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Is it the technology - or the leadership?

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Started by Karen Spencer 09 Mar 2012 5:02pm () Replies (4)

I read this - deliberately provocative? - post from Scott McLeod this week and thought I would share it for interest.

>>>Poor technology leadership is usually just poor leadership.

Now, he may be stirring the pot, when he writes that "when a school leader purchases system-wide learning software with little thought given to long-term financial and instructional sustainability, that's not poor technology leadership, that's just poor leadership." What are your thoughts?

I'd like to put a positive spin on this and consider what 'good leadership' might look like, when it comes to managing technology in school. For instance, a 'good' leader might make sure that "the strategic plan aligns to the vision and refers to how technologies will support learning" (E-Learning Planning Framework, 'Extending').

What are your views on this curly one?


  • Sally (View all users posts) 09 Oct 2014 11:08am ()

    I think it is important to be aware that every school is at their own place on the e-learning journey and will become more (or less) engaged with 'things digital/mindsets at their own pace. When we began our most recent journey we started with a very thorough review of all things IT/digital in our school (2012). This was led by the ICT focus group, who are now known as the LWDT (Learning with Digital Technologies) focus group. Outside support was utilised, the community were surveyed, staff and students all contributed to the review. The review found that 'overall, digital technology is having little impact on teaching and learning'. There was also no ICT strategy at that time. We certainly had found our starting point....the development of an ICT Strategy.

    In terms of the above quote, I agree that it is an example of poor leadership. From my experience, the prudent thing for a leader to do would be to make purchases that are in line with the strategic vision. Any 'tool' or resource, whether it be a digital device or otherwise is only useful if it is purchased for a specific purpose - aligned with the strategice focus/foci of a school (in this case). The technology referred to in this post from Scott McLeod is not poor, rather the decison to purchase it appears to be.

  • HeatherWilkie (View all users posts) 27 Oct 2014 2:59pm ()

    Sally I was sitting with our other DP and the Principal last week as we start to think about budgets for next year. Whilst our Principal led the drive for changed technology, did his homework, aligned it with the vision, consulted with staff, children and community, he is not part of the team that 'feeds the staff' (PD), he doesn't strategically support his e-Team to grow (PD) and seems to have no funds to grow what we have. It is a real challenge because where does the money come from? Decile 10 has very little fat in the system, there are no trusts supporting e-learning in our area. Where is the line between 'bad leadership' as mentioned in the article and insufficiently funded? 

  • Alison Taylor (View all users posts) 13 Nov 2014 11:17pm ()

    Hi Heather

    Your post resonates with me in that it encapsulates a real leadership dilemma - the tension between funding, time and growing people capacity.If something is an important priority then the people need to be given the time and supported with the funding to actually grow and develop. Schools are busy places, with lots of competing pressures and priorities.It is about deciding on priorities and creating systems and processes to support people.


    Alison Taylor

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

Exploring leadership for change, vision, policy and strategy that integrates ICTs into learning.