I fell in love with Elluminate Live! in 2009 during a visit to the offices of Florida Virtual School in Orlando. Now, as I am learning more about Blackboard Collaborate, I am doing the same with We Collaborate! In fact, so much so that I have built my entire five-year study on the use of vRooms for private interactions with advanced learners of English from all corners of the globe. See http://gelf.us. My C.V. is at  http://clozeonline.us/be/JoeBlum-CV.htm.


How would access to an entire classroom enhance my study?

Tremendously! Because instead of entrusting the smooth operation of individual vRooms to my newly-hired EFL Coaches, I would be able to collaborate with them and handle almost the entire project out of one or two 50-seat classrooms . . . using Breakout Rooms instead of vRooms. My training with Amanda Reed through the University of San Diego (in 2009) is bound to give me the confidence to do that effectively. I truly hope you’ll consider my global outreach project to be worthy of your generosity.

The longitudinal objective (stated at www.futureofeducation.com/profile/JoeBlum):

“If you are an advanced learner of English in a foreign country or a learner of Esperanto in any country, get in touch with me; we might be able to help one another . . . free of charge.

“Through 2016, my study will be on the use of English for discussing E:P:N Life Skills; thereafter, the study will switch to the use of Esperanto for discussing similarly meaningful subjects.

“The first will determine the extent to which private sessions, through the Blackboard Collaborate, will speed the learning process as it relates to acquiring (a) usable knowledge under pressure, (b) personal pleasure, and (c) linguistic confidence. The second will focus on whether the 4-week immersion courses, such as those on the Esperanto Island (Hainan) in South China, are able to accomplish the same but in less time.

“Yes, language learning has obvious benefits for the young; they are the ones who will most likely benefit financially. However, being a veteran coach, I side also with those researchers who recommend the use of language learning after retirement for maintaining one's mental health. 

“With this in mind, allow me to encourage you to become involved in my studies. If your focus is on increasing your income, let me help you improve your English. If your focus is already on your health and on the learning about other cultures, let me help you learn Esperanto. These two will never replace one another; they can't. In my opinion, they shouldn't even try. One, inadvertently, destroys smaller cultures; the other has proven to help preserve them. Both of them are necessary. Support the first while you need to; support the second when you think it to be wise. 

“Follow your instinct.”

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Comment by Joe Blum on July 5, 2011 at 8:58am

To help you understand the scope of the workbook, this is what booksellers have in their records:

“This LIFE SKILLS collection of 26 EPN-based blogs, conversations, and worksheets is ideal for Critical Thinking courses and upper-level debating teams in need of new subjects. The topics are pegged to the alphabet and range from Annotated bibliographies, Bullies to buddies, and Coaching (the big white lie) . . . to Xenophobia; Yes, but; and Zero charge. Other topics deal with distinguishing between Do, Have and Be; contemplating the reality of Human annuals and perennials; discussing Sports as character builders; arguing the differences between Tips, traps, tales and treasures; and debating the do’s and don’ts of Utilitarian reasoning. Whether used in conventional upper-level schools in English-spoken countries or as a workbook for foreigners learning English, this book is bound to enhance the debating skills of all who work their way through the conversations and worksheets using the sound tracks. Of course the most obvious reason for adding this book to a collegiate collection is its use for critical thinking courses. As a bonus to foreigners learning English, participation in the author’s study includes the chatting in a vRoom with language professionals on a once-a-week basis. See www.gelf.us for details. Scholarships are available.” 

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