When writing the book, I sought to answer three questions about educational technology. “Why do we need to plan for efficacious IT in schools?” In “Chapter 1: Information Technology, Society, and Schools,” I answer this by describing the active influences of computer and related technologies on humans and our organizations, including schools. My purpose for beginning with this chapter is to establish the context within which strategic goals must be defined and realized and to establish the complex nature of technology in schools and the nature of change within human organizations.
In the next five chapter, I describe the dimension of educational technology. These comprise those aspects of educational technology that IT managers must address. The chapters include: “Chapter 2: Technology-Rich Teaching and Learning,” “Chapter 3: Access to Sufficient Computing Devices,” “Chapter 4: IT Networks,” “Chapter 5: Web Services,” and “Chapter 6: Technology Support Systems.” In these chapters, I answer the question “What systems must school and technology leaders create?” The focus of these chapters is largely on information technology infrastructure and the ancillary systems necessary to ensure logistic goals are defined to address relevant purposes. While some IT professionals will find this information insufficient to provide configuration advice, they will find it helpful to understand the level of expertise they can reasonably expect school leaders to demonstrate. Further, it deconstructs the many potential activities of IT managers so they focus on the essential tasks.
The final two chapters address the question “How should school and technology leaders approach planning and decision- making?” Progressive discourse, which is a model that allows for (and necessitates) shared understanding and valid evidence, is described in “Chapter 7: Discourse, Design and Data;” and some trends and generalization that inform all leadership and management decisions are considered in “Chapter 8: Understanding Change.”