2020 SLATE Conference


Northern Illinois University Campus/Conference Center
Naperville, IL
November 11 - 13, 2020 - CANCELLED


THE SLATE CONFERENCE is one of the premier educational technology conferences in the Midwest, known for offering a wide variety of topics ranging from best practices and pedagogy, to innovative teaching resources and cutting edge technologies. Consistently voted "Top 10 Educational Technology Conferences in the Midwest" and "#1 Best Overall Value".  Over the years, countless individuals, representing almost 500 institutions from the Midwest, across the country, and around the world have attended this conference.


With its recurring theme of, "Build it Better", SLATE continues a long tradition of communication, collaboration, and innovation for all who attend. This annual event is held at the Northern Illinois University Campus/Conference Center in Naperville, IL (which is along the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor, thirty minutes from downtown Chicago) continues to challenge individuals, institutions, and organizations from across the country to engage in discussing the greatest challenges, hottest trends, and most common issues focused on the use and application of technology in teaching and learning.

Recognizing that deployment issues, support concerns, teaching strategies, learning styles, best practices, etc. are common among the varied CMS/LMS platforms, this conference invites all faculty, system administrators, Web developers, instructional designers, librarians, students, and user support staff from institutions that are deploying and/or currently using any Web-based tools, applications, or programs, in their teaching and learning.


Opportunities abound for you to be involved; share ideas and learn what other institutions are doing; give a presentation, participate in a panel session, lead a birds-of-a-feather roundtable, discuss best practices and shared learning issues, or volunteer to help. Choose from over fifty different breakout and learning sessions. 


Speakers are encouraged to submit proposals whose general focus is the use of technology in teaching and learning regardless of the platform or additional tools being used. Proposals that extend beyond this framework will always be considered. You will have the opportunity to meet with vendors and development partners. And remember to take some time to unwind and socialize at the conference welcome reception.


If you are selected, please view this opportunity as a commitment like any other and ensure that you are able to deliver the session by securing the support of your organization and managing your workload and to keep this time open. We understand that things do happen and appreciate your advance notice in the event of extreme circumstances that prevent your attendance.

• When will I find out whether my proposal has been accepted?
Proposals are generally reviewed and responded to by the middle of June.

• Can I request the day/time of my session? 
Yes. We will make every effort to accommodate your scheduling requests. 


•  How much time do I have to present?

Your session will be 45-50 minutes.  Adjourn your session on time to allow the room to clear before the next session begins.  There are plenty of spaces in the conference venue to continue your discussion and answer questions.

• Do I need to register to present? 
Yes. All speakers, presenters and attendees must register using one of the registration options available.

• What will be the session room setup? 
All of the session rooms will have the following standard AV: an LCD projector, screen, room speakers.  A podium or table lectern.  White board.  Classroom style or nested U-shaped seating with capacity of 32-48.  You will need to bring your own computer/laptop.

• Will I have Internet access? 
Yes. Wireless access will be available for everyone, presenters and attendees throughout the conference venue. The connection speed will be sufficient to access and navigate web pages and e-mail.


• What are my responsibilities as a presenter?

It is an honor and a privilege to be asked to speak at the SLATE Conference. By sharing your expertise, you make a valuable contribution to the profession's field of knowledge and to the individual learning of our participants.


The conference venue is located along I-88 in the Western suburbs of Chicago.  The Northern Illinois University Campus/Conference Center in Naperville, IL, provides continuing education and accreditation classes in a variety of academic programs, as well as training and conference facilities for suburban businesses and organizations. 

Most classes are offered during the evenings and on Saturdays. During the day, NIU Naperville’s meeting spaces and events rooms serve as a professional development, training, meeting, and conference facility. NIU Naperville offers multi-media learning environments, on-site technological assistance, library, food and beverage services, and free parking. 

Amenities that SLATE Conference attendees will enjoy include: 

  • Close proximity to conference hotels 

  • Free wireless Internet access throughout the conference facility 

  • Sun-lit meeting rooms with ergonomic furniture and individual climate controls 

  • Networked computer labs featuring high-speed Internet access for hands-on workshops 

  • Onsite cafe offering freshly brewed coffee and food featuring organically grown ingredients 

  • There are many great dining options that are walking distance from the NIU Naperville Campus, plus others within a 15-20 minute drive in downtown Naperville



Marriott Chicago Naperville is the preferred conference hotel, located directly across the street from the Conference Center. Complimentary wired and wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and premium TV channels provides entertainment. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, complimentary toiletries, and hair dryers. Conveniences include safes and coffee/tea makers, as well as multi-line phones with voice mail. A complimentary shuttle is available from the hotel to the conference venue (check with the hotel registration desk for each day's schedule).

A block of rooms has been reserved for conference attendees at a discounted rate of $109 per night. The special SLATE Conference rate will be available for a limited number of rooms so attendees are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible. The discounted rate offered is based on availability through October 10, 2020. The cutoff date is a guideline and does not guarantee availability.


To receive the discounted rate of  $109. per night, you must request the NIU/SLATE Conference Room Block on or before October 10, 2020.  CLICK HERE to start the online reservation process, or call: 800.321.2211 to speak to someone directly. The room block usually sells out quickly so make your reservations today.


Please review these policies which are intended to assure the comfort and privacy of all conference participants. 

  • Name badge is required and must be displayed at all times.

  • No smoking is permitted in the conference center - only outside designated areas.

  • All phones must be silenced during presentations.

  • No photography or recording is allowed during presentation without the consent of the presenter.

  • Registration to the conference is not a guarantee of seating being available in every session in the program. It is the responsibility of registrants to review the program and arrive at presentation rooms in a timely fashion. Please make use of any and all available seating, keeping personal items on your lap or beneath your seat, not on the seat next to you.



Refunds will not be issued for no-show registrants and once payment is processed a refund cannot be issued. Once your registration is confirmed you are responsible for all fees and payments. However, upon written notification, at least (ten) 10 days in advance of the conference, your registration may be transferred to another member of your organization without additional cost. 


All requests to transfer a registration must be received in writing.  Please send by fax to 815-753-6900 or email OutreachRegistration@niu.edu.


SLATE reserves the right, at their own discretion, to rescind, revoke, deny, or reject, without reason or cause, membership application or event participation.

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