Washington, DC–Sept. 29–The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has launched its newest leadership initiative, Value of Investment (VOI). This initiative was created to help district level technology decision makers assess the costs and evaluate the benefits of proposed technology investments before making acquisition decisions.

“Across the country, school leaders are purchasing hardware and software to enhance teaching and learning,” said Rich Kaestner, Project Director for CoSN’s Value of Investment and Total Cost of Ownership Leadership Initiatives. “With the advent of new classroom and administrative technologies, schools need a way to assess the benefits and costs of their options. Our new VOI methodology seeks to apply the business concept of ROI (Return on Investment) in an arena where outcomes are measured not in dollars and cents but in the education of our children. This new initiative provides tools to take the guesswork out of evaluating education technology projects.”

Sponsors of the initiative include Intel Corporation, with additional support provided by Gateway and SchoolNet.

“Intel applauds CoSN’s effort to support schools in making informed decisions regarding projects dedicated to improving student achievement,” said Eileen Lento, education strategist, Intel Corp. “The K-12 tool set should help the educational system answer the calls for greater accountability and prepare the students for success in the 21st century global economy by assisting school leaders in evaluating the costs and benefits of proposed technology projects.”

The Value of Investment initiative includes a web site, www.edtechvoi.org, that provides a set of rigorous assessment tools to assist education technology leaders articulate the benefits of education technology projects. The Project Cost Estimator tool helps education technology decision makers calculate the cost of and identify potential savings from proposed projects. The Project Benefits Worksheet helps school leaders demonstrate how these investments can help achieve educational goals. The tools are designed to be a companion to the well-known free CoSN/Gartner K-12 TCO tool. The project web site outlines a five-step approach for determining the Value of Investment:

1. Estimate Project Costs

2. Assess Risk

3. Calculate Anticipated Savings and Revenues

4. Measure Qualitative Benefits

5. Evaluate Results

“Though many educators and district level administrators are tasked with procuring education technologies, few have the tools they need to truly evaluate the value of their investments,” said Kaestner. “The VOI project will help these leaders to state concisely the anticipated benefits and costs of proposed projects.”

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is the country’s premier voice in education technology leadership with a mission to serve as the national organization for K-12 technology leaders who use technology strategically to ultimately improve teaching and learning. CoSN provides products and services to support and nurture leadership development, advocacy, coalition building and awareness of emerging technologies.

CoSN leadership initiatives include: Accessible Technologies for All Students (www.accessibletech4all.org); Cyber Security for the Digital District (www.securedistrict.org); Data-Driven Decision Making (www.3d2know.org); K-12 Open Technologies (www.k12opentech.org); Taking Total Cost of Ownership to the Classroom (www.classroomtco.org); Value of Investment (www.edtechvoi.org) and the development of the Council of School District Chief Technology Officers (CTO Council).

CoSN’s membership includes a unique blend of education and technology leaders, policy makers, and influencers from the public and private sectors. Our audience includes key technology leaders (often called Chief Technology Officers–CTOs) in leading-edge states and districts, policy makers, private sector leaders, as well as those technology leaders who wish to accelerate their districts’ or states’ systemic technology use. Visit www.cosn.org or phone 866.267.8747 to find out more about CoSN’s programs and activities supporting leadership development to ensure that information technology has a direct and positive impact on student learning in elementary and secondary schools.

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