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ERIC Number: ED557868
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 214
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3037-9984-6
An Exploration of Principal Instructional Technology Leadership
Townsend, LaTricia Walker
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
Nationwide the demand for schools to incorporate technology into their educational programs is great. In response, North Carolina developed the IMPACT model in 2003 to provide a comprehensive model for technology integration in the state. The model is aligned to national educational technology standards for teachers, students, and principals. Charged with increasing the level of technology integration, principals must possess a specific skillset to be effective in the role of instructional technology leader. The goal of this study was to examine how IMPACT principals of North Carolina K-12 schools take on the mantle of instructional technology leader. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, principal instructional technology leadership preparation and practices were examined by school level (i.e., elementary, middle, and high) to ascertain their level of alignment with National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A) and actual teacher needs. Quantitative methods were utilized to analyze the School Technology Needs Assessment (STNA) results from teachers (n = 1185) in an effort to determine the overall instructional technology health of the IMPACT schools (n = 31) in the first phase of the study. During Phase II of the study, both qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Using a semi-structured protocol, principals (n = 7) were interviewed about their instructional technology preparation mechanism and their leadership behaviors. Teachers (n = 116) were surveyed to determine the level to which they believed their principal's instructional technology behaviors aligned to NETS-A standards. Teachers were also asked to provide information about how their principals could best support them in their quest to integrate technology into their instruction. Although the principals in the study exhibited instructional technology leadership practices that were aligned to NETS-A standards, the analysis of their instructional technology leadership preparation mechanisms revealed evidence of the need to ensure principals are adequately prepared to meet instructional technology needs at the pre-service level. Principals in the study attributed high level of preparedness to serve as instructional technology leaders to the extensive professional development provided through IMPACT and the use of informal networks with their counterparts, not through coursework completed during principal credential courses. Moreover, the limited coverage of instructional technology in principal preparation programs as described by participants underscores the need for improvement to pre-service programs as well as comprehensive, thoughtful professional development for existing principals. Principals described instructional technology leadership behaviors that aligned well to NETS-A standards. Teacher survey results validated the results provided by principals. When compared across school levels, significant differences were noted between the elementary and secondary (middle and high) teachers. Elementary teachers rated their principals lower across each of the five NETS-A standards. Teachers shared the specific actions needed from their principals to make them successful when integrating technology in their classrooms. Teachers desired principals to: 1) provide relevant, job-embedded professional development, 2) be supportive as teachers acquire new skills, 3) pursue additional funding opportunities to ensure the acquisition of new technology devices and maintenance of a robust technology infrastructure, 4) adjust policies and procedures surrounding digital citizenry to ensure technology is used in a safe, legal, and ethical manner, and 5) consider the context of the school including its locale and student population. Future directions for research are suggested, including the completion of a comprehensive review of U.S. principal preparation programs and their ability to prepare principals for the rigor of the role of instructional technology leader and how that role varies by school level. Because technology will continue to be a focal point for schools, institutions of higher education must innovate their principal preparation programs so that principals have the opportunity to learn the how to be best attend to their schools' instructional technology needs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina