New Initiative Supports Digital Learning Infrastructure

Lauren Williams's picture
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Wireless Reach™ initiative, and the Consortium for SchoolNetworking (CoSN), the premier professional association for school districttechnology leaders, announced the Designing Education Networks (DEN) initiative at the 2013 CoSN Conference in San Diego, CA. DEN will provide guidance and resources for school district technology decision makers in developing wireless infrastructure to support a one-device-per student 24/7 learning environment.  This is increasingly important given the movement from print to digital learning and the prospect of mobile technology to expand learning beyond the school walls.

According to the new CoSN K-12 Leadership Survey 2013, sponsored by Education Networks of America (ENA) and in partnership with MCH Strategic Data, the top three priorities of district IT leaders are: 1) Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) efforts; 2) being IT Ready for the new Common Core Standards assessments; and 3) broadband access.  The DEN initiative will provide critical, vendor-neutral tools and resources to address these priorities.

Considering how quickly the use of mobile technology is growing in education, DEN aims to make it easier for technically and financially strapped education system leaders to bring transformative learning tools into the classroom.  Mobile technology has the potential to transform the learning landscape by providing expanded access to educational resources beyond the limits of the classroom and the school day, and by enabling an increased capability to collaborate withpeers and advisors in and out of the classroom.

The overall goal of DEN is to help put “always on, always connected” mobile devices in the hands of K-12 students and teachers by providing school systems with the knowledge to wisely invest in educationalwireless networks for today and tomorrow.  There are many options when considering implementation strategies inrelation to devices and operating systems.  The DEN program helps to clarify the many options that are available.

“School leaders need high quality, vendor neutral resources to enable them to make the best choices around digital learning infrastructure,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN.  “DEN is a much needed resource that will substantially improve the information available to CIOs/CTOs and other educational leaders and we are grateful to Qualcomm for supporting this critical new initiative.”

According to the EdNET Insight 2012 survey, the number one priority for district technology leaders for the next three years is building out wireless networks, with 85 percent of technology directors saying wireless networks were a high priority compared to 71 percent in 2011.  Educational systems need to develop the technical expertise to design these networks and gain an understanding of next generation network infrastructure needed to implement and support the use of mobile devices for every student anytime and anywhere.

DEN works to solve these core issues by extending CoSN’s organizational capacity to provide guidance, tools and support for those in charge of district and state technology infrastructures, as well as other education leaders working on the implementation of mobile learning. This summer, online resources will be made available that are focused on designing education networks for mobility, broadband and the management of multiple devices.

The DEN website with tools and resources will be launched in June 2013.

To find out more about DEN, please visit: www.cosn.org.