For Immediate Release



For CoSN

Jennifer Cummings


Washington, DC (April 12, 2011) – The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) today announced that through a one-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the association is exploring the development and implementation of a new K-12 Technology Leadership Certification Program. The program, which will focus on current and aspiring chief technology officers (CTOs) in school districts nationwide, is being funded by NSF’s National Science Digital Library for Sustaining Broader Impacts. To kick off the program, CoSN commissioned a quantitative survey and a series of focus groups to gauge support for a certification program. Irrespective of district size or demography, a majority of superintendents, technology directors and coordinators, CTOs and other district-level technology professionals surveyed responded positively to the concept of a professiona l certification program.

“The greatest impediment to powerfully using technology in schools is neither technical nor technological – rather, it is human. CoSN’s number-one strategic goal is to ensure that educational technology leaders understand the skills they need to succeed. Those skills have massively changed over the past two decades from largely technical skills to leadership skills. CoSN’s CTO certification is designed to be aspirational and the culmination of that vision,” said CoSN CEO, Keith R. Krueger, CAE.



CoSN’s market study also revealed that of those education leaders surveyed, most stated that professional development and certification for CTOs have the potential to contribute to a school district’s success – everything from instruction to improved student achievement. Nearly 70 percent of respondents stated that they believed that district-level technology leaders should be required to have this certification as a prerequisite to their roles, and nearly 80 percent said they would be “more likely” to consider a candidate for a technology leadership role if an individual held a professional certification.

“A certification program for CTOs could dramatically elevate the profession and empower CTOs with the range of skills and abilities needed to position them as educational leaders, not just technology leaders, who can provide the vision for the role technology can play in education,” said Gayle Dahlman, CoSN’s new Director of Certification & Education. Dahlman joined the CoSN team in December 2010, shortly after the association received the NSF grant. Dahlman, who has extensive experience in managing practice analysis studies for both existing and new certification programs, is responsible for developing the certification program based on CoSN’s Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO.

Updated in December 2009, the Framework consists of four overarching essential skill areas – Leadership & Vision, Understanding Educational Environment, Managing Technology & Support Resources and Core Values & Skills. The Framework lays the ground for the nationally recognized certification program CoSN is exploring under the NSF grant. Today, CoSN hosted a Webinar for CTOs, themed “Finding Your Pathway to Success,” which was led by the Co-Chair of CoSN’s CTO Certification Task Force and two CTOs who shared how they use the Framework to guide their work and professional development.


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 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.



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