A study of the professional development needs of Ohio principals in the area of educational technology
James Gregory Allen, University of Cincinnati, United States
Doctor of Education, University of Cincinnati . Awarded
Recent studies suggest that the most important issue in the effective integration of educational technology in schools “is the presence of informed and effective leadership” (Gibson, 2001, p. 43). However, many experienced administrators are not comfortable with technology use and have little or no training in this area (Gibson, 2001). The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the professional development needs of Ohio principals in the area of educational technology. A survey was developed to collect data on the unique professional development needs of principals according to school context (urban or non-urban) as well as their length of service (novice or experienced). A stratified random sample of 374 principals in Ohio responded to the survey. This study was the first of its kind to assess practicing administrators' needs in the area of educational technology based on the National Education Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A).
The following conclusions of the study were made: (1) Principals value highly all of the expected areas of performance as indicated by their ratings on the “Importance” subscale of the Educational Technology for Principals Survey (ETPS). These items were taken directly from the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators. It was concluded that principals value highly each of the standards. (2) Principals' responses to “Actual Proficiency” on all of the survey items were always rated lower than their responses to the corresponding “Importance” on the items. This difference suggests that principals have a need for professional development on each standard. (3) All principals, regardless of their length of service (novice/experienced) or school context (urban/non-urban), have significant professional development needs related to educational technology in all areas. (4) There were no significant differences in the professional development needs related to educational technology between novice and experienced principals. (5) Urban principals have unique professional development needs in the educational technology area of “Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues.”
The information in this study has implications for a wide audience of educational stakeholders such as administrator preparation programs, staff developers, professional development organizations, principals' centers, school districts, policy makers, and the NETS Leadership Team.
Allen, J.G. A study of the professional development needs of Ohio principals in the area of educational technology. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Cincinnati.
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