Instructional Leadership, Learning, Teaching and Instruction, Technology, Uncategorized

The Role of the Instructional Leader in Technology Integration

Part 3- Gaining an Understanding

Technology use should live within instruction and learning. Since instruction and learning are a responsibility of school administrators so too is the integration of technology. Today’s leaders must strive to initiate, promote, and support the effective use of technology in the educational environments by creating and supporting opportunities for teachers to learn with, about, and from technology. In this way they can create and support opportunities for learning with, about, and from technology for students.

Julia Kara-Soteriou (2009) suggests that instructional leaders can jump into this learning by taking the initiative for their own learning in three key ways.

  1. Gain an Understanding
  2. Embrace and Model Technology
  3. Actively Demonstrate Leadership

I believe that those three components can provide leaders with the “on ramp” to creating an environment that is technology rich and more importantly learning rich.

In Gaining an Understanding leaders are required to “step into the technology pool” with a willingness to explore. Exploration can range from opening the channels of communication with colleagues about technology; to actively pursuing professional development opportunities; to joining a web-based Professional Learning Network (PLN). Opportunities to use technology for learning are everywhere and leaders need to grab those opportunities with the mindset of educators and learners. This proactive learning should be driven by the needs and interests of the leader, their staff and their students. Though gaining an understanding leaders are able to actively engage in conversations and share their own experiences. This can inspire others to begin their own journeys of understanding.

Within a plethora of possibilities for exploration lies the opportunity for leaders to choose their own adventure, have fun and learn. From adventures in trying new hardware (iPads, computers, Smart Phones, Smart Boards, Document Cameras, digital photography etc.) to adventures in trying software (YouTube, Twitter, Blogging, Outlook Calendars, Excel, Internal Portal Systems, Google Documents, Flickr etc.) the opportunities to harness and share these experiences in learning are plentiful. What is necessary in this exploration is for instructional leaders to gain an understanding of how the digital tool or technology works AND an understanding of how those tools can support, enhance and transform learning for teachers and students. Instructional leadership in technology grows from personal experiences and play.

Instructional leaders should be pioneers in learning. They are people who are willing to step out into the unknown, experiment and actively pursue learning. They also possess the skills that inspire others to follow them in learning. Through a willingness to take risks and share their own learning, leaders create a space where other feel safe to do the same. An instructional leader with an understanding of technology can make a significant difference in inspiring technology integration in schools.

Kara-Soteriou, J. (2009). Promoting technology integration through the leadership of school administrators. New England Reading Association Journal. 91-95.

3 thoughts on “The Role of the Instructional Leader in Technology Integration”

  1. Hello Ms Brokofsky
    My name is Shanee Johnson and I attended the University of South Alabama, I am currently in a blogging class called EDM310.

    I think so highly of this post. This post is very well written with so much knowledge. I agree with you 100%. When technology is present in a child’s learning the more they want to learn. The more they will have that fight in them to want to be successful. We as teacher and future teacher have to make education fun.
    “Within a plethora of possibilities for exploration lies the opportunity for leaders to choose their own adventure, have fun and learn”

    The more we dig deep and find more and more about technology the more we can help our future Doctors, and Teachers of America.

    I Love Your Post! It gives people more to think about.

    Great Work!
    Shanee J

  2. As someone who is an instructional leader, and tries to do so in the area of technology, I think your three points are great. Sometimes, I find it hard to actively model things within instructional leadership circles in particular, because they are not set up to use technology in a way that transfers well to learning. Instead they seem to lead to powerpointlessness and too much email, rather than a genuine PLN for leaders or uses that could be transformative. I try to do subtle things, like the creative commons license on your blog, but sometimes I feel like I make little to know difference.

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