Here’s a not-so-secret tidbit for you… If you think states and school districts are doing a poor job of preparing administrators to lead in this digital century, university educational administration programs are doing even worse.
Few preservice educational administration programs even have a course dedicated to technology leadership issues. When they do, the course is often focused on teaching computer skills to preservice administrators (i.e., PowerPoint, spreadsheets) rather than leadership skills (e.g., how to create an effective and sustainable technology plan; how to facilitate good technology integration by teachers and students). Programs that don’t have a dedicated course sometimes integrate a few technology-related issues into other classes (e.g., staff development, school finance) but the predominant pattern in most programs is to do little if anything. Why? Because most faculty are less proficient with, and less grounded in, digital technologies than K-12 administrators.
A few places across the country are trying to do more when it comes to preparing technology-savvy school leaders:
- Our own School Technology Leadership graduate certificate program here at the University of Minnesota was the nation’s first graduate program based on ISTE’s NETS-A and, as far as we know, is still the only program found (by the American Institutes of Research) to have positive, statistically significant impacts on participants’ technology leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities.
- In addition to our own program, we also give our curriculum away, including all activities, readings, etc., to fifteen other universities through our Postsecondary Partnership Program (P3). Those universities are doing a great deal on the technology front, including creating new programs, integrating technology leadership activities into existing courses, and providing workshops and institutes for local administrators.
- Last year ISTE began an innovative joint leadership preparation program with Johns Hopkins University that has an emphasis on technology integration.
- Other universities with emphases on K-12 technology leadership issues include the University of Oklahoma, Pepperdine University, and Kennesaw State University.
Anyone know of any others out there?