Highlighting the


culture of continuous professional development through self-sustaining personal learning networks

Vance Stevens & Hanaa Khamis at the

November 20, 2019 09:00 am UC

Where in the world are you?

Links to our presentation

What is a participatory culture?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_culture

  • Participatory culture is an opposing concept to consumer culture — in other words a culture in which private individuals (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (prosumers)
  • The increasing access to the Internet has come to play an integral part in the expansion of participatory culture because it increasingly enables people to work collaboratively; generate and disseminate news, ideas, and creative works; and connect with people who share similar goals and interests

Aspects of Participatory Culture

← The dilemma

  • Knowledge is passed over from the most experienced to the novices .
  • Members feel their contributions can make a difference.
  • Participants can create and lead others in a bottom-up manner, regardless of gender, race, status, etc.

What is CPD?

Continuous professional development

  • Planned lifelong process of learning and self-development in key skills necessary for qualified professional teachers (Padwat & Dixit, 2011)
  • Managing 4 stages of development: awareness, understanding, engagement and integration (British Council CPD Framework)

What is a self-sustaining PLN?

Vance will use these examples:

Hanaa will relate her examples to those above

Electronic Village Online (EVO) 2001 to present

Vance’s Example 1: EVO

Example 2: Webheads in Action

Writing for


From 1998

Webheads in Action 2002 to the present

WiAOC 2005, 2007, 2009

Webheads in Action Online Convergences

Vance’s Example 3:


Challenges to maintain a culture of CPD

Shifting playing fields

  • Last year, loss of Google+ Communities
    Attempted recoveries to Blogger
  • This year, loss of YahooGroups user data
    Recovery to Groups.io

Thinking SMALL:

A case for social media assisted language learning

Vance Stevens, Learning2gether.net, Penang

Presented at the PELLTA Conference

In Penang, Malaysia, on April 19, 2019

Derived from panel at the CALL-IS Academic Session at TESOL Atlanta, March 2019 after having submitted write-up to proceedings of CALL Research Conference, July, 2019

Learning2gether with peers and students for 18 yrs

Anisoara asked, on March 2, 2019,
in the Webheads Yahoo Group formed in 2001

Dear Webhead friends,
I've recently learnt from somewhere about sites with free images. I saved them in some folder so well that I cannot find them anymore...
I'd be extremely grateful for other suggestions

8 replies in 6 days with 56 link suggestions
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/evonline2002_webheads/conversations/topics/32422; has been moved to https://groups.io/g/webheadsinaction/message/32367

Webheads in Action: An example of a robust CoP almost two decades

Dear Teresa, Fernanda, Mary, and Vance, what a wealth of suggestions to look through!
Thank you so much! You are my memory and my crowdsource,
Hugs, Anisoara

Anisora’s CPD

Stevens, V. (2019). Thinking SMALL about social media assisted language learning. In J. Colpaert, A. Aerts, Q. Ma, & J. L. F. King (Eds.). Proceedings of the Twentieth International CALL Research Conference: Social CALL (pp. 257-272). Hong Kong: The Education University of Hong Kong. The unpaginated PDF submitted for inclusion in these proceedings is available:


Anisora posts to Webheadsinaction Groups.io

Click here to see this thread

My point in using this example is that

  • this list has been used by a CoP in existence for 18 years
  • It is STILL responding to members’ needs in a robust and productive way.

This is quite remarkable.

Anyone can join https://groups.io/g/webheadsinaction/

Or participate in EVO sessions, http://evosessions.pbworks.com/

Anisora tells her story on ResearchGate

Abstract:... facing the challenges of no formal training, limited financial resources, and skepticism about technology-supported learning involving e-platforms and online tools in order to meet the expectations of the new generations of digital students. A brief survey of free professional development opportunities available worldwide includes hands-on peer learning workshops for English teachers wishing to teach with emerging technologies such as the Electronic Village Online (EVO) sessions of TESOL USA, followed by suggestions for developing an adequate professional learning network for further learning and consolidation.

Ways to create & collaborate through PLNs

  • Wikis
  • Google Docs, Slides, Forms, etc.
  • Facebook Groups
  • WhatsApp Groups
  • Weebly


Test how CPD-literate you are

CPD Competency

  • Training involves personal sacrifice.
  • I'm willing to spend too much time when I have workshops.
  • Presentations of fellow colleagues inspire me.
  • Training changes my teaching practices and growth.
  • Teaching and learning from my colleagues is the best training.


Rindo, A. (2016). Partipatory culture in the classroom. Retrieved from https://www.filamentlearning.com/blog/participatory-culture-classroom

Padwat, A. & Dixit, K. (2011). Retrieved from https://tinyurl.com/rwdkggq

More references and a write-up of Vance’s contribution to this talk here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tclxP0iWY8LQsBvK7QPsHX_H_hWDBtbLG5ejeE6n5rM/edit?usp=sharing

Link to these slides online https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/10mgAbhM6ZCq2TdE0x8r9J3n3vOnNwK-uICv_Ir_F8Wk/edit?usp=sharing

GEC 2019 Hanaa Khamis and Vance Stevens - Highlighting the participatory culture of continuous professional development through self-sustaining professional learning networks - Google Slides