Term of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Paul Brinson

Committee Member 1

Linda Arthur

Committee Member 2

Missy Bennett

Abstract

Despite the importance of technology, many principals ignore technology integration within their schools. Administrators commonly are proficient in technology for administrative purposes; however, they are deficient in areas of instructional technology. Therefore, that was the gap in which the researcher explored within this study. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the technological leadership of a principal influenced the integration of technology within his or her school. Two middle schools within a CSRA school district were examined in terms of principals' technological leadership and their schools' implementation of instructional technology. The principal, media specialist, and 7-9 teachers from each school were interviewed. The principal and media specialists were individually interviewed and the teachers were interviewed in the form of focus groups. The results of the study provided evidence that the principals' leadership styles enhanced the utilization of technology within the school for instructional purposes. Both principals modeled their expectations and faculty members followed the lead of their administrator. There was a relationship between principals' technological training and their school's implementation of technology. Principals must model practices in which they expect their teachers and students to replicate. Technology leaders at all levels must understand all of the components within the educational system that are required to lead technology integration as an instructional strategy and assist in making technology a transparent tool in teaching and learning. A technologically competent leader has a greater tendency to pass on technology-related characteristics within his or her school. The transformation of integrating technology within the curriculum is everyone's responsibility but the primary responsibility resides with the school's principal being receptive and competent in the area of technology before its consistent implementation is visible within the school. Principal leadership is a vital factor that affects the effective use of technology in classrooms. When used properly, technology becomes an accelerator of momentum and makes learning more interactive and captivating for the average student. Principals must use that ideal to their advantage to not only prepare students for the 21st Century, but to enhance learning within the educational arena as is prescribed by local, state, and federal mandates.

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