' I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder how we could have tolerated anything so primitive.' John W Gardner
It is hard to believe, but in less than two months ISTE will begin accepting proposals for ISTE13 which will be held in San Antonio from June 23-26. From September 5 to October 3, educators from around the world will have the opportunity to submit their proposals. This last year I was asked to review proposals for ISTE12. It gave me unique insight into the process of how proposals are accepted and rejected.
I know so many people whose proposals were rejected. These are educators for whom I have the utmost respect. They are thought leaders in the world of education, but they were still turned away. It really bothered me to see so many people take the rejection of their proposals so personally. I have wanted to write this post ever since then to provide a little bit of insight into the process.
ISTE appoints a certain number of proposal reviewer chairs. These are people who are members of ISTE and possibly people who have signed up to volunteer. I’m not entirely certain how they are selected. Each chair is assigned to a specific strand. Each chair is also responsible for recruiting two to three people to be part of a review committee. Shortly after the submission window closes, ISTE assigns each committee 30-40 proposals to review. If I remember correctly, my committee reviewed 30 proposals and we were told we could only select two. In essence, we had to reject 28 proposals.
We had a rubric that we used for scoring. We reviewed the proposals individually then got together virtually to discuss our top selections. To say the process was excruciating would be an understatement. Some of the proposals we were forced to reject were submitted by some incredible educators.
It was just as difficult to hear some of these same educators say they weren’t attending ISTE because their proposals had been rejected. I can understand why they took it personally, but at the same time the rate of acceptance is pretty low in most categories.
In order to make sure your proposal gets the maximum number of points there are a few things you can do.
Best of luck if you are submitting a proposal for ISTE13. I hope you will consider attending even if your proposal is not accepted. Sometimes it is nice to attend a conference as a participant which is what I will be doing in 2013.