The keynoters took the stage to share what they thought ed-tech leaders should hear to get them through their own troubling times.

In the opening session for the Consortium for School Networking’s annual conference, held this year in New Orleans, the theme was “Mastering the Moment,” which referred to the country’s current budget crisis.

Starting with tables of coffee and muffins, a few hundred or so attendees settled in to glean tidbits of information from four experts in educational technology.  With the intimate setting and small prominent stage, it seemed as though the session was less glitz and glam, and more get-down-to-business.

One by one, like participants in a town hall meeting, the keynoters took the stage to share what they thought ed-tech leaders should hear to get them through their own troubling times.

“In this time of crisis, we must also understand that it can be an opportunity to strengthen investments and develop clear action plans on how we can improve schools and learning,” said Ed Zaiontz, past chair of the CoSN Board of Directors and executive director of information services for the Round Rock Independent School District in Texas.

On the federal level, Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and associate director for technology at the White House, said President Obama sees digital access and mobility as a way to seize opportunity for growth.