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Dr. Chuck Holt & Dr. Amy Burkman - National FORUM of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal - www.nationalforum.com - National Refereed Journal - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD - Editor-in-Chief (Founded 1982)

Dr. Chuck Holt & Dr. Amy Burkman - National FORUM of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal - www.nationalforum.com - National Refereed Journal - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD - Editor-in-Chief (Founded 1982)

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Dr. Chuck Holt & Dr. Amy Burkman - National FORUM of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal - www.nationalforum.com - National Refereed Journal - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD - Editor-in-Chief (Founded 1982)
Dr. Chuck Holt & Dr. Amy Burkman - National FORUM of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal - www.nationalforum.com - National Refereed Journal - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD - Editor-in-Chief (Founded 1982)

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Published by: William Allan Kritsonis on Jul 01, 2013
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10/30/2013

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 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNALVOLUME 30, NUMBER 3, 2013
29
LEADING THE DIGITAL DISTRICT
Chuck Holt, Ed.D.Assistant ProfessorEducational LeadershipTexas A&M University-CommerceAmy Burkman, Ed.D.Associate ProfessorDirector of M.Ed. in Administrationand SupervisionAmerican Public University System
ABSTRACTThe purpose of this project was to develop an understanding of the issuesrelated to the operation of an urban school district utilizing digital instructionaltechnologies from the perspective of a district level technology leader. Therewere three main research questions driving the project: What are the greatestchallenges in creating a digitally enhanced district? What impact does digitalenhancement have on student achievement? How does the district maintainforward momentum with the rapid change in technologies? Through thisqualitative study researchers identified a number of effective technologyinitiatives in urban districts and also recognized impending challenges facingschool leaders in a rapidly changing digital world.
Keywords 
: Leadership, Technology, Digital Instruction
Introduction
The purpose of this study was to investigate the behaviors and beliefs of school leaders managing urban districts utilizing significant
 
30
NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL
instructional technology. As technology capabilities explode across thesocial, business and educational landscapes, schools still struggle toeither incorporate or even keep up with these existing tools anddevices. Zucker (2009) stated that technology in education has passedthe tipping point and digital technologies are transforming education,although slowly and not always in the school. Digital technologieshave impacted students in key areas: when and where students learn,with whom students learn, what students learn, and how studentslearn. Online courses opened learning to anytime/anywhere access,yet many schools have not embraced online learning for other thanremediation purposes (Zucker, 2009). The use of personal digitaldevices such as smart phones, tablets, and readers has providedunprecedented access to learning, yet they are often shunned or even banned in schools. These factors lead us into a conversation regardingleadership and the state of technology in schools.
Review of Literature
The implementation and integration of technology in
America’s K 
- 12 classrooms is a topic of great interest amongeducators. This interest appears to be the result of the challenges presented by the rapid changes in the technological market (Ramirez,2011). This author points out that schools, especially large districtslike those studied in this project, may be experiencing widespreadintegration problems. Issues include the lack of support for training,lack of long range planning, lack of technology knowledge by schoolofficials, and internal and external organizational threats to integration.District leadership plays a vital role in integrating technologyeffectively into the classroom as is considered a complex school-widechange (Schrum, Galizio, & Ledesma, 2011).
The discussion of “digital natives” (Prensky, 2001)
isintriguing to educators but does not fully address the issue of teachingand learning. Youth today use technology for social and entertainment purposes; their familiarity with available technology does not
 
HOLT & BURKMAN
31
 
automatically make them capable of utilizing these tools for learning(Davies, 2011). While we are all aware of the power of technology in
today’s world, this awareness does not necessarily make schools,
teachers, or students effective users of technology to constructlearning. No single legislative act has had more impact on educationthan No Child Left Behind (NCLB). An important focus of thislegislation is improving student academic achievement with the use of technology through integration initiatives, building access,accessibility and parental involvement (The No Child Left Behind Actof 2001). According to Learning Point Associates (2007), rather than buying the latest technology and then figuring out what to do with it,the emphasis should be on how to improve student learning. It is notabout the boxes on the desk but the information that flows throughthose boxes. The planning process should go beyond the buying of technology but should envision ways to connect our students to theworld beyond the school.As technology capabilities skyrocket, the issues connectingeducation and technology have evolved rapidly. While decisions aboutstaff training, platforms, networks, and other decisions remain a verylocal matter, a set of well recognized issues face almost every school.These include (a) integration of technology into the classroom toimprove instruction, (b) the availability of access to technology, (c)accessibility for all students regardless of personal means, and (d) parental involvement. While some of these issues seem closely relatedto funding - and indeed adequate funding is critical - good planningand decision making also play major roles in delivery and effectiveusage. Teacher training remains a top priority as new technologiesmake technology integration both powerful and complex.
Access Issues
The term
building access
when related to technology refers to

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