The use of information technology in educational management (ITEM) and different effects on Israeli secondary schools
Information Technology (IT) created a revolution in data collection and analysis at first in business and industry and later in schools throughout the world and in Israel. This work analyzes the implications of using IT in 11 Israeli schools and the external authorities that supervise them. The data was collected using: 1. A questionnaire distributed to a population of principals, subject coordinators, teachers and external authority staff (N=252); 2. A case study on semi-structured interviews in four schools and local councils (18 interviews). Supervision, the electronic dialogue, independence and autonomy, the involvement and intrusion of outside factors and teachers' class management were the areas examined. The findings show that teachers are not full partners in Information Technology in educational Management (ITEM) but only participate in collecting data. ITEM creates transparency for the work done in schools, especially its products, and leads to two seemingly contradictory tendencies: the increase of both supervision and independence-which grow together and even complement each other. The division according to roles influences the respondents’ attitudes with principals and external authorities tending to agree more than teachers about ITEM's influence over increased teacher supervision, the creation of a new communication an increase in school independence and more teacher cooperation in analyzing examinations and tracking achievement. In parallel, authorities have penetrated deeper into class management using statistical analysis of exam results and achievements. Males and females relate differently to ITEM with males tending more to agree with the attitudes of principals and external authorities and females being more hesitant and agreeing less. Most participants agree that ITEM (MANBAS) contributes to an improvement in the collection and analysis of data on pupil achievement, improves pedagogical decision making and significantly helps to improve the coordination of different school departments while acting as a readily available up-to-date tool. Some of the expectations the literature had about ITEM have not yet been realized in Israeli schools.