Administrators recognize that leading their districts in the adoption of technology in the classroom requires having new skills and adopting new leadership techniques. Courses have been developed by nonprofit and for-profit organizations to aid administrators in this crucial aspect of professional growth.

Here are characteristics shared by the best of these programs:

  1. They teach basic computer competency, such as word processing, eMail, and web searches.
  2. They have flexible scheduling and are held away from administration offices and school property, so that administrators can truly concentrate on the task at hand.
  3. They contain assignments built upon projects that replicate real-life situations.
  4. They involve assignments that include discussions and collaborative projects, to help participants improve communications and team-building skills.
  5. They contain instruction and projects that help administrators develop a vision for their districts. Just as importantly, administrators should learn how to help staff and principals in their district to create their own visions, too.
  6. They can be implemented quickly to demonstrate some of the benefits of using technology. One benefit, for instance, is enhanced communication within schools and across districts via electronic means, such as eMail, web newsletters, and CD-ROMs.
  7. They let teachers practice actual implementation of technology in the classroom. This may include studying a “best practices” example that teachers within their state or district have developed, perhaps through videotapes or online demonstrations.
  8. They follow up during the school year with the professional development course trainers and former classmates.