Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent

Superintendents can make or break educational technology initiatives. They are responsible for ensuring that their school districts embrace 21st century learning environments that enable engaging learning environments and produce positive student outcomes. CoSN collaborates with superintendents to assess their challenges and increase their capacity to lead technology efforts. This area of focus is dedicated to helping superintendents, aspiring superintendents, and district leadership teams build their knowledge, skills, and confidence as effective technology leaders.

CoSN is grateful for the following sponsors for their support of this initiative: Amplify, JAMF Software, and Sprint.

Of all the challenges you face as a superintendent, technology leadership may be the one that leaves you feeling the most unprepared, uncertain and vulnerable. You're not alone. To better understand superintendents thoughts about using technology for learning, CoSN conducted focus groups and one-on-one interviews throughout the country. Superintendents in districts of every size and geographic region expressed similar sentiments:

  • Technology is critical and increasingly important for today's learners.
  • Superintendents embrace their leadership role as technology advocates who create the vision and set the tone for technology use in their districts.
  • A superintendent's own technology knowledge and competencies typically aren't where they need to be.
  • There is pride in the promising technology practices in “islands” within their district, but that effective, scalable,  system-wide use of technology to support student achievement largely remains an elusive goal.
  • The disparate deployment of new technologies could create a greater “digital divide” yet they also worry that their own districts and students could fall behind on their watch if they don’t invest in technology.

CoSN's Superintendent Toolkit can help superintendents to bring 21st century learning environments to their school districts. The toolkit contains five themes for developing or enhancing technology leadership skills:

  1. Raise the Bar with 21st Century Skills
  2. Transform Pedagogy with Compelling Learning Environments
  3. Support Professional Development and Communities of Practice
  4. Strengthen District Leadership and Communications
  5. Create Balanced Assessments​


Download the Superintendent Toolkit.