The development of information and communication technologies (ICT) is gaining momentum and gaining popularity in the community. In schools, devices such as desktop computers, printers, scanners, and modems are used to facilitate the tasks of principals, teachers, and other school members. With the advent of mobile technology devices, the integration of ICT is increasing as teachers take the initiative by using these devices to make their teaching process successful. School leaders need to take the initiative to promote ICT in schools. They must practice technology leadership practices, capable of coordinating the activities and behaviors of school members regarding the use of technology.
Technological leadership does not mean that leaders must focus on the use of modern and sophisticated technological tools, but refers to leadership that emphasizes leaders’ strategic thinking in using available resources (particularly technological resources) to do what they do to improve while making changes to funding culture an organization focused on engagement and excellence. It is a new leadership construct that grows out of the symbiotic relationship of leadership with technology. The effect of the effort is a lasting change in a program, directives, behavior and leadership practices with technology as an important element.
In the education system, the importance of technological leadership increased around the 1990s. Various grants are made by government or private agencies in providing school equipment or equipment. There are many benefits of exercising technology leadership, including being a technology leader that can advance schools in the use of ICT to meet the educational challenges of the 21st century. They play a role in changing the school environment by addressing the needs and potential of ICT-enabled learning. They are also able to encourage educators to engage in courses, training in the use of ICT and professional development programs that can increase the professionalism level of educators. The efforts of the technology leader are in line with the requirements of the implementation of learning in the 21st century (PAK-21).
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) (2009) published a standard known as the National Educational Technology Standard for Administrators (NETS-A) that explains the role of technology leaders in the educational world. The standard consists of five components, namely Visionary Leadership, Digital Age Learning Culture, Excellence in Professional Practice, Comprehensive Improvement and Digital Citizenship.
- Visionary Leadership – Technology leaders are responsible for leading the development of technology and implementing the school’s shared vision to make ICT integration more inclusive.
- Learning culture of the digital age – The technology leaders are responsible for creating a technology-enabled learning environment to capture the interest and attention of educators and students.
- Excellence in professional practice – Technology leaders need to promote a professional learning environment, organize ICT-related training and courses, and improve teachers’ ability to innovate in the use of ICT and digital resources.
- Systemic Improvement – The technology leaders are responsible for providing the best facilities and services for the management of schools based on the continuous use of ICT.
- Digital Citizenship – Technology leaders have a responsibility to be role models for school citizens. They must be able to spread the vision and mission and ensure that school members understand the connection between social, ethical and legal issues when using ICT.
Being an effective technology leader in an educational setting is no easy task. A leader must have the knowledge, skills and positive attitude to lead an organization while nurturing the culture of ICT use. They must be the catalyst for change into this new era if they are not to be left behind in the tide of modern and demanding times.