International Scientific Conference


The 15th International Scientific Conference eLearning and Software for Education

Bucharest, April 11-12, 2019 10.12753/2066-026X-19-115

The Role of Technology Leadership: Innovation for School Leadership in Digital Age

Umut AKCIL, PhD., Zehra ALTINAY, PhD., Gökmen DAGLI, PhD., Fahriye ALTINAY, PhD. Education Faculty, Near East University, Near East University boulevard, Nicosai, Cyprus.

u.akcil@neu.edu.tr, zehra.altinaygazi@neu.edu.tr, gokmen.dagli@neu.edu.tr, fahriye.altinay@neu.edu.tr

Abstract: Recent developments in information and communication technologies have moved schools

into digital platforms. For this reason, in our digital-age, technology-based leadership has an

important place increasing the quality of expected education in the environment of the new generation

students, who we call digital natives. The Technology Leadership that emerged at this point is an

important type of leadership that should be adopted for the school administrators in the digital age. In

this context, the aim of this study is to evaluate the role of technology leadership self-efficacy on

educational processes in the digital age in the context of Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). In the

study, a semi-structured interview form was employed as the data collection tool. The study was

conducted in the academic year of 2018 and a total of 20 school administrators engaged in the

secondary education level under the ministry of national education were included in the study. The

views obtained from the administrators were analyzed with content analysis. The results were evaluated

utilizing TAM model. In light of the views of administrators which are analyzed according to “perceived

ease of use” and “perceived usefulness” defined by TAM model, it is concluded that the technology

leadership self-efficacy has an impact on technology integration to the education process, promoting

effective use of technology for learning, communicating effectively with all the stakeholders and

creating social interaction based on trust.

Keywords: technology leadership; technology acceptance; digital age; school administrators; digital

natives.

I. INTRODUCTION

Today, in a digitalized world, the societies adopt the digital age as a lifestyle rather than use it

as a tool. Therefore, the effects of the digital age continue gradually more in all fields. Information

technologies and along with these, digital applications have shown impact intensively on education as

on all fields (Altınay & Altınay, 2014). Such that, in recent years, the benefits of internet technologies

such as social media are addressed in order to strengthen the participation of young people in digital

public spaces (Manca & Grion, 2017). The use of computers and computer-aided technologies

contribute to the learning processes of the digital natives; young people who were born and raised in

the technology world of 21st century (Kivunja, 2014). Current research continues how such

technologies have become an important tool for teaching and learning in schools (Akcil, Altınay &

Altınay, 2017).

It seems that in the digital age, the social and political structures that rapidly change due to

information and communication technologies cause changes in the functions of educational

institutions and their relationships with the environment (Aslan & Karip, 2014). In order to manage

this change, there is a need for a human profile that can follow the updated technologies, produce the

information quickly, use and share it effectively, as well as use these technologies in administration

processes. Therefore, administrators are expected to demonstrate leadership characteristics in the use

of technology in administrative and instructional processes (Afshari, Bakar, Luan, Samah, & Fooi,

2009). Matthews (2002) defines the technology leaders as people who follow developments in

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technology; people who set an example and motivate the teachers on the effective use of technology.

In general, it can be stated that if the administrators possess the technology leadership standards

(NETS-A) developed by ISTE (2009), educational administrators can be referred to as technology

leaders. NETS-A standards aim to ensure that school administrators use technology effectively,

organize technology-related activities and become models at the school (Altınay & Altınay, 2015).

According to ISTE (2009) these standards are described as “visionary leadership”, “digital age

learning culture”, “excellence in professional practice”, “systemic improvement” and “digital

citizenship”. These standards are explained as follows (Hacıfazlıoğlu, Karadeniz & Dalgıç, 2011 a;

ISTE, 2009).

1. Visionary Leadership (VL): Educational administrators inspire and lead development and

implementation of a shared vision for comprehensive integration of technology to promote

excellence and support transformation throughout the organization.

2. Digital Age Learning Culture (DALC): Educational administrators create, promote, and

sustain a dynamic, digital-age learning culture that provides a rigorous, relevant, and engaging

education for all students.

3. Excellence in Professional Practice (EPP): Educational administrators promote an

environment of professional learning and innovation that empowers educators to enhance

student learning through the infusion of contemporary technologies and digital resources.

4. Systemic Improvement (SI): Educational administrators provide digital-age leadership and

management to continuously improve the organization through the effective use of information

and technology resources.

5. Digital Citizenship (DC): Educational administrators’ model and facilitate understanding of

social, ethical, and legal issues and responsibilities related to an evolving digital culture.

Technology leaders who hold these standards should possess a high technical expertise. They

should follow new technologies, be aware of tools that can positively affect the student’s academic

achievement and utilize them (Courville, 2011). To follow the emerging technologies, it is necessary

to have an interest in these technologies (Jameson, 2015), to adopt and develop a positive view of the

use of technology for the innovation in schools (Tarhini et all, 2015). All these refer to technology

acceptance model (TAM). Developed by Davis (1989), TAM explains end-user’s desires, i.e. attitudes

to use emerging technologies in institutions. The attitude towards the use is determined by two other

variables: perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. Perceived ease of use directly affects the

perceived usefulness as well as attitude (Nagy, 2018). Perceived Ease of Use is defined as the “the

degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free from effort” (Davis,

1989) while Perceived Usefulness is defined as “the degree to which a person believes that using a

particular system would enhance his or her job performance” (Davis, 1989).

According to Venkatesh and Davis (2000) for individuals to exhibit behaviours of using a new

technology; it is effective that the system; is easy to use and helpful, is required by the people the

individual cares, increases the individual’s social status, is pertinent to the individual’s profession,

performs its functions successfully, is not mandatory to be used and has concrete benefits

(Vijayasarathy, 2004).

From this point of view, the aim of this research is to investigate the technology leadership

self-efficacy of school administrators within the framework of technology acceptance model. The

research questions determined for this purpose are as follows:

1- What do administrators think about technology integration to the education process with regards to the perceived usefulness and ease of use?

2- What do administrators think about promoting effective use of technology for learning with regards to perceived usefulness and ease of use?

3- What do administrators think about effective communication with all stakeholders with regards to perceived usefulness and ease of use?

4- How do administrators make a creation of social interaction based on trust on technology use in the organization with regards to perceived usefulness and ease of use?

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II. METHODOLOGY

This research is designed as a comparative case study among the qualitative research designs.

Qualitative research can be defined as a research model in which qualitative data collection techniques such

as observation, interview and document analysis are employed and a research model in which a qualitative

process is followed to reveal perceptions and events in a realistic and integrative way in their natural

environments. Qualitative studies are studies that focus on investigating and understanding social

phenomena within the environment they are connected to (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011; Yıldırım & Şimşek,

2011). Case studies are studies in which multidimensional data collection techniques such as observation,

interview, document analysis were employed and the obtained data is analyzed by methods as revealing

patterns, describing and comparative analysis and the results are reported by means of defining and

interpreting the cases comparatively or alone (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2011).

The study group consists of 20 administrators who are working in secondary schools in

northern part of Cyprus in the 2017-2018 academic year. No sampling was made from the universe; all

the secondary school administrators within northern part of Cyprus were reached.

III. FINDINGS

The administrators’ views on the first dimension of the study; technology integration to the

education process with regards to the perceived usefulness and ease of use are presented with themes

and percentages in Table 1.

Theme n %

The use of technology in the

education process was very

effective in increasing the

educational success.

15 75

The use of technology

should not be in front of any

educational purpose in

education.

12 60

Use of technology in

education saves time and

provides benefits to improve

instruction.

9 45

Table 1: Administrators’ views on technology integration to the education process with regards

to the perceived usefulness and ease of use

As can be seen from the table above, a total of 75% of school administrators stated that the use

of technology in the education process was very effective in increasing the educational success. In this

context, a school administrator stated: “I can clearly state as an administrator that with the support we

have provided to our teachers for effective and efficient use of technology, our school success in

education has increased considerably (I(3)).” The percentage of the administrators who have

expressed their views under the theme that technology should not take precedence over any

educational objectives was revealed as 60%. Under this theme, one school administrator has expressed

his views as “The use of technology in school and education is very important. However, the use of

technology should not take precedence over any educational objectives (I(14)).” Among the school

administrators, a total of 45% expressed their views under the theme; use of technology in education

saves time and provides benefits to improve instruction. Referring to this theme, one school

administrator stated her views as; “I can say that the use of technology in education provides a great

saving of time and thus brings important benefits for the improvement of instruction thanks to the

suggestions we have provided to our teachers about the importance of using technology as the school

administrator (I(20).”

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The administrators’ views on the second dimension of the study, promoting effective use of

technology for learning with regards to perceived usefulness and ease of use are presented with themes

and percentages in Table 2.

Theme n %

The school administrators

stated the students’ learning

was highly improved when

they supported the efficient

use of technology in

learning.

14 70

That the more effective

administrators are in the use

of technology, the more

teachers put effort to make

use of technology and faster

the students’ learning process

becomes.

11 55

Table 2. Administrators’ views on promoting effective use of technology for learning with

regards to perceived usefulness and ease of use

As can be seen from the table above, a total of 70% of the school administrators stated that the

students’ learning was highly improved when they supported the efficient use of technology in

learning. In this context a school administrator stated “I can say that the learning of the students

improve considerably when we promote the efficient use of technology in our school as administrators

(I(8)). The percentage of the administrators who have expressed their views under the theme, that the

more effective administrators are in the use of technology, the more teachers put effort to make use of

technology and faster the students’ learning process becomes, was revealed as 55%. Under this theme,

one school administrator has stated his views as “The more effective administrators are in the use of

technology, the more teachers put effort to make use of technology and faster the students’ learning

process becomes (I(13)).”

The administrators’ views on the third dimension of the study, effective communication with

all stakeholders with regards to perceived usefulness and ease of use are presented with themes and

percentages in Table 3.

Theme n %

School administrators stated

that they are more successful

in communicating effectively

with all the stakeholders

through the use of

technology.

16 80

That the success of education

increases as a result of

administrators’ increased of

effective communication

through technology.

15 75

The importance given to the

technology and the use of

technology by administrators

all activities carried out in

the school are coordinated

and organized.

14 70

Table 3. Administrators’ view on effective communication with all stakeholders with regards to perceived usefulness and ease of use

326

As can be seen from the table above, a total of 80% of school administrators stated that they

are more successful in communicating effectively with all the stakeholders through the use of

technology. In this context, a school administrator stated: “In our school we communicate only

through technology and I can say that we are more successful in communicating effectively (I(9)).”

The percentage of the administrators who have expressed their views under the theme that the success

of education increases as a result of administrators’ increased of effective communication through

technology was revealed as 75%. Under this theme, one school administrator has stated her views as “I

can state that as school administrators, we increase the effective communication among teachers

through using technology and thus we are more effective in the increasing the success of education

(I(18)).” Among the school administrators, a total of 70% stated their views under the theme; as a

result of the importance given to the technology and the use of technology by administrators all

activities carried out in the school are coordinated and organized seriously. Referring to this theme,

one school administrator stated his opinions as; “I can say that as a result of the importance we give to

the technology and the use of technology as administrators we provide great opportunities for all

activities carried out in the school are coordinated and organized seriously (I(20).”

The administrators’ views on the fourth aspect of the study, creation of social interaction based

on trust on technology use in the organization with regards to perceived usefulness and ease of use are

presented with themes and percentages in Table 4.

Theme n %

School administrators stated

they created social

interaction based on trust and

thanks to the social

interaction the teachers’

motivation increased

strongly.

14 70

School administrators stated

that through creation of

social interaction based on

trust a strong sense of

belonging was attained and

that the success in education

has enhanced.

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