Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 4 Friday (Nina)

Today, I did not have any obligations, so I slept a little later and took things a little easier. I still arrived at the EV at 9:00 in time to catch a very interesting Tech Fair presentation by John Whalen and Alhassane Ali Drouhamane of Colorado State University on "Using CALL Websites to Enhance and Streamline L2 Vocabulary Learning." They introduced me to three tools I had never heard of: VocabSushi, StoryBird, and ESLVideo  VocabSushi takes a vocabulary list and searches corpora to find examples of the words in use; it also reports student activity on the site to the teacher. It is costly, however: $159 per teacher per year, if I remember correctly. StoryBird provides artwork that students can use to create digital stories. ESLVideo enables teachers to take any video and make a quiz about it. All three tools seemed really easy to use and useful.

At 10:00 a.m., I attended Carolina Rodriguez B.'s presentation on "Flipping a Blended Graduate Classroom in Colombia." Carolina participated in the EVO session on Flipped Learning this year, which made this presentation especially exciting for me. She talked about how Colombian students do not generally like online learning because the social aspect of learning together is so important to them, and how she was able to incorporate enough social interaction in her course to keep her students engaged.

After that, I left the EV for a while! I helped my colleague Daniela Wagner-Loera hang her poster for the 12:30 poster session and then attended her excellent presentation on "Don't Only Flip--Make the IEP Brain-Friendly." After that, I walked home to have a bite to eat. It was very cold today, and there were a few snow flurries. I was very glad I had brought my heavy coat!

I went back to the Convention Center and attended part of the Interest Section Assembly. Since I am not an IS leader, I would normally not attend this, but the CALL-IS planning meeting overlapped the IS Assembly, so Aaron and Jack wanted someone to be there in their stead. As it turned out, the meeting ended early and I was not needed, so I hung out with Laine and Carolina at the "Cafe700" (horrible decaf) for a while and then wandered back to the EV and tried to get a group together to go up the CN Tower tomorrow. We'll see if this actually happens!

At 6:00, I met Berta and Vance outside the EV, and we went to a beautiful reception sponsored by the British Council, at the beautiful Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Front Street. There was plenty of fabulous food and a crush of people! We met some nice people, and I had a long chat with Deborah Healey. Berta connected with some VenTESOL friends. At 8, B and I walked back to our respective hotels. It was nice to be in early. Now 10:21 and I am ready to fold my tent!

A few pictures from today:
Carolina presenting in the EV

Daniela and her poster

Laine and Carolina

Front Street

Berta & Vance

At the Fairmont Royal York: Nina & Vance

Berta & Vance

The Fairmont lobby


  1. Dear Nina,
    Thanks for great reporting and lovely photos with so many dear friends! This does help keep us in touch and join in some of the usual Webheads fun and F.U.N.
    Thank you for keeping the conference blog tradition going. Do hope somebody will replace you next year.

  2. More thanks, dear Nina. It was a huge plaesure meeting you again after 5 long years. And also meeting several Webheads f2f and sharing some time together.
    I enjoyed the Conference very much, got lots of valuable information, and a deep feeling of accomplishment at having lived another rich Webhead experience.