Magazine article Technology & Learning

TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS for School Administrators

Magazine article Technology & Learning

TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS for School Administrators

Article excerpt

What do today's principals, superintendents, and other school leaders need to know about technology? Here, we take a look at the newest standards under construction.

When it comes to the education leadership food chain and competence with technology, there may be an inverse relationship. As more than a few of us have observed, it is not unusual for students to possess the highest degree of knowledge, competence, and confidence when it comes to computers and the Internet, while the superintendent possesses the least. This wasn't a problem as long as the technology department stayed in its own little closet or lab down the hall, emerging only occasionally to take kids through a software activity or conduct guerrilla staff development spots before disappearing again into the blackboard jungle. But those days are gone. With almost every school hooked up to the Internet, daily e-mails forming the core of communication, and computers in most classrooms, you'd have to be hermetically sealed to stay completely out of the loop. Moreover, strong technology-savvy school leaders are more in demand at this moment than ever before, and most have a lot of catching up to do.

Enter technology standards for administrators. Although 45 states have established or are working on technology standards for students and teachers, the development of same for administrators has lagged behind. But efforts are ramping up, with conversations underway everywhere about just what it is our school leaders need to know to successfully guide students, teachers, and the community in today's technology-infused society. Among the groups pioneering this challenge are the Virginia Department of Education, the Southern Regional Education Board, ISTE's Collaborative for Technology Standards for School Administrators and the National School Boards Association (see "More on Technology Standards for Administrators").

Though varying to some extent, proposed standards share common elements including the following.

Leaders must:

* play an active role in establishing a vision and in creating and implementing a flexible technology plan.

* manage changes in organizational structures and processes so that technology can be used with ease and have a positive impact.

* be prepared to move technology from a part-time tool, or add-on, to one that is fully integrated. …

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