COSN 2019 Report

As usual, the annual Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) conference, held in Portland, Oregon this year, was a bellwether for the edtech community in 2019. Read on for some highlights:

Phil Hintz, Tech and Learning advisor and Director of Technology, Gurnee School District 56 (IL) receives the Frank Withrow Outstanding CTO of the Year Award.

Phil Hintz, Tech and Learning advisor and Director of Technology, Gurnee School District 56 (IL) receives the Frank Withrow Outstanding CTO of the Year Award.

Phil Hintz, Tech & Learning advisor and Director of Technology, Gurnee (IL) School District 56, received the Frank Withrow Outstanding CTO of the Year Award. Phil’s thoughts: “What does being CTO of the year mean to me? It means I need to share! Share in the success of my district and the amazing work my teachers, staff, and administrators do on a daily basis for the students we serve to prepare them for their future and not our past. Share in thanking the people, vendors, organizations, and great advisors who write thoughtful articles in magazines (like Tech & Learning) who have helped and mentored me along the way to become the CTO I am today. Lastly, being the CTO of the year means that I now have the responsibility to share that wisdom that has been handed to me throughout the years with other aspiring leaders who live to provide the best possible learning environments for all students every day.” Congrats!

The Hampton Township (PA) School District received the District Team Leadership Award for 2019, which honors school district leadership teams for their transformative impact on student learning with technology. The team included Dr. Edward McKaveney, Director of Technology; Dr. Michael Loughead, Superintendent; Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, Assistant Superintendent; and Dr. Jacquelyn Removcik, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. During the conference, HTSD’s representatives engaged in multiple presentations. Dr. McKaveney and Dr. Loughead partnered with Dr. Ruben Puentedura, creator of the SAMR model, on “Designing Learning for the Future,” which looked at the fourth industrial revolution and the role of artificial intelligence, computational thinking, and extended reality on the changing world of work and the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of today’s learners. The SAMR model was created by Dr. Puentedura and has been an integral component of Hampton’s transformative curriculum. In a separate Award Winners session, the Hampton team shared insights into Hampton’s successful initiatives relating to curriculum design, innovation, and technology. Along with recognition at the national conference, HTSD also received a $2,000 honorarium and a $5,000 gift card. CoSN also provided the district with four complimentary conference registrations.


CDW, in partnership with Lightspeed Systems, introduced Analytics Powered by Relay, a dashboard solution helping K–12 schools to make informed decisions about their use of educational technology devices, applications, and websites. With mobile device use on the rise—74 percent of K–12 schools say they have more than one device per student—schools are challenged to optimize their technology use, manage device data across numerous platforms, maintain policy compliance, and ensure student safety online.

With Analytics Powered by Relay, schools have access to a dashboard that helps them:

■ Determine if the tools and applications they’ve purchased are being utilized as intended and eliminate unused or redundant tools
■ Explore educational technology adoption rates and identify opportunities for professional development
■ Ensure technology tools align with relevant data privacy laws and frameworks
■ Monitor how often devices are used and what they are being used for
■ Ensure digital equity district-wide.

In addition to recognizing Phil Hintz, CoSN honored the following distinguished school technology leaders, experts and districts at their conference:

District Team Leadership Award: Hampton Township School District Team (PA)
Community Leadership Award for Digital Equity: Vancouver School District (WA)
Hurley Private Sector Champion Award: Gavin Lee, Business Development, State & Local Government and Education (SLED), Juniper Networks
Volunteer of the Year Award: Andrew Moore, CIO, Boulder Valley School District (CO)
EmpowerED Superintendent of the Year Award: Mark D. Benigni, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, Meriden Public Schools (CT)
Papert Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Moore (awarded posthumously)

NextGen: Emerging EdTech Leaders:

Chanel Alford-Campbell, Technology Integration Specialist, Alexandria City Public Schools (VA)
Lindsey Blass, Personalized Learning Environments Program Manager, San Francisco Unified School District (CA)
Renee Hernandez, Digital Learning Coordinator, Allen Independent School District (TX)
Toni Hoehn, Digital Curriculum Support Specialist, St. Vrain Valley School District (CO)
Allison Reid, Coordinating Teacher for Instructional Technology, Wake County Schools (NC)


Tech & Learning and bulb ( co-hosted an event for district tech execs during COSN that focused on the emergence and importance of students building and sharing a digital collection of their work. Participants shared their stories about how and why digital portfolios are becoming so important—from creating a more holistic way to assess student progress to presenting work for college admission.