ISTE Volunteer Newsletter

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION                               NOV 2008

Welcome to the November issue of ISTE’s Call to Volunteer bulletin. During this season of thanks, we can’t express enough how much we appreciate the support, creativity, and expertise our volunteers bestow upon ISTE and its members throughout the year. ISTE volunteers support so many aspects of the organization—authoring articles, leading special interest groups and social networks, creating professional development opportunities, reviewing conference sessions, and mentoring fellow educators. We know they can’t possibly hear it enough, so please join us in giving them a big “thanks!”

If you’re not already volunteering for ISTE, we hope you’ll consider ways to get involved. Read on for additional volunteer opportunities, information, and highlights.

You might wonder, “Why should I volunteer for ISTE”?  Volunteering can be a rewarding way to share your skills and give back to the educational community. Our volunteers and volunteer leaders are motivated by a variety of factors—from building their professional networks and leadership skills to furthering ISTE’s educational mission. The best volunteer relationships are equitable exchanges in which volunteers gain as much as they contribute, and we keep that in mind when creating new volunteer opportunities.

How does ISTE’s volunteer program work? Simply complete our Volunteer Intake Survey and let us know the kinds of opportunities you’re interested in pursuing. Completing our intake form will add you to our volunteer listserve and will ensure that you’re among the first members alerted to available opportunities and how to get involved. Our volunteer coordinator, Terra Sieberman, will follow up shortly with available volunteer roles, connecting you to opportunities for networking with peers, building skills, and engaging with ISTE. Keep an eye out for these communications from her in your inbox.

This month’s highlighted volunteer is Caren Levine, who serves as our lead “docent” in our Second Life community. We look forward to opportunities to profile YOU as an ISTE volunteer in the future!

Jennifer Ragan-Fore
Program Director, ISTE General Membership



To indicate your interest in one of the specific current volunteer opportunities listed below, please complete the Volunteer Intake Form and specify the particular opportunity in the “other” fill-in option under question number 4.

1. Welcome and Mentor New Members
Serve on ISTE’s official new member welcome committee, contacting new members monthly to answer questions, mentor, and share resources.

2. Select ISTE award recipients
ISTE members are often needed to judge the nominees of our various awards programs—lend your expertise to this important process.

3.  Contribute an article to Learning & Leading with Technology (L&L)
 L&L is ISTE’s flagship magazine, distributed to all members. We are always looking for interesting stories of how school or district personnel are using technology in their K–12 educational setting to improve teaching and learning.

Prerequisites: A story to tell and a way to capture that story in writing.

Time Commitment: Varies depending on article length and amount of research/writing time involved, but generally once your manuscript has been accepted for publication, it takes 2–5 additional hours.

How to Volunteer: Visit L&L’s Web site at to read the submission guidelines, then contact Editor, Kate Conley, at or 1.541.434.8926 to discuss your story idea.

4. Lead a SIG Book or Topical Discussion
Connect with ISTE members who share your interests. Choose a book, article, topic, or question to discuss in any of our virtual platforms.

5. Contribute a resource or article to the SIG Newsletter
Reach thousands of your peers with an article about hot issues, innovative projects, or useful resources. See
past newsletters.

6. Be an ISTE Second Life Docent
Welcome members and the wider educator community to ISTE’s Second Life Community. Answer questions about ISTE and educational uses of Second Life, and network with peers.

7. Serve on the Second Life Social Committee
Give input on community discussions and social themes, and help plan and staff our weekly Thursday evening Educator Socials.
8. Serve as event staff for ISTE Second Life Presentations

Serve as an usher, prep speakers, promote events via email or social networking channels, or help moderate presentations.

9. Assist new educators who are just starting out in Second Life
Help new avatars learn the basics of second life at bi-monthly workshops for new educators coming into Second Life.

10.  Volunteer for NECC
Join 18,000+ educators and be a part of the action at the world’s largest ed tech conference. Volunteers are needed for just about ever facet of the onsite event, from stuffing registration bags to assisting presenters.
Learn more.





Caren Levine, aka Claird Loon in SL
Lead Second Life Docent

As an educational consultant, Caren Levine specializes in e-learning, the use of online resources and social media for personal and professional learning, and issues of identity in a digital world.  She is also involved with the development and stewardship of communities of practice and spends most of her time working with educational organizations that provide professional development for educators.  In addition to her consulting practice, she is the director of a learning network for a non-profit organization that assists educators and non-profit community organizations in integrating new technologies into their work.

Caren states that “one of the most exciting opportunities I see in the field of education is the way in which teachers and students are experimenting with new media to deepen their learning. There are so many ways for individuals to engage with these resources, discover their voices and develop meaningful learning experiences.  The creativity is astounding!”

Caren volunteers her time as ISTE’s lead docent in Second Life, a virtual multi-user environment.  In her role she manages and trains the docents which serve shifts on ISTE Island to answer questions about ISTE and the Second Life environment.   Her involvement with ISTE as a volunteer leader provides a way for her to give back to an organization that “has played an important role in my ongoing professional growth.”  She has been affiliated with ISTE since the early 1990’s and in that time, her career has taken many paths, and throughout these changes, she has relied on ISTE to provide her with opportunities for continued learning and community.

Her experiences as a volunteer have been tremendously rewarding.  Through ISTE’s presence in Second Life, she has met wonderful, creative educators from around the world – including the ISTE staff – as well as a number of new friends who live nearby. 

In addition to work and volunteering for ISTE, Caren enjoys writing, reading, volunteering as a “reading buddy” with third graders at a local public school, and hanging out at small airports.




Start volunteering for ISTE today!


At a Glance…

Who to Contact
Questions about ISTE’s Volunteer Program? Send an email to or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Terra Sieberman, at 541.434.8906.

Why Volunteer
Volunteering for ISTE is a great way to build leadership skills, network with fellow members, and use your knowledge to provide service leadership to your peers.

Intake Survey
Completing our volunteer intake survey allows you to list your skills and interests, so we can create and offer the most relevant volunteer opportunities each month. Log in with your ISTE member number to complete the Volunteer Intake Form.

Everyone loves a pat on the back or little applause now and then! Your valuable time and dedication in volunteering for ISTE will not go unnoticed. Once a month, we will select a “Volunteer of the Month” to be highlighted in our Volunteer Newsletter and Call to Action e-mail.

ISTE is also an official Certifying Organization for the Presidents Volunteer Service Award. To learn more about this program visit If you would like to pursue this award, please contact Terra Sieberman at for more information or to get started.

As ISTE’s volunteer program evolves, we will be celebrating you in other ways as well, so stay tuned!

Posted on November 26, 2008, in Communications and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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