Virginia Society for Technology in Education

Special Interest Groups

SIG Guidelines

VSTE currently has the following Special Interest Groups:

Mobile Learning SIG

Special Interest Groups of the Virginia Society for Technology in Education will follow these guidelines:

I.  General
The Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) encourages members with shared interests to network and share information within the larger structure of VSTE. To facilitate these activities VSTE has established Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to provide continuous networking and information sharing on a specific topic or area of interest to a subset of VSTE’s overall membership. SIGs operate under the aegis of VSTE and are a vital component of VSTE’s membership activities.

II.  SIG Formation
1.  SIGs may be formed by a group of members or by the VSTE Board. The VSTE Board approves the formation of each SIG and periodically reviews the activity of all SIGs to ensure they are fulfilling their mission.
2.  The official name of any SIG is: VSTE [SIG NAME] Special Interest Group (e.g. VSTE Mobile Learning Special Interest Group (VSTE Mobile Learning SIG).
3.  SIG membership is an optional addition to VSTE membership. To belong to a SIG the individual must be a current VSTE member and chose SIG membership at any time. SIG membership is free.
4.  Regardless of where the idea for the SIG starts, all SIGs must go through the following steps to be approved by the VSTE Board.

I. Contact the VSTE Innovations Committee Chairperson.

II. Write a mission statement for the SIG and background information showing how this SIG will support VSTE’s mission and goals for presentation to the VSTE Board. This statement must carry the signatures of at least 5 VSTE members in support of the formation of this SIG.

III. Provide the VSTE Innovations Committee Chairperson with these documents for presentation to the VSTE Board.

5.  Upon approval of the SIG, it will proceed into probationary status for two years. Within these years, the SIG needs to:

I.    Conduct an annual business meeting at the VSTE Conference.

II.    Elect at least two SIG officers (president, vice president).

III.    Provide evidence of year-long activity.

5.  At the end of each year, the VSTE Board will review the progress of the SIG. At the end of the second year the VSTE Board will determine if it is ready to proceed to regular SIG status by recommendation of the innovations chairperson or remain on probationary status based on the vitality of the group.

III. SIG Responsibilities
In order to be vital components of the VSTE membership services, SIGs need to facilitate information and knowledge sharing throughout the year among the SIG members. The following minimum expectations are established for SIGs, but activities beyond these are encouraged.
1.  Maintain an written mission statement updated at least biannually consistent with VSTE’s mission statement for approval by the VSTE Board.
2.  Facilitate continuous networking and information sharing among SIG member using the tools provided by VSTE.
3.  Conduct an annual business meeting at the VSTE Conference.
4.  Provide a copy of the annual meeting minutes to the VSTE Board along with new officers for the SIG within two (2) months of the meeting/election.
5.  Elect Officers according to the stated process (see past-chair duties for the election process).
6.  Communicate with SIG members a minimum of four (4) times a year (this may include newsletters sent via the executive director, announcements on the VSTE website or Ning website, webinars).
7.  Design a SIG logo for use within VSTE communications and submit to VSTE Board for approval, or request the board to produce a logo for the SIG.
8.  Participate in SIG activities at annual conference and at applicable mini-conferences.
9.  Submit newsletter content to the Executive Director by the 23rd of each month (if using as a communication medium).
10.  SIGs may not undertake or participate in any projects without VSTE’s approval and any participation must be listed as VSTE [SIG NAME] SIG. Approval must be voiced through the innovations committee chair who consequently takes special projects to the Board.
11. SIGs may not maintain any communication vehicles (VSTE Online Ning, Web sites, listserves, wikis, mailing lists, etc.) outside of VSTE.
12.  SIGs may create standing committees as required (i.e. marketing, communication, education/professional development, ISTE liaison, etc.)
13.  All SIG members must be current members of VSTE. Only the Board maintains the SIG membership list.

IV. SIG Officers and Duties
1.  President                                        

I.  Term: Two-year.

II. Duties: Solicit, organize and help select presentations for the annual conference, assist the SIG in articulating and disseminating its issues and concerns to VSTE, chair the SIG’s annual business meeting and act as the liaison between the SIG and VSTE Board, coordinate monthly communications and other SIG communications sent to the Executive Director.

2.  Vice-President

I. Term: Two-year.

II. Duties: Prepare the minutes of SIG meetings, maintain backups of SIG documents and communications, receive and manage review of conference session proposals.

3.  (Other SIG leadership roles)

I. Other roles may be recommended to be approved by the VSTE board, as needed. These might include positions to help manage membership, secretary, communications, or certain expertise with technology relevant to the SIGs theme or requirements.

4.  Outgoing President

I.  Term: Two-year.

II.  Duties: Solicit nominations and prepare a slate of officers (President and Vice-President) from within the SIG membership. Present the slate and conduct a vote of the members present at the SIG annual meeting. A verbal vote of the members present is acceptable; a quorum is not required for voting.

V. VSTE Responsibilities
To support SIGs throughout the year the VSTE Board and Executive Director support the SIG Officers as they perform the duties of their office. This support includes, but is not limited to the following required responsibilities.
1.  Designate a VSTE Board member to act as the liaison with each SIG Chair and provide support for the SIG activities.
2.  Maintain all SIG membership and budget records.
3.  Provide the SIG Chair with a membership roster and budget report.
4.  Establish and maintain continuous communication vehicles (Ning, listserve, website, wiki, etc.) for each SIG.
5.  Provide space in monthly issues of The VSTE Vision Member Newsletter for SIG information.
6.  Provide space on the VSTE website for SIG information to the SIG Web page as needed throughout the year.
7.  Conduct a yearly SIG Chairs meeting.
8.  Facilitate information sharing between VSTE and SIG leaders of each others’ activities throughout the year.
9.  Distribute, as directed, SIG information to SIG members (by printed and electronic means).
10.  Provide, as available, space at the VSTE Annual Conference for SIG activities.

VI. Budgetary Responsibilities
1. VSTE Board equitably supports all VSTE SIGs in various ways using its resources throughout the year;
2. A SIG may apply to the Board with a budget for SIG activities to cover materials or supplies. Budgets must be prepared and approved by the Board before monies are spent for SIG activities. The VSTE Executive Director is the SIG liason for budgetary requests.
3.  Funds not used within the fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) may not be carried over to subsequent years, but are returned to the overall VSTE budget.

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