Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Ke Zhang


Principals need to acquire understanding of, and proficiency in, technology skills and integration to be effective instructional leaders. As issues concerning the lack of systemic change in school reform and technology integration persist, little research has been published concerning the extent to which technology leadership behaviors identified in the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A; International Society for Technology in Education, 2002) are being implemented in schools. The purpose of this study is to analyze the extent to which Michigan elementary principals employ behaviors that support their role as effective technology leaders.

Michigan K-6 school principals (n = 280) completed the Survey of Technology Experiences (Billheimer, 2007) developed from the six NETS-A standards (leadership and vision; learning and teaching; productivity and professional practice; support, management, and operations; assessment and evaluation; and social, legal, and ethical issues). Through this quantitative method, the study determined how principals rated the level of importance of the NETS-A and their interest in professional development. Through a qualitative method, this study describes the principal's current practice and implementation of the NETS-A. Ten principals from K-6 schools participated in in-depths interviews of their training and practice for technology leadership.

Results concluded that the most important issue in effective technology use in schools is presence of informed and effective principals. Many principals, regardless of the length of time spent in technology-related professional development, participation in on-line courses, or location of the school (urban, rural, suburban), did not feel comfortable with technology and had significant professional development needs as indicated by this study. There also was a need for principals to engage in collaborative networks to enhance their professional practice. Furthermore, consideration to innovative methods of professional development delivery, such as online and distance learning opportunities, need be available. Results of this study can be used to prepare Michigan principals for the emergence of a global society's demand of technology competent principals and to align current perspectives of administrator preparation in regards to technology skills and technology leadership to the NETS-A standards.