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 School Improvement:  Information systems
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About Information

An quality information system is a system that delivers information. That is the purpose of an information system. The quality of the information system is indicated by its capacity to deliver accurate information is a useful form to users in a timely fashion.  


Modern information technology provides the means to deliver information in new ways that greatly reduce the effort involved and also reduces the constraints of time and place. There are also other means that be quite effective and even the best approach. Remember that the technology is a resource that is there to serve the people who use it.  Not the other way around!!


An effective information system will enable people to

  • know what is happening around them
  • work with others to improve what is happening
  • act with confidence
  • exercise responsible initiative
  • contribute to the achievement of the school's goals & vision
  • carry out their own tasks easily and well
  • make it easy for others to do the same


Information systems can involve push or pull processes. Like all other school systems, information systems should serve the people in the school and enable them to be effective (see the above dot points). 


Matching the the School's information system to the School's purposes and processes is critical. A useful starting point is to analyze available and desirable information and how to acquire, process and deliver the information.


Thus an information system is a collection of tools & knowledge & people that can work with representations of data and the links between them.


People need information and the capacity to rework it in order to function well in an increasing complex and rapidly changing world. Information is essential for people to

  • Think
  • Learn
  • Act
  • Relate


An effective information system provides its users with 'tools' for the easy & timely

  • collection
  • collation
  • acquisition
  • confirmation
  • analysis
  • application

of the most relevant & recent information available (reality is local & current)


In order to manage an information system one must attend to

  • information availability
  • information processing
  • distribution of information
  • access to information
  • the needs of of the people who are part of the system
  • the skills of the people who are part of the system
  • ...