Creat ive Educati on
2012. Vol.3, Supplement, 111-115
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes ( DOI:10.4236/ce.2012.38b023
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Principal’s Strategies for Leading ICT Integration:
The Malaysian Perspective
Sathiamoorthy Kannan, Sai lesh Shar ma, Zurai dah Abdull ah
Institute of Educational Leadership, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Received 20 1 2
This s tudy is the fi rst of its ki nd in the nati on to examine t he strat egies used by pr incipals in leading t he
ICT integration among their teachers. It also attempted to study the extent to which these strategies are
being used, the top ten practices in each of these strategies, and whether there exist demographic differ-
ences in the use of the strategies. A survey method, using the Principal Leading ICT Integration Ques-
tionnaire (PLICTQ), was employed to capture all the relevant information. A sample of 106 princi-pals
from two nei ghbouri ng stat es in Malaysi a particip ated in this st udy. The findings indicat e that prin-cipals
use all the three strategies (modeling, promoting and creating opportunities) but at varying degrees of
str engths. The model ing i s f ound to be t he str ategy w ith t he high est de gree of str ength foll owed b y creat-
ing opp ort uniti es, and fi nally pr omoting st rategy. As for the de mograp hic variab les, the f ind-ings i ndica te
significant differences for the academic qualifications (first degree and post graduate) and the training
(yes and no). However, gender differences were not significant in the analysis. This study suggests that
the higher the academic qualifica tion, the bett er the p rincipals i n understandi ng and show-ing good tech-
nology lea der ship . Those w ho said tha t they had s ome trai ning indi ca ted a higher mean in a ll thr ee strate-
gies. One important suggestion that can be drawn from here is that if these principals are provided with
the appropriate professional development in technology leadership, then they can really excel to even
higher levels in exhibi ting ICT lea dership for their teachers.
Key words: Principals’ Strategies; ICT Integrati on; Leading; M odeling; Creat ing Opportunity; Promoti ng
Many researches on technology best practices for teaching
and learning indicate that principals are a key to sustained
technology integration in any school building. And that prin-
cipals express a strong interest in developing instructional lea-
dership skills for the integration of technology into teaching
and learning. In her research on principals’ leadership and ICT
integration, Yee (2000) found that the schools that integrated
ICT in the most constructive way were those where the princi-
pals shared an unwavering vision that ICT had the potential to
improve student learning. These principals also portrayed pas-
sionate commitment to providing professional development to
enhance their teachers’ ICT skills. Schiller (2000), talks about
the key roles that the principals need to play such as highlight-
ing supporting technology, and facilitating change and inter-
vention strategies in the teaching and learning process. Schools
with the highest technology use shared the characteristic of a
strong, enthusiastic principals supporting their convictions
about technology by allocating resources and scheduling pro-
fessional development in ICT for their teachers (Stegall, 1998).
Effective principals need to be actively involved with technol-
ogy, including modeling the technology use and helping to
implement ongoing curriculum-integrated technology staff
development. While discussing the role of the administrator in
technology integration, Ritchie (1996) states that principals
must mobilize their teachers to create a technology culture.
Indeed, Hope and Stakenas (1999) suggested three primary
roles for the principal as technology leaders for better ICT inte-
gration among their teachers: role model, instructional leader,
and visionary.
In order for successful implementation of ICT applications
among teach ers, Macneil and Delafield (1998) commented that
principals need to use their existing resources wisely and crea-
tively. They ought to “think outside the box’ and they must
think in a fluid environment. In addition, they need to establish
a vision for the school, a context for technology in the school to
empower teachers and help students become more technology
literat e (Brockmeier, S ermon, & Hope, 20 05). In a study of the
correlation between teachers’ perceptions of principal’s tech-
nology leadership and the integration of educational technology,
Rogers (2000) found that teachers who had positive perceptions
about the principal’s role in supporting the integration of tech-
nology were more likely to integrate t echnology themselves.
The Setting
Malaysia is a fast developing nation and aspires to be a de-
veloped nation by 2020. It is actually investing a lot of money
in developing the infra structure as well as in building the
teachers’ skills in ICT because it believes that with ICT as an
enabler in the classroom instruction, it can enhance the student
learning and finally achieve its ultimate goal of being a devel-
oped nation by 2020. However, many of the country’s princip-
als are not fully aware of their role as technology leaders. In
some of the studies that were conducted in the nation, it could
be seen that they were practicing only some of the technology
leadership skills. They are probably doing it quite unknowingly.
Rossafri and Balakrishnan (2007), noted that most of these
school leaders are at the lower end in terms of the knowledge
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
and skills related to ICT applications and are usually quite un-
comfortable when it comes to technology leadership. This in
turn makes them least responsible as technology leaders. These
school leaders need to be aware of their roles as technology
leaders. In addition by being technology leaders, the school
principals must ensure that teachers receive adequate profes-
sional development, technical support, and resources to realize
the technological benefits for t heir use i n the classrooms.
According to Wilmore and Betz (2000) to date there have
been limited studies on the role of the principal and the imple-
mentation of ICT in schools. Likewise, there are not many stu-
dies that have been recorded on school principal’s technology
leadership in the local literature. A study by Kamala (2008)
reported that the principals of one district in the state of Negeri
Sembilan, Malaysia were performing their role as technology
leaders at least at th e average le vel. However, two more studies
have been brought in here for further discussion. In the study by
Nordin & Razak (2010) entitled “A quantitative analysis of
Malaysian technology leadership” that appeared in the Journal
of Management Science and Engineering in April 2010, the
researchers found that all 63 administrators scored AVERAGE
on all the variables of Leadership and Vision, Learning and
Teaching, and Productivity and Professional Practice. Only
three of the six dimensions for the administrators that were
stipulated in the ISTE (2002) were tested in this study. There
were no sign ificant differences bet ween male and female school
administrators in all the variables of Leadership and Vision,
Learning and Teaching, and Productivity and Professional
Pract i ce.
The other is a comparative study by Sathiamoorthy, Leong
and Jamil (2011) entitled “Principal Technology Leadership
and Teachers’ ICT Applications in two different school settings
in Malaysia. This paper was submitted for presentation at the
International Conference On "Aplication of ICT in economy
and edu cation (icaictee 2011), December 2 3, 2011, UNWE,
Sofia, Bulgaria. In this study the principal technology leader-
ship and teachers’ ICT applications were made the main va-
riables in two different settings, one a normal day school and
another a smart school. All six dimensions of productivity and
professionalism dimension; support, management, and opera-
tions; assessment and evaluation; leadership and vision;
learning and teaching; and social, legal, and ethical issues
were tested in this study. The smart school principal ranked
ABOVE AVERAGE in the productivity and professionalism
dimension, while keeping the other five dimensions of support,
management, and operations; assessment and evaluation; lea-
dership and vision; learning an d teaching; an d soci al, legal, an d
ethical issues at an average rank. In contrary, the principal in
the normal day school, ranked at an ABOVE AVERAGE level
in the social, legal and ethical issues dimension while the other
dimensions were all ranked average only. Why would there
exist such a different need or perceived n eed among thes e prin-
cipals? In their study on aspiring principals, Traci and Chan
(2010) found that some aspiring administrators do select the
dimensions of support, maintenance, and operations and as-
sessment and evaluation as more important and demanding for
special emphasis than the others.
There were no other local studies that went beyond this
technology leadership levels. Knowing that the Malaysian prin-
cipals are already exercising some technology leadership skills
to a certain extent, this piece of research went beyond that by
loo king at the princi pals’ strat egies in leadi ng the teach ers’ ICT
The Research Ques tion s
Specifically this study focused on answering the following
four research questions.
Q1: What ar e the strategies principals use for leading the ICT
integrat ion among their teachers?
Q2: To what extent th ese str ategies are b ein g u sed to lead the
ICT integration amon g t heir teacher s ?
Q3: What ar e the top 10 practices in each of these strategies?
Q4: Are there significant demographic differences in the
principals’ strategies for leading the ICT integration?
As for t he t heo reti cal fra mewor k for th e stu dy, th e rese arch er
gives all credits to the findings of the researcher, Kozloski
(2006) who studied about 750 school principals from South
Eastern Pennsylvania who underwent a training at Principal
Technology Leadership Academy (PTLA). She zoomed further
into fifteen of them for a thorough in-depth interview. Through
the interview she was able to collect elements of practices and
she even categorized them into three themes/ strategies. After
analyzing her findings, the researcher managed to draw up a
framework as i n Figure 1 below.
As for the methodology, a sample of 106 secondary school
prin cipals ran domly chosen across two s tates (Fed eral Terr itor y
& Selangor) in Malaysia participated in this study. A survey
method was employed for the collection of data using the in-
strument PLICT Questionnaire which was developed by the
researcher by assembling the elements of practices discovered
by Koslozki through her in-depth interviews. The time of col-
lection of data was sometime in April 2011. As for the internal
consistency, it was found that for the modeling strategy com-
prising 23 items, the Cronbach Alpha was 0.925, for the pro-
moting strategy comprising 26 items, alpha was 0.926 and for
the creating opportunity strategy comprising 16 items, the alpha
was 0.925. Collectively the Cronbach Alpha was 0.928 for the
whole instrument. This index of reliability ensures that the in-
strument can be used for collect ing relevant data.
The Findings
The demographic variables indicated that about 53% prin-
cipals were males compared to some 47% females. And about
59% principals had higher degrees (Masters and PhD) as com-
pared to 41% with first degrees. At least 10 principals from the
sample had doctorates. There was also a question on whether
there was any training pertaining to ICT skills. About 60%
Figure 1.
A Framework based on the findings of Kirsten Koslozki (2006).
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
answered yes while another 40% said no to this item. The find-
ings suggest that the higher the academic qualification, the
higher was the mean score of the principals in all three strate-
gies. Additionally, those who said that they had some training
also indicated a h igher mean in all the three strategies.
As can be seen from Figure 2 below, it is the modeling
strategy that shows the highest score (M = 3.912; SD = 0.611).
The other two strategies, creating opportunity (M = 3.830; SD
= 0.643) and promoting (M = 3.802; SD = 0.573) are on the
lower end indicating that the principals have less of these skills
(such as promoting, communicating, motivating, etc) that are
more related an d relevant t o these two strat egi es.
Table 1 below shows the top ten activities performed by the
principals under the modeling strategy. It is evident that skills
like using ICT for data analysis, school management purpose,
personal organization, performing teacher evaluations, and
accessing important information or taking notes at meetings
seem to top the list of activities by the principals in the model-
ing strategy with scores above 3.92 on a Likert scale of 1 to 5.
The top ten activities related to the strategy of creating op-
portunities are listed in the Table 3 below.
Tabl e 1.
Mean and standard devi ation of strategies.
Table 1.
Top 10 activities under the modeling strategy.
In MODELING the ICT integrat ion,
principals Mean Standard
1 use ICT for data analysis 4.21 .801
2 use ICT for school manage ment purposes 4.20 . 761
3 use ICT for my personal or ganization 4.0 2 .851
4 use ICT to perform teache r evaluations 3 .98 .743
5 use ICT to access importan t informati on or
take notes at meetings 3.92 .765
6 use ICT to communicate information with
te acher s 3.90 .904
7 model the use of information access with
the teachers 3.84 .806
8 use a variety of media and forma ts to
communicate, interact and collaborate with
other principals and experts 3.81 .895
9 model the use of ICT to access, analyze
and interpret studen t data to focus on
improving student learning 3.80 .960
10 use ICT for budget using Exce l 3.75 .964
As indicated in Table 2 above, creating opportunities for
col-laboration between colleagues with similar goals, support-
ing teachers in their individual growth plans, increasing mea-
ningful opportunities for teachers to acquire skills on how to
integrat e ICT, providing adequate access to u s e I CT for practice
and to implement what they have learned in school, involving
the whole school community in ICT integration emerged as the
top activities of principals in the creating the opportunity strat-
As shown in Table 3 above, in the promoting strategy, allo-
cating ICT resources to enable teachers t o better in tegrate ICT,
overseeing the development of a vision for ICT integration,
allocating adequate, timely and high quality support services,
changing teachers’ old paradigm, and getting additional fund
for ICT resources seem to top the list with scores above 3.97 on
a Likert scale of 1 to 5.
As for the demographic differences, beginning with the gender
differences, there were no significant di fferences bet ween male
and female principals in all three strategies as shown by the
T-test (p > 0.05). In terms of the highest qualifications, there
was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between principals with
first degree( bachelor degree) and higher degrees (masters or
doctorates). The principals with higher degrees showed higher
scores in t heir mean. Further , those who claimed that they have
undergone some ICT training significantly showed higher
mea ns in a l l thre e s trat eg ies tha n those who didn’t g o for training.
Generall y, the principals use all three strategies even though
at varying degrees of strength. It is found that the modeling
strategy indicates the highest strength followed by creating
opportunities and finally the promoting strategy in leading their
teachers’ ICT integration.
Table 2.
Top 10 activities of the principals under the creating opportunity strat-
ICT integration, principals Mean Standard
1 create opportunities for collaboration be-
tween colleagues with simi lar goals 4.72 0.901
2 support te achers in their individual gr owth
plans 4.28 0.713
3 increas e meaningful oppor tunities for
teachers to acquire skills on how to inte-
grate ICT 4.04 0.721
4 provide adequate access to use ICT for
practice and to implement what they have
lear ned in sc ho ol 4.02 0.707
5 involve the whole school com munity in
ICT integration 4.00 0.834
6 ensu r e teache rs get sufficient t ime to pra c-
tice ICT integration skills 3 .98 0.707
7 collaborate in the design, implementation,
and support of the professional develop-
men t for my teachers 3.98 0.897
8 provide workshops to inte rested teachers on
how to integ rate ICT 3.91 0.929
9 provide ongoing, timely professional de-
velopment that focus es on teaching and
learning using ICT integration 3.89 0.814
10 Use trainers to help introduce and demon-
strate ICT integrat ion 3.85 0.807
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Tabl e 3.
Top 10 activities of the principals under the promoting strategy.
In PR OMOTING IC T inte gration,
principals Mea
n Standard
1 allocate ICT resourc es to enable teachers
to better integrat e ICT 4.05 .821
2 oversee the developm ent of a vision for
ICT integration by working w it h s ta ff/ICT
committee 4.03 .749
3 allocate adequate , timely and high quality
support services for ICT integration 4.01 .845
4 change teachers’ old pa radigm 3.99 .737
5 get additional fund for ICT resources 3.97 .668
6 provide additional hardware such as inter-
active whiteboard & LCD projector 3.97 .845
7 assist teachers in using ICT to access,
analyze and interpret student performance 3.95 .809
8 obtain additional ha rdware for ICT int egra-
tio n p urpose s 3.94 .645
9 facilitate ICT integration for teach ers 3.94 .741
10 use te chnology to change and reinforce
new communication meth od (e.g. e mail) 3.92 .880
Discussion and Conclusion
Though the study finds that it was the modeling strategy that
indicated a higher intensity in terms of the mean score, almost
all the skills that are listed under this modeling strategy resem-
ble the basic technological skills usually utilized by the prin-
cipals. For example, using ICT for data analysis, school man-
agement purpose, personal organization, and accessing impor-
tant information or taking notes at meetings recall the basic
competencies of the principals in relation to ICT usage. Koz-
loski (2006) found that many of the principals she interviewed
advocate that modeling is one of the best ways to show teachers
to follow their lead in technology, though in some cases the
teachers do not have the same perspective as the principals do
in their use of ICT applications. Hope and Stakenas (1999) too
cont ent ed that one o f th e three p rimary rol es for t he p rin cipal as
technology leaders for better ICT integration among their
teachers is role modeling. Further, the Office of Educational
Technology (2010) describes the following as the main tasks of
technology leadership: modeling the use of technology, sup-
porting technology use in the school, engaging in professional
development activities that focus on technology and integration
of technology in student learning activities, securing resources
to support technology use and integration in the school, and
advocating for technology use that supports student learning. In
fact, creating opportunities and promoting strategies are also
equally important as they allow the principals to provide teach-
ers with access to technology resources within the school, have
them work with colleagues in technology- supported instruc-
tional design projects, give them time and recognition for their
participation (UNESCO Bangkok, 2004; 2005). Teachers need
to be given time to participate in training activities and they
need to be given time to try out what they have learned in the
classroo m. Hence, the sch ool administrators’ lower intensity in
these two strategies is an indication that there is a strong need
for related training and exposure to these principals in per-
forming their role as better technology leaders in their organi-
Integrating ICT requires teachers to possess the right skills
and attitude for doing that (Carlson and Gadio, 2002). And very
often, t he teachers are foun d to be relating t heir performance to
the leadership of their schools. When they perceive a good
leadership from their principals, they seem to be actively in-
volved in the programmes that are developed by the leadership
to enhance their ICT skills. In other words, they try to imitate
their role models who can be their own principals (Sathiamoorthy,
2002). If only school leaders realize their role as technology
leaders and show better leadership and vision for technology,
they can inspire their teachers in the quest for more knowledge
and skills and be able to ensure complete and sustained
implementation of the vision (Creighton, 2003). At the same
time principals can provide the alignment between technology
and instructional practices, and some real time collaboration for
teachers in the area of technology integration, and just in time
professional development (Yee, 2000). And it is highly possible
to talk about real technology leadership when these principals
show high competency in the leadership and vision dimension
(Banoglu, 2011).
The integration of ICT into teaching and learning seems one
worthy effort by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia (MOE) in
making the integration of ICT a norm in every school if not
most schools. Continuous efforts towards that are being taken
to enhance teachers’ ICT skills in all schools in the Malaysian
context. In line with that, it would be fruitful for the Ministry of
Education and its training arms if they become more aware of
the need to prepare and equip the existing principals to be better
technology leaders with strong skills to use strategies such as
modelling, creating opportunity and promoting to foster and
lead b etter ICT integration among their teach ers.
Many school leaders are uncomfortable providing leadership
in technology areas. They may be uncertain about implement-
ing effective technology leadership strategies in ways that will
improve learning. They may even believe that their own know-
ledge of technology is inadequate to make meaningful recom-
mendations. However, among such a group of leaders, this
study has brought to the surface that there are principals who
claim that they have undergone some training, may be just
technological skills training and not technology leadership
skills per se, who sho w that they have an advant age in empl oy-
ing the strategies. Based on the findings of the study, it can be
assumed further that by providing the appropriate technology
leadership skills to these principals, we could generate a lot
more real technology lead ers that can easily lead teach ers’ ICT
integration for better student learning.
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