Please see below for upcoming CEN events as we continue to provide a space for member-led discussions on the topics that matter most to our community right now.
Webinar - Fy2022: An E-Rate Primer for Schools and Libraries
Wednesday December 15, 1 PM - 2 PM
Presenters: Bob Richter, Paul Tarsa
This one-hour presentation (45 minutes of information, 15 minutes of Q&A) will cover the basics of the E-Rate Program for Funding Year 2022, including an overview of the Forms 470 and 471, calculating discounts, calculating budgets, eligible products, program touch points, and the rules that both service providers and applicants must follow. We’ll highlight any changes from FY 2021 (although we don’t expect many.)
Annual Member Conference - 2022 CEN Member Conference
CEN is happy to announce that our 9th Annual Member Conference will be hosted in-person on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at the Connecticut Convention Center. The CEN Member Conference offers a unique and exciting opportunity to bond and collaborate with over 550 of your colleagues and industry experts in a one-day event crafted specifically for members by members. Featuring more training, collaboration, education, and networking than ever before, join us as we celebrate bringing our community together again in-person!
CEN Virtual Member Town Hall
Time: 10 AM - 12 PM
Dates Offered: September 30, October 5, October 14
Join us for a town hall style meeting on Microsoft Teams! We are excited to meet virtually with our members from across the state to share important and timely CEN updates, to hear your feedback, and to learn more about how we can work and grow together.
The meeting agenda will include:
- CEN Service Dashboard
- UC/VOIP RFP
- Security Services RFP
- NextGen CEN Infrastructure Update
- Member Conference
- Quarterly Training Schedule
Quarterly Training - AI and Proctoring & Alternative Assessments
Thursday September 23, 1 pm
Speakers: Kaitlin Walsh, Daniel Facchinetti, Barbara Johnson, Jenn Kozniewski
Moderator: Sam Lee
Panelist: Doug Casey
ERN - All Hands Meeting
Annual Member Conference - 2021 CEN Member Conference
CEN would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the 2021 Virtual Member Conference! CEN and its Member Engagement Advisory Council hosted our Annual Member Conference virtually May 11-13, 2021, in place of the traditional in-person event.
The virtual format featured the same wide-ranging display of emerging technologies, best practices, member – vendor partnerships, and innovative solutions to the challenges faced by the CEN membership. Recordings of all sessions will remain active until February 24, 2022 for all registered participants to access. Visit the link here to log in and watch the sessions that you missed during the event. CEN Virtual Member Conference
Annual Member Conference - 2020 CEN Member Conference CANCELED
We have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Member Conference scheduled in Hartford on October 6-7.
In light of the continuing challenges and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the unpredictability of travel restrictions, budgetary challenges, and the ongoing health and safety concerns of our membership, the EDAC in conjunction with CEN leadership felt holding the event as scheduled is unrealistic and impractical. All conference registrants will receive a full refund.
Goodness Gracious, Great Walls of Fire: CEN's Border Firewall for Advanced Protection
Friday November 13, 1pm - 2pm
Presenters: Stephen Shaw, Rick Cheung
CEN’s Firewall Service provides increased protection with enterprise grade, high availability Fortinet technology and a level of service choice, Virtual (co-managed) or Managed, to fit the needs of each subscribing member. Both services offer the same technology and security features and benefits. This session will provide members with a better understanding of how this firewall will work in their architecture, and how CEN's Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP), Foresite, can help streamline the migration from an on-premises firewall to the hosted model. Additionally, Foresite provides the expertise to help members build a more rigorous and thorough base of rules and policies to improve their security profile, and they will provide the ongoing support to effectively protect members from the barrage of threats.
No-Cost Cybersecurity Tools and Resources with the MS-ISAC
Wednesday October 21, 1pm - 2pm
Presenters: Brian Calkin, Kyle Bryans
In this session, we will seek to provide an introduction to the free services and resources offered by the MS-ISAC to assist the public sector, including a deeper dive into our new no-cost MDBR solution. In a connected world, cybersecurity is the responsibility not only of our IT leaders and specialists, but everyone within an organization. The MS-ISAC is the focal point for cyber threat prevention, protection, response and recovery for the nation's state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) governments. Collaboration and information sharing among members, private sector partners and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are the keys to success.
Using Personas for Accessible Design
Thursday September 30, 1pm - 2pm
Presenter: Kathryn Weber-Hottleman
There are a few steps that developers and designers can take to incorporate accessibility from the beginning of a solution’s design. One way of doing this is to create additional personas that are users with disabilities. Having a primary persona with a disability means that disability will never be far from developers’ and designers’ minds. Another way to keep accessibility present is to include it in scenario design.
Effective Vulnerability Management
Thursday August 13, 1:30pm - 3pm
Presenter: Kevin Hayes
Vulnerability scanning is a keystone necessary to stabilize your organizations’ security posture. This webinar is divided into equal portions learning, demonstration and FAQ session to clearly outline and highlight the benefits most applicable to your specific organization. In this webinar we will cover: An overview of risk management concepts; The current threat landscape; A live demo showcasing vulnerability exploitation; Key vulnerability scanning and management concepts; Practical examples of vulnerability scanning; Open Q & A Session
Data Privacy and Contact Tracing
Wednesday July 22, 1pm - 2:30pm
Moderator: Karen Warren
Presenters: Doug Casey, Sebastian Zimmeck, Mike Newcomb, Chris Sette
Click here for presenter bios.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in many areas. Education institutions are particularly hit hard as there will be a need to re-open campuses safely. It will be extremely important to bring back students and ensure safety at the same time. Hesitation is likely, as the classroom is not an easy place to practice social distancing. In addition to promoting personal hygiene, regulations will likely include the ability to track potential outbreaks early and isolate affected students and staff. “Contact tracing” is a key method that will help to mitigate a major outbreak on campus. Contact tracing is a process that is activated when you have a confirmed case of COVID. This process involves tracking down everyone who has had close contact (within six feet over for more than a couple of minutes). Join representatives from Wesleyan University, Meriden Public Schools, The State of Connecticut, and Juniper Networks as they discuss the technologies emerging in the space, the challenges of implementation and the implication of using them.
Network Recommendations in the Age of COVID-19
Thursday July 16, 1pm - 2:30pm
Join Craig Holland, Director of IT for Newington Public Schools, and Ryan Kocsondy, Director of CEN, for a session dedicated to “Network Considerations in the age of COVID-19”. This discussion will review important considerations for IT Professionals, Institutional Leaders, and Policy makers to be aware of in preparation for Fall 2020 activities and beyond. Topics include: Broadband Speed Guide, Video Requirements by platform, Network Load Calculations, COVID Realizations on Network Performance, General Guidance for hybrid environments, and Public Policy Recommendations.
Keeping Students Safe at Home - Featuring iboss
Thursday June 25, 1pm - 2:30pm
Protecting students while on-line learning at home and ensuring CIPA compliance are primary and urgent requirements for CEN’s K-12 IT community. CEN has partnered with iboss to provide members solutions at no additional cost. This session will provide information on the features and capabilities of the iboss cloud product, how and why your member colleagues migrated to the cloud from hosted or on-prem school appliance solutions, and it will offer a forum for questions, answers, and sharing.
Keeping Students Safe at Home - Featuring Securly
Wednesday June 17, 2pm - 3:30pm
Protecting students while on-line learning at home and ensuring CIPA compliance are primary and urgent requirements for CEN’s K-12 IT community. CEN has partnered with Securly to provide members solutions at discounted pricing. This session will provide information on the portfolio of Securly student safety products and how they protect students at school, at home, and elsewhere. The session will include first hand feedback from your member colleagues and a forum for questions, answers, and sharing.
CEN Town Hall Meeting
Join us for a CEN Town Hall meeting on May 15 or 22! We are excited to meet virtually with our members from across the state to share important and timely CEN updates, to hear your feedback, and to learn more about how we can work and grow together.
The meeting agenda will include:
- Cloud Services Updates
- Network Enhancements
- Support for 1:1 Initiatives
- Filtering & Student Safety
- Advisory Councils Update
- Member Conference Plans
- Open Forum
We hope to see you there! Please register here to select your preferred date.
Webinar - Important and Time Sensitive E-Rate News - Category 2 Enhancements
Friday, 1/31, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Category 2 E-Rate rules and budgets have been recently changed providing increased benefits to K-12 districts/schools and libraries. There are applicable changes to the current E-Rate Funding Year 2020 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) and to future years. This webinar provided by CEN and E-Rate Provider Services included a description of those changes and an explanation of how your organization can benefit.
Topics covered included:
- Additional budget for Funding Year 2020
- Districtwide budget and rule changes for Funding Year 2021 and beyond
- Example budget calculations
- Eligible CEN services
Strategic Planning Workshops - CEN Town Hall Meetings
The CEN Team invited our members to join us for Town Hall style meetings. We met in-person with our members from across the state to share important CEN updates, to hear your feedback, and to learn more about how we can grow together. Last year, we had great success with similar meetings to collaborate on the development of CEN’s 5-Year Strategic Plan. At our upcoming Town Hall meetings, members heard more about the goals of that plan and what it means for you and your organization.
We offered meetings at these locations around the state:
CEN Forum - Protecting Our Communities from Ransomware Attacks
We were joined by CEN community members, security experts, and homeland security representatives for an important CEN Forum - Protecting Our Communities from Ransomware Attacks on November, 19 at Central Connecticut State University.
News stories are plentiful of cities and towns paying tens of thousands of dollars to ransomware hackers to get their data back, and this does not include the millions spent in cleanup and in rebuilding a network following an attack. Ransomware attacks are perhaps the greatest current threat to our members' networks, private data, operational continuity, and financial health.
Quarterly Training Sessions - Cyber Defense Clinic
Quarterly Training Session - Digital Accessibility Workshop
The third quarterly training was held on June 6, 2019. This presentation included an overview of global standards for digital accessibility, the broad and narrow applications of digital accessibility, technology used to address accessibility and accommodations, training and resources available for faculty, staff, and students, and guidance on how to draft a plan for universal institutional accessibility. The training took place at CCSU and was streamed to ECSU, SCSU, WCSU, and UCONN Stamford. Stay tuned for details on the next quarterly training.
Annual Member Conference - 2019 CEN Member Conference
The CEN member conference is a unique opportunity to join over 500 of your colleagues and industry experts in a one day event geared to educate, communicate and collaborate about common issues in cybersecurity, community best practices, education and innovation, and technology community awareness. Last year's conference featured a keynote by Dr Kate Darling of MIT, 28 parallel sessions to choose from, hot lunch and more! You can view a photo gallery from this event on our Conference page.
Quarterly Training Session - Broadband Tool Kit Workshop
The second quarterly training took place February 22, 2019. The "Toward Gigabit Libraries" project, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), has created a "Broadband Toolkit" and customized "Broadband Improvement Plan" designed to help public and tribal librarians learn about their current broadband infrastructure and internal information technology (IT) environment. This interactive training took place in at the CT State Library Service Center in Middletown and was steamed live to libraries in Stratford, Old Saybrook, Mansfield, and Litchfield.
Strategic Planning Workshops - Fairfield County
The second CEN Strategic Planning Workshop took place on January 25, 2019 from 10:00am- 2:00pm in Newtown. Each workshop offered CEN members, staff, and other stake holders the opportunity to help analyze and create CEN's: Mission and Purpose, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, and Strategies for the Future.
Strategic Planning Workshops - Hartford County
The first CEN Strategic Planning Workshop took place January 22, 2019 from 10:00am- 2:00pm at CEN in Hartford. Each workshop offered CEN members, staff, and other stake holders the opportunity to help analyze and create CEN's: Mission and Purpose, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, and Strategies for the Future.
Quarterly Training Session - K-12 Student Data Privacy
The first training, K-12 Student Data Privacy session was held at Central Connecticut State University on November 20th and was streamed live to ESCU, SCSU, WCSU, CEN Hartford, and the Ferguson Library in Stamford to ensure convenience to CEN members from all over the state. 211 CEN members registered for the event, and approximately 190 participated.