Role for Instructional Technology Leadership in K-12 Public Education
This chapter examines the role of instructional technology leadership in K-12 public schools. Instructional technology leaders, as opposed to instructional leaders or technology leaders, educate teachers how to integrate technology into instructional practice and evaluate the ways teachers teach with technology. Although broadly defined (International Society for Technology in Education. ISTE Standards for Education Leaders. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-education-leaders, 2018), instructional technology leaders can include school superintendents, principals, technology directors, technology coordinators, digital literacy coaches, instructional coaches, and of course teachers. To explore the function of instructional technology leadership, Indiana public school superintendents and teachers completed a survey where they were asked to rank the skills and experiences (completely essential, important, desirable-but-not-essential, not-at-all-important) that they believed were essential for an instructional technology leader. A comparison of mean scores indicated that both the superintendent and teacher groups tended to rank items similarly. However, an examination of group conception about instructional technology diverged markedly. In other words, how is it possible that both groups can find agreement about what instructional technology leaders should do despite being unable to agree about what instructional technology is? What other factors might explain the shared preferences between Indiana superintendents and teachers who otherwise differ in response to questions about instructional technology? Further research on these questions might help to explain why over 20 years of research on digital technologies in public school classrooms has not been able to show significant increases on student learning outcomes (OECD. Students, computers and learning: Making the connection. OECD Publishing, Paris. Retrieved from http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/students-computers-and-learning_9789264239555-en, 2015; Player-Koro and Tallvid, Int J Med Technol Lifelong Learn 11:180–193, 2015).
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