The comparison of district administrators' and stakeholders' perceptions of effective strategies and tactics in the integration of technology in school districts
MetadataShow full item record
Three separate case studies compared district administrator and stakeholder perceptions of effective strategies and tactics in the integration of technology in Texas school districts. This study surveyed 100 educational technology experts and elicited 74 nominations of Texas school districts that effectively integrated technology into the academics. This study included only the most frequently nominated districts that obtained at least a Recognized performance rating by the Texas Education Agency. Findings indicate that foundational values and organizational orientation, both internal and external, greatly influenced the operational practices regarding technology integration on the district and campus/classroom levels. Within all three districts, despite obvious differences in size, wealth, geographic location, and percentage of student ethnicities, the leadership exhibited similar behavior and targeted nearly identical practical objectives toward technology integration which included: (a) developing and communicating a common vision, (b) committing to academic excellence via high expectations, and (c) Maintaining a culture of continuous support. This study identified the perceived ineffective practices regarding technology integration that were subsequently clustered into the following domains: (a) Leadership Challenges, (b) Finance Challenges, (c) Professional Development challenges, and (d) Management Challenges. This study also sought to determine the convergences and divergences in the perceptions of the district administrators and stakeholders in relation to technology integration. The findings indicate that the perceptions of effective technology integration practices varied greatly among the districts, ranging from Strongly Convergent to Strongly Divergent. However, a strong degree of consistency was evident among district respondents in terms of the perceptions toward ineffective technology integration practices where the range was extremely narrow, ranging only from Convergent to Strongly Convergent. Given these findings, it seems that while a myriad of paths may lead toward effective academic use of technology, district administrators, especially the superintendent, must be particularly effective in developing strategies and tactics that cultivate technology integration based not only on the maturity of the district but also in the suitability for operating within the context of the community. Furthermore, the findings also suggest that convergent perspectives on ineffective technology integration practices are significantly more likely to occur between administrators and stakeholders than agreement on effective practices.