All planning and implementation of technology in a school travels from top down. Strong insightful leadership is required to develop a 21st century district. Leadership must embrace technology and digital tools for them to be implemented and the leadership must include knowledgeable technologists who can provide good advice. The more informed the decision-makers are, the more likely a school will have a technology-rich curriculum. Whitehead, Jensen & Boschee (2003, p. 21) contend that "capable leadership and careful planning are critical factors that are constantly interwoven within the fabric of successful school technology initiatives."
Williamson & Redish (2009, p. 178-179) point out that although Standards VII and VIII are heavily focused on leadership, Standard VIII focuses more on vision, goals and inspiration than on budgeting and policy. The three major aspects of Standard VIII are aligning and motivating people and establishing a direction. "Inspiring a diverse group of people to establish and accomplish common goals is a crucial enabling factor in the success of any school improvement effort." (Anderson & Dexter, 2000)
I'm sad to say that my school does not currently have a strong vision and technology is not being used to its potential. I have learned over the past 18 months that this is not likely to improve if all stakeholders do not develop and believe in a shared vision for both technology and our school in general. Constructing, creating and sustaining vision has been a reoccurring topic in both our leadership and technology classes. Fundamentals of Technology Education, Leadership for Accountability and this course all specifically had us consider and begin developing our personal visions. Williamson & Redish (2009, p.179) explain that because it is difficult for stakeholders to conceptualize technology supported instruction, technologists try to display technology rich environment for them.
It is my opinion, after 18 months, that stakeholders must be included in technology planning and exposed to technology rich experiences to fully understand reasons for producing 21st century learners. I have learned that technology plans must be focused on student learning and be simple, useful and measurable. I plan to revisit my own technology plan as a result of these findings and appeal for help from additional stakeholders. My colleagues can provide input by conveying to me their wishes and concerns. As a lifelong learner, I plan to keep attending professional development at my Education Service Center and to continue donating my time in the spring to peer review Region XVII technology plans.
Anderson, R., & Dexter, S. (2000). School technology leadership: Incidence and impact. Retrieved on August 29, 2007, from www.crito.uci.edu/tlc/findings/report_6/startpage.html
Whitehead, B., Jensen, D., & Boschee, F. (2003). Planning for technology: A guide for school administrators, technology coordinators, and curriculum leaders. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Williamson, O., & Redish, T. (2009). Iste's technology facilitation and leadership standards, what every k-12 leader should know and be able to do. Intl Society for Technology in Educ. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books/feeds/volumes?q=9781564842527