Presenting at ISTE13

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by on July 15, 2012

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.

  • Submit your proposal for the category in which it fits best.
  • Select the appropriate strand. If your topic could fit in a couple of different categories then select the one where it fits best. There were a couple of proposals submitted under the strand that my committee reviewed that didn’t fit and it essentially took them out of the running.
  • Submit a complete proposal. While I realize this sounds like a no-brainer, we reviewed a few proposals that were not finished.
  • Have someone proof read your proposal for clarity as well as spelling and grammar.

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.

5 Responses to “Presenting at ISTE13”

  1.   DeLyn Beard Says:

    Hi Beth –
    Thank you so much for this information! I plan to submit a proposal in September and your post was very helpful!
    I love your blog!


    •   Beth Still Says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read this post and to share it again on Twitter. Good luck with your proposal. Hope to see you in San Antonio.


  2.   Daniel Costa Says:

    Hi Beth,
    Great site and articles! I have enjoyed your wisdom as part of my new Twitter PLN (just since ISTE12). Re: ISTE13…I have received the green light to do a QR Code installation/historical walking tour (Common Core and ISTE NETS) involving my 4th graders in conjunction with our local historical society. This will be an exciting, multi-month process. I would love to share the pros/cons at ISTE13 coming from a classroom teacher/”soldier in the field” perspective, as well as to promote the concept for state Social Studies instruction. My two questions: 1) The idea is taken straight from Mark van ‘t Hooft’s awesome ISTE12 presentation, so wonder if the concept is repetitive; and 2) I am an edtech newbie…is that taken into account by the ISTE selection committee?
    Thank you for your thoughts. Best wishes on the Digital Connections Boot Camp!
    Daniel Costa


  3.   Paul Bedsole Says:

    Hi Beth,
    I am in EDM310 which is a technology class at the University of South Alabama. We are learning a lot about technology and its uses in the classroom. Your blog was very informing


  4.   Paul Bedsole Says:

    Hi Beth,
    I am in EDM310 which is a technology class at the University of South Alabama. We are learning a lot about technology and its uses in the classroom. Your blog was very informative and easy to follow and I learned a lot about ISTE from the links you included. What I liked the most was the reason you posted and I really appreciate it. It is not often in this day and age that someone takes into consideration the feelings of others let alone makes the effort to help. I just wanted to say a big Thank You and leave it at that.

    Paul Bedsole


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