As part of the organization's latest effort to learn from colleagues abroad, a delegation of U.S. education technology leaders from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) visited Scotland and the Netherlands last week to learn more about the world's first national intranet for education, international approaches to online safety, and more. Last year, a CoSN delegation toured Scandinavia in search of answers for how students in that region of the world were able to score so high on a recent international test of math and science skills. This year, the delegation hoped to learn more about international practices for integrating information and communication technology (ICT) into instruction, as well as how data-driven decision making influences initiatives and strategies in Scotland and the Netherlands.
The six-day visit, which began November 8th, marked CoSN's fourth international delegation. While abroad, the delegation held high-level meetings with both public and private-sector officials. Specifically, the delegation hoped to learn how strategic investments in ICT by Scotland and the Netherlands are preparing their students for higher achievement and success in a global economy; explore innovative uses of technology, including Web 2.0 collaborative tools, national learning platforms, and other cutting-edge applications; and discover common challenges in using ICT to transform learning. In Scotland, the delegation met with senior staff at Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), the lead government-funded organization for the development of Scottish ICT initiatives, and heard about the Glow Network, the world's first national intranet for education.