How Administrators can Facilitate Technology Adoption

Teachers often come under fire for their failure to fully integrate technology into their classrooms. Until recently however very little has been said about the role of school administrators in technology integration.

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Back in 2009, Education World published an informative article on the administrator's role in technology integration, outlining a number of key points that still ring true today, 8 years later. When it comes to the promotion and effective use of technology in and outside of the classroom, there's no denying that due to the nature of their job, administrative staff are perhaps the biggest influencers in the industry.

The adoption of a school management system like iSchool TT is an integral part of ensuring that a school stays at the forefront of education technology, with school administrators playing a crucial role in helping teachers and fellow admins alike to feel at ease when becoming involved with new school management software. Cathy Chamberlain, technology consultant in the Oswego school district in New York, remarked that in her experience, teachers who are on the fence -- or think they don't have time to get involved with technology -- think twice when they sense a positive attitude on the part of the administration."

This positive attitude is firmly rooted in administrators enjoying a positive experience when using information management technology themselves on a day-to-day basis.

The article also highlights how principals can help engage staff and faculty alike by giving teachers access to the training and support they need, encouraging the daily use of the school management software, fostering technological development by involving other stakeholders, and attending conferences to stay updated on the ever-changing world of technology. "Principals can encourage the use of technology in their schools in other ways as well," says Caroline Salerno, a fifth-grade teacher and Internet trainer at Bretton Woods Elementary School in Hauppauge, New York.

There must be a strong focus on the part of principals and school administratiors on staff development, says Mary Kreul. "Principals can ...

  • support and encourage teachers who want to go to conferences and participate in staff development.
  • e-mail notices and agendas to staff, rather than printing and distributing them.
  • ask that lesson plans be submitted through e-mail or on disk.
  • foster technology growth by asking parents to write e-mail addresses on medical forms.
  • insist that all teachers create a class Web page.
  • attend technology conferences to see what other schools are doing, what other teachers are doing to integrate technology, and what principals are doing to encourage the use of technology in their schools and classrooms."

In addition, Kreul notes, "administrators should make budget and personnel decisions that ensure that the school's technology is up-to-date and in good working condition. They should make sure that the focus of technology is to enhance student learning and that technology decisions are made by teachers who use technology, know the curriculum, and are cognizant of the needs of the students."

"Assuming hardware, software, networking, and training needs have been met," adds Art Lader, Webmaster at Aiken (South Carolina) High School, "principals can promote technology integration by providing time for planning, collaboration, and implementation of technology-based activities. In the end, it's often a lack of time that prevents good ideas from being realized as valuable activities," Lader notes.

Read the original article The Administrator's Role in Technology Integration from educationworld.com

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