Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Shuyan Wang

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Jonathan Beedle

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Holly Foster

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Masha Krsmanovic

Committee Member 4 School



This study examines the lived experiences of K-12 Instructional Technology Leaders in rural schools and school districts throughout Mississippi. It sought to explore the challenges that were encountered, the strategies they were employed, and the lessons that were learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, as traditional classroom teaching and learning was abruptly transitioned to 100% online or remote teaching and learning. Five participants were recruited. Only one participant holds the actual title of an instructional technology leader of their school district, while the other four assumed the role and responsibilities of an instructional technology leader for their schools or school districts. Employing a qualitative research design, this study obtained data Through participant interviews and applied descriptive data analysis to extract meaning from responses.

Key findings regarding their experiences based on the Future Ready Technology Leaders™ (FRTL™) include: Advocacy for technology integration into curriculum, instruction, and assessment; Promotion of personalized professional learning to enhance technology use among teachers, students, and parents; Leverage of existing infrastructure for a smooth transition to remote learning; Rarity of challenges in securing the budget and resources; Promotion of student-centered teaching and learning through community partnerships; Consideration of data and privacy issues; Support for effective use of space and time for student-centered learning through technology use; and Encouragement of technology adoption and integration through collaborative leadership

Key findings regarding the barriers instructional technologists experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic include: Greater infrastructure challenges in remote (in-home) learning environments; Teacher resistance to technology use in curriculum, instruction, and assessment; Teacher unpreparedness for technology and the increased demand for personalized professional learning due to COVID-19; and Elevated concerns about data and privacy during the rapid transition to remote learning.

Key findings regarding the lessons learned by instructional technologists include: Streamlining technology infrastructure; Providing opportunities for personalized professional learning; Considering student learning needs when planning instruction; and Embracing and adapting to the changes that comes with technology implementation; and Maintaining a student-centered approach to technology integration.