The success of a whole school coordination of ICT will depend primarily on the characteristics of you as the technology leader at your school. You will need to be assertive yet approachable, have the ability to understand how other staff think and teach, and be able to demonstrate through an effective model how to manage an ICT-based classroom. These characteristics are more desirable than the ability to have technical skills. Success in acting as a leader in ICT has more to do with getting on with people than knowing how systems work.
As an technology leader, it is essential then that you think about how you approach a task as this will have an impact on how you influence the staff around you. No matter where you may be placed, it is imperative therefore, that you do consider your actions carefully to ensure progress in student ICT capability at your school.
To be an effective leader in ICT at your school, your first considerations need to be the following (Harrison, 1998):
- How much do you know about the past and present situation and the opinions of the teachers with whom you will be working?
- How clear are you about the changes you want to see in the way ICT is considered, planned, organised, and integrated with the rest of the curriculum?
- What will you be satisfied with?
- Are you willing to be fully committed to and involved with colleagues?
- Are you prepared to make the changes yourself?
The personal skills that you will need to have in order to promote the successful use of ICT across the curriculum include:
- The ability to empathise with those threatened;
- To act consistently;
- To maintain hope, belief and optimism;
- To want success;
- To be willing to take calculated risks and accept the consequences;
- To develop a capacity to accept, deal with and use conflict constructively;
- To learn to use a soft voice and low key manner;
- To develop self-awareness;
- To make strategic compromises;
- To become an active listener;
- To learn to match advice to individual teachers’ needs not necessarily your own preferred approach.