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Writing for Webheads
Overview | HearMe text chat | The Palace | Homestead logs and Guest Book
The HearMe text chat
Site visited: http://www.chariot.net.au/~michaelc/hearme.htm
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.
Amer has joined
Eric Baberhas joined
Maggihas joined (Maggi is one of 3 teachers of the Webheads class)
Michaelhas joined, firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael is one of 3 teachers of the Webheads class)
pamarihas joined, email@example.com
Peterhas joined, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vancehas joined, email@example.com (Vance is one of 3 teachers of the Webheads class)
Yinghas joined (Ying Lan is a student in the Webheads class)
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?
Ying:I am proud of being student. .....LOL>
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
Elaine has joined
Ying:Eric... just speak slowly .. you could speak .. just slow down.
Guest256 has left
Amer:The student English level Michael
Eric Baber:I agree - HearMe doesn't take up very much bandwidth; about 5 - 6kbps per audio stream.
Peter:Yah, anmes look familiar from techteach Martin
Michael: OK Amer!
Michael: I'm sorry!
Maria has left
Jason has left
Chris has joined
martin:Peter, perhaps we could use this to replace the BBS?
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
Amer:I found hear me is hreat in regards to comunecation and clearness
Eric Baber:Peter, I just saw your message about your online classes;
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!
Sean has joined
Amer:ok noi nice to meet you
Maggi: ciao Noi
Nick:i cant hear you very well ying
Eric Baber:Peter, do you offer your online classes through webheads?
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
Peter:No Eric, we don't
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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!!!
Peter:With an organisation Eric, I'm witht he British Council in Tokyo ... I think you are with NLL Languages, is that right?
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Michael:Who was at the MOO session yesterday? I'm inetrested in hearing about it.
Eric Baber:That's right, Peter, I'm with NLL. I wasn't aware the BC in Tokyo was offering online classes - interesting!
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Nick:The Moo team arein here so we have to be _very_ careful!!!!!
Eric Baber: Is that one web-based?
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
martin:Peter, what´s the interest for On-line English like in Tokyo?
Peter: have a look through the BCs homepage
Michael: Hello Moo team!
Eric Baber: Will do Peter, thanks!
pamari:can anyone tell me the difference between a MOO and a chat?
Jason has left
Guest147: that´s it
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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.
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pamari:I feel as if I were invisible
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
martin:Pamari, I can see you!
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
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!
Guest716:smiles and winks.
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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
pamari:Nick, are you here in the Call conference?
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.
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: I only open IE5
Michael: Would you like to try the Palace?
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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?
PaulBrett:Yep sitting here - last day of the conference and then I am staying here for a week to do a workshop on CALL !
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.
Eric Baber:Just wondering whether they've scrapped in entirely or whether it's still available/improved.
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?
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!
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!
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
Michael:But they know different context demand different stlyes/registers.
pamari has joined
PaulBrett:I need a fag Eric - I will e-mail you in a couple days!!
Michael: Have one for me Paul.
Nick:exactly so whether you correct or not depends on their objectives
Eric Baber: He he, go for it Paul!
Michael: Sean - can you speak up a little?
Nick:CANT HEAR YOU SEAN
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...it 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
Michael: breaking up Eric...
Eric Baber: I think a lot of it is due to 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 -
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 mcloughlinhas 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.
pamari:hi Nieves, where are you from?
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?
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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.
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
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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'!
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 :-)
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.
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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?
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pamari:I've also left a boring session and come back to this one
sophie: hi Anthony
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Sean Keegan:Yes, Michael. I´m an editor with BBC English (ELT radio & online)
sophie: yes, this is great fun!
Nick: cual fue
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)
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
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?
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!
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).
Nick: morr or less (look at my english!!)
pamari: it's great, only an extra l
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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.
Michael:Anthony - can you hear the voice chat?
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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
Michael:OK Sean. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick: we will have to wait a little, with any lkuck falt rate access in the autumn will bring more online
Anthony has joined
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Nick: intersting data about online numbers, spain in 1998 with bali was the only country where the numbers of people coinected actually dropped
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Sean Keegan:Thanks, Michael .. Peter... mine´s Sean.Keegan@bbc.co.uk
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
Diane has left
Sean Keegan:See you Maggi.. keep in touch ... email above for anyone who wants to catch up later
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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
Michael: See ya Vance.
Ying: It is time to say bye.
Nick:bye peter enjoy the pizza!
Peter: Keep in touch through BC Network
Ying: have a great day!!
Michael: Bye Peter!
Vance, running tech in the background, hardly got to attend this presentation.
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