CoSN's new initiatives will address mobile learning and online communities.

During its annual conference in New Orleans March 15, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) launched two new initiatives: one to help school leaders understand how to lead mobile learning initiatives successfully in their districts, and the other to help them extend the reach of technology access for all students.

CoSN’s Leadership for Mobile Learning (LML) program aims to help school district leaders overcome barriers to mobile learning and develop, implement, and manage policies to effectively use mobile devices to improve teaching and learning, said Keith Krueger, the group’s CEO.

The initiative intends to provide thought leadership to school district leaders on how to leverage these tools to make a meaningful, positive impact on education at the K-12 level.

“With a recent Project Tomorrow survey showing that 88 percent of administrators and 77 percent of teachers think mobile devices in schools will increase student engagement, school leaders need solid information on how to best undertake mobile learning strategies. Mobile devices hold a lot of potential for facilitating learning both in and out of the classroom and improving educational outcomes, but we need to focus on the leadership and policies that enable that vision,” said Lucy Gray, project director of CoSN’s LML initiative. “Educational leaders need up-to-date information to make the best decisions about developing and maintaining a technology infrastructure that includes mobile devices.”

“While the LML initiative is an important, new undertaking for us, we also are leveraging CoSN-related tools and resources. For example, the new initiative will highlight CoSN’s EdTechNext report on flexible mobile platforms, two new case studies on districts leveraging student-owned devices, and our new Guide to Rethinking Acceptable Use Policies—pulling them all together under the LML banner,” explained Krueger.

The objectives of the new initiative are:

1. To highlight leadership, research, and best practices for using mobile learning devices in education;
2. To identify district policies that hinder the effective deployment of mobile learning devices; and
3. To develop strategies and tools for the successful deployment of mobile learning technologies in school districts.

The initiative also aims to provide information on the role of mobility in bridging the digital divide, technical considerations for mobile learning implementation, and the impact of mobile devices on curricular content and student achievement.