Roles of a Technology Leader

Roles of a Technology Leader

Jonathan Beedle (The University of Southern Mississippi, USA) and Sirui Wang (The University of Southern Mississippi, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2656-0.ch013
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Abstract

Technology leaders facilitate and influence the development of diverse fields and disciplines including business, mass communication, computer science, and technology education. This chapter reveals the roles and responsibilities of technology leaders in education, administration, business, government, and other organizations. The focus of technology leadership should be on technical content knowledge, the dynamics of complex organizations, and soft skills/emotional intelligences that include interpersonal skills, work ethic, and attitude. The chapter discusses technology leaders’ roles in the advancement of technology & the responsibilities of building standards for education, training, and professional development purposes.
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Qualifications To Be A Technology Leader

In 1992, David Moursund (1992) created 4 main qualifications needed to become a respected technology leader. First, technology leaders must possess a broad and general dedication for lifelong learning. Although the knowledge and skills vary widely with the nature of different employment positions, basic requirements are necessary for qualified technology leaders like communication skills and relative computer knowledge. Technology leaders must understand the importance and processes necessary to help motivate and empower others. Leaders are able to influence staff, faculty, and administrators by involving them with the decision making process. Second, technology leaders must have knowledge about the dynamics and infrastructure of an organization in order to understand employee apprehension and any other issues that may develop. Third, solid interpersonal skills are essential in building rapport and communication between all parties. Sometimes a leader’s role may be a facilitator, and other times an impartial arbitrator. Communication proficiency is the necessary soft skill a leader incorporates to convey instructions and expectations when facilitating change.

Technology leaders have the responsibility to include administrators, teachers, students, and the community in the decision making process. Implementing plans and strategies to facilitate technology integration into the curriculum is a decision best made by including all relevant parties. Emphasis of all technology instruction should be directed toward enhancing content learning while strengthening technology skills of students, teachers, and staff. Ideal candidates should work well with others, be skilled for group management, and have clear goals and strategies for integrating technology in instruction (ISTE, 2009). These are all soft skills that are not necessarily taught in traditional higher education courses and best learned through experience. Technology leaders should be able to communicate effectively with other staff members and peers. Great leaders listen carefully to what is being said by stakeholders in order to better understand their needs and concerns.

Finally, having the technical knowledge in the fields of computer science, computer education, and a broad range of technologies used in hypermedia environments can help the technology leader deal with necessary professional development, technical support, and maintenance. There is no uniform agreement on the technical knowledge and skills required of a technology leader. In addition, leadership skills are essential for a qualified head of technology. Leadership is the application of quality practices to motivate people. Moursund (1992) describes the position of technology leader as, “an educator at the school level or at the school district level who works to facilitate effective use of a wide range of computer-related information technologies in instruction” (p. 50). A technology leader is vital for successful technology integration in any institution or business. With qualifications of an excellent technology leader in mind, our attention should turn to the roles of a successful technology leader in various organizations and fields, which includes administration, business, health organization, library, government, and education.

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