The Role of the School Superintendent as a Technology Leader: A Delphi Study

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Virginia Tech

School superintendents have been thrust into the complex world of technology leadership often armed with little technology related training or expertise. District and school leaders are often faced with purchase decisions of costly equipment and software with minimum knowledge of what impact it will have on their organization or specific knowledge of how it will be used to meet curriculum goals. With continued local, state, and federal support and rapid advances in technology, school superintendents are expected to provide leadership in this fast-changing arena. The purpose of this study was to define the role of the school superintendent as an effective technology leader in terms of knowledge, performances, and dispositions. The research questions guiding this study were:

• What does a superintendent need to know about technology to be an effective technology leader? • What actions should be performed by a superintendent to be an effective technology leader? • What are indicators of a superintendent's disposition as an effective technology leader?

The study was conducted using a three-round Delphi with an expert panel composed of 29 stakeholders with diverse perspectives in the area of school technology leadership. The findings in this study showed a group consensus on 27 knowledge items, 27 performance actions, and 35 dispositional indicators of school superintendents as effective technology leaders. The study contains criteria that may be useful in the development of technology related preparation practices for school superintendents. The findings may also be of interest to those concerned with professional development for superintendents or to those involved in the selection of superintendents for technology leadership positions.

Superintendent, Technology, Dispositions, Knowledge, Performances, Delphi, Leadership