Academic journal article New Waves

Educational Leadership Program Faculty as Technology Leaders: What Support Will They Need?

Academic journal article New Waves

Educational Leadership Program Faculty as Technology Leaders: What Support Will They Need?

Article excerpt

Review of Related Literature

The Technology Role of Educational Leadership Programs

In order to prepare school leaders to serve as technology chiefs in their schools, educational leadership programs have the responsibility of preparing and supporting present and future ranks to fully utilize technology in schools (Schrum, Skeele, & Grant, 2003). Onguko, Abdalla and Weber (2008) stated:

With the current trends in use of technology in education, it is imperative for the preparation programmes to incorporate aspects of the use of technology in educational leadership. The use of new information communications technology such as social networking software that incorporates both synchronous and asynchronous communication in the preparation programmes would be ideal. This would provide the principals an opportunity to use the technology while achieving the twin objectives of principal preparation and acquisition of more skills and knowledge about the utilization of technology for later use in their schools. (p. 722)

Schrum and colleagues (2003) argued that the faculty of institutions of higher learning will need to serve as models for technologically enhanced instruction in the classroom. Before this can occur, some institutions of higher learning may need to remove barriers to the integration and use of technology in the college classroom (Brzycki & Dudt, 2005; Javeri & Persichitte, 2010; Sahin & Thompson, 2006; Schrum et al, 2003). According to Brzycki and Dudt (2005) these barriers were preparation and planning time; lack of support; and lack of access to technology.

Brzycki and Dudt (2005) surveyed three universities and from the results identified five barriers that higher education faculty face when attempting to include technology into lessons. The most predominant barrier identified in their research was lack of time (Brzycki & Dudt, 2005). The majority of the participants reported not having enough time to plan and prepare with technological resources. One of the participants stated that the amount of time needed to incorporate technology was becoming an "imposition on their academic freedom, their personal time, and their teaching competency" (Brzycki & Dudt, 2005, p. 621; see also Schrum et al, 2003). Sahin and Thompson (2006) noted in their study "workload and time required for computer use were a concern among the participants" (p. 88).

Brzycki and Dudt (2005) also found that lack of support was a significant barrier to the use of technology in college classrooms. Similarly, Sahin and Thompson (2006) noted in a study of 157 college faculty members that support was a frequently cited barrier. The researchers identified, using survey methods, that both instructional and technical support were linked with the use of technology in teaching. Fitzallen (2005) noted that educator confidence fluctuates with the quality and amount of support provided. Support is a product of culture (Zhao, Pugh, Sheldon & Byers, 2002) and people are the most important resource in providing support (Lane & Lyle, 2009). If the culture is not receptive to or supportive of the integration of technological tools, educators may face difficulty in adapting technological tools for their teaching (Archambault, Wetzel, & Foulger, 2010; Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Goldstein and colleagues (2010) argued that support can also involve incentives such as opportunities for promotion and leadership. These incentives as well as peer pressure and collegial support can influence teacher usage and success with technology (Sahin & Thompson, 2006; Sime & Priestley, 2005).

Lack of access to technology can discourage potential users. A robust infrastructure must be in place to support technological needs (Brzycki & Dudt, 2005; Keengwe, Kidd & Kyei-Blankson, 2009; Kopcha, 2008). Maintaining a technology infrastructure requires leadership, a shared vision, and budgeting to meet educational needs (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010; Grey-Bowen, 2010; ISTE, 2009; Javeri & Persichitte, 2010). …

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