Technology Leadership

by Jean Tower


I am a member of a group, ETAC,  that is an advisory committee to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. A number of us are working together on a white paper about Technology Leadership. We think of technology leadership as a shared responsibility that all members of our educational communities need to contribute to. Our work is in DRAFT form. For each stakeholder group we have begun to describe how people in that job might take on a technology leadership role. In addition, we would like to add scenarios, or vignettes, that depict such leadership in action. I will post our DRAFT descriptions here and am asking you all to contribute to the product through your comments on this blog.

Please help us by adding to the description or by supplying us with a vignette. The vignette can be a very brief example or a “day in the life” – whatever you feel you can contribute.

Intro to our white paper (written by sub-committee):

“Many organizations have listed the characteristics and skills that are needed for leadership in general and technology leadership in particular: vision, innovation, communication, collaboration, respect, trust, goal orientation, the ability to inspire and motivate, planning and budgeting, teambuilding and staffing, professional development, change management expertise, ethics, safety, and equity are just a few of these.  This list is not surprising, yet the owners of these tasks might be.  Who are “Technology Leaders” and what should they be doing?
The simple answer is that leadership in technology is the responsibility of everyone involved in the educational process. From students to teachers to school committees to the commissioner of education, everyone has a role to play.
This position paper will describe some of the ongoing responsibilities of educational “Technology Leaders,” focusing on:

  • The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • The School Committee
  • The Superintendent and Assistant Superintendents
  • The district technology administrator, often referred to as the  Technology Director, the Chief Information Officer, or the Chief Technology Officer
  • Central Office / Central Administration Directors
  • The Principal and Assistant Principals
  • Teachers
  • Students.

It should be noted that this paper is only the beginning, as there are surely others who have a role in leading the use of technology in the schools, and much as technology is ever changing, so too are the roles of these leaders.”

I will, in the next several entries, post our descriptions for leadership in the various roles. Please comment on any or all. Thanks for your help.

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