Image via WikipediaSeng-Chee Tan first discussed the growing interest in technology leadership as an important factor of the effective integration of technology into education. The theoretical underpinnings include a more realistic vision of mult-level leadership in schools, so distributed leaders can be regarded as “a social distribution where the leadership funcion is strenched over the work of a number of individuals” (Spillane, Halverson, & diamon, 2001, p. 20). Luhmann’s systems theory includes 3 proposals of segmentation (small identical units), stratification (hierarchies), and functional units (sub-unites that are interdependent). Luhman suggests that change is a result of the interaction of all three aspects proposed.
The research questions were around the way distributred leadership was used in 3 schools. It was a case study, and was part of a nationwide 5-year longitudinal study involving an annual survey of 110 schools and tracking the development of 12 schools. A survey was administered to 7,390 students in 2010. Seven items wre about the use of ICT for self-directed learning, and 7 around the use of ICT for collaborative learning. There were also interviews conducted with Principals and Heads of Department.
In School A the Hod of ICT was the key driver to communicate ICT goals and initiatves to the teaching staff. she mde decisions around prioritisation as well. She made decisions around training for here teachers, thereby following the ‘heroic’ model of leadership – 1 central figure driving the whole change). School B had department-based ICT initiatives (maths using tablets, and the science department using reflection boards). In School B there was a segmentation distribution of leadership (separate units, not really talking with each other). In School C the principal and vice-principals examined the key MoE initiatve or dieraction and they did an envisioning exercist. The IT department has 4 directors. Other suject heads of department provided individual department plans. The teachers had the autonomy to design and implement their own ICT pedagogical practices. This was a bottom up form of leadership – functional differntiation form of leadership where almost everyone is involved.
Findings: School A was least successful in ICT integration, and School B there was some degree of experimentation, and school C had school-wide integration and was most successful. In the future there is a plan to explore why and how a distributed leadership is more effective in ICT integration.