Computer Information Systems in Education/Chapter 2/Section 2 -- The aim and scope of IS in schools

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IS for Learning[edit]

Information systems are used in a variety of ways. This section will look at how IS can be used for Learning, Teaching, Management, and for Collaboration and Communication. We will look at what goes into an IS to be used in an academic setting. Students use at least one of these common tools everyday. It is up to the teacher to bring that new method of teaching to the understanding of the students. How can this be utilized in a classroom setting? In a study by Stratham and Torrell (1996) researchers reviewed 200 studies on the effectiveness of technology in supporting student learning in grades K–12. Among the positive findings were that students seemed to work more collaboratively on IT projects and were more motivated when computers were involved" (from [1]). This shows that using technology in the classroom not only works, but it also brings the students together to accomplish a common goal they share. This speaks well for learning especially when technology and classroom activities are tied together. There are often positive correlations between enhanced learning and IT" (from [2]).

Below is an example of a breakdown of equipment, its uses and the people that use them in learning.

  HARDWARE: 
    desktop/notebook computers, handheld computers, clickers, projector, DVD player, cell phone, printers, 
    scanners, digital cameras, document cameras, digital video cameras, headphones, microphone, gaming system (ex. wii)
  SOFTWARE: 
    presentation (ex. Microsoft PowerPoint®), word processing (ex. Microsoft Word®), spreadsheet (ex. Microsoft Excel®), web-site creation 
    (ex. Microsoft Publisher®), e-mail (ex. g mail), concept mapping (ex. Cmap Tools), database (ex. Microsoft Access®), movie editing 
    (ex. Windows Movie Maker®), sound editing & recording (ex. Audacity®), sound/video playback (ex. i Tunes®), video sharing (ex. YouTube.com),         
    blogging (ex. blogger.com), model building (ex. Sketch Up®), mash ups (ex. Google Maps),  and graphic editing and sharing (ex. Picasa); self-assessing 
    (ex. Accelerated Reader®, PLATO®)
  DATA: 
    text/audio/video that is "unprocessed," diagnostic tools & results
  PROCEDURES: 
    research & save resources/files/links, organize & display information
  PEOPLE: 
    students, teachers, librarians, counselors

IS for Teaching[edit]

A good example of how IS can be used in teaching is with online courses or a web-enhanced course that is tied to a brick and mortar course. Most of the same equipment and software are used. Many instructors are utilizing learning management systems, like Blackboard or Moodle, to deliver the course materials to the students. They would use this as a normal classroom setting, except that it would be up to the student(s) to sign in to access their course materials. Assignments would still have due dates, but the actual course would not have a normal preset schedule unless required by the instructor.

Another example, and a more common use of technology in the classroom, is students using computers for researching projects, computer software, demonstrations, etc. Many different programs are taught to students for daily applications. Because today's students learn in a different way these days, teachers need to figure out a way to get that information to them effectively. In an article by Johnny J. Moye, he describes what it is like to start a new technology course to promote technological literacy. According to Moye, students learn to operate a program by just doing it (Moye, 2008). The old rules do not apply to today's students. Instead of the students changing to fit the mold of what the teacher expects, the teacher needs to change his or her delivery to get that information to the students. One way these can be delivered to the students are from multimedia modeling presentation. The students watch what they need to do and then they just dive right in to the project and start working.

Below is an example of a breakdown of equipment, its uses and the people that use them in teaching.

  HARDWARE: 
    desktop/notebook computers, hand held computers, clickers, projector, DVD player, cell phone, printers, 
    scanners, digital cameras, document cameras, digital video cameras, headphones, microphone
  SOFTWARE: 
    presentation (ex. Microsoft PowerPoint®), word processing (ex. Microsoft Word®), spreadsheet (ex. Microsoft Excel®), web-site creation 
    (ex. Microsoft Publisher®), e-mail (ex. g mail), concept mapping (ex. Cmap Tools), database (ex. Microsoft Access®), movie editing 
    (ex. Windows Movie Maker®), sound editing & recording (ex. Audacity®), sound/video playback (ex. i Tunes®), video sharing (ex. YouTube.com), 
    blogging (ex. blogger.com), model building (ex. Sketch Up®), mash ups (ex. Google Maps), and graphic editing and sharing (ex. Picasa); self-assessing 
    (ex. Accelerated Reader®, PLATO®)
  DATA: 
    text/audio/video that is "unprocessed," diagnostic tools & results
  PROCEDURES: 
    research & save resources/files/links, organize & display information
  PEOPLE: 
    teachers, librarians, counselors, administrators

IS for Management[edit]

A student information system "can become a true portal for student, parent, and teacher communication. The majority of SIS offerings allow teachers to enter attendance, grades, and homework assignments directly into the system from their classrooms. This data can then be accessed by parents and students via a web-based interface" (from [3]). This is a great tool for the parents to stay on top of how the child is doing in class, as well as keep track of attendance or any fees/fines owed. As a management system, this keeps all of the information in a nice, neat package and it gives information in an instant.

Below is an example of a breakdown of equipment, its uses and the people that use them in management.

  HARDWARE: 
    desktop/notebook computers, printers
  SOFTWARE: 
    School Command [4]
    SASIxp Pearson Digital Learning [5] 

    Student Management Solution Chancery Software Ltd. [6] 

    PLUS SERIES Student System SUNGARD Pentamation [7] 

    STIOffice Software Technology Inc. [8] 

    AERIES Eagle Software [9] 
 
    PaC School Management Software Skyward Inc. [10] 

    PowerSchool Apple Computer Inc.  [11] 

    eSIS Administrative Assistants Ltd. [12] 

    TSIS2 TIES  [13] 
    Open Source School Software [14]

    Schoolmaster Olympia Computing Company Inc. [15]
  DATA: 
    biographical information, grades, test scores, attendance, behavior records, health records, IEPs, lunch accounts, 
    transportation information, extracurricular participation, schedules
  PROCEDURES: 
    record grades, record attendance, input discipline occurrences, print progress & term report cards, print ad hoc reports
  PEOPLE: 
    students, teachers, librarians, counselors, IT specialists, administrators, parents, secretaries

IS for Collaboration & Communication[edit]

Communication is key if you want the right message to be delivered. There are many ways to communicate. Using the right method for its delivery is important. Just a few years ago when teachers and students would make presentations in class, they would use flip-charts, overhead projectors, or chalkboards as the primary medium. Now, we have electronic whiteboards that record what the teacher writes, so students can access the animated and/or narrated information on a computer for review after the presentation. We also have Power Point presentations in which we can integrate text, video, sound, graphics, links to other documents, or links to the Internet. This widespread application allows both students and teachers to communicate in a truly multimedia format. Social networking sites, electronic mail (e-mail), and web logs (blogs) are three more means of facilitating communication among students.

Collaboration is easier than ever because of online tools and software that allow students (and educators) who do not necessarily know each other to work together on projects. Wikis, web seminars, and video conference calls are just a few of the ways students and teachers can collaborate to share information with other students and colleagues.

Below is a list of various communication skills and examples of how those skills can be developed in the classroom using technology.

    LISTENING: Listening to instructions in a lesson or online broadcast 
    SPEAKING: Creating a podcast about a famous author.
    READING: Reading electronic texts, including e-books, e-mails, online scholarly articles, and online news releases. 
    WRITING: Recording journals and newspaper reports electronically, to have them electronically stored.
    VIEWING: Watching online videos about the life cycle of butterflies.
    PRESENTING: Using Kidspiration® and/or PowerPoint® software to present research on mammals to the class.
    NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION: Considering layout and colors when putting presentations together.


Below is an example of a breakdown of equipment, its uses and the people that use them in communication and collaboration.

    HARDWARE: 
       desktop/notebook computers, hand held computers, projector, DVD player, cell phone, printers, scanners, digital cameras, document cameras, 
       digital video cameras, headphones, microphone
    SOFTWARE: 
       Skype®, Microsoft PowerPoint®, blog, social networking
    DATA: 
       text/audio/video that is "unprocessed"
    PROCEDURES: 
       publish information to print/web, transfer files/email attachments
    PEOPLE: 
       students, teachers, librarians, counselors, administrators, parents

Final Thoughts[edit]

Once one has identified the hardware, software, data, procedures, and people it takes to get an IS in place in schools, it is important to understand how to share the information with all educational stakeholders so that it functions effectively. With today's ever-changing technology, teaching and learning need to keep up. More and more schools are meeting with success as they attempt online instruction or have an online element added to a traditional "brick and mortar" approach in classroom learning.

IS in Schools: Putting it All Together & Seeing the Big Picture[edit]

SemanticMap.Smaller.jpg

For a larger view, click here-->[16].

Resources[edit]

Darlow, T. (2008, May 1). Technology Integration: A Case Study and Personal History. Tech & Learning. Retrieved March 1, 2009 from [17]

McIntire, T. (2004, May 15). Student Information Systems Demystified. Tech & Learning. Retrieved on March 2, 2009 from [18]

Assessment:[edit]

Multiple Choice Questions. Choose the answer that best completes each statement.

1. In a classroom setting, it has been proven that students are more motivated to work collaboratively when

   A. reading is involved.
   B. computers are involved.
   C. instructor-lead discussions are involved.
   D. writing assignments are given.

2. Student Information Systems (SIS) are a great way for

   A. parents to check on their child's attendance.
   B. teachers to input the student's grades, attendance, and homework.
   C. students to communicate with their teacher.
   D. All of the above


True or False Questions. Decide whether each statement is totally true or false.

3. True or False. Listening to IT instructions in a lesson or online broadcast is an example of teaching using IS.

4. True or False. SIS allows data to be accessed by parents and students using a web-enhanced interface.

5. True or False. Digital cameras, document cameras, digital video cameras, and headphones are examples of software that can be used in SIS.

6. True or False. Writing journals and newspaper reports electronically, to have them electronically stored are examples of collaboration and communication using IS.


Matching. Match each of the following to its corresponding descriptor.

7. Hardware----------------------------Student grades

8. Software-----------------------------Transferring files

9. Data-----------------------------------Microphone

10. Procedure-------------------------Windows Movie Maker


Constructed Response. Answer the following in complete sentences.

11. Choose one of the following tasks: learning, teaching, management, collaboration and communication, and explain how we can use IS in schools to accomplish it. Be specific, giving examples when possible.