September 24th, 2004
(post event summary)


Session Description

Applications for the transmission of voice abound on the Internet. Their application in language learning for online students is obvious. These applications can also be used to foster language development in web-enhanced face-to-face classrooms, and can link on campus and distance students in more immediate and dynamic ways than written electronic communications.

Web-based voice applications allow remote teachers to participate in classes as guest presenters, enable real time student to student communication with classes that are geographically separate, and support asynchronous interactions via voice email and spoken threaded discussion forums. They can also be used to broadcast oral presentations to a live online audience.  

This workshop will introduce participants to the range of web-based voice tools available, and provide opportunity for hands-on use. During the workshop participants will be able to communicate with other ESL/EFL practitioners around the globe, and discuss the use of these tools in their teaching.

1.30 – 1.45 Introduction
1.45 - 2.15 Tapped In
2.15 - 2.35 Yahoo Messenger
2.35 - 3.00 Wimba Voice Boards

3.00 – 3.20 Break

3.20 - 3.45 Voice Email
3.45 - 4.45 Virtual Classroom Tools  (Talking Communities, Elluminate)
4.45 – 5.00 Debrief and Summary


Tapped In -

Tapped In describes itself as “the online workplace of an international community of education professionals.” It is principally a text based environment where you can create your own office. It is free and very supportive of class activities, and professional development.

Yahoo Messenger -

Yahoo Messenger is one of the many free Instant Messaging tools that contain good stable voice communication tools. Disadvantage: most organizations will not allow Instant Messengers through their IT firewalls.  

Wimba Voice Board – session

A voice board allows threaded spoken discussions. The board at is on loan to us from the Adelaide Institute of TAFE. Enter any screen name to post and listen to messages on the board.

The first time you use a Wimba voice board (or Wimba voice email) you will be prompted to download some Java software from Wimba).

Voice Email

1.     Wimba  -

This is the public showroom of the Wimba voice email tool, but it is free for anyone to use.

2.     Handy Bits -

A simple and easy to use voice email application that must be downloaded and installed on your pc before you use it.

Virtual Classrooms

1) Talking Communities -

This is a basic, very reliable and affordable virtual classroom that costs as little as $100 per 15 seat room per month.

Virtual Classroom for the session - Select Login Information at the top of the page, then enter any username (no password is necessary) and wait for the classroom to open.

2) Meeting Room in LearningTimes - LearningTimes is an open community for education and training professionals. Members have free access to a wide range of opportunities to interact and network with peers from across the globe.

The Meeting Room (look for this link in the left hand navigation frame). This will lead to a wonderful virtual classroom called Elluminate. This tool is expensive but LearningTimes members have access to it for free.


1.     National Voice Project - This is a current Australian project facilitated by Michael Coghlan.

2.     FINDING YOUR VOICE ONLINE - An Inquiry into the Use of Online Voice Applications in Higher Education (Knowledge Tree; edition 5; June 2004)

3.     Voice Journal: A warts and all account of activity associated with my Flexible Learning Leaders study program conducted throughout 2003.

4.     Webheads -
An online community of language students and teachers interested in exploring the application of web-based approaches in the language classroom. New members are always welcome in the Webheads.

Michael Coghlan
CLESOL Conference
September 24th, 2004
URL of this workshop: