A case study and proposed decision guide for allocating instructional computing resources at the school site level

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

School based administrators must often determine the use of potentially powerful computing resources for the school's instructional program. While site level administrators have allocated many kinds of resources within the schools, the allocation of this new technology has little precedent. A decision guide is proposed to assist site level administrators.

This guide explores three major sources of information to assist the site level administrator in making computer-related allocations. First, the context of the school, such as the school profile, and the district plan for instructional use of microcomputers, forms a basis for investigating the allocation of computing resources. Second, because both access to and applications for instructional computing resources are critical issues, the moral dilemma of equity-excellence is examined. Finally, empirical information from the existing literature and from a possible school based research effort are analyzed. A procedure for using this information to make decisions is proposed. By weighing these three sources of information, it is contended that the administrator is better able to allocate potentially powerful computing resources.

Woven into the decision guide are specific examples from one administrator's efforts to make decisions about word processing at an intermediate school. The context, equity-excellence issues, and empirical information are examined in this particular site to illustrate one application of the guide and to share findings about word processing as an instructional tool.