Technology Headlines

CoSN’s Online Community of Practice Expands

Four Key Education Leadership Associations Join CoSN’s Online Community of Practice To Address Technology Access-Related Challenges in K-12 Education

Washington, DC (June 27, 2011) – The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) today announced that four leading education associations have signed on as partners in CoSN’s online community of practice – Access4Ed.net – focused on innovative approaches to providing access to technology in K-12 schools and school districts. The associations – the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) – will participate in the online community of practice and work with other partners to tackle some of the top technology access-related issues facing educators today.

“To hone in on the best practices, policies and innovative approaches to addressing access issues in K-12, a cross-role team approach is needed, which is why we are excited to announce our newest partners,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “Access4Ed.net encourages collaborative advancement of the dialogue on access, and is a platform to share ideas, new concepts and creative thoughts, with the goal of creating tangible solutions and strategies. Representing the views of education leaders across the country, AASA, NAESP, NASSP and NSBA will provide valuable input to the online community of practice, and we are very pleased they have joined us.”

“In the fast changing world of technology usage, school boards rely on well informed district staff who are thinking and learning about the needs of their students, today and tomorrow,” said Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director of NSBA. “Access4Ed is a great resource to promote professional learning communities across the nation (or the world!) for district staff so they can tackle the challenges and opportunities of employing the latest technologies in a safe and intelligent way. Sound board policy and healthy school district practice will be the result of informed and innovative staff conversing through Access4Ed.”

"School leaders recognize how technology tools can empower students to take charge of their own learning, but progress is often thwarted by antiquated policies and insufficient resources that combine to perpetuate inequities," said NASSP Executive Director Gerald N. Tirozzi. "Access4Ed will allow principals and other school leaders to collaboratively identify ways to overcome the obstacles to equitable access while they experience the power of a community platform and model its effective use for teachers and students."

“Our elementary and middle schools are the learning portals to 21st century opportunities for our nation’s young people, and principals are central in ensuring that our students are 21st century learners,” said Gail Connelly, Executive Director of NAESP. “Access to technology is essential for every student’s academic success. CoSN’s Access4ed.net provides great opportunities to bring together principals and district-level leaders to define the challenges, share strategies, and develop best practices that will strengthen every child’s access to technology.”

“Providing access to technology has never been more important or more challenging for districts than today. Innovations such as mobile devices and broadband networks open doors for transformations in learning and leading alike,” said Dan Domenech, Executive Director of AASA. “Access4Ed.net will help our members to benefit from the experience of others and find resources that are relevant to the goals and needs of their districts.”

In March, CoSN launched Access4Ed.net, as part of a three-year initiative, Connected Online Communities of Practice, funded by the U.S. Department of Education under contract with the American Institutes for Research in partnership with five organizations, including CoSN. The online community serves district technology leaders, superintendents, school boards and educational service agencies, and many other education stakeholders. The online community of practice first focused on student-owned devices, followed by broadband. Future areas of focus may include cloud computing, mobile computing, enabling home access, wireless access and network design, among many others.

To learn more about the Connected Online Communities of Practice project, visit http://EDCOCP.org or contact project director Darren Cambridge at 202-270-5224.

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
CoSN is the premier professional association for school, district and educational service agency technology leaders. CoSN’s members are a unique blend of education and technology leaders and decision makers from the public and private sectors. The mission of CoSN is to empower K-12 district technology leaders to use technology strategically for the improvement of teaching and learning. CoSN provides leadership, community, and advocacy essential for the success of these leaders. Visit www.cosn.org or phone 866.267.8747 to find out more about CoSN’s Leadership Initiatives, annual conference and events, policy and advocacy, membership, and resources supporting and promoting leadership development to ensure that technology is used strategically for the improvement of teaching and learning in elementary and secondary schools.