The latest in an annual series of monographs about issues facing K-12 leaders in education technology has been published by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). Major concerns this year: online safety, emergency planning, digital identity management, Internet2, and standards and trends aimed at facilitating technology integration. The material also takes a look at the role of chief technology officers (CTOs) in K-12 school systems.

Each monograph includes case studies and insights from experts on how to implement emerging technology programs in schools, and on how to deal effectively with potential crises. Readers also will find information about ed-tech trends, links to resources, and professional development opportunities for K-12 technology officers.

One monograph, titled “Safety and Learning in the Era of Social Networking,” explores potential problems for users of social-networking sites on the internet. Such sites might have great educational potential, the monograph notes, but students might think–erroneously–that they are posting information about their interests, activities, and other personal details solely for their friends.

The monograph says students need to understand that their postings are usually accessible by anyone who uses the internet. It cautions that online social networking can create virtual bookmarks that could come back to haunt today’s young people later on, such as when they are in college or in a job.

Another monograph, “Emergency Planning for IT, Data, and Communications Needs,” addresses the fact that, with so many schools using technology constantly and relying on it for daily functions, school leaders also must be aware of related vulnerabilities. In addition to natural disasters, the monograph points to security and IT issues. Leaders should concentrate on trying to avoid threats as much as possible, and on developing response and data-recovery plans.

Meanwhile, a compendium entry titled “The Highly Qualified CTO” provides an overview of standards, education, and support for ed-tech leaders. While last year’s edition explored the emerging role of such leaders, this year’s delves into requirements and resources that define and support the CTO position. It also looks at how the position can differ from one school district to another, and it examines ways to help CTOs become effective leaders in technology, school administration, instruction, and business.

A monograph titled “Inventing the Next-Generation Internet” discusses Internet2 and how schools can benefit from its advanced technologies.

The compendium’s topics were selected by a committee of CoSN members, led by Anne Wujcik, who chaired the group, and Judy Salpeter, editor and publisher.

“There are so many emerging technologies and educational technology trends that this compendium could easily have been twice this size,” Wujcik said. “But we narrowed our selections down to the truly critical issues facing CTOs and CIOs.”

Keith Krueger, CoSN’s chief executive, said this year’s compendium is “loaded with ‘need to know’ information” for ed-tech leaders, including anecdotes describing best practices and lessons learned in the field. He called it “a great guide” for those “interested in leveraging technology to make a difference in teaching and learning.”

The compendium was sponsored by Apple, Dell, Gateway, HP, IBM, Mitel, Pearson Education, Safari, SAS inSchool, SchoolNet, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and Wimba.

PDF versions of this year’s monographs, as well as those from four previous annual editions, are available to CoSN members without charge. Non-members can purchase copies of individual monographs or complete compendiums through CoSN’s web site.


Consortium for School Networking