Leading change: a phenomenological analysis of principals’ experience in a 1:1 computing initiative

Author/Creator ORCID
Towson University. Department of Educational Technology and Literacy
Citation of Original Publication
One-to-one (1:1) computing initiatives, in which every learner is provided a personal computing device, have drawn researchers’ attention for over 30 years. The field has not, however, explored principals’ experiences leading the implementation of a 1:1 initiative. The purpose of this study was to build an understanding of principals’ experience leading the changes associated with a 1:1 initiative and the contexts or situations that influenced those experiences. Using phenomenology, this study explored how eight elementary school principals leading a 1:1 initiative viewed their role and responsibilities, promoted change, and responded to successes and challenges. Data, collected through journals and semi-structured interviews, were analyzed using the Modified Van Kaam method. Findings revealed themes of fulfilling the responsibility of Optimizer, acting as a Change Agent, ensuring educational innovation in digital age learning, facilitating and participating in learning communities, and establishing and leveraging strategic partnerships. The analysis showed that collaboration permeates all aspects of change leadership in this context. Together, the composite themes and final synthesis provide insight into the collective experience and the underlying universal leadership structures. This research provides a lens through which leaders can reflect upon their own experiences leading 1:1 computing initiatives and provides the foundation for research that will direct the field in developing support and professional development for principals leading these initiatives.