Principals’ Perceptions of their Technology Leadership Preparedness

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Journal of Research in Education


Adopting technology in the K-12 classroom is evolving from adapting lessons that highlight a technology to pervasive use of interactive and handheld devices. In this environment, school leaders have the complex task of incorporating technologies to enhance teaching and learning. The purpose of this quasi-experimental quantitative study was to examine leaders’ perceptions of technology leadership preparedness and analyze the impact of the Quality-Plus Leader Academy (QPLA) on leaders’ perceptions. The research was guided by the overarching question: What is the perceived technology leadership preparedness level of school administrators as measured by their understanding of the 2009 ISTE NETS-A standards? The following sub-question added clarity: How do technology leadership preparedness perceptions differ between principals who attended the Quality-Plus Leader Academy and those who did not, across the five NETS-A themes: visionary leadership, digital age culture, excellence in professional practice, systemic improvement, and digital citizenship? This study revealed principals’ perceived they were most prepared for digital citizenship and least prepared for visionary leadership. In addition, there was a statistically significant difference between technology leadership preparedness perceptions between QPLA participants and non-QPLA participants. Considering these findings we recommend that Educational Leadership programs align coursework with NETS-A standards to help leaders develop the knowledge and skills necessary to lead technology rich schools. In addition, school districts should consider using supplemental principal preparation programs that incorporate the NETS-A standards to further prepare their building leaders. Technology leadership skills should be embedded in the standard dimensions of leader development.