How two large New Zealand secondary schools manage their information and communications technology

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Douglas, Robert
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Master of Computing
Unitec Institute of Technology
Muller, Logan
Bridgeman, Noel
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
information and communications technology (ICT)
New Zealand schools
ICT management
Douglas, R. (2009). How two large New Zealand secondary schools manage their information and communications technology. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Computing, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Reviewing research on how ICT is managed in large secondary schools shows a significant gap in research in this area. The Review of Schools’ Operational Funding: ICT Resourcing Framework – Final Report (MOE, 2007b) describes a need for sound ICT management and strategic planning in schools yet no research was located to describe how this is actually achieved. This research explores how two large New Zealand secondary schools manage their ICT systems. Two schools of differing decile ratings are examined and those involved in managing their ICT were interviewed, along with teaching staff in both schools. Making extensive use of direct quotes from the interviews a picture of the management structures, strategic planning and ICT alignment in each school is built and then the two compared. The pictures developed in these two case studies show significant complexity in the functional management structures found and pose a number of observations and questions for further study. In particular, the roles of the Director of ICT and of the ICT Committee are examined. Given that schools essentially do not generate income the alignment of their ICT with the institution is explored from a perspective of justifying ICT in schools. Further, the users of the systems are examined and the impact that the different groups of users have on the alignment of ICT is explored. It is also noted that the schools in this study did not exhibit signs of significant strategic planning. This research does not purport to describe best or even desired practise but is a ‘snap shot in time’ of the two schools. As such, its generalisability is limited but it is hoped it will spark further interest in research in ICT management in schools.
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