We Need Your Session for VSTE 2017!

Our annual conference is just a little over three months away, and anyone who has attended this event in past years can tell you to expect three packed days of learning, interaction, and fun. But that experience doesn’t happen by itself and the conference committee is now gearing up to put all the arrangements in place.

Makey Makey MusicHowever, what really makes a great conference is not noted keynote speakers (although we do have them) or a big vendor floor (also part of VSTE) or parties (are you ready for some karaoke?). No, a great conference is due to educators like you.

Teachers, librarians, TRTs, and other talented people who are willing to share their experience and knowledge with the larger VSTE community. The vast majority of VSTE sessions feature educators from all over Virginia who are working to improve the use of technology in our classrooms. They are largely responsible for making sure everyone leaves the conference with heads full of great ideas and renewed energy to help students become superpowered learners.

All which means we need you to submit a proposal to present at the conference. Yes, you!

No matter how long you’ve been an educator, you have experiences that can benefit your colleagues. Maybe it's a project or activity that makes great use of tablets. Or a new approach to using Google Drive. Or a new approach to creating a maker space that students flock to.

Don’t assume what you’re doing is old news, that everyone already knows about it. Your special expertise could help other VSTE members become better educators, and in turn, benefit their students. And don’t be afraid to consider creating a presentation out of that far-out idea you have in the back of your head. You may just find a like-minded community to help you expand even farther out!

So, how do you submit a session proposal for the VSTE conference? It’s easy.

First, decide whether your presentation will be a traditional one-hour lecture/demonstration or a two-hour fifteen minute BYOD hands-on session.

Then sit down and write an outline, maybe working with a colleague who will be your co-presenter.

Define the important parts of your presentation. Just as you would for a student lesson or activity, be clear about what you want your audience to know and be able to do when you finish.

Finally, write a good title and description for the program. One that will both tell readers what they will learn and also sell the session to your potential audience. The description should include both the tools and ideas you will share, and the technology standards you will be addressing.

Be specific about your audience. There are presentations that apply to general audiences, but many sessions work better when you plan with a specific subject area and grade level in mind. VSTE serves many different constituent groups and we want to make sure we have sessions that target specific needs, as well as sessions that apply to all.

And try to find ways to weave our theme, “SuperEmpowering Kids & Learning”, into your session description and title. Think of fun ways to incorporate the theme into your session! Spandex, capes, and superhero masks are optional.

Now that you have your great idea and session proposal, submit it here. (You’ll also be asked for some basic information about yourself.)

But get it done by September 15. Because December 3rd is coming fast. The planning committee is looking forward to reading your great idea for a session and adding it to the 2017 VSTE Conference program.