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Your advice requested

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  • Nina Liakos
    I ve been asked to serve on the academic advisory board of a big ESL program staffed primarily by volunteers. I want to set up a website where volunteer
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 7, 2012
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      I've been asked to serve on the academic advisory board of a big ESL program staffed primarily by volunteers. I want to set up a website where volunteer teachers and tutors can post questions about grammar (like a YahooGroup or a forum), but I'd also like to be able to post resources (including videos) in a way that they will be easy to locate (like a wiki). In my experience, files uploaded to a Yahoo Group tend to be forgotten unless there are constant reminders in the Messages. There are 300 teachers and tutors; not all will be technologically savvy, so the site(s) should be easy to learn and use. What do you recommend? Can one website fulfill both functions, or would you recommend a paired wiki and YG?

      Thanks as always for your support!

      Nina
    • Michael Coghlan
      Hi Nina. I was faced with this same decision about 2 years ago and decided on a wiki plus email list. In that case I chose Wikispaces and Google Groups. I
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 7, 2012
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        Hi Nina.

        I was faced with this same decision about 2 years ago and decided on a
        wiki plus email list. In that case I chose Wikispaces and Google
        Groups. I couldn't find a tool that would house all resources and offer
        good communication and discussion tools, but the combination of wiki
        plus email list worked well.

        Of course if you have access to something like Moodle that could do all
        you want.

        I'm interested to know what others might suggest here. I wonder if
        Facebook (sadly ) is also an option?

        - Michael


        ------ Original Message ------
        From: "Nina Liakos" <nina.liakos@...>
        To: evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: 8/08/2012 1:09:03 PM
        Subject: [evonline2002_webheads] Your advice requested
        I've been asked to serve on the academic advisory board of a big ESL
        >program staffed primarily by volunteers. I want to set up a website
        >where volunteer teachers and tutors can post questions about grammar
        >(like a YahooGroup or a forum), but I'd also like to be able to post
        >resources (including videos) in a way that they will be easy to locate
        >(like a wiki). In my experience, files uploaded to a Yahoo Group tend
        >to be forgotten unless there are constant reminders in the Messages.
        >There are 300 teachers and tutors; not all will be technologically
        >savvy, so the site(s) should be easy to learn and use. What do you
        >recommend? Can one website fulfill both functions, or would you
        >recommend a paired wiki and YG?
        >
        >Thanks as always for your support!
        >
        >Nina
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Michael Coghlan
        Me again! I have just been listening to Jane Hart talking about Social Media in the Workplace and it sounds like she uses Wordpress + BuddyPress to do what you
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 7, 2012
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          Me again! I have just been listening to Jane Hart talking about Social
          Media in the Workplace and it sounds like she uses Wordpress +
          BuddyPress to do what you want. So that may be another option.

          - Michael

          ------ Original Message ------
          From: "Nina Liakos" <nina.liakos@...>
          To: evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: 8/08/2012 1:09:03 PM
          Subject: [evonline2002_webheads] Your advice requested
          I've been asked to serve on the academic advisory board of a big ESL
          >program staffed primarily by volunteers. I want to set up a website
          >where volunteer teachers and tutors can post questions about grammar
          >(like a YahooGroup or a forum), but I'd also like to be able to post
          >resources (including videos) in a way that they will be easy to locate
          >(like a wiki). In my experience, files uploaded to a Yahoo Group tend
          >to be forgotten unless there are constant reminders in the Messages.
          >There are 300 teachers and tutors; not all will be technologically
          >savvy, so the site(s) should be easy to learn and use. What do you
          >recommend? Can one website fulfill both functions, or would you
          >recommend a paired wiki and YG?
          >
          >Thanks as always for your support!
          >
          >Nina
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Vance Stevens
          Greetings from the Black Sea, Georgia, where I m sipping coffee with wifi in an all-day wait for a night train to Tbilisi. I must say Batumi is a charming
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 8, 2012
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            Greetings from the Black Sea, Georgia, where I'm sipping coffee with wifi
            in an all-day wait for a night train to Tbilisi. I must say Batumi is a
            charming place to have to wait, old world European charm and Gaudi ambiance
            by the sea and good strong beers for only a dollar - I'm sticking with
            coffee for as long as i can :-)

            Since I'm posting this to post@... I will explain
            that it is written in reply a question on the Webheads list, about how she
            can: "set up a website where volunteer teachers and tutors can post
            questions about grammar (like a YahooGroup or a forum), but I'd also like
            to be able to post resources (including videos) in a way that they will be
            easy to locate (like a wiki). In my experience, files uploaded to a Yahoo
            Group tend to be forgotten unless there are constant reminders in the
            Messages. There are 300 teachers and tutors; not all will be
            technologically savvy, so the site(s) should be easy to learn and use. What
            do you recommend?"

            My reply: I have grown increasingly fond of Posterous to do what you are
            suggesting. You mention uploading videos and these are often displayed by
            Posterous when only the link is mentioned. They have automatic plugins for
            YouTube and Slideshare, and all my Jing image captures and screencasts are
            displayed on supply of only the link. This makes it incredibly easy to
            create tutorials such as the one's you can find in this blog; e.g.
            http://vancestevens.posterous.com/creating-and-publishing-surveys-in-survey-mon
            http://vancestevens.posterous.com/teaching-teachers-how-to-create-simple-link-l

            Here I find the workflow of creating tutorials to be much simplified when I
            get a screen I want to display, annotate it as you see in Jing (could be a
            recording of the process a la Russell Stannard <
            http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/> upload it in a click to
            Screencast.com, and then paste the URL into the blog post I'm writing.
            Previously I had to create the capture image, store it on my computer, then
            upload it to the document I was working on, and often i had to keep track
            of which order the images should appear in the blog, but here it's all on
            the fly, so much easier, faster.

            Posterous has interesting ways for people to subscribe to the blog and then
            post to it themselves if you wish (by making them writers), or at least
            make comments either on the blog, or in response to email. Subscribers are
            emailed when posts are made and they can comment by replying to the email
            (they can also email posts or make them directly at the website - great for
            people who will write emails easily but hesitate to go online and post to a
            blog.

            You can try the look and feel by subscribing to
            http://vancestevens.posterous.com. You might have to seed the process first
            time after that by making a comment in the blog in the normal way, but
            subscribers should get an email with your comment, and when I get mine,
            I'll reply, and you can see how the replies to emails stack up as comments
            on the posts. You'll see that it's different from replies to YGroups,
            which are as you pointed out stored online but only loosely threaded, not
            in a way that they can be easily seen as they can in a blog format.

            I'm also using Posterous for http://learning2gether.posterous.com, where I
            take advantage of the fact that Posterous creates a media player for any
            mp3 I upload, and by using Feedburner I can make a podcast out of that. I
            also found a way to add an Odiogo text to speech widget to my sidebar (not
            straightforward as with Blogger) as you can see at
            http://justcurious.posterous.com. And I've described more how I'm using
            this with students here:
            http://vancestevens.posterous.com/a-small-research-project-on-student-attitudes
            and here: http://diylms.posterous.com/

            Hope this helps explain and illustrate what I'm finding to be a useful way
            of loosely joining many small pieces (from David Weinberger <
            http://www.smallpieces.com/index.php> :-)


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Barbara Dieu
            Hi Nina, Like Michael, I would tend to use wikispaces and Google - however, as I wrote some mails before, Wordpress is announcing a learning management
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 8, 2012
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              Hi Nina,
              Like Michael, I would tend to use wikispaces and Google - however, as
              I wrote some mails before, Wordpress is announcing a learning
              management platform for this fall, which allied to Buddy press may be
              a winner.
              http://wpmu.org/wordpress-as-a-learning-management-system-move-over-blackboard/

              One tool, whose format looks interesting for questions, is Stack
              Exchange and there is an English site for English language and usage -
              you may want to open one for grammar :-)
              http://english.stackexchange.com/

              B.



              --
              Barbara Dieu
              http://barbaradieu.com
              http://beespace.net
            • John Hibbs
              Vance s message is, as usual, of enormous help; and (I suppose) we should thank him mightily for it. On the other hand, maybe he should be harshly scolded,
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 8, 2012
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                Vance's message is, as usual, of enormous help; and (I suppose) we
                should thank him mightily for it.

                On the other hand, maybe he should be harshly scolded, flamed to
                bits, told to get his head on straight!

                For Gosh Sakes, Vance -- Enjoy every single second at the Black Sea.
                Tbilisi is, I know, Old World fascinating, almost like going back to
                Lisbon circa 1920's. The beer's good, so is the cheese, everything
                is a fraction of that in the West....people to see, places to go,
                things to do.....and there you sit, writing messages to your herd!!!
                Like a world class race horse made to plough a muddy field in a hard
                rain. Shame. Shame. Shame,.

                Why not just go out and RUN!!!


                But, we love you Vance, in spite of your faults. Don't ever forget that!!!!

                John Hibbs


                At 12:53 PM +0400 8/8/12, Vance Stevens wrote:
                >Greetings from the Black Sea, Georgia, where I'm sipping coffee with wifi
                >in an all-day wait for a night train to Tbilisi. I must say Batumi is a
                >charming place to have to wait, old world European charm and Gaudi ambiance
                >by the sea and good strong beers for only a dollar - I'm sticking with
                >coffee for as long as i can :-)
                >
                >Since I'm posting this to post@... I will explain
                >that it is written in reply a question on the Webheads list, about how she
                >can: "set up a website where volunteer teachers and tutors can post
                >questions about grammar (like a YahooGroup or a forum), but I'd also like
                >to be able to post resources (including videos) in a way that they will be
                >easy to locate (like a wiki). In my experience, files uploaded to a Yahoo
                >Group tend to be forgotten unless there are constant reminders in the
                >Messages. There are 300 teachers and tutors; not all will be
                >technologically savvy, so the site(s) should be easy to learn and use. What
                >do you recommend?"
                >
                >My reply: I have grown increasingly fond of Posterous to do what you are
                >suggesting. You mention uploading videos and these are often displayed by
                >Posterous when only the link is mentioned. They have automatic plugins for
                >YouTube and Slideshare, and all my Jing image captures and screencasts are
                >displayed on supply of only the link. This makes it incredibly easy to
                >create tutorials such as the one's you can find in this blog; e.g.
                >http://vancestevens.posterous.com/creating-and-publishing-surveys-in-survey-mon
                >http://vancestevens.posterous.com/teaching-teachers-how-to-create-simple-link-l
                >
                >Here I find the workflow of creating tutorials to be much simplified when I
                >get a screen I want to display, annotate it as you see in Jing (could be a
                >recording of the process a la Russell Stannard <
                >http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/> upload it in a click to
                >Screencast.com, and then paste the URL into the blog post I'm writing.
                >Previously I had to create the capture image, store it on my computer, then
                >upload it to the document I was working on, and often i had to keep track
                >of which order the images should appear in the blog, but here it's all on
                >the fly, so much easier, faster.
                >
                >Posterous has interesting ways for people to subscribe to the blog and then
                >post to it themselves if you wish (by making them writers), or at least
                >make comments either on the blog, or in response to email. Subscribers are
                >emailed when posts are made and they can comment by replying to the email
                >(they can also email posts or make them directly at the website - great for
                >people who will write emails easily but hesitate to go online and post to a
                >blog.
                >
                >You can try the look and feel by subscribing to
                >http://vancestevens.posterous.com. You might have to seed the process first
                >time after that by making a comment in the blog in the normal way, but
                >subscribers should get an email with your comment, and when I get mine,
                >I'll reply, and you can see how the replies to emails stack up as comments
                >on the posts. You'll see that it's different from replies to YGroups,
                >which are as you pointed out stored online but only loosely threaded, not
                >in a way that they can be easily seen as they can in a blog format.
                >
                >I'm also using Posterous for http://learning2gether.posterous.com, where I
                >take advantage of the fact that Posterous creates a media player for any
                >mp3 I upload, and by using Feedburner I can make a podcast out of that. I
                >also found a way to add an Odiogo text to speech widget to my sidebar (not
                >straightforward as with Blogger) as you can see at
                >http://justcurious.posterous.com. And I've described more how I'm using
                >this with students here:
                >http://vancestevens.posterous.com/a-small-research-project-on-student-attitudes
                >and here: http://diylms.posterous.com/
                >
                >Hope this helps explain and illustrate what I'm finding to be a useful way
                >of loosely joining many small pieces (from David Weinberger <
                >http://www.smallpieces.com/index.php> :-)
                >
                >
                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >------------------------------------
                >
                >When replying to postings, please delete this footer and extraneous
                >text from reply BUT retain info to help retain context :-)
                >http://webheads.infoYahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
              • John Hibbs
                Bee: Do you have, or can you point me to someone who does, a single Web Page which has a List, Approved by Webheads one sentence about each, and then a
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 8, 2012
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                  Bee: Do you have, or can you point me to someone who does, a single
                  Web Page which has a List, "Approved by Webheads" one sentence
                  about each, and then a link to the tool provider. I'm sure it's
                  somewhere; but where should I look first?

                  At 7:05 AM -0300 8/8/12, Barbara Dieu wrote:
                  >Hi Nina,
                  >Like Michael, I would tend to use wikispaces and Google - however, as
                  >I wrote some mails before, Wordpress is announcing a learning
                  >management platform for this fall, which allied to Buddy press may be
                  >a winner.
                  >http://wpmu.org/wordpress-as-a-learning-management-system-move-over-blackboard/
                  >
                  >One tool, whose format looks interesting for questions, is Stack
                  >Exchange and there is an English site for English language and usage -
                  >you may want to open one for grammar :-)
                  >http://english.stackexchange.com/
                  >
                  >B.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >--
                  >Barbara Dieu
                  >http://barbaradieu.com
                  >http://beespace.net
                  >
                  >
                  >------------------------------------
                  >
                  >When replying to postings, please delete this footer and extraneous
                  >text from reply BUT retain info to help retain context :-)
                  >http://webheads.infoYahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Holly Dilatush
                  Hello John, all, re: Bee: Do you have, or can you point me to someone who does, a single Web Page which has a List, Approved by Webheads one sentence about
                  Message 8 of 12 , Aug 8, 2012
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                    Hello John, all,
                    re: "Bee: Do you have, or can you point me to someone who does, a single
                    Web Page which has a List, "Approved by Webheads" one sentence
                    about each, and then a link to the tool provider. I'm sure it's
                    somewhere; but where should I look first?"

                    I'm certainly not Bee, but came across this today (I think it was via one
                    of Larry Ferlazzo's posts, but not sure?)

                    http://edte.ch/blog/?page_id=424

                    and liked the organization and simplicity

                    There are so many ways of collecting, curating, bookmarking, tagging these
                    days.


                    The EVO and BAW pbworks pages for each year organize references to tools
                    well, too.

                    and of course, there's the diigo list that Elizabeth (Dr. Elizabeth
                    Hanson-Smith) started and maintains http://www.diigo.com/user/Call_is_vsl

                    Holly


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Barbara Dieu
                    Thanks for the link to Tom Barrett, Holly. I did not have that one. Another tool list I have bookmarked in my Delicious is Project Bamboo,
                    Message 9 of 12 , Aug 8, 2012
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                      Thanks for the link to Tom Barrett, Holly. I did not have that one.

                      Another tool list I have bookmarked in my Delicious is Project Bamboo,
                      <http://dirt.projectbamboo.org/> a registry of digital research tools
                      for scholarly use. Many of the tools came from Lisa Spiro's Dirt list:
                      https://digitalresearchtools.pbworks.com/w/page/17801672/FrontPage

                      B.


                      --
                      Barbara Dieu
                      http://barbaradieu.com
                      http://beespace.net
                    • Holly Dilatush
                      Nina, Your question has sparked an interesting list of responses. It is fascinating to glimpse a bit of how each of our minds work. I m eagerly anticipating
                      Message 10 of 12 , Aug 8, 2012
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                        Nina,
                        Your question has sparked an interesting list of responses. It is
                        fascinating to glimpse a bit of how each of our minds work.

                        I'm eagerly anticipating this WordPress for LMS that's due this fall.

                        I'm also curious to see which direction you'll choose to take for this new
                        journey/commitment of yours (hope you'll share with us).

                        An informal survey of what the volunteers are familiar with might be useful
                        = [ie: How often have you / do you: use Facebook / read blogs / Skype /
                        Twitter / YouTube / post to discussion forum ... and so on]

                        and their access (ease, frequency, and device)

                        I find the answers still fall on a wide continuum in most groups I meet
                        with. Knowing some sense of how much immediate enthusiasm and 'buy-in'
                        might influence your choice, too.

                        my two cents --

                        Best wishes for smooth sailing ahead,
                        Holly

                        On Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 11:39 PM, Nina Liakos <nina.liakos@...> wrote:

                        > **
                        >
                        >
                        > I've been asked to serve on the academic advisory board of a big ESL
                        > program staffed primarily by volunteers. I want to set up a website
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Daniel Bassill
                        Hi all, I m planning on hosting a discussion in the Webheads forum on Sunday, August 26 focused on Volunteer Recruitment. I hope that some of you will join in
                        Message 11 of 12 , Aug 8, 2012
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                          Hi all,

                          I'm planning on hosting a discussion in the Webheads forum on Sunday, August 26 focused on Volunteer Recruitment. I hope that some of you will join in since you're talking about engaging volunteers. If we can talk about how we recruit volunteers we can also begin to talk about how we train and support them and what roles we want volunteers to take in connecting young people with all the ideas available on the web. See the schedule at http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded

                          I'd like to follow up on this with another session in early October and again the week of November 19 when I'm hosting a Tutor/Mentor Conference in Chicago. These sessions would focus on sharing volunteer training and support ideas across the group. You all have great ideas and experience and if we can share perhaps we can encourage others beyond Webheads who connect volunteer tutors with youth to participate and learn from us while sharing their own ideas.

                          Dan Bassill
                          Tutor/Mentor Connection
                          Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

                          PS: Nellie, this is something I'd be willing to co-host with you via WizIQ as well.




                          -----Original Message-----
                          >From: Holly Dilatush <holly@...>
                          >Sent: Aug 8, 2012 10:20 AM
                          >To: evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com
                          >Subject: Re: [evonline2002_webheads] Your advice requested
                          >
                          >Nina,
                          >Your question has sparked an interesting list of responses. It is
                          >fascinating to glimpse a bit of how each of our minds work.
                          >
                          >I'm eagerly anticipating this WordPress for LMS that's due this fall.
                          >
                          >I'm also curious to see which direction you'll choose to take for this new
                          >journey/commitment of yours (hope you'll share with us).
                          >
                          >An informal survey of what the volunteers are familiar with might be useful
                          >= [ie: How often have you / do you: use Facebook / read blogs / Skype /
                          >Twitter / YouTube / post to discussion forum ... and so on]
                          >
                          >and their access (ease, frequency, and device)
                          >
                          >I find the answers still fall on a wide continuum in most groups I meet
                          >with. Knowing some sense of how much immediate enthusiasm and 'buy-in'
                          >might influence your choice, too.
                          >
                          >my two cents --
                          >
                          >Best wishes for smooth sailing ahead,
                          >Holly
                          >
                          >On Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 11:39 PM, Nina Liakos <nina.liakos@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >> **
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> I've been asked to serve on the academic advisory board of a big ESL
                          >> program staffed primarily by volunteers. I want to set up a website
                          >>
                          >
                          >
                          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >------------------------------------
                          >
                          >When replying to postings, please delete this footer and extraneous text from reply BUT retain info to help retain context :-) http://webheads.infoYahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • Vance
                          Hi, I agree that this is question of Nina s gets at the crux of teaching and learning online. The question basically is, what is the best combo of tools to do
                          Message 12 of 12 , Aug 9, 2012
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                            Hi, I agree that this is question of Nina's gets at the crux of teaching and learning online. The question basically is, what is the best combo of tools to do that available at this moment, presumably for free, so that any teacher can set it up tomorrow, and teach in a way that those taught can set up theirs.

                            I suggested an experiment in seeing how Posterous works, and I think John sent his last email on this thread cc'd to the posting address I put in my mail to the group, my original post. This was therefore submitted as a post to the blog http://vancestevens.posterous.com/.

                            I was surprised that happened because this blog has a number of followers, but no members (apart from me). This should mean that no one but me (or members, in case you wish to enroll your class) should be able to post using that email address.

                            However, John was not able to post without moderation. I received an email saying that a post had been attempted and asking me to approve it. Since i wished to experiment, I did, and that is why John's post appears there (it should have been sent as a comment to my post). But I received a mail saying this post had been made, and I replied to that to leave a comment on the post (click on the Response button to see it).

                            However, what I intended is that anyone wishing to experiment would request to be a member of this blog. I would approve the membership, and then you would receive notices, as I do, that someone has posted to this blog, or commented on a post.

                            So the steps are FIRST become a member of the blog. When you have done that, make a comment on one of the existing posts there. I'll receive notification that you have commented. I'll reply to your comment, and you (once you are a member) should get a notification that I have commented on your comment, and should you wish to carry on the conversation, you can reply via email to the notification you receive. This is the point of the experiment, to see how posting and commenting on blogs via email might fit in with what you are trying to accomplish in your teaching/learning setting.

                            The look and feel of this is, I think, what Nina is looking for. But as with many of our social networking tools, the look and feel is ineffable; it has to be experienced and experimented with in order to see how you might apply it in your class or working group. This in my view is the great value of Webheads. For over a decade now we have managed to not only inform one another about tools that are available, but to actually try out and explore these tools, which is the way we actually learn them.

                            Thanks for participating in this experiment, Vance

                            --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, Holly Dilatush <holly@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Nina,
                            > Your question has sparked an interesting list of responses. It is
                            > fascinating to glimpse a bit of how each of our minds work.
                            >

                            > On Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 11:39 PM, Nina Liakos <nina.liakos@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > > **
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > I've been asked to serve on the academic advisory board of a big ESL
                            > > program staffed primarily by volunteers. I want to set up a website
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
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