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The educational institution considered is King Khaled School that is a public school in the city of Al-Baha. The school provides first-level education and has a rather large staff and students – about 570 pupils, 35 qualified teachers, and the representatives of the administration, including the director and two assistants. The school has three floors and 20 classrooms equipped with modern digital equipment. Sufficient attention is paid to the safety of students, and the whole school has special protection elements in the form of fingerprint scanners. The introduction of modern technologies is encouraged, and students have an opportunity to use the latest developments in computer technology. The main goal of the educational institution is to organize an educational process that can contribute to improving the educational base of pupils, achieving high learning outcomes, and training valuable skills necessary for further education.
Technology Leadership Statement
When evaluating my experience, I can note that as a technology leader, I represent the interests of introducing modern teaching aids and using the achievements of progress. Starting from the work of Hall (2008), my leadership style would fall in sensei representing “the dual role of mentor and facilitator,” and I adhere to strategic diversity while realizing the set goals (p. 14). In other words, I support those teachers of my school who implement variational teaching approaches and present knowledge through new methods. Our school has a sufficient technological base order to introduce innovative educational aids, and I am the advocate of this practice.
As a technology leader, I have faced some difficulties. In particular, it was not easy to equip the school with a sufficient number of necessary facilities that could meet the requirements of the educational program. The acquisition of a large number of iPads was not easy. Nevertheless, although much money has been spent, the pupils of our school could cope with their tasks quickly and easily and perform all the assignments efficiently.
Another challenge that deserves attention is the implementation of the tasks of transitioning the teaching regime to a new methodology that implies using technological developments. According to Sun and Leithwood (2015), clearly defined “goals enhance self-regulation through their effects on motivation, learning, self-efficacy” (p. 502). Therefore, despite some complexities with the implementation of the new program, both the teaching staff and pupils of the school have had an opportunity to increase their knowledge and achieve high-productive results. Moreover, other possibilities have also appeared, for instance, reducing the time required to clarify tasks by their effectively describing in digital forms. Also, new methods of control over the activity of students have appeared, and teachers began to monitor the progress of children more effectively than before. A certain complexity arose when all the participants of the educational process were convinced of the benefits of introducing new technologies. However, after a while, both teachers and students were able to assess the merits of the practices of education. Therefore, I suppose that as a technology leader, I have managed to achieve some significant results.
Organization Goals Around Technology
Based on the chosen course of work, at the moment, there is no special direction or mission-related to technology in our school. We strive to achieve high educational outcomes and provide our students with all the necessary resources. Nevertheless, our plan does not imply a total transition to digital learning. We support the idea of using auxiliary teaching aids but do not set a purpose to introduce as many gadgets and devices as possible. If the use of digital equipment proves to be effective, this practice will be maintained on an ongoing basis.
One of the main strengths related to technology is that investment is sufficient to purchase the appropriate equipment. As Foshay (2000) argues, the budget of an educational institution is an essential criterion for the success of the pedagogical activity and learning outcomes. At the same time, our top management always supports us, which confirms our personnel’s ability to negotiate with the leadership and organize the supply of necessary equipment. However, some challenges also present, for example, the shortage of employees who can control the operation of all available digital devices. The post of the Director of Technology should mean the help of colleagues, but the lack of suitable candidates hinders the process of introducing technology. Also, another difficulty lies in the complexity of teaching the staff the basics of working with digital equipment. Not all school teachers learn the basic principles and techniques of using devices quickly. According to Hew and Brush (2007), the need to deal with a large amount of material “creates a daunting challenge for any teacher” (p. 230). However, despite such complexity, our specialists try to cope with the task assigned.
We would like our digital devices database to include a single communication system among gadgets, forming a network where employees could share news and receive valuable information. Nonetheless, for this purpose, we need to establish interaction among all the devices, and at the moment, we do not have such an option. The work to create this opportunity may take a long time; however, we expect to achieve success in realizing this goal.
Organizational Structure and Roles
A technology leader in our school is represented by a separate post, and this specialist is responsible for ensuring the uninterrupted operation of all digital devices used by teachers and students. The role of this person implies control over the stable functioning of equipment and timely correction of problems, for example, the establishment of a wireless Internet network. The Director of Technology also monitors the school’s budget and the funds allocated to the replenishment.
The organizational chart given can allow demonstrating the primary leadership roles in our educational institution and showing how employees interact. Based on this visual figure, it is possible to conclude that the staff has a hierarchical structure. The representatives of different structural units are involved in work in different spheres, and among them, there are those members who are directly engaged in the process of control over technology in our school.
The post of the Director of Technology envisages interaction with other members of the administration and is aimed at timely notifying colleagues and superiors about potential problems or needs. The main strength of leadership roles in the scheme of our school is that every member of this or that structure performs assigned obligations, and the whole system works smoothly. Some challenges exist, for instance, the need for each member of the management team to be guided in operating technology. However, this work continues to improve, and contact constantly occurs, which contributes to successful and coordinated activities.
Foshay, R. (2000). A Guide for implementing technology: Or, now that we’ve got them, what do we do with them? Bloomington, MN: Plato Learning.
Hall, D. (2008). The technology director’s guide to leadership: The power of great questions. Washington, DC: International Society for Technology in Education.
Hew, K. F., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Educational Technology Research and Development, 55(3), 223-252. Web.
Sun, J., & Leithwood, K. (2015). Direction-setting school leadership practices: A meta-analytical review of evidence about their influence. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 26(4), 499-523. Web.