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Use of Information Systems in Primary Schools in the United States of America

Research Paper (postgraduate) 2015 8 Pages

Information Management

Excerpt

Use of Information Systems in Primary School in the United States of America

Abstract

This paper aims to discuss the use of information systems in primary or elementary schools across the United States. Primary or elementary schools in the United States include kindergarten through fifth grade, while some may also be up to the eighth grade. Data was collected by conducting surveys with the principals or administrators from different primary schools regarding the performance of the information systems and their utilization in their respective schools. Analyzed through mathematical calculations like means, percentages and variance in responses to gain a representative account of variations in each state across the country. The multiple use of information systems in primary schools are but not limited to; attendance tracking, curriculum management, payroll and budgeting. On the other hand, principals and school management use the system to improve school administration and streamline efficiency.

Introduction

In today’s fast and ever changing world, administrative work needs to keep up with time. The use of Information system has been the key factor in coping with this fast paced technology development which is used today by large organizations and has been a growing demand to be enforced in educational system across the country

With the utilization of a School Management System, there has been an improvement with the efficiency, effectiveness and efficacy of administrative work among schools. Not only has it been helpful to the overall competitiveness of the school,but it has also served as an assistance to the teachers in making their teaching methods accurate and effective that will equally match to the students' needs. This is the main reason why most principals have introduced a School Management Information System while others have been gradually implementing it.

School Management Information systems are not only used for data processing but are designed to cope up with change. Hence, school management information systems improve the school’s ability to adapt to any given environment eventually leads to meeting the demands and expectations of its inner (faculty and students) and outer members; and guarantee the promptness of school activities.

With the introduction of school management information systems, there has been a change with the job description of school managers. It has changed in various aspects such as decision-making capabilities, workload, human resource management, communication, scheduling and arranging various tasks. It has helped the school manager reach the school goals in terms of: making long term strategic plans, allocating funds, designing the educational methods for students, judging the teachers’ capabilities and evaluating the students’ academic performance. With the proper usage of the system, it can be seen as a tool to an effective educational leader.

As discussed earlier, School management information systems now plays a vital role in the decision making. Not only does it allow the school board to gain access with the up-to-date and organized information but it makes informed decisions in relatively shorter amounts of time. As a result, a school manager can access multiple reports from the database and making an efficient and effective school management.

We now have discussed the advantages of using the system for the school manage, then let’s move on to the development of the school’s database in using the School Management Information System. By developing the database that contains information about students that includes: registration, family, grades, staff, classes, and course information; the interpretation and analysis of data to track students’ progress is done in a short period of time and allows them to implement the proper actions and be successful in it. Other databases include information on the management of the school library, finance, budgeting, management, school schedule planning and customary reports sent to the school district among other things. By incorporating all these databases in the system, there is an improvement with the efficiency of the school management. Accumulating, all the necessary information and coming up with the right course in just a short amount of time.

This research was carried out to investigate the use of information systems in primary schools and the awareness of school principals and administrators for the said system. In order to obtain these, we needed answers from the following questions:

1. How many number of primary schools use information systems in the United States? Which states have the majority number of schools using it?
2. What are the purposes of using information systems in primary schools?
3. What is the feedback of school principals regarding the use of information systems in their schools?

Method

The survey model was used to find out information about the use of information systems in primary schools.

Population

The population used to carry out this research consisted of 236 primary school principals from different states across United States of America wherein respondents were asked to fill out a survey form regarding the use of information systems in primary schools and demographic information. As a result, 2(0.8%) had a qualification level of a ‘high school diploma or less’, 77(32.6%) have an undergraduate degree, 118(50%) have a graduate degree and 37(15.6%) have a postgraduate degree while three out of the total respondents did not respond. Another question asked was about the number of years they worked as a principal for which they replied as: 26(11%) have worked for less than a year, 71(30%) have worked for about 1 to 3 years, 83(35.1%) have worked for 3 to 5 years, 43(18.2%) have worked for 5 to 10 years and 11(4.6s%) principals have worked for more than 10 years while three of the total respondents have not responded.

Data Collection and Analysis

To acquire the required information, respondents were given a prepared questionnaire about the demographic information of the school principals. They were also asked about the relevance in using a School Management Information system and their opinions upon implementing it. Other information consists of: utilization of Information system alongside a protective system, the number of computers in their schools used for learning or homework submission and the administrative purpose of the information system such as; ‘Attendance Tracking’, ‘Curriculum Management’, ‘Admissions Management’, ‘Assessment or Classroom Management’, ‘Budgeting’, ‘Payroll’, ‘Special education’, ‘Faculty Management’ and ‘Other’.

They were also asked to rate the performance and use of information systems for which they responded with a five point scale. The answers were ranked from ‘Excellent’ to ‘Very Poor’ or 1 to 5.

In addition to that, respondents were asked regarding the contributions of information systems to their schools to rate them on a five point scale. These answers were labelled; “Strongly disagree”, “Disagree”, “Neither Agree nor Disagree”, “Agree” and “Strongly Agree”.

To determine the effectivity of the questionnaires, we seeked the opinions of a group of experts regarding the content. In conclusion, the data were analyzed by evaluating their arithmetic average, standard deviation, frequencies and percentages.

Findings

The findings of the study are presented in titles such as number of computers in primary schools throughout the country, number of schools using information systems, opinions of school principals regarding the information systems used in their schools and whether the use of information system is safe or not.

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Figure 1.

Research shows that out of the 236 schools who participated the survey, 9(3.8%) have ‘Less than 10’ computers, 55(23.3%) have ‘Less than 50’ computers, 83(35.1%) have ‘51-100’ computers, 50(21.1%) have ‘101-399’ computers and only 39(16.5%) have ‘More than 400’ computers. In conclusion, majority of the schools have more than 50 computers.

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Figure 2.

This graph shows the number of schools that permit students with the use of electronic devices in the classroom for which they have responded with the following data: 56(23.7%) of the respondents replied ‘Yes’ to the question, 137(58%) replied ‘No’ and 43(18.2%) replied ‘Don’t Know’.

Since the aim of this study is to determine the number of primary schools using information systems, we conducted a survey and gathered 206 responses of ‘Yes,’ 28 replies of ‘No’ and 2 with the ‘Not Sure’ option.

The 28 schools who responded with ‘No’ were asked to not proceed with the survey while the 206 schools were asked to remain. Out of the 206 schools reported using information systems, the record shows that: 22(10.6%) reported using the information system for ‘Less than six months’, 72(34.9%) of them for ‘Less than a year’, 64(31%) for ‘Less than three years’, 24(11.6%) for ‘Less than five years’ and 24(11.6%) for ‘More than five years’.

Another part of the survey is determining the number of school principals were asked whether they enforce the use information systems with their respective school. The survey shows that: 110(53.3%) said ‘Yes’ and 96(46.6%) said ‘No’.

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Figure 3.

Figure 3 shows the number of trained administrators or staff members in each school with the use of information systems. Data collected shows that 14(6.7%) of the respondents replied with the ‘Don’t Know’, 23(11.1%) replied with ‘One’, 61(29.6%) replied with ‘Five or less’, 57(27.6%) replied with ‘More than five’ and 51(24.7%) respondents replied with ‘More than ten’.

This was also used to determine whether students use information systems for homework or assessments for which they replied with: 40 (19.4%) said ‘Yes’, 112(54.3%) replied ‘No’, 40(19.4%) replied ‘In Progress’ and 14 (6.7%) replied ‘Don’t Know’.

The table below shows the summary of the survey conducted in determining the uses of information systems in primary schools. Record shows that: Attendance Tracking (25.2%), Other (24.2%), Payroll (20.3%), Curriculum Management (17.9%) and Admissions Management (16.5%).

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Table 2 represents the number of school principals questioned regarding the information systems in place and rated on a scale from 1 to 5. On this scale, you can see that an average of 3.800 of school principals find information system to be useful while 3.805 rated an improvement in school management due to information systems.

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Figure 4.

Figure 4 shows the responses with the use of protection systems to protect information in the school programs. From the total number of 206 respondents, 82(39.8%) said ‘Yes’, 75(36.4%) replied ‘No’, 15 (7.2%) respondents replied that the system is ‘In Progress’, while 34(16.5%) replied ‘Don’t Know’.

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Figure 5.

Figure 5 shows the summary of how often is the school information systems being monitored, resulting to 74(36%) replies of ‘Always’, 75(36.5%) replies of ‘Never’, 20(9.7%) replies of ‘Occasionally’ and 36(17.5%) replies of ‘Don’t Know’.

Conclusions

Majority of the large organizations today, rely on technology for management. This is the reason why information systems are now used in primary schools to improve the administrative aspect of the institution as well as, revolutionize the form of education.

This study shows that the use of information systems is widely enforced for which 87.2% of the respondents reportedly used in schools. In America, K-12 education may soon evolve in order to cope up with the use of technology. Maximizing the use of technology can lead to: personalized learning, advancement in special education, online courses and instruction, professional development for educational staff and efficiency with the school management.

Information systems solely used for management can have endless results such as an efficient management that can lead to better decision-making, save money and proper allocation of funds for the most needed programs in individual school districts. Although, this paper has not conducted a study the use of information systems on school district levels.

According to the data collected, most of the schools lacks staff who are trained with the use of the information systems or most of the school principals do not see the relevance of using the system to its full potential. Reports show that 68.3% of schools had fewer which means that there is a need to train staff to maximize the use of technology.

In conclusion, we now know that only a few schools are reaping the benefits of using the technology. Now, what needs to be done is to conduct a more thorough study regarding the use of information systems at school district levels.

Details

Pages
8
Year
2015
ISBN (Book)
9783656929987
File size
416 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v294789
Grade
Tags
information systems primary schools united states america

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Title: Use of Information Systems in Primary Schools in the United States of America