Spotlight Sessions

CoSN Spotlight Sessions showcase key leaders addressing issues currently at the forefront of the education technology field!

Designing Technology for Personalized Learning
Presenter: Bryant Wong, Chief Technology Officer, Summit Public Schools

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 8:00 am – 9:00 am

The technology team at Summit Public Schools has worked to create a technology solutions aligned to our organization’s mission and optimized for personalized learning. In the process, we have also transformed the team from a support function into a team that consistently adds value to the organization and is accountable to academic outcomes. This session will cover our team’s evolution, design principles and how our team sets students up for success on Summit’s personalized-learning platform.


Silicon Valley Secrets: What School Leaders Need To Know about Technology
Presenter: Betsy Corcoran, Co-founder and CEO, EdSurge

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 9:15- 9:45 am

Implementing new education technologies can be done well–or it can be a painful experience for all stakeholders and have a marginal impact on outcomes. In this presentation, Betsy Corcoran, former technology editor for Forbes, The Washington Post, and Scientific American, and the cofounder and CEO of EdSurge, will share the insights and analysis from the five years of reporting and research her team has done on what educators need to know about technology before embarking on this path and what works or wastes time in edtech implementations. Betsy’s presentation examines this process from consensus building through evaluation to professional learning support. She offers insights from survey research, dozens of focus groups across the country, and the extensive reporting done by the EdSurge editorial team. Join Betsy and take away a list of things to do and things to avoid when making edtech decisions to ensure longevity and success.


What Keeps Superintendents Up at Night?
Mark Benigni, Superintendent, Meriden Public Schools

Bill Shields, Superintendent, Community Consolidated School District 93
Susan Patterson, Superintendent, Cullman County Schools
Dave Schuler, Superintendent, Township High School District 214

Jim Roberts, Superintendent, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 10:00- 11:00 am

Superintendents face major challenges and concerns with running a district in a time of rapid change with technology and innovation even as they recognized tremendous opportunity. This panel will surface and discuss challenges and will also share strategies and lessons learned with the audience.


Redefining Ready! Our Students are MORE than a SCORE
Presenter: Dave Schuler, Superintendent, Township High School District 214

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 11:15- 11:45 am

Redefining Ready! is a national campaign launched by the AASA (The School Superintendents Association) to introduce new research-based metrics to more appropriately assess that students are college ready, career ready and life ready. The campaign is a response to dismal college and career readiness scores reported by standardized test makers that fail to portray a comprehensive picture of student potential. Our nation’s high schools provide students with rigorous academic programs, personalized and career-specific learning experiences, along with social and emotional skills that prepare them to be global citizens in an ever-changing world. Students learn in a variety of ways. They should be able to demonstrate readiness in a variety of ways. The new readiness indicators, developed from research by world-class organizations, more accurately reflect the educational landscape of the 21st century. Multiple metrics include Advanced Placement courses, Algebra II, early college credits, industry credentials, attendance, community service, among others.


Leave No Child Offline: Why Equity and Access to Digital Tools, Resources and the Internet are of importance to the Future of our Nation
Presenter: Darryl Adams, Superintendent, Coachella Valley Unified School District

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 3:15- 3:45 pm

Digital Equity and Access in the 21st Century is crucial to students being able to compete on a global level. There are few places in society where technology is not utilized or playing an important role. Questions that I will answer for audience members are as follows;

  1. What resources does your organization need to garner to ensure that digital equity and access is afforded to those you serve;
  2. The Why, How and When of digital conversion for all;
  3. How does the new ESSA legislation supporting digital equity and access impact the future of educational technology in light of the perceived policies of the new Trump administration?;
  4. How should instructional and engagement practices change in order to incorporate personalized learning, blended learning, online learning and learning modalities not yet on the horizon;
  5. What does College, Career  and Citizenship preparation look like in a digitized school environment and how to ensure that All means All;
  6. What does the future hold for digital equity and access for all; Can we get this done in America?


Personalized Learning Student-Centered Approach to Preparing Students for the Future
Presenters: Thomas C. Murray, Director of Innovation, Future Ready Schools, Alliance for Excellent Education
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 4:00-5:00 pm

School districts around the country are inventing the future today, dramatically changing the culture and structures of their schools to personalize learning and achieve exciting results for students, including low-income students and students of color who make up an ever-growing percentage of today’s public school population. In this session you will learn how District 62 in Des Plaines, Illinois, is utilizing the National EdTech Plan and the Future Ready Schools Project to drive their work in empowering students, building student-centered classrooms and creating improved and innovative opportunities for their diverse student body. You will also learn more about the nationwide trend to personalize learning and how you can tap into the Future Ready Schools Project to help your district take a more student-centered approach to teaching and learning.


Inspiring Students: Bringing Awe Back to Learning
Presenter: Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership, International Center for Leadership in Education

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Awe is a huge component of life—it’s hardwired in our brains. When we experience the sensation of awe, we are consumed by wonder, relevancy, emotion, engagement, inspiration, and real-world connections. Awe is a driving force for learning that will not just benefit our students now, but also well into their future. However, traditional views and functions of school deprives many students from experiencing the joy and power of awe as a catalyst for meaningful learning. During this session, Eric will share innovative, research-based practices that you can implement to bring back a sense of awe to learning.


The Consumerization of Learning
LeiLani Cauthen, CEO & Publisher of the Learning Counsel

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 9:15 am – 10:15 am

Learn about the disruption at hand for the way leaders lead education digitally. If schools fully discover and adapt around the ingenuity of consumerized learning, it has the power to give teachers back quality time with students. Hear practical leadership advice combined with valuable education market insights from the dynamic founder of the Learning Counsel and author of the book, The Consumerization of Learning.

During her spotlight talk LeiLani will touch upon:

  • The 2016 Digital Curriculum Strategy National Survey findings.
  • Sustainability in the age of digital management for schools.
  • The end-point of digital transition: maximized live experience and quality digital learning, also known as Expo Education.
  • A software model architecture.
  • A digital curriculum evaluation matrix and how to use it.


Expanding Teacher Leadership in the Digital Age
Presenters: Barnett Berry, CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality, and Emily Vickery, Learning Architect, Consultant, Vickery Learning

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 10:30-11:30 am 

Emerging technologies open new possibilities for teacher leadership. In this conversation, learn about efforts to reshape the educational landscape by expanding teacher leadership including by leveraging the power of technology to create a better future for all learners. Uncover reimagined school models, such as in the League of Innovative Schools, Teacher-Powered Schools lab, and the growth of the Maker Movement. Discover the changing role of teacher leaders as teacherpreneurs in hybrid roles, where teachers lead without leaving the classroom. And, learn about shifts in professional learning strategies that enhance teacher collaboration, including Leadership Coaching and the networking in both virtual and face-to-face professional learning communities (PLCs). Panelists will also discuss the growing significance of micro-credentials (competency-based recognition of educator development).


Learners at the Center: A Change Management Process for Personalized Learning
Presenter: Shawn Rubin, CEO, Highlander Institute

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 1:15-1:45 pm

Classrooms are not reflecting the shifts that our 21st century universities and workplaces are demanding, nor are they serving our students as well as they could in this emerging digital age. Educators, politicians and parents are playing catch-up to find ways to better prepare our schools for the complex shift to personalized learning. In Rhode Island, Highlander Institute has been deeply engaged in studying national models, innovations, theories, and research around blended and personalized learning to support implementation efforts across the state. Watching this work evolve over the last five years we’ve learned that most efforts fall flat when large scale, unproven products are applied to large swaths of teachers with minimal training and little connection to a larger vision for change. Instead, we’ve found success when focused leadership identifies a small group of growth-oriented teachers to help in co-developing a vision and system to drive behavior at scale. This session will be both a case study around the growing movement and demand for personalized learning in Rhode Island as well as a practical explanation of Highlander Institute’s district change development framework.


Horizon Report: Pressing EdTech Developments in K12
Presenter: Samantha Becker, New Media Consortium

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 2:00-3:00 pm

What are the hot topics that all K12 leaders need to know about? Join us as we explore the interim results for the next edition of the NMC Horizon Report K12 Edition, produced in partnership with CoSN. A panel of experts has selected the top 12 trends, 12 challenges, and 12 developments in educational technology poised to have a tremendous impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry over the next five years. Soon they will be winnowing down this list by half. In this session, we’ll take a look at the topics that made the initial cut and how they are materializing in classrooms and educational environments in compelling ways. Come with questions!