- As leaders in educational technology, how can you garner support for the effective use of technology from your staff members? What will this look like in your district, your building, and individual classrooms? How will you plan to offset the “digital divide”?
As a leader of educational technology, collaboration and effective communication would be of utmost importance in the implementation process. I would garner support from my team by creating a design and illustrating it to colleagues for feedback regarding the pros and cons in its functionality. The team would work to offer proposals of change or provide reinforcements to the project. As Sheninger (2015) wrote, “…effective teamwork requires that each member fully understand the vision, mission, and plan of execution from the standpoint of the role each member of the team plays in achieving success” (p. 61). This is very much a commitment like our own personal relationships. In the workplace, we often tend to assume that everyone knows what to do because they were hired to do such a job. In technology, this is especially true. Technology is a science and it is within this subject that others rarely question what is good or bad as there are constant changes even after putting the project into motion. Yet, effective communication between all contributors helps to support the task at hand; without it, the plan would inherently fail, the key word being “plan.” If the plan was never communicated effectively, then the responsibility falls on the leader. Therefore, it is important to be as detailed as possible by sketching out a plan and working with the team in delegating aspects for testing results and applying appropriate deadlines. Thereby, presenting to the faculty members under the tutelage of technology assistants.
Feedback is one incentive that the technology team should target as the main goal in making the program successful. For without it, the plan may result in ambiguities. Thus, resulting in a breakdown within in the system. One of the lessons I have learned in some of my workplaces is that the leaders have taken away feedback. The reasoning was because there were too many opinions or negativities when certain technologies were introduced. The administrators and tech team went ahead and made sudden decisions which resulted in more confusion. Technology can become overwhelming, but it can be tamed if the correct procedures are set in motion. According to research conducted on how best to utilize community engagement, “Leadership had to be concerned with, and attentive to, the meaning of community engagement as well as the meaning of the technology and the way in which it was being introduced” (Kolopack, Parsons, and Lavery, 2015). If leaders do not build a bridge in striving for unity within their learning communities, this will lead to a digital divide.
The divide can be bridged through the fostering of professional development cooperatives which aim to provide essential instruction from the district level to each individual classroom and is beneficial in implementing a technology program (Whitehead, Jensen, and Boschee, 2013, p. 77). As a result, creating a collaborative environment that strives for success.
Kolopack, P. A., Parsons, J. A., & Lavery, J. V. (2015). What Makes Community Engagement Effective? Lessons from the Eliminate Dengue Program in Queensland Australia. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003713
Sheninger, E. (2014). Digital leadership: Changing paradigms for changing times. Thousand Oaks: Corwin. ISBN-10: 1452276617 ISBN-13: 978-1452276618
Whitehead, B., Jensen, D., & Boschee, F. (2013) Planning for technology: A guide for school administrators,Technology coordinators, and curriculum leaders. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Corwin. ISBN-10: 1452268266 ISBN-13: 978-1452268262