The Use of Technology by Public School Principals
Moles II, Kenneth Eugene
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Technology has always been a part of a principal's daily duties. Whether the technology is a pencil, an intercom system, a laptop computer, or mobile device, it has played a role in the principalship. Questions remain regarding the extent technology influences the principalship, as well as the reasons why principals utilize certain technologies more than others. The purposes of this study were to investigate technologies principals used, the reasons principals used the identified technologies, and the variables associated with the usage. The following variables were studied as factors contributing to the technology usage: knowledge of technology, attitude toward technology, professional development and training, and organizational support for technology. The study consisted of 12 interviews of principals from across the United States: four interviews with elementary school principals, four interviews with middle school principals, and four interviews with high school principals. All 12 principals worked in Apple Distinguished Schools. The researcher found access to technology was high among principals, teachers, and students. The participants wanted technology that made their lives simpler. Principals dispositions toward technology were favorable, but included mixed and unfavorable dispositions as well. The principals' primary purpose for using technology was to become more efficient with their work. Support for the principal's use of technology existed through district funding of technology purchases, hiring of technical support, and providing professional development. Additional support was provided by grants from private companies. Policies regarding the integration of technology in schools were reviewed. Policies were considered restrictive or facilitative. Respondents knowledge of current technologies was evident, but they reported little knowledge about future trends. Most principals spent a majority of their day using technology. Recommendations for additional research include the study of the effect of technology on school culture, additional factors affecting technology use, data security, and the effect of technology on the effectiveness and efficiency of management. Recommendations for practice include: identifying technological devices and applications using the researchers revised questionnaire, including time for immersion after a training or professional development opportunity, updating acceptable-use policies, and carefully constructing the goals and resources needed to successfully implement technology.
- Doctoral Dissertations