An assessment of computer usage within the Bahamian public school system and recommended guidelines towards the development of a strategic national computer plan

June Marie Wilson, Florida International University

Abstract

Computers have dramatically changed the way we live, conduct business, and deliver education. They have infiltrated the Bahamian public school system to the extent that many educators now feel the need for a national plan. The development of such a plan is a challenging undertaking, especially in developing countries where physical, financial, and human resources are scarce. This study assessed the situation with regard to computers within the Bahamian public school system, and provided recommended guidelines to the Bahamian government based on the results of a survey, the body of knowledge about trends in computer usage in schools, and the country's needs. ^ This was a descriptive study for which an extensive review of literature in areas of computer hardware, software, teacher training, research, curriculum, support services and local context variables was undertaken. One objective of the study was to establish what should or could be relative to the state-of-the-art in educational computing. A survey was conducted involving 201 teachers and 51 school administrators from 60 randomly selected Bahamian public schools. A random stratified cluster sampling technique was used. ^ This study used both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Quantitative methods were used to summarize the data about numbers and types of computers, categories of software available, peripheral equipment, and related topics through the use of forced-choice questions in a survey instrument. Results of these were displayed in tables and charts. Qualitative methods, data synthesis and content analysis, were used to analyze the non-numeric data obtained from open-ended questions on teachers' and school administrators' questionnaires, such as those regarding teachers' perceptions and attitudes about computers and their use in classrooms. Also, interpretative methodologies were used to analyze the qualitative results of several interviews conducted with senior public school system's officials. Content analysis was used to gather data from the literature on topics pertaining to the study. ^ Based on the literature review and the data gathered for this study a number of recommendations are presented. These recommendations may be used by the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to establish policies with regard to the use of computers within the public school system. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Wilson, June Marie, "An assessment of computer usage within the Bahamian public school system and recommended guidelines towards the development of a strategic national computer plan" (2000). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9975009.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9975009

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