by Mary Lynam
The International Reading Association is now accepting proposals for its 59th Annual Conference, running from May 9-12, 2014 at the Ernest N. Morial Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. As in past years, the IRA will proudly provide an invaluable opportunity for thousands of teachers, administrators, and researchers to share knowledge in promotion of the best literacy instruction practices. Attendees can expect enlightening presentations on a variety of topics supporting the 2014 Conference’s theme, “Reading…The Teachable Moment.”
To submit a proposal, you must login to your profile or create a new profile at http://ww2.aievolution.com/ira1401. Then, enter the text of your proposal into the provided web forms. You may return to add new information or modify your entry before the submission deadline. Finalized proposals are due by 3:00 p.m. EST on July 8, 2013 (Tentative).
Reviewed session types for the 2014 conference are listed as follows:
- Research Poster Sessions
- Sessions/Spanish Sessions
Please refer to submission guidelines for detailed information regarding purpose, duration, presenters, meeting sites, and audio-visual equipment, as specifics are unique to each type of session.
You must choose one of the following presentation categories for your proposal (NOTE: All categories include reading, writing, speaking, listening, and motivation):
- Adolescent learners (ages 12 to 17)
- Beginning learners (ages 0 to 7)
- Children’s literature
- Common Core/State Standards
- Elementary learners (ages 8 to 11)
- English language learners
- Literacy leadership
- Literacy policy and advocacy
- Students with disabilities
- Struggling learners
- Teacher preparation/Career readiness
- Title I
Writing Proposals That Appeal to Attendees
The titles, brief descriptions, and chosen categories of accepted proposals will appear unchanged in the Convention’s printed and online programs. Therefore, consider writing these aspects of your proposal with attendees in mind. Consider the following tips to make the most of your submission:
- Aim for a shorter title. It’s true what they say; “sometimes less is more.” Although titles may have up to 200 characters, wordy titles can intimidate attendees. Using a condensed, descriptive title that packs a punch is more likely to catch the eyes of prospective audience members.
- Include relevant buzzwords in your title and brief description. Since many attendees will have an idea of what they wish to learn before reaching the conference, try using jargon that aligns your presentation material with their interests. This will guide them to your presentation.
- Strategically select your category.As attendees will be choosing sessions based on category, you should selectone that is appropriate for the scope of your presentation. By picking the category that most aptly represents your session, your audience is more likely to be satisfied with their experience.
- Avoid using the first person in your brief description. Try writing in terms of what your intended audience wants to know. When writing your brief description, communicate clearly what your session can offer attendees. For example, instead of simply mentioning that your session will be “interactive,” try specifying how. You have up to 700 characters to convey your information.
- As always, proofread your submission. Double checking the spellings of presenters and affiliated schools will go a long way to prevent confusion. If you are unsure about formatting, please refer to the IRA official style guide at www.reading.org/StyleGuide.
Criteria for Proposal Review and Acceptance
Institutes, Sessions, Symposia, Workshops
Reviewers will evaluate submissions of these session types on a scale of 1-6 based on applicability, effectiveness, differentiation, and ongoing learning. Those categories are outlined as follows:
- Applicability: The extent to which the proposal demonstrates evidence that case studies or real-life examples will be used to illustrate lessons learned
- Effectiveness: The extent to which the proposal demonstrates the content, strategy, or intervention (as described) has proven to raise achievement and/or improves teaching
- Differentiated: The extent to which the proposal demonstrates how this session will help teachers meet the needs of students who learn in different ways and who come from different socioeconomic environments
- Ongoing Learning: The extent to which the proposal demonstrates that audience members will be able to connect learning from this session with local work assignments
Evaluation criteria for research poster proposal review and acceptance are graded on a scale of 1-4. Please see the official proposal guidelines at [link] for more detailed explanations of each category listed below.
- Significance of the topic to the literacy/research evaluation
- Evidence base acknowledges relevant learning theories
- Legitimacy of evidence base for proposal, whether it is recognized as high-quality by the profession
- Quality of scholarship as judged within the research tradition
- Quality of theoretical and conceptual rationale
- Evidence base
- Clarity and coherence
- Overall quality
Applicants will receive an email regarding the status of their proposals in October or November of 2013.
Conference presenters must cover the cost of registration and all presentation expenses. However, in the case of institutes, up to 15 institute presenters get comp registration for the day of the institute and institute organizers can receive up to $350 for the costs of photocopying, mailing, and shipping materials to the location of the institute. (The deadline to request reimbursement is June 30, 2014.)
Please note prior to submission that the IRA will provide accepted presenters with a wired lavaliere, microphone, LCD projector, and screen. Presenters are responsible for all other equipment that they may need, e.g. computer adapter cables. Please note that you may need an adapter (or “dongle”) to convert from Mac computers to PC equipment. You also have the option of purchasing internet access and additional audio-visual equipment for their session. To learn more about available equipment, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact the following email addresses with queries concerning their respective subjects:
Mary Lynam is the strategic communications intern at the International Reading Association.