Save the date! April 17, 2021, the NYS TESOL TeLL SIG – VirtuaTell 2021 conference is online and open for registration for educators specializing in language learning and teaching. And Educators in VR’s vLanguage Learning Team Project and Students in VR will be there!
The all-day conference is free to their members and USD $15 for non-members and features a wide variety of expert educators and professionals on the theme of Equal, Access, and the Digital Divide: Challenges and Opportunities for Language Learning and Teaching. This is their first annual conference for TESOL professionals and a great opportunity to explore their student-centered approach for learning and nurturing student engagement. The NYS TESOL Technology Enhanced Language Learning SIG TeLL hosts regular online and in-person events.
In addition to our Educators in VR team, top speakers include Vance Stevens, founder of Webheads in ActionLeraning2gether, a weekly seminar and podcast series. He specializes in working with students and teachers on computer-supported language learning. He’s co-moderated the EVO Minecraft MOOC and is coordinator of Electronic Village Online. He is also the recipient of the Lifelong Achievement Award for 2019 at the CALL Research Conference.
Heike Philp is CEO of let’s talk online sprl, the immersive education specialist for language teaching and learning online in virtual classrooms and worlds. She is co-initiator of EU funded LANCELOT (virtual classroom) and AVALON (virtual world), CAMELOT project (machinima for language teachers) and GUINEVERE (games in virtual worlds). She is founder of the Virtual Round Table Conference and co-owns EduNation in Second Life and OpenSim.
Phil Hubbard is Senior Lecturer Emeritus in the Stanford University Language Center, specializing in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) since the early 1980s. He’s published extensively in all aspects of CALL theory, and served on the task force that developed the TESOL Technology Standards and is associate editor of Computer Assisted Language Learning and Language Learning & Technology.
Among the other luminary speakers at the TeLL SIG conference April 17 are our Educators in VR representatives.
Michael McDonald of Gold Lotus language teaching and consultancy was one of our first EDVR Team Leaders developing the vLanguage Learning Team that features regular events exploring the potential of language learning in VR and XR. With more than 20 years study, research, and teaching, Michael’s Gold Lotus consultancy in Italy offers workshops and classes publicly and private in English-language learning, specializing in virtual reality. Last year, he broke records offering the first 24-hour VR English Lesson across multiple VR platforms to raise money for the Red Cross Italy Coronavirus response. He is working on projects and collaborations with universities in Europe to research how immersive tasks can support the language learner or teacher. Autumn 2020 saw the launch of a year-long program in an Italian secondary school to support students and teachers build their English skills in VR and connect them, in real-time collaborative environments, to other schools globally in a virtual cultural-linguistic exchange program. His article “Lessons Learned from Over 100 VR English Lessons” continues to be popular, helping other educators learn the positives and pitfalls of teaching in VR.
Ekaterina Semeniuk (Gingery) is the co-leader of the EDVR vLanguage Learning Team. Ekaterina is a TESOL teacher with a strong background in foreign philology — the history and development of languages. At one time, she was learning 8 languages. She has a master’s degree in TESOL in Australia, and worked as an ELICOS teacher in Sydney and an English teacher and tutor at a private elementary school in the Moscow Region with students between five and ten years old, some of which have dyslexia.
Dr. Angelina Dayton is the founder and director of Students in VR and the popular Students in VR Conferences. Students in VR is dedicated to providing educational opportunities and skill building for students of all ages in immersive technologies. Students in VR hosts weekly student produced and hosted workshops in AltspaceVR. She is also the Senior Virtual Reality Research Scientist at Virtual World Society. As a professional virtual reality user experience designer, speaker, consultant and trainer, she specializes in design and deployment of virtual reality user experiences into complex organizations such as public schools. Her current projects include the large scale deployment within rural, predominantly Native schools in the United States: over 50 schools with over 15,000 students piloting curated content based on state academic standards.
Lorelle VanFossen is co-founder of Educators in VR, Students in VR, and the EDVR Institute. A long-time educator in social media, web publishing, and web design and development, she helped found the WordPress Community and was senior editor and contributor to the WordPress Codex, which became the WordPress Handbook, and developer of the world’s first full-credit, fundamental college course in WordPress at Clark College in Washington State. She began experimenting with VR in Second Life, and was among the early adopters of AltspaceVR, and hosts over 600 VR events annually on education, teacher training, creative writing, genealogy, world building, world tours, and all the free and commercial production events for Educators in VR. She’s built over 200 virtual worlds for educational experiences including a large group of worlds specifically for enactment, engagement, and exercise for language learning experiences.
Check out the NYS TESOL TeLL SIG Schedule for April 17 and come join this day-long exploration of learning languages online and in virtual reality.