Laurence (Larry) Cocco
Director of the Office of Educational Technology
New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE)
Laurence (Larry) Cocco, a long standing SETDA member and current at large member of the SETDA Board of Directors, was named the 2014 SETDA State Leader of the Year (SLY). Larry is the Director of the Office of Educational Technology located within the Division of Innovation in the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). Larry established one of the first classrooms of the future in New Jersey and is a staunch supporter of the use of technology in schools. Larry’s work throughout the state of New Jersey exemplifies SETDA’s mission to improve education through technology policy and practice on the state and national level. He has been instrumental in developing State policies and implementation strategies for digital learning.
Larry has been a member of SETDA since he started working at the NJDOE. He has worked with strategic partners, education leaders and policy makers to support SETDA and its mission. Larry was recently re-elected to the SETDA Board and continues to demonstrate leadership capacity while sharing his expertise with SETDA Members.
As a member, Larry has served on many committees and has been instrumental collaborating with other members to develop national policy. His strong leadership for the broadband policies shaped a revolutionary procedure and process in New Jersey to ensure broadband access for K-12 students.
Larry is able to focus on the broad picture, while considering the challenges and perspectives of all states and propose comprehensive solutions as exemplified by his work with the Broadband initiative. His visits to the House and Senate committee members permitted him to share the State and national positions with State representatives.
Larry is passionate about the educational value of alternate methods of education, including online gaming. He initiated webinars for G.A.M.E. (Gamers Advancing Meaningful Education), a resource for educators who game, want to learn how to game, and want to incorporate gaming strategies into teaching and learning. This successful series of webinars garnered national and international attention to using games as a vehicle for educating students and expanding perceptions of alternative learning methods.