technology is no longer the domain of the few. Technology is now an
integral part of learning and the ability to learn and use
technology is quickly becoming a skill required of all students to
ensure their success in the workforce. Of the 54 jobs projected to
have the highest numerical growth between 2000 and 2005, only eight
do not require technological fluency (Thornburg, 1997). This need
for technologically skilled workers is forcing education, and
therefore educators to become proficient at using technology in
their instructional methodology and integrating technology into
their curriculum. Recognizing the importance of technology skills,
schools are using staff development resources to train current
teachers to become more proficient at using technology in their
. The development of these skills are dependent on the
training and support teachers receive from the district, technology
proficient staff, technology trainers, and participation in other
professional development programs.
about technology leadership is that a technology leader is someone
who is proficient with technology tools alone. This paper will
discuss the importance of technology leaders becoming familiar with
technology goals and standards in education, the benefits of
technology integrated into education, effective technology staff
development programs, and the importance of leadership qualities for
implementing technology in education.
Technology goals and standards
In January of 1996,
President Clinton stated technology goals for education: “In our
schools, every classroom in America must be connected to the
information superhighway with computers, good software and
well-trained teachers” (1996). The Technology Literacy Challenge
project identifies four goals to achieve the vision of all students
as technologically literate:
All teachers receive the training and support necessary to
help students learn to use computers and the information super
All teachers and students will have modern multimedia
computers in their classrooms.
will be connected to the information superhighway
Effective software and on-line learning resources will be an
integral part of every school’s curriculum (Riley, 1996, p. 2).
Technology Education Association (ITEA) stated in the article, Technology For All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of
Technology, that to help achieve technological literacy for the
nation, standards should be developed based on the universal skills
of technology (1996). These standards include technological
literacy, a shared vision of expectations, an established
qualitative and quantitative expectation of excellence, and
integrating technology learning into other fields of study for all
students from kindergarten through twelfth grade (ITEA, 1996).
Standards need to be set high enough for students to be able to
achieve and prosper within our technological society. These
standards also require that technology be integrated into the
curriculum of each subject area (ITEA, 1996).
In order to
incorporate technology standards into existing curriculum, most
schools and districts use technology proficient staff as trainers.
These trainers are expected to train and then lead
teachers toward using and integrating technology into their
curriculum (Casson, 2001)
. Programs of this nature rely heavily on the current belief
that technology-proficient trainers
are also technology-proficient leaders.
This paper will
review models of technology integration and then look at learning
models that have been successful in technology integration. Next it
will review staff development models and look at the roles of
different learning models within the context of staff development.
This research paper will conclude by examining the importance
of these models and their relationship to technology leaders in
Benefits of Technology Integration
Thus, Casson infers
that acquiring technology and providing training is not enough (Casson,
. Leadership must also be provided to assure implementation
and the organizational change to support it. Organizational change
means district decisions that understand the needs of technology in
instruction, not just the placement of technology in the classroom.
It also means that school administration provide teachers the time,
support, and training to learn technology. And finally,
organizational change means teachers must be encouraged to embrace
the change that technology brings (McKenzie, 1999). A technology
leader must understand the strategies and
skills to make organizational change happen over time.
One program that has
addressed the issues of technology integration over time is the
Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT). This program found through its
studies that students and teachers respond favorably to the
integration of technology into the curriculum (Sandholtz-Haymore,
Ringstaff, & Dwyer, 1997). The ACOT program was
developed and supported by Apple Computers to integrate technology
into classrooms across America. The teachers who participated in
these programs found that integrating technology encouraged
innovative ideas with tools that help their students’ learning and
motivation. These teachers witnessed first-hand technology’s
positive impact on student knowledge acquisition and retention (Sandholtz-Haymore,
Ringstaff, & Dwyer, 1997).
Sprague cites an
additional benefit of using technology is that students can and will
navigate their own learning (1996).
Students gain valuable technological knowledge from their
experiences with technology. This technological knowledge can be
combined with the skills of how to apply information, use ideas in
new ways, evaluate information, and extrapolate or go beyond basic
information will give students the ability to navigate their own
learning (Sprague, 1996).
Howard Gardner has
suggested that although technology reinforces learning, many adults,
especially teachers, are very intimidated when students are put in
charge of their own learning (Weiss,
. It may be that many educators fear that technology will
undermine their authority and perhaps replace them at some point. In
truth, technology is the toool for enhancing educational experiences
and will never replace face to face student/teacher interaction.
Gardner remind us that educators all need to look at technology as a
tool, neither positive nor negative (Weiss, 2000). Technology
leaders need to look at technology in this manner and provide the
strategies needed by the teacher to overcome their fear of
technology, which will give teachers the confidence to integrate
technology into their curriculum.
can provide many benefits it is not without its demands on teachers
and facilities. In order for change to happen, teachers need to
become agents of change. Barriers they need to overcome are time
constraints, support, and the fear of change. Without support from
their peers and/or administrators teachers can become frustrated
because of the overwhelming demands put upon them. Therefore, those
who do not receive support tend to revert back to their tried and
true directed-teaching methods and success is minimal at best (Hancock,
understand the importance of long-term support for teachers and how
this support also benefits student learning. Additionally it is
important to know how technology relates to and enhances models of
used to integrate technology into learning is knowledge that
technology leaders need in order to successfully lead teachers to
use technology in their curriculum. There are several learning
models that apply to the integration of technology into the learning
environment. A brief review of technological learning, distributed
learning, Problem-Based learning, and collaborative learning
training and support to better understand how technology is relevant
to the process of learning. Gardner
advises parents and teachers to look at technology as a tool that
can be utilized to enhance learning through many different
modalities (1990). Humans seek input either by actions, facial
expression or body language. The human minds is unique in the way it
continuously updates and alters new information. Technology also
gives humans the ability to address multiple ways of knowing and
. After a teacher has gained the knowledge of using
technology as a tool to enhance student learning, they will need to
know how to gain access to the resources available to them.
Distributed learning is a way for teachers to take advantage and
discover these resources.
A new model of
learning that is highly dependent on the use of technology is
Distributed Learning. Technology leaders can take advantage of
distributed learning for training, communication, and helping
teachers integrate distributed learning into the curriculum.
Distributed learning uses a wide range of information technologies
to provide learning opportunities beyond the bounds of the
traditional classroom. The use of online classes is a good example
of distributed learning. Other examples of distributed learning
technologies include the use of the World Wide Web, email, video
conferencing, groupware, simulations, newsgroups, distribution
lists, chat rooms, MOO’s, and instructional software. A
distributed learning environment facilitates a learner-centered
educational paradigm and promotes active learning. Distributed
learning supports a "pull" model of education in which a
person engages in learning activities at his or her own pace and at
a self-selected time (California State University Center for
Distributed Learning, 2001).
According to Dewey,
“Knowledge and ideas emerge only from situations in which the
learners had to draw them out of experiences that had meaning and
importance to them” (Dewey, 1916). Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is
a constructivist-based method that provides students with real-world
problems, which allow those students to develop a deeper
understanding of their new knowledge. Through PBL, technology
becomes an integration tool to help students solve real life
Department of Education, 1996)
learning (PBL) is an instructional methodology that uses an
authentic challenge as a context for teachers and students to learn
problem solving and to promote lifelong learning (Barrows,
. PBL supports problem definition, problem investigation,
problem solving and presentation of solutions using real world
problems (Boud 1991). PBL is based on real world problems, builds in
cooperative group learning, encourages scaffolding through a process
of collaboration between students, teachers, and outside guests, and
is innovative, interactive, and media rich as compared to the
traditional instructional delivery method that had produced limited
results (Boud, 1991). Many of the teachers in the ACOT studies
indicated that their teaching methodology evolved from direct
instruction to a constructivist PBL methodology (Sandholtz-Haymore,
Ringstaff, & Dwyer). One of PBL’s essential strategies
for students and teachers is collaboration with others.
For a technology
leader, collaborative learning can be of benefit to students and
teachers alike. Collaboration using PBL provides opportunities for
learners to see others solve problems. The creation of collaborative
knowledge-building communities within the classroom increases
student engagement, motivation, and performance on standardized
tests of academic skills (Sherry, 1999). By working together on an
authentic problem, learners are more likely to tackle the problem as
a group rather than as individuals. Support for PBL also comes from
Johnson and Johnson’s research demonstrating that collaborative
learning produces higher achievement and productivity levels than
non-collaborative learning (1998).
Teachers who use
collaborative teams with technology to approach the different
subject areas in new and innovative ways in their classrooms are
successful in reaching their students and promoting more extensive
learning .The least successful teachers were those who tried to fit
the collaborative technologies into their traditional
teacher-directed approach (Sandholtz-Haymore, Ringstaff, &
Once a technology
leader is familiar with the benefits of using technology in the
learning environment, they will need the knowledge to design and
implement effective staff development programs for teachers to learn
and use technology in their curriculum. A variety of staff
development models are relevant to teachers learning and integrating
technology into their curriculum.
is the process of training teachers, whether it is learning
instructional methodology or learning how to use technology in their
classroom. Technology leaders are responsible for developing
effective staff development programs that train teachers to learn,
use, and integrate technology. This is why it is important for a
technology leader to have the leadership skills and knowledge to
become pioneers, inventors and shapers of the new culture rather
than the transmitters of the old? First, we must acknowledge that
such a metamorphosis is as profound as the change from caterpillar
to butterfly… Adaptation requires major readjustments and
realignments. It requires immersion, to support such fundamental
change, schools need to apply a different model of adult learning
from the one which has perched on the back of staff development for
1991. p 1)
for staff development suggests that staff developers must offer
immersion and transformation to inspire teachers to invent. His
model also suggests that staff development should be
experience-based, with learning resulting from doing and exploring
to hook the curiosity, wonder or passion of teachers. Staff
development should also respond to a teacher’s appetite, concerns
and interests, feelings, fears. It also needs to address the
anxieties of the learners, engage the perspective of teachers,
appeal to learners at a variety of developmental stages, and be
properly funded (1991. p. 3).
found in their research on technology and staff development that
teachers go through stages in developing expertise with technology
and the Internet. An example of a research project that looked at
these developmental stages was The
Boulder Valley Internet Project. This research was based upon
developing an integrated technology adoption and diffusion model
(Sherry, Lawyer-Brook, & Black, 1997). Teachers start a cyclic
process of evolving from learners to adopters of educational
technology, to collaborators with their students, and finally, to
the reaffirmation or rejection of the use of technologies to enhance
teaching and learning. Teachers in the final reaffirmation or
rejection stage evaluated whether the model was compatible with
their vision and worth the time and effort to continue (Sherry,
Research by Joyce
and Showers identified that teacher technology training should be an
ongoing effort that is properly funded with teachers given
opportunities to apply what they have learned in their classroom
(1995). Staff development should be focused on the improvement of
instructional practice resulting in measurable advances in student
learning (Joyce and
Showers, 1995). In
addition, participation by whole-school faculties with organized
peer-coaching teams for follow-up had a 90% implementation level.
Staff development also needs to include ‘coaching’ by
peers and sustained practice is essential if the new approaches are
to take root (Joyce and Showers, 1995).
need to consider how they conduct staff development. Districts must
also consider “that teachers are adult learners with individual
learning styles, with different stages of development and quite
divergent interests and needs” (Bents and Howey, 1981, p18).
Michael Fullan has described how change must be addressed in the
educational system as a method of staff development. Teacher fears
must be addressed in every avenue of staff development. He further
suggests that fear of change be approached by combining
responsibility with tools, personal vision-building, inquiry,
mastery, and collaboration, to prepare them to be agents of change
(1993, p 12). Fullan states “that purpose provides the teacher
with a commitment to inquiry, knowledge, competence, caring, and
social justice in the classroom “(1993, p 9).
must address teacher’s fear of change that technology integration
and Problem-Based Learning implies.
the learner in charge is very intimidating for many adults
especially teachers who are use to being in control of every
situation. This is why so many educators fear that technology will
undermine their authority and possibly replace them” (Gardner,
The marriage of
education and technology will only happen if educators remember what
they want to achieve while remembering that technology will serve us
in the end and give us great advancements in everything we do (Gardner,
models that enhance teachers’ technological learning and then
technology integration into their curriculum include small learning
communities and coaching and mentoring programs. Staff developers
need to understand how these models contribute to their success as
State University's education department and New Braunfel’s
Independent School District developed a program training first year
teachers on technology integration techniques. These teachers then
were expected to pass on their expertise to the next generation of
colleagues (Caverly, 1997). This program found that the use of
collaborative-guided practice in groups of three teachers over a
three-year period provides a practice that has several advantages.
The teachers formed bonds and developed camaraderie. They learned
they could depend upon one another to help make instructional
decisions. Group members found an area of interest that they found
more interesting and/or they had strength in an area became the
expert in that given area (Caverly,
. This program illustrates the effectiveness of small
learning communities (Caverly,
The factors that
contributed to the success of this project included monthly meetings
to share learning, and curriculum units they developed, evaluate the
unit’s effectiveness, and collaborate on additional units for
their classes. Teachers coaching one another led them to
substantively change their approach to instruction and their
thinking about technology (Caverly,
Second year teachers
became coaches and mentors to the third generation of teachers. The
second year teachers not only passed on their knowledge and
enthusiasm, but also their desire for continued development and
growth. In their third year, teachers slowly shifted to be the
technology resource people who were available for support and/or
knowledge. As agents of change, teachers learned that technology
enables teachers to provide effective instruction using
constructivist approaches compared to lecturing or traditional
direct instruction methods. This program of technology and staff
development became part of their district’s culture (Caverly,
Coaching and mentoring
Experts who have
developed models and completed research (i.e., ACOT, Casson,
McKenzie, etc.) in the area of staff development have developed
programs and researched the use of coaching and mentoring for staff
development. They all speculated that their programs would provide
highly effective staff development that would translate into
implementation and continued development of technology over time.
Staff development programs that include coaching and mentoring have
shown considerable benefits when combined with training teachers to
use technology (Joyce
and Showers, 1995)
. Sharon and Hertz-Lazarowitz found in a study on developing
a mentoring/collaboration program that after two years, sixty-five
percent of the teachers were regularly using group teaching in
appropriate ways (1982)
. McKenzie identified that teacher resistance to technology
can be overcome when a mentor or coach shows inspiring uses of
technology that the teacher can then see himself or herself as doing
comfortably, capably and independently (1994)
. Programs of mentoring and coaching give teachers the
opportunity to share their knowledge (Caverly,
According to Casson
et al., schools that have successful technology staff development
programs use some or all of the following best practices:
and districts have mandates and incentives for technology
experts are identified and training is provided towards needs
continuing over time.
provided the most effective training on-site.
Teachers attend training at conferences,
training centers, and universities.
have access to individual tutoring and mentoring programs (Casson,
role of training in technology integration is only part of the
equation. To be effective, technology leaders must have the
leadership skills to ensure that training happens and is effective.
How important is
leadership qualities for technology leaders? To better understand
this question and its applicability to technology leadership we
restate it as follows. What impact will a technology leader have who
has the qualities and skills to effectively motivate teachers as
active participants in the movement to integrate technology into
education? Following is a discussion of the literature on leadership
models and then the literature on technology leadership.
Leadership is the
basis of all change. The challenge is to have the skills and
qualities to be a successful leader (Kouzes and Posner, 1995).
Technology leaders are no different. To successfully lead teachers
toward technology proficiency and integration, technology leaders
need to have the necessary leadership qualities and skills.
have defined a number of different types of leader characteristics
(Gardner, 1990). In the past, leadership abilities were defined as
natural abilities (Bass, 1985). Now it is understood that leadership
is a process that may be learned by any person with the desire, a
reasonable level of cognitive abilities, and the flexibility to deal
with circumstances that may or may not be constantly changing (Kouzes
and Posner, 1995). Leadership would then be dependent on the
relationships of the leaders, followers, and the context in which
There are many
other definitions of leadership that move beyond the definable and
into the realm of the ambiguous. Patton defined leadership “as the
art of getting your subordinates to do the impossible (Cohen, 1990,
p 215). Leaders are able to motivate others to take action towards a
shared vision or goal. Cohen gives us his definition:
“Leadership is the ability to help people do things that
they didn’t know they could do or didn’t know needed to be
Posner’s research into leadership practices in business,
government, and education has identified five practices that enable
leaders to get things done: leaders challenge the process by seeking
and accepting challenges, inspire a vision shared by all, enable
others to act as a part of the vision, provide a model for the
vision, and encourage others to strive towards the vision (1995)
The research into
leadership practices provides technology leaders with an
understanding of the need for the skills and qualities to
effectively lead and motivate teachers. The following technology
leadership section will further illustrate the practices of
technology leaders in education.
The study Making Technology Happen reported schools that achieved the highest
percentage and the greatest strides with technology integration have
done so with the help and guidance of technology leadership, whether
it was an administrator (97.6%), a champion chosen by administration
(94%), or even a group of educators supported by administration
(91%) (Casson, 2001)
. Although a
major component of this study was the role of leadership as a change
agent in technology integration, the data was not designed to
evaluate specific information about leadership qualities, skills and
actions that motivated educators to learn, use, or integrate
technology into the curriculum. Casson identified four dominant
elements of technology leaders in education:
- Leaders had a strong belief about the role of technology as an
agent of change in education. They also were able to communicate,
act and infect others with their vision.
others – Leaders were able to get staff to buy into their vision
by empowering staff to be involved with the decision making,
encouraging staff to take risks, removing barriers, and using
rewards for the technology achievers.
technology use – All technology leaders were proficient users of
technology, whether as administrators or educators. They modeled
what they preached, how to use technology consistently and
– This category was specifically for administrators and district
leaders. These individuals became involved in the process of
technology integration by participating in workshops themselves
and/or getting the greater community involved in the change process (Casson
et al, 2001)
teachers become technology leaders only by becoming mentors and
providing technology staff development after a period of two or even
three years of training on how to use computers in their own
. Cohen also believes that leaders need to have a vision,
because without a vision there is no leadership (1990). Leaders need
to have the ability to develop a vision of the future that includes
everyone in a role. Leaders need the ability to communicate the
vision so that others understand the vision, feel a part of it, and
are willing to take action to make the vision a reality. Therefore,
their vision needs to be a shared vision (Cohen, 1990). Again, we
can see where the ripple theory continues to have an effect upon how
teachers, administrator and students view technology and its uses.
Leaders must be
committed to their vision by modeling their beliefs to others. It is
easy for a leader to identify the needs of others but it is much
harder to recognize the needs in themselves (Cohen, 1990).
Technology leaders need to pursue training, participate in study
groups, forward articles to staff members and solicit their
comments. They also should make presentations at conferences, write
articles for professional journals, engage in action research,
communicate the importance of professional growth.
method to help teachers become a part of the vision is to empower
them. Technology leaders can empower teachers by showing inspiring
uses of technology that they can see themselves doing comfortably,
capably and independently (Mckenzie, 1994)
. Technology leaders also perform the duties of mentors and
coaches. This mentoring or individual relationship allows for
increased confidence and gives followers understanding and ownership
of decisions and consequences (Bass,
elements of successful leadership with elements of successful staff
development to identify what he considers to be critical factors for
. Staff development must;
the curiosity, wonder or passion of teachers.
immersion and transformation.
teachers to invent.
experience-based, with learning resulting from doing and
to teachers’ appetites, concerns, and interests.
the feelings, fears and anxieties of the learners.
the perspective of teachers.
to learners at a variety of developmental stages.
properly funded (Dockstader,
with a thorough understanding of leadership qualities and technology
skills can effectively lead teachers towards the vision of
technological proficiency and integration of technology into their
The goal of a
technology leader is to motivate teachers to integrate technology
into their curriculum and become proficient with technology. How a
technology leader accomplishes this goal requires more than just
expertise with technology. This paper provides a deeper
understanding of what makes a technology leader. Technology leaders
must be familiar with educational technology goals and standards.
They must understand the benefits of how technology should be
integrated into education and be able to develop staff development
programs for teachers. A major component of technology leadership is
how they will motivate teachers to learn, use, and implement
technology into their curriculum.
Although this review
has shown the foundations for technology in education as a benefit
to student learning, the current literature represents technology
leadership as primarily technological proficiency and knowledge.
Dockstader provides some insight into the role of leadership in
staff development, but his model does not specifically examine staff
development in technology (1999). The general gist of the research
implies that the primary requisite for leadership is proficiency,
but as McKenzie states:
The training agenda
is no simple list of skills; everybody must learn an entirely new
approach underwater. Adaptation requires major readjustments and
realignments. It requires immersion, to support such fundamental
change, schools need to apply a different model of adult learning
from the one which has perched on the back of staff development for
1991. p 1)
is missing in the research is the technology leader’s role in
overcoming the barriers to technology integration identified by
constraints, support, and the fear of change (Hancock,
. If as McKenzie
asserts: “shifting from Industrial Age thinking and teaching to
Information Age thinking and teaching is as dramatic an adjustment
as shifting from teaching in a classroom to teaching underwater” (McKenzie, 1991. p 1)
, then perhaps the same can be said about leadership roles
relative to technology in education.
Action Research: Area
This research has provided a deeper
understanding of technology leadership qualities, skills, and
actions for technology leaders to lead teachers and provide better
programs that will give teachers the skills to become technological
proficient and able to integrate technology into their curriculum.
Technology leadership in education must be examined more closely to
better understand what qualities, skills, and actions define what
makes a technology leader. Once we are able to define a technology
leader by their practices, qualities, skills and actions, we will be
able to evaluate educators and administrators for technology
leadership qualities and know if these individuals have what it
takes to be a good leader.
Also, with a better understanding of
technology leadership practices, administrators, technology
proficient educators, and district personnel are able to develop
their leadership skills to become better agents of change in our
schools. Technology leaders can provide educators with motivation,
training, and support towards the vision of fully integrating
technology into the school system.
This research project provides a
more accurate understanding of the skills and qualities of a
technology leader. Respondents to a survey on technology leadership
responded more favorably that technology leaders empower, support,
encourage, and communicate as compared to a technology leader with
technology skills. Results also indicate that it is the technology
leaders themselves that believe technology skills are of primary
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