Implementing Computer Technology in Education in Australia

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Implementing Computer Technology in Education in Australia

A discussion paper from the Australian Computer Society and the Australian Council for Computers in Education

Computers in schools are now commonplace. However, in the mid-1990's, there are some significant factors influencing their use in Australian schools. Some of these factors are:

1. Continuing developments in information technology (IT) are likely to lead to radical change in all education sectors.
2. Substantial strategic planning at all levels is necessary to anticipate this, and to prepare the people involved for substantial change.
3. Traditional education systems will face increasing competition from global mass media, information technology in the home, and open learning alternatives.
4. Articulation into vocational and academic tertiary sectors is being restructured. Students' skills with information technology are being emphasised as part of this process.
5. Some of the curriculum changes implied by the Statements and Profiles for Australian schools are being implemented using information technology .
6. The Hobart Declaration on Schooling contained a commitment to develop in students the 'skills of information processing and computing' which has been largely unfulfilled.
Given these factors, schools may need to revisit their computer policy statements. Therefore, this paper aims to give educational decision makers and computer co-ordinators a framework for the development of revised policies. Where computer professionals are advising schools, this paper may give a curriculum focus to proposed changes in IT resource provision.

Introduction
This discussion paper does not attempt to forecast the demise of schooling, undermined by education delivered through wireless interactive hyper/multi-media. However realistic such a vision might be with current technology, education systems are large and have considerable inertia, especially in respect of installed capital equipment and current skills base.

This discussion paper does attempt to map out patterns of development for computers in schools. It identifies the perspective of information technology in the technology curriculum for Australian schools. The paper then suggests a framework for thinking about its use in all curriculum areas, as a precursor to radical change in education systems.
The development of computers in education
In the Hobart Declaration on the common and agreed goals for schooling in Australia, Ministers for Education included an aim to develop in students:
"Skills of information processing and computing."
The Curriculum Corporation has now published the Statements and Profiles for the eight main areas of the curriculum for Australian Schools. The Technology Area includes a reference to data as a raw material for aspects of information technology.
However, this important inclusion does not cover the use of computers in schools across all the other curriculum areas.

Therefore, it is timely to consider the place of information technology in the curriculum. Information technology is restricted to the area of Technology, but is an important element of the learning process in and between all the learning areas.

The role of information technology in schools and colleges

In primary schools
Computer use in primary schools has long epitomised good practice. Because the level of provision is generally lower than in other sectors, the ideal has been to operate a single computer in each classroom. Of necessity then, the computer has been used as a focus for group work, and as a supplement to other teaching resources. It has rarely taken centre-stage, so to speak.

However, some larger schools have assembled a critical mass of equipment, making whole-class lessons possible. There are excellent examples of work in the areas of technology and design, whilst further exciting possibilities in the area of international communications are being explored.
One of the key uses of computers in primary schools has been to motivate and re-enforce language skills. Adventure games were given as examples of software which promoted language development, and problem solving skills.

Computer use is generally well integrated into the learning programs.

However, a typical primary school will have acquired equipment over a considerable period of time. The fact is, that the rate of development of this equipment has made it unlikely that computers bought a decade ago will run software currently in the market for today's computers.

Therefore, teachers in primary schools have a limited choice of applications to use in their classes. They also have an increased burden of training to become familiar with a wide range of equipment.

Despite this, it has been reported (CDS, Queensland, 1990) that children using computers:

focused on tasks for longer periods
found previously boring tasks more interesting
were more eager to participate in and contribute to discussions
asked more questions
improved their use of the conventions of print
accepted and even enjoyed making mistakes.

They liked to 'see what happens when' they became more independent and more prepared to take risks (these qualities transferred to off-computer activities).

In high schools
Computer use in high schools is rising very rapidly. In 1989, Tasmanian high schools had 19 students per computer. By 1992 this ratio had changed to only 9 students per computer, and average computer use in schools had increased by over 200%.

In high schools, computer equipment is generally situated in laboratory style accommodation. Its use is often prioritized to certificated courses in grades 9 and 10, followed by a general awareness short course structure for all other students in the school. In some cases the computer provision extends beyond the control of a computing specialist, and small numbers of machines are made available in the Design, English, Social Science etc. areas.
Access to the equipment for teaching staff is also a consideration. Just as students record increased self-image from the use of word-processors for their work, teachers also prefer to present well-crafted worksheets and assignments. In the UK, a 1994 conference discussed the establishment of 'TeacherNet' to connect all teachers to the Internet. This illustrates the perception that access to computers for staff, as well as students, needs to be considered.

In senior colleges
Those colleges which are not utilizing networking internally, are rapidly moving in that direction, to benefit from the rationalization of resources and the communications infrastructure that is growing so fast on a global scale. The needs of vocational courses are rapidly becoming paramount, and equipment provision must be compatible with industry norms in these cases.

Strategic considerations
Computers in schools too often fail to deliver their full potential. A clear view of their place in the curriculum is necessary. We would also advise schools to have a technology development plan drawn up in the context of state and system needs.
There is a need for a national plan for inter-networking. This has been substantiated by the responses to ASTEC's inquiry into the future of AARNET.

Within the context of this paper, the term 'Information Technology' is used in the sense that IFIP (IFIP, 1993) defined it - as informatics technology combined with other technologies, such as video technology and telecommunications technology.

School Development paths
The development of information technology resources in a school can follow many tracks. There are several main paths to consider, and typical tracks are listed in the table below. We suggest that the ideal direction be led by the curriculum, though in practice schools often find other factors leading the way. It is probably fair to say that an even progression on all the development paths is best.
The main development paths include equipment, curriculum, connections (in-school, beyond the school), software access, software acquisition and management (including professional development). Please see the table of development stages for computers in schools on page 9.

IT and the school environment
This discussion paper addresses a situation of rapid and continuing change. Computers used to be the exception in schools just over a decade ago. Now, they are widespread, a regular feature in school and at home.

Information Technology in schools cannot be seen purely from a technical point of view. There are curriculum, management, architectural and systemic issues. In the near future computers may radically change the nature of teaching and learning.
The first point to make is that new technologies in schools operate in an environment. The quality of this environment is vital for their effective deployment and successful application to the business of learning.

For example, a computer with the most sophisticated software will not be effective without trained teachers to operate it. A great deal of professional development was done amongst teachers in the early 1980's in recognition of this. However, the advances in technology since then have been just as significant, but professional development in the area has tapered off.

Recognizing that the environment is important, we need to define it. It is vital in the construction of this new framework to see that the learning environment extends well beyond the school gate.
In this respect, it is important to include in the discussion, the role of networks, especially external network connections. Many schools around Australia are discovering the benefits of global connections and the freely available resources on the Internet.

Some schools and colleges are already utilizing information technology such as this to implement alternative curriculum delivery methods. Others will wish to do so. When this is done, it is important that the welfare of students is considered, as well as their educational achievement. We suggest that parents and students be counseled before they enroll in such courses, about the time commitment and the likely effect of long periods spent interacting with a workstation. Also, such courses must be able to accommodate the special needs of some students for whom screen flicker is a serious problem, or who have difficulties with vision or with keyboard operation.

Although not strictly related to teaching and learning, the rate of technological development also needs to be considered. 1994 saw the introduction to the marketplace of voice recognition systems that can accept dictation. This kind of revolution is now common, with significant advances made even within the reasonable lifetime of equipment (3 to 5 years). Therefore, we recommend that equipment acquisition or lease be done with either a clear strategic view of its educational value in 3 to 5 years (with the associated risk taking) or else within a considered plan to rotate equipment on a continuous basis.
Professional development for teachers is crucial in all this. A mono-platform can help here. Continuous professional development will be needed as computers continue to develop at an increasing rate. Inter-active multi-media can actually be utilized to deliver this training, once a critical level of delivery hardware is in place and accepted. Industrial issues must be faced as information processing equipment changes the task of teachers as imparters of information and skills.
In a 1993 survey of Tasmanian government schools, 115 respondents gave a picture of management practices. The majority of responding schools (~66%) had no Information Technology Policy or Development Plan. IT management was at a modal seniority of AST1/2, with 33% of the respondents having this responsibility as one of the Principal's tasks, or no post allocated. Only 9% of the respondents had any IT support staff or technical assistance. This task seems to have been done by teaching staff.
When asked to identify areas for professional development, schools equally chose Basic computer literacy for teaching staff, and Using IT in all curriculum areas as their top priorities. Developing a whole school IT plan and New Developments in computer hardware and software were ranked just after these top priorities.

Protecting minors
Recent concerns about the psychological impact of unlimited access to digitised data have surfaced in the legislature. Video-games are now classified by the censor, and bulletin boards are under examination. A Senate Standing Committee is considering the social effects of broad-band communications and information technology in general.

It is unreasonable to expect schools to monitor all electronic communications within their equipment. It is also extremely sensible for them to adopt at an early stage a policy on how access to the broader media will be controlled, and what privacy and ethical considerations should prevail.
Typically, a student being given access to information resources or tools will be informed about the discipline codes associated with their use. We recommend that (s)he sign a consent form when given a computer access password, with the approval of a parent/guardian where appropriate. The form would establish the school's behavioral framework for the use of the equipment. This process can also be used to establish whether or not student transactions and data space are considered private, or under what circumstances the school might breach this confidentiality.

Equity issues
Differentiation of computer use between boys and girls is still apparent - but not in schools. The SENTIS study (1994) showed that on average girls used computers marginally more in school than boys. However, outside the school, the boys generally used computers twice as much as the girls.
Education systems have generally supported positive role models in the use of computers. Within the school arena, this policy can be said to have succeeded. However, this has not been reflected in the home, and further work might need to be done.
One idea might be to follow the practice of some schools, and bias future equipment purchases towards laptop computers. These can be loaned to students over weekends and holidays. Another idea, outlined below, is to construct a school policy that attempts to integrate home and school computer use.
The education of students with special needs has been transformed by the use of IT. This change has been seen in the lives of physically disabled people who now use environmental control systems, as well as in the literacy development of slow readers who use cloze procedures.

Cultures can be supported by the provision of multi-lingual word-processors. Other framework software can be supportive when its contents are made culturally appropriate by teachers.
Assessing information technology resources
After discussion with several teachers, it has become clear that many software and hardware resources fall out of use in a short time - when their novelty value has expired.
This is a potential source of waste, and contributes towards a jaundiced view of technology, when anything less than new is seen as no longer useful.
Therefore it is suggested that schools undertake a curriculum mapping exercise.

In such a mapping exercise, a school or college would lay out their curriculum on one axis, and Year/Grades on the other. In a simple case, the eight identified areas of the curriculum for Australian schools might be on the first axis.
Schools can then identify software and hardware resources that relate to specific areas and bands. It would be worth noting that some resources might cross areas or bands. Also, the mode(s) of use can be identified for each resource (see below).
In the event that teachers normally teach a particular year group repeatedly, the mapping exercise can be duplicated to include an odd/even year model. Where several resources duplicate or overlap, their use can be alternated in even and odd numbered calendar years.

Modes of computer use in learning
Curriculum mapping is a good way of ensuring that computers are used in a balanced way across all the areas. However, if students use new technology in just a single mode at school or college, they would leave with a restricted idea of its effects and capabilities. This approach is standard in the UK (National Curriculum Council, 1990)
There are at least five modes in which information technology resources can be used in teaching and learning. Schools may identify further modes, and these can be included in any policy for development. In some applications or learning situations, modes can overlap. The five initial modes are:

Support
Exploration & Control
Tutorial
Resource
Link

The Support mode
In the support mode, a student uses the computer to enhance the presentation of work. The computer can help by increasing the accuracy that the student might otherwise be able to achieve. There are a great number of tools that are currently used in schools, or which are available. For example:
Word processors, and other office applications
Presentation graphics
Computer Aided Drafting and Design
Desk-top publishing
Spelling and grammar checkers.

In essence, the computer in support mode enables the student to create or file information which is usually transferred to paper. Images could quite easily be put on paper using a pen or pencil, but the computer increases the accuracy the student can achieve. In so doing, the computer has an important role to play in raising the self-esteem of students, and giving them confidence to continue to succeed in their learning.

The Exploration & Control mode
In the exploration & control mode, the student is able to examine and build situations. This kind of work is often associated with adventure games, where an important historical event is encapsulated in software. Students can explore this crucial moment in time and place, whilst making their own decisions about the events that unfold. Other software enables students to control a real, experimental situation, in a science laboratory for instance, or by using robotics.

Several environments for exploration or control are available. These include:
Hypercard
Tool book
Stella
LOGO
Model Builder
Expert Builder
Intellecta

Sense & Control
In each case the software provides a framework within which students can explore a situation. Additionally, these applications can be used by students to construct models of the real world, and experiment with variations within these models.
Some packages enable the student to place information in the computer, which is logically linked and which relates to a specific knowledge domain. Such packages can include databases, expert systems and statistical analysis packages. Expert systems, through the computers' function of rigorous logic, can provide advice about a knowledge domain.
Multi-media presentations can be constructed by students. These often require good planning skills, and anticipating the effect upon an audience of a presentation. In combining graphics, photographs, sounds and texts, students learn to anticipate the likely pathways through a topic, and also learn about the subject themselves. Multi-media constructions can subsequently be used by other students to explore the topic.

In the Exploration & Control mode, students might create applications which will subsequently be used in any of the other modes. This aspect of computer use is covered to some degree in the Information and Systems strands of the Technology area. However, in the latter, the emphasis is upon the use of data as a resource. In considering modes of computer use, the emphasis is upon the subject matter or topic encapsulated within the scenario or simulation. Also, the Technology area gives students the important chance to examine the social effects of technology. This is also separate from the use of technology to learn within ANY of the eight areas.

The Tutorial mode
In the tutorial mode, the student will expect to learn new knowledge or skills. This mode is characterized by the information system presenting information at an appropriate level and pace for the student.

In will also give students opportunities to develop at their own pace, and to receive feedback upon their progress. The tutorial mode is currently seen as being technically possible in core areas such as Mathematics, Literacy and Science. These areas are seen as ones in which a judgment based upon the testing of objective principles is possible, rather than subjective areas such as Art or English. In Queensland, a certain amount of effort is being put into professional development for teachers using the tutorial mode, and multi-media workstations are being put into most teacher's centers.
It is important to include the possibility of using the tutorial mode for assessment only. Although this is not wholly desirable as an isolated aspect, it is an early stage of development of this mode.

The Resource mode
In the Resource mode, the computer is used to access information and other resources. When situated in the school library, this is often the way in which information technology plays a useful role.
Several examples can illustrate the resource mode:
using PC-Globe to investigate relative population densities by country and latitude.

using a computer based library catalogue (OPAC)
accessing the World Wide Web using an interface such as Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator or Mosaic
participating in a Newsday, where the computer provides continuously updated information.
When using the computer in Resource mode, students are developing questioning skills. They are solving problems by stating them and re-shaping them to fit different resource frameworks.

The Link mode
The link mode is typified by the computer being used for communication between individuals. This represents an important role for computers in life for the coming century. In utilizing digital communications, we see a personal involvement and a picture of relationships, missing from the other modes. Examples include the use of electronic mail for the low-cost exchange of textual messages, to desktop video conferencing for visual personal communication. This mode comes to the fore in projects such as the Classroom without Walls, or the Global Schoolhouse.

Computer-mediated communication can enhance students' motivation to use the technology, and broaden their sense of cultural identity as well as give them a global context for their thinking. In the link mode, time-displacement and position independence are possible. Because of the structure of digitized communications, cost is unrelated to distance. This makes class dialogues between Western Australia and Canada for example, both relevant and easy.

There are other features of the link mode that are worth exploring. Heather Govier in the UK found that the screen formed a 'safe haven for the gaze' in an examination of disturbed children. In the same way, young adolescents can often send important personal messages about themselves and others through this medium. Although the messages can travel instantaneously, they can contain nuances and feelings that individuals might find difficult to vocalize or place in a more public forum.
Structural considerations
When considering their computer development plans, we suggest schools be driven by curriculum requirements. Once the learning objectives have been determined, the software and hardware requirements can be specified.

If a learning objective does not actually need a QWERTY keyboard, or a monitor screen, then alternative peripheral devices might be suitable. Modern computer systems are able to respond to voice dictation, and most can be equipped for special needs by directing all output to speech synthesizers. Overlay keyboards are valuable for younger learners to interact without having to master dexterity skills demanded by the QWERTY keyboard.

Once the curriculum needs have been determined, together with the peripherals and software, schools can write hardware specifications. Many schools have acquired IT equipment over an extended period, and have a wide variety of equipment. Where hardware purchases are divergent, we suggest consideration be given to technical support requirements, skill levels within the school and ease of software maintenance on the site.

Where the platforms needed for productivity tools and curriculum software differ, schools will also have to make purchasing decisions that take into account any prevailing regional or state policies.
Community liaison and the school computing environment.

A good school will reflect its local community, and be an integrated part of it. One would hope that a school plan for the application of information technology will reflect this, and also its development plans for the future. Therefore we recommend that Computer Management Groups, School Councils and related community groups have a part to play in establishing the related policies.

The policies can extend to the operating environment within the school. Students who prepare work at home should be able to pass this into their data space at school with ease, for instance through an uploading computer in the library. It will be a great benefit to the school if this can transfer files from most formats of disk or computer and put student home-work into the school's own computer network.
Students who have no computer access at home, should not be disadvantaged, and mechanisms can be devised to assist here. Schemes include preferential access out of class time, library loan schemes for laptops, or even negotiated access out of hours. Leasing and rental schemes have also been used. As part of this link, schools may implement dial-in facilities to make their information resources available to the wider community. This service can support students beyond the physical campus boundaries or normal times of operation.

The point to make here, is that schools have traditionally been the repositories for skills and knowledge. To retain the function of distributing these, they will need to concentrate resources and effort on doing so in the best possible way.
It is likely that new schools, colleges or school buildings will incorporate either wiring for individual or wireless networking. Also, the cost, size and weight of computers are dropping to such a degree, that it is now possible for a class set to be easily moved from room to room.
Therefore a possible scenario in some schools might be the regular use of individual computer workstations in some lessons.

Not all schools will wish to do this. To provide the best learning opportunities, schools will adopt the best strategies for their individual needs.
The layout of rooms dedicated to computers requires special attention. In CADD labs, it is important to ensure that students have enough room to lay out large drawings beside their workstations. In most other situations, there must be enough room for a document holder, and ergonomic furniture is an important health and safety consideration (see AS 3590.2). Many teachers have commented on the need to have a layout that enables them to have a view of all workstation screens from the focal point of the classroom. In many instances it is desirable to have a second seating position for every student away from their workstation, to facilitate whole class instruction. This can be done in quite small spaces.

Towards student centered learning?
Alternative curriculum deliveries are already being experimented with. Courses can now be run without cost disadvantage from any part of the globe. It is to be anticipated that competition to provide basic or core content courses will rapidly increase the quality of interactive versions, and that specialization will result.
Recent investment in multi-media educational systems has followed convincing evidence that they are effective. Diana Laurillard (1994) has provided a framework for analyzing educational media. This suggests that an interactive multi-media system has the potential to provide a learning experience similar to that provided by a teacher. The philosophy of schools is moving towards allowing students to determine for themselves what, when and how they are going to learn.

This kind of technology can enable much more student centered learning, where individualized instruction becomes the norm. When adopted in schools, there is the potential for IT to make conventional time-tabling and room allocation redundant. Similar radical changes are taking place in commerce and industry, where business process re-engineering is enabled by the potential of IT, and sometimes driven by it. This personalized instruction can lead to the personalized curriculum.

Curriculum changes
IT can not only change the nature of conventional educational organizations, but it can also change the content of the curriculum. In Special Education, it has been apparent for some years that computers have enabled students to participate in a much broader curriculum than would otherwise be considered. Just as students with communication impairments can use personal assistive communication devices to broaden their educational horizons, all students have the potential to tap into a wider variety of educational opportunities.
Document servers and other aspects of the World-Wide Web can soon be expected to be of strategic importance within the open learning and remote/home schooling arenas. The establishment of a State Service internet host within Tasmania is illustrative of the key role this will play in the coming months.

We suggest that schools be aware of the nature of copyright, and the host of ethical and security issues that will face them when they connect into these remote access services. Do they wish to place learning guides into the public domain, or should they be protected from remote anonymous logons?

Conclusion
There is an urgent need for Australian schools to integrate their use of Information Technology into a coherent framework, at the school, system, state and national levels. Although an essential emphasis has recently been placed upon the core curriculum, it is vital that radical change in its delivery be addressed. In fact, the delivery options that technology is now offering might well change the conception of what should be in the curriculum.
If the possibility of radical change is accepted, then this needs to be turned into a positive force for the country. It should not become part of crisis management, but must be discussed and explored by the people involved. The educational practitioners and planners need to anticipate and collaborate with students and parents.

The next decade is likely to be a time of great change in education. How we handle and manage that change will be the story we will leave for future generations. A century or more ago, industrial strength and material technology changed unsuspecting lives as knowledge of them traveled around the world. By the year 2000, the ideas of change will be on fiber-optic cables in seconds. Adaptable as people are, we need to make sure that we plan and control the changes, rather than feeling they control us.

This discussion paper was prepared (Oct94-Apr95) in consultation with the state and territory computer education groups that make up the ACCE, and with reference to the computer industry and tertiary education by Andrew E. Fluck of Claremont College, Tasmania. His email address is:
[email protected]

Further copies of the paper can be obtained from the World-Wide-Web on: http://www.clare.tased.edu.au/acspaper/compsch1.html.
References
Curriculum Corporation Technology - a curriculum profile for Australian schools 1994
Curriculum Development Services, Dept of Education, Queensland Curious about Computers? - Electronic Learning Centres in Action #6 - Infants ELC April 1990.

Department of Education and the Arts, Tasmania Framework for Curriculum Provision, K-12, 1993
Department of Education and Science Information Technology from 5 to 16, HMSO 1989
Fluck, Andrew E. SENTIS revisited poster, APITITE conference, Brisbane, 1994
Happs, John C., Kinnear, Adrianne, (eds) Computers in the Primary School MASTEC 1990
IFIP WG TC-3 Guide-lines for Good Practice - integration of information technology into secondary education, 1993
Laurillard, Diana Multimedia and the changing experience of the learner APITITE 94 proceedings, ed Michael Ryan, ISBN 0 646 186521 3, 1994.
National Curriculum Council Technology - non-statutory Guidance for Information Technology Capability, 1990
National Computer Board, Singapore A Vision of an Intelligent Island - The IT2000 Report, March 1992
Pryce-Davies Teaching, Learning and Technology in Special Needs Classrooms - a national information statement Commonwealth Schools Commission 1987.
Sherwood, Cathie & Buchanan, Phil Changing classrooms - a national perspective Australian Educational Computing Vol 8 July 1993.


ABOUT THE ACS:
The Australian Computer Society is the professional association in Australia for those in the computing and information technology fields. Established in 1966, the ACS has over 15,000 members and on a per capita basis is one of the largest computer societies in the world. Activities are announced in the Usenet newsgroup "aus.org.acs". Information is available via e-mail from [email protected] or Gopher at URL: gopher://acs-gopher.mit.csu.edu.au:1605/11/acs courtesy of Charles Sturt University or on the World-Wide-Web using URL: http://www.act.acs.org.au//acs-link.html.
Development stages for computers in schools
IT Equipment
Stage 1. No computers in the school at all
Stage 2. One computer in each classroom and one available for staff use.
Stage 3. Establishment of a computing facility suitable for a whole class. Staff develop resource materials using computers.
Stage 4. All students and staff have access to computing resources which suit their needs.
IT in the Curriculum
Stage 1. The school implements an I.T. awareness program (including keyboarding skills) for students.
Stage 2. Specialist I.T. courses are added to the curriculum.
Stage 3. Available I.T. resources are integrated, and planned across the curriculum.
Stage 4. The school curriculum is widened through the use of Information Technology and delivery becomes more student centered.
Networking
Stage 1 No connections between the computers used in a school.
Stage 2. Some of the school computers inter-connected, for printer sharing.
Stage 3. Virtually all the school's computers interconnected, with general sharing of resources such as file servers and printers.
Stage 4. School networking uses wireless connections for workstations. Connections from outside the school are available.
External electronic communications
Stage 1. No external electronic communications
Stage 2. A single workstation can connect to an external electronic communications service using a dial-up modem.
Stage 3. The school network is connected to an external electronic communications service for daily electronic mail.
Stage 4. The school network is connected to the Internet for full service (Email, telnet, world-wide web etc.)
Accessing software
Stage 1. All software is maintained by individual teachers, and used from removable media such as floppy disk.
Stage 2. Software for the school is kept in a central collection and distributed on removable media, including CD-ROM.
Stage 3. Software is available through an integrated menu system on a network fileserver.
Stage 4. Software is made available to any workstation from school, local and global repositories.
Software Acquisition
Stage 1. Software is largely ordered by the Principal or heads of department.
Stage 2. Software is ordered by individual teachers.
Stage 3. Software is ordered through an IT coordinator or computer management group.
Stage 4. Software is collated against curriculum requirements on a whole school basis.
IT management in schools
Stage 1. The school is required to implement an IT awareness scheme by systemic or competitive pressures.
Stage 2. The school identifies an individual or group to co-ordinate Information Technology across the curriculum.
Stage 3. A development plan is drawn up and monitored by a management group involving the local community. Teachers in the school are offered training to suit their personal needs relating to IT.
Stage 4. The school IT plan is informed by and fits into a systemic plan, which incorporates a sensitivity for the social impact of technology.

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