Outcomes from the 2013 CTO Forums

Take advantage of your CoSN membership to access our 2013 CTO Forum Reports for free! The reports offer high-level summaries and analyses of our CTO Forums. CTO Forums, held twice a year, provide opportunities for tech leaders to share information and keep up-to-date with all of the challenges and solutions of ed tech. Accessing forum reports is the next-best thing to being there!

Our March 2013 Forum report, “The ‘Undiscussables’ of Technology Leadership: Engaging in Challenging Conversations,” examines the challenges CTOs face as they work to elevate learning in their districts. Our June report, “Technology Department Landscape: That was Then, This is Now!,” explores the evolving roles and skill sets of CTOs as technology becomes increasingly integral to teaching and learning.   

Key details from “The ‘Undiscussables’ of Technology Leadership: Engaging in Challenging Conversations" report include a list of the CTO leadership challenges identified by the forum participants. To address these challenges, CTO leaders posed the following opportunities for districts:

  •  Improve collaboration among technology specialists and curriculum leaders to support instruction and better leverage tools;
  •  Continue to move to digital content, harnessing the financial benefits and stakeholder support for such learning resources; 
  •  Build partnerships, integrate formative assessments, and collect and analyze student data to address and improve academic achievement;
  •  Leverage blended, online, and collaborative professional development opportunities to implement and carry out initiatives; among others.

The “Technology Department Landscape: That was Then, This is Now!” report examines advances in the CTO position over time, while also emphasizing the challenges that are preventing districts from creating transformative learning environments. As the educational landscape continues to evolve, the forum participants shared the following “recipes for success”:

  •  The CTO and other district-level technology leaders must be a part of the decision-making process.
  •  Technology planning and support must be a team effort.
  •  Professional development for both district leaders and educators play a central role and must be sustained and embedded.
  •  Cloud services should be used to elicit technology support outside of district walls.
  •  Partnerships with the outside community should be expanded.
  •  Students should be empowered as directors of their own learning and leaders in the classroom.
  •  Ongoing program evaluations and policy review are critical to ensure programs have long-lasting effects in meeting district needs.

Check out the reports for full details, and be sure to save the dates for our upcoming CTO Forums (at the 2014 CoSN and ISTE Annual Conferences)!