The CoSN DEI Clearinghouse: A New Resource for Championing Diversity

CoSN meetup

At the second annual “Network Meetup,” hosted by CoSN’s DEI committee, attendees gathered for small group discussions.  (Image credit: Lucy Gray)

The Consortium for School Networking's new platform, dedicated to enriching K-12 education, uses tech resources to deepen the understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Helping districts recognize and celebrate the differences that create a richer learning environment, this invaluable tool fosters recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented groups. The CoSN DEI Clearinghouse of Resources features tech tools grounded in best practices. It is critical for school leaders to foster a true sense of belonging to encourage and inspire all students to consider the IT field as a future home for their talents.

As we know, representation is powerful. Students and educators in STEM and IT fields face diverse journeys along their educational path. Highlighting their success stories can inspire the next generation of future scientists and tech experts. CoSN's mission is to establish an IT pipeline through the provision of engaging content tailored to diverse learning styles, providing school leaders with an authentic and efficient resource for promoting diversity among both students and educators.

Using the Clearinghouse is easy, with categories broken down to quickly access according to specific needs. The Recruitment & Retention section offers retention strategies, recruitment techniques and resources for fostering a sense of belonging among employees with a link to a collection of workshops aimed at building an IT pipeline. The Educational Resources section not only offers curricular resources for diversity and inclusion but also a resource library, and links for examining your own self-bias. The DIversity & Inclusion section covers topics such as invisible disabilities, LGBTQ+ resources, systemic racism, accessibility, marginalized groups and global inclusion issues that support creating an inclusive workplace. 

This well curated gateway equips school leaders to be better informed and equipped to create a learning environment where all feel welcome and able to thrive. Want to take the next step in bringing a true sense of inclusion and belonging to your district? Consider attending a CoSN2024 DEI workshop—in person April 8-10 at the InterContinental Miami or through virtual attendance via  “The CoSN Experience”—complimentary to all in-person participants, and available for a fee for those who cannot make it to Miami.

Leading for Innovation: At Warp Speed

COSN 2024 logo

(Image credit: COSN)

Learn how to drive innovation by enabling inclusive tech leadership in your district through the offerings of CoSN2024. The new landscape of K-12 technology has come light-years in the past few years. Modernize more than your digital ecosystems by exploring how to build strong and innovative leaders from all backgrounds in an era of tightened budgets and constrained resources. Diverse workshops, breakout sessions, spotlight speakers, and networking opportunities at summits and receptions provide numerous avenues to address the urgent and essential goal of fostering a more varied and inclusive educational environment for both students and educators.

Several workshops speak directly to DEI in K-12 education. Harnessing the Technology Integration Matrix to Promote Inclusive Technology Integration questions whether the transformational rise of AI and emerging technologies have truly led to meaningful change in the classroom. The session offers a journey through the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) framework to evaluate tech’s role in supporting critical thinking and student agency. This workshop will encourage participants to explore the pivotal aspects of tech use and examine the connection toward the wider challenge of achieving true digital equity. 

A second workshop, the Inclusive EdTech Leadership Summit, will provide an empowering gathering for underrepresented EdTech leaders and their mentors. This workshop, facilitated by Ken Shelton, M.A., will open doors to coaching, career advancement insights, and practical strategies, which attendees can immediately apply in their districts. This popular session will include networking opportunities with influential EdTech leaders. 

Breakout sessions such as Innovation Driven by Women (K-12 IT Leaders) will explore what initially drew women to the historically male-dominated field, how the shifting expectations affected their role post-pandemic, how they helped expand representation in the industry by working with Apple and Digital Promise, and what allyship looks like from a woman’s perspective. Technology, Education and Equality: Lens of a Student shares the perspective of a female high school student’s journey through technology, initiatives she has taken to reduce the gender gap, and the student perspective on legislation, tech, and equality.  

Additional events and receptions offer opportunities to network and collaborate on discussions to explore ways to promote inclusion and belonging within the EdTech arena. These include the Women in Technology Breakfast Summit, The Network Meet-Up: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Networking Event, Empowering Women Leaders to Overcome Challenges in Education, LGBTQ+ Reception, and Allyship for Underrepresented IT Leaders. By allowing time for personal networking and connecting with peers in the field who can offer resources, contacts, and experiences, these informal opportunities to expand one's network can result in lasting and meaningful partnerships.

Whether attending a collaborative and engaging CoSN2024 workshop (in-person or virtually) or by accessing the tools made available through the new CoSN DEI Clearinghouse of Resources, a dedication to bringing inclusivity, diversity, and belonging into the classroom is key toward ensuring a future filled with talented IT experts of all backgrounds.

Sascha Zuger

Sascha has nearly two decades of experience as a freelance journalist writing for national magazines, including The Washington Post, LA Times, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic Traveler, and others. She writes about education, travel and culinary topics.