Make the Future
Summit 2022
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Leaders Who Make a Difference: Expanding Your Influence in Technology Education

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Monday, June 24, 2:30–3:30 pm
Location: Independence Ballroom, Marriott

Dr. Dan Shepherd  
Most educational technologists are not trained in leadership, yet their positions demand significant ability to influence others. I'll present research-based leadership principles viewed through an educational technology lens. I'll focus on the development of vision, relationships and character as essential for technology leadership in schools.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Leadership
Topic: Educational policy and leadership
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Visionary Leadership
  • Inspire and facilitate among all stakeholders a shared vision of purposeful change that maximizes use of digital age resources to meet and exceed learning goals, support effective instructional practice, and maximize performance of district and school leaders.
For Coaches:
Visionary Leadership
  • Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms.
For Educators:
  • Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Challenge: Modern leadership research includes three foundational principles that will assist any leader - regardless of experience - achieve greater effectiveness in influence over stakeholders. Unfortunately, most teacher-leaders in technology were selected because of their skill in working with technology, and most have not been trained in leadership theory or practice. This session attempts to provide a quick but practical introductory information about leadership basics for the technology teacher-leader.
1. First, teacher-leaders in educational technology absolutely must be able to communicate a clear and consistent vision. By the session end, attendees will have written a clear one-sentence summary of the vision for their educational technology program or setting.
2. Second, they must be able to develop meaningful professional relationships with those they seek to have greater influence over. By the end of the session, attendees will have developed a brief plan for improving a professional relationship with one vital stakeholder they need greater influence with.
3. Finally, the best teacher-leaders lead with unquestioned integrity. By the end of the session, attendees will have written a summary plan for the improvement of their own perceived integrity. Perhaps they will identify one task that has been promised by not completed and will state what must happen for that promise to be fulfilled in upcoming days.
Strategies: As a long time educational leader of 20 years, the session will include numerous practical and real world examples of leaders who achieved or failed in the three primary focuses. The presentation will include a highly visual (low word count) slideshow augmented with powerful online videos. Attendees will also have opportunity to interact with peers and the presenter about the session's core topics.
Evidence of Success: Each attendee will briefly share his or her assigned tasks related to the objectives presented above: vision sentence, relationship builder, and character task.


1. First, teacher-leaders in educational technology absolutely must be able to communicate a clear and consistent vision. Individuals must be connected to this vision, and they must be provided sufficient resources to implement the vision. When vision is introduced but not implemented, apathy results. When vision simply does not exist, disconnectedness results. When vision, though, is correctly implemented, its influence is greater than obstacles, personal preference, and personal identity. Visionary leaders are those who are future oriented, who take risks, and who connect others to the vision with them.
2. Second, they must be able to develop meaningful professional relationships with those they seek to have greater influence over. These relationships, according to the research, are built best on empathy and warmth but can also be fostered with sincerity, encouragement, and personalization. Relationships suffer when selfishness prevails, when standards are low, when ambiguity is prevalent, and where trust is not present.
3. Finally, the best teacher-leaders lead with unquestioned integrity. Character in educational technology leadership is paramount. Trust, in an organization, is defined as "doing what you say you will do" and possessing consistent stated beliefs and observed behaviors. The benefits of trust in an educational technology organization include higher job satisfaction, less turnover, increased stakeholder commitment, and greater perceived justice.
Time: Each core element listed above will receive about 1/4 of the session's time. The remaining 1/4 will be used for establishing the direction of the session (introduction) and for completing the assessment (attendee reporting).
Process: The presenter is an experienced speaker who has keynoted educational conferences both nationally and internationally. Attendees will be engaged and inspired by his energy and skills. In addition, there will be periodic moments throughout the presentation where individual reflection and peer-to-peer interaction will be provided. Finally, there will opportunities for attendees to ask questions of the presenter and each other and to present their intentions based on the session's main ideas.

Supporting research

Boyd, R. & Myers, J. (1988). Transformative Education. International Journal of Lifelong  Education, 7, 261–284.
Carstens, F., & Sheenan, M. (2014). Triumphs and tribulations of the flipped classroom: High school teacher’s perspective. In Promoting Active Learning through the Flipped Classroom Model (pp. 91-112). J. Keengwe, G. Onchwari, & J. Oigara  (eds.). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Cornelius-White, J. (2007) Learner-centered teacher-student relationships are effective: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 113-143.
Delaney, J. Johnson, A., Johnson T., & Treslan, D. (2010). Students’ Perception of  Effective Trading in Higher Education. St. John’s, N. L: Distance Education and Learning Technologies.
Dirks, K.T. (2000). Trust in leadership and team performance: Evidence from NCAA basketball. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(6), 1004-1012.
Dirks, K.T., and Ferrin, D.L. (2002). Trust in leadership: Meta-analytic findings and implications for research and practice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(6), 1004-1012.
Dulebohn, J., Bommer, W., Liden, R., Brouer, R., & Ferris, G. (2012). A meta-analysis  of antecedents and consequences of leader-member exchange: Integrating the  past with an eye toward the future. Journal of Management, 38, 6, 1715-1759.
Flauto, F.J. (1999). Winning the talk: The relationship between leadership and communication competence. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 6(1-2), 86-97.
Halevy, N., Berson, Y., & Galinsky, A.D. (2011). The mainstream is not electable: When vision triumphs over representativeness in leader emergence and effectiveness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 985-998.
Haynes, J. (2015, April 23). Four characteristics of effective teachers of ELLs. Retrieved  from
Korsgaard, M., Brower, H., & Lester, S. (2015). It isn’t always mutual: A critical review of  dyadic trust. Journal of Management, 40, 1, 47-70.
Master, B., Loeb, S., Whitney, C., & Wyckoff, J. (2016). Different skills?: Identifying  differentially effective teachers of English language learners," The Elementary  School Journal, 117, 2, 261-284.
Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.
Miller, P. (2012). Ten characteristics of a good teacher. English Teaching Forum, 50, 1,  36-38.
Rath, T., & Conchie, B. (2008). Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams,  and Why People Follow. Gallup Press.
Rogers. C. (1961). On Becoming a Person: A Psychotherapists View of Psychotherapy.  Houghton Mifflin.
Rouche, J.E., Baker, G.A., III, & Rose, R.R. (1989). Shared vision: Transformational leadership in American community colleges. Washington DC: American Association for Community and Junior Colleges.
Shepherd, D. (2016). How followers determine the character and care of their assigned  leaders: A quantitative study from the field of education. International Leadership Journal. 8, 3, 83-100.
Wool, G. (1989). Relational aspect of learning: The learning alliance. In Learning and Education: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (pp.747-770). K. Field, B. Cohler & G.  Wool (eds.). Madison, CT: International University Press.

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Dr. Dan Shepherd, Missouri Western State University

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