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Content: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6
Communication Tools

Session Title: Becoming a Webhead: A hands-on workshop on how to use Web communication tools for language teaching and learning.


Webheads in Action is a community of language teachers worldwide, coordinated by Vance Stevens, who has been together since January 2002. We explore Web communication tools and share the best ways of using them in our teaching practices, engage with students in virtual classes, collaborate on projects, and participate in conferences as audience and presenters. This collaboration takes place online, as we are all geographically apart. Would you like to be one of us?

Target Audience:

ESL/EFL teachers interested in using communication tools in their teaching, be it exclusively online or blended into face-to-face teaching. Having an e-mail account, familiarity with word processors, basic Internet navigation, and Internet access, are all that’s required


In the course of the 6 weeks, participants will learn collaboratively and hands-on to:

·          Use various synchronous and asynchronous Web tools for learning and teaching EFL/ESL.

·          Reflect on ways of applying those tools to their teaching, either online or face-to-face.

·          Interact through e-mail, text chat, voice chat, voice e-mail, forums and distribution lists, among others.

·       Create web pages, surveys, online worksheets, interactive exercises and rubrics related to their own contexts.

·          Use weblogs as a means for reflective writing.


-Week 1:

Getting acquainted with YahooGroups


Exploratory Survey about experience with Web tools

Participants will get acquainted with the Yahoo Groups platform, introduce themselves to the group and complete a survey about their experience in the use of Web tools.

-Week 2:

Synchronous communication tools

Tapped In, Yahoo Messenger, MSN.  

Participants will have the opportunity to chat with other Webheads through different synchronous media such as Tapped In, Yahoo Messenger and MSN. During these chats, they will learn how to use the many powerful features of each of these environments and also create their own virtual office at Tapped In where they can meet with students and colleagues. Webcam-enhanced chat will also be introduced using Yahoo Messenger.

Guests: BJ Berquist from Tapped In, a virtual community of education professionals, and Michael Coghlan, eLearning Coordinator at the Douglas Mawson Institute of Technology, Australia.

-Week 3:

Virtual classrooms and other tools.  

Participants will explore the Alado and Elluminate virtual classrooms, and the different communication tools offered by Wimba (voice and text chat, voice e-mail and voice board). In addition, participants will explore the use of discussion forums and create weblogs as tools for language learning and self-reflection. 

Guests: Jonathan Finkelstein, Founder and Executive Producer, LearningTimes Network, and Andrew Pincon from Alado Development, Ltd., USA.

-Week 4:

Building an online presence

Creation of Web pages and use of images.

Participants will use different Web hosts (GeoCities, Tripod, Bravepages) to create their own Web pages and different image software to enhance them. Basic HTML will be introduced if participants show an interest.

Guests: Barbara Dieu from Lycee Pasteur, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Arnold Mühren, e-learning tutor and consultant, Alkmaar, Holland.

-Week 5:

Developing class materials: online surveys and worksheets, and interactive exercise creators.

 Participants will have the opportunity to create materials for their classes using different online exercise creators. 

Guests: Isabel Perez, high school teacher in Malaga, Spain, and Michael Krauss, a teacher at Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR, USA.

-Week 6:

Wrap-up: Conclusions and reflections

Becoming a Member of the Webheads in Action (WiA) CoP.  

Guest: Vance Stevens, Webheads in Action coordinator, will be with us to explain what it means to be a member of Webheads and what binds its members together. After sharing reflections and arriving at the main conclusions about these online Web communication tools and their role in language learning, participants will be invited to join the Webheads in Action community of practice.


Communication will be maintained mainly through our Yahoo Group distribution list:

Weekly chats, with guest speakers, will be held to discuss content and pre-defined topics, build rapport and create a sense of community.

During the course of the session, participants will get to know what Webheads do, why we do what we do, and how we do it. And they will be invited to join the Webheads in Action community of practice.

Much of the content derived from the discussions will be made available through Web pages created during the six weeks, which will be kept online for future reference.

There will be recommended readings whenever it is considered convenient.


Dafne Gonzalez 

Teresa Almeida d’Eça

Susanne Nyrop

Maria Jordano

About the moderators

Communication tools to be used:

Becoming a Webhead YG:

Becoming a Webhead Portal:


Yahoo Groups:

Yahoo Messenger:


Tapped In:


Learning Times:

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Page created on October 10, 2003

Updated on October 16, 2003.