Washington, D.C. (February 1, 2023)CoSN today issued the 2023 global Driving K-12 Innovation reports. The first part — “Hurdles + Accelerators 2023” — explores the barriers and mega-trends that will shape innovation in K-12 education for the year ahead. The second part — “Tech Enablers 2023” — examines the tools districts can leverage to surmount these hurdles and embrace the accelerators.

CoSN’s Driving K-12 Innovation Advisory Board — made up of 100+ global educators and industry leaders — selected three top hurdles, accelerators and tech enablers impacting education technology for the coming year. The reports outline a clear synergy around systems thinking and a shift from siloed applications and functions to the evolution of the education ecosystem. 

“The impact of the pandemic continues to shape the opportunities and challenges facing education, such as finding and retaining staff, overcoming digital equity and addressing the social emotional needs of students and educators. Likewise, technology enablers like Artificial Intelligence are dominating the conversation around innovation in education,” said Keith R. Krueger, CEO of CoSN.

According to the project, accelerators pave the way for teaching and learning innovation in schools, while hurdles hinder it. Tech enablers are tools that districts can leverage to surmount hurdles and embrace accelerators.

To deliver extraordinary student outcomes, the three most important hurdles and accelerators for schools to address in the year ahead are:


  • Attracting & Retaining Educators and IT Professionals. Hiring and keeping school staff is a significant problem for school systems; many educators are experiencing low pay, stress and emotional burnout, causing them to set aside their passion for teaching and leave the field.
  • Designing Effective Digital Ecosystems. Interoperability, as well as constant improvement of efficiencies, providing data analytics and data visibility are all important to developing a successful digital ecosystem.
  • Digital This nuanced Hurdle encompasses more than just equitable access to quality digital technologies. It also includes digital foundations, conditions for learning and meaningful learning opportunities.


  • Building the Human Capacity of Leaders. Strengthening the professional community of schools and providing opportunities for educators and all K-12 professionals to learn and master new skills can open the door to innovative practices that can enhance student experiences.
  • Learner Agency. Combined with a strong learning environment, students can transform from order-takers to innovators, experience the state of “flow” and learn more authentically.
  • Social & Emotional Learning. Educators are able to reimagine school norms through varying uses of technology to better enable the well-being of staff and learners, as well as parents, caregivers and guardians.

The three most important tech enablers for schools to leverage in 2023 are:

Tech Enablers:

  • Artificial Intelligence. School systems have begun experimenting with this new wave of technology through machine learning, natural language processing, deep learning, computer perception, etc. As education systems begin to test the use of AI in their district, they must also consider the equity and ethics surrounding it.
  • Untethered Broadband & Connectivity. Ubiquitous broadband Internet and technologies that enable robust connected learning allow for mobility and learning anytime, anywhere.
  • Rich Digital Ecosystem. Connecting systems or digital environments can form powerful digital ecosystems for enabling student learning and/or supporting education administration.

Download the full reports here. Learn more about the Driving K-12 Innovation series at cosn.org/edtech-topics/driving-k-12-innovation/.

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The Driving K-12 Innovation series is sponsored by: ClassLink, HP and Microsoft (Gold Sponsors); and ENA by zayo and Kajeet (Silver Sponsors).

About CoSN

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. cosn.org


Kate Klimaszewski, kklimaszewski@fratelli.com, 202-822-9491