Penn State technology series will aid Pennsylvania school leaders

September 16, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Almost all U.S. public schools now have computers and Internet access for student learning, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, but deciding which computers and software are best for educating students is a challenge for school administrators. That's why Penn State has worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to create a professional development series for these leaders. The first course begins Sept. 23.

"Every day there is a new technology to assess," said Miguel Hernandez, program manager for Penn State's new Technology Leadership Course Series: "Pennsylvania Leaders in K–12 Education as Technology Change Agents." "This program will help school leaders identify and effectively use various technologies to drive student achievement."

The Technology Leadership Series is targeted to school superintendents, principals, intermediate unit executives and vocational-technical school directors. Penn State Continuing and Professional Education, a unit of Outreach, is collaborating with the College of Education on course content for five 3-credit courses, which can be taken for academic credit or to meet Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requirements for Act 45 for school leaders. PDE has approved the series for its Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Program, which requires administrators to earn 180 professional development hours within five years of their start date.

Sharon L. Brumbaugh, special assistant to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, explained, "We started the Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Program to create an aligned system of preparation, induction and continuing professional education for school leaders. Penn State already prepares school leaders through its principal and superintendent certification classes, but having additional education programs like the Technology Leadership Series is a plus."

Bill Blair and Ann Noonen will develop and teach the courses. Both have managed statewide technology initiatives. Blair is an instructional coach and administrator of technology grant programs for the City of Erie School District. Noonen is the director of technology for Crawford Central School District, Meadville, Pa.

"Most school leaders realize the need for technology in the classroom, but don't know what's out there," Blair said. "These are big decisions, and this series of courses will help them make decisions about the best technologies for educational purposes."

Noonen added, "School administrators need an understanding of the potential of how technology can impact the teaching and learning process for planning purposes. We will look at current research to help them to be visionary, based on the education standards for what students need to know."

The first course, Leadership and Vision in K–12 Technology—The Principal as Visionary, will be delivered online from Sept. 23 to Nov. 18. For more information and to register for the course, visit online.

Penn State Continuing and Professional Education ( is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education, serving more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.



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Last Updated September 24, 2009