Technology planning and implementation: A study of effective change efforts in Michigan public school districts
Ellen Sue Hoffman, Eastern Michigan University, United States
Eastern Michigan University . Awarded
This study used the methodology of process evaluation (Vedung, 1997) to examine the relationship of technology planning to implementation in Michigan public school districts. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were applied to examine the question of whether good technology plans are a requisite for high technology school districts.
Data were collected from multiple sources about technology planning and implementation in a random sample of 115 of the 555 school districts in Michigan. Data sources included public and commercial databases, researcher reviews of technology plans and district web sites, and material obtained from surveys of superintendents, technology coordinators, and high school media specialists from the sample districts. Additional historical material was obtained from the researcher's work with school leaders in Michigan and the Michigan Department of Education related to improving the technology planning process under a Technology Literacy Challenge Fund award. Statistical analytic methods were used to examine the relationships among technology plans, planning processes, demographic factors, and technology program outcomes. Where it provided additional information to enhance the understandings from these tests, qualitative data were included in the analysis as these were relevant.
The key findings in the study were that the technology plans reviewed were all weak in terms of recommended content from technology planning experts. Overall plans were poorly developed despite federal and state mandates on content. The evidence did not support that these plans had been a primary guide to what districts actually implemented. At the same time, the data from the study suggested that planning processes were important as part of an overall strategy by districts that was positively associated with successful technology programs. Further, district personnel who responded to the survey were more likely to respond in terms of issues related to planning than about the actual content of their technology plans. Respondent assessments of their technology programs were determined to be biased by role, with significant differences between central office and instructional staff on most issues. State and federal mandates requiring plans were determined to be successful in improving planning processes but not the written plans produced.
Hoffman, E.S. Technology planning and implementation: A study of effective change efforts in Michigan public school districts. Ph.D. thesis, Eastern Michigan University.
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