The next item that I am blogging from the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE) International Conference is the Virtual Schooling SIG business meeting. As this is the first year since the SIG was created where I haven’t been the SIG Chair, I don’t have all of the specific details of the number of submissions and the breakdown of those submissions. I can say that there are 44 sessions that are in the program under the Virtual Schooling SIG. However, I can also say that at least 15 of these sessions accepted into the SIG had nothing to do with K-12 online learning. There were also at least two presentations that were focused on K-12 online learning that were submitted to the Distance/Flexible Education SIG and the Equity & Social Justice SIG respectively.
The session began with some introductions, followed by a reminder for folks to join the SIG (it doesn’t cost anything). Leanna graciously focused a good three-five minutes plugging this blog (thanks Leanna!!!).
The official statistics were 62 submissions, 43 were accepted. Leanna noted a perennial problem continues to be that many proposals are not K-12 online learning focused (as I noted above). We had a significant discussion about reviewing – encouraging folks to sign up to review – and some of the issues with the consistently higher scores given to AACE proposals across the board.
Some of the issues that we need to address: a continuing distinguishing of ourselves from the distance education SIG – more for the rest of SITE than for ourselves. The chairs do a good job behind the scenes of trying to weed these submissions out – but if other SIGs better understood what Virtual Schooling SIG was it would help.
Another item of new business was increase collaboration with iNACOL – largely due to the fact that the Co-Chair is Kathryn Kennedy (who is also the Researcher for iNACOL). For example, the call for proposals of SITE was announced at the Virtual School Symposium this past fall.
There was information about a series of special issues that we have in our field. An up-coming call for articles for a special issue of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education that is coming out soon (and I’ll post it here when it becomes available). The recent special issue of the American Journal of Distance Education that Leanna, Meredith and I guest edited. Also, the soon to be published special issue in the Journal of Flexible, Open and Distance Learning guest edited by Keryn and I.
On the research opportunities from… iNACOL is establishing an online, open access journal that will be released soon. There is also the up-coming research blog that iNACOL is establishing. iNACOL has also introduced a monthly research webinar. Finally, iNACOL will be piloting a proceedings document for the next Virtual School Symposium for those who select the research thread.