Selection and implementation of small computer systems for administrative purposes : a guide for school administrators

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Anderson, Dennis M.
Wagner, Ivan D.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The purpose of this study was to develop a step-by-step guide which may assist school administrators in evaluating, selecting, installing, and utilizing a small computer system as a management tool. Small computer selection and implementation recommendations of business and educational leaders were identified in the literature and synthesized into decision-oriented models designed for school administrator use. Guidelines developed in the study were specifically oriented to computer-aided school administration applications rather than the use of computers for instructional purposes.Selected examples of single-user (microcomputer) and multi-user (minicomputer) small computer systems were profiled in the study. Software packages, possibly appropriate for school administration applications, were identified, classified into groups according to application characteristics, and described in limited detail. Capabilities and costs of example small computer software and hardware components were described both individually and in terms of possible software/hardware combinations.A structured approach to small computer system evaluation was identified and discussed. Detailed examples of computer evaluation procedures described in the study included suggestions for the development and use of specific evaluative documents by school administrators. Several examples of proposal request forms and component checklist forms were identified and described.Diagrams were used to identify relationships between important computer selection and implementation activities. Decision-oriented computer selection and implementation models described in the study included descriptions of computer and application attributes upon which selection and implementation decisions may be based.