This study aimed to reveal leaders’ and personnel’s thoughts and missions about technology integration leadership at Education and Information Network (EIN) at Ministry of Education (MoNE) in Turkey. A qualitative case study research was conducted with the participation of 5 EIN leaders and 5 other EIN personnel. Case study is used to obtain enough information about particular a person, a phenomenon, a process, an organization or a group in a systematic way (Berg, 2001; Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2008). In this respect, case study is considered as it allows to expose the causes of a case (why?) and to examine the occurrence process of the case (how?) deeply (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2008; Yin, 2003). In this study, participants were selected by using purposeful snowball sampling method. Participants’ ages differed between 25 to 40 years. Three participants were female and 7 participants were male. The data gathering methods and instruments were an interview protocol, documents collected from EIN and a demographic survey.
The collected data were analyzed by using content analysis method. In data analysis process, firstly the interview records were transcribed into text by researchers. Then researchers read these texts and generated codes in terms of meaning of the words or sentences in the texts by open coding method individually. They compared the consistency of codes generated individually and reviewed the codes in consensus. So, final versions of code list were created and included 372 codes. In terms of these codes, researchers create meaningful common themes from the codes. 6 themes consisting of functions of EIN, technologies, and characteristics of leadership, barriers, solutions and technology integration was created.
The results of the study showed that EIN has three functions in MoNE; as follows; (1) providing educational contents for schools, (2) providing social network, and (3) leading technology integration into education in Turkey. Furthermore, the results of the study revealed that the characteristics of leadership for the effective technology integration at schools must involve being open to innovations, self-confidence, motivation, reporting errors or problems during technology integration, keeping close contact with IT personnel in schools (IT teachers), motivating teachers to use technology in their class, being open to self-development, being a researcher and not having biases.
Chitiyo and Harmon (2009) claimed that absence of ICT policy and technology integration framework is one of the important factors that affect technology integration as one of the participants in current study also mentioned need for TPACK framework-based instructional modules for teachers in order to successful integration of technology. In this study similar results were found with Chitiyo and Harmon’s (2009) study with respect to constraint defined by them as absence of appropriate staff development opportunities.
For the characteristics of leadership, some findings from the interview data as manage change, encouraging teachers and supporting personnel are similar with Turan’s (2002) defined role of school principals. Current study also found that school principals should have technology and integration knowledge and this finding coincide with Turan’s (2002) study and Sincar and Aslan’s (2011) study through which they state that school administrators should be close to information and communication technologies. This study also found different characteristics of leadership that were not defined in current literature as regarding technology integration, being open to innovations, self-confidence, reporting errors or problems during technology integration, keeping close contact with IT personnel in schools (IT teachers), motivating teachers to use technology in their class, being open to self-development, being a researcher and not having biases. Additionally, this study found that technology leadership role should be distributed and collaborative among principal(s) and IT teacher instead of belonging to only school principals and also, IT teachers should be more active than others when making technological decisions.
This research results may be useful for a meaningful understanding current situation at EIN in different points of view for EIN personnel and inspiration for other researchers to conduct research about EIN topic. Further research may focus on problems at EIN and how to solve these problems and how EIN must manage technology integration process in Turkey as technology leader.
Berg, B.L. (2001). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (4th edition). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Chitiyo, R. & Harmon, S. W. (2009). An Analysis of the integration of instructional technology in pre-service teacher education in Zimbabwe. Educational Technology Research & Development, 57, 807-830.
Sincar, M., Aslan, B. (2011). İlköğretim öğretmenlerinin okul yöneticilerinin teknoloji liderliği rollerine ilişkin görüşleri. Gaziantep Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 10 (1), 571 – 595.
Turan, S. (2002). Teknolojinin okul yönetiminde etkin kullanımında eğitim yöneticisinin rolü. Eğitim Yönetimi, 30, 271-274.
Yıldırım, A. & Şimşek H. (2008). Sosyal bilimlerde nitel araştırma yöntemleri. Ankara: Seçkin Yayıncılık.
Yin, R.K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods. London: SAGE Publications.