The Tenets of Educational Technology Leadership

An opportunity for success—and some helpful principles on which to make it happen. 

GUEST COLUMN | by Matt Harris

CREDIT FETC image.jpgEdtech leadership, worldwide, is a growing market.

The complexity of schools, the challenges of modern learning, the ever-changing nature of technology, and the perpetual need for leaders in education has created an opportunity.

However, success in edtech leadership requires a set of skills and competencies that span more areas than you’ll find in most educational leadership positions and perhaps leadership in other fields as well.

Over a series a posts, I hope to expound on the key tenets of Educational Technology Leadership as a means of helping aspiring leaders identify and fill the buckets of experience and knowledge they need to be a success.

FETC link.jpgLearn more from Matt Harris and other leading analysts, thought leaders, and educators at the 2018 Future of Education Technology Conference, January 23-26 in Orlando, Florida. 

In each post, I will go into detail about one element of edtech leadership, discussing its key components, real life examples, and ways in which to grow and develop.

These are the Tenets of Educational Technology Leadership:

  1. Leadership – That undefinable state of having presence, communicating, curating talent, and developing shared vision.


  1. Management – Keeping a finger on the systems, plans, and people needed to keep the department and school moving forward.


  1. Information Technology – Competencies in computing, networking, servers/clients, systems, backups, cloud services, etc.

CREDIT Matt Harris EdTech Digest.png

  1. Educational Technology – Being a pedagog, with understanding of where technology crosses over curriculum to enhance teaching and learning at all levels.


  1. Systemic Thinking – Being able to see the whole forest that is a school while keeping knowledge of the trees.


  1. Professional Learner – A commitment and adeptness at learning for individual and organizational growth


Through the explanation of each of these tenets, I hope to show that each is reliant upon the others. Further, though they are specific skillsets all of which an individual may not possess, there are ways to build knowledge or organize an edtech team to compensate. Very few people have them all at an expert level.

As an educator and leader in current times, I hope this will be of great use to you.

Matt Harris, Ed.D., is Deputy Head of School for Learning Technology at the British School of Jakarta, Indonesia. He also works as an educational consultant for schools and Ministries of Education in the Middle East, Africa, North America, Australia, and Asia. Matt has a deep passion for all things edtech. Contact him through


  • Mark Gura


    I like your tenets approach and see the usefulness of the 6 you’ve identified. I’d like to add a reflection though, to your #4: Educational Technology. While I agree, “Being a pedagog, with understanding of where technology crosses over curriculum to enhance teaching and learning at all levels.” Is important, I’d like to add to that the need to take a few steps back and have an understanding of evolving models of Education, in general – that is, even before considering the crossover between curriculum (and teaching and learning) with technology, it’s essential to understand how Education itself has, and continues to evolve… and why. Some of the change is due to the serendipitous emergence of enabling technologies, and likewise, technologies, themselves, are developed in response to emerging goals and professional desires voiced by practitioners

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