Managing the use of school technology: an eight step guide for administrators, was chosen and read. It outlines how the use of technology (the use of computers and the Internet) in the school systems is good for the staff in that it reduces record keeping time and effort and allows staff and administrators to keep up with teachers easily. It is also good for both teachers and students in the following ways:
Technology is good for teachers: Computers provide active collaboration in learning and assessment. E-mail allows rapid communication between administration and teachers and their peers, allowing teachers to exchange student information, as well as aiding successful instruction. Through the Internet, teachers may debate methods of teaching and compare their methods and work with ease and speed with peers around the world, creating a professional fraternity between educators. Technology makes communication and record keeping easier; computer data-based programs and spreadsheets make grading easier.
Technology is good for students: Computers will offer interactive exercises and information that is not available easily in other ways. The material is advanced to the competency level of the student, recognizing when he or she has mastered the concept and is ready to move ahead. Students may publish their ideas and opinions to the internet. The students become publishers with word processing programs and electronic mail making communication with peers and groups easier. The Internet fosters a habit of thinking for oneself, allows students to develop problem-solving abilities, a skill that invites active participation as opposed to passively listening to a lecture. Students will learn research by seeking information on areas of interest on the Internet.
The article discusses the pros and cons of having computer technology in the schools with a listing of the various problems that an administrator may encounter. Then it describes an eight-step guide to getting the most benefit from computer technology for administrators. These eight steps are (and the details of these steps are spelled out briefly in the article):
Set proper strategy
Learn the technology
Commit needed resources
Involve others in the process
Plan a tactical training program for teachers and staff
Develop plans to overcome organizational anxiety
Rely on specialists
Manage legal liability
In conclusion the authors state that managing technology is both challenging and rewarding. They have included several charts and graphs describing their conclusions. They urge school administrators to not trivialize the importance of using technology, avoiding the traps and pitfalls and warning that it will not be easy to accomplish a full and perfect use of technology, but that the rewards are worth it.
The authors firmly believe that technology is beneficial to schools and that schools that do not use technological advances in computers and communications, such as e-mail and the Internet will fall behind. They have charts that show the use of technology by state and correlate that with how well the state is doing in the charts describing grade level and school size. They also do not encourage the use of technology so much as assume that it will eventually be universal and this article is a guide to using it successfully.
This is a useful article for administrators of schools and should be read by anyone who is planning to put technology to use for teachers and students in their school. It has good guides and outlines the pitfalls that will be encountered by those who do not pay attention to their warnings and guidelines. The abuse of the Internet in businesses was higher than I thought – While 60-75% of Internet use is business related, “Employees spend the rest of the time (25-40%) visiting dating services, news or sports Web pages, online shopping, playing games or chatting….” This is a legal liability and decreases productivity.
This was an enlightening article as far as what can be done with technology to benefit schools. But there are a lot of things to watch out for when installing and using technology there.
Attaran, M. And VanLaar, I. (2001). Managing the Use of school technology: an eight step guide for administrators. [Electronic Version]. The Journal of Management Development. http://www.mcbup.com/research_registers
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