Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Department or School/College

College of Education and Human Sciences

Committee Chair

William P. McCaw

Commitee Members

Daniel Lee, Patty Kero, John Matt, Ryan R. Schrenk


University of Montana


Leaders remain perpetually connected to their work because of the rapid advancement of information technology. This research, using a qualitative approach, explored how increased connective technology is affecting school leaders with the central question: How is hyperconnectivity experienced by school leaders? Using personal interviews, the lived experiences of fifteen international middle and high school principals with one-to-one student-to-device programs were collected. Raw transcriptions of their experiences were analyzed using the descriptive phenomenological approach as outlined by Giorgi (2009). This approach allowed for the data to be reduced into a single narrative description shared by all participants indicating the essences of their lived experience as hyperconnected school leaders.

This shared narrative highlighted complex and paradoxical experiences associated with how these school leaders interact with technology. Their experiences indicated that work-life balance for hyperconnected leaders required strong personal boundaries and skillful use of connective technologies. Examples of effective leader development of self and community highlighted, paradoxically, the need to unplug to effectively deploy connected technology within their leadership practice. Conversely, this study also showed how leaders can be controlled by connectivity. They associated their roles as responsible school leaders with perpetual connectivity; in consequence, they fused their work and home lives, experienced increased stress, and struggled with work overload. These results imply that international school principals are impacted by increased connectivity in different ways. Findings from this study indicate those leading hyperconnected schools must pay attention to how connectivity is affecting themselves and members of their school communities. Principals must protect themselves from the increasing demands upon their attention that constant connectivity presents in order to make mental room for the self-reflection and creativity needed to provide novel solutions and approaches towards their leadership work.



© Copyright 2016 Elizabeth Sue Wargo