Title

Technological Leadership Proficiency Among School Administrators In the Twenty-First Century Schools (21s) Initiative

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Michael Ward

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

This study examined school and district administrator proficiency in technology leadership based on the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A), a set of standards which are used by administrators to model their behavior in regard to the integration of educational technology into the classroom. Most states and educator licensing agencies have adopted NETS-A, and colleges of education utilize the NETS-A standards as a basis for academic education and sustainment training. Even while a widespread demand for increased use of technology in K-12 classrooms has steadily grown, implementation of the professional standards has been uneven. In this study, many administrators believed that their formal training did not prepare them well for technology leadership. Currently-serving administrators recognized the necessity for improving their proficiency in this increasingly urgent new dimension of administrator behavior. Technology leadership has been shown by several researchers to bear a strong relationship to the ability to lead change among teachers and staff. Although change leadership theories and behaviors are well-documented, leading change remains a difficult task to fully master. Because of the shared difficulty in full implementation of change leadership and technology leadership, it is important to study levels of proficiency among administrators in the task of leading technology implementation. This study showed a relationship between proficiency in change leadership and in technology leadership. The participants in this study consisted of 130 practicing school and district-level administrators in two Gulf South states, all selected from the 33 school districts participating in the Twenty-First Century Schools (21S) Initiative sponsored by CISCO Systems, Inc. Results of the study determined a baseline level of proficiency in NETS-A, and revealed no statistically significant relationships between NETS-A proficiency and age, academic training, professional development, employment history, and attitudes. In addition, there was no statistically significant relationship found between NETS-A proficiency and administrator belief in the efficacy of using technology as a medium for instructional delivery. There was a significant relationship found between administrator proficiency in change leadership and NETS-A proficiency, which would imply a need to emphasize training in the leadership of change. Statistical analysis techniques used included descriptive statistics, multiple linear regression, and Pearson product moment correlation. The results of this study are important because of the link between change and technology leadership, as well as the identification by administrators that their college years did little to prepare them to be educational technology leaders.