Virtual School Meanderings

April 6, 2020

SITE 2020 And K-12 Online Learning

So the 2020 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education begins today – although in a virtual, fee-based format.  In looking over the conference program, here at the K-12 distance, online, and blended learning sessions I was able to identify (which is actually quite easy, given you have the “K-12 Online Learning” SIG which you can search for, and then do a bit of additional searching based on common phrases.  Anyway, this is what I came up with…

Tuesday, April 7

Wednesday, April 8

Thursday, April 9

Friday, April 10

Virtual Papers

I’ll be honest and say that I’m said to be missing on some of these topics.  Unfortunately, my university isn’t funding any conferences right now and I’m not shelling out the $250 from my own pocket.  Just wished SITE, as the “friendly society,” had taken their lead from AERA on he pricing issue.

March 31, 2020

FREE Workshops At SITE 2020 Online

Note these opportunities at the up-coming online version of the annual Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education conference.

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Register Now

Register By April 7

FREE Online Workshops
SITE 2020 will feature 3 FREE Workshops for all registered participants.These workshops, presented Tuesday April 7, will feature research on Social Media, Online Instruction, and Designing New Learning Spaces.

Given the current environment and challeneges facing educators, these three workshops could not be presented at a better time!

More About Workshops

SITE 2020 Online is excited to offer Innovators Playground Sessions!Innovators Playground showcases new innovations in education from organizations and communities across the globe!

Attendees can experience the top creative and learning technologies in an interactive space. Practitioners will share activities, tools, curriculum currently experiencing success using at their institutions!

More About Innovators
Follow us @SITEConf and tag your tweets with #SITE20
Accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings
& internationally distributed by

March 26, 2020

Register For SITE 2020 Online!

If you want to pay the regular “virtual participation” rate, you might want to consider this conference.

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Presenters: Register & Confirm By April 1

Attendees: Register By April 7

Register Now
SITE 2020 Online – April 7-10
As a leading learning & technology organization, we have the knowledge, experience and tools to meet, interact, and share our ideas as a community streamed live from across the globe.

We now offer the experience of the SITE 2020 Conference, online! Join us for live interactive Keynote sessions, 100s of live and asynchronous presentations, Workshops, Innovators’ Playground room, “SITE 180” Posters, Special Interest Groups, Tips & Strategies rooms and More!

Authors: If you’ve already registered, confirm your sessions and upload all files by April 1.
Attendees: To participate, simply register anytime before April 7.
We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone. We deeply appreciate everyone who has already committed to joining us at SITE 2020 Online and we look forward to bringing you the best online conference possible.
Thank you for being a part of this crucial moment in SITE’s legacy.
Follow us @SITEConf and tag your tweets with #SITE20
Accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings
& internationally distributed by

March 23, 2020

Perceived Missteps With The Virtual SITE 2020

So as was announced last week – and posted here at SITE 2020 New Orleans Shifts To A Live Virtual Conference – the annual conference for the Society of Information Technology and Teacher Education has shifted from an in person conference in New Orleans to a virtual format.  This move has been a common one among professional and research associations – really anyone who has been scheduled to host a conference in the next few months (i.e., go virtual or just cancel).  For example, the largest educational research organization in the United States – the American Education Research Association (AERA) – did the same thing about three weeks ago (see Announcement Of 2020 AERA Annual Meeting Change).

However, there were some important differences between what AERA did and what SITE (and too many others have done).  The first main difference between the virtual conference that AERA is hosting, compared to the virtual conference that SITE – the “friendly society” – is hosting is the registration.  AERA chose to make their conference available to anyone for free, whereas SITE is charging the same virtual registration rate as they would have regardless if the conference had occurred in person.  Essentially, SITE has always had a virtual registration option where you could record an asynchronous presentation that was made available within the conference system and that same system would allow conference attendees to interact and participate in a discussion with the presenters.  You can find these registration rates here (and I’ve re-produced it below).

Registration & Payment Received: Before Mar 16, 2020 After Mar 16, 2020
SITE/AACE Member $445 $495
Non Member $565 $595
Student Member $225 $225
Student Non Member $265 $295
K-12 Teacher $225 $265
Virtual Participation $245 $245
Workshops $35 $35
Lunch Event (if offered) $25  $25

There are two things I find interesting about this…  The first thing is that there has been no reduction in the rate for virtual attendance, even though the entire conference is virtual now.  And there has certainly not been an elimination of the registration rate altogether – as AERA had done.

The second thing I find interesting is the lack of accommodations for student pricing.  If students were attending the actual conference, the registration rate for them was about half of what it was for a regular attendee.  However, the first participation rate is the same regardless if it is a student or faculty member.  In fact, the virtual participation rate is $20 more expensive than the student rate – and I have had a couple of students raise this issue with me.

I’m not sure if SITE thought these things through.  I do know that they were hard pressed to cancel the in person conference in the first place – and quite late in doing so because the hotel wouldn’t let them until the situation absolutely required it (readers may recall the entry entitled “Request For SITE Related Non-Travel Documentation” where SITE was trying to make their case to the hotel).  However, they also haven’t taken steps like the Invitation To 2020 AERA Annual Meeting “Briefing And Listening Sessions”—Week of March 9 that we have seen AERA take to explain to their membership and former attendees of what was happening, why it was happening, and to get some thoughts from those impacted on how to move forward.  A little disappointing on several fronts from the “friendly society”…

March 17, 2020

SITE 2020 New Orleans Shifts To A Live Virtual Conference

The original virtual registration rate – when they were having a face-to-face conference – was $245.  It’ll be interesting to see if the life virtual conference follows the pattern of AERA (i.e., free) or some of the other organizations (like QM, which is still charging $200+ for their virtual conference).

SITE - Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education

SITE 2020 New Orleans Shifts to a Live Virtual Conference

Dear Michael Barbour:

We are writing to inform you that the SITE — Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference will shift to a Live Virtual Conference (synchronous + asynchronous) for 2020 instead of an on-site conference in New Orleans this April.

The Decision:

SITE leaders have weighed heavily over this issue the last few weeks to not only consider the health and safety of all but also consider those who still plan to be in New Orleans. This dilemma and final decision was complicated by the conference hotel who would not allow SITE to cancel its hotel contract without a major financial penalty.

Therefore, negotiations have been underway the past 2 weeks to mitigate the financial damages to SITE. Fortunately for SITE, the Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, when he declared no events of over 250 people were allowed, the negotiations were finalized. This has enabled SITE to publicly announce the shift from the on-site SITE 2020 in New Orleans to the SITE 2020 Virtual Conference.

It is of utmost importance that the SITE community annually gather to discuss the latest research, practices, and innovations. This is why the Executive Committee has been working diligently to prepare a live virtual conference with the same amount of engaging and informative interaction!

Next Steps:

The cancellation deadline of March 16 is waived. Registrants will be contacted directly by the Business Office regarding existing registrations, virtual conference registrations, future registration credit, refunds, and donations.

In the coming weeks, you will receive detailed information via email and on the SITE website regarding the virtual SITE 2020 Conference–presenting virtually, participating, Proceedings publication.

Guest Room Reservations:

If you have booked a guest room at the Marriott New Orleans, currently, we believe the same cancellation hotel regulations apply with no penalty if cancelled 72 hours before your reservation. You must cancel your hotel reservation by visiting the SITE reservations link HERE or calling the Marriott New Orleans directly by phone at : +1 504-581-1000 or +1 888-364-1200. SITE will not make adjustments to flight arrangements. We are looking into, but cannot control, flight cancellations costs, some of which carry change fees.

The Future:

The SITE annual conference will not be deterred but rather will shift to a virtual event in 2020. And as a technology and learning organization, we have the knowledge, experience, and tools to meet virtually as a community to interact and share our ideas. Two years without SITE conference interaction is too long!

SITE, ‘the friendly society,’ will emerge from these unsettling times stronger with your help and the leadership of the Executive Committee.

More details to follow soon…

Best regards,
Gary H. Marks, SITE/AACE Executive Director
Sarah Duke Benson, SITE/AACE Conference Director

Conference Services
AACE–Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education
PO Box 719
Waynesville, NC 28786-0719
Phone: +1 (828) 246-9558 * Fax: +1 (828) 333-5608
E-mail: *

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