Leaders at all levels play a critical role in ensuring the work process of the institution.
With the constant changes happening in education sector, role of the leaders are also changing on a fast pace. Leadership being the key component in guiding the teaching-learning process is necessary for preparing today’s students with relevant knowledge and skills. The leaders play an integral role in technology integration. This role is crucial in helping teachers create today’s ideal learning environment for students.
Below are some pointers about the crucial roles and responsiblities of a school leader for effective technology integration.
1. Establish the Vision and Goals.
The leader must play the role of the ‘Visionary’ to establish context for technology in the school and understand how technology can be used to restructure the learning environment. In doing so, leaders will help in the empowerment of teachers and will also help students use technology astutely.
“The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.”
– William Gibson
Chris Toy (educational consultant and moderator for NMSA’s MiddleTalk) quotes William Gibson, in his newsletter, “Leadership and Effectively Integrating Educational Technology: Ten Lessons for Principals and Other Educational Leaders”
He paraphrases William Gibson, who coined the term cyberspace: “The 21st century is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed. A quick look around our communities confirms that computers, the Internet, and other 21st century technology tools are here to stay. Closer inspection reveals that these powerful tools are, indeed, not evenly distributed.”
2. Hold the Technology Banner.
NO! , Leaders need not ‘hold the banner’ promoting the use of technology instead they must adapt technology in work area to encourage the use of technology.
If the goal is to encourage teachers and staff for adoption of technology then their leader is the key figure they look upon. Leaders need to be knowledgeable of the technology standards and use these as a basis of action in school.
3. Model use of Technology.
If you use it, they use it! The leaders take the lead and make the team follow them. Use technology in your workspace and set an example showing how effective and efficient things get when technology gets in.
Linda star in Education World quotes, John Simeone, (Webmaster at Beach Street Middle School in West Islip, New York), adds,
“Staff members are more apt to use technology if administrators feel strongly about technology use for reasons that are based in fact — not merely on the assumption that they need to ‘keep up’ with other schools or districts.”
4. Support Technology use in the School.
Leaders should attend training sessions on the use and applications of new technologies. Practice the use of these resources so that you are able to discuss them with the technology coordinator as well as teachers. Identify training opportunities for teachers through attendance at these sessions.
5. Professional Development activities focused on Technology Integration.
Leaders can provide opportunities for teachers to use technology tools to track student achievement and attainment of learning goals.
Organize school level meetings or plan training programs for demonstration of these tools. Use the teacher-to-teacher model for the demonstration of these tools. Give insights about how the technology tools can be used to report student progress to parents and guardians.
6. Secure Resources to Support EdTech.
Resources include examples of technology use and integration as well as hardware, software, and other equipment to support technology use. The principal should provide a steady stream of examples of technology use and innovation. These examples should focus on the various academic areas and should be made available to all of the staff.
7. Be an Advocate for Technology
Principals must be knowledgeable of the national technology standards and must use these standards in the school. The leader must communicate the uses and importance of technology in enhancing student-learning experiences to the school’s stakeholders.
8. Benchmarking other Schools
As the new technologies are increasing, the schools should anticipate and be prepared for the ongoing changes. Leaders can exchange information with other schools. Benchmark other institutions that have a good reputation in the establishment of technology for their learning, teaching and school management.
With the change in the styles of learning and teaching, roles of the leader have also changed. But to be in the league one must embrace the change and find ways of implementing this Technovation. Education via Technology can be a great success if the leaders actively support it and engage in it; as well as provide adequate professional development for the staff in the continuous process of change.