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CoSN Invites 13 Districts To Develop Digital Media Best Practices

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a professional association for educators, district officials and technology professionals, has selected 13 school districts to take part in an effort to develop digital media best practices in K-12 education to encourage innovation.

The selection follows a nationwide search begun in September as part of CoSN's Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership and Policy initiative for districts that show leadership in the use of social media, usage of student mobile devices, and Web 2.0 technologies.

With 48 applications received, districts were judged on 10 criteria and their commitment to working with other schools.

The districts selected include:

"These 13 districts are taking significant steps to advance the use of digital media to reimagine education, and are uncovering how these technologies can help to re-envision K-12 teaching and learning," said James Bosco, principal investigator for CoSN’s Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership & Policyinitiative. "In classrooms across the country, there are excellent things happening with digital media here and there. However, the critical problem we face is 'going to scale.' Each of the districts selected has demonstrated a commitment to making best practice use of digital media standard practice throughout the district."

Selection criteria included:

  • School policies on student-owned mobile device use;
  • Policies on social media use for instruction;
  • Use of social media to communicate with parents or guardians and the broader community;
  • How current the district's acceptable use policies are;
  • To what degree district policies have contributed to modifications in instruction;
  • The presence of district policies designed to promote the safe use of social media;
  • District initiatives regarding collaborative learning;
  • The district's policies on student-published work on the Web or participation in opportunities outside of the classroom;
  • How the district promotes linkages between classroom learning and learning in the community; and
  • Assessment of digital literacy competencies.

District leaders formed a collaborative cadre that met December 6 in Washington, DC to learn about the other school districts and their policies and digital media practices. Working groups were assembled, and collaboration will continue online in a community of practice (CoP) through Access4ed.net, run by CoSN.

"From Web 2.0 to mobile devices, these evolving technologies play an increasingly dominant role in students' lives in and out of the classroom," said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger. "The members of the cadre each bring a unique approach to leveraging these new media tools, and their collaborative work will provide them with an opportunity to learn from each other. Most importantly, in conjunction with the cadre districts CoSN will be able to share their collective knowledge and lessons learned with the broader education technology community."

The Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership and Policy initiative is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's digital media and learning initiative with additional support by Adobe, Gartner, GlobalScholar, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lightspeed Systems, Pearson, SAS, and Smart Technologies.

To learn more about CoSN, vist cosn.org. To learn more about the Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership & Policyinitiative, visit cosn.org/web20.

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