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Developing and Strengthening Lead Learners in Canterbury with e-learning – the Leaders’ Roles

Interactive component of presentation to CPPA
The themes of CPPA June 2011 meeting for primary school principals and leadership teams is 'Developing and Strengthening Lead Learners'. This fits in with the University of Canterbury e-Learing Lab's mission to research and develop e-learning to fit with the needs of education, particularly education in New Zealand.
Change with digital technologies in education can’t happen without the support of the principal - many schools are now being upgraded through the SNUP programme and some are on the NEN trial. All these schools should be connected to UFB by 2016.
Ideas on what is possible and how it might be strategically planned for in a school are the goal of this page.

School leadership and change with digital technologies in schools

Davis (2011, in preparation) identifies this research on leadership:

"Educational leaders have been shown to have key roles in educational renewal, including renewal with ICT (e.g. Fullan 2001; Timperly et al. 2007; Marshall 2010). Hattie and Timperley’s (2007) meta-analysis of the literature on feedback in education found noteworthy effect sizes for both relevant use of ICT for feedback and for the impact of school leadership. Yee (2000) analyses the practices of school principals to identify eight kinds of leadership practices that appear to be supportive of the integration of ICT into their schools, which are also likely to be relevant for online and blended learning:
1. Equitable providing: How does policy affect the acquisition and equitable distribution of ICT resources and professional development?
2. Learning-focused envisioning: In what ways does policy reflect a guiding vision for practitioners, and how does it support those responsible for maintaining the vision?
3. Adventurous learning: What policy provisions support the continuous learning of both teachers and learners (specifically with respect to technological change)?
4. Patient teaching: How would/could policy encourage leaders to engage in teaching aspects of ICT development to the staff who work with them?
5. Protective enabling: Does policy penalise risk-taking or provide some room to encourage innovation?
6. Constant monitoring: What provisions have been made for issues of accountability?
7. Entrepreneurial networking: Are there policies that promote partnerships or encourage innovative development?
8. Careful challenging: What policy provisions would encourage leaders to achieve the greatest value by creating responsible challenges for their staff? Anderson and Dexter (2000) identified a significant positive correlation between ICT leadership in school and the degree of ICT integration from a large national survey in the USA.The significant factors identified were the presence of: a technology committee, an ICT budget, district support, principal emails, principal time on ICT, staff development policy that includes ICT, intellectual property policy and other policies. They concluded that: “Charismatic people may contribute to technology integration as well, but it is even more essential for a school to distribute leadership and become a ‘technology learning organization’, where administrators, teachers, students and parents together work on how best to adapt new technologies to improve learning” (Anderson & Dexter 2000:17).
There is evidence for three layers of ICT leadership within a school: strategic, department and teacher (Tong and Trinidad 2005). Their model identifies influence and feedback loops that drive educational ICT change processes. Leadership is shared within and across the school units involving the chief executive/principal, the ICT coordinator, curriculum coordinators and lead teachers. The model also provides strategic guidance to leaders at each level and emphasises the range of strategies that are necessary to support ICT innovation over time. This is also likely to apply to online and blended learning.
In summary, there is evidence that ICT requires strategic leadership at multiple levels within a school, including that of the principal. This is likely to apply to online and blended learning and to include leadership roles within and across schools, including the role of the e-principal, as shown in Figure 1."


Davis, N.E. (2011 in prep). Leadership for online learning within and across secondary schools: An ecological perspective on change theories.
Davis, N. (2008). How may teacher learning be promoted for educational renewal with IT? In J. Voogt & G. Knezek (Eds.), International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education (Vol. 20, pp. 507-517). New York: Springer.
Davis, N., & Niederhauser, D. (2007). Virtual schooling. Learning & Leading with Technology, 34(7), 10-15.

Sudlow, D., Storr, T., and Davis, N.E. (2011). Southern Central Divide ICTPD cluster. Retrieved January 31, 2011 from http://wikieducator.org/SCD
Timperly, H. Wilson, A., Barrar, H. & Fung, I. (2007). Teacher professional learning and development. Best evidence synthesis iteration [BES]. Wellington: Ministry of Education.
Yee, D. (2000). Images of school principals’ information and communications technology leadership. Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education, 9(3), 287-302.

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