(This is a repost of the EVO2015 Call for Participation from Nina Liakos.)
Dear EFL/ESL Educator,
Since 2001, the Electronic Village Online, a project of TESOL’s CALL Interest Section, has been offering free online professional development sessions to language teachers world-wide. It is my pleasure to announce the Call for Participation for the Electronic Village Online (EVO) 2015. This year, we are offering 13 fabulous five-week sessions on a variety of topics, including teaching pronunciation, using Moodle, creating electronic textbooks, flipped learning, making Machinima in Second Life, using Minecraft to teach English, and more.
For a complete listing and abstracts, visit the Call for Participation at http://evosessions.pbworks.com. To enroll in a session, follow the instructions on the session page. Please note that registration for the sessions will take place from January 5 – January 11, 2015. The sessions begin on January 12 and continue until February 15. To register for a session, follow the instructions on that session’s page (Session pages are linked to the CfP.).
EVO sessions are free (you usually need only a computer with Internet access and a desire to learn) and open to all, whether or not you are a TESOL member. They carry no academic credit, and participants may choose the level of involvement that works for them. Mark your calendars now for EVO registration, January 5 – 11. And get ready for an unforgettable experience!
Please share this invitation with your colleagues and e-lists, and thank you for helping us to spread the word!
Nina Liakos, EVO Lead Coordinator
On behalf of the EVO Coordination Team
Note: Read more about EVO from my previous blog posts.
I attended the final meeting of the MachinEVO workshop training held on EduNation in SL. The moderators and participants met to share their group machinima projects. I think I was the only one with an individual one. I was timid about sharing mine but at the same time proud of my beginnings. I shared a two and a half minute machinima with the gathering. They way these are shared are to post the YouTube link in the chat box. Then everyone goes to that site to view it separately.
My production is called Adventures with Charlie. It has background music, speech bubbles, transitions for title/credit slides and for the music to fade in and out. There’s no voice for Charlie though. I’d like a male young male voice. I haven’t paid for the “voice morphing” on SL. Instead, I hope my young nephew can read the lines for a recording. Hopefully, I can get that done before the competition next week. I got positive feedback from the workshop participants and moderators nonetheless.
After the screening, we went to a cast party with a live DJ from Berlin. It took place in a virtual castle. It was well attended. There was a magic ball that granted you dance options, so everyone was doing all kinds of dance moves, even my cat avatar. In the spirit of machinima, I filmed the cast party as others did. I saw one posting of a machinima of the party that was beautifully done on our MachinEVO Google Community. If they shared it publicly on YouTube, I repost it here. I have the raw footage and will try to make something of it myself. The cat looked so funny dancing around. I even had him fly around while he was dancing, which was even more hilarious. The flying mode allowed me to capture everyone else at the party. I’ll add some dance photos to this posting soon.
This party was the culmination of a 5-week workshop titled MachinEVO, which is part of the annual offerings by the Electronic Village Online. I like how the moderators of the workshop provided ongoing activities beyond the confines of the 5-week set-up. In true Webhead fashion, their devotion to training educators goes beyond the 100%! They invited us to collaborate on our group projects or create an individual one to submit to a machinima competition at the SLanguages conference on Feb. 28th. It’s the first CAMELOT award for machinima for children’s language learning purposes. I’m honored just to be a part of it all.
TEACHING TIP: Here’s my first original machinima: Adventures with Charlie. It’s geared toward young English language learners. I was thinking of possible uses to teach language such as having the students record their voice for the machinima or add more dialogue. I could add a preview of the vocabulary at the beginning and a quiz at the end. Still shots could be created and uploaded to Pixlr.com for manipulation by the students. That way, they could add dialogue to the still shots in a easy and inexpensive way (no printing of color ink, etc). These could then be shared on a wiki.
P.S. I forgot to mention that this is part of my on-the-job training for my doctoral internship this semesters with let’s talk online, sprl in Brussels, Belgium.
Photo of MachinEVO moderators providing a training session in SecondLife in EduNation.
This is one of my first film assignments as part of the MachinEVO workshop. I was in a group filming a story about a magician on a ship. It’s a humorous story, so I used some corny music (Sorry, Gsus) for the sinking ship scene. I was already familiar with the screencasting software, Camtasia Studio. The toughest part for me was trying to maneuver the screen shots in Second Life from a live action shot. I’m at the mid skill range in SecondLife.
My participation in this workshop is part of my on-the-job training for my doctoral internship with let’s talk online in Belgium. Heike Philp is the coordinator of my internship and moderator of the MachinEVO workshop. I just finished five weeks of robust training with her and her co-moderators! We even had a film showing and cast party afterwards. I created a few other machinima during this time that I will share in different posts.
The moderators shared many different resources, tips, and demonstrations. One tip I followed was the use of Jamendo.com for free background music. It offers fee-based and free MP3 downloads. They have a great collection of music. It was easy to register and start using it right away.
Sinking Ship set to electronic guitar version of Titanic:
Four of my proposals were accepted for presentation at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) International Conference in Jacksonville, FL. I’d love to connect with any of my readers who are also going to SITE. This will be my first time to attend SITE. I’ll be attending all the presentations on gaming.
Here’s my current schedule for the conference: (All times are Eastern Standard Time.)
1. Poster Session:The Electronic Village Online, An Open-source, International Collaboration for Professional Development, March 19, 2014 at 5:30-7:00 P.M.
2. Roundtable: How to Make Your Online Course More Accessible, March 20, 2014 at 11:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.
3.Brief Paper:Massive Multi-player Online Role-Playing Games for Language Learning, March 20, 2014 at 3:20-3:40 P.M.
4.Brief Paper: Effective Online Communicationin Higher Education, March 21, 2014 at 11:55 A.M to 12:15 P.M.
The Midsouth Educational Research Association (MSERA) will be hosting their annual meeting in Pensacola on November 6-8th, 2013. I’ll be speaking about my research on gaming as an instructional strategy for young children and effective online communication for higher education. In addition, I will present a poster session on TESOL’s Electronic Village Online (EVO) to share how my other professional organization trains English language teachers worldwide for free through a volunteer network and online collaborative processes.
Here’s the conference program: . This is a relatively inexpensive conference in comparison to the national ones. For example, nonmember rates are $150 for professionals and $90 for students the day of the event. Of course it’s best to become a member (or to preregister). Here a link to the registration form: http://msera.org/download/reg13.pdf
Here is my schedule of presentations and poster sessions: ( Note: The links will take you to my PowerPoints on SlideShare.)
SecondLife (SL) could be used in numerous ways to promote student learning. For example, a quick screencast of an avatar presenting the topic would be a great way to gain the learner’s attention. Perhaps the screencast could serve as an advance organizer with an abstract of the content to be presented related to the past unit content. Last semester, I used SL as a backdrop for creating a mini-introduction to a lesson for the USAonline Student Orientation course. This was a less expensive way to gain attention than the fee-based avatars like SitePal.
Secondly, SL is a great format for second language learning. The multi-modal environment allows for rich language experiences. For example, learners have the text-chat and voice option; they have destinations already set up for social interactions; and instructors can set up student-created projects in a designated sandbox. A unique project that the Electronic Village Online (EVO) workshop participants created in SL were machinimas. These are movies made in SL. They even had an awards show as a culminating event. SL is definitely where movie magic can happen to transform users into a fantasy world with outrageous outfits, superhuman abilities, and all sorts of real and unreal critters.
Lastly, I think the richness of the visual graphics and affordances of the movement allow for some great opportunities for storytelling. It dawned on me when I looked at the photos of me on the moon, that I could use these photos to create a children’s story in ebook format. I’ve taken courses on how to write children’s stories and have several completed ones. However, I don’t know how to illustrate them nor do I have the money to hire someone to do it. I plan to publish one on an app in Google Drive called BookieJar. I think I might try to set-up some photos in SL that go along with my story line. I just need to find out the legal issues of using photos taken in other people’s sims (simulated environments).
I am aware that there is a dark side to SL. As with any open source, multi-user platform, educators need to be vigilant of students in virtual environments. One teacher provided a safe virtual platform by using a sim-on-a-stick. This refers to an educational SL version that can be downloaded to computers without going to the public site. The teacher built (or added to an existing sim) a simulated trip to mars for his elementary students. The teacher filmed the in-world and real world experience for the girls. It’s awesome! View his video to see how the students helped each other and used a how-to guide: http://metatek.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/opensim-mars-simulation.html.
This is a partial and random list of educators I follow in my personal learning network (PLN). Some folks are new to my network, while others I have known for some time. Of course, these are mainly virtual acquaintances only, as I only get to see some of these professionals if we both attend a TESOL convention or other live event. I used this style of a blog post on my nonprofit blog and really liked how it looked. I hope you do, too. If you don’t know these folks, find them on Twitter! You can find me @teacherrogers. I listed these educators in my PLN titled the Online Educator, which feeds my Twitter-based newspaper on Paper.li: http://paper.li/teacherrogers/1301595898#.
“The more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled.― Paulo Freire