The Member Spotlight is a new way for CoSN members get to know each other and improve networking. Each month, CoSN will select a member who has volunteered to answer various questions about themselves, personal and professional, and then share their responses with our entire CoSN community.

June 2024 Member Spotlight

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Stacy Hawthorne, Ed.D., CETL®

Stacy Hawthorne, Ed.D., CETL®

Stacy Hawthorne Ed.D., CETL is the Chief Academic Officer of Learn 21 and a new CoSN Board member. She leads and guides the work of the professional learning and instructional teams at Learn21, the Ohio CoSN Chapter, ISTE Affiliate, and SDPC Affiliate. She is also serving as the Co-Executive Director of the EdTech Leaders Alliance, a new organization to better support educational technology leaders in Ohio and beyond. 

1.  How long have you been a member of CoSN? 

“Since 2020 (I think, I started with Davidson Academy)

2.  Why did you join CoSN? What do you enjoy about being a member?

“I joined CoSN because of the great resources it puts out to support education. I worked with a very small school and couldn't have made it through without the CoSN support. My favorite part today is the ability to be involved with the CoSN Committees and help to create resources that support schools. It's awesome to be able to pay back and to grow my network. I'm excited about the opportunity to give back more as a CoSN Board Member."

3.  How did you get into the field of educational technology?

"Education is a second career for me. I started working in the business field and decided to change to education when my kids were in elementary school. By the time I earned my teaching license they were in middle school and I was teaching middle school. I could see what engaged them at home and I wanted to have students in my classroom that were just as engaged. I had a very supportive coordinator who believed in me when I asked for a classroom set of iPod Touches (the iPad hadn’t been invented yet). That was my gateway to EdTech. After a year of teaching with the iPod Touch I moved to being a district technology director."

4. What CoSN committee are you a part of?

"EdTech Innovations and Digital Equity. As a CoSN Board member I serve on the Executive Committee and will be joining the Membership Committee and Advocacy Committees this year."

5.  What does your daily work entail?

"Well my mom thinks someone pays me to just sit and look at my computer all day since I work from home, unless I'm traveling. 

What I really do is lead and guide the work of the professional learning and instructional teams at Learn21, the Ohio CoSN Chapter, ISTE Affiliate, and SDPC Affiliate. I am responsible for overseeing the strategy and execution of EdTech related services. I'm also serving as the Co-Executive Director of the EdTech Leaders Alliance, our new organization to better support educational technology leaders in Ohio and beyond. 

I'm really proud of our video series supporting K-12 education with understanding peer-reviewed research on generative AI in education. It's freely available online at learn21.org/blog."

6.  What emerging trends or technologies in education are you most excited about, and why?

"Hang on for some buzz-word soup with this answer. I'm particularly excited about the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and real-time data analytics in education. AI has the potential to revolutionize how we tailor education to individual student needs and amplify the ability for teachers to build meaningful connections with their students. Educators may finally have the insights they need to allow for quicker adjustments in teaching strategies and help them address learning gaps effectively.

Additionally, I am intrigued by the increasing use of Extended Reality (XR) technologies, which include Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). XR has the potential to create immersive learning experiences that can make complex subjects more accessible and engaging. 

These technologies not only support engaging educational practices but also align with the drive towards more personalized, inclusive, and accessible education. They also echo the need for continuous innovation in educational technology, ensuring that learning is a dynamic, interactive, and impactful experience for all students."

7.  What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your work, and how do you approach overcoming them?

“The biggest challenge I see is guiding people through the change process. This is an inherently personal journey for everyone involved, and we need to provide tailored support to help others navigate this process if we want to continually innovate in education. Effective change management is essential for scaling innovation and overcoming the inertia of traditional education systems.

To address this challenge, I focus on four key strategies: clear communication, stakeholder involvement, professional development (investing in people), and feedback and adaptation. By focusing on these areas, we can support individuals through the change process more effectively, helping to reduce resistance and foster a culture of continuous innovation in education.”

8.  What is your favorite book?

"I recently read One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harris. It’s a powerful novel on the power of forgiveness."

9.  What is your favorite summer activity or hobby?

"We just had a pool built so this summer it will definitely be hanging out in our backyard!"

Nominate yourself or another member by filling out the questionnaire.

If you missed any of the monthly member spotlights, click below to hear what our past spotlights had to say.