This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Teachers as Technology Leaders: A Case Study of a One-to-One Laptop Initiative




Howell, Marcus Paul

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


Starting in 2005, Laptop Junior High School implemented a laptop program as a means of preparing students with 21st century skills. Leadership is the starting point for creating a school culture that embraces technologically enhanced instruction across the curriculum (Anderson & Dexter, 2005; Dexter, 2011). Some administrators are not prepared to fully lead the integration and use of technology in schools (Flanagan & Jacobsen, 2003). The need for technologically savvy leadership is presenting an opportunity for some teachers to go beyond their classroom walls, to help lead the use of digital tools throughout the school (Dexter, 2011, Riel & Becker, 2008). The purpose of my research was to explore what teacher technology leadership looks like at Laptop Junior High School and to identify how the practices of teacher technology leaders differ from school administrators. My participants were teacher technology leaders and administrators. I conducted interviews with 7 teacher technology leaders, 1 novice teacher who has received support from the teacher technology leaders, the assistant principal and district technology coordinator. Interview data were analyzed using open and a priori coding. My analysis uncovered that action research was used as a tool to assist with the implementation of the laptop initiative. Action research was employed to create a shared vision among the faculty. It was also used to guide planning, identifying needed resources and professional development. Lastly action research was used to sustain the forward momentum of the organization. Teacher technology and administrative leaders used action research to determine future technologies to be employed in the classroom. My analysis also uncovered that teacher technology leaders at Laptop Junior High School provided technology assistance and guidance through formal activities such as weekly professional development. These teacher technology leaders also lent their expertise with technology to their peers through timely support and collaboration. The support occurred through impromptu meetings with peers in classrooms, hallways, and through email. Their formal and informal assistance have helped to alter the schools culture and teacher technology practices.