The use of distance technology in educational leadership preparation programs

Whitney H. Sherman (Old Dominion University, Darden College of Education, Norfolk, Virginia, USA)
Danna M. Beaty (Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 21 August 2007



As the number of internet users has increased, universities have begun to rely more heavily on technology in the delivery of course content and instruction. The use of distance technology has been purported to have the potential to lead the way in developing more competent technology leaders in schools as well as reforming leadership preparation and reaching a more inclusive population of administrator aspirants. The paper aims to focus on the issues involved.


An exploratory study of how 49 higher education institutions in the USA utilize distance technology in the preparation of educational leaders is reported. Descriptive statistics, including both categorical scales and continuous scales, were collected from the survey designed and are used to indicate how and why technology was used in program delivery.


Findings are grouped according to the following themes: overall program structures; types of distance technology; goals for the use of distance technology; problems experienced with the use of distance technology; and factors that affect the expansion of the use of distance technology.

Practical implications

Data gained have important implications for follow‐up studies that explore the relationship between the use of distance technology and the transformation of the preparation of school leaders.


This research defines areas in which programs can meet today's global standards, allow for the greatest flexibility in meeting student needs, and yet continue to increase leadership and educational opportunities for all student groups.



Sherman, W.H. and Beaty, D.M. (2007), "The use of distance technology in educational leadership preparation programs", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 45 No. 5, pp. 605-620.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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