CoSN2021 Call for Educator Session Guidelines

CoSN (The Consortium for School Networking) invites you to submit an educator proposal for the CoSN2021 Conference professional development program.

The CoSN annual conference is the largest gathering in North America for education and education technology leaders in the K-12 education sector. It’s the place where school district/system education leaders reconnect, meet new colleagues, get introduced to new ideas, and is THE place for the best and the brightest in the field to show their stuff.

CoSN2021: Brave and Bold

Now is our moment to lead.  This requires a new vision for what learning looks like going forward – one where technology is embedded by design and accessible for all.  This moment requires brave and bold leaders that take courageous actions.  It is time to rethink assumptions about learning and leadership ecosystems.  Join us at CoSN2021 as we pivot forward.


Proposal Design and Guidelines

CoSN’s professional development educator sessions provide learning opportunities that are curated to provide attendees with tools and knowledge to strengthen their professional practices.

Educational leaders are invited to submit up to TWO (2) proposals to lead educator sessions. Session proposals should include complete details and focus on strategies for effective learning with technology, sharing tools/resources and insights into trends and practice for scaling innovation and improving the enterprise of education.

Sessions that meet all criteria listed below will be given full consideration. If elements of a proposal are missing, the proposal will not be considered.

If you have any questions, please contact the conference programming team at speakers@cosn.org.

NOTE: This form is for educator sessions ONLY. If our corporate partners are submitting a proposed educator session, all speakers must be current, active educators.  If you would like to explore presenting a session as a vendor, please email Caroline Rinker at sponsorship@cosn.org to discuss options.


Guiding Principles

The CoSN2021 conference will include high quality breakout sessions by practicing educational leaders.  Our goal is to provide high quality professional development sessions that explores and discusses critical education/edtech issues, best practices, trends and insights.

We value equity, diversity, inclusion and access for all people as core principles in our work. Conference sessions will reflect and model these values in subject matter, speakers and panels.

We encourage sessions that highlight more than one school district/initiative. 

We value sessions that are interactive and stimulate peer learning in a variety of forums.

We encourage session submissions that:

  • Reflect diverse perspectives and needs, such as those of rural districts, urban, high poverty, consortiums, and independent/private/parochial/charters.
  • Address different staff roles and responsibilities in scaling innovation with technology (superintendents, CTO/CIOs, heads of academic, business officers and partnerships.
  • Target individuals at specific points in their careers and levels of experience (entry/mid/advanced)
  • Does not promote a product/service

Educator sessions that are structured to encourage these principles will be given priority.


What our attendees expect:

  • Content that is new and enables a dive deep
  • Practical takeaways they can use immediately and share with colleagues
  • Interactive sessions with discussion, Q&A or hands-on learning

What our attendees do NOT appreciate:

  • Content that is common knowledge and surface level
  • Sales pitches or company promotions
  • Talking heads with little engagement

Areas of particular interest include

AccessibilityDiversity, Inclusion, & EquityGlobal Trends and Leadership
CybersecurityEmerging TechnologiesInnovative Strategies
Data PrivacyE-Rate and State/National EdTech PolicyInteroperability
Digital Equity/Closing the Homework GapGame-Based LearningOnline and Blended Learning

We will be looking for session type that fall into one of these four formats

Panel Discussion: 2-4 presenters share case studies or expertise on a topic before opening to discussion and Q&A

Roundtable Conversation: Moderated group conversation on a theme or topic. Highly participatory.

Solo Presentation: An expert on a topic shares findings, case studies, practices or methodologies before opening to Q&A.  NOTE: We may ask you to co-present with a complimentary presenter to enable more than one example.

Workshop:  Longer, participatory session in which participants are guided through engaged activities presented during the CoSN2021 pre-conference


Successful Proposals

Due to the significant number of education session submissions we receive each year, not every submission can be selected. Strong submissions feature:

  • Actionable takeaways for attendees: what is the tangible impact of your talk on attendees and their teams?
  • Active educational leaders. Sessions presented by corporate representatives are disqualified for this educator track unless they are simply serving in a facilitator/moderator role.
  • Clear focus on who the target attendees are: Strong proposals identify
    • Who would benefit most from your presentation? and,
    • What specific proficiency or career level is required to easily digest your presentation?
  • Unique or non-obvious applications and insights into edtech practice, including leadership, innovation and scalability
  • Engaging, inspiring and interactive (not just talking heads)
  • Diversity of the field reflected among speakers/panel (e.g. race, gender, geography, professional role, etc.)
  • Presenters with timely content and knowledge to share what is of import to the field
  • Preference will be given to sessions with all speakers confirmed

Proposal Requirements

  • Session lead (person proposing or organizing the session) must be, or agree to register for the conference by TBD to present a session.  You will also be given the option to apply for a virtual presentation.
  • Session title may be no longer than ten (10) words and session description may be no longer than fifty (50) words.  Shorter is better.
  • Sessions can have no more than four (4) speakers, including the moderator or facilitator.
  • If proposing a session with more than one speaker, you must include all proposed speaker names in order for the proposal to be considered.
  • If you are suggesting a speaker that is not confirmed, you must indicate it in the proposal
  • Session must connect to one (1) of CoSN’s Framework of Essential Skills
  • Session lead can only select one (1) area of interest when submitting.
  • Each submitter can only submit up to two (2) submissions for consideration.

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • Call for Proposals Open: June 15, 2020
  • Deadline to Submit Proposals: July 30, 202
  • Acceptance Notification: September 20, 2020

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