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Celebrating 25 Years of CALL


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Vance Stevens contributes to a colloquium at TESOL 2009 Denver in which the CALL-IS celebrates the 25th Anniversary of its founding. Former CALL-IS chairs and experts in CALL reflect on historical and current developments in theory, research, and practice. Having witnessed the changes over the years, they will highlight major achievements, paths that have been forged, and intriguing future directions.

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Celebrating 25 Years of CALL

  1. 1. Celebrating 25 years of CALL: Forging new pathways Vance Stevens Former chair and founding member of CALL-IS Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates March 26, 2009, TESOL Conference, Denver Based on blog posting at http://adVancEducation.blogspotcom/
  2. 2. 25 years ago <ul><li>Fax machine did not exist </li></ul><ul><li>Software schlepped around conference to conference on physical 5 1/4” diskettes </li></ul><ul><li>Information disseminated through newsletters mailed to people who WROTE us snail mail to sign up for them </li></ul><ul><li>Grad students typically composed essays on typewriters, then retyped them </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers used typewriters and mimeograph machines; offered computers, many chose typewriters </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing entailed costs which needed institutional support to bear </li></ul>
  3. 3. Future as seen 25 years ago <ul><li>Computers seen as passing fads </li></ul><ul><li>Doubters (most people) had to be convinced that there were pedagogical benefits to computers </li></ul><ul><li>Computers seen as devices for algorithmic learning (behavioristic)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>I wrote in favor of humanism in CALL </li></ul><ul><li>Mindset was the read only century; now it's the read-write </li></ul>
  4. 4. Implications of the Read/Write Century: Paradigm Shift <ul><li>Pedagogy - from didactic TO constructivist </li></ul><ul><li>Networking - from isolated TO connectivist models; e.g. CoPs and distributed learning networks </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing - from copyright TO creative commons </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy – from print dominance TO communication that tends toward multiliteracies </li></ul><ul><li>Heuristics - from client/server TO peer to peer </li></ul><ul><li>Formality – from Trepidation, fear of being exposed as not knowing TO F.U.N. = encourage class to explore despite risk of Frivolous Unanticipated Nonsense </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer – from lecture, sit/get TO modeling, demonstration </li></ul><ul><li>Directionality – from push TO pull e.g. RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership – from proprietary TO open source </li></ul><ul><li>Classification – from taxonomy TO folksonomy </li></ul>
  5. 5. Who are CALL-IS <ul><li>A group? </li></ul><ul><li>A community? </li></ul><ul><li>A network? </li></ul><ul><li>What is an appropriate metaphor for conference attendance? </li></ul><ul><li>Group? Community? Network? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it ok to cut teachers / students off from their networks? </li></ul><ul><li>At a networked conference </li></ul><ul><li>Who benefits? </li></ul><ul><li>Who loses? </li></ul>
  6. 6. PD models for Networked Interaction <ul><li>CALL-IS (1984)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>EVO (2001)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Webheads (1998, 2002)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Free online conferences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>George Siemens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WiAOC </li></ul></ul><ul><li>F2F conferences with rich networking potential </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning 2.0 (Jeff Utecht)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IATEFL right now, getting better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NECC in July </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The future: 25 years from now <ul><li>Hard to imagine, considering ... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extent of changes in last 25 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accelerating pace of change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social networking via social media is the new CALL; that is ... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used and promoted for education by growing number of advocates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Denied as unhealthy; even dangerous by diminishing few </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insinuating itself into our culture (Amazon, eBay) and work and social lives (Facebook)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relatively untapped potential for learning and education </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Whither CALL-IS? <ul><li>Now that the C in CALL is almost seamless, almost taken for granted, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>social networking is the new front-line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMALL? (Social media assisted LL?)‏ (… enhanced … won’t work) </li></ul></ul>THINK SMALL
  9. 9. Whither TESOL? Some givens: <ul><li>Growing numbers of teaching practitioners no longer focus professional development activities on annual conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Professional development is done </li></ul><ul><ul><li>daily (weekly, etc.)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>at individual's pace and convenience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Via Twitter, Ning, Skype, YouTube, Facebook, YahooGroups, TappedIn, WiZiQ ... </li></ul>
  10. 10. Professional Development <ul><li>Ongoing PD requires connection to a network </li></ul><ul><li>Annual conferences are good for face to face interaction and interpersonal networking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But inefficient for professional development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many conferences / schools etc require participants to leave their networks at the door </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. CALL-IS as Change Agent <ul><li>CALL-IS has a 25-year history of change agency in TESOL </li></ul><ul><li>In future, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>successful conferences and professional organizations will combine opportunities for interpersonal connection with connectivity and seamless interaction with distributed personal learning networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Those that do not will become irrelevant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CALL-IS can help bring about positive change </li></ul>
  12. 12. You can find this presentation online More presentations by Vance Stevens Vance Stevens blogs at