Hi Rita and John (recent writers) and all other webheads,
I've just finished my two days of presentations at TESOL. Thu night I
drove up to Austin to spend the night at my sister's and leave Dusty
at his friend's. He's heading back to California and I fly this
afternoon from Houston and back to Hong Kong.
Previously at TESOL conferences I and most other webheads have simply
commandeered computers at the sessions we've presented at, but this
time IP addresses were needed in advance and were in short supply.
That's why Wed morning we were not able to connect from our session
introducing EVOnline. We ended up helping passers by to browse the
sites. Our famous elderdinner with e-Bob went great for those present
in San Antonio and maybe less so for those online due to lighting and
other logistical issues involving trying to eat at a restaurant with
waiters needing to come between you and electrical and usb cables and
This brings us to Thu a.m. and the CALL Academic Session. The day
before I had webcast a CALL business meeting just to try out the
connections and software I'd be using. I had my fixed IP courtesy of
TESOL by then, and I was just checking connections. I had also been
to the SmartCity internet provider checking bandwidth and adding to
our equipment order a hub with two cables so we could network two
computers at the same time (so I could keep one webcasting). So all
was in order for the academic session. I arrived at the room an hour
early and had the chat going as the audience filed in, so people
online were interacting with the audience before the session started
and some were even coming from the audience to say Hi and Hola to our
As is usual with Webheads demos the session was already underway when
Susan Gaer got up to introduce us. At the last minute before starting
myself I thought to turn on the recorder. I now need to find the
recording. Any ideas where I can find it?
The session itself? The part with Aiden and Michael went flawlessly.
We had audience coming to the podium to ask questions on mic and web
cam, good questions too. The interface between the 100 people there
and the online presence couldn't have been better. We played
Michael's song Happy Online and I think it captured the moment
perfectly. There was plenty of time for a breezy and impressive
presentation. Audience feedback suggested that many had been blown
away, yet my point in my presentation was that familiarity with the
medium fostered in a community of practice is what makes it all so
This was followed by Deborah Healey's animated delivery on the latest
CALL-applicable software and Jim Duber's showing of the 'flash'y stuff
he's been working on. There were only two online participants around
(but still 100 in the tesol audience) to hear Karen Price talk about
things available now, like 3-D printing, that can be applied to
language learning, and how the most important ingredient is still the
human one. How true. It was all recorded and hoping to find it later
and have it available.
Meanwhile I'm heading for Hong Kong and then home, and I need to get
driving to Houston, so I'll just say now that Webheads have got to be
the most fun and most cohesive force in TESOL right now. I thought
the early days of the CALL interest section were among the best I
experienced with a group due perhaps to combination of youth and
principled brashness, but Webheads are keeping me still youthful (and
others, such as Elizabeth, as well!!) and I appreciate so much the
chances to interact with all of you, and wish I didn't have to leave
the conference midway through.
But I have to be at work in Abu Dhabi on Monday. So till then, and
with heartfelt thanks to all,
--- In email@example.com
, "Rita Zeinstejer"
> But today the sun came out to allow me to be present at Vance's
presentation, and I could attend the session with some Webheads who,
like me, were trying to share the joy of being together...Thank you,
Vance, and Michael, I love your song!
> Thank you all, see you on Saturday,
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]