra. or ram.). If not, at least we can make sure to record it in a next future session.

Regards & Wishes, Ismail.

Susanne's response:

#1 - It was interesting to read the log from Ismael's conference, because I had to fill in the blanks here and there, and guess who many have said what somewhere I could not read from the log, as well as aho lost their connection and logged in again etc. When I met Dafne today in Tapped In, her description of the chaotic confusion was very much like what I had imagined already. These interconnections are fragile, you need a lot of training and mutual support, and still, it is quite intersting and fun, even if the result was not too perfect. I went to read Dafne's homepage prepared for the session, too, being able to catch up part of what I missed.

#2 - Hi Ismail, congratulations with the positive outcome of your session! This kind of success stories make me feel our co-work here in webheads in Action has actually been fruitful; as we have been following the steps of Dafne who was new to making homepages and doing webconferencing only two months from now, now all ready and well prepared to show up and present to your colleagues! I talked with her on yahoo (text chat only for mac users :-(( She was happily surprised of your positive feedback, as it had been a breakdown of connection form her side, as well as Vance falling out. I think it is fun, as well as thought provoking, to know how different the impression may be from each side of the screen:-)

Vance presented a demonstration at the Technology Fair entitled "Webheads in Action: Community development online", Thursday, March 21, at 06:00 GMT (10:00 in Abu Dhabi) I had a web cam set up and invite conference delegates to interact with any Webheads who come online.

50 word abstract: Webheads is a community of language teachers and learners whose participants have met online weekly since 1998 to experiment with synchronous web-based multimedia communications formats. We will demonstrate use of such technologies, including video and voice, while attempting to contact community members who can appear online for the occasion.

Dafne's reaction to the above event:

Hi Everybody,

Very early in the morning, 6:00 GMT I was starting my computers and having my webcam ready to attend Vance's presentation at the Arabia TESOL Conference. Vance was at "ivisit" and at Tapped In, and contacted me through MSN. With my cup of coffee I joined him first at TI, then we went to a Yahoo conference room, and the event started. Teresa and Arthur joined us there.

It was the most interesting online session I have attended (well, I haven't been to too many so far). There was Vance welcoming his f2f participants introducing them to us: "This is Tere in Portugal,....and explaining about Webheads. We even had the opportunity to talk to some of them.Tere felt like fish in the water, welcoming and asking questions to the participants. At the same time, I was talking to Sus at TI, who was trying to get her new webcam ready and to download yahoo messenger. She managed to download yahoo and we were able to talk a few words. Vance, as usual, was everywhere.

Unfornately for me, my audio application started to crash and all of a sudden I was disconnected from Internet and could not go back on line for a couple of hours. I think I made a screenshot at a given moment to post to my webcam page.

Thanks Vance for the invitation. Are we invited to join you at the California session?

cyberenjoying, Daf

Dear Vance and all Webheads! I have updated my webcam session photos with pictures from Vance's Tech Fair presentation at Tesol Arabia, very early for Daf, Arthur and me this morning! They're at

Enjoy! Bye, Teresa

Teresa, This is AWESOME! Thank you for this great demo page -- I sent it to everyone on our faculty with the subject line "This is Our Future" -- you put pictures to what words could not describe, I can't thank you enough. Arlyn

Teresa responds:

Dear Arlyn,

Yes, it is difficult to describe in words what goes on, because so much goes on at the same time. But it is especially difficult to describe what goes on 'inside' -- before, during and after this type of event. At least inside me, though I guess most of our WiA friends feel the same way. It's excitement and many other feelings simultaneously.

As you say, Arlyn, and I agree 100%, "this is our future", and I love being a part of this future, today! Above all, with such a great community, who has taught so much in such a short time and in such a pleasantly fun and motivating way.

Susanne writes:

Arthur, Teresa and Dafne, you are making such wonderful examples on how newcomers have become community builders in the sociotechnical community of practice we are exploring during the Webheads in Action. This is what I call sociotechical competencies demonstrated by your readiness to online presence, your ability to navigate in the chaotic environments, and documenting the practice on the fly, Teresa's commented screenshots from both webcams and text chat, invites for a travel thorugh a virtual landscape of supportive peer scaffolding, carried along by wireless electronic social interactivity.

I have edited the Tapped In log and will place it on my homepage (I must use this example in my thesis as an obvoious eyeopener, unless someone would have any objections;) you can link to it from here in a short while, and I may add more to it later on:

Saturday, March 30, from 1:00 to 3:00 GMT in Davis i.e. Friday, March 29, from 17:00 to 19:00 PST in Davis - Vance will be setting up and preparing his presentation next day with CALICO Conference technical staff. If you're online at that time please check in with your web cam or microphone or just computer keyboard and help test the connectivity from the Webheads presentation room at Davis, California. Find me at or on Yahoo or MSN Messenger, vance_stevens

Vance did you finally manage to make technology work? I hope so. Greetings, María Irene >>

Vance responds: Yes I did, thanks María Irene. And thanks all who turned up for the 'rehearsal' yesterday. We had about 9 people in the chat room, plus a dozen more at tapped in.

I usually stay up working until 1 or 2 am because my neurones work better (?) at those hours, but last night, or may I say this early morning, I was more awake than ever because I was waiting to attend Vance's rehearsal of today's presentation at the CALICO Conference (I was also having hot coffee).

15 minutes before the event, Vance sent a mail saying that he was on his way, but that he was having some tech. problems. Sus sent another because she was also fighting with her new Mac. I went to TI and Sus and I met at Vance's office, soon, other Webheads joined us. I was broadcasting my webcam. We were all in high spirits waiting for Vance, and finally he showed up, being welcomed with a standing ovation from his Webheads fans. Most of us joined him at a yahoo conference, and others, including Sus, stayed at TI following our set up movements from there. We counted 9 Webheads in the conference room: BJB,John, Aiden (whose husband was sitting on a sofa, enjoying his wife's cyberexperiments after a hard day's work at the hospital), Lena, Yaodong, Venny (with daughter Annete),"mysailing"(Sus?), Vance (surrounded by computers) and myself. We all tried our mics, some our webcams, and Vance outlined the plan for his real presentation. Vance saw his son Glenn on line and invited him to join the conference (we listened to his voice). After that, we went back to TI and from there tried ivisit, without much success. I was able to see Vance's image, and the name of other people in the room, but we were not able to communicate with each other, which we did through TI.

It was almost 4am here in Spain, Vance had to leave, Sus stayed talking to Vanny's daughter and it was time for me "to hit the sack". We missed Tere, and I volunteered to phone her, but nobody had her phone number (her luck!):-)). Tere, I tried some screenshots, but I do not why I was not lucky this time :-(. There was a point when my webcam got lost in the server (may the cyberelves wanted to try it). After some hours of sleep, I am working on some rubrics for my online course, and waiting for the big event.

Good Luck Vance! and thank you for these unforgettable, very special moments.


After the two hour pre-CALICO test session where I just managed to have Vance's soft voice and webcammed body language on my screen in iVisit, Venny made his little daughter Aneta, five years old, act, smile and speak to me; she has a fine English voice and can sing happy Birthday and the Alphabet song, also used in Danish schools when I was a kid. Even though I was on text only, we managed to have a longer session, and I shower hed some of my beloved Grandchildren pictures :-)) I even think she kissed me goonight, all the way from Taiwan! This really made my night.

Vance's comment: For my part, it was nice to meet Venny's and Aiden's kids, and Aiden's husband the doctor.

What to expect in the sessions today

At 19:00 GMT I will set up my computer and it may take a minute to get it online. Once it does come online and I get into Tapped In, the audience will be able to see how I contact everyone and get our web cams going, initiate voice chat, etc.

At that time I'll give a brief presentation on Webheads using Yahoo voice and showing our urls. I'll be juggling windows on the screen.

If anyone has a web cam up and/or is in the voice chat, I'll ask you to address the group giving your statement on how Webheads works, why people appear online the way they do, how the community formed, and how it helps people.

So I'll give a set presentation and then we'll show them all about Chaos Navigation for 20 min or so from around 19:20 or 19:30.

Hope to see you all there,


Saturday, March 30th, at 19:00 GMT (11:00 a.m PST) - at the CALICO 2002 Annual Symposium: Creating Virtual Language Learning Communities,, University of California, Davis - Vance gave a demonstration of "Webheads: online community building since 1998" at which all Webheads are welcome to participate in various online venues.

OK, five minutes before bedtime, and it looks like I'm volunteering myself to write a quick summary of this afternoon's presentation on Webheads that Vance gave at CALICO in Davis, CA. I'm sure he'll fill you in on the full details, but here's a "heads-up".

Vance was live and direct with real people in Davis, and thanks to a webcam operated by an unsuspecting audience member (who's not going to win any Oscars for his work), we were able to see Vance and the audience. Over Yahoo Messenger, a group of webheads from around the world (myself in Philly, Dafne in Spain, Aiden in Taiwan, Rita in Argentina and Peter in Greece ... and no doubt other people I've missed - apologies) were able to hear Vance's presentation and contribute by voice, conference text, and chat on TI. Susanne projected her website from Denmark, and also let everyone play with her "groupboard". Elizabeth Hansom-Smith (of Human_CALL and TESOL fame) seemed particularly interested in this technology. Dafne spoke very eloquently about community formation through the Webheads program, and I babbled something about Team Blackboard.

The audience liked it so much, they didn't want to leave. Our last view from the webcam was of Vance hauling Elizabeth H-S over his shoulder and carrying her out of the door. OK, I made that bit up.

Anyway, I had a great time, and I was particularly impressed with the way that you can see and hear and lecture in real time from the other side of the continent, or indeed world, using free software and a less than hi-tech computer system (Pentium I laptop and and 28K dial-up in my case).

That's my bit. Folks, please add anything I've missed out. Next stop, Salt Lake City ...

Cheers, Nigel

Regular weekly events | Special one-off events | Archive and Cybertours
All Times here are GMT. What time is that where you are?

Regularly Weekly Events

BIG Thanks to all the following people, who responded to this appeal: As part of the organization, I'd like to get some of our community members to commit to being online at a certain place and time for around an hour each week. You don't have to 'know' anything to 'anchor' a session. As anchor-person, you only have to know how to get onto any synchronous communication client, where you can sit back and wait for others to join you.

Each at GMT Who? What? Where?
Saturday 03:30-noon Office Hours Yahoo Messenger: vance_stevens
I am away and will not resume these hours until after April 20 - Vance
14:00-15:00 Office Hours Yahoo Messenger: ritazeinstejer
19:00-20:00 Tapped In Tours and Tips and /join SusanneN or go to ASO
19:00-21:00 Office Hours and /join DanB
Not able to keep rigorously to schedule in March.
Sunday 02:00-04:00 Office Hours and /join DanB
Not able to keep rigorously to schedule in March.
03:30-noon Office Hours Yahoo Messenger: vance_stevens
I am away and will not resume these hours until after April 20 - Vance
noon - 14:00 Writing for Webheads
15:00-?? Office Hours Yahoo Messenger: ismailfayed
19:00-21:00 Office Hours and /join DanB
Monday 03:30-noon Office Hours Yahoo Messenger: vance_stevens
Yahoo Messenger is working on my LAN now so I should be online at the times indicated, although I'm not always at my desk in my office. - Vance
15:00-?? Office Hours Yahoo Messenger: ismailfayed
18:30-19:30 Blackboard help and /join NigelC
19:00-21:00 Office Hours and /join DanB
Not able to keep rigorously to schedule in March.
20.30-21.30 Blackboard help and /join TeresaAlm
21:00-23:00 Office Hours and /join ShunI
Tuesday 03:30-noon Office Hours Yahoo Messenger: vance_stevens
Yahoo Messenger is working on my LAN now so I should be online at the times indicated, although I'm not always at my desk in my office. - Vance
08:00-09:00 LearnEnglish
19:00-20:00 Euro Language, and from 2000 GMT, there is a session called Euro Language hosted by Philp Benz (PhilB) at TAPPED IN.
19:00-21:00 Office Hours and /join DanB
Not able to keep rigorously to schedule in March.
20:00-21:00 Blackboard help and /join NigelC
20:00-21:00 LearnEnglish
22:30-23:30 each Tue in Feb Tapped In Tours and Tips and go to ASO
Wednesday 02:00-03:00 But not Feb 20th Tapped In Tours and Tips and go to ASO
03:30-noon Office Hours Yahoo Messenger: vance_stevens
Yahoo Messenger is working on my LAN now so I should be online at the times indicated, although I'm not always at my desk in my office. - Vance
14:00-15:00 Office Hours Yahoo Messenger: ritazeinstejer
18:00 / 19:00 Office Hours / Blackboard help and /join SusanneN
19:00-21:00 Office Hours and /join DanB
Not able to keep rigorously to schedule in March.
20:00-22:00 Netmeeting & Blackboard help MSN: and /join DafneG
Thursday 08:00-09:00 LearnEnglish
19:00-21:00 Office Hours and /join DanB
Not able to keep rigorously to schedule in March.
20:00-22:00 voice chat & Blackboard help Yahoo Messenger: dygonza and /join DafneG
21:30-22:30 LearnEnglish
Friday 19:00-20:00 Blackboard help and /join TeresaAlm
19:00-21:00 Office Hours and /join DanB
Not able to keep rigorously to schedule in March.
20:00-21:00 Blackboard help and /join NigelC
21:00-23:00 Office Hours and /join ShunI

Find the Tapped In calendar here, updated each month:

The LearnEnglish Chat, , is a free chat for learners of English that doesn't require any registration and has no advertisements either, in the same spirit as the rest of the LearnEnglish site, . LearnEnglish is provided by the British Council. It is open 24x7 and although scripts are recorded it is not moderated except for the six hours a week when I am there as the teacher (Chris_teacher). The average numbers of learners at each session is about 5.

Regular weekly events | Special one-off events | Archive and Cybertours

Special Events

Synchronous online events

For more online events after April please see my Online Events pages

Online, we use GMT

Convert your local time to GMT at this url:

A couple of things to watch about GMT: (1) London is sometimes GMT and sometimes GMT+1, depending on summer or winter time. (2) When your time changes, you will have to make an adjustment to your GMT time schedule, or keep to GMT time by meeting your appointments an hour earlier or later, depending on summer or winter time change.

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Last updated: June 13, 2002 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0