A study of the uses of telecommunications by school administrators

Mary Brigid Flynn-Maguire, Fordham University


This study investigated the uses of telecommunications by school administrators. An electronic survey on the INTERNET was conducted of school administrators who are subscribers to the electronic mailing list, K12ADMIN. A questionnaire of 77 multiple-choice questions was sent to each member and a 32% return rate was achieved within 1 month, with 74 individuals responding. The diffusion of innovations theory of Rogers (1986) served as the theoretical base for this study. Chi-square tests were employed to determine the statistical significance of differences among frequencies and to analyze the demographic information and characteristics of users. Data were collected electronically and a program was written to extract the responses and create an output file to be read by the statistical program SPSS for analysis. A significant relationship was found (p $<$.01) between the frequency of telecommunications use and satisfactions derived, and a slight relationship between frequency of use and location of hardware. Additionally, a substantial inverse relationship was found (p $<$.001) between the number of problems encountered and use of telecommunications. Significance was also found beyond the.001 level, demonstrating that administrators learned to use telecommunications through informal methods. The study also sought to determine the relationship between age, income, and education and the use of telecommunications. No significant relationship was found between these variables and telecommunications use. Data indicated that telecommunications was used by a majority of school administrators who were above 40 years of age, earned less than $59,000, and held bachelor's and master's degrees. Telecommunications use was distributed fairly evenly over various areas and supported Rogers' view of horizontal diffusion. More local support for telecommunications use existed than was hypothesized, as 62\% of the respondents indicated that it is through local budgets that use of telecommunications in their district is funded. The findings of this study reveal that telecommunications is being used by school administrators at all levels, and for a variety of purposes with communication and research being the primary reasons.

Subject Area

School administration|Information Systems|Educational software

Recommended Citation

Flynn-Maguire, Mary Brigid, "A study of the uses of telecommunications by school administrators" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9631033.