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CTO Certification Plan Moving Forward

The time and shape of a certification program for chief technology officers is becoming a bit clearer after a small, members-only session at the Consortium for School Networking's 2011 convention in New Orleans Monday.

Gayle Dahlman, CoSN's director of certification and education, explained some of the tentative details of the program, including a provisional time table that has the first exams being administered by CoSN's next annual conference in March 2012 in Washington.

Much like National Board Certified Teachers, CoSN's certified CTOs will be considered to have proven excellence after significant time spent in the role, said CoSN chair Bailey Mitchell, who is also CTO for the Forsyth County Schools in Georgia.

The exam will aim to test the expanded skills required of a contemporary CTO, including skills in leadership and management, budgeting, team building, technology, and business, said Mitchell. And it will be structured on a two-tier system; first those applying for certification will take a multiple-choice test, and those who pass that portion will progress to an essay portion, said Dahlman.

To construct the test, CoSN is working with certification experts from other industries and with testing experts in order to build upon version 2.0 of the "Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO" it released in 2009. It is also looking for volunteers to help draft the exam, but any volunteers would be restricted from taking the exam until two years after their involvement.

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