Home > Member News > News Story

NAMTC Member News

Date: September 8th, 2006
Submitted By: Elizabeth Engle   -   Web Site: www.cosn.org

Leadership for IT Disaster Preparedness

Leadership for IT Disaster Preparedness
New Professional Development for School District Technology Leaders Facing the Unexpected

Washington, DC (July 5, 2006) – Every day, in school districts across America, educators must plan for the unexpected. Disasters, both natural and human, can disrupt the operations of schools and place students and teachers in danger. As
K-12 education leaders’ reliance on technology for information, services and communication grows, it is of paramount importance that district leaders understand how technology investments can be protected during disasters and how those technology investments can assist with planning for and managing crises. The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has just released a highly useful professional development module for education technology leaders that seeks to build this understanding.

Crisis Preparedness: Leadership for IT Disaster Recovery, the latest track in CoSN’s Essential Leadership Skills professional development series, is designed to educate school technology leaders on how to play a larger role in crisis preparedness and in the disaster response and recovery process. The new materials address school districts’ overall business continuity planning and the accompanying response structure needed, and identify best practices and models leaders can use to protect and maintain communication, information and resources to quickly restore critical services.

“District leaders rightfully focus on the safety and well-being of their students and staff when preparing for the unexpected, but that really isn’t enough,” said Sheryl Abshire, CoSN Board Chair and District Administrative Coordinator of Technology, Calcasieu Parish Public Schools, Lake Charles, LA. “Those responsible for education technology investments must also make disaster preparedness a priority.” In September of 2005, Gulf Coast hurricanes ravaged Calcasieu Parish Public Schools’ physical infrastructure. Because of Abshire’s extensive crisis preparedness plans, her district is believed to be the only school district whose network was back up within 24 hours after Hurricane Rita.

This new professional development track includes information on the different types of crises school districts might face, tips on how districts can determine risk, and step-by-step instructions to assist districts in developing their own information technology disaster plans. The materials also include information on training staff for disaster preparedness, while stressing the importance of practicing and testing your crisis plans.

\"When districts face the unexpected of any kind, school personnel, students, parents and communities expect to rely on communication and critical services such as payroll and access to student information the district provides and therefore the technology that supports them”, said Vicki Smith Bigham, President, Bigham Technology Solutions, Inc. and CoSN Professional Development Director. “Disaster recovery of IT-related operations and information is critical to the 24/7 operations of school districts and their overall business continuity planning. Leadership is required to make disaster recovery planning a priority, and it is our hope that these publications will grow this leadership.\"

The track includes a white paper (backgrounder book), a train the trainer course on CD and a workbook, and is available via CoSN’s online catalog (https://my.cosn.org/mycosn/store/). Discounts are available for members and bulk orders. CoSN’s Essential Leadership Skills professional development series is designed to be a resource to assist school district leaders in strengthening educational technology-supported programs and planning.

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is the country’s premier voice in education technology leadership with a mission to serve as the national organization for K-12 technology leaders who use technology strategically to ultimately improve teaching and learning. CoSN provides products and services to support and nurture leadership development, advocacy, coalition building, and awareness of emerging technologies

CoSN leadership initiatives include: Accessible Technologies for All Students (www.accessibletech4all.org); Cyber Security for the Digital District (www.securedistrict.org); Data-Driven Decision Making (www.3d2know.org); K-12 Open Technologies (www.k12opentech.org); Safeguarding the Wired Schoolhouse (www.safewiredschools.org); Taking Total Cost of Ownership to the Classroom (www.classroomtco.org); and the development of the Council of School District Chief Technology Officers (CTO Council) (www.cosn.org/resources/cto_council/).

CoSN’s membership includes a unique blend of education and technology leaders, policy makers, and influencers from the public and private sectors. Our audience includes key technology leaders (often called Chief Technology Officers—CTOs) in leading-edge states and districts, policy makers, private sector leaders, as well as those technology leaders who wish to accelerate their districts’ or states’ systemic technology use. Visit www.cosn.org or phone 866.267.8747 to find out more about CoSN’s programs and activities supporting leadership development to ensure that information technology has a direct and positive impact on student learning in elementary and secondary schools.

CoSN – Your voice in the future of education technology

# # #