A New Role in Facilitating School Reform: The Case of the Educational Technologist
by Judith Davidson — 2003
School reform advocates have been frustrated over the slow pace of integrating proposed school improvements, hypothesizing that the resiliency of established roles contributes much to the conserving tendencies of educational institutions. In seeking to understand this issue, the school reform movement has paid close attention to established roles, such as teachers and principals, and the issues these individuals face as they seek to address change. They have paid relatively little attention, however, to the emergence of new roles. The educational technologist (ET) is a role that is growing rapidly within schools in conjunction with the widespread adoption of networked technology. Looking back over 6 years of research data from a qualitative research study of networked technology integration in one K–12 system, the author examines the emergence of the ET role from the classical sociological perspectives of social structure, space, and time and its relationship to the cluster of core positions. This study demonstrates the importance of role to school reform issues, indicating that it can be used as a critical lens for understanding the progress of reform and the nature of technology integration.
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