Virtual School Meanderings

March 5, 2012

SITE 2012 – Virtual Schooling SIG Business Meeting

The Virtual Schooling SIG had their business meeting this morning at the annual Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE) International Conference. After introductions I provided an update on the status of the SIG. At present, we have 139 members. This is a significant growth over the past two years from 35 members in 2010 when the SIG first began.

This year the SIG has 12 proposals in the conference schedule, which has been a consistent rate over the past three years (see below table)

Type 2012 2011 2010
Full 5 9 4
Brief 4 4 4
Roundtable 1 1 1
Poster 1 1 3
Panel 1 1 0
Rejected 5 8 12
Not Appropriate – Referred to Another SIG 42 22 21

One of the things that has changed this year was the increase in the number of proposals submitted to our SIG that were not actually related to virtual schooling / K-12 online learning. This went from around 50% in 2010 and 2011 to over two thirds of the proposals not being related to the SIG.

As this was my third year as Chair, my terms is complete. Leanna Archambault, as the SIG Co-Chair, now takes over her three year term as Chair. When we first began the SIG, instead of having two co-chairs that shared duties, we decided to have a Chair who was primarily responsible for the management of the SIG and a Co-Chair that would be mentored into the Chair’s role (and would take over after the three year term). This mentoring would be largely explaining and modeling in the first year, beginning to share responsibilities in the second year, and a true partnership in the third year. Kathryn Kennedy was acclaimed to the position of Co-Chair for the next three years.

Following the election of officers, we discussed issues of concern to the SIG that needed to be raised at the Information Technology Council meeting tomorrow.  The main concern dealt with the assignment of reviewers.  There was also a question about the possibility of streaming sessions.  Finally, there was some conversation about doing a better job of promoting the virtual sessions and making them more a part of the physical conference.

Finally, under “Other Business” we discussed making more connections with the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), and specifically their Research SIG.  There were also conversations about the SIG doing more outreach to make SITE members more aware of K-12 online learning and what needs to be done to better prepare pre-service and in-service teachers for this growing environment.  Finally, there was some discussion about sponsoring or suggesting some of the invited sessions at SITE to give the SIG more profile.

And with that, my responsibilities as chair of the Virtual Schooling SIG have been completed.

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