Another Take on IT Decision-Making in Schools

Technology decision-making in educational institutions can be a complex endeavor. In large part, the complexity arises from the governance of public schools. In part, the complexity arises from the misunderstandings different stakeholders have of the work of the other stakeholders. 

Elected boards of citizens are frequently responsible for decision-making in schools, and those boards hire school administrators to manage operations of the buildings and organizations; school administrators hire technology experts to manage the technology systems necessary for the business and education needs of the schools. The result is that those with the greatest expertise in managing technology systems may be relatively far removed from the ultimate decisions.

It is also true that the technology experts hired in schools often come from organizations other than education. In many businesses and organizations, the information and interaction needs of users are very specific and predictable, so systems can be designed to provide access to specific functions and information. This is a common situation in many business offices in schools. An individual may need access to certain databases or applications, and that user may never need to access other resources. In classrooms, systems must be configured for more unpredictable and flexible patterns of use, however.