Saturday, April 3, 2010

Holly's TESOL Boston 2010 photos and VoiceThreads

Here are a series of links to photos and VoiceThreads I've created relating to TESOL 2010. I will be creating more, too:
Here's a link to my blog on EnglishCafe:

and here are several other links to individual posts and to Flickr photo links:
blog/boston-flower-and-garden-show-63586 (process drama workshop at TESOL)

 Enjoy!  Your comments and questions are welcomed,

It's About the Community and Networking

Boston has been dear to my heart for so many years now. My sister lived there for 13 years, and when I was in the US, I'd spend my summer with the boys there. Great memories and just fantastic to be there with friends, meet other like-minded educators, and the highlight always, the Webheads!

It was a super intense week, first enjoying the city, then immersed in the Convention Center in betweent the Leadership Certificate, presentations, webcasts. Though I saw some nice presentations, the networking and exchange of ideas is, for me, what truly matters, for today in this virtual world, you can learn almost anything from others. In fact, I learn much more from my online circles than at conferences where there are so many variables until you get to a very nice presentation. I'm not saying the f2f conferences are irrelevant. On the contrary. Nothing better than a tight hug and a new acquaintance. However, the online formats for learning we see nowadays are certainly very powerful ones and more sustainable along time.

Here are some of the academic highlights in Boston that I'd like to share with you:

Webcasts recordings at

Howard Gardner's Plenary Session

The Reading Brain Plenary Session with Dr. Maryanne Wolfe

Presentation Skills by Thom Upton

Interesting Power Point Presentation from presenters in TESOL available at

As for the social part, I guess the images are worth a thousand words! Thanks again to my dear friend Dennis Oliver for the wonderful red roses and to Tom for findind such a lovely Italian restaurant for our get-together. Cheryl Oakes came from another state only to have dinner with us! Webheads rock!

Friday, April 2, 2010


Friday was another raw, blustery day in Boston--it even snowed in the morning. What's with that? I travel from Canada and get snowed on in Boston! The weather was better back home--a balmy +14C.
I did better today with the sessions that I went to; I stuck to the CALL ones. I'm always looking for ideas that can be incorporated into my strange, totally asynchronous teaching environment. I call it the revolving door--students in and out all the time; others call it the revolting door. It does have its advantages, but it does lead to some constraints in teaching.

A group of eight of went for dinner that evening--we went to the No-Name on a wharf within easy walking distance of the Convention Centre. Photos are of Aiden and Buth, ,Nina, Aiden and Silence in the foreground ( the mystery woman whom we met on her way out of the ev.
The seafood meal was great--delicious chowder, followed by fish and chips. That's the English in me coming out. The restaurant even had malt vinegar.
The last photo shows Buth, Cara, Tom and Ibrahim.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I was honoured to be part of the group of webheads on hand to cheer for Elizabeth when she received her award last Friday. It was a very special occasion--congratulations Elizabeth:-))
It was also a nice opportunity meet with Aiden and Buth for the first time.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Volunteering at the Electronic Village on Thursday morning gave me an opportunity to meet several friends from my previous conference in Seattle--hugs all around from Nina, Carla, Erika, Tom, and Rita. Some sessions were good, some not so good--I often wish that presenters would provide more accurate abstracts! After that, I resolved to stick with CALL presentations. Dinner was great--the restaurant was excellent (thanks, Tom) and the company was the the best:-)) And it's always good to meet new webheads--sorry I don't recall all the names.

A Week Ago--Touring Boston

It was exactly a week ago that my colleague, Cara, who promises to join ev online next year, and I toured Boston on a very blustery day. We took the Super Trolley--a hop on and hop off affair, but given the cold wind, we didn't do much hopping off. I did get a photo of the famous Cheers, and here's another one of spring trying hard to put in an appearance.

After that we went to the Boston Aquarium; it came highly recommended, and it was worth the trip. Note the fancy seahorse--actually called a leafy seahorse--and the fish whose name I've managed to forget.

Dinner was at Dick's in Quincy Market --it was best bib and tucker; the
plate was a sheet of grease-proof paper on the table, the food was served in a bucket, but here's Cara digging in and enjoying!

TESOL 2010

This is the restaurant where we went on Sat.; it was an old fish market on the harbor & was wonderful!

Thanks for making the blog, Nina! I had a good time in Boston, but it was too short, and I missed some webheads and that makes me sad. Thanks for the roses, Dennis; as usual they brightened up the rooms they were in and gave some continuity to webheads gatherings; I think we've had roses at each one? Anyway that part was fantastic.

Thought I'd share my presentations with you, if anyone is interested, and if I make pop art from the pix below I'll point you to that too.

Next year (New Orleans) is a little bit more in my territory; hope to see you all there!
-Tom Leverett

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunday (Nina)

 I got back to Bijou's apartment around 5:30 and found Bijou and her daughter Lila (who is an ESL aide in a western MA high school!) preparing for the party in my honor at 7:00.  Almost all my Boston area family came, and we enjoyed delicious food and conversation until midnight, when I fell into bed, absolutely wiped out!  

This morning I awoke "late" (7:00) and dropped in at Tapped In for a while before breakfast. I spent a blissful day in Bijou's apartment doing absolutely nothing and only going out to walk the dog around the block--wonderful after the past four frenetic days! Bijou drove me to the airport, Christoforos picked me up at BWI, and I was home around 9 pm Sunday night.  A very full  five days! Thanks for reading.