Who are the rising education technology leaders of tomorrow?
The Consortium for School Networking, and EdScoop, are calling on U.S. schools to help identify emerging leaders in the use of technology in school districts and classrooms across the nation.
This year’s search for next generation school technology leaders got underway Dec. 9 as part of an annual recognition program conducted by CoSN and co-sponsored by EdScoop.
The NextGeneration Leaders program, now in its second year, aims to recognize and support emerging K-12 technology directors who are helping educators make more effective use of education technologies and digital content.
School districts and edtech industry observers have until Jan. 13, 2017, to nominate candidates for consideration. Qualified nominees will be featured on a special website in the coming weeks, hosted by EdScoop, beginning Jan. 30, where educators can cast their votes for the most promising next-generation leaders.
Nominees with the most national votes will be honored at CoSN’s 2017 “Invent the Future” conference, April 3-6, in Chicago.
“Building the capacity of school systems to lead a digital leap is the most essential ingredient in the successful use of technology to transform learning,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “And core to that capacity building is ensure that we have a pipeline that builds next generation education technology leaders.”
He added that one-third of all current school district CTOs plan to retire in six years, “highlighting the imperative that we recognize and strengthen future leaders, as CoSN and EdScoop are doing with the NextGeneration Leaders initiative.”
To qualify for the program, candidates must:
- Be currently employed by a K-12 school/district or an education service agency.
- Have no more than five years working as an education technology professional.
- Have demonstrated leadership in the schools/districts they serve.
Emerging tech leaders who are from, or serve, underrepresented populations like small, rural or inner-city schools that educate minority and female students will receive added consideration.
Five individuals, among dozens of nominees submitted in last year’s inaugural poll, were chosen and recognized as NextGeneration Leaders during a special ceremony at CoSN’s 2016 conference.
The NextGeneration Leaders program began in part out of recognition of the growing importance school technology directors play in managing an ever-evolving mix of technologies.
Tech directors are often unsung heroes in school districts, and have to work with increasingly smaller budgets and challenges in both instructional and administrative technology. They also have to worry about protecting students’ privacy and implementing a robust security system.
“Twenty years ago, 80 percent of the job was, in fact, managing the network,” Krueger said during a video interview last year. “Today, that’s probably 30 percent. Everything is embedded with technology, so it’s at the heart of what learning looks like today.”
“Our experience working with technology leaders across the U.S. has impressed upon us the importance of developing future IT leaders now in every organization, and especially in America’s schools, where digital learning platforms are transforming the education process,” said Wyatt Kash, vice president for content strategy at Scoop News Group, which publishes EdScoop.