Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Administrator Insights and Reflections: Technology Integration in Schools

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Administrator Insights and Reflections: Technology Integration in Schools

Article excerpt

Technology integration in schools is commonplace, so much so that educators often ignore what is thrown at them, hoping that it will disappear as many technology integrations often do (Inan & Lowther, 2010; Rogers, 2003). Technology integrations typically follow similar patterns no matter what "technology" is being introduced. A select group of educators see the value in a specific technology and this small group extols the technology for all of its virtues (Borsheim, Merritt, & Reed, 2008). "Unfortunately, increased availability of technology in schools does not necessarily lead to improvement in classroom teaching practices" (Ian & Lowther, p.137). When the technology is introduced into the mainstream, the virtues quickly become less evident as the problems multiply; problems with hardware, the technology is broken, it is too time consuming, the technology does not align with the curriculum, the teachers' use of the equipment does not fit with their curriculum schedule, and in essence the teacher puts the technology back on the shelf to collect dust (Strong-Wilson, 2008). The culmination of these problems leads to failed technology integrations (Hayes, 2006; Laurillard, 2008) and frequently teachers feel an "... ambivalence to administrative leadership as an important influence in their professional work" (Meister, 2010, p.893).

Technology has become a focal point of educational reform; federal, state, and local funds have been provided to implement educational policies and new technology integrations in school districts (Bailey, 2002; Christensen, & Knezek, 2007; Forte, 2010; Lowther, Inan, Strahl, & Ross, 2008), and effective leadership during the implementation process is vital (Anderson & Dexter, 2005; Bailey; Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). One challenge for school district administrators is to adequately support teachers who are implementing technology to enhance and improve the teaching and learning process (Subramaniam, 2007; Winne, 2006). The implementation of the U.S. Department of Education's No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB; Public Law 107-110) has impacted education in myriad ways (Donlevy, 2008; Forte; Gay, 2007; Schraw, 2010). Among these, funding sources have been established to integrate technology into the NCLB requirements, and Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) funding is one such source (Lowther, et al.,). In this study, researchers investigated administrators' perceptions of the implementation process of a laptop-based writing curriculum MY Access! IntelleMetric[TM] (n.d.) scoring system that assesses student writing abilities and the technology necessary to support the software as part of an EETT grant project at four middles schools in one school district.

Leadership and administrators' ability to lead is a significant factor in determining the success of implementing a new technology (Anderson & Dexter, 2005; Hayes, 2006). How principals perceive their role and their ability to listen to the teachers needs frequently impacts the implementation process. The purpose of this research was to understand the leadership process of the implementation of technology integration, specifically an Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) grant project, at four middle schools in Grove Unified School (pseudonym) in California. In order to understand the implementation process, the researcher first needed to identify how administrators viewed their role as participants in the grant community of Grove Unified School District. The common elements of tension in the district's culture that facilitated or prohibited administrators' participation in the project were also identified as well as the motivating factors of technology integration. The research questions were developed to provide in-depth descriptive information to allow the researcher a deeper understanding of the leadership characteristics within Grove Unified School District and the EETT grant project. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.