Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Vance Stevens

Vance (VanceS) is a media specialist living in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He leads the weekly Writing for Webheads: World friendship thru online language learning discussion group at TAPPED IN.

Vance's Perspective

I consider myself a teacher of English as a Second Language, having done that for the first 20 years of my career. I have been keenly interested in how computers facilitate the process of language learning since 1979, and my most recent jobs have involved management roles in CALL (Computer Aided Language Learning) and Self-Access Lab management. In 1995 I took up a 2-year position with an educational software company and it was at that time that, in order to keep my hand in teaching, I started a writing course online. Once I resumed working overseas, my online course evolved into a language learning community called Writing for Webheads. More recently, it is a teacher-training course in online community building modeled on W4W, Webheads in Action (see http://www.vancestevens.com/papers/evonline2002/webheads.htm and http://lightning.prohosting.com/~vstevens/papers/evonline2002/webheads.htm). Both communities were formed and nurtured entirely online and both have developed into supportive communities of practice where participants experiment hands-on with free online multimedia connectivity tools.

It was perhaps inevitable that such a community should gravitate toward TAPPED IN. Our community has met each Sunday noon GMT since 1998 and TAPPED IN is the portal for those meetings and proven to be our most robust environment for text chats. It not only serves our purposes in that regard but has introduced us to many other like-minded "Webheads" from among the TAPPED IN community. In addition to being the most appropriate platform for our endeavors, TAPPED IN has encouraged us to become involved with its own community development. We are highly appreciative of the support of its members, and look forward to an ongoing and long-term mutual relationship.