For 30 years, CoSN has advocated on behalf of the interests of hundreds of K-12 school districts for better, safer, and stronger education technology. Look below to see how CoSN has evolved over the past 30 years.

  • 2011

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    CoSN South America delegation to Uruguay and Argentina

    CETL® Is Offered!

    The first ever beta of CoSN’s CTO certification – called the Certified Education Technology Leader® (CETL®) - is offered.

    CoSN restructured the CoSN Annual Conference, Mastering the Moment in New Orleans, LA, with new @Innovation Central and elimination of the exhibit hall. Other innovations were launched for this meeting, as well including seating in the round for general sessions and a TED-talk format.

    ETAN, a joint advocacy effort of CoSN and ISTE, generated over 18,000 messages to Congress in support of EdTech over the past year.

    CoSN launched its Leadership for Mobile Learning

    Board Chair: Bailey Mitchell

  • 2012 & 2013

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    Teaming for Transformation, Mobile Learning Guide, & National Survey Launched

    CoSN assembled a cadre of more than 110 leaders from 25 districts/16 states called Teaming for Transformation.

    CoSN released an Administrator’s Guide to Mobile Learning.

    CoSN launched its first national leadership survey of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) at the San Diego Conference.

    The CoSN 2013 Conference Theme was Audacious Leadership.

    Board Chair: Jean Tower

  • 2014 & 2015

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    CoSN Unconference

    CoSN holds the first annual CoSNCamp: The UNconference at the 2014 annual conference, where the theme was Continuously Connected, Constantly Learning.

    CoSN holds its 2015 annual conference in Atlanta.

    Board Chair: Jean Tower

  • 2016

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    cosn2016 conference logo

    Policy Leadership & Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal Launched

    CoSN organized and sent an international delegation to Ireland.

    Concentrated advocacy efforts to ensure to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), strengthen student data privacy laws, and ensure robust technology funding in the Department of Education’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget.

    CoSN launches the Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) seal, based upon 25 practices that involve protecting the privacy of student information.

    The 2016 conference theme, held in Washington, DC, was Accelerating Success. It focused on ubiquity and access, vision and leadership, and pioneering innovation.

    Board Chair: Mike Jamerson

  • 2017

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    2017 logo

    Accessibility & Equity

    Our Digital Accessibility Toolkit was refreshed and the Digital Equity Toolkit was updated with a practical guide to community engagement and district success.

    Enhanced resources for Superintendents were released on key EdTech issues, including infographics on accessibility, cybersecurity, online assessment, strategic planning and investment, and closing the homework gap.

    The Rolling Study Hall initiative, created with Google, provided case examples for the value of Wi-Fi on school buses and tutors.

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    International Delegation to New Zealand

    Essential EdTech Leadership

    New resources added for district leaders, including online assessments.

    Developed Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning Toolkit (v.3), Trusted Learning Environment Seal Handbook, and held our first TLE Privacy Summit.

    We launched an initiative for rural district leaders.

    Board Chair: Tom Ryan

  • 2018

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    Tom Ryan, Co-Founder

    Online Courses Released

    CoSN's Annual Conference, held in Chicago, IL, focused on Exponential Change: Designing Learning in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

    CoSN developed new online courses, including Advanced Persistent Prevention: Cybersecurity in K-12 Education and Protecting Student Privacy in Connected Learning.

    CoSN held CTO Forums at the CoSN Annual Conference and ISTE Annual Conference, exploring, Where are you in the Digital Leap? and Building a Community Conversation on Digital Equity.

    Board Chair: Tom Ryan

  • 2019

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    2019 logo

    Driving K-12 Innovation

    CoSN took over the Horizon K-12 Innovation Series, rebranded it, and reframed it to be the annual Driving K-12 Innovation Global Research Series.

    CoSN released great resources to help EdTech leaders unravel interoperability.

    CoSN debuted the following webinar series: Courses on Cybersecurity in K-12 Education, Protecting Student Privacy in Connected Learning, and the CETL® Foundation course.

    CoSN 2019 was held in Portland, OR.

    The CoSN Large and Mega District Series was started to build teamwork and collaboration.

    Certified Education Technology Leader® (CETL®) celebrated its 500th successful certificant.

  • Early Career K12 CTO Academy logo


    CoSN launches CoSN Early Career K-12 CTO Academy to enable those starting in education technology leadership to succeed.  

    CoSN Advocacy Efforts Continue protecting student data privacy, E-rate and digital equity. 

    Board Chair: Pete Just

  • 2020

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    cosn continuum 2020

    CoSN Goes Virtual as the Pandemic Hits

    As a result of the COVID pandemic, CoSN decided to go virtual, holding its first successful virtual conference in the spring: CoSN2020: A Breakthrough Virtual Experience

    CoSN holds virtual gatherings to support EdTech leaders as they struggle during this stressful time.

    CoSN’s CETL® program becomes the first practice-based certification for EdTech leaders to earn accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

    Advancing Diversity Equity Inclusion: The new CoSN Strategic Plan was launched and included a new strategic goal of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion around IT leadership. We created a Statement of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, a compelling Call to Action Continuum, and, a related, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion definitions.

    CoSN also began a new, ongoing initiative to monitor and report on state and federal legislation around cybersecurity legislation. Support is provided to state chapters to enable their voice to educate policymakers around wise cybersecurity policies. 

    Board Chair: Pete Just

  • 2021

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    Pandemic Leadership

    CoSN launched a breakthrough study about students’ at-home internet connectivity and provided guidelines on bandwidth, devices, and other remote learning needs based on the data. The study filled a critical need among educators and policymakers for detailed insight on students’ learning experiences at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirteen K-12 urban, suburban, and rural school districts from across the United States with approximately 750,000 students participated in the study.

    CoSN holds its second fully virtual annual conference in response to closing of schools due to the COVID pandemic.

    An energetic group of CoSN Board Members and volunteers formed the CoSN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and created key resources to recruit and retain diverse IT teams.

  • 2022

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    CoSN cybersecurity expert Amy McLaughlin testifies before U.S. Senate


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    "Rockin' CoSN2023 Advocacy Event!"

    Groundbreaking Work on Equity and Cybersecurity

    CoSN released a 2nd year of groundbreaking findings from our Student Home Connectivity Study, demonstrating that home connectivity remained a critical challenge, even when students were primarily learning at school. More bandwidth for learning happens from home, and major equity gaps in home connectivity remained based on poverty and race/ethnicity.  

    CoSN advocated for the bipartisan K-12 Cybersecurity Act, which was signed into law by President Biden. Keith Krueger and CoSN cybersecurity expert Amy McLaughlin both spoke at the 2022 K-12 National Summit on K-12 School Safety and Security on Capitol Hill. 

    CoSN partnered with the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) around social media and education. The groundbreaking work highlighted the lack of dedicated social media account verification for education institutions and the lack of expedited reporting processes for inappropriate postings on the leading social media platforms.

    CoSN held its first hybrid conference in Nashville, TN. There were a range of new events that extended our commitment to DEI goals, including a Meet Up and a first-ever LGBTQ+ conversation & reception.

    Board Chair: Steve Langford

  • 2023

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    2022 CoSN Board

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    First ever Network Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Meet-Up at CoSN2022

    Building a Brighter Future for Education Technology

    Looking forward, CoSN is forming a new three-year strategic plan that provides a new framework for realizing our ongoing mission —to provide current and aspiring K12 education technology leaders with the community, knowledge, and professional development they need to create and grow engaging learning environments

    Building on CoSN’s work on diversity, equity, and inclusion by CoSN’s volunteers, funding was secured to hire a DEI Project Director with a robust suite of forthcoming resources and initiatives. At the 2023 annual conference in Austin, there will be a first-ever, Women in IT Breakfast and Male IT Leadership: Upping Your Allyship, events.

    Fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is integral to our future. Previously outlined as a separate initiative, this work is now integrated into all CoSN efforts through a culture of collaboration and teamwork, effective management of dialogue, transparency, open communication, and skill-building to enhance interpersonal and working relationships. Differences make our organization stronger and our goal is to ensure everyone feels welcomed in our community.

    Chair-Elect: Diane Doersch

Need to go back and see previous years? Click below to see how CoSN got to where it is today!