VA is Now CoSN's 18th State Chapter

At CoSN, we know that there’s strength in numbers – that’s why we always focus on the district leadership team. That’s also why we’re so proud of the work our state chapters do to build communities and foster professional development. They can do a lot more together than any district could alone. This week, we welcomed our 18th state chapter – Virginia! Karen Richardson, Executive Director of the VSTE CoSN Council, shared a few words with us about Virginia’s motivations for joining CoSN and plans for the future:

Why we’re joining

Virginia has always been a leader in using educational technology. The state created its first technology plan in the mid-1980s, nearly a decade before most states even thought about long-range technology planning. VSTE was founded around the same time, in 1986, and has played a huge role in the state’s ed tech professional development. However, our outreach has often been limited to teachers and school-based technology staff. We’re ready to move forward and take it to the next level by working with division- and district-level leaders; the creation of the VSTE CoSN Council will help us do that. 

What’s coming up

School districts in Virginia are hugely diverse, ranging in size from 700 to 180,000 students, and one of our priorities as a chapter is making sure we can be in touch with all of them. We’re going to make sure that educators across the state have access to CoSN resources, particularly smaller districts that may not have the same kind of administrative capacity as the larger schools. As the CoSN state chapter, we can help bridge the gap for those divisions by disseminating information about CoSN resources and serving as a go-between for national movements. The more access, the better!

We’re making a lot of big plans for our first year as a CoSN chapter. Stay tuned for announcements about resources and meet-ups, especially our first CTO Clinic a year from now, in spring 2015. We’re already excited for this event because it will let us provide customized professional development for district leaders as a natural outgrowth of our popular (but not as CTO focused) annual technology conference.

The foundation of leadership in Virginia is already strong, but we know that participation in CoSN will help us truly meet the needs of state leaders and foster a state-wide dialogue. We’re excited to get started and to work with all of you in the CoSN community!