26 SES 03 B, Crossing Perspectives – International Insights into Educational Leadership
Similar to any education systems, Information technology has opened wide opportunities for Iranian teachers to use technology in teaching and to improve the academic achievement of students. Nowadays, Iranian teachers cannot get away the fact that today’s classrooms must provide technology-supported learning. Although various new educational technology tools are available, but, integrating technology into instruction is still demanding. Some studies (e.g. Wozney, Venkatesh, Abrami, 2006) found that some teachers use technology tools without any believing and acceptance. Teacher's technology acceptance is instrumental in actual use of technology (Hu, Clark & Ma, 2003).
Technology acceptance model (TAM) developed by Davis (1989) is the most popular model in predicting teacher technology integration. According to this model, actual usage behavior of teachers is a direct function of their behavioral intention, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and their attitude toward using.
A key purpose of TAM is to provide a basis for determining the effect of external variables. Based on this model, many studies draw attention to the important role of some external variables. Among variables highlighted, there is very limited evidence for the role of principals and their technology supported leadership. This new field of school leadership suggests that principals must be technologically proficient and should provide adequate leadership to motivate technology acceptance and integration by teachers (Anderson & Dexter, 2005). Some studies report some competencies for principals as technology leaders. Among identified competencies, following standards reported by International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) (2002) are frequent tools to measure of the technology leadership of the principals:
- Leadership and vision: Principals motivate a collective vision for wide-ranging integration of technology and cultivate an atmosphere and culture encouraging to the understanding of that vision.
- Learning and teaching: Principals guarantee that curricular design, instructional strategies, and learning environments integrate appropriate technologies to maximize learning and teaching.
- Productivity and professional practice: Principals apply technology to enhance their professional practice and to increase their own productivity and that of others.
- Support, management, and operations: Principals make sure the integration of technology to support productive systems for learning and administration.
- Assessment and evaluation: Principals use technology to plan and implement inclusive evaluation systems of effective assessment and evaluation.
- Social, legal and ethical Issues: Principals understand the social, legal, and ethical issues related to technology and model responsible decision-making related to these issues.
Aims and objectives
Because of the context-specific nature of competencies of principals as technology leader and the condition of Iranian schools and principals, this study aims at compiling particular leadership competencies based on the nature of Iranian schools. Also based on TAM, this study aim at examine a hypothesized model containing the role of identified principal’s technology leadership competencies in influencing teacher’s technology acceptance construct and actual usage. There is no evidence surrounding this hypothesize. While we know about TAM model, we do not know enough about its goodness when principal’s technology leadership is considered as an external influencing variable.
Methodology This study is exploratory mixed in nature and has conducted in qualitative and quantitative phases. Firstly, in qualitative phase, context-specific competencies of principals as technology leader were identified through interviewing 14 experienced and successful principals. Participants were selected using purposeful and snow-ball sampling. The obtained qualitative data in this phase were analyzed using coding procedure in two sections including open and axial coding. In second phase (quantitative phase), using the identified competencies in the first phase, a questionnaire was administered as Principals Technology Leadership Scale (PTLS). Also to collect data relating to five TAM constructs, a questionnaire prepared and adjusted from the developed scales of some former studies )Davis, Bagozzi, and Warshaw, 1989; Hu, Chau, Sheng, and Tam, 1999; Ower, 2006; Teo, 2009; Yuen, and Ma, 2008). Both questionnaires were arranged in five-point Likert type scale and completed with 385 primary schools teachers in Tehran. The coefficient alphas for two scales were above 0.85. To analysis construct validity of scales, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed and the measurement models were adequate. Using LISREL 8.50, path analysis was used to test hypothesized model. In order to evaluate measurement and structural models several fit criteria were usually used. The first criterion is chi-Square (χ2) test which is very sensitive to sample size. When the sample size is not large, it is necessary to take multiple criteria into consideration and to evaluate model fit. In the current study a fit index exceeding 0.90 and higher suggested by Adjusted Goodness of Fit Index (AGFI), Goodness of Fit Index (GFI), and Comparative Fit Index (CFI), and also a fit index less than 0.07 suggested by Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA), were considered as an adequate fit to observed data.
Findings In the qualitative phase principal’s technology leadership competencies were identified into 9 categories: 1) Principals' belief to employ technology, 2) Illustrating technology objectives and expectations, 3) Technology planning, 4) Establishing and reinforcing the culture of utilizing technology, 5) Teachers' empowerment for utilizing technology, 6) Encouraging and stimulating teachers to employ technology, 7) Appraisal of teachers' technology performance, 8) Strengthening the sharing of technology knowledge, and 9) Technology support. The result of quantitative phase showed that hypothesized model has a good fit to observed data (χ2: 439.28; RMSEA: 0.062; CFI: 0.94; AGFI: 0.95; GFI: 0.97). Analyzing containing effects in the model have yield following results: - Principal’s technology leadership has significant direct effect on teacher’s perceived technology usefulness and teacher’s perceived ease of use of technology - Principal’s technology leadership has significant indirect effect on teacher’s attitude toward use of technology, teacher’s Behavioral Intention to use technology, and teacher’s actual use of technology In summing up, this study revealed that principal’s technology leadership is important for technology integration by teachers and in this process they motivate teacher technology acceptance. In the other expression, to have schools with the high range of technology supported learning, principals make an important role when they equip themselves with technology leadership competencies identified in this study. This study suggests that schools could particularly benefit from principal who practice leadership role in technology supported learning. Training programs that focus on developing technology leadership competencies are influential to motivate principals to practice them in schools. This study contributes to school leadership literature by providing new category of technology leadership qualities for principals.
Anderson, R. E., & Dexter, S. (2005). School technology leadership: An empirical investigation of prevalence and effect. Educational Administration Quarterly, 41(1), 49-82. Davis, F. D. (1989) Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319-340. Davis, F. D., Bagozzi, R. P., & Warshaw, P. R. (1989). User acceptance of computer technology: A comparison of two theoretical models. Management science, 35(8), 982-1003. Hu, P. J. H., Clark, T. H. K., & Ma, W. W. (2003). Examining technology acceptance by school teachers: A longitudinal study. Information & Management, 41(2), 227-241. Hu, P. J., Chau, P. Y., Sheng, O. R. L., & Tam, K. Y. (1999). Examining the technology acceptance model using physician acceptance of telemedicine technology. Journal of management information systems, 16(2), 91-112. International Society for Technology in Education. (2002). National educational technology standards for administrators. TSSA Standards Project. Ower. K. (2006). The effect of collective efficacy on teachers’ technology acceptance. Unpublished master thesis. University of Saskatchewan. Canada. Teo, T. (2009). Modelling technology acceptance in education: A study of pre-service teachers. Computers & Education, 52(2), 302-312. Wozney, L., Venkatesh, V., & Abrami, P. C. (2006). Implementing computer technologies: Teachers’ perceptions and practices. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 14(1), 173-207. Yuen, A. H., & Ma, W. W. (2008). Exploring teacher acceptance of e-learning technology. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 36(3), 229-243.
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