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New Information Technologies in ELT
IT Networks in ELT

Workshops presented by Vance Stevens
July 19 - 31, 2004, in Mahdia, Tunisia

As part of the English Language Specialist Program
in support of the Tunisian Summer English Institute for secondary school teachers

Workshops rationale | Week 1 Workshops | Week 2 Workshops
The course blog:
Yahoo Group Portal: or

Background | This year's workshops planning was to include Online collaboration
Bibliography | Ofoto pictures album | Final comments

These workshops were intended to combine lectures and demonstrations with hands-on workshops and activities involving participants with a view to giving participants ideas, methods and materials they will be able to put to immediate use in their own classrooms. The course objectives are to introduce concepts of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects in preparatory and secondary schools, digital content, production and exploitation, online tutoring, management and optimization of ICT spaces and networks and ICT quality control.

The focus for the workshops was modified to "basically hands-on sessions with a simulation of tutoring based on the TVS material - which you will see when in Mahdia ... You could use the TVS portal or any other web resources - provided the participants get trained in giving feedback to learners when they access the online material. "

Workshop rationale:

I've decided to start with a look at any number of the sites which explain the principles of good online tutoring, have the participants identify the principles that are most applicable to them, and in the process work out with them what it is they feel they need most, and thus arrive at an understanding of their work.

Concurrently, in the blended learning environment I intend to foster, I will have us all recording our findings and interacting with each other online (and set up the sites for this in class in the face to face setting). I'll teach the students the tools to get this kind of interaction going and some will take away some pointers from the content, and the best among them will become webmasters. The majority should benefit from experiencing online learning in a constructivist setting both as participants and to varying degrees as creators of such settings.

Examples of such tools include:

In recent presentations such as some points I have been pressing home are:

  1. that in order to use online tools effectively with students, teachers need to familiarize themselves with the tools in benign collaborative settings (that is, with each other first; not use them without practice with students straight away).
  2. the importance of encouraging what I call F.U.N. or Frivolous Unanticipated Nonsense ...
  3. that is, take advantage of the spontaneous and sometimes unexpected or serendipitous aspects of the medium, which sometimes involves a teacher having to allow him or herself a paradigm shift in attitudes toward the nature of learning, rather than hold to less flexible teaching styles that might not apply to multi-literate learning.

So I'll be tailoring the workshops along these lines:

Hopefully, it will all fit together and make sense and be effective by the end of the workshop.


The Skill of Communication: Technology brought to bear on the art of language learning by Vance Stevens, Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE Plenary address for the 9th EFL Conference: "Integrating EFL Skills: Strategies for The Teacher, Creativity and Assessment" Wednesday January 21, 2004 - The American University of Cairo, Egypt. Retrieved July 16, 2004 from

From the EVOnline tutor training materials:

From a Google search on 'online tutor distance education'

LIBRARY: DELIVERING e-LEARNING Role and skills of the Online Tutor. Retrieved July 16, 2004 from

the above includes

A good blogger's blog on use of blogs in education: incorporated subversion: James Farmer's Online Education Weblog. Retrieved July 16, 2004 from

All about Blogs and Wikis

Curt Bonk's course on P600/R685 Topical Seminar (Ed Psych as well as IST) "Online Learning Pedagogy and Evaluation" ; lots of resources of interest to online tutors here.

The August 2004 issue of the International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning Has four articles on Web-based teaching and learning, available as pdf files:

Final comments on the sessions

These sessions had a difficult start as expert and trainees got to know one another and adjusted to realities where expectations on either side were not met because they were unrealistic or misperceived. However, once the trainer came to understand the situation and context of the trainees, and to listen to and take on board their forthright criticisms, and once the trainees came to understand and appreciate the trainer's methods, the courses proceeded in a spirit of sharing and exploration while practicing hands on with tools the trainees hadn't originally thought to use, but which they came to see would be useful and help them to adapt to the environment of online tutoring.

I felt I had cracked the barrier on acceptance of my somewhat unique perspectives on how to engage in online tutoring when the participants started to use our Yahoo Group to have F.U.N. and started posting there rhymes about me and giving their own unique perspectives on the material!!

Welcome dear Vance!
With you IT participants are in trance!
Let them learn and advance!
They might ,one day,be freelance
IT experts with some chance!
At these rhymes ,have a quick glance.

Here is Vance.
He's here to help us advance.
He will lead the dance.
Join the group, give a glance,
And grasp this valuable chance!

Trainee-Trainer Rapport

Teachers train,
Teachers develop.
Trainers help
And never stop
Thinking on how to train!

Foster creativity
Or impose strain?
Encourage autonomy
Or cause pain?

Guide and monitor,
Do not train!
Facilitate but do not reign
Over pedagogy as a sovereign!

You are no master,dear trainer,
You are an elder adviser.
Care and share
Do not wear the boss’s hat!
Let us,as friends,chat!

No slavishness,
No linear plan!
Reshuffle task sequence,
Eclectically scan!

Adapt and never adopt
Any new method as such!
For flexibility opt!
Do not obey much
The rigid rules of training
But focus on self-developing!

Jawida Ben Afia

Participant projects

I've set up two buzznet blogs with pictures of the people below and links to their sites. They're at

The following links were posted as Yahoo Groups bookmarks on July 30, 2004

Tripod web sites
The following links were posted as Yahoo Groups bookmarks on July 29, 2004

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Last Updated: August 22, 2004

Copyright 2004 by Vance Stevens