CTO Forums

A couple of people in a forum discussion

CTO Leadership Forums are held twice a year (at CoSN's and ISTE's Annual Conferences) and provide opportunities for district-level technology directors to share information with their peers and keep up-to-date on the best practices and solutions to ed tech challenges. CTO Forum Reports are written after each event and made available to members in our Knowledge Center.These events are free, but registration is required.

CTO Forum: Taking Action on Closing the Digital Divide

CoSN 2018 Annual Conference 
Washington Hilton
Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Room: Jefferson East

The CTO Forum will focus on leveraging the power of technology to close the digital divide among students. Technology can help overcome barriers of time and distance that teachers often face, but if not leveraged properly, it can also exacerbate the achievement gap. Alleviating accessibility challenges is crucial to success for all students, and research clearly shows that technology is one of the best means of leveling the playing field for students, especially when it comes to securing equal access to learning resources.

Participants will hear from school districts that have tackled this issue and are developing innovative strategies to provide ALL students the connectivity they need to continue their learning out of school. These school districts are building meaningful community partnerships and creating tools to help district leaders get started in achieving digital equity.  

Participants will also join interactive discussions to take a deep dive into this important topic and discuss challenges, best practices, and specific strategies for digital equity. CoSN’s new, updated toolkit and other resources will be shared to help school leaders ensure that all students have access to digital tools in schools and at home. 

Scott Smith, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Instruction and Technology, Mooresville Graded Schools
Marlo Gaddis, Senior Director for Instructional Technology and Library Media Services, Wake County Public School System
Steven Langford, Chief Information Officer, Beaverton School District

**Free for Members with Conference Registration**

Register Now

 Past CTO Forums

June 2017: Plugging into the Matrix: Where are you in the Digital Leap?
Where are you in the digital leap? As school system technology leaders, we facilitate and drive instruction leading to the digital transition in our schools—and overcome both the expected and unexpected challenges. Explore the many aspects of a digital transformation, including leadership & vision, infrastructure, and business management, that are fundamental requirements for the school system to create next-generation learning environments that foster equitable, effective use of technology. 
April 2017: Beyond the Horizon
The world in which we live and learn continues to change rapidly.  Artificial intelligence, robots, self-driving automobiles, and virtual reality are examples of technology changes on the horizon. These technologies will have wide-reaching impact on the ways students learn and the competencies they need to succeed.  The CTO Forum explored this issue and seek answers to key questions  such as: How will technology changes and advances impact teaching and learning?; What are the essential skills that technology leaders need to enable a culture of innovation and digital transformation?; and How do we build our own leadership capacities while preparing the next generation of CTOs?  

June 2016: Assessing if Your School System is Ready to Make a Digital Leap
Technology has been in schools since long before the turn of the century. However, creating conditions that will ensure successful technology implementation is still a challenge for districts. To help school district leaders create operational readiness for a high-functioning 21st century digital environment, CoSN developed a guide—the Framework for School System Technology Success. Developed by a team of district technology leaders, it is a free resource for schools to support their digital transition. The Framework for School System Technology Success addresses the entire school ecosystem and is parallel to the Framework of Essential Skills, a guide for the individual CTO.

April 2016: Building on the Past to Invent the Future
25 years ago we connected to the internet by modem and PPP and witnessed the birth of Linux. Today, technology leaders are leading the transformation in education as mobile devices provide students access anytime and anywhere. The challenge to CTOs is not only to lead the digital leap from a technology point of view, but also to align human and technology resources to anticipate and support future needs. CTOs play a pivotal role in inventing the future. The CTO forum will answer questions such as: What lessons can we learn by reflecting our past, and how can CTOs' "look beyond the horizon" help our organizations to invent the future for students and staff learning. The forum will explore answers through a rich, interactive panel discussion and with breakout table discussions with colleagues.

If you're a CoSN member, you can access these members-only reports in the Online Store.

  • Plugging into the Matrix: Where are you in the Digital Leap? (2017)
  • Beyond the Horizon (2017)
  • Assessing if Your School System is Ready to Make a Digital Leap (2016)
  • Building on the Past to Invent the Future (2016)
  • Making the Digital Leap: What Must Happen in the District (2015)
  • Moving from Vision to Action for a Digital Transformation (2015)
  • Building a Powerful Team for Blended Learning (2014)
  • Demonstrating Your Value to the Superintendent and the District (2014)
  • The Technology Department Landscape: That was Then, This is Now! (2013)
  • The "Undiscussables" of Technology Leadership: Engaging in Challenging Conversations (2013)
  • Common Core StandardsHow Technology Services and Curriculum Can Work Together When We Think Differently (2012)
    (CTO Forum Report includes a special 20th anniversary section: "Ready to Walk the Coals? Now is the Time for Audacious Leadership")
  • Prove IT: What Does the Research Say About Technology in Education (2012)
  • Whose Data is it Anyway? Public and Private Data in the Age of Sharing (2011)
  • Serving our Customers: Meeting Today’s Students and Teachers on Their Terms (2011)
  • Turning Tech Novices into Building-Level Champions (2010)
  • Leadership and Collaboration for Better Broadband (2010)
  • Kicking the Tires of Education Technology: What are the Obstacles and Promises for Delivering Value in the Here and Now (2010)
  • Leveraging Banned Technologies to Create Ubiquitous Learning Environments (2009)
  • How 2B a Disruptive Technology Leader (2009)
  • Using Digital Content: The Essential Role of the District Technology Leader (2008)