Tuesday, January 24, 2012
CoSN Strategic Plan: 2012-2015
CoSN Strategic Plan: 2012-2015
They invite your ideas and suggestions as they undertake this exciting work (send to firstname.lastname@example.org).
What’s New? What Continues?
The release of CoSN’s strategic plan for 2012-2015 coincides with the 20th Anniversary of our founding. Over the past two decades, CoSN has grown and transformed itself into the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. Our history is a rich one, demonstrating how one group can have a profound influence by providing the resources essential for advancing 21st century learning.
Looking to the future, our vision and core values are unchanged. We will continue to position CoSN as the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. We will continue to strengthen our commitment to provide the leadership, community, and advocacy tools essential for the success of education technology leaders.
At the same time, CoSN will also forge ahead with new and revised goals reflective of the ever-changing education technology landscape and designed to make us an even stronger organization offering highly valued and relevant services to our members.
These goals include:
■Seeking to close the technology access gap for learning inside and outside of school.
■Launching the first-ever aspirational certification program for school system Chief Technology Officers (CTOs).
■Building district-wide capacity for team engagement.
■Advocating the importance of investing in education technology.
■Strengthening and expanding the capacity of CoSN state chapters.
CoSN’s mission statement has been updated to reach beyond our core audience of public school districts to encompass education technology system leaders at education service agencies, and independent, parochial, and charter schools.
The Board identified five external goals focusing on closing the technology access gap, increasing CTO skills, building system-wide support for technology, advocating for educational technology, and expanding state capacity.
■Close Access Gap: Increase awareness of requirements to close the technology access gap for learning inside and outside of school.
■CTO Skills: Enhance the skills and competencies of CTOs and raise expectations as defined in the Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO and measured by certification.
■Team Capacity: Build district -wide support for technology in education through strategic partnerships and professional learning opportunities.
■Voice: Advocate for investments in education technology as a means of enhancing learning opportunities and driving economic growth.
■State Capacity: Expand the capacity of CoSN chapters by enabling professional learning opportunities and developing ability to influence state policy.
CoSN’s leadership believes that this strategic plan will enable us to continue our 20-year tradition as the premier professional association serving school system technology leaders. As we undertake the exciting work of implementing this plan, we invite you to join in our efforts to enhance learning through the effective use of technology. We welcome and invite feedback from you, our valued members.
Goal 1: Close Access Gap: Increase awareness of requirements to close the technology access gap for learning inside and outside of school.
As documented in the U.S. Department of Education’s 2010 National Educational Technology Plan and the Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 National Broadband Plan, improved educational networks are critical to support the broad range of changes taking place in education technology. A dynamically demanding education technology environment is forcing school systems to deal with major infrastructure requirements presented by common core assessments, conversion from print to digital content, mobile learning, blended instruction, virtual schooling, and personalized learning.
In this new environment, school systems need high-speed broadband and high-density wireless connectivity to meet instructional opportunities and assessment requirements. To truly embrace learning anytime, anyplace, there must be broadband home access. The growing use of student-owned devices, the necessity of protecting intellectual property rights and sensitive data in a highly distributed cloud-based instructional environment, and the creation of online learning environments that cover an appropriate range of instructional approaches and personalized learning opportunities are all placing new infrastructure demands on school systems.
CoSN has a wide range of resources to help school systems intelligently navigate through the key challenges they face. We will expand these resources and focus on providing guidance to deploy broadband networks; to support the security, safety, and technical needs existing in the school environment; and to increase the awareness of closing the access gap for learning inside as well as outside of school. Our goal is to provide school system technology leaders with the knowledge to invest wisely in educational connectivity and communication services for today and tomorrow.
Goal 2: CTO Skills: Enhance the skills and competencies of CTOs and raise expectations as defined in the Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO and measured by certification
A major ongoing priority of CoSN is to develop the human capacity in school systems around leveraging technology for transformation. In 2012, CoSN is launching the first-ever aspirational certification program for U.S. K-12 education technology leaders who are using technology strategically for the improvement of the learning process. Those who pass this rigorous certification process will demonstrate that they are committed to bringing the most current technology tools and ideas to our nation's teachers and students.
When appropriately implemented with strong leadership and a clear vision as well as sufficient professional development, technology can be profoundly powerful and transformative. With this in mind, CoSN has identified the knowledge and skills needed by school system leaders to define and build 21st century learning environments. The Framework defines three overarching knowledge areas critical to today's education technology leaders.
■Leadership & Vision
■Understanding the Educational Environment
■Managing Technology & Support Resources
Under each of these overarching skill areas, there are specific responsibilities and the knowledge needed to be a successful and effective CTO in today's educational environment.
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), state departments of education, and key corporate partners, CoSN is working with a nationally renowned exam development vendor to create and administer the CTO certification exam for Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) based on the Framework. Beta testing took place during December 2011. The first Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) certification exam is scheduled to be administered in March 2012 during the CoSN’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
As part of our new strategic plan, all the professional development offered by CoSN will tie to the Framework as we prepare education technology leaders for the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Goal 3: Team Capacity: Build district wide support for technology in education through strategic partnerships and professional learning opportunities
CoSN believes that school technology directors acting alone cannot transform education. The CTO works most effectively when part of a team that recognizes and values the power of technology to transform learning, instruction, and administrative efficiencies throughout the organization. CoSN provides a rich set of resources, educational materials, and activities suitable for all school system/school district leaders. Hot technologies and trends must be put into the context of learning with real examples of what works, what doesn’t, and ideas of how to get there from where you are today. Successful teams include the superintendent and curriculum leaders as well as experienced CTOs.
CoSN recognizes and supports school system teams with the CoSN Team Award, the Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent Leadership Initiative, and through our work with the U.S. Department of Education to leverage online communities of practice for continuous improvement. We are proud to partner with leading foundations such as the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as our collaborations with American Association of School Administrators, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the National School Boards Association.
Institutional membership in CoSN supports and assists school system leaders in building needed team capacity and provides essential membership benefits. The success of technology within a school system depends on system-wide support and leadership, and most important, a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.
Goal 4: Voice: Advocate for investments in education technology as a means of enhancing learning opportunities and driving economic growth.
Since our founding in 1992, CoSN has been committed to maintaining a strong and effective voice in policy formation and implementation at the federal level. We work to ensure that legislation supports and promotes the power of technology to transform learning. Our efforts include an annual policy summit and ongoing mechanisms to provide educators with the tools and training necessary to be powerful advocates for the value of education technology.
CoSN is a sponsor of the EdTech Action Network (ETAN), which provides a forum for educators and others to engage in the political process and project a unified voice in support of improving teaching and learning through the systemic use of technology. CoSN also publishes the Washington Update, which is a monthly members-only e-newsletter that reports on legislation affecting our school systems. CoSN will continue to expand its advocacy role and will build on its commitment to be a leading voice on Capitol Hill and with the Administration, for ed tech issues as well as a source of information in the policy process.
Goal 5: State Capacity: Expand the capacity of CoSN chapters by enabling professional learning opportunities and developing ability to influence state policy.
CoSN is committed to building a strong network of education technology leaders across North America. To accomplish this goal, we work closely with school Chief Technology Officers at the local level through a network of strong and active state chapters.
Since CoSN first changed its Bylaws in 2004 to allow the establishment of state chapters, thirteen state chapters have been launched. These chapters provide members with local access to valuable professional development opportunities such as CoSN’s CTO Clinics. Chapters also provide CoSN with the opportunity to influence state educational policy at a grassroots level and extend our national voice. Our new strategic plan includes building chapters in Canada at the provincial level.
In support of this strategic goal, CoSN created a new staff position with focused responsibility for chapter relations. This staff member will offer assistance to emerging and established state chapters as they work to become strong, vibrant chapters that provide support to their individual members. As a part of this work, in 2012 CoSN will increase the number of regional CTO Clinics from five to six per year and expand the CTO clinic reach to include members from the new region.
Posted by Fred Sharpsteen