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.
Launch of the World Wide Web
Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in Geneva launched the World Wide Web (WWW). This was a critical event that was an enabler and created the vision/need for forming CoSN, a nonprofit K-12 education technology leadership organization. In the early nineties, the role that networking should play in the schools was in a formative state. There was a need to provide more specific information about how networking should be deployed in schools so as to add real value to the quality of teaching and learning.
CoSN Files Papers of Incorporation as a Separate 501(c)3 Non-profit
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) was formed as a project of Educomm, a higher education nonprofit CIO organization. John Clement, an Educomm staffer became the first Executive Director of CoSN. The founding officers and board members for CoSN were: Connie Stout (Chair), Gwen Solomon (Vice-Chair), Art St. George (Secretary-Treasurer), Robert D. Carlitz, John Clement, Woody Kerkeslager, James D. Luckett, Janet E. Meizel, Frank Odasz, Paul A. Reese, William Schmid, Robert E. Tinker, and Gary Watts.
CoSN Begins to Grow
William Wright, who had founded the International Telecomputing Consortium in 1989, became the next Executive Director of CoSN after John Clement went to work in the Clinton Administration. Laurie Maak was hired to serve as Managing Director. The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided a grant to CoSN and the Federation of American Research Networks (FARNET) which enabled CoSN, early in its history, to play a role as a national leader in defining how computer networking could improve schools. In the fall of 1993 approximately 100 educational decision-makers and practitioners from across the country and from all levels of the educational system, met near Washington, DC, to discuss ways to support and promote school networking and to formulate recommendations for the NSF to use in establishing its funding priorities, goals, and evaluation strategies.
Board Chair: Connie Stout
CoSN Gains Visible Presence in Washington, DC
CoSN board concluded that CoSN required a more visible presence in Washington, DC, so they hired Nonprofit Management Associates, an association management firm, to run the organization. Keith Krueger was designated as Managing Director.
Board Chair: Gwen Solomon
CoSN was one of the first organizations in the U.S. to see how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could extend Universal Service to connect schools and libraries through what was known as the “education rate” or E-rate. CoSN convened other education organizations and briefed Congress on the need for such action culminating in the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee including authorization in the 1996 Telcom Act creating E-rate by one vote [U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) joined the Democrats led by Senator Jay Rockefeller and Congressman Ed Markey].
Board Chair: Paul Reese
Keith Krueger Becomes Executive Director of CoSN!
Upon William Wright’s resignation in 1996, Keith Krueger was appointed Executive Director.
Sec. Richard Riley
FCC Chair Reed Hundt
CoSN Advocacy Grows/The First CoSN Conference Launches
CoSN approached ISTE and suggested that the two organizations collaborate in securing legislative consulting services to handle the important task of advocacy with Congress and the federal government.
The annual K-12 School Networking conferences have provided an important national platform for the dissemination of new ideas about effective administrative and instructional uses of educational technology. Secretary of Education Richard Riley and FCC Chair Reed Hundt addressed the first CoSN Conference.
E-rate Becomes a Reality: CoSN was a major advocate in passing the legislation and working on implementation.
First National Education Technology Plan: CoSN provided major input to national vision for how technology can transform education.
Board Chair: Kurt Steinhaus
CoSN Sponsored Online Forums on The Well Connected Educator and Hosted Early Educations Technology Listserv
Board Chair: Cheryl Williams
CoSN Testified Before the U.S. Copyright Commission
Jim Bosco testified before the U.S. Copyright Commission regarding the Copyright Millennium Act on behalf of the interests of K-12 schools.
Board Chair: Bill Schmid
CTO Planning Begins/CoSN Launches Total Cost of Ownership Initiative in Partnership with Gartner
CTO – A New Career Path: CoSN Board undertook a strategic plan, which defined a new career path of the senior district technology leader. This career path is generically called the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
CoSN’s Taking Total Cost of Ownership to the Classroom leadership initiative, showed educators how business practices around budgeting for the full cost of technology could be applied in the school environment, was launched in partnership with Gartner and with support from the U.S. Department of Education. This model of thought leadership became a hallmark of CoSN for other key EdTech topics over coming decades.
Board Chair: James Bosco
A New Millennium: New Legislation Passes and CoSN Goes Global
CIPA Legislation Passes: Originally, CoSN believed that filtering should be a local school district decision. However, upon the passage of this act, CoSN developed a comprehensive compliance guide, and launched a new leadership initiative called Safeguarding the Wired Schoolhouse. These Internet safety resources have been used in hundreds of school districts across the U.S.
CoSN Begins Global Collaborations: CoSN began working to open a world-wide dialogue about the issues of technology and school networking by inviting representatives from ministries of education and national school networking organizations to attend its annual conference.
Board Chair: Helen Soule
Click below to see how CoSN evolved over the next two decades.