The Use of Electronic Technology by High School Principals in Virginia


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Virginia Tech


This study identified the amount of progress high school principals in Virginia have made in the use of electronic technology since 1989, and how the following variables have affected computer use by principals: training, access to hardware and software, top-management support, number of years of administrative experience, Local Composite Index (fiscal capacity), size of student enrollment, time, attitudes, home computer use, and laptop use.

The entire population of high school principals in the Commonwealth of Virginia was surveyed; a 76.7% return rate was attained. Descriptive statistics were used to report the results of the study and to make comparisons to the results of Armistead in 1989.

The principals reported their technological strengths to be (in order of importance): printing, retrieving information from the student database, word processing, using a modem, using electronic mail, accessing information on CD-ROM, conducting an Internet search, and creating a master schedule using a computer program.

Weaknesses appeared in five areas: using a digital camera, using a program for budgeting and cost projections, creating and presenting an electronic slide show, using a spreadsheet to manipulate information, and creating a database.

In the years since 1989, marked progress has been made in home computer use, use of electronic mail, use of a modem, and activation of a printer. Smaller gains were made in the areas of creating graphs and charts, using a program for budgeting and cost projections, using a computer program to create a master schedule, and using a computer spreadsheet. The skill level regarding creating a database declined.

Variables which appeared to have affected the use of electronic technology include the following: Local Composite Index (fiscal capacity), size of school population, years of administrative experience, home computer use, laptop use, training, beliefs, and confidence levels regarding computer use.

The 1997 baseline data should be used for future comparisons. Variables which affected principals' use of electronic technology that could be manipulated to increase use were time, training, and use of a laptop. Educators should use this information to continue to increase the use of electronic technology among high school principals in Virginia.



principals, Technology