An Information System comprises of software, hardware, individuals, procedures and data that are related and jointly work together to come up with reliable information. A lot of States have implemented the use of management information systems to create a platform where parents can interact with teachers as well as school administrators. Parents thus get access their children’s educational progress and provide them with education related information concerning the state. This research will narrow down to The State of Alabama and the management of its educational information systems.
Information Systems have several functions that lead to proper functionality. The first of these is the input of appropriate and relevant data. There ought to be proper guidelines and systems that lead to timely data collection that is necessitated by the generation of required information. The other important function is data maintenance of the information system. This ensures that there is constant data update and when the one in session becomes irrelevant necessary and appropriate change is executed. This should also have the capacity to keep historical data that can be referenced for future purposes. A number of states have implemented educational information systems and Alabama is among this elite group.
The Alabama Educational Website checks out when it comes to a number of areas in terms of information systems management. For instance, there is relative ease of access for anyone wishing to access the state’s educational data. The website also has a graphic user interface that is easy to operate with and not complex to navigate. It also provides lots of useful information to state educational stakeholders. For example it contains a list of all government schools in the state complete with teacher certificate listings. Education chiefs in the state are also listed on the site complete with there working hours.
Despite the clear gains in Alabama’s educational website there are still a few limitations to its operations. For example the department ought to integrate individual school websites into its mainframe. This allows student, teachers and parents access to more purposeful pieces of information. For example student grades, student progress, class syllabi as well as teachers’ reports on students. This makes for an even more effective information system.
As a result clear measures ought to be taken to address these shortcomings. For one, effective delivery relies on speed and efficiency. One way of doing this is through the use of automated service delivery. This offers exceptional service to various stakeholders and the board enjoys a high data processing and transmission rate. Information will thus be stored in database systems that permit easy data updates, manipulation and access.
Another issue of importance is data integrity that is either passed or stored digitally. There is constant fear that data will be modified during transmission or as it is in the data base. This may be deliberate or accidental but still unwarranted either way. Appropriate firewalls are put in place especially when it comes to sensitive information such as state examination results and academic credentials of an individual. Insiders pose the biggest threat to information integrity. With the ease of access they have, they cause the greatest harm while leaving the most minimal of evidence.
Web access is another challenge that the state faces. According to survey carried out in Alabama, only 55% of the black American society had access to internet in their houses. The figure was 72% in white households. This would pose a major challenge when it comes to online access of the state educational website. A number of teachers were also stuck in the old ways of storing and retrieving information. This can be addressed by the state through the educational board providing computers to facilities that are insufficiently stuffed. This should be followed by sufficient computer training so that all stakeholders enjoy e-services.
The state board on education is pivotal in the education sector and ensuring that there is a platform for state by state comparison on an educational basis. This goes a long way to ensure that educational stake holders are not at cross roads with the state board of education.
With this in place parents can easily find out information concerning their son and daughters while students will have relative ease in getting their results and knowing what kinds of educational forums are taking place in the state.
References Top of Form
Fung, A. C. W. (1997). Information technology in educational management for the schools of the future: IFIP TC 3 WG 3.4 International Conference on Information Technology in Educational Management (ITEM), 22-26 July 1996, Hong Kong. London [u.a.: Chapman & Hall.
Miller, M. T., & Nadler, D. P. (2006). Student governance and institutional policy: Formation and implementation. Greenwich, CT: IAP--Information Age Pub.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2008). Measuring improvements in learning outcomes: Best practices to assess the value-added of schools. Paris: OECD.
Redding, S., & Walberg, H. J. (2008). Handbook on statewide systems of support. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.
Sutton, L. (2006).Access denied: How Internet filters impact student learning in high schools. Youngstown, NY: Cambria Press.