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Writing for Webheads
Presentation at ESADE in Barcelona
using the HearMe Voice Presence plugin

July 2, 2000

Overview | HearMe text chat | The Palace | Homestead logs and Guest Book

The HearMe text chat

Site visited:

HearMe primarily allows users to speak to each other over the Internet. The client is browser-based and allows simplex communication. A user presses and holds F9 when wishing to speak, and the system allows one person to speak at a time. In general voice quality is impressive, though there are occasional breakups (delays in delivery of packets containing voice data, so the speaker sounds like he's stopped talking for a moment before restarting, and this might happen arbitrarily and often in the speech stream, compromising intelligibility). These become more frequent the more people there are in the chat. There is no way to conveniently preserve the voice record.

Users can text-chat in addition to speaking to each other. The text chat window is what I like to call the "edgewise" window, what people write when others have the floor in order to get a word in edgewise. Since the thread of the chat is mainly in its voice communication, the text log is not the best of records of what was discussed, but reading it does give some idea of the topics, and many important points were made in the text you see below.

The chat below was joined mainly by conference-goers and online teachers, plus at least one student in the Webheads class, Ying Lan, as well as the three teachers of that class. At the beginning of the log, one has the impression that people are interjecting at the perifery of the voice chat, but later in the log, as the topic moves on to formality in online communications, the discussion in the text chat becomes more substantiative.

I have altered the logs to reduce redundancy in system messages regarding who was joining and leaving the chat. Also, where users left their email addresses, I have placed these next to the first mention of their names below. Other than that, the logs are unaltered.

Sean Keegan:


Amer has joined

Bob has joined

Chris has joined

Elaine has joined

Eric Baber has joined

Maggi has joined (Maggi is one of 3 teachers of the Webheads class)

Maria has joined

Marina has joined

martin has joined

Michael has joined, (Michael is one of 3 teachers of the Webheads class)

Nick has joined

nieves has joined

Noi has joined

pamari has joined,

Peter has joined,

Vance has joined, (Vance is one of 3 teachers of the Webheads class)

Ying has joined (Ying Lan is a student in the Webheads class)

Chris_Fry_BCN has joined

Noi: Amer, what are you doing; if I may ask. I am browing around to know more about this.

Peter: Martin, are you Marin Peacock?

Status: Disconnected

Status: Connected

Ying: I am proud of being student. .....LOL>

Status: Disconnected

Status: Connected

Eric Baber: Are there any other teachers here who use the Internet for teaching in any way?

Nick: yes we seem to be having problems getting to the content, to many technical hitches, im having problem with input overload too many streams

Noi: Amer, are you always on this chat?

martin: Hi Peter. I think there are a few BC bods on line. Chris Fry is from BC Barcelona

Chris has left

Elaine has joined

Ying: Eric... just speak slowly .. you could speak .. just slow down.

Guest256 has joined

Guest256 has left

Amer: The student English level Michael

Jason has joined

Eric Baber: I agree - HearMe doesn't take up very much bandwidth; about 5 - 6kbps per audio stream.

Guest650 has joined

Peter: Yah, anmes look familiar from techteach Martin

Michael: OK Amer!

Michael: I'm sorry!

Marina has left

Maria has left

Jason has left

Chris has joined

martin: Peter, perhaps we could use this to replace the BBS?

Peter: lol

Nick: sorry couldnt hear you there

Peter: we are thinking of using it as an add on to the ONline English class Martin

martin: Sounds like a good idea

Chris has left

Amer: I found hear me is hreat in regards to comunecation and clearness

Conny has joined

Eric Baber: Peter, I just saw your message about your online classes;

Guest2 has joined

Eric Baber: could you tell us a bit more about those?

Amer: sorry typing error i want to say great

Noi: OK, pals, I´m leaving. This is very interesting. May talk to you later, later.. Ciao!

Guest650 has left

Sean has joined

Amer: ok noi nice to meet you

Maggi: ciao Noi

Guest2 has left

Nick: i cant hear you very well ying

Jason has joined

Eric Baber: Peter, do you offer your online classes through webheads?

Jason has left

Jason has joined

Noi has left

Peter: a future plan Eric rather than an ongoing project but we think that we can integrate the technology with an already existing online course to put students from different centres areound the wrold in touch with one another

Guest440 has joined

Peter: No Eric, we don't

Sean has left

Sean Keegan has joined

Eric Baber: Aha, thanks Peter. How is your existing course structured? Are you doing it on your own, or with an organisation?

Nick: hi sean youre up early!!!

Guest111 has left

Peter: With an organisation Eric, I'm witht he British Council in Tokyo ... I think you are with NLL Languages, is that right?

Guest440 has left

Guest604 has joined

Michael: Who was at the MOO session yesterday? I'm inetrested in hearing about it.

Elaine has left

Eric Baber: That's right, Peter, I'm with NLL. I wasn't aware the BC in Tokyo was offering online classes - interesting!

Ying has left

Bob has left

Nick: The Moo team arein here so we have to be _very_ careful!!!!!

Eric Baber: Is that one web-based?

Jason has left

Peter: BC Worldwise is offering online classes Eric, just in an early phase

pamari: I was there but only attended the first session. I didn't understand the difference between a MOO and a chat

Jason has joined

martin: Peter, what´s the interest for On-line English like in Tokyo?

Bob has joined

Guest716: :smiles

Peter: have a look through the BCs homepage

Michael: Hello Moo team!

Eric Baber: Will do Peter, thanks!

Ying has joined

pamari: can anyone tell me the difference between a MOO and a chat?


Guest178 has joined

Jason has left


Guest147: that´s it

Guest178 has left

Guest178 has joined

Eric Baber: Pamari, one of the main differences is that a chat is only active when people are there - so if only one person is in the chat room, there's nothing they can do, really.

Guest147 has left

vance has joined

pamari: I feel as if I were invisible

Guest178 has left

vance: that´s right

Nick: we talked aboout the diffenrence later in the day, markus was very clear about the difference between MOO and chat, different tools for different things, the essence would appear to be the possibilities for creativity

Eric Baber: With a MOO, though, a teacher can put activities there for example, so that if a student comes in on their own they can do the activities without anyone else.

Nick: that MOO offers as against chat

Jason has joined

martin: Pamari, I can see you!

Guest98 has left

pamari: Thanks Eric. And where are you Martin?

Nick: and the permanence of the MOO environment, a conversation on chat dissappears into the ether when you sign off

martin: Behind you!

pamari: good! I love this chat. That's something I never do, chatting. I feel as a kid

Guest604 has left

Michael: OK Maggi

pamari: I think it takes time and practice

Nick: pamari were you here yesterday?

Guest716: Feel like a kid = joyful?

martin: I´ve got to go to a session, bye everyone!

pamari: yes

martin has left

Guest716: smiles and winks.

pamari: lol

Guest444 has joined

Guest444 has left

Conny has left

Skipper has joined

Nick: we were talking about that yesterday a lot of people seem to have this problem with MOO, the learning curve seems to kkep a lot of people out

Guest811 has joined

pamari: Nick, are you here in the Call conference?

Guest811 has left

Nick: yes

PaulBrett has joined

pamari: you are a good MOO and chat teacher

Nick: muchisimas gracias

pamari: de nada

pamari: I'm leaving to a session, bye everyone, it's been a pleasure being here

Amer: ok all i will buy new mic so i can share the descution and now i am going bye to all

Nick: see you pamari

Michael: OK Amer. Thanls for coming.

pamari has left

Sean Keegan: Hi - this is Sean Keegan BBC World Service (ELT)... we´re currently planning to redesign our site - aim it at 17-30 yr olds, and focus on Relationships, News, Business, Music, and Sport (Football really!). Just wondering if anyone had any comments?

Maggi: bye Amer....

Amer: bye maggi take care

Michael: Ying - are you at the Palace?

Ying: NO...

Ying: I only open IE5

Ying: O.k.

Michael: Would you like to try the Palace?

Skipper has left

Skipper has joined

Amer has left

Eric Baber: Hi Paul! Nice to see you.

Ying: There are two people at the palace.

Eric Baber: Michael, there use to be a Java interface for the Palace; is that no more?

Ying: Moral is at the palace.

PaulBrett: Hi Eric - sorry I am being a bad sts here and not concentrating!!

Ying: I don't think is it a Jave Interface.

Eric Baber: The joys of attending a conference from home on a Sunday, eh, Paul? ;-)

PaulBrett: Yep - a bit easy - but we´re having fun over here!!

Skipper: Hi Sean, why are you redesigning your ELT site for that particular age group?

Eric Baber: Ah, you're actually in Barcelona are you, Paul?

Elaine has joined

PaulBrett: Yep sitting here - last day of the conference and then I am staying here for a week to do a workshop on CALL !

Guest972 has joined

Eric Baber: OK - I was saying that when I was using the Palace there was the actual program that would get you in, and a Java interface as well; the Java interface was slower and not as reliable.

Guest972 has left

Eric Baber: Just wondering whether they've scrapped in entirely or whether it's still available/improved.

Elaine has left

Eric Baber: Paul, will you be at the ARELS conference (Joe's e-mail last week)?

Sean Keegan: Hi Skipper. Good question. Two reasons really - money and reach.. that is, trying to use a limited amount of money to reach the max people. Also, WS audience gen ageing.. so investment for future. Sean

PaulBrett: No Eric - I am afraid I won´t be at ARELS!!

Eric Baber: Shame, Paul! Maybe we'lll get to meet IRL some other time :-)

Sean Keegan: Skippper, by the way, where are you?

Elaine has joined

Nick: exactly

Elaine has left

PaulBrett: I am still working on getting you in virtually to tell us about NLL - I will get this sorted out and we have a web cam here and the firewall doesn´t seem to be a problem - are u still keen?

Nick: what michael is saying is a mojor sticking point here in many parts of Spain

Eric Baber: Absolutley, Paul, that'd be great.

Skipper: That´s interesting. I know another public service organisation which is also designing for a similat age group. I suppose you feel that your world service remit is more for an adult audience becuase chiuldren are catered for elsewhere. But 30 seems young

Eric Baber: We could webcast it from here as well using Real if that's any good. Real tends to go through most firewalls.

PaulBrett: Ok - Can I let you know in a coup`le of days when we are off and runing?

Eric Baber: Sure.

PaulBrett: OK thanks

Eric Baber: Pleasure!

pamari has left

Sean Keegan: Skipper, are you talking about the British Council? Where do you work? Also, should point out that we won´t be refusing entry to anyone over 30, if they feel they like what they see!

nieves has left

Eric Baber: When you do live chat sessions, do you find things like "How R U" etc acceptable?

Michael: We prefer students to write complete text.

Michael: They prefer it too.

Michael: Students will see and unserstand it.

Nick: but it gets used and is devloping into a register of its own isnt it

martin has joined

Michael: But they know different context demand different stlyes/registers.

martin has left

pamari has joined

PaulBrett: I need a fag Eric - I will e-mail you in a couple days!!

Michael: Have one for me Paul.

Guest324 has joined

Nick: exactly so whether you correct or not depends on their objectives

Nick: no?

Eric Baber: He he, go for it Paul!

Michael: Sean - can you speak up a little?

Guest324 has left


Bob has left

PaulBrett has left

gerard mcloughlin has joined

Michael: That's better Sean

Skipper: Hi Sean, I once worked teaching literacy in Mexico. The government provided free courses based on age. 16 to 40. Below 16 there was school. After 40 it was considered too late to learn! But lots of older people are very effective online.

Ying: I am 37 years old. ... I am still being a student here.

Maggi: there is no age limit to learning when you are interested and motivated

pamari: so let's see if I understand, there're two conversations at the same time the voice and the text one

Maggi: sort of combined

Nick: hello again pamari the two sreams separate and join again but they aresort of running in parallel

pamari: Thanks Maggie. I feel I'm a complete illiterate on this topic

Maggi: no one is not difficult...

pamari: Hi nick, It's difficult for me to follow the two of them.

Nick: me too especially as i cant hear some of the speakers very well

pamari: thanks again, Maggie, very encouraging

Nick: !!!

Michael: LOL!

pamari: metoo

Michael: breaking up Eric...

Eric Baber: I think a lot of it is due to finances -

pamari: finances?

Eric Baber: the average younger teacher can afford to take time off work and pay the costs of going to such conferences.

Eric Baber: And that's exactly where online representations of these conferences are so important -

pamari: agree

Maggi: but I am here and not in Baqrcelona...

Eric Baber: and not just to have parallel conferences of the virtual one, but integrate the two.

Eric Baber: Allowing virtual access to the presenters at the real conference etc.

Eric Baber: Right now there seems to be quite a split here: we are here online, while the Barcelona people are doing something else

gerard mcloughlin has left

Nick: i think there is definitely a need to keep in touch with realities out there , a survey was described yesterday of spanish english teachers, in galicia, none that zero had access to computers !! little reality bite, we are the converted!

Michael: If anyone is hearing Eric clearly can they translate for me?

pamari: that happens also in Alicante, I feel I am the only person who is interested in this topic, though there're must be more

Peter: Nick, sorry, didn't catch the last bit

Eric Baber: OK, I'll give up on audio! :-)

Peter: 'none that zero'?

Nick: when you show voice chat to your school manager and the speaker breaks up as eric is now they tend to say the investm,ent can wait,

Eric Baber: I was saying that one thing that's definitely changing is formality:

Maggi: you're a crack up Eric...LOL

Nick: sorry none, that is zero

Eric Baber: in the past, letters started Dear Mr. etc;

Eric Baber: now, e-mails are definitely Dear First Name.

Eric Baber: I'd say that's one of the biggest change.

Nick: yes we are like voices crying in the wilderness pamari

Nick: a que si!!!!

Eric Baber: Also, there seems to be a tendency away from accuracy and correctness - I receive e-mails from native speakers that I consider appalling and that I wouldn't accept from our language learners :-)

Maggi: I'd saqy NNS people still tend to start out more formal

Peter: right Nick

pamari: my school director said I didn't any time for working with my students on the computer room, because I had to teach English. How can one make a person like that understand? We don't speak the same language

Eric Baber: Maggi, I agree.

Michael: Good pick Sean.

Michael: Good point I meant!

Sean Keegan: I was wondering what a pick was!

Maggi: And some native speakers are apalling and I wouldn't want my students to write like that

Eric Baber: Exactly, Maggi, that's what I meant.

nieves has joined

pamari: hi Nieves, where are you from?

vance: hi

Maggi: we NS people are already outnumbered...

Eric Baber: Good question, Michael; I think what we'd need to do is do a study of business people who meet each other for the first time after only having communicated by e-mail.

Nick: right, one of the hardest things is working out how to manage this change, schools are very resistant to change, and many teachers realize that these technologies are going to change things a lot intuitively they suspect that this will change the wjhole

Michael: Was that e-formalising?

vance has left

sophie has joined

Nick: business of teaching and therfore they drag their feet

Eric Baber: And ask them if their relationship/interaction was different from how it would have been with someone with whom they'd only corresponded by e-mail.

Guest716 has left

Nick: hi sophie

Guest370 has joined

pamari: Are you at the conference in Barcelona, Nieves?

sophie: Hi, Nick.. I´m trying to see what people are talking about and get into it a bit... : )

Maggi: I teach business people

sophie: Ï´m in Barcelona, too

gerard mcloughlin has joined

pamari: Do you teach here?

Nick: a lot of the time we enthusiasts think the change is just going to happen because tis so _logical_ and are then surprised when it isnt widely adopted, if we believe these technoloogies are wirthwhile we have to address that

Maggi: in Germany

Nick: es a mi

Eric Baber: Peter, that's an excellent example, and that's the sort of study that would need to be done on a thorough basis to make any real comments on whether and how the language is changing etc.

Eric Baber: Nick, good point!

Michael: I do!

Michael: Want the BBC to stay 'toffee'!

Elaine has joined

Eric Baber: He he he...

sophie: who else is in Barcelona...

pamari: Nieves, are you still there?

Nick: i am

Eric Baber: Nice one, Michael :-)

sophie: right..

Skipper: I´m not sure that email is really that informal. It is still a format where it is important to take care with the accuracy of language. You frequently get emails with a very formal copyright notice attached.

Nick: nieves left and somebody else has takern herplace called diane

Guest370: Anthony - I´m in Barcelona. I´ve just joined this chat session, and have quit Vance´s room.

Bob has joined

nieves has left

Diane has joined

Guest370 has left

Anthony has joined

pamari: right, now I understand why she didn't answer

Eric Baber: Skipper, in my experience the bits at the end tend not to be copyright notices as such, but more disclaimers so that the company doesnt get sued :-)

sophie: hi diane

Michael: So Sean - you work for the BBC?

Bob has left

gerard has joined

pamari: I've also left a boring session and come back to this one

sophie: hi Anthony

Elaine has left

Elaine has joined

Elaine has left

Sean Keegan: Yes, Michael. I´m an editor with BBC English (ELT radio & online)

sophie: yes, this is great fun!

Nick: cual fue

Michael: smiles..

Ying: maggi... which city do you live in Germany?

Sean Keegan: What do you do, Michael?

Michael: Sean - I'm an ESL teacher and teacher trainer on onlin ed.

pamari: I should have said that, the thing is that I wasn't interested on the topic. I think it is not only what you say but the way you say. I loved Mark's presentation this morning, both things great (what and how he said it)

Nick: right

Michael: Was that mark Warschauer?

Sean Keegan: :-) based where?

Diane: Hi sophie, I think I´´ve learned to use this program now.

sophie: me, too

Nick: yes it was a very entertaining talk

sophie: I think this has been an overall very stimulating conference

gerard has left

pamari: I think we teachers should be more aware and realise when one connects witrh the audience and when he/she doesn't, especially at conferences that's essential, from my point of view

Anthony: Anthony - I´m now in as me. This discussion about formality going on over the PA is interesting. I´ve found that international students used to very formal teaching situations adapt quickly, and spontaneously use my first name in email.

Diane: It´s not that easy to talk to so many people at once.

Eric Baber: Anthony, that's what I've found as well. In fact, I now find it distinctly unusual to receive an e-mail that starts Dear Mr. Baber!

pamari: It seems to me there're tow conversations at a time, a typican Spanish situation

Nick: yes once you get used to it its wonderful

Diane: Think I´ll try something else. Bye.

Anthony: Ah - someone has responded. Where are you, Eric, behind me, or across the world somewhere ?

pamari: bye Diane, wave goodbye to know who you are

Eric Baber: He he, across the world I hope, Anthony, since I don't see you here in my study! :-)

Eric Baber: I'm in London, England; and you?

Michael: ???

Anthony: Barcelona at the IATEFL ´CALL in the 21st century´conference.

Eric Baber: OK, in Barcelona.

Eric Baber: I'm afraid I have to be off now - nice talking to everyone, thanks for the interesting discussion!

Eric Baber: Hope the rest of the conference goes well.

Maggi: bye Eric..

Nick: See you Eric

Sean Keegan: See you Eric

Eric Baber: Bye all!

sophie: Bye

Peter: bye Eric

Michael: Eric - it was grea to talk with you.

sophie: I´ll be off too

Anthony: Hasta lluego )(is that right, my Spanish is not too hot).

sophie: Bye

Nick: morr or less (look at my english!!)

pamari: it's great, only an extra l

Elaine has joined

Vance has left

Eric Baber has left

pamari has left

pamari has joined

Michael: Relax Peter!

Anthony: I want to try something else now. Can someone tell me how to get into the Palace please ?

Michael: I can hear you Pamari.

Nick: ive seen it in action i work for a large company who use it, but they use a dedicated line in order to guarantee quality

Anthony: I´m going to try a PC with a headset, ´cos nobody´s replying. Bye.

Vance has joined

Michael: Anthony - can you hear the voice chat?

Vance has left

Vance has joined

Nick: yes one of the problems here is that however wonderfulk our end students at home dont have the technology to do these things yet

Sean Keegan: Going to have to go soon.. been fun and interesting. Peter, Michael and others - be good to keep in touch. Are your emails on here somewhere?

Peter: I japan I think the technology is already here

pamari has joined

Michael: OK Sean. My email is

Nick: we will have to wait a little, with any lkuck falt rate access in the autumn will bring more online


Skipper has left

Anthony has joined

sophie has left

Antje has joined


Nick: intersting data about online numbers, spain in 1998 with bali was the only country where the numbers of people coinected actually dropped

gerard mcloughlin has left

Sean Keegan: Thanks, Michael .. Peter... mine´s

Peter: keep in touch sean

pamari: i'm ashamed to hear that

Anthony: I´ve joined, but I don´t have anything to say at the moment - just listening.

Nick: it is hard isnt it!!

Nick: alucina con telefonica

Sean Keegan: Will do, Peter. Checking out now. See you all later.

Anthony: Nick - are you talking / writing to me ?

Nick: well to everyone i suppose

Anthony has left

Diane has left

Maggi: bye Sean...

Anthony has left

Sean Keegan: See you Maggi.. keep in touch ... email above for anyone who wants to catch up later

Elaine has left

Elaine has joined

Maggi: ok

Nick: weve got a round table coming up so ill have to leave but it was good to talk to you, thanks maggi too ok see you all soon ill try coming back soon

Nick: bye then tanks vance

Maggi: bye Nick

pamari has left

Ying: good bye.

Michael: lol

Michael: See ya Vance.

pamari: bye

Ying: It is time to say bye.

pamari has left

Nick: bye peter enjoy the pizza!

Nick has left

Peter: thanks Nick

Peter: Keep in touch through BC Network

Ying: have a great day!!

Michael: Bye Peter!

Peter has left

Vance, running tech in the background, hardly got to attend this presentation.

Overview | HearMe text chat | The Palace | Homestead logs and Guest Book

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Last updated: July 23, 2000 in Word 97