Technology Leadership in Malaysian Schools: The Way Forward to Education 4.0 – ICT Utilization and Digital Transformation

Technology Leadership in Malaysian Schools: The Way Forward to Education 4.0 – ICT Utilization and Digital Transformation

Simin Ghavifekr (Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, Malaysia) and Seng Yue Wong (Centre for Internship Training and Academic Enrichment (CITrA), University of Malaya, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJABIM.20220701.oa3
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Education 4.0 is the answer to the global needs for the advanced integration of humans and technology. Leading school’s technology utilization can be the way forward to support education 4.0 realization. This study aims to investigate the effects and roles of principals’ technology leadership towards teachers’ ICT utilization and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Selangor, Malaysia. This empirical study uses a set of questionnaires to gather information from respondents who are in the teaching profession. A total of 310 questionnaires were completed and analyzed. The findings have shown significant positive impacts between the effects of the technology leadership roles of principals on teachers’ effective ICT utilization and students’ academic performance. The integration of ICT and technological tools in schools has a great challenge towards the new era of the Education 4.0 system. This suggests that principals who embrace technology will effectively lead their schools to acquire educational resources to enhance student engagement and learning.
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In an era that focuses on smart technology, artificial intelligence and robotics, educational institutions must produce a highly skilled and capable workforce who can take advantage of the tools available in this technologically transformed world. Accordingly, education 4.0 needs to cater to the needs of Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0 by introducing students to the potential of digital technology, open-sourced content and personalized data. By aligning teaching and learning methods with the skills needed in the future, education institutions need to produce students who are well-equip with the 21st century skills and knowledge to face the challenges of fourth industrial revolution. One of the strategies can be taken is accelerated remote learning, which is the idea that students learn theoretical knowledge remotely using digital means, whilst ensuring any practical skills are still learnt face-to-face. This is a more flexible way of learning that requires accountability, good time management, and skills that need to be relied on due to the rise in the freelance economy (Anealka Aziz, 2018).

In implementing ICT into schools, the main responsibilities of the principal, is to ensure that the best method to stimulate the learners’ to learning process are done through effective ICT infrastructure and staffs exposure to it (Gurr, 2000). A school principal is the main agent in bringing successful digital transformation in schools (Hall & Hord, 2001). Researchers also justified that an important element in a smooth technological change in school, is obviously the school principal (Hallinger & Heck, 1996). Furthermore, the attitude exhibited by the principals while in the process of the technology implementation or innovation towards it differs and the consequences to it may lead to greater execution success. Principals are often regarded as the backbone of a school to provide the interventions that either increases the potential for it to be a success of a change or it to be failure (Dexter, 2008). A principal’s technology leadership role is essential so that the school’s teaching and learning systems can be in place to make the process more efficient (Gurr, 2000), including the recruitment of the school’s staffs to manage and govern the ICT implementation.

Technology leadership is the combination of strategy and general leadership techniques. However it is more focused on technology, particularly those which has a connection to access towards tools (Killen, 2005). Technology updating and the realization that the professional expansion and application of technology is always changing according to the needs of the generation. Metcalf (2012) states that school leaders are facing challenging task of applying current digital transformation in order to make the learning process more effective. A school leader must combine various responsibilities to ensure those technology resources are available and safe for the use of students and teachers alike. Simultaneously, school leaders must become a role model to encourage the use of ICT in the teaching and learning process and also organizational management in this 21st century (MOE, 2013). How to effectively lead the teaching and learning process in order to facilitate students to learn theoretical knowledge by using digital means, is the main challenge for the school technology leadership (Wachira & Keengwe, 2011).

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