The acts of leadership in technology implementation in rural and economically disadvantaged school districts : selected district personnel perceptions
The implementation of technology in education provides an additional route for facilitating student learning. Educators are charged with performing acts of leadership that provide guidance and opportunities for learning to occur. These leadership acts are unique to the situation and circumstances of each school district. To utilize technology to facilitate student learning, it is imperative to understand the leadership acts required of superintendents and teachers in this process. The purpose of the study was to identify the acts of leadership in planning and implementing technology in rural and economically disadvantaged school districts, as perceived by educators in Ramirez Common School District and Matagorda Independent School District. The study featured a qualitative methodology utilizing the Interactive Qualitative Analysis (IQA) process to collect and analyze data from two focus groups of teachers, two mass interviews from the teacher focus groups, and two individual interviews from the superintendents for comparison and validation purposes. Data from the focus groups were used to establish the interview protocol. The interviews were transcribed and coded to elaborate on the emerging affinities from the focus group activity. The findings of the study revealed that each teacher focus group discovered five acts of leadership in implementing technology in rural and economically disadvantaged schools. Three identified acts of leadership were recognized as commonalities in each of the focus group activities, leaving a composite list of seven identified leadership acts in implementing technology in rural and economically disadvantaged schools. Results showed that long-term and ongoing professional development, onsite technical support, and curriculum integration were three commonalities between both school districts in the proper and effective implementation of technology to facilitate student learning. The study also revealed the perceptions of how these leadership acts effect each other in the implementation of technology. Based on the findings and conclusions, a list of recommended leadership acts was proposed for superintendents and teachers who may be charged with the duty of planning and implementing technology in rural and economically disadvantaged school districts.