Updated toolkit from CoSN, AASA aims to ‘empower’ superintendents for the digital age


The toolkit marks a significant refresh of the five-year-old Empowered Superintendent program.

Leading a school system in the digital age can be hard, but a major new resource from two professional organizations might help.

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), in partnership with AASA, the School Superintendents Association, is releasing an updated toolkit as part of its “The Empowered Superintendent” program.

The first module, which focuses on the role of K-12 superintendents in leading digital-era schools, is available now. A second module, focusing on how to build a high-quality ed-tech leadership team, will come out later this month.

Both resources can be downloaded from CoSN’s website by members and non-members alike at no charge.

The toolkit marks a significant refresh of the five-year-old Empowered Superintendent program, said Keith Krueger, CoSN’s chief executive.

When the program launched in 2009, “the idea was to get superintendents to shift from thinking about technology itself to what the learning should look like with its use,” Krueger said.

And while the core themes from Module 1 remain the same—strengthening communications, keeping kids engaged, teaching digital skills, supporting professional development, and transforming assessments—there is new advice for each of these leadership areas, as well as a brand-new self-assessment tool for superintendents to rate their digital leadership skills.

“You want to be certain that the dizzying array of technology options … are selected and used strategically to support your educational vision and improve student outcomes,” the toolkit’s introduction says.

“And you want to be knowledgeable and comfortable articulating your vision to the school board, educators, parents, students, business leaders, taxpayers, and the entire school community.”

(Next page: Key advice for superintendents—and a new focus on building effective leadership teams)