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A Technology in its Place: Successful Technology Infusion in Schools / Edition 1

A Technology in its Place: Successful Technology Infusion in Schools / Edition 1

by John F. LeBaron, Catherine Collier


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780787956820
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/28/2001
Series: Jossey-Bass Education Series
Edition description: 1ST
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.02(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

JOHN F. LEBARON is professor of education at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He was a Fulbright scholar in Educational Technology in1998-99. CATHERINE COLLIER is a technology specialist with the Shirley, Massachusetts, school district and adjunct professor of technology in education for Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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This is a book for educators concerned with the improvement of teaching and learning through technology. It offers a multifaceted vision of both the contribution that technology can make to effective schooling and the creative alignment of leadership and practice with theory and research. It examines practice from viewpoints ranging from global initiatives in international on-line learning to the local concerns of a single classroom. Written from the backdrop of educational reform, this book presents a comprehensive view of technology in schooling, addressing concerns of administration, strategic planning, curricular integration, and staff development.

The chapter authors offer successful track records of leadership and practice in the curricular integration of technology. Some of them are veteran contributors to this field. Others have more recently gained recognition for significant accomplishments in a rather short period of time. Each of them has a story to tell from practice, research, or a combination of the two. We hope that their stories add to the intellectual inventories of our readers as they seek to enhance learning and teaching with the unprecedented opportunities offered by technology.

Technology, Leadership, and the Curriculum

The successful infusion of technology into education depends on effective leadership and good sense about school culture. Leadership emerges from many different venues. This collection of perspectives is therefore aimed at the following groups:

  • Teachers, higher education faculty, and professional developers
  • School building and district administrators
  • Technology coordinators and library media specialists
  • Parents and community citizens
  • Policymakers, elected and appointed
  • Businesspeople and others in the private sector

Educational technology professional associations have accelerated dialogue with other leading groups of educators. For example, in cooperation with the U. S. Department of Education and other public and private entities, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has produced an extensive set of educational technology standards across the curriculum for PKÐ 12 students (Thomas, Bitter, Kelly, and Knezek, 2000). ISTE has also collaborated with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (1997) to implement technology standards in teacher preparation, urging teacher preparation programs to infuse technology throughout their curricula robustly and energetically. Other major associations have taken similar cooperative initiatives. This book aims to further the cross-disciplinary conversation.

The chapters are organized into two parts, dealing respectively with curriculum and leadership. This is not to suggest a necessary division between these two concerns; they are really two sides of the same coin. We treat curriculum first because we believe that curriculum, above everything else, should drive technology integration. Too often peripheral considerations (the need to appear up-to-date, one-time budgetary windfalls, external grant opportunities, pure politics) have prompted costly technology investments, often without the necessary leadership, professional development, and curricular vision. The disastrous consequences are disheartening because we now know enough about educational leadership to avoid them.

Part One: Curriculum and Pedagogy:
The Wellsprings of Leadership

The chapters in Part One deal with issues directly related to classroom implementation. Debbie Abilock examines two classroom projects in research-supported learning and teaching, one focusing on global warming and the other on turn-of-the-century history. In both cases, deep, ongoing collaboration between a library media specialist and classroom teachers spawned curricula that guided student researchers to construct knowledge collectively about the topics under discussion. Abilock highlights the important contribution of global, networked computing to the realization of curricular aims.

Project-centered curriculum of this nature requires careful, theory-based planning. John LeBaron addresses this matter in Chapter Two. He applies Senge's (1990) ideas about learning organizations, weaving discussion about the planning process with commonly accepted principles of curriculum development for technology-rich environments. In the same spirit, in Chapter Three, Eileen Gallagher tackles the challenge of planning for technology in a large, urban district (Chicago). Gallagher depicts systematic links across the urban requirements of funding, infrastructure, professional development, teacher resistance, and community support.

Rounding out the conversation about curriculum, Sanna Järvelä offers practical and theoretical guidance in Chapter Four to readers struggling with the challenge of informing a skeptical public about the pedagogical value of technology investment. Based on naturalistic modes of inquiry, Järvelä offers concrete examples of qualitative research that have generated persuasive evidence about the power of appropriately planned technology applications to promote learning.

Part Two: Leadership Strategies

Recognizing the essential contribution of professional development to technology integration, Catherine Collier launches Part Two. Focusing on the real-life approaches to the curricular integration of technology, Collier probes the theory and practice of professional development, using school-based cases. In Chapter Six, Jyrki Pulkkinen and Merja Ruotsalainen approach Collier's observations from the different perspective of cross-cultural international networks for teacher education. They examine the challenges of Internet-based learning across several countries of the European Union, drawing on the experience of networked teacher training courses that have served adult practitioners from Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Effective leadership demands the reconciliation of parochial interests, as diverse stakeholders in and beyond the school building advance their particular agendas in the endeavor to infuse technology. George Perry and Ronald Areglado address the responsibilities of principals as planners, leaders, and managers in Chapter Seven. Applying Kotter's (1996) eight-step process for organizational change, Perry and Areglado urge principals to assume activist curricular roles in promoting the best teaching their faculty can produce, individually and collectively. In Chapter Eight, Isa Zimmerman examines political strategies undertaken in two school systems under her superintendency in a perpetual struggle for change. She describes a systematic strategy for advocacy and change in local, state, and national forums.

Building on Zimmerman's discussion, John Richards reflects in Chapter Nine on the delicate nature of partnerships between schools and the private sector. While endorsing the value of vision-anchored partnerships, Richards suggests that schools need to approach potential collaborators from a strong visionary and moral base, knowing what they want to accomplish, why, and why it is important. The moral question also concerns Linda Friel. Believing in education rather than regulation or sanction as the best foundation for adherence to school policy on appropriate technology use, in Chapter Ten she addresses the roles and responsibilities of teachers, librarians, technologists, and administrators in ensuring ethical, safe student practice. In the context of research and theory, Friel offers practical counsel to educational practitioners in formulating and carrying out policy on intellectual freedom and acceptable technology practice.


Assembly of a book such as this takes much effort and patience on the part of authors, editors, and publisher. We are deeply grateful for the time taken not only to develop manuscripts but also for prompt and cheerful responses to what must have seemed like an incessant stream of editorial questions and suggestions. Representing Jossey-Bass, Christie Hakim consistently rendered timely help and wise counsel. We are grateful for the cooperation and good humor so generously offered by everyone associated with this project.

February 2001
John F. LeBaron
North Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Catherine Collier
Shirley, Massachusetts

Table of Contents


The International Network of Principals' Centers.

The Editors.

The Contributors.

Part I: Curriculum Integration.

1. Using Technology to Enhance Student Inquiry, Debbie Abilock.

2. Curriculum Planning for Technology Rich Instruction, John LeBaron.

3. Technology for Urban Schools: Gaps and Challenges, Eileen Gallagher.

4. Technology and Learning: Getting the Story Out, Sanna Jarvela.

Part II: Leadership Strategies.

5. Staff Development for Technology Integration in the Classroom, Catherine Collier.

6. International On-line Learning: Cultural Issues for Educators, Jyrki Pulkkinen and Merja Ruotsalainen.

7. The Computers Are Here! Now What Does the Principal Do?, George S. Perry, Jr. and Ronald J. Areglado.

8. Building Public Support: The Politics of Technology Transformation, Isa Kaftal Zimmerman.

9. Strategies for Creating Successful Corporate Partnerships, John Richards.

10. Using Technology Appropriately: Policy, Leadership, and Ethics, Linda de Lyon Friel.


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