Citation
Computer technology use by top central office administrators in Colorado school districts

Material Information

Title:
Computer technology use by top central office administrators in Colorado school districts
Creator:
Van Sant, David Eugene
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xiv, 135 leaves : forms ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Schools -- Automation -- Colorado ( lcsh )
School administrators -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Computers -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Computers ( fast )
School administrators ( fast )
Schools -- Automation ( fast )
Colorado ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctor of Philosophy, School of Education.
Statement of Responsibility:
by David Eugene Van Sant.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
25562384 ( OCLC )
ocm25562384
Classification:
LD1190.E3 1990d .V36 ( lcc )

Downloads

This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY USE BY .TOP CENTRAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATORS IN COLORADO SCHOOL DISTRICTS by DAVID EUGENE VAN SANT B.A., St. John's University, Collegeville, 1972 M.A., Illinois State University, 1974 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy School of Education 1990

PAGE 2

Copyright 1990 David Eugene Van Sant All Rights Reserved

PAGE 3

This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by David Eugene Van Sant has been approved for the School of Education by Brent Wilson

PAGE 4

VanSant, David Eugene (Ph.D., Education) Computer Technology Use by Top Central Office Administrators in Colorado School Districts Thesis directed by Associate Professor Russell w. Meyers The major intent of the study was to prepare a state-of-the-art report on the present use of computer technology in the central offices of Colorado school districts. This report sought information on the location of computers in these offices, the extent of administrators physical interaction with computers and use of both externally and internally produced reports, the administrative responsibilities being completed through computer technology, and the specific software and satisfaction with the software administrators used. The study population included 246 central office administrators: 176 superintendents, 55 assistant superintendents, 8 associate and 7 deputy superintendents. Usable data were obtained from 212 of these 246 administrators. A three-step method to gather data was used: on-site visits to three representative districts, a survey sent to all top level administrators not included in the on-site visit, and telephone interviews with the most frequent users of computers.

PAGE 5

iv Major study findings were: 1. Most central office administrators make extensive use of computer-generated reports. 2. Less than three out of five of the respondents reported actually interacting physically with a computer and about two-thirds of those who did used computers for less than an hour per day. 3. Fifteen different brand name computers were reported as being used. About half of the respondents were using Apple-brand computers and about a fourth were using IBM products. 4. Word processing was the function for which computers were being used most frequently by the administrators. 5. The most utilized computer-generated reports were for budget, payroll, personnel and accounts payable. Recommendations for further study were proposed. The researcher concluded that computer-generated reports may be the greatest contribution that computer technology makes to fulfillment of administrative responsibilities. The researcher also raised questions about the extent to which administrators may be using computers as word processors and thus completing tasks that might be done by others. It is

PAGE 6

also possible that computer technology may be particularly helpful to superintendents of smaller districts in which they are the only central office administrator. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its v

PAGE 7

vi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I know that to some this is an easier process than to others. My time with this study was not an easy one, and it is for all the little people out there, who also have had hard times, I dedicate this study. In particular, there are three individuals who have meant more to me in this process than any others. I would like to thank each of them for their help and assistance in this process. To my wife Shary for her continued support, encouragement, and most of all for raising our three sons--Zachary, Sean and Evan--while I completed my program. To my advisor, Dr. Russell W. Meyers, for his helpful suggestions and ability to push me farther than I thought I could go. To William Lawrence for being the best friend that a person could ask for. Without all of them I would never have made it.

PAGE 8

CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION. 1 Purposes of the Study 3 statement of the Problem. 5 Present Use of Technology 5 Specific Uses of Computer Technology 5 Location of Computers in the Central Office. Degree of Computer Use by Top Level Administrators. Significance of the Study Methodology Limitations of the Study Definitions of Terms Organization of the Study II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE. Introduction. 6 7 7 8 11 11 13 15 15 Historical Perspective. 16 Administrative Uses of Computer Technology. . 19 Phases of Computer Use in School Districts 25 Computer Models within School Districts 28

PAGE 9

viii Summary 33 III. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 35 IV. Study Purposes. Population and Sample Data Gathering On-Site Visits. The Study Questionnaire Distribution of the Questionnaire Responses by Administrative Position. . Telephone Interviews of Extensive 35 36 38 38 44 46 48 Computer Users. 48 Data Analysis Summary FINDINGS. Extent of Use of Computer Technology by Two Top Level 51 52 54 Central Office Administrators 58 Use of Computers. 58 Use of Computer-Generated Reports 63 Summary of Computer Technology Use .. 69 Administrative Functions Completed When computer Technology Is Used. 72 When Computer-Generated Reports Are Used. 78 Computer Brands . 83 Location of Computers 86

PAGE 10

Computer Networks . Software Used by Extensive Users .. Word Processing Spreadsheets. other Software Being Used Summary V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY Study Purposes. Study Design and Methodology Data Gathering Data Analysis Summary of Findings Conclusions Recommendations for Further Research. Discussion. REFERENCES .. APPENDICES .. A. QUESTIONNAIRE GUIDE ON-SITE VISITS B. c. D. E. F. PRELIMINARY QUESTIONNAIRE. FINAL SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE FIRST LETTER WITH QUESTIONNAIRE. SECOND LETTER. TELEPHONE SURVEY ix 87 88 94 95 96 99 101 102 103 103 104 105 106 108 109 111 114 115 121 127 130 132 134

PAGE 11

TABLE 2.1 TABLES Administrative Uses of Computers Discussed in Six Reviewed Works 2.2 Percentage of Thirty-one Large 20 Districts That Use Computers. 24 3.1 Number of Top Level Central Office Administrators in Colorado School Districts (N-176) 37 3.2 student Enrollment and Number of Administrators in District Visited During the On-Site Visits 39 3.3 Interview Schedule for On-Site Visits 40 3.4 Summary of Responses as of September 1, 1989 ... 3.5 Summary of study Population by Position. 3.6 Extensive Users of Computer Technology ... 4.1 Use of Computers, by Administrative 47 48 50 Position. . 60 4.2 Extent of Computer Use by Top Level Central Office Administrators 60 4.3 Minutes of Computer Use Per Day by Extent of Use . 62 4.4 Extent of Use of Computer-Generated Reports/Information, All Respondents by Position . 64

PAGE 12

4.5 Percent of Computer-Generated Reports Used by Top Level Central Office Administrators Which Are Generated by District Personnel, by Reported Extent of Use of Such Reports 4.6 Percent of All District-Produced, Computer-Generated Reports by District Personnel by Respondent 65 Position. 66 4.7 Percent of All District-Produced, Computer-Generated Reports at Central Office Administrators' Specific Request, by Administrative Position. 67 4.8 Reported Use of Externally Produced, Computer-Generated Reports by Central Office Position 68 4.9 Externally Produced Computer Reports Used by Central Office Administrators 70 4.10 Computer Use Contrasted to Computer Report Use by Top level Central Office Administrators 71 4.11 Activities Engaged In When Central Office Administrators Use Computers, Listed 1st, 2nd, and Other on Question 2 by Administrative Position 74 4.12 Most Frequent Purposes Being Served 4.13 When Central Office Administrators Use Computers, All Central Office Administrators by Rank Order of Use 76 Weighted Use Totals in Table 4.13, Displayed by Administrative Position. 76 4.14 Rank Order of Weighted Scores for Functions Which the Computer Is Used by Superintendents and Other Central Office Administrators 77 xi

PAGE 13

4.15 Use of Computer-Generated Reports by Administrative Position 79 4.16 Use of Computer-Generated Reports for All Central Office Administrators Using Weighted Scores 80 4.17 Rank Order of Use of computer-Generated Reports by superintendents and Other Central Office Administrators 82 4.18 Brands of Computers Reported In Use by Central Office Administrators. 84 4.19 4.20 Brands of Computers Used by Administrative Position Central Office Administrators' Computers Networked With Other Computers, by Administrative Position. 4.21 Rank Order of Computer Brands Reported 85 87 in Use by Extensive User. 89 4.22 Rank Order of Software Being Used by Extensive Users Divided Into Can Not Live Without and Regular Use Categories. . . . 91 4.23 Weighted Use Totals for Extensive Users, Displayed by Administrative Position. 93 4.24 Rank Order and Average Rating of Software Being Used by Extensive Users for Word Processing 95 4.25 4.26 Responses to Telephone Interviews of Software That Is Being Used by Extensive Computer Users for Spreadsheet Activities. Responses to Telephone Interviews of Software That Is Being Used for Other Uses by More Than One Administrator 97 98 4.27 Software That Extensive Users Stated They Were Most In Need Of 98 xii

PAGE 14

4.28 General Comments on Software by Extensive Users xiii 99

PAGE 15

FIGURE 2.1 2.2 FIGURES Locally flexible model Linked network model. 2.3 Timeshare model 29 30 32 xiv

PAGE 16

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The influence of computer technology on education is pervasive. Thirty years ago mention of computer based education would not have occurred, except within the pages of fiction. A discussion of computers would have centered probably around the concept stored program, Univac I or the I.B.M. 650, wiring circuit boards or the problems with punched cards (remember "Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate"?). (Bozeman, 1984, p. 23) Since the introduction of the Mark IV computer in 1945, computers have reshaped organizational life and thinking. Subsequently, with the invention of the "chip" and miniaturization of computer systems, the microcomputer revolution has engulfed both private and public sector organizations. For example, Deken (1982) wrote, There is a revolution underway, whose scope will exceed that brought about by the invention of printing. This revolution will come about because of the advent of cheap and powerful logical devices. The coming decade will be a pivotal period in the development of the computer revolution. The primary phenomenon of the next decade simply put will be the advent of widespread computer literacy. (p. 1)

PAGE 17

2 Since the early 1960s computers have been a part of education. However, it was not until the middle of the 1970s that computers were in use in most school districts. In 1982, Educational Research services reviewed school districts use of computers and reported that, "the mean year for the use of technology was 1972" (p. 6) This means that when districts were asked to indicate the year that they started using computers, 1972 was the average of the responses provided. The E.R.S. report also indicated that there was a difference in the years that districts of different size began using computers. The median year for use of computers was, "from 1965 for districts in the 25,000 or more enrollment group to 1976 for the very small (300 to 2499 pupils) districts" (p. 6) More than a decade has passed since computers were introduced extensively in schools. Still, the literature does not cite models or describe methods in which top level administrators are using computers. There is almost no literature about the uses of computers or who should use computers within a central school office. Much of the literature relates a number of studies which detail use of computers for classroom

PAGE 18

3 instruction in schools. For example, the 1985 Johns Hopkins National Survey detailed all of the instructional applications that were available in the schools. Accurate information as to how top level administrators are actually using computers in school districts is needed. Much effort and energy have been spent in attempting to determine the best configuration of computers for use by the central office personnel. In particular, the question of whether each office must have a microcomputer or a terminal to a large mainframe has been often asked. Also the question as to whether each administrator must be a computer user or a trained user of computer-generated data has many implications for training and staffing practices. Purposes of the Study This study sought to determine the present use of computer technology in Colorado school districts' central offices, with particular focus on such utilization by top level administrators. This research study was conducted for the following purposes: 1. To prepare a state-of-the-art paper on the present use of computer technology in Colorado school

PAGE 19

4 district central offices, with utilization of that technology by superintendents and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents as the primary concern. 2. To determine the extent of use of specific internal and externally produced computer technology outputs; for example: General Assembly Legislative Update (external) and teacher/pupil weekly attendance summaries (internal). 3. To seek information on the location of computers. This includes information as to whether computers are located on administrators' desk tops, on secretaries' desks, or in a common location. 4. To determine the degree of actual physical interaction of superintendents and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents with computers. 5. To determine the individual administrative responsibilities that are being completed when top level administrators are using computer technology. 6. To determine which software top level administrators feel is most valuable to them in their work. 7. To determine the satisfaction of top level administrators with the software they are using.

PAGE 20

5 Statement of the Problem Within the framework of the seven purposes, this study sought to determine to what extent and for what purposes superintendents and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents presently use computer technology in Colorado Public School districts. The following questions are illustrations of the type of information sought. These are divided into five categories. The specific questions on the survey instrument were developed after the on-site visits. Present Use of Technology To what extent do top level administrators use computers in their daily activities? What are the kinds and names of the computers or computer technology that are available to top level administrators? About how much time per day do top level administrators spend using computer technology: Specific Uses of Computer Technology What specific pieces of software are being used by top level administrators. Are they commercially purchased or district developed?

PAGE 21

To what extent are computer data services being used by top level central office administrators? What are the names of these services? 6 To what extent are top level administrators using electronic mail and electronic bulletin boards? To what extent are top level central office administrators using computer technology to communicate with their secretaries and to establish their schedule? To what extent are the computers in the central office being used for word processing? To what extent are the computers in the central office being used to prepare the budget? What are the other general uses of computers in the central office? Location of Computers in the Central Office To what extent do top level administrators have computers or terminals at their desk? Do top level administrators have computers at home? Are these computers connected to the ones that are available at work? Are secretaries and top level administrators computers linked together in a common storage system?

PAGE 22

Degree of Computer Use by Top Level Administrators For which administrative tasks do top level central office administrators have someone prepare a computer-generated report? 7 What are the administrative tasks that top level administrators do for themselves on the computer? What are the individual administrative functions that top level administrators use computer tech-nology to complete? Significance of the study Currently there is considerable concern among administrators about how best to use the computer to complete administrative tasks. Most agree that computer usage can be beneficial in the daily operations of the schools. The big question is how much should the individual administrator do personally on the computer? Do top level administrators spend their time entering data and producing reports? Opinions are readily available, facts are not. It is of considerable value to school districts to know what is currently being done. Top level administrators need to know what is going on in computer usage in order to make decisions concerning what they will do. Perhaps the approaches and plans

PAGE 23

8 that are being utilized will help to improve the effectiveness of top level administrators. To the present time there has been no compilation of data about current computer use by top level administrators. This study has provided one such compilation. Perhaps it also clarified issues and provided the basis for further research. This study has documented the administrative use of computers at the central office level, and may provide information for school districts that are at various phases of computer use. The study may be useful to universities concerned with training of future administrators, and to continuing education programs providing staff development opportunities for practicing administrators. .. Methodology A three-step process was used in this study to gather data. The first step was to visit three school districts where computer technology in central office operation was known. The second step was to send a questionnaire to every superintendent and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendent in Colorado listed in the Colorado Education Directory 1988-1989. The final step was to survey the individuals who were

PAGE 24

9 the greatest users of computer technology to determine what software they used and how satisfied they were with the software. The first step involved an on-site visit to three school district central offices to document how computers are being used by top level administrators. The purposes of these visitations were to gather specific information on computer usage at the central office, and to make certain that the practitioners viewpoint in shaping the study was adequately considered. After these visits a questionnaire was developed, based on both the data gathered in the on-site visit and the review of the literature. Questions that answer those listed on prior pages were included in the questionnaire. This questionnaire was sent to two practicing administrators and a consultant from the Colorado Department of Education to ensure that the questions were clear and easily understood. Significant problems in the clarity of the questions were corrected and the questionnaire was revised, as necessary. After this, the questionnaire was sent to four top level administrators who became part of the study. Once again input was sought to clarify the

PAGE 25

10 questionnaire. Their specific comments were recorded in a telephone or personal interview with each administrator and appropriate revisions were made. The questionnaire was then sent to every top level administrator in Colorado listed in the Colorado Education Directory 1988-1989 who had not been part of the on-site visits or participated in the final revision process of the questionnaire. Included with this questionnaire was a cover letter that explained the survey and asked them to return the information promptly. Following a two-week period of time, a second letter with a questionnaire was sent to every individual who had not returned the survey instrument. The final step was to telephone all of the top level administrators who had been identified as extensive computer users in the survey returns. These telephone interviews were conducted in the first part of September 1989. All of this information was analyzed to describe the present use of computers by top level administrators in Colorado. Responses to questions that were asked in the survey were tabulated and analyzed to answer the questions stated earlier. Differences in superintendents' and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents' responses were noted.

PAGE 26

11 Limitations of the Study To be manageable, every study must be limited. This study is no exception. The following limitations were acknowledged: 1. The population of this study was confined to the superintendents, deputy, associate and assistant superintendents in Colorado. Generalizations to administrators in other states with the same titles may not be valid. 2. There may be a number of individuals within a school district who are actually performing the duties of a superintendent or an assistant superintendent but who do not have the title. This study surveyed only individuals who have the title of superintendent and deputy, associate, or assistant superintendent. Definitions of Terms For most terms in this study, the meanings commonly understood for them apply. But for clarity, several terms are defined as they were used. Mainframe: Large, expensive computer, generally used for information processing in large businesses, colleges, and organizations. Originally, the phrase referred to the extensive array of large rack and

PAGE 27

12 panel cabinets that held the thousands of vacuum tubes in early computers (Spencer, 1986, p. 181). Microcomputer: Any small, low cost computer that performs input, processing, storage, and. operations following a set of instructions (Spencer, p. 188). These computers are generally capable of handling only a single function at one time. Central processing unit: The major component of a computer system that contains the circuitry which controls the interpretation and execution of instructions (Spencer, p. 40). Networking: The technique for distributing data processing through some communication technique. Peripheral equipment: Any input or output units that are attached to the central processing unit and used to get data in or out of the computer. Hardware: The physical equipment that constitutes a computer. Software: The sets of programs (stored instructions) that govern the operation of the computer system and make the hardware run (Spencer, p. 270). Time sharing: A method of operation in which several users share a common computer for different uses at the same time. Although the computer actually

PAGE 28

' 13 serves each user in sequence, the high speed of the computer makes it appear as though the users are all served simultaneously (Spencer, p. 292). Central office administrators: Those administrators in a school system who are "concerned more with some phase of the overall operation of the system than with the operation of a single attendance unit within the system" (Campbell, 1971, p. 368). Administrative applications: Computer programs that have been developed to assist the administrator in the completion of his/her specific daily tasks. Data consumers: Individuals who use computergenerated reports in the performance of their job, but who do not regularly operate a computer. Computer users: Individuals who are knowledgeable in the use of computers and who operate the computer themselves. Organization of the Study The remainder of the study is organized as follows: Chapter II includes a review of the literature; Chapter III describes the research methodology and design. Chapter IV presents the findings of the study and Chapter V presents conclusions based on the findings and suggests

PAGE 29

14 recommendations for both further study and for central office applications of computer technology.

PAGE 30

CHAPTER II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Introduction Most of the literature related to the topic of administrative computer use in education is of a recent vintage. A few articles describe administrative use of computers by central office school administrators. A review of ERIC, Dissertation Abstracts, and the database, Newsearch, failed to turn up any documents, publications, or works specifically on the topic of computer use by school administrators in the central office. There is little literature which discusses the question of who should be a computer user and who should be a data consumer. Some books and studies report present uses and suggest further uses of computers by school administrators. The majority of the literature addresses the instructional aspects of computers in education. This includes several studies on the uses of computers by teachers in the classroom and methods to make better use of computers within the curriculum.

PAGE 31

Numerous works address the planning process for computer usage within a school as well as how to select the right system. Most of the early literature discussed the impending computer revolution and the subsequent changes in society. Seymour Papert (1980) in Mindstorms stated that, 16 Just a few years ago people thought of computers as expensive and exotic devices. Their commercial and industrial uses affected ordinary people, but hardly anyone expected computers to become part of day to day life. This view has changed dramatically and rapidly as the public has come to accept the reality of the personal computer, small and inexpensive enough to take its place in every living room or in every breast pocket. (p. 3) There were numerous predictions that, by the end of the 1980s use of computers in society would be widespread. This study examined the status of the use of computers by top level administrators at the end of the '80s decade. This chapter is divided into the following parts: historical perspective, administrative uses of com-puter technology, phases of computer use in school districts, and models of computer system. Historical Perspective The use of computers within schools has paralleled the rapid growth of computers in society

PAGE 32

17 as a whole. The first electronic digital computer was unveiled in 1944. This computer, the Mark I, was also known as the "Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator.". The Mark I was a massive device stretching over 51 feet in length and standing over 8 feet high. It contained over 500 miles of wiring (Davis & McCormack, 1979, p. 66). The Mark I computer was not available for the general public but was used largely by the government. Around 1950, the first generation of computers was made available to the general public. Typical of this generation of computers was the Univac I. Poirot (1980), in Computers and Education, estimated that in 1950 "there were only 12 computers in the United States" (p. 1). Use of computers in K-12. education at this time was limited. In the late 1950s, the Burroughs Corporation developed a fully transistorized computer for the Air Force (Davis & McCormack, 1979, p. 68). Almost overnight, this new generation of computers made the older types of computers virtually extinct. Poirot (1980) estimated that, by 1960, the number of computers in use "had risen to over 6,00011 (p. 1). The exact number of those computers used in education is unknown but it is not inconceivable that some were

PAGE 33

being used in schools. The Educational Research Report (E.R.S.), School District Useof Computer Technology (1982) stated that only 1.7% of school districts sampled in a 1982 survey indicated that they were using computers prior to 1959 (p. 10). 18 The next major change in computers was prompted by the development of the integrated circuit around 1965. As a result of this development, "electronic devices became even more compact, faster, more reliable, and less expensive" (Davis & McCormack, 1979, p. 69). The E.R.S. report stated that, by 1965, nearly 10% of the 1,360 school districts sampled were using computers (p. 10). The invention of the "microchip" around 1978 completely revolutionized computers. The microchip enabled production of much smaller, faster, and less expensive computers which enabled individuals and organizations like schools to purchase multiple numbers of computers. This final generation of computer technology is now available to almost all schools. Almost 89% of the districts surveyed by E.R.S. in 1982 reported using computer technology (p. 10).

PAGE 34

Administrative Uses of Computer Technology Use of the computers within a school district can be divided broadly into use by teachers in the 19 classroom and use by administrators. Administrative use usually includes use by building level administrators as well as those in the central office. Six different works reviewed listed various administrative applications of computer technology. The works reviewed are: the 1982 Educational Services Report, School District Uses of Computer Technology; Computer Strategies for Education Foundations and Content-Area Applications by Kinzer, Sherwood and Bransford; Microcomputers in Educational Admini-stration by Thomas J. Gustafson; Computers and Education by James L. Poirot; High Tech for Schools Problems and Solutions by Shirley Neill; and Administrative Uses of Computers in the Schools by Harry Bluhm. Each of these discussed possible or actual use of computer technology by administrators. Table 2.1 lists specific administrator computer applications and the authors who recognized such administrative use.

PAGE 35

20 Table 2.1 Administrative Uses of ComQuters Discussed in Six Reviewed Works WQB:K BEVIEWEQ ADMINISTRATIVE .R.S. KINZER POIROT GUSTAFSON NEILL BLUHM FUNCTION 1. Scheduling xa X X X X X 2. Business X X X X X X 3. Payroll X X X X X 4. Budget X X X X S. Attendance X X X X X X 6. Inventory X X X X X 7. Library X X X X X X 8. Instruction-Testing X X X X X 9. Personnel X X X X 10. Public Relations X X X II. Food Services X X X X 12. Transportation X X X 13. Operations/ Maintenance X X X 14. Co curricular X X IS. Research/ Development X X 16. Word Processing X X

PAGE 36

Table 2.1 (Continued) ADMINISTRATIVE KINZER POIROT GUSTAFSON NEll..L BLUHM FUNCTION 17. Electronic Mail xa X 18. Electronic Bulletin Board X X 19. Electronic Blackboards X X 20. Talking to Other Computers X 21. Counselling X 22. Classroom Management X 23. Energy Management X 24. Planning/ Forecasting X TOTAL USES LISTED 14 12 8 12 13 1 8 a X indicates this was listed in the work. Administrative applications literature identified in the six works reviewed can be divided 21 into two categories, actual uses and descriptions of possible uses. Only two of the reports disclosed the percentage of use by school administrators. These were the 1982 Educational Research Services Report,

PAGE 37

School District Uses of Computer Technology and Computer Strategies for Education by Kinzer et al. (1986). 22 The 1982 E.R.S. Report included percentages of superintendents' responses to specific administrative uses. According to the E.R.S. Report, "business applications made the most frequent use of technology" (1982, p. 22). Computers were used for payroll records by 1189.1 percent of respondents," and computers were used with "cost accounting/expenditures by.5 percent" of the 1,484 school districts from which responses to the E.R.S. survey were received (p. 22). Scheduling was the next most frequently used application. The 1982 E.R.S. Report found that the scheduling process was assisted by computer in over 77% of the school districts studied (p. 22). This included the generation of both student and teacher schedules. The next most frequently used application was Student Records-Academic. Approximately 75% of the school districts were using the computers to assist them in this area (p. 22). In more than 50% of the districts, computers were being used for student schedules, scoring and analysis of tests, standardized test score records,

PAGE 38

23 class rank, attendance and analysis of tests. Other areas where computers were utilized somewhat include: contracts, salary schedules, appropriation; authorization, cash flow data and reports to the board. Other functions were listed in Table 2.1 under the E.R.S. column. Only the Kinzer, Sherwood and Bransford study, completed in 1983 for the Council of Great city Schools, listed separately the percentages of use by central office administrators and building level administrators. These percentages are summarized in Table 2.2. With the exception of library functions, the primary use of each application was by the central office administrators. The function for which computers were utilized most frequently was receipts; spending/accounting, reported in use by 84% of the central offices. Computers were also used frequently to produce salary information, payroll, and mailing lists. Business functions were clearly the most common areas of applications in central offices. None of the functions was reported to be in use at the building level by more than 50% of the administrators. The two most frequent applications at the building level were for scheduling and counseling. The scheduling category included

PAGE 39

Table 2.2 Percentage of Thirty-One Large Districts That Use Computers Student Academic Records Class Schedule Grade report Test scoring IEP records Student Non-Academic Records Vocational counseling Health immunization Psychological test results Transportation Functions Central Local Office Bldgs. 74% 39% 68% 32% 71% 32% 55% 26% 34% 32% 489& 109& 45% 13% Passenger lists 55% 6% Route/driver scheduling 42% Vehicle performance and maintenance Food Services Free/Reduced lunch Eligibility lists Menu planning Inventory Library Functions Book inventories Book orders Book checkout Overdue notices Public Relations Mailing lists Staff directories Pupil directories 39% 61% 6% 55% 6% 23% 3% 65% 3% 52% 48% 10% 3% 3% 3% 13% 23% 77% 13% 74% 6% 55% 6% Cocurricular Activities Income/Expenditures Eligibility lists Budget Planning Central Office 55% 29% Collective negotiations 52% Planning 68% School boundary/Census information 65% Enrollment projections 55% Local Bldgs. 10% 6% 6% 3% Scheduling Functions Class schedules Staff schedules Building/Classroom utilization 74% 29% 55% 19% Personnel Functions Salary Information Employment files Leave records Certification information In-service information Business Functions Payroll Receipts/Spending Accounting Inventory, Reports (federal, state, board) Research/Development Testing Research 58% 13% 81% 68% 68% 71% 29% 77% 3% 3% 84% 10% 71% 3% 74% 6% 71% 3% 24 Source: c. K. Kinzer, R. D. Sherwood, & J. D. Bransford, 1982, Computer Strategies for Education Foundations and Content Area Applications (Columbus, Ohio: Bell & Howell).

PAGE 40

25 both developing class lists and placing students in classes. In Administrative Uses for Microcomputers. Volume Dembowski (1983) listed five areas of administrative use of microcomputers. These were student, finance, personnel, facilities and libraries. Each of these areas was comparable to one of those listed in Table 2.1. Additional works that sounded promising by title were reviewed, but did not fit into the purposes of this study. For example, Moursund's work was a pamphlet that described computers to individuals who had never had contact with computers, and the South Carolina Department of Education study was limited to instructional uses of computers. Phases of Computer Use in School Districts In 1985, several superintendents, in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Education, commissioned a study by the Rocky Mountain Study Council to give direction for administrators in the implementation of computers within school districts. The product of this study was a paper that listed five phases of implementing computer use in the schools and also identified seven strands which might

PAGE 41

26 be involved in the implementation process: hardware, software, computer use in the classroom, location of the computers, computer literacyjscience, staff development, and administrative usage. The phases identified in implementing computer usage are presented below. Phase 1: Getting Started -No provisions made for computer exposure or training Any available computers are used in the classroom rather than office -Record keeping is processed by hand andjor computer services -Conflicting feelings, uncertainty, anxiety, interest, and aloofness to computers Phase 2: Chaos and Contagion -Lack of time and training dominates decision to use -Computers still allocated to the classroom -Record keeping is still processed by hand andjor computer services Some initiative to use Some view as a passing fad Some skeptical about the usefulness Phase 3: Taking Control -Brief training provided to interested staff -Computers are showing up in the offices Some record keeping at building level on micros independent of computer services -Recognition of effectiveness of micro record keeping -Confusion about softwarejhardware choices Phase 4: Reaching Maturity Offices have non-instructional computers for record keeping -Attempts to standardize

PAGE 42

27 -Peripherals are considered for record keeping (hard drive, card reader, etc.) -Computer services and administration concerned with access to records -Training needed Phase 5: Implementation Begins -District purchase of compatible hardware and software -Abundant time and training are made available -Computerized record keeping at building level is available to computer services -Plans for electronic access to mail, purchasing, warehouse inventory, student/staff records. (Rocky Mountain Subcommittee, 1985, pages not numbered) This work not only suggested that there are five phases in the administrative use of computers, but also implied that computer usage within a school district is an evolutionary process. In the early phases the exact use of the computer and the training that is required are In the latter phases the computer is seemingly well integrated into the daily activities of the administrator. According to the Subcommittee report (1985) the struggle between mainframe and microcomputer use is part of the developmental process involved in attaining greater use of computers. The Subcom-mittee wrote that this struggle becomes more intense as the school district makes more complete use of computer technology.

PAGE 43

28 In the later phases, the speed and the power of the microcomputer along with some good administrative packages make the decision of using the mainframe or the microcomputer a difficult one. Many debates are waged over the decision. The problem of who is in charge of making the decision is also an issue. (pages not numbered) one of the continuing problems in the debate over micros and mainframes is the control and availability of reports. Most individuals want to be able to produce reports and retrieve information when they need it. The ability to control the production of reports has added to the ongoing debate on whether or not to centralize computer services. Computer Models within School Districts computer models for administrative use were described in the literature in two different formats. Gustafson (1985) described three theoretical district-wide models of computer use which he referred to as the locally flexible, the linked, and the timeshare models. The first model described by Gustafson was the locally flexible model (see Figure 2.1). This model has a stand-alone microcomputer at the heart of the system. Each microcomputer may be used independently to perform specific functions. All of the functions

PAGE 44

29 DISTRICf L MAINFRAME COMPUTER APPLICATIONS APPLICATIONS RESEARCH 1 ADMINISTRATIVE COMPUTER LITERACY MicROCOMPUTER COMPUTER-MANAGED INSTRUCTION COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCfiON Figure 2.1. Locally flexible model. illustrated in Figure 2.1 can be performed indepen-dent of each other at different microcomputers or can be coordinated through the mainframe. As illustrated in Figure 2.1, the microcomputers may be linked to a district mainframe computer. According to the 1983 E.R.S. study, this type of system was used in slightly over 22% of the districts that responded to the survey. Overall, this model was commonly used because it is "the most flexible

PAGE 45

30 computer configuration for school applications" (Gustafson, 1985, p. 120). A second model described by Gustafson is the linked network model (see Figure 2.2). At this center of this model is a small minicomputer with a hard drive. Several microcomputers or dumb terminals are hooked together with the minicomputer. This system allows several individuals to access a system that is "much faster and more efficient and has greater memory than the locally flexible model" (Gustafson, 1985, p. 121) However, the linked network model has two drawbacks when compared to the locally flexible model. First, software may have to be modified or specially ADMINISTRATIVE APPLICATIONS MICROCOMPUTER L RESEAROI APPLICATIONS MICROCOMPUTER ... MINICOMPUTER HARD DISK DRIVE MICROCOMPUTER FOR COMPUTER MANAGED INSTRUCfiON MICROCOMPUTER FOR COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTION Figure 2.2. Linked network model.

PAGE 46

31 written to adapt to the system and second, disconnecting the microcomputers is possible but inconvenient. The E.R.S. Report (1982) stated that minicomputers alone were used in 7% of the districts (p. 13) but use of minicomputers connected to microcomputers was reported by slightly over 11% of those responding to the E.R.S. survey (p. 13). Minicomputers used alone or in combination with either a mainframe or a microcomputer were reported by just over 24% of the respondents. Gustafson's last model is the timeshare model. A feature of this system is that all computer stations, either micro or mini, are connected to a large central mainframe computer via a minicomputer which acts as a controller (see Figure 2.3). This prevents interference during the time that individuals are using the computer stations. The computer stations are either microcomputers or dumb terminals (Gustafson, 1985, p. 122). All of the databases and memory are contained in the mainframe. Consequently, the size of the mainframe has to be increased in proportion.to the number of users that are on the system.

PAGE 47

32 CLASSROOM USES r ___ ADMINISTRATIVE USES---\ MINICOMPUTER"-,> MAINFRAME RESEARCHUSES Figure 2.3. Timeshare model. Generally the major strength of this system is in "its efficiency and control over input and output (Gustafson, 1985, p. 122). However, almost all of the software has to be specially written for the system, and this can be an "expensive and limiting process" (Gustafson, 1985, p. 122). Further, the microcomputers can be disconnected from the mainframe only when special arrangements are made in advance. The E.R.S. study stated that over 40% of the districts that responded to the 1982 survey were using a mainframe alone or in combination with a micro-or minicomputer (p. 13). Just over 22% were using a mainframe and microcomputer in combination (p. 13). According to the E.R.S. study (1982), a

PAGE 48

33 little less than 5% of the responding districts were using mainframe, mini-and microcomputers connected together (p. 13). A fourth model that Gustafson did not describe but which was reported in the E.R.S. study is the microcomputer system. In this system the microcomputer is the only computer that is used for administrative applications. The microcomputer can be connected to other microcomputers or may be connected to a hard disc drive. The 1982 E.R.S. study reported that this model was used in slightly over "27% of the districts surveyed" (E.R.S., p. 13). Summary Most of the literature related to computers is new. The majority of the literature examined initially discussed classroom uses of computers. The limited literature on administrative use of computers was found to be of two categories. The first type was a theoretical discussion of how computers could be used to help with administrative functions. The second type was a report of a survey that had been done. No literature was found that described the functions for which an administrator should use computer technology nor when an

PAGE 49

34 administrator should have another individual prepare a report using computer technology. The literature did not address who was or should be a consumer of computer information and who was or should be using the computer. Only the Kinzer et al. study separated use data by central office or building level respondents.

PAGE 50

CHAPTER III RESEARCH METHODOLOGY This study examined the use of computers and computer technology by top level administrators in Colorado school districts. As such, it can be categorized as descriptive research. Gay wrote that descriptive research, involves collecting data in order to test hypotheses or to answer questions concerning the current status of subjects of the study. A descriptivestudy determines and reports the way things are. (p. 123) Further, Gay (1976) stated that the descriptive method is useful for investigating a variety of educational problems including: attitudes, opinions, demographic information, conditions and procedures. (p. 123) Study Purposes The main purposes of this study were: 1. To prepare a state-of-the-art paper on the present use of computer technology in Colorado school district central offices, with utilization of that technology by superintendents and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents as the primary concern;

PAGE 51

2. To determine the extent of use of specific internal and externally produced computer outputs; for example: General Assembly Legislative Update (external) and teacher/pupil weekly attendance summaries (internal); 3. To seek information on the location of computers. This included information as to whether computers are located on administrators' desk tops, on secretaries' desks, or in a common location; 36 4. To determine the degree of actual physical interaction of superintendents and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents with computers; 5. To determine the individual administrative responsibilities that. are being completed when superintendents and deputy, associate, assistant superintendents are using computer technology; 6. To determine which software top level administrators feel is most valuable to them in their work; 7. To determine the satisfaction of top level administrators with the software they are using. Population and Sample According to the Colorado Education Directory 1988-1989, during the '88-'89 school year there were

PAGE 52

37 246 top level school administrators in the state: 176 superintendents, 55 assistant, 8 associate, and 7 deputy superintendents of school. These 246 administrators constituted both the study sample and the target population. A summary of the number of top level administrators in the 176 school districts is presented in Table 3.1. As that table indicates, Table 3.1 Number of Top Level Central Office Administrators in Colorado School Districts CN-176) Central Office Administrators Number % of All Superintendent only 137 77.8 Superintendent and 1 other Central Office Administrator 24 13.6 Superintendent and 2 other Central Office Administrators 8 4.5 Superintendent and 3 other Central Office Administrators 2 1.1 Superintendent and 4 other Central Office Administrators 2 1.1 Superintendent and 5 other Central Office Administrators 2 1.1 Superintendent and 6 other Central Office Administrators 1 0 TOTAL 176 99.8

PAGE 53

38 137 school districts (77%) had only one top level administrator. The second most frequent central office staffing pattern was to have a superintendent and either a deputy, associate or associate superintendent. Data Gathering A three-step process was used to gather data. The first step was to visit three school districts where computer technology in central office operation was known. The second step was to send a questionnaire to every superintendent and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendent in Colorado listed in the Colorado Education Directory 1988-1989. The final step was to survey by telephone the questionnaire respondents who made greatest use of computer technology to determine what software they used and how satisfied they were with the software. On-Site Visits During the last two weeks of March 1989, visits were made to three school district central offices (Boulder, Fort Lupton, Hayden). These three districts had been selected after discussions with Gerald Difford at the Colorado Association of School

PAGE 54

39 Executives, and the technology consultants from the Colorado Department of Education. These individuals had been asked to identify districts of various sizes that were making use of computer technology. Appoint-ments were made with the individuals in those districts who held the title of superintendent or deputy, associate, or assistant superintendent. Table 3.2 displays pupil enrollment of each of the three districts and the number of individuals interviewed in each. Table 3.2 Student Enrollment and Number of Administrators in District Visited During the on-Site Visits School District Boulder Valley Re(J) Weld County Re-8 Hayden Re-1 student Enrollment 20,835 2,219 444 Administrators Interviewed 5 2 1 At least one hour was spent with each of the eight administrators in the three districts. Additional time was spent at each of these locations reviewing all of the computer equipment available in the central offices. The individuals visited in each

PAGE 55

40 of the districts, along with the date of the interview and position held, are listed in Table 3.3. The location of the computers in each of the central offices was determined by the investigator during these visits. Different uses observed and the brand names and models of the computers available were noted. Table 3.3 Interview Schedule for On-Site Visits Date Individual 1989 Interviewed District Title 3/22 Dr. Harlan Else Fort Lupton Superintendent 3/22 Floyd Acre Fort Lupton Asst. Supt. 3/23 Dr. James Williams Boulder Deputy Supt. 3/23 Melvin Wiesley Boulder Asst. Supt. 3/23 Dr. James Hager Boulder Superintendent 3/23 Dr. Lynn Straight Boulder Asst. Supt. 3/23 Janet Lewis Boulder Asst. Supt. 3/28 Bruce Yoast Hayden Superintendent

PAGE 56

41 An interview guide was developed to focus the interview process: These questions came from the major purposes of this study listed in Chapter I and from the review of the literature. The following questions were asked of each of the eight top level administrators interviewed during the on-site visits: 1. Location of computers in the office: Do you have a computer or a terminal at your desk? If so, what kind is it? What kinds do you have available? How are they configured? Do you have a computer at home? Are these computers connected to the ones that are available at work? 2. Present use of technology: About how much time do you use computers in your daily activities? 3. Specific uses of computer technology: The literature has identified several administrative functions. Which of the following do you personally use the computer for, or have a report prepared for you?

PAGE 57

a. Scheduling b. Business c. Payroll d. Budget e. Attendance f. Inventory g. Library h. InstructionTesting i. Personnel j. Public Relations k. Food Services 1. Transportation m. Operations/ Management n. Co-Curricular 42 o. Research/ Development p. Word Processing q. Electronic Mail r. Electronic Bulletin Board s. Electronic Blackboards t. Talking to Other Computers u. Counseling v. Classroom Management w. Energy Management x. Planning/ Forecasting Are you using your computer technology to communicate with your secretary and to establish your schedule? Are there any other general uses of the computer in the central office by administrators?

PAGE 58

If you are using the computer, what two pieces of software could you not do without? Are you satisfied with the software that you have available to use for administrative purpose? Why or why not? What are the most important reasons as to why you are not using the computer? 4. Degree of computer use by top level administrators: For which administrative tasks do you have someone prepare a computer-generated report? How do you decide which items to do and not do on the computer? Are you using computer data services? Are these district generated or outside services? What are the names of these services? What are the administrative tasks that you do for yourself on the computer? 5. Future development: Where do you see your district headed in computer use by administrators? Any other comments on computer use. 43

PAGE 59

44 6. Specific applications: Do you have some samples of the applications that you would be willing to share? The guide was followed in a similar fashion for each of the administrators interviewed. The investigator wrote down the specific information that was received from each. Additional comments on computer use were received from each of the eight administrators, and specific examples of computer use were discussed during the interviews. Notes from these discussions were used to extract data and are included in the analysis of data reported in Chapter IV. The Study Questionnaire After a careful analysis of all of the informa-tion that was received from the on-site visits, an initial questionnaire was developed and sent to the chair of the researcher's dissertation committee for suggestions and comments. Further discussions concerning the length and format were held in April 1988. A revised form was developed as a result of these discussions. This survey form was then sent to Dr. Jim Miller, Director of the B.O.C.E.S.; Bernajean. Porter, Technology Consultant at the Colorado

PAGE 60

45 Department of Education; and Bruce Yoast, Superintendent of Hayden Schools. Mr. Yoast was also one of the eight administrators interviewed earlier. These three individuals were asked to read the survey and review the format for clarity of the questions and to suggest improvements in the questionnaire. After one week a phone conversation was held with each of the three. As a result, some grammatical errors were corrected and a different spacing of the questions was completed. All three stated that they felt that the questionnaire items were clear and that the length of the questionnaire was such that individuals would be likely to return it. After the changes were made, the revised questionnaire was sent to superintendents in other districts who were asked to respond, review, and offer suggestions for improvement in the questionnaire. The four superintendents were: Clifford Young, Cripple Creek Schools; Gary Sibigtroth, East Grand Schools; Leonard Ekhart, Rifle schools; and Dr. Charles Grove, Moffat County Schools. A week after the questionnaires were mailed, each of these individuals was interviewed by telephone by the investigator and was asked to return the questionnaire with recommendations. The slightly revised

PAGE 61

questionnaire was referred to the dissertation committee members and approved for printing and distribution. Distribution of the Questionnaire 46 Questionnaires were mailed to 234 administrators during the last week of June 1989. Included with the mailing were a letter stating the purpose for the research and asking cooperation by responding to the instrument and a self-addressed, stamped return envelope. Questionnaires were not sent to the eight administrators who had been interviewed in the onsite interviews nor to the four superintendents indicated above, but data obtained from the on-site interviews and the returned pre-final draft questionnaire were included in the data analysis reported in Chapter IV. Copies of the letter and the questionnaire are displayed in the Appendix. A new cover letter and a questionnaire were mailed to the 62 administrators who had not responded to the questionnaire as of August 1, 1989. A copy of the letter can be found in the Appendix. Data collection ceased as of September 1, 1989. A summary of the responses as of that date is presented in Table 3.4. Responses had been received from 213 of the 246

PAGE 62

47 Table 3.4 Summary of Responses as of September 1, 1989 Data Received From: Number of Administrators On-site Visits Pre-Draft Questionnaire 1st Mailing 2nd Mailing Total One survey was not usable. 8 4 172 29* 213* individuals who were part of the target population, a response rate of 87%. Through discussion with Morris Danielson, Field Representative at the Colorado Department of Education, it was determined that three of the individuals listed in the 1988-1989 Directory had moved and that seven positions had become vacant and had not been filled. In addition, one survey was returned in such a fashion so that neither the district nor position could not be identified, and this response was not included in the study. The number of usable responses was 212.

PAGE 63

Responses by Administrative Position Table 3.5 summarizes the study population by 48 administrative position. Included.in this table are all administrators who responded to the questionnaire, were visited in the on-sites, or were part of the pre-survey process. Table 3.5 Summary of Study Population by Position Position Number Superintendent 153 Deputy Superintendent 5 Associate Superintendent 6 Assistant Superintendent 48 Totals 212 Telephone Interviews of Extensive computer Users Target Population 176 8 7 55 246 % of Target Population 87 63 86 87 87 Forty-one top level administrators circled either a 1 or a 2 on question 1.1 on the survey instrument which asked them to describe the extent of their computer usage. Through their responses, these 41

PAGE 64

administrators identified themselves as extensive computer users. 49 Thirty-two of the 41 were superintendents, 1 was an associate superintendent and 8 were assistant superintendents. Eighteen of the extensive users came from school districts with less than 1000 students and 10 came from school districts with more than 15,000 students. The 41 extensive users included in the telephone interviews are listed in Table 3.6 in descending order of size of the school district. During the weeks of September 11th and 18th, 1989, all but four of the extensive users were interviewed by telephone. Two of the four not interviewed by telephone in September had been interviewed on these items during the on-site visits in March, and information on software use had been recorded at that time. The other two were called on the telephone at least three times each in the sevenday period, but contact was not made. Each individual was reminded of the questionnaire that they had previously answered and informed of how they had been selected for the follow-up interview. All interviewees were asked to respond to five questions. These were:

PAGE 65

Table 3.6 Extensive Users of Computer Technology NAME John Pepper Victor Ross Dave Zeckser James Hager Lynn Straight Don Bruno John Ackelson Lee Hansen Ellen Bartlett Roger Driver Richard Weber John Meyer Laddie Livingston Michael Martin Jackie Harstad Robert Collett Ronald Smith James Smith Fred Palmer William Powell James McCabe Bill Fears Frank Betts Harvey Billington Kenneth Frisbie Jim Burks Jeanne Howes Delano Arnold Delmar Hemphill Dennis Disario Harry Masinton Norman Blake Red Mosier Larry Eklund Keith Sommerfield Ron Kelton Ray Griffith James Matthews John Pierce Don Montgomery Noreen Thiebault SCHOOL DISTRJCT Jefferson Cnty. Aurora Aurora Boulder Valley Boulder Valley Northglenn Northglenn. Fort Collins Fort Collins St. Vrain Adams #14 Brighton Delta Fountain 8 Fountain 8 Roaring Fork Eagle County Lewis Palmer Johnstown Eaton Lake Cnty. Estes Park Aspen Burlington Ault Rangely Holyoke Akron Strasburg Calhan North Park Wiley Genoa Hugo Ridgway Ovid Kit Carson De beque Branson Karval Lone Star Lake City POSITION Supt. Supt. Associate Supt. Assistant Assistant Assistant Supt. Assistant Assistant Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Assistant Assistant Assistant Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Supt. Suot. SIZE OF DISTRICT 75,337 25,95 I 25,951 20,835 20,835 20,602 20,602 17,427 17,427 15,081 5,797 4,058 3,886 3,690 3,690 3,110 2,255 2,114 1,203 I, 147 1 '117 1 '116 1,000 847 758 718 529 459 432 374 310 305 222 215 171 151 97 59 59 57 38 50

PAGE 66

1. What are the pieces of software that you could not function without? 2. What are the administrative functions that you are using this software for? 51 3. Are there other pieces of software that you use on a regular basis? What are they? 4. What type of software are you most in need of? 5. Any other comments on software? All response information was recorded in writing on an interview guide. Respondents were asked to rate software from 1 to 5, with 1 being high. Additional comments concerning software were written down and recorded by the investigator. Interviews ranged in length from 5 minutes to 25 minutes. A copy of the interview guide is in the Appendix. Data Analysis Data received from the on-site visits and the questionnaires were entered into a Macintosh computer using Microsoft Excel software. The following information was entered in the computer: name of the district, size of the district, name of the individual responding, the position of the respondent, number of central office administrators in the district, and

PAGE 67

52 the responses to each of the questions on the questionnaire. Data from the telephone interviews were taken from the interview guides and entered into the computer according to responses on each of the questions. The same format was used to record the data that had been received from the on-site visits and the pre-survey group of superintendents. In one instance the information from one individual visited on the on-site visits was not complete and this individual was sent a questionnaire, which was returned. Once all of the raw data were entered into the computer, further analyses were made using the features of the Microsoft Excel program. Sorts and comparisons of the data were made for the preparation of the tables, charts and figures that appear in Chapter IV. Summary This descriptive study was designed to gather data for a state-of-the-art summary of use of computer technology by top level administrators. Design, population and sample, data gathering procedures, the study questionnaire, analysis of the questionnaire, telephone interviews and data analysis

PAGE 68

53 were discussed in this chapter. All data were gathered in 1989; on-site visits were made in March, questionnaires were mailed in the summer, and the telephone interviews were held in September. The data were entered into the computer and analyzed using the Microsoft Excel software program and a Macintosh computer.

PAGE 69

CHAPTER IV FINDINGS The purpose of this study was to determine the present use of computer technology in Colorado school districts' central offices. In particular, the focus was on the use by the individuals who held the positions of superintendent or deputy, associate, or assistant superintendent of schools. Data on utilization of computers in their daily activities were gathered from these top level administrators. Answers to the following questions were sought: Present use of technology: To what extent do top level administrators use computers in their daily activities? What are the kinds and the names of the computers or computer technology that are available to top level administrators? About how much time per day do top level administrators spend using computer technology?

PAGE 70

55 Specific uses of computer technology: What specific pieces of software are being used by top level administrators? Are they commercially purchased or district developed? To what extent are computer data services being used by top level central office administrators? What are the names of these services? To what extent are top level administrators using electronic mail and electronic bulletin boards? To what extent are top level central office administrators using computer technology to communicate with their secretaries and to establish their schedules? To what extent are the computers in the central office being used to prepare the budget? What are the other general uses of the computer in the central office by top level administrators? Location of computers in the central office: To what extent do top level administrators have computers or terminals at their desks?

PAGE 71

56 Do top level administrators have a computer at home? Are these computers connected to the ones that are available at work? Are secretaries' and top level administrators' computers linked together in a common storage system? Degree of computer use by top level administrators: For which administrative tasks do top level central office administrators have someone prepare a computer-generated report? What are the administrative tasks that top level administrators do for themselves on the computer? Individual administrative responsibilities completed by top level administrators when using computer technology: What are the individual administrative functions which top level administrators use computer technology to complete? Data to answer these questions were gathered in a three-step process. The first step was to visit three school districts where use of computer technology in the central offices operations was known. The information that was obtained from the on-site

PAGE 72

57 visits, which took place during March, 1989, was used in constructing the final questionnaire. The second step was to send a questionnaire in the first part of June, 1989, to each superintendent and deputy, associate or assistant superintendent in Colorado listed in the Colorado Education Directory 1988-1989. In all, 234 questionnaires were mailed and 200 usable responses were received. These, in addition to the eight administrators included in the on-site visits, and the four administrators who helped in the questionnaire refinement process, constituted the 212 respondent totals included in many of the tables in this chapter. (Thirty-four top level administrators in the state did not respond to the survey.) The final step was to interview 41 individuals who were identified as the most frequent users of on the questionnaire. Information received from these interviews was used to determine what software top level administrators were using and their satisfaction with the software that was being used. This chapter presents the analysis of the data relative to the questions listed earlier. The use of computers by top level administrators, the specific brands of computers that were being used, the

PAGE 73

58 administrative functions that top level administra-tors were using computer technology to complete, the actual location of computers, and the software that was being used are described in this chapter. Extent of Use of Computer Technology by Top Level Central Office Administrators Use of computer technology by top level administrators can be broken down into two separate categories. The first concerns what individual administrators do for themselves on the computer while the second concerns their use of computer-generated reports in meeting their administrative responsibilities. Use of Computers For this study, use of the computers was narrowly defined as the instances in which super-intendents and deputy, associate, or assistant super-intendents personally enter data into or retrieve data from a computer. To determine the actual use of computers by top level administrators, data from two different sources were analyzed: those collected during the.visits to the three central offices, and those reported on returned questionnaires. Data from

PAGE 74

these two sources were utilized in all analyses except where noted otherwise. Question 1 on the questionnaire sought to determine the extent to which top level administra-tors used computers. Do you personally use a computer in your daily activities? (Use means that you actually operate or enter data into the computer.) Table 4.1 displays the responses to that question by administrative positions. The per-centages for each position are listed in paren-59 theses. Less than 60% of the respondents identified themselves as computer users. However, Table 4.1 summarizes responses to the direct question, "Do you personally use a computer in your daily activities?" The yes or no response choices do not indicate variations in the extent of use by those who identified themselves as computer users. Another item on the survey instrument (1.1) asked administrators who responded yes to the first question to "circle the number below that best describes the extent of your use of a computer in your daily activities." Table 4.2 displays the responses to that question.

PAGE 75

60 Table 4.1 Use of Computers, by Administrative Position Administrative Position Yes No Total Superintendent 85 (55.5) 68 (44.4) 153 Deputy Supt. 4 (80) 1 (20) 5 Associate Supt. 3 (50) 3 (50) 6 Assistant Supt. 28 (58.3) 20 (41. 7) 48 TOTALS 120 (56.3) 92 (43.6) 212 Table 4.2 Extent of Computer Use by Top Level Central Office Administrators Administrative Position Superintendent Deputy Associate Assistant TOTAL* Extent of Use Responses Extensive 1 2 22 20 l 0 1 1 2 4 26 15 Moderate 3 4 31 14 1 1 0 0 12 7 44 22 Little 5 6 1 1 2 10 Three of the 120 individuals who answered yes to the previous question did not circle a number describing their computer use.

PAGE 76

61 When the five possible choices are collapsed into the three categories of extensive (1 and 2), moderate (3), and little (4 and 5), 41 (35%) of the 120 users identified in Table 4.1 used computers extensively and 32 (27%) reported little use. The remaining 44 (37%) of the self-identified users reported moderate use of computers. Tables 4.1 and 4.2 considered together indicate that less than half (40%) of all respondents (85 of 212) reported using a computer at least moderately in their administrative roles. Responses to a third question (1.2) on the survey instrument provided additional information on the extent of computer use. Respondents were asked to "estimate the amount of time that you use the computer" in minutes per day. Table 4.3 summarizes the amount of time that administrators stated they used the computer, by the extent of use reported in Table 4.2. Of the 117 administrators responding to Question 1.1 (Table 4.2), 73 (62%) used the computer for no more than sixty minutes per day. Of these administrators, 29 had indicated little use (4 and 5), 34 moderate use (3), and 10 (1 and 2 in Table 4.2) extensive computer use.

PAGE 77

62 Table 4.3 Minutes of Computer Use Per Day by Extent of Use Extent of Use Responses Minutes Per Day 1 2 3 4 5 Totals Less than 30 0 0 11 14 9 34 31-60 2 8 23 5 1 39 61-90 6 3 5 2 0 16 91-120 5 2 3 0 0 10 121-150 4 2 0 0 0 6 151-180 4 0 0 0 0 4 More than 180 4 0 0 0 0 4 No response 1 0 2 1 0 4 Totals 26 15 44 22 10 117 Note: Three individuals who indicated they were computer users on Question 1 did not circle a response on Question 1.1. A further analysis of the responses to these two questions from the survey revealed that two individuals who stated that they were using the computer little were actually using the computer for more than 60 minutes per day. Of the moderate users (column 3 in table 4.3), five were using the computer for more than 60 but less than 90 minutes per day and three used the computer for more than 90 but less than 120 minutes per day. On the other hand,

PAGE 78

63 10 individuals who stated they were extensive computer users (columns 1 and 2 in Table 4.3) were using the computer for less than 60 minutes per day. Use of Computer-Generated Reports The previous analysis of computer use focused on the administrator actually operating a computer. However, this study was concerned with the use of computer technology, which is much broader than just operating the computer itself. Administrators use of computer-generated reports in meeting administrative responsibilities falls within the broader area of interest of this research. Four items on the survey sought data about the extent of use of computer-generated reports by administrators. Question 3. To what extent do you use (consume) computer generated reports and information in your daily work activities, excluding that which you generate for yourself? Question 3.1. Of these approximately what percent are generated within the district by district personnel? Question 3.2. Of these district generated reports and information, approximately what percent are generated at your specific request? Question 4. Do you use any externally produced computer reports? All respondents were asked to indicate the extent to which they use computer-generated reports.

PAGE 79

64 Table 4.4 summarizes the responses by administrative position; 172 (82%) of 208 administrators reported they were making at least moderate use (Responses 1, 2 and 3) of computer-generated reports. Table 4.4 Extent of Use of Computer-Generated Reports/ Information, All Respondents by Position Administrative Position Extent of Use Extensive Moderate 1 2 3 Little 4 5 Total Superintendent 26 29 65 12 17 149 Deputy 1 2 2 0 0 5 Associate 1 1 4 0 0 6 Assistant 7 14 20 5 2 48 Totals 35 46 91 17 19 208* Four of the 212 individuals in the total study population did not answer this question. Responses to Question 3.1, on the other hand, indicated that most computer-generated reports were produced by district personnel other than the respondents. Table 4.5 displays the responses to that question. Table 4.5 suggests a relationship between the extent of use of computer-generated reports and production of these reports produced by district

PAGE 80

Table 4.5 Percent of Computer-Generated Reports Used by Top Level Central office Administrators Which Are Generated by District Personnel. by Reported Extent of Use of Such Reports %OF REPORTS EXTENT QE llSE TOTAL ALL GENERATED BY EXTENSNE MODERATE LITTLE RESP01'-.'DENTS DIST. PERSONNEL 1 2 3 4 5 0 0 0 0 1 6 7 1-19 0 1 9 7 7 24 20-39 0 2 1 2 2 2 1 8 40-59 3 4 1 2 3 0 22 60-79 2 1 0 1 1 1 1 25 80-99 22 2 1 33 0 1 77 100 8 8 1 4 3 2 35 Total 35 46 9 1 1 7 1 9 208* Four of the 212 individuals m the total study d1d not answer this guestion. 65 personnel. over 61% (106) of the 172 administrators who reported either extensive or moderate use of reports indicated that 80% or more of such reports were prepared by district personnel. Six (16%) of the 36 respondents who reported little use of computer-generated reports also reported that 80% or more of those they used were generated by district personnel. On the other extreme, 7 (19%) of

PAGE 81

66 Table 4.6 Percent of All District-Produced, Computer-Generated Reports by District Personnel by Respondent Position POSITION PERCENT OF COMPUTER PRODUCED REPORTS IGENERATEC BY DISTRJCTPEB.SONNEJ TOTAL 0 1-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-99 100 SUPT. 7 21 15 20 20 50 1 5 149 DEPliTY 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 5 ASSOCIATE 0 0 0 1 0 3 2 6 ASSISTANT 0 3 3 1 5 2 1 1 5 48 TOTALS 7 24 18 22 25 77 35 208* Four of the 212 individuals in the total study d1d not answer this question. the 36 reported that none of the computer reports they used were generated by other district personnel. Tables 4.5 and 4.6 presented data about the degree of use of computer-produced reports generated by district personnel. Question 3.2 on the survey instrument sought to determine the extent to which these reports had been generated at the administrator's request. The responses to this question are displayed in Table 4.7. Of the 12 administrators who stated that none of the reports was generated at their request, 10 were superintendents in districts in which they were the only administrator. Two assistant superintendents,

PAGE 82

Table 4.7 Percent of All District-Produced, ComputerGenerated Reports at Central Office Administrators' Specific Request, by Administrative Position POSITION PERCENT OF COMPUTER PRODUCED REPORTS GENERA TED BY DISTRICT PERSONNEL AT TOTAL THE SPECIFIC REQUEST OF CENTRAL OFFICE AnMTJIITSTRATORS 0 1-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-99 100 SUPT. 1 0 45 35 37 1 I 9 5 I 52 DEPliTY 0 1 0 1 0 1 2 5 ASSOCIATE. 0 I 2 1 1 0 0 5 ASSISTANT 2 1 5 1 2 1 1 6 1 1 48 TOTALS 1 2 62 49 49 1 8 11 1 1 2IO* Two of the 212 individuals in the total study did not answer this question. 67 one from a large district and one from a medium-sized district, also reported that none of the computer-generated reports were prepared at their request. The results presented in Tables 4.6 and 4.7 indicate that the majority of computer-generated reports being used probably are not prepared at the specific request of central office administrators. In addition to data about internally produced reports, the survey instrument sought information about use of externally produced reports. Nearly 75% of all administrators who responded to this question reported that they were using externally produced,

PAGE 83

computer-generated reports. The responses are dis-played in Table 4.8 Table 4.8 Reported Use of Externally Produced, ComputerGenerated Reports by Central Office Position Use of Externally Produced Computer Reports Position Total Yes No Superintendent 109 36 Deputy 4 1 Associate 6 0 Assistant 31 17 Totals 150 54 *Eight of the respondents did not answer this question. 145 5 6 48 204* All associate superintendents and 75% of the superintendents reported that they were using 68 externally produced reports. Similarly, 60% of all assistant superintendents stated that they were using externally produced, computer-generated reports. Respondents were also asked to identify the externally generated reports that they used. In assessing the answers to this question, it became apparent that individuals interpreted "computer .. generated reports" differently. One interpretation

PAGE 84

69 by the respondents may have been that they were produced by a computer rather than a typewriter. Nevertheless, approximately two thirds were using Colorado Department of Education reports. The next highest use was for salary comparisons, with 16 users. The third highest use was for test analysis with 13 administrators. The complete alphabetical order list of all the externally produced reports being used is presented in Table 4.9, with the number of users listed following each item. Summary of Computer Technology Use This study was concerned with the use of computer technology by central administrators. Use was reviewed from two perspectives: actual use of the computer by administrators and use of computergenerated reports by administrators (or administrators as users and administrators as consumers of computer-generated materials in fulfillment of administrative responsibilities). This section of the chapter has presented data from both perspectives. Table 4.10 was constructed to display the user and consumer data simultaneously. Data received from individuals who responded to both Question 1.1 and Question 3 were used in the construction of this table.

PAGE 85

70 Table 4.9 Externally Produced Computer Reports Used by Central Office Administrators FINANCIAL REPORTS Accounting Reports -1 Bond Redemption Reports-1 Budget Reports-4 Cash Flow-1 County Treasurer's Report-1 District Investments-! Educational Resch. Salary Report-1 Financial Reports-1 Health Care Utilization-! Insurance Reports-2 Payroll Reports-2 Public Employees Ret. Account-2 Revenues-1 Salary Comparisons-! Short Checks-1 Transporta tio n-2 Vendor Lists-1 Workman's Compensation-! STA IE & FEDERAL REPQRTS Colo. Dept. of Education Reports-1 01 Chapter 1 Reports Community College Reports-1 Drug Free Schools Reports-1 Food Service Reports-1 Federal Grants-1 Special Education Reports-1 Vocational Reports-1 BUILDINGS/MAINTENANCE Architect Drawings-1 Construction-! TESTING A.C.T. Test Reports-2 Educational Testing Service-1 Norm Referenced Test Reports-1 Standardized Test Reports-5 State Test Reports-3 Test Analysis-13 STIJDENT SERVICES Athletic Reports-1 Attendance Reports-1 Out of District Placements-! Student Services-1 PERSONNEL Application Pool-1 Employee Data-l PersonnelI PLANNING Denver Area Supt. Council-6 Enrollment Counts-1 Enrollment Forecasts-2 Educ. Research Reports-13 Information Series-1 Long Range Planning-1 Pikes Peak Area Reports-1 Research Reports-1 OTHER REPORTS A. V. Media Usage Reports-1 B.O.C.E.S. Reports-5 Colo. Assoc. of Sch. Admin.-1 Electronic Mail-13 Miscellaneous-6 Building Reports-1 Colo Assoc. School Bd.-2 Colo Educ. Assoc.-2 Educ Commission of the States-1 Plato

PAGE 86

Table 4.10 Computer Use Contrasted to Computer Report Use by Top Level Central Office Administrators Position & Use (" l Jcp RPnnrtPrl of Computer Yec; Nn Total Generated Reports Extensive Moderate Little Superintendent Extensive 19 11 6 19 55 Moderate 11 16 6 32 65 Little 2 4 8 16 30 TOTAL 32 31 20 67 150* Deputy Supt. Extensive 1 1 2 0 4 Moderate 0 0 0 1 1 Little 0 0 0 0 0 TOTAL 1 1 2 1 5 Associate Supt. Extensive 1 0 1 0 2 Moderate 1 0 0 3 4 Little 0 0 0 0 0 TOTAL 2 0 1 3 6 Assistant Supt. Extensive 2 5 2 11 20 Moderate 3 5 5 7 20 Little 1 2 2 2 7 TOTAL 6 12 9 20 47"' Four of the 212 md1 v1duals m the total study did not answer Question 3. Further review of the data in Table 4.10 indicated that: 1. Twenty-three top level administrators were using both computers and computer-generated reports extensively. 71

PAGE 87

72 2. Almost one third (19 of 67) of the super-intendents who were non-users of the computer were extensive consumers of computer reports. 3. Over 50% (11 of 20) of the assistant super-intendents who did not use the computer were extensive users of computer-generated reports. 4. Of those administrators using the computer, only 10 (8%) were making little use of the computer and little use of computer reports. 5. Twenty-eight (13%) of the respondents were making little use of computer-generated reports. Administrative Functions Completed When Computer Technology Is Used The previous section of this chapter presented data only on the extent of use of computer technology by central office administrators. It was not helpful in understanding just exactly what administrators were doing when they used the computer or what administrative functions, tasks and responsibilities were being handled through the use of computers or the products of computer technology. This section addresses these areas. Information to determine exactly what functions superintendents and deputy, associate and assistant

PAGE 88

73 superintendents were doing when they personally used the computer was obtained in three ways--the question-naire, on-site visits, and telephone interviews of the most extensive computer users. The questionnaire responses and the data from the on-site visits were combined and are presented together here. Question 2 on the survey read: 2. What are the two basic purposes that are being served when you are using the computer? From the items that are listed below please assign a 1 or a 2 to the appropriate items, with 1 being the most frequent. Please place an X next to any other purposes that you use the computer for. entering information for later use (such as summarizing a conference, notes to yourself, building agenda items, etc.) using the computer as a word processor to produce final copies (of letters, memos, reports, etc.) communicating with your secretary entering/analyzing quantitative data (budget figures, effects of negotiations proposals, etc.) maintaining your appointment schedule maintaining personnel records other: Table 4.11 displays the responses to Question 2 by administrative position. The three functions which had the highest scores for all administrators as a group were, in order of most frequent use: using the computer as a word processor, entering/analyzing quantitative data and entering information for later use. Uses listed as "other" included electronic mail, financial records, graphics use, design composing,

PAGE 89

Table 4 .11 Activities Engaged In When Central Office Administrators Use Computers, Listed 1st, 2nd, and Other on Question 2 by Administrative Position .... -. . .. ---_ ---------I AllNINlSTRATJVE I'OSTTJON AND FltEQIJf.NCY OF USE. I SIJP'l'. DEPUTY ASSOC. ASST. I 2OTIIER I 2 OTIIER I 2 OTIIER I -2OTHER Using thecomputer as a word processor 40 20 21 1 I 1 2 0 0 12 6 7 Entering/analyzing quantitative data 12 23 31 1 2 2 () 5 0 4 0 )1, En-ter"ln& --inlclr. iiia"tion for later usc. 17 15 33 1 0 2 0 0 1 4 8 8 Naintaining person-nel records. 1 0 29 0 0 I 0 0 2 1 1 9 --f----1-Communicating wit:h your secretary. 0 5 18 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 I 6 your appointment schedule. 1 3 14 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 3 Other 3 0 9 I 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 I TOTAL 111 94 89 1 44 1 33 1 I I 26 1 18 -..]

PAGE 90

75 management by objectives, monitoring student records, transportation records, draft memos, desk top publishing, developing presentations, report cards, project development, inventory and word processing. In order to determine the rank order frequency of computer use, a weighting system was devised by the investigator. The following weights were assigned to the individual responses: first choices were each given a value of 3, second choices were each given a value of 2 and X's (other uses) were given a value of 1. These weighted scores were then summed and the sums were used to determine rank order. Table 4.12 presents the weighted scores of the data presented in Table 4.11 and the weighted sum for each use. Table 4.13 displays the data presented in Table 4.12 by administrative position. This table shows the only major difference in use of the computer by administrative position was in entering information for later use, which was clearly the second most frequent use for assistant superintendents. Table 4.14 combines information previously reported in Tables 4.12 and 4.13 and rank orders the functions of computer use by superintendents and contrasts them with other central office

PAGE 91

Table 4.12 Most Frequent Purposes Being Served When Central Office Administrators Use Computers. All Central Office Administrators by Rank Order of Use Use Weighted Total Using the computer as a word processor 248 Entering/analyzing quantitative data 158 Entering information for later use 156 Maintaining personnel records 49 Communicating with your secretary 39 Maintaining your appointment schedule 35 Other 31 Table 4.13 Weighted Use Totals in Table 4.13. Displayed by Administrative Position USE SUPT DEPUTY ASSOC. ASST. Using the computer as a word 6 6 ss processor 181 Entering/analyzing quantitative 9 10 26 data 113 Entering information for later use 114 s 1 36 Maintainin2 oersonnel records 32 1 2 14 Communicating with your secretarv 28 1 2 8 Maintaining your appointment 11 schedule 23 0 1 Other 18 3 3 7 76

PAGE 92

77 Table 4.14 Rank Order of Weighted Scores for Functions Which the Computer Is Used by Superintendents and Other Central Office Administrators USE SUPERINTENDENTS OTHER CENTRAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATORS RANK SCORE RANK SCORE Using the computer as a word processor 1 181 1 67 Entering information for later use 2 114 3 42 Entering/analyzing quantitative data 3 113 2 45 Maintaininl! personnel records 4 32 4 17 Communicating with your secretary 5 28 7 1 1 Maintaining your appointment schedule 6 23 6 12 Other 7 18 5 13 administrators. The weighted score as well as the rank are listed for each function. Analysis of Tables 4.13 and 4.14 indicates small differences among respondents by central office positions. Such differences may or may not be a function of the different job role or of the small sample size of the non-superintendent respondent group.

PAGE 93

When Computer-Generated Reports Are Used The previous section reported information concerning the functions that top level admini-78 strators perform when they are using their computers. This section describes specific administrative tasks for which central office administrators used computer-generated reports. Question 3.3 of the survey instrument read, Please identify the areas that you use computer generated reports to help you with in your administrative activities. Identify in rank order the three most frequently addressed areas, using 1, 2, and 3. Please place an X next to other items that you use with moderate frequency. Table 4.15 displays responses of all the respondents by administrative position. The functions displayed on the left-hand side of Table 4.15 were listed on the survey along with the specific directions pre-sented in Question 3.3 above. The responses in Table 4.15 were then weighted to produce a total weighted score for each use. First choices were given a value of 4, second choices were given a value of 3, third choices were given a value of 2 and xs (other uses) were given a value of 1. The resulting weighted scores were totaled and the sums used to rank the uses by all administrators in Table 4.16. The three most frequent uses of

PAGE 94

Table 4.15 Use of Computer-Generated Reports by Administrative Position r=_:-------ADHINISTRATIVI: PCl"'ST'TTON ANil I'HEQUEN Y ------____ -.. I II SF OEPUT'i ASSOC. ASST. I 2 3 OTtllm __!_ 2 3 OTHER 1 2 3 OTIIF.I! 1'0TAJ.S Payroll 31 19 6 60 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 3 2 2 8 135 I 51 37 6 4T 4 0:__1--or-t3 I o 2 19 7 1 10 IBJ .4 8 19 5' 0 0 2 I 0 2 2 0 3 7 5 14 121 Ne_&ot !at ions I 4 5 30 0 I 0 I 0 _o_ I 0 0 2 9 58 :j l'uhllcRI!lations 4 4 7 33 0 0 0 3 0 I 0 I 0 0 3 4 60 Co-curricular 0 I I 23 0 0 0 '!---0--0-0 I 2 -0--l--4---3-4 Transportation I 1 2 67 0 c) 0 4 0 0 0 I 2 I I II 9T-=-=-:.__::...!...7_:::...: ----+--ll-'-f----+-=--JI---t----t----i--_:_:_-Operations/ I Naintemlllce I I, 5 50 0 0 0 3 0_ 0 1 1 3 2 11 8 I t:nergy Nanagcment 0 0 I 28 0 0 0 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 42 ---'---r--I---I' I anning/Forccast ing 6 10 7 0 1 0 3 I I I 2 1 5 4 11 88 Instructional Test lng 3 6 43 0 I 0 2 I I 0 3 4 6 3 7 84 !"nvcnlory 0 4 6 6 I 0 I 0 2 0 0 1 I I 0 J 15 95 Attendance iO --z--5--0 --0---0--03 I 2 0 5 74 --"J = J!-=,-_ n_ 0 o0--r-o-o2 o I ( 7 54 I Accounts/ e 7 _Q_ I 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 I 9 101 J.ihrary 0 0 I 28 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 I 2 32 Otl1cr l -) -0---7-0-o --r 2 1--l---o--I 3 1 I 2 24 --------;;__ ---_ _.__ ___ .____c:..__ ----'-----+----4-----l -...] \0

PAGE 95

Table 4.16 Use of Comouter-Generated Reports for All Central Office Administrators Using Weighted Scores Use Weighted Total Budget 511 Payroll 287 Personnel 204 Planning/Forecasting 165 Accounts Payable 162 Instructional Testing 142 Inventory 118 Operations/Maintenance 108 Transportation 107 Public Relations 92 Attendance 92 Negotiations 87 Scheduling 57 Other 50 Co-curricular 44 Energy Management 43 Library 34 computer-generated reports by all central office administrators as a group were budget, payroll and personnel, all of which are traditional central 80 office responsibilities. Computer-generated reports utilized least were library, energy, management and co-curricular activities.

PAGE 96

81 There was a wide variety of "other" uses of computer-generated reports listed by top level administrators in responses to Question 3.3 Curriculum was listed by six administrators. Other reports listed as being used by more than one administrator were grade reports, policy reports and research reports which were listed as being used by two administrators each. Other responses included finance, student records, personal items, accounting reports, goals, electronic mail, surveys, demographics and drop-out reports. Table 4.17 compares the use of computergenerated reports for superintendents and all other central office administrators. Weighted scores and rank (from high to low) are presented for specific uses of computer-generated reports. Analysis of Table 4.17 reveals that the top three uses by superintendents and other central office administrators were not the same. For superintendents the top three were budget, payroll and accounts payable. The top three for other central office administrators were budget, personnel and instructional testing. There were differences in the rank order of these scores for all uses other than budget, attendance, and inventory.

PAGE 97

Table 4.17 Rank Order of Use of Computer-Generated Reports by Superintendents and Other Central Office Administrators USE RANK SUPERINTENDENTS OTHER CENTRAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATORS ALL "WEIGH1E[ RANK WEIGHTED RANK SCORE SCORE Budl!et 1 368 1 143 1 Pavroll 2 253 2 34 5 Personnel 3 132 4 72 2 Planning/ 4 110 5 55 4 Accounts/ Pavable 5 146 3 16 13 Instructional Testine 6 80 7 62 3 Inventorv 7 85 6 33 6 Operations/ Maintenance 8 76 9 32 7 Transoortation 9 78 8 29 9 Public relations 10 75 10 17 12 Attendance 10 71 11 21 11 Neeotiations 11 56 12 31 10 Scheduline 12 43 13 14 14 Other 13 20 16 30 8 Co-curricular 14 28 15 16 13 Energy Manaeement 15 30 14 13 15 Librarv 16 30 14 4 16 One possible explanation of the differences in 82 computer reports may be a result of the large number of superintendents who are the only administrator in their districts. Another explanation may be due to the specialized function of other central office administrators.

PAGE 98

Hardware. Computer Networks and Location of Computers Being Used by Top Level Administrators 83 This section describes the types, brands, loca-tion and networks of computers present in central offices. Two questions on the survey provided information on the types of computers and the net-works that were present. Question 1 on the survey included two sub-questions: 1.3 Do you have a computer or terminal available for your use in your office? Yes __ No If Yes: please check if it is networked to a computer in other central office administrators' offices at your secretary's desk in your home in one or more school board members' home(s) other 1.4 Circle the brand name of the computer that is in your office. Apple II Macintosh I.B.M. Mainframe I.B.M.P.C. Radio Alpha Micro Unisys Other, Computer Brands Altogether 15 different brand names and nineteen different computer models were reported being used by top level administrators in district central offices. Most administrators were using either Apple computers or IBM computers. About half of all of the com-puters identified by central office administrators

PAGE 99

were Apple products and approximately 30% of all computers were IBM products. Table 4.18 lists all the computers by brand name in alphabetical order, the number reporting use of each brand and the 84 percentages of all respondents reporting use of each brand. As this table illustrates, the third most utilized computer was the Alpha Micro, which was being used by eight respondents. Table 4.18 Brands of Computers Reported In Use by Central Office Administrators COMPUTER NAME BRAND N %0FTOTALN APPLE MACINTOSH 42 28 APPLE II 31 20 I.B.M. P. C. 30 19 I.B.M. MAINFRAME 15 10 ALPHA MICRO 8 5 N.C.R. 6 4 HEWLETT PACKARD 5 4 EPSON 4 3 APPLE III 3 2 RADIO SHACK rr ANDY 2 1 DATA GENERAL 1 .5 FRANKLIN 1 .5 HYUNDAI 1 .5 I.B.M. COMPATIBLE (MODEL UNKNOWN) 1 .5 IMPERIAL 1 .5 MONARCH 1 .5 SANYO 1 .5 SPERRY 1 .5 ZENITH 1 .5 TOTALS 155 100

PAGE 100

85 Table 4.19 presents Table 4.18 data by admini-strative position. There was some difference in use of the brand name of computers by administrative position but the difference was not great. Super intendents used Apple II computers slightly more than Macintosh computers, but assistant superintendents used the Macintosh more than they did the Apple II. Table 4.19 Brands of Computers Used by Administrative Position COMPUTER BRAND ADMINISTRATIVE POSITION NAME SUPT. DEPUTY ASSOCIATE ASST. TOTAL APPLE MACINTOSH 26 2 1 13 42 APPLE II 29 0 0 2 31 I.B.M. P.C. 20 2 2 6 30 I.B.M. MAINFRAME 11 0 0 4 15 ALPHA MICRO 6 1 0 1 8 N.C.R. 6 0 0 0 6 HEWLETT PACKARD 3 0 0 2 5 EPSON 4 0 0 0 4 APPLE Ill 1 0 0 2 3 RADIO SHACK/TANDY 1 0 0 1 2 DATA GENERAL 0 0 0 1 1 FRANKLIN 1 0 0 0 1 HYUNDAI 1 0 0 0 1 I.B.M. COMPATIBLE 1 0 0 0 1 IMPERIAL 1 0 0 0 1 MONARCH 1 0 0 0 1 SANYO 1 0 0 0 1 SPERRY 0 0 0 1 1 ZENITH 1 0 0 0 1 TOTALS 114 51 3 33 155

PAGE 101

86 Eighteen administrators responses to Question 1.4 on the survey indicated they had more than one computer in their office and 15 of the 18 were superintendents. Location of Computers Questionnaire respondents were asked to indicate whether or not they had a computer in their office (Question 1. 3) If they answered "no" to Question 1, they were directed to skip the remaining questions under Question 1; thus, only the 120 computer users responded to Question 1.3 and five of these indicated they did not have a computer in their office. Two of these five were superintendents and three were assistant superintendents. Four of the five had indicated moderate computer use in response to Question 1.1. Three of the four used the computer for less than 30 minutes day, one reported using the computer for more than 30 but less than 60 minutes per day. The intent of Question 1.3 was to determine if administrators who did not have a computer in their office used the computer less than those who did. The small number of administrators who did not have a computer in their office does not permit such a comparison. In retrospect, this question might have

PAGE 102

87 been asked of all administrators, rather than just those who reported using computers. Responses from non-users may have indicated either unavailability of a computer or non-use of a computer available in their offices. Computer Networks Seventy-six of the 120 administrators who stated that they had a computer in their office indicated the computer was networked to at least one other com-puter. The most common network was between individual administrators and their secretaries. The next most frequently used network was between central office administrators. Table 4.20 displays the reported Table 4.20 Central Office Administrators' Computers Networked With Other Computers, by Administrative Position NETWORKED ADMINISTRATIVE POSITION m SUPT DEPUTY ASSOCIATE ASST. TOTAL SecretaJ"Y's desk 35 5 2 16 58 Other central office administrators' office 31 3 2 17 53 A mini or mainframe computer 17 3 2 13 35 Administrators' home 7 0 0 2 9 Other 2 0 0 4 6 One or more school board members' homes 3 0 0 2 5 Totals 95 1 1 6 54 166

PAGE 103

88 networks in central offices. This question allowed individuals to select more than one network, thus the total number of networks exceeds the total number of computer users. Software Used by Extensive Users Previous sections of this chapter have dealt with use of computers, computer-generated reports and brands of computers being used. This section deals with the actual software that the most extensive users are using in their daily activities. Forty-one top level administrators were identified as high computer users by their responses to the questionnaire. These individuals circled either a 1 or a 2 on Question 1.1 which indicated that they were extensive computer users. Thirty-two of these administrators were superintendents, one was an associate superintendent and the remaining eight were assistant superintendents. From information received in the on-site visits or in response to Question 1.4, data identified thirteen brands of computers being used by the extensive users. These brands are identified in Table 4.21. Eight administrators stated they had more than one computer, three of these eight were using three.

PAGE 104

Table 4.21 Rank Order of Computer Brands Reported in Use by Extensive User Computer Name Brand N Apple Macintosh 14 Apple II 11 IBM PC 11 IBM Mainframe 5 Alpha Micro 2 Hewlett Packard 2 NCR 1 Apple III 1 Radio Shack/Tandy 1 Franklin 1 Hyundai 1 Sanyo 1 Zenith 1 Total 52 89 An interview guide was used to record all of the information received from the extensive users (see Appendix). This information was entered into the Microsoft Excel program on a Macintosh computer for further analysis. Two questions on the guide sought specific information on the pieces of software that the extensive users were using. 1. What are the pieces of software that you could not function without? 3. Are there any other pieces of software that you are using on a regular basis; what are they?

PAGE 105

90 Table 4.22 presents the data received from the 39 extensive computer users who were interviewed by telephone. In this table, the name of the software is listed, the number who stated they could not live without the software program and the number who said they were using this piece of software regularly. Altogether 62 pieces of software were reported as being used at least regularly by these respondents, 21 software programs were being used by more than one respondent, which means that about two thirds of all software used by the extensive users was used by only one person. The most utilized programs were Appleworks and Microsoft Word. Each of the respondents was asked by the interviewer to state what functions they were using the software to complete. From these responses, each was collapsed into the seven functions that were previously used in the survey and reported in Tables 4.12, 4.13, and 4.14. In addition, a weighting system was used to develop a score for each response. The software that the respondents stated they could not live without was given two points and one point was given to the software that they were using regularly. The totals of this weighting system are presented

PAGE 106

91 Table 4.22 Rank Order of Software Being Used by Extensive Users Divided Into Can Not Live Without and Regular Use Categories SOFrW ARE NAME CANNOT LIVE USE REGULARLY TOTAL WITHOUT Appleworks 7 2 9 Microsoft Word 8 1 9 Microsoft Excel 7 ] 8 Word Perfect 7 0 7 Lotus 1-2-3 3 3 6 Pae:emaker 4 2 6 Salary Magic 2 2 4 C.D.S.S. Account 4 0 4 Microsoft Works 4 0 4 Calendar Creator 0 3 3 J.K. Accountine: 3 0 3 Print Shop 0 3 3 Visa Calc I 2 3 Display Write 3 3 Professional Writer 2 0 2 Aloha Write 2 0 2 Mac Paint 0 2 2 Mapp 80 2 0 2 Quattro 2 0 2 S.P.S.S. Stat Pac 0 2 2 EMail (C.D.E.) 0 2 2 Word Star I I 2 Abacus 0 ] 1 Ace Writer 0 I 1 ActivitY Account 0 1 1 Aldus Spell Checker 1 0 I Alpha Calc 1 0 1 Aloha Writer II I 0 1 Auto C.A.D. 0 I 1 Calendar Maker I 0 1 D. Base 3 0 1 1 Fast Forms 0 1 1 Filemaker 0 1 1 Floor olan 0 1 1 Grammar Checker ] 0 1 H.P. Business Svstems 1 0 1 H.P. Word orocessine 1 0 1 Hvoercard 0 1 1 I nlex 1 0 1

PAGE 107

92 Table 4.22 (Continued) SOFfW ARE NAME CANNOT LIVE USE REGULARLY TOTAL WITHOUT In talk I 0 I Label 0 1 I Mac Draw 0 I 1 Mac Proiect 0 1 1 Mac Write 1 0 1 More 0 1 I Osiris 1 0 I Personnel system I 0 1 P.F.S. Soft 1 0 I P.F.S. Write 1 0 I Power Point 0 1 1 _0& A Data Base 0 1 1 Q_ &A Word Processinc: 1 0 1 Quark Exoress 0 1 I Ready Set Go 0 1 I Student Account Manager 0 I 1 School Administrator 1 0 I Sidekick 0 1 I Student Information 1 0 1 Toos 1 0 1 Twin 1 0 1 Ventura Publishinl! 1 0 1 Whitney Video Disk Writer 0 1 1 Write Rieht 1 0 1 (Table 4.23) with a comparison of superintendents and other central office administrators. When these were compared with the stated results from the survey reported in Tables 4.12, 4.13 and 4.13, the single highest use of word processing stayed the same. Entering and analyzing data for comparisons was the second highest use, which was not true from

PAGE 108

93 Table 4.23 Weighted Use Totals for Extensive Users. Displayed by Administrative Position USE SUPT OlHER CENTRAL OFFICE OTAL ADMINISTRATORS Using the computer as a word processor 72 16 88 Entering/analyzing quantitative data 62 17 79 Entering information for later use 6 0 6 personnel records 2 0 2 Communicating with your secretary 0 0 0 Maintaining your appointment schedule 8 0 8 Other 53 12 65 previous data from the survey and "other" was significantly more utilized. There are obvious limitations to this comparison in that the interviewer had to take the reported uses and collapse them into these categories. In addition, there were no instances when individuals reported storing information for later use, since they described to the interviewer what they were doing. Nevertheless, this summary provides the basis of the remaining three subdivisions of this section, which discuss the actual software being used and the level of satisfaction.

PAGE 109

94 Word Processing The highest reported use of the computer was for word processing. Thirty-six of the 39 respondents indicated they were using the computer for word processing. Table 4.22 summarized the software used for word processing in rank order with the number of users and the average satisfaction with this soft-ware. This information was compiled from responses to Question 2 on the telephone interview guide which asked, 2. What are the administrative functions that you were using this software for? In addition, the degree of satisfaction of the software was received from responses to the second half of Question 1. Iri the interview. satisfaction with the software was measured on a five-point scale, with 1 being very satisfied and 5 as very dissatisfied. There were fourteen different word processing programs that were being used by these top level administrators. The four most utilized programs were Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, Appleworks and Microsoft Works. Microsoft Word and Word Perfect had the greatest number of users and the highest rating when considering the number of users. A complete summary

PAGE 110

of all fourteen programs, the number of'users and their average rating are listed in Table 4.24. Table 4.24 Rank Order and Average Rating of Software Being Used by Extensive Users for Word Processing SOFTWARE NAME N OFUSERS AVERAGE RATING Micro Soft Word 9 1.3 Word Perfect 7 1.5 Appleworks 6 1.5 Micro Soft Works 4 1.4 Display Write 3 1.3 Professional Writer 2 2 Aloha Write 2 1.3 Word Star 2 2.5 Aloha Write II 1 1 H.P. Word Processing 1 2 Mac Write 1 1 O&A Word Processing 1 1 P.F.S. Write 1 2 Write Right 1 1 Spreadsheets 95 The second greatest use by the extensive computer users was for spreadsheet functions. Thirty of the 39 respondents stated they were using a piece of software that can be categorized as a spreadsheet type of software. When this was discussed with individuals on the telephone, they described activities such as budget preparation, developing

PAGE 111

96 salary schedules, general planning, accounting and activities that required the use of numbers as specific uses of the spreadsheet software. Twelve different programs were being used by the administrators surveyed. The three with highest number of users were Excel, Lotus 1 2 3 and CDSS, and Excel had the greatest number of users and the highest rating of those questioned. In Table 4.25 there is a complete list of spreadsheet programs that were used in rank order of use and the average rating. Most programs were rated highly by the administrators that were using them. (Users had been asked to rate the quality of the software from 1 to 5, with 1 being high). Other Software Being Used Forty-one other computer programs were being used by the extensive administrative computer users. Only five of these programs had more than one individual using them. Of particular interest is the number of administrators that were using Pagemaker. Table 4.26 lists these programs ranked by the number of users, the function that the software is used for and the average rating of the software.

PAGE 112

97 Table 4.25 Resoonses to Telephone Interviews of Software That Is Being Used by Extensive Computer Users for Spreadsheet Activities SOFfW ARE NAME N OFUSERS AVERAGE RATING Excel 8 1.1 Lotus 1 2 3 6 1.8 CD.S.S. 4 1.3 Appleworks 3 1 J .K. Account 3 3 Visa Calc 3 1 MAPP 80 2 1 Micro Soft Works 2 1 Quattro 2 1 Alpha Calc 1 1 H.P. Systems 1 1 Twin 1 1 Thirteen comments were received in response to the last question. With the exception of one response, all of the comments were different. Most of the answers could be lumped into a broad category of "personal frustrations with software or equipment." A complete listing of the comments is presented in Table 4.28.

PAGE 113

98 Table 4.26 Responses to Telephone Interviews of Software That Is Being Used for Other Uses by More Than One Administrator SOFTWARE NAME N OFUSERS RJNCfiON iA VERAGE RATING Desktop Pagemaker 6 Publishing 1.6 Salary Magic 4 Salary Sch. 3 Calendar Creator 3 Calendar 2 Print Shop 3 Printing 1.6 DBase 2 Data Files 3 Mac Paint 2 Graphics 2 C.D.E. EMail 2 E-Mail 2 S.P.S.S. 2 Statistics 2 Table 4.27 Software That Extensive Users Stated They Were Most In Need Of NUMBER OF DESCRIPTION OF SOFIW ARE NEED RESPONDENTS 2 Software that communicates with Colorado Department of Education 1 Good authoring program that can be used with the laser disk video 1 Compatible software with the Macintosh and I.B.M. 1 Something convening words into written communications 1 More I Personnel svstem 1 Student record kee_Qjng_ Qro_gram 1 Software to activities 1 Software that evaluates software 1 Inventory proJ!,ram 1 Government Ledger software

PAGE 114

Table 4.28 General Comments on Software by Extensive Users I could not function without the software that I have (2). Thirty-day trials are good. There is so much good stuff available that it is hard to see it all. I do not have time to learn everything. I am not using what I have to the fullest. I need help in evaluating software. Can not get the hang of IBM software. I need to upgrade my equipment. I feel that constant upgrades are exploitative. It would be nice to have more compatible software. Need more inservice. Things are so expensive, why can't they be standardized? Summary This chapter presented the data obtained from the on-site visits, the responses to the question-naire, and the telephone survey of high computer users. A summary of the number of top level 99 administrators using computer technology, the brands being used, location of computers, the functions that computer-generated information was used for and the software used by extensive computer users was presented. The majority of top level administrators that participated in the study were using computer technology in their daily operations. Overall, 120

PAGE 115

of 212 (56%) respondents were personally using the computer, and 208 of 212 respondents were using computer-generated reports/information. Word processing was the primary task for which administrators reported using the computer. 100 Over three-fourths of all central office administrators in the study reported that they were using either of two brands of computers. Fifty percent were using Apple-brand computers and 29% were using IBM computers. Of those personally using the computer, 115 of 120 stated that the computer they used was in their office. The overwhelming majority of top level central office administrators stated they were making use of computer-generated reports. The top being used were: budget, payroll, personnel, accounts payable and planning/forecasting. More than half of all the administrators stated they were using externally produced computer-generated reports. The most frequently stated report(s) were those generated by the Colorado Department of Education. Sixty-two different pieces of software were being used by the most extensive computer users. The major uses were: word processing, spreadsheet and desk top publishing.

PAGE 116

CHAPTER V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY This chapter summarizes the study findings, presents conclusions drawn from the findings and suggests areas for further research and study. The number of computers available for personal and professional use has grown dramatically in the last decade. The increase in the number of computers being used in education has paralleled this trend and predictions for the future indicate that the trend will continue. A major reason for this growth has been a decline in the price of computer equipment. A second reason is the relative ease with which computers can be used to complete complex tasks. How educational administrators should use computer technology has been a quiet, ongoing debate for the last decade. On the one extreme are the individuals who believe that administrators should not personally use computers or, at most, only personally use the computer for a limited amount of time to assist them with their daily activities. The other extreme is typified by administrators who

PAGE 117

102 advocate extensive computer use in daily activities. Relatively little literature has focused on this ongoing discussion or provided information as to how administrators are actually using computer technology. This dissertation study attempted to gather data on the use of computers by central office administrators. It was a descriptive study of use of computer technology by superintendents and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents in Colorado. Study Purposes The major purposes of the study were: 1. To describe the present use of computer technology in Colorado school district central offices by superintendents and deputy, associate and assistant superintendents. 2. To determine the extent of use of specific internal and externally produced computer technology outputs. 3. To seek information on the location of computers within district central offices. 4. To determine the degree of actual physical interaction of superintendents and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents with computers.

PAGE 118

103 5. To determine the individual administrative responsibilities that were being completed when top level administrators were using computer technology. 6. To determine the software which top level administrators felt was most valuable to them in their work and to determine their satisfaction with the software. study.Design and Methodology The target population included the 247 superintendents and deputy, associate and assistant superintendents listed in the Colorado Education Directory 1988-1989. Data Gathering Initially three school districts of varying sizes identified as computer users were visited and each individual with the title of superintendent or deputy, associate, or assistant superintendent was interviewed. A total of eight individuals were visited in this process during.the third week of March 1989. During the last week of June 1989, a questionnaire was mailed to an additional 234 administrators with the title of superintendent and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendent in Colorado.

PAGE 119

104 Including the information that had been received from the on-site visits and from the four superintendents who reviewed the final questionnaire before mailing, a total of 212 usable responses were obtained. Additionally, early in the data analysis, 41 administrators were identified as high computer users on the basis of their responses to the questionnaire. Of these individuals, 37 were telephoned and interviewed by the investigator in order to determine the software that they were using and their degree of satisfaction with the software. Two other administrators in this group of 41 had been visited in the onsite visits and the information that had been previously collected on software use and satisfaction was included with the data collected from the 37 who were interviewed on the telephone. Data Analysis Data collected from the on-site visits, the questionnaire, and the telephone survey of extensive users were entered into a specially formulated spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel) by the investigator. Information presented in the tables within the study was prepared by using the sorting and special functions of the Excel program.

PAGE 120

105 Summary of Findings The major findings of this study were: 1. When use of computer technology is defined as either physical interaction with the computer or use of computer-generated reports, extensive use of computer technology by top level administrators in Colorado school districts was found. 1.1 Seventeen percent (36 of 208) of all responding administrators reported at least minimal use and 82% (172 of 208) moderate or extensive use of computer-generated reports, the majority of which were prepared by district personnel. 1.2 On the other hand, only 120 of 212 respondents (56%) actually operated a computer in their daily work, with 85 of 120 (71%) reporting moderate to extensive use. 2. Central office administrators who were personally using the computer were generally using the computer as a word processor, or to analyze quantitative data, or enter information for later use.

PAGE 121

106 3. Respondents who indicated they were using computer-generated reports were primarily using these reports for budgeting functions. 4. Fifteen different brand names and 19 different computer models were reported being used by top level administrators. About half of these were Apple products and almost a third were IBM products. 5. Slightly over 63% (76 of 120) administrators indicated their computer was networked to another computer. The three most frequent networks were to the secretary, to other central office administrators or to a mini or mainframe computer. 6. Sixty-two different pieces of software were being used by the extensive computer users. About two-thirds (41 of 62) of these programs were being used only by one individual. The three most utilized programs were in the general areas of word processing, spreadsheet and desktop publishing. Conclusions This was a descriptive study and conclusions based on the findings may be open to question by

PAGE 122

others. Three general observations reflecting the administrator as consumer and as computer user are proposed: 107 1. Computer technology's major contribution to central office administrators may be providing necessary information through computer-generated reports. However, the ease of preparing such reports may give these administrators more information than they seek or need. 2. The extent to which central office administrators need to be competent computer users remains unclear. Less than half of the responding administrators used the computer at least moderately, and approximately two out of five respondents indicated they did not use a computer. A lingering concern is the extent to which respondents reported using the computer primarily as a word processor. 3. Computers may be most useful in smaller districts where the superintendent is the only central office administrator. The nature of that superintendency may contribute to the extent of use of the computer.

PAGE 123

108 Recommendations for Further Research This study is only a beginning in the search for information as to how superintendents and deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents utilize computer technology in their daily lives. The data and findings of this study may be of value to people who are concerned with how administrators actually use computer technology. Perhaps this study will lead to more research on how educational administrators use computer technology. In light of these comments and the conclusions that have been drawn, the following recommendations for further research are made. 1. since computer technology continues to evolve, this study should be replicated in approximately five years to determine the changes in top level administrators' use of computer technology. 2. A similar study should be done with building level administrators and these data should be compared with central office administrators' use of computer technology in order to determine if there are different uses of technology by position. 3. Administrative preparation programs at the university level may need to take into consideration

PAGE 124

how administrators are using computer technology training programs. 109 4. In light of the fact that most central offices are using either Apple or_ IBM computers, information distributed needs to be prepared so that it will be compatible with these two brands. Discussion This study has determined that less than twothirds of the top level administrators are using computers in their daily activities, but computergenerated reports are widely used. At the present time, most computer use by top level administrators has probably replaced functions that others were completing in the past by typewriter or calculator. Whether this is the appropriate use of administrative resources remains to be determined. In retrospect there are two questions that this investigator would have asked all top level administrators. The first question would have been, "Are tasks you are now using the computer to complete those that someone else performed,five years ago?" The second would have been, "Are there tasks that you are using the computer to complete thatcould be completed by someone else using the computer?" These questions

PAGE 125

110 might have provided greater insight into how the use of the computer affects functions that administrators use the computer to complete.

PAGE 126

REFERENCES American Psychological Association. (1987) Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author. Becker, H. J. (1985). How schools use microcomputers. Summary of the first national survey. Baltimore, Md.: Center for Social Organization of Schools. Becker, H. J. (1986, June). Instructional uses of school computers. Issue No. 1. Baltimore, Md.: Center for Social Organization of Schools. Becker, H. J. (1986, August). Instructional uses of the computer. Issue No. 2. Baltimore, Md.: Center for Social Organization of Schools. Becker, H. J. (1986, November). Instructional uses of the computer. Issue No. 3. Baltimore, Md.: Center for Social organization of Schools. Becker, H. J. (1987, June). Instructional uses of school computers. Issue, No. 4. Baltimore, Md.: Center for Social Organization of Schools. Bluhm, H. P. (1987). Administrative uses of computers in the schools. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall. Blum, M. (1983, May-June). Your office automation plan: Fail safe or flawed? Management Focus, pp. 13-15. Bozeman, w. (1984, May). Strategic planning for computer-based educational technology. Educational Technology, 25, 23-27. Campbell, R., Bridges, E. M., Corbally, J., Jr., Nystrand, R. 0., & Ramseyer, J. A. (1971). Introduction to educational administration. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

PAGE 127

Coburn, P. Kelman, P., Roberts, N., Snyder, T., watt, F. F., Daniel, H., & Weiner, c. (1982). Practical guide to computers in education. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. 112 Colorado Department of Education. (1988). Colorado education directory 1988-1989. Denver: Author. Davis, W. s. M. (1979). The information age. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. Deken, J. (1982). The electronic cottage. New York: William Morrow and Company. Dembowski, F. (1983a). Administrative uses for microcomputers. Vol. 1: Software. Reston, Va.: Association of School Business Officials International. Dembowski, F. (1983b). Administrative uses for microcomputers. Vol. 2: Hardware. Reston, Va.: Association of School Business Officials International. Dembowski, F. (1983c). Administrative uses for microcomputers. Vol. 3: Word processing & office management. Reston, va.: Association of School Business Officials International. Educational Research Service Inc. (1982). district uses of computer technology. Va: Author. School Arlington, Filliman, P. (1983, February). Guidelines for introducing micrcomputers in the schools. Arithmetic Teachers, 30, 17-57. Gay, L. R. (1976). Educational Research. Columbus, Ohio: Charles Merrill Publishing Company. Gustafson, T. J. (1985). Microcomputers and educational administration. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. Hall, G. E. (1981, Winter). Issues related to the implementation of computers in classrooms. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science, 14-19.

PAGE 128

113 Johns Hopkins University. (1983). School uses of microcomputers. Reports from a national survey. Issue No. 2. Baltimore, Md.: National Institute of Education. Kenney, J., Rentz, R. R. (1970). Automation and control of public school instructional records. Itasca, Ill.: F. E. Peacock Publishe+s. Kepner, H. s. (1982). Computers in the classroom. Washington, D.C.: National Education Association. Kinzer, c. K., Sherwood, R. D., & Bransford, J. D. (1986). Computer strategies for education foundations and content area applications. Columbus, Ohio: Bell & Howell. Kling, R. s. (1980). Computing as social action: The social dynamics of computing in complex organizations. Advances in Computers, 19, 249-328. Kramer, K. L., & Dutton, W. H. (1977). Technology and urban management: The power of computing. Administration and Society, 305-340. Kussmaul, D. (1984, Spring). Microcomputers: Integral part of small school operation. Small School Forum, a, 10-12. Madron, T. w. (1983). Microcomputers in large organizations. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: PrenticeHall. McGuire, D. (1983, April). Learning the hard way. Personal Computing, pp. 109-113. Mojkowski, c. (1987, February). Technology and curriculum: Will the promised revolution take place? NASSP Bulletin. Moskowitz, J. H., & Birman, B. F. (1985, January). Computer in the schools: Implications of change. Educational Technology, pp. 7-14. Moursund, D. (1980). Introduction to instructional use of computers. Eugene, Ore: International Council for Computers in Education.

PAGE 129

114 National School Board Association. (1983). Leadership reports. Vol. 2: What school boards should know about microcomputers in the classroom. Washington, D.C.: National School Board Association: Author. Neill, S. B. (Ed.). (1984). A.A.S.A. critical issues report: High tech for schools problems and solutions. Arlington, Va: American Association of School Administrators. Papert, s. (1980). Mindstorms. children, computers and powerful ideas. New York: Basic Books, Inc. Poirot, J. L. (1980). Computers and education. Austin, Texas: Sterling Swift. Reid, B. (1982, May). Office productivity. The School Administrator, pp. 11-13. Rocky Mountain Study Council. (1985, May). Computers in the schools. Prepared by the Computers in the Schools Subcommittee, a part of the Educational Technology Committee. South Carolina Department of Education. (1984). Report on 1983-84 statewide computer survey. Charleston: South Carolina Department of Education. Spencer, D. D. (1986). The illustrated computer dictionary (3rd ed.). Columbus, Ohio: Merrill Publishing Company.

PAGE 130

APPENDICES

PAGE 131

APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRE GUIDE ON-SITE VISITS

PAGE 132

QUESTIONNAIRE GUIDE ON-SITE VISITS 117 NAME ________________________ __ DATE. _____ SCHOOL DISTRICT _______________ 1. Location of Computers in the Office I.a. Do you have a computer or a terminals at your desk? _Yes No Comments: l.b. If so what kind is it? I.e. What kinds do you have available? l.d. How are they configured? I.e Do you have a computer at home? ___ Yes No Comments: I.f. Are these computers connected to the ones that are available at work? Yes ___ No Comments: \ ) 2. Present Use of 2.a. About how much time do you use computers in your daily activities? IO 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 IOO % 3. Specific Uses of Computer Technolo2y 3.a. The literature has identified several administrative functions. Are you using the computer to complete any of these administrative functions? Please answer Yes/No; if it was district produced or commercially purchased; the name of the software, if known; and the company if known.

PAGE 133

118 Function YIN Dist!Comm Software Company 1. Scheduling 2. Business 3. Payroll 4. Budget 5. Attendance 6. Inventory 7. Library 8. InstructionTesting 9. Personnel 10. Public Relations 11. Food Services 12. Transportation 13. Operations/ Maintenance 14. Co curricular 15. Research/ Development 16. Word Processing 17. Electronic Mail 18. Electronic Bulletin Board 19. Electronic Blackboards 20. Talking to Other Computers 21. Counselling 22. Classroom Management 23. Energy Management 24. Planning/ Forecasting 3.b .. Aie you using computer technology to communicate with your secretary and to establish your schedule? __ Yes _No Comments:

PAGE 134

119 3.c. Are their any other general uses of the computer in the central office by administrators? If the individual js a computer user: 3.d. If you are usir E. the computer, what two pieces of software could you not do without? 1. ________ 2. --------Comments: 3.e. Are you satisfied with the software that you have available to use for administrative purpose? Why or why not If the individual is not a computer user: 3.f. What aie the most important reasons as to why you are not using the computer? 4. De&ree of Computer Use by Top Level Administrators 4.a. For which administrative tasks do you have someone prepare a computer generated report? 4.b. How do you decide which items to do and not do on the computer? 4. c .. Are you using computer data services? _Yes No 4. d. Are these district generated or outside services? (circle one) If applicable: 4.e.What are the names of these services? 4.f. What are the adminstrative tasks that you do for yourself on the ,, computer?

PAGE 135

5. Future Deyelopment S.a.Where do you see your district headed in computer use by administrators? S.b. Any other comments on computer use. GET COPIES IF THEY ARE WILLING ON SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS 120

PAGE 136

APPENDIX B PRELIMINARY QUESTIONNAIRE

PAGE 137

NAME _______________________ __ DATE. ______ SCHOOL DISTRICT ______________________ __ PLEASE CHECK THE ONE BELOW THAT DESCRIBES YOUR PRESENT POSITION: _SUPERINTENDENT __ DEPUTY SUPT _ASSOCIATE SUPT. _ASSISTANT SUPT. 122 PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AS COMPLETL Y AS POSSIBLE. WHENEVER IT IS APPROPRIATE PLEASE FEEL FREE TO WRrrE YOUR COMMENTS. 1. Do you personally use a computer In your daily work activities? (Use means that you actually operate or In put data Into the computer) __ Yes No IF NO PLEASE SKIP TO QUESTION 13 1.a. Please circle the number below that best describes the extent of your use of a computer In your daily activities: 1 2 3 4 5 extensive moderate little 1.b. Please estimate the amount of time per day that you use the computer: average minutes per day: __ 1.c. Do you have a computer or terminal available for your use in your office? IF YES: please check If it networked to a computer __ In other central office administrators' offices __ at your secretary's desk __ In your home ___ In one or more school board members's home(s) __ a mini or mainframe computer Yes __ No ___ other: Please specify: ____________ 1.d.Piease circle the brand name of the computer that Is In your office Apple II Macintosh I.B.M. Mainframe I.B.M. P.C. Radio Shack Alpha Micro UniSys Other, Please list it: _________ 3. Is this computer networked to other computers in your office? _Yes _No If yes, is it networked to: (Please check all that apply) Other administrators in the Central Office A mini or mainframe computer The homes of school board members Other(Piease describe) 4. What other types of computers do you have avaliable to you In the Central Office? _Apple II Macintosh I.B.M. Mainframe __ I.B.M. P.C. Radio Shack Alpha Micro Unisys _Other, Please list It: __________ 5. Are you a computer user? Yes _No IF YOU ANSWERED NO, PLEASE SKIP TO QUESTION 114 ON PAGE 3 AND BEGIN ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS. 6. About how much time do you use a computer in your daily activities? (Please circle one. The reponses are In minutes per day) 0 1-15 15-30 30 45-60 60-90 90 _120 _150 _180 210-240 -More than 240 List: 7. Please check all of the functions that you are personally doing on the computer in the left column below. Please list the software you are using in the center space or Circle o If it is district developed software.

PAGE 138

123 Function sofTWARE NAME DISTRICT DEVELOPED _1. Word Processing _2. Business _3. Payroll _4.Budget __ 5. Ac:eounts!Payable __ 6. Inventory __ 7. Personnel __ B. Food Services _9. Transportation _1 0. Operations/Maintenance _11 Energy Management _12. Public Relations _13. Negotiatations _14. PlannlngfForecasting _15. A11endance _16. Scheduling Function _17. Instructional Testing _1 B. Co-curricular _19. Library _20. Electronic Mail _21. Electronic Bulletin Board _22. Other SOfTWARE NAME D D D D D D D D --------D D D D D D D D DISTRICT DEVELOPED D D D D D D B. What Is the one piece of software you could not do without? 1 .. ___________ Comments=--------------------------------9. About what percent of the total time that you use the computer do you use this piece of software? (Please check one) _0-10 _10-20 _20-30 _30-40 _40-50 _50-60 _60-70 _70-BO _80-90 _90-100 10. How satisfied are you with the software that you have available to use for administrative purpose? (Please check one) _Not at all Somewhat satisfied Moderately satisfied Very satisfied Comments: 11. What is the greatest problem with the software that Is available for administrative purposes? (Please check one) Not user friendly Has to be adapted to what! am doing Takes too much time to enter the data Takes too much lime to leam = Other (Please explain) 12. What are the factors that help you decide when you will delegate a report using the computer for someone else to do instead of completing it yourself? (Please check all that apply) When It is too long. When I am too busy. When it is something I am in a rush to get finished. When I do not want to do II. Other (Please explain)

PAGE 139

124 13. What are the factors that help you decide when you will do a report on the computer by yoursell Instead of delegating it to someone else 10 do? (Please check all that apply) _When It Is personal. When I am not too busy. When it Is something I am not In a rush to get finished. When it is a relatively short Item. _When it Is a confidental matter. When It is a letter of recommendation. Other (Please explain) NOW SKIP TO QUESTION I 15 14. What are the most Important reasons as to why you are not using the computer? (Plese check as many as apply) Has to be adapted to what I am doing. It takes too much time to enter the data. It takes too much time to learn. I have never been trained to use a computer. The Individuals that report to me are computer literate and give me all the reports using the computer that I need. I have not been able to find software that can help me. I have no need to use a computer. Other (Please explain) 15. Do you use reports In your daily activities that someone has prepared for you on the computer? _Yes _No If yes about how much of your time Is spent in using these reports? (Please check one. The reponses are In minutes per day) _o _1-15 _15-30 _30-45 _45 120-150 _150-180 _180-210 210 60-90 90-120 Morethan 240 List: ___ IF YOU ANSWERED NO, PLEASE SKIP TO QUESTION 17.

PAGE 140

125 16. Please check all of the functions that you have someone prepare a computer report for you by placing an X in the left column. Please list the software that is used, if known In the center space provided. II the software is district developed please circle the "D" on the right side below. Eune!ion SOfTWARE NAME QISTBICT PEVELOPED _1. Word Processing _2. Business _3. Payroll _4. Budget __ 5. Accounts/Payable __ 6. Inventory __ 7. Personnel __ 8. Food Services _9. Transportation _1 0. Operations/Maintenance _11. Energy Management _12. Public Relations _13. Negotiatations _1 4. Planning/Forecasting _15. Attendance _16. Scheduling _17. lnstruclional Testing _18. Co-curricular _1 9. Library _20. Electronic Mail _21. Electronic Bulletin Board _22. Other D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D 17. Do you have a computer at home? __ Yes __ No II yes, what kind is it? _Apple II_ Macintosh _I.B.M. _Radio Shack Alpha Micro _Other, Please list ls your computer at home connected to one in your office by a modem? _Yes _No 18. Does your district have a computer data services? _Yes __ No (II No go directly to question #20) 19. II so, do you use these services for specific reports? __ Yes __ No 20. Do you contrae! for any outside computer services? __ Yes _No ( Please list these Services) 21. What do perceive to be a major benefit of computer useage in the central office? (Please check all that apply) It allows for greater efleciency of the whole operation. It facilitates communications. Tasks can be completed in a shorter time. There are none. Other (Please list) 22. What do you perceive to be a major disadvantage of computer use in the central office? (Please check all that apply) _It takes too much money. Data entry takes too much time. Computer use takes away from other administrative tasks. _Tasks take too long to complete on the computer. _I can not type.

PAGE 141

_ Other (Please List) 23. Where do you see your district headed in computer use by administrators? (Please check all that apply) more networking having all computers Integrated together In one system purchasing new equipment Other (Please explain) 24. What type of additional training is needed lor personnel in the central office? (Please check all that apply) General inservice on computer use Adult typing lnservlce on spreadsheet lnservice on word processing More lnservice lor secretaries _Sessions on how to select software Other (Please list) 25. Do you have any other general comments on computers that you would like to express ? ( Please use the back of this page lor additional comments) 126 If you hs11e some specific samples of work thst you complete on the computer snd would like to Include s sample please feel free to do so. Thanks for your time In s.nswering the questions.

PAGE 142

APPENDIX C FINAL SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE

PAGE 143

128 NAME __________________________ DATE ____ __ SCHOOL DISTRICT ________________________________ PLEASE CHECK THE ONE BELOW THAT DESCRIBES YOUR PRESENT POSITION: _SUPERINTENDENT _DEPUTYSUPT. _ASSOCIATE SUPT. _ASSISTANTSUPT. PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AS COMPLETL Y AS POSSIBLE. WHENEVER IT IS APPROPRIATE PLEASE FEEL FREE TO WRITE YOUR COMMENTS. 1. Do you personally use a computer In your dally work activities? (Use means that you actually operate or enter data Into the computer) Yes No IF NO PLEASE SKIP TO QUESTION #3 1.1. Please circle the number below that best describes the extent of your use of a computer in your daily activities: 2 extensive 3 moderate 4 5 llnle 1.2. Please estimate the amount of time per day_ that you use the computer: average minutes per day: ____ __ 1.3. Do you have a computer or terminal available for your use in your office? IF YES: please check if it networked to a computer ___ in other central office administrators' offices ___ at your secretary's desk ___ in your home ___ in one or more school board members's home(s) ___ a mini or mainframe computer other: Please specify-----------------1.4. Circle the brand name of the computer that is In your office. Apple II Macintosh I.B.M. Mainframe I.B.M.P.C. Radio Shack Alpha Micro UniSys Other, Please list it:. ______ Yes ___ No

PAGE 144

129 2. What are the two basic purposes that are being served when you are using the computer? From the items that are listed below please assign a 1 or a 2 to the appropriate Items, with 1 being the most frequent. Please place an X next to any other purposes that you use the computer for. __ entering information for later use (such as summarizing a conference, notes to yourself, building agenda Items, etc.) __ using the computer as a word processor to produce final copies (of letters, memos, reports, etc.) __ communicating with your secretary __ entering/analyzing quantitative data (budget figures, effects of negotiations proposals, etc.) __ maintaining your appointment schedule __ maintaining personnel records other: please specify: -----------------3. To what extent do you use {consume) computer generated reports and information In your daily work activities, excluding that which you generate lor yoursell?{circJe one below) 2 extensive 3 moderate 4 5 little 3.1. Of these, approximately what percent are generated within the district by district personnel? percent generated in the district ____ % Comments: 3.2. Of these district generated reports and information, approximately what percent are generated at your specific request (rather than coming to you routinely as information)? percent generated at my request ____ % Comments: 3.3. Please identify the areas that you use computer generated reports to help you with in your administrative activities. Identify In rank order the three most frequently addressed areas, using 1,2, and 3. Please place an X next to other items that you use with moderate frequency. _Payroll _Budget _Personnel _Negotiatations _Public Relations _co-curricular _Transportation _Operations/Maintenance _Energy Management _Planning/Forecasting _Instructional Testing _Inventory _Attendance _Scheduling _Accounts/Payable _Library _Other: please list:, ____________ 4. Do you use any externally produced computer reports? __ Yes __ No (i.e. state reports or salary schedule reports, etc.) IF YES would you list the names of these reports? (use the back of this page if you need to.) Would you like a copy of the results of this survey when II is completed ? __ Yes __ No

PAGE 145

APPENDIX D FIRST LETTER WITH QUESTIONNAIRE

PAGE 146

Dear Fellow Administrator, 2910 Pinon CircJe Craig, Colorado 81625 June 25,1989 I am in the process of completing my dissertation and research at the University of Coloardo. The major purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which top level central office administrators use computer technology. Take a few moments and complete the enclosed questionnaire. When you have completed the survey please place it in the enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope. Your response is extremely important to this study which I hope will be useful to central office administrators and those preparing for central office positions. Thanks in advance for your help and cooperation. If you have any other questions or concerns please call me at home (303-824-8741) or work (303-824-3268). Sincerely, David Van Sant 131

PAGE 147

APPENDIX E SECOND LETTER

PAGE 148

Dear Fellow Administrator, 133 2910 Pinon Circle Craig, Colorado 81625 July 30,1989 I am in the process of completing my dissertation and research at the University of Coloardo. The major purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which superintendents and assistant superintendents use computer technology. About three weeks ago I sent you a note asking for your responses to this survey. I still need your responses to complete my study since the population is so small. Therefore, I would once again ask you to take a few minutes and complete the enclosed survey. When you have completed the survey please place it in the enclosed self-addressed envelope. If you have already completed the survey I would like to thank you for your help in this study. If you have any other questions or concerns please call me at home (303-824-8741) or work (303-824-3268). Sincerely, David Van Sant

PAGE 149

APPENDIX F TELEPHONE SURVEY

PAGE 150

135 SCHOOL DISTRICT _______________ l.What are three pieces of software That you could not function without RATINQ QE THE SQFTW ARE How satisfied are you with it? 1.1 ________________ 1 2 3 4 s high low satisfaction satisfaction 1.2 ___________________ 1 2 3 4 s 1.3 _____________ 2 3 4 s 2. What are the administrative functions that you are using this software for? approx % of use 2.1 _______________ 2.2 ______________ 2.3 _____________ ......__ 3.Are there any other pieces of software that you are using on a regular basis ? What are they? 1. 2 3 4 s 2. 2 3 4 s 3. 2 3 4 s 4. 2 3 4 s 4. What type of software are you most in need of? S.Any other comments on software ? ... : \ :