Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The chicken and egg aspect of effective school technology leadership

I usually do not post much about effective school technology leadership .  This is not because I am tech adverse.  On the contrary, I have embraced technology's place as a powerful engagement and productivity tool in school.  The fact is I just do not spend much time reflecting on the leadership aspects of school technology.

Today, however, I have decided to jump into the pool on Leadership Day 2012.

Here it goes.

What came first?  The chicken or the egg?

Heard that one already, huh?  Well, how about this one.

What needs to come first?  School leadership that embraces technology or a technologist who embraces school leadership?

Yes, many principals, division heads, heads of school, superintendents, etc. are realizing how technology can enhance the learning environment, but in their roles as instructional leaders, technology presents a challenge.  Most of these leaders were former teachers, but not in a technological sense.  They were Math, History, English, Science, etc. teachers.  Some may have worked in admissions or development departments and had limited instructional backgrounds.

For these leaders, the potential impact of technology to empower teachers and students to engage in genuine learning is hard to understand.  They may simply not be immersed in technology enough to fully grasp the potential.  Unless they make a true commitment to understanding and embracing technology in their current roles, they are more reliant on their technology "specialist" for answers.

On the other hand, as technology experts and directors of technology integration gain school experience and move through their own career paths, I suspect more and more of them will become principals, division heads, heads of school, and superintendents.  When this happens, it will be interesting to see how the learning environments in our school will change.

Technological advances have had a huge impact on how schools operate, and this all has occurred under the leadership of leaders who have not had much of a formal background in technology.

What will be the impact when the school technologists move into formal leadership roles?
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