Chapter 1: Knowing What to Do|
Careful planning can ensure that computer and networking technology supports both instructional and administrative needs.
What is Presented in This Book?
The world of technology is very broad. This publication does not attempt to cover all types of technology that can be used in education settings. The focus is on computer and networking technology - primarily software used to meet administrative and many instructional needs, and the hardware, networking and support required to make it function.
The world of technology is also fluid. Technical standards and specific products change constantly. This book contains generic questions that will help you with your decision making process both now and in the future. These are common-sense, experience-based ideas, rather than approaches tied to specific situations or products. These ideas are based on the authors' extensive experience with implementing technology within schools, districts, state education agencies, universities and libraries.
Technology @ Your Fingertips contains information about computer hardware, software, and networking, as well as budgetary and human resource concerns. This information relates to the use of computer and networking technology as a tool for:
Included at the end of the book are electronic pointers to reference documents and other sources of information. These are meant to serve as examples, not as an exhaustive list of available references. The constant changes in technology make the life of many of these resources fairly brief. There are many resources listed that are available on the Internet because they tend to be most current. They have the advantage of being able to link you to additional resources. Many education resources and examples have not been published anywhere except on the Internet. If you do not currently have access to the Internet, you may want to find someone who does (e.g., someone at the public library, a colleague at another school, or a friend) and ask that person to help you find some of these useful resources.
Throughout this document, we will follow a hypothetical case study of a school district administrator and his friend from the local college who are both developing technology solutions to meet their organizations' requirements. In addition, there will be mini-case studies describing responses to specific issues. These case studies illustrate many of the key points being conveyed in each chapter.