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Smart Education Networks by Design: The CoSN SEND Initiative

Monday, July 13, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT

Smart Education Networks by Design

Presented by Dr. Mark Benigni, Superintendent, Meriden Public Schools, CT; Dr. John Marcus, Superintendent, Stoughton Public Schools, MA; and Matthew Miller, Superintendent, Lakota Local Schools, OH

Program Host and Moderator: Ann McMullan, Project Director, CoSN Empowered Superintendents Initiative

Sponsored by ClassLink
This edWebinar series is co-hosted by CoSN, AASA, and

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Today, K-12 education networks are required to do much more than address district operational and administrative needs. Now, more than ever, school networks must serve students and teachers both inside and outside the classroom, anywhere and anytime. Innovative technologies, more access to the internet, and powerful communication, creation, and collaboration tools are driving instructional transformation. Rapid change is increasing the demand for greater network capacity and reliability. In the not-too-distant future, innovations in data visualization, embedded digital formative assessment, immersive, adaptive digital content, and interoperability will place additional demands on district networks. These demands come at the same time as funding for K-12 education becomes more challenging and unpredictable.

In this edWebinar, three school superintendents share how their districts make high-stakes infrastructure investment decisions in the midst of rapidly and constantly changing technology, teaching and learning priorities, and funding. Six critical areas of network design are explored:

  • Multiple paths to the internet
  • Two or more data centers and/or cloud services
  • Reduction in single points of failure
  • Software and services hosted in the cloud
  • Near-term requirements are met with a clear vision for the future
  • Support for students’ use of devices

This recorded edWebinar will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.

Mark D. BenigniAbout the Presenters

Mark D. Benigni, Ed.D. has been an educator for over 20 years and begins his 10th year as Superintendent of the Meriden Public Schools. Dr. Benigni served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and Mayor of the City of Meriden. In addition to leading the Meriden Public Schools to its highest academic scores in district history, Dr. Benigni has presented at national conferences, taught doctorate classes, and published a book and numerous articles. He was recognized as CoSN’s 2018 Empowered Superintendent, a 2015 Education Week Leaders to Learn From, and one of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce’s Ten Outstanding Young Americans. The Meriden Public Schools has received awards from CoSN, the Learning Counsel, NSBA, Digital Promise, District Administration, and Edutopia. Dr. Benigni is currently the co-chair of the Connecticut Association of Urban Superintendents, as well as 2nd vice president of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.


John MarcusInspired by his grandfather and his mother, Dr. John Marcus has been trying to make the world a better place by improving the lives of children and families for as long as he can remember. As a first grade teacher, Dr. Marcus embedded concepts of kindness, respect, empathy, and grit into the lessons he developed and his own pedagogical style. Expanding his reach, Dr. Marcus led schools along those same values, helping develop teams and programs that foster community, caring, and commitment. As a superintendent, Dr. Marcus is hopeful that those projects and programs can translate to a wider community so that each child, staff member, and family is excited to come back to school every day!


Matthew MillerMatthew Miller is the superintendent of Lakota Local Schools. He has spent the last 24 years serving Ohio communities as a superintendent, director of student services and instruction, principal, and teacher. Matt is actively involved in the prestigious and national League of Innovative Schools through Digital Promise, also serving as an elected member of their advisory committee. He was selected as one of 100 superintendents to attend and present at the #FutureReady National ConnectED Superintendents Summit at the White House, was named to the National School Boards Association Top 20 to Watch in the Nation, and conducted his first TEDx Talk in 2016 entitled: Don’t Buy the Book: Cultivate, Curate and Go Open. Having completed his undergraduate and master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati, he was selected for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Leadership Institute for Superintendents. Matt is grateful for his wife, Kristy, and their two children.


Ann McMullanAbout the Host

Ann McMullan is Project Director for CoSN’s Empowered Superintendents Initiative. Ann served as Executive Director, Educational Technology in the Klein Independent School District, near Houston, Texas until September 2013, when she and her family moved to Los Angeles, California. For 16 years Ann led the district team that provided professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to 4,000 professional educators serving 50,000 students. Ann served as co-chair of Texas Education Technology Advisory Committee which developed the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020. Today, Ann is based in Los Angeles working as a public speaker, writer, and education consultant focused on leadership and planning to meet the needs of today’s students. Ann serves on the Project Tomorrow advisory council and is a leadership consultant with Executive Service Corps of Southern California, serving non-profit associations. Ann co-authored Life Lessons in Leadership, a guide for leaders ages eight to 88.

Join the Super-Connected community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

AASAAASA is the premier association for school system leaders and serves as the national voice for public education and district leadership on Capitol Hill.


CoSN CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community, best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education.


ClassLinkClassLink empowers your students and teachers with instant access to their learning resources. ClassLink® OneClick® includes a library of over 5,000 single sign-on apps and instant links to file folders at school and on Google, Office 365, and Dropbox cloud drives. ClassLink Roster Server easily and securely delivers class rosters to any publisher using open technology standards. ClassLink Analytics gives decision makers the usage data they need. Accessible from any computer, tablet or smartphone, ClassLink is ideal for 1to1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives.


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Monday, July 13, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
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