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Technology as infrastructure for change: district leader understandings of 1:1 educational technology initiatives and educational change

Alexandra J. Lamb (Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA)
Jennie Miles Weiner (Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 24 February 2021

Issue publication date: 2 June 2021

505

Abstract

Purpose

While educational infrastructure is consistently identified as a key lever for educational change, it is often overlooked in research and practice and specifically in relation to technology in schools. By using educational infrastructure as a lens to examine a group of districts' implementation of 1:1 programs, this work provides opportunities for understanding and approaching technology programs in new, and potentially more effective, ways.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the concept of educational infrastructure (Mehta and Fine, 2015; Peurach and Neumerski, 2015), this multiple-case study explores the ways superintendents and district technology leaders understand and enact 1:1 technology initiatives to support educational change.

Findings

The authors find these leaders see 1:1 technology as both embedded in, and engaged in changing, the physical, cultural, instructional and leadership infrastructures. This suggests that 1:1 technology can act as an infrastructure itself and has the potential to support changes to teaching and learning across the system.

Originality/value

This study offers a new perspective to understand and enact the opportunities of 1:1 technology. Specifically, it helps to reframe technology programs away from discrete classroom or school-based interventions to consider and attend to the system-level resources they require and thus increase benefits they can produce. While always useful, such considerations are particularly important in the current context and the proliferation of online learning for so many.

Keywords

Citation

Lamb, A.J. and Weiner, J.M. (2021), "Technology as infrastructure for change: district leader understandings of 1:1 educational technology initiatives and educational change", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 59 No. 3, pp. 335-351. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-10-2020-0220

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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