SIIA Looks To Involve Educators via Social Network
The Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), a trade association for the software and digital content industry, has formed a partnership with edWeb.net, a social networking site specializing in the education community, aimed at reaching the site's members and encouraging them to become involved in the organization in order to raise awareness of current issues and initiatives in education technology.
Two key initiatives in which SIIA said it hopes to involve edWeb members are its annual CODiE Awards and its Vision K-20 Initiative, a nationwide survey of technology use in educational environments. "We worked through edWeb to invite educators to judge our 2010 CODiE Awards nominees and received an overwhelming response," said Karen Billings, vice president of SIIA's Education Division. "We were delighted that so many educators, who are so busy, are interested in taking the time to judge the latest education products and solutions from our members. It made sense that we tap this interest to support the advancement of our education technology initiatives."
SIIA membership is open to companies and individuals associated with those companies. However, the Education Division sought to reach out beyond the association membership to recruit knowledgeable industry professionals to get involved with Vision K-20 and to expand the judging panels for the CODiE Awards, Billings explained. In addition, she said, the division has plans to engage edWeb members in other ways, including:
- Building communities around the use of games in the classroom;
- Supporting professional development activities focused on education technology; and
- Providing updates on education funding and getting feedback from educators.
Additionally, SIIA takes an active role in supporting ed tech advancement using a variety of methods. The Education Division consults and lobbies on matters of public policy; conducts and reports research; reports on issues, events, and developments on all matters related to ed tech; organizes committees and workgroups to pursue and advance specific issues and ideas; and holds conferences and summits.
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.