I am at it again: back to school because I just love learning. This summer, I enrolled in a Type 75 / Admin certification program at the University of Illinois’ College of Education. As I work through some of my coursework this semester, I am realizing that there is really a vacuum of academic writing on how leaders can be better supporting technology adoption in their schools.
For one of my term papers, I have focused my research on the question: How can school leaders/administrators better support teachers’ adoption/integration of technology for student learning in the classroom? Basically, I see this problem existing because of the following reasons/conditions:
- From the recent PEW research, we see an growing need for teaching appropriate technology use; it is a need assumed by the growing numbers of students who carrying more and more devices.
- “Lab” mentality = students don’t need to “go to” the technology…it’s mobile now.
- For years, schools have allocated more and more money into the IT infrastructure and teachers don’t know how the improvements can translate to better access to instructional materials or activities.
- Schools lack the human resources to support professional development centered around effective technology integration.
- Technology’s impact on scores are hard to measure when assessments are not electronic, too. There is a persistence of paper in testing/assessment practices.
- Digital literacies are hard to assess because of the changing media appetites of students.
- Ed leaders and their policies (as well as teachers) are not relinquishing decision-making power over who uses the technology.
But the more leadership literature I sift through, the more I see editors treating instructional and test score improvement as the only publishable sub-topic of school improvement. Where is the academic literature talking about…
- teacher or leader fears stemming from technology adoption?
- creating communities of practice for technology integration?
- instructional leadership in edtech tools?
- leaders “branding” their schools through social media… and improving school culture at the same time(?)
- tech leaders setting up systems to meet the data needs of teachers and other stakeholders?
- staffing not just for troubleshooting and support?
- culture shifts in schools that embrace the glow/warmth of technology (that is online and in the hands of students!)?
- how ISTE standards can work into school goals?
- restructuring course scheduling and seat time to reflect not the old technologies’ (mostly industrial) workplace models but instead a new mentality for the 21st-century workplace?
Maybe I am not using the right search terms, but I sure wish I could find some peer-reviewed articles to answer these concerns and offer some suggestions. There is no doubt in my mind that new manufacturing methods will be creating a new shift in everything from and in between our economy and our culture. And I’m not going to let myself get left behind or let my students get left behind either.