Scholarly article on topic 'ICT Application for Administration and Management: A Conceptual Review'

ICT Application for Administration and Management: A Conceptual Review Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Simin Ghavifekr, Mojgan Afshari, Saedah Siraj & Kalaivani Seger

Abstract Information Communication Technology (ICT) plays an important role in enhancing the quality of education. Administration and management applications of ICT are currently popular in schools due to its capabilities in facilitating administration activities from data storage to knowledge management and decision making. In this paper, review of the literatures regarding applications of ICT, types of applications and their effectiveness for administrative activities in schools is presented. Result may shed light on administrators to improvise and increase the utilization of ICT in daily administrative tasks to make their work more efficient and effective. Finally recommendations for school administration growth of ICT knowledge and practice will also be discussed.

Academic research paper on topic "ICT Application for Administration and Management: A Conceptual Review"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 103 (2013) 1344 - 1351

13th International Educational Technology Conference

ICT Application for Administration and Management: A Conceptual Review

Simin Ghavifekr*, Mojgan Afshari, Saedah Siraj & Kalaivani Seger

Faculty of Education, University of Malay, Kuala Lumpur,50603, Malaysia


Information Communication Technology (ICT) plays an important role in enhancing the quality of education. Administration and management applications of ICT are currently popular in schools due to its capabilities in facilitating administration activities from data storage to knowledge management and decision making. In this paper, review of the literatures regarding applications of ICT, types of applications and their effectiveness for administrative activities in schools is presented. Result may shed light on administrators to improvise and increase the utilization of ICT in daily administrative tasks to make their work more efficient and effective. Finally recommendations for school administration growth of ICT knowledge and practice will also be discussed.

© 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of The Association of Science, Education and Technology-TASET, Sakarya Universitesi, Turkey.

Keywords: ICT; application; administration; management; school

1. Introduction

In the current information age, educational institutions are expected to play a crucial role as the engine for knowledge generation and learning environment. In this regard, Information, Communication Technology (ICT) becomes the vital means to facilitate this task. ICT has become an essential part of our everyday life; accordingly, its integration in education is inevitable and cannot be avoided. This is due to the fact that using ICT in education has become one of the most effective factors in school improvement (Tosun & Bans, 2011) not only for the purpose of teaching and learning, but also for administrative use.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +603 79675057 E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of The Association of Science, Education and Technology-TASET, Sakarya

Universitesi, Turkey.

doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.10.705

ICT applications in education can be considered as an effective enabler to create access, store, transmit, and manipulate different information in audio and visual form, due to the capability of ICT in providing proactive environment (Kawade & Kulkarni, 2012). ICT applications in education may be used for various purposes. It may be used for effective teaching-learning processes to achieve quality education and overall development of students or for administrative purposes by teachers, staff and management team.

In this paper administration and management mean control and verification of system and the process of organizing and managing resources of all kinds in sufficient quantity and quality to ensure that set objectives are reached (Sushmita, 2007; Alan, 1988). Many countries including Malaysia has formulated ICT strategies and policies for their education systems administration and management (Ghavifekr, et al., 2012). The reason is that the national governments are taking a higher inventions position to make the technology strategy a reality (Kaur, 2004, p.l)

The Malaysian Ministry of Education Articulation of ICT in education focused on developing an ICT literate community which believe that technology will support success in the global markets of the future. The Ministry's three main areas of interests in the ICT application in education as follow:

• ICT will be used as an enabler to reduce the digital divide between the country's schools by enabling ICT access for all students.

• ICT will be used as teaching and learning tools in education, taught as an independent subject and integrated into others; and

• ICT will be used to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of management in education (Multimedia Development Corporation, 2005).

To achieve above goals and objectives, the Ministry provided some facilities such as computers, ICT-based tools, and wireless connections to all schools nationwide. Recently, Malaysian government established one new programme called "Digital Malaysia" to advance the country towards a developed digital economy by 2020. Digital Malaysia is a national programme, based on three strategic planning ; i) to create an ecosystem that promotes the pervasive use of ICT in all aspects of the economy to connect communities globally; ii) to interact in real time resulting in increased Gross National Income, enhanced productivity and iii) to improve standards of living. This will result in a developed digital economy that connects and empowers government, and citizens.

This paper reviews the various factors that influences the choices made by the school administrators as well as the reasons why certain ICT usage are adopted and why some are abandoned (Singh & Muniandi, 2012). Moreover, the technological revolution is a major challenge for school administration. One of the challenges facing by schools is the lack of ICT applications usage among teachers because of their low level of literacy in ICT knowledge and capability. The purpose of this paper aims to understand the ICT applications usages in school administration and management. More specifically this review set out to address the following objectives:

• To identify applications of ICT for school administration and management

• To learn about ICT application tools which are being used by school administration and management;

• To understand effectiveness of ICT applications for school administrative and management activities.

The results of a qualitative review and analysis of the related literatures on aspects of ICT applications in education management and administration are presented in this paper. Apart from literatures, information were also found from reviewing official documents including; Multimedia Development Corporation 2005, ICT policy of Malaysia, Ministry of Education's Educational Technology Division's (BTP - Bahagian Teknologi Pendidikan) Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Procedure for school ICT coordinators handbook. More detailed information on ICT application in administration and management in education are discussed in the following sections.

2. ICT Applications in Education Administration and Management

In the recent years, ICT applications have been using in education administration and management to support sustainable development. A software based tools and applications are a piece of computer program which execute useful tasks for education, such as word processing, desktop publishing, running a database, creating a presentation or e-mail program (Higgins & Packard, 2004). There are three main administration groups that applying ICT in their various activities and actions in their daily administration and management job at schools including: Administration head, Administration teachers, and Administrative staff.

2.1 Administration Head

According to Afshari et al (2012) as an administration head, school principals should have basic skills of using ICT in school daily administrative and management job. Principals function as a role model when computer technology is applied to administrative and managerial task. As an instructional leader, principals facilitate teacher's integration of computers in teaching and learning (Singh & Muniandi, 2012), as an transformational leaders they they encourage creativity, open-mindedness and facilitate conditions and events that create a positive environment for technology adoption (Afshari et al., 2012).

While, administrators usually apply PowerPoint presentation to give an instruction and giving in-house training in a more interesting way, teachers have a more favourable attitude toward the instruction in this way (Chen, 2012). Mwalongo (2011) has found that administration use ICT applications, to prepare school announcements, reports, letters for meeting with parents, student registration, and teachers and staff employment. Besides, ICT applications also used effectively by administrator in decision making process, store information as well as online applications (Selwood, 2004; Afzaal, 2011).

Webb (2011) noted that instructional leaders directly and indirectly determine the success or failure of teacher competencies in instructional technology. These leaders are also instrumental in integrating technology into the classroom curriculum through the teachers that are employed. Administrators play major role in providing successful learning environments and they should make it possible for their teachers to adopt technology to make a difference (Afzaal, 2012).

2.2 Administration Teachers

Administration teachers are the teachers who besides their teaching activities also have administration responsibilities. The administration teachers on the front line are the directors and chiefs of all the offices and departments (Lin et al., 2011). In Malaysia, administration teachers can be divided to three groups which are curriculum head, students Affair Head and Co-curriculum head. The curriculum head teachers are responsible in handling overall student's record. Teachers under this curriculum head have to maintain all records regarding the pupils by keeping in particular format. This computer files contains pupils cumulative records, formative

evaluation and summative evaluation which can be print out from the software application for a hardcopy documentation. However, the most commonly reported use of ICT for teaching is preparation for notes, teaching-learning resources and examination Mwalongo (2011

The results of previous studies (Mwalongo (2011; Selwood, 2004) indicate that ICT applications used to prepare timetable, teaching plan, schemes of work and school reports by all the three administration teachers for various purposes. Administration teachers can set up tests and online assignments that can be automatically graded, which saves a lot of time for the marking and correction process. They also can generate the results by using ICT applications. At the same time, they use ICT applications to set up websites and online portals for students to access the assignments (Kawade, 2012).

2.3 Administrative Staff

ICT applications also can be used by administrative staff for doing their daily responsibilities faster and more accurate. Administrative staff uses different type of tools to handle financial work, maintain communication, keep records, process documents and to collect data. By using ICT applications they can handle these responsibilities more effective and efficient. Besides , using ICT applications would help them in recording school financial documents such as balance sheet, pay slip, audit reports, non-salary grants, and stocks keeping as well as student evaluation report and overall student records for future references (Kawade, 2012; Kazi, 2012).

3. ICT Application Tools in Education Administration and Management

There are lots of ICT application tools that have been vastly using in education administration and management. Available ICT applications for education administrative purposes are internet, websites, software and hardware's such as printers, scanners , photocopy machines, and computers (Kazi, 2012; Kawade, 2012; Mwalongo, 2011; Susmita, 2007). The detail information on ICT tools that been widely used in education administration and management are as follow:

3.1 Internet -based and web-based tools

In the last two decades, the Internet and ICT application tools have been expanded into the field of education all over the world. This is due to capability of Internet to provide opportunities for introducing advanced teaching -learning methods. The advanced and modern methods of learning are able to prepare students as skilled workforce for future.

The internet is popular in Malaysian education. There are much evidence on the application of the internet in Malaysian education administration as well as for teaching. In most of the schools, teachers allowed their students to communicate personally with them via email, forum, or social networks such as Facebook, Twitter. Moreover, Internet also used for uploading and receiving students' assignments. Literatures show the trust by teachers that the internet provides access to valuable online resources of data and tools that can be useful for both groups of students and teachers (Aizaini & Samad, 2003; Mwalongo, 2011; Richardson, 2007; Afshari et al., 2012). On the other hand, web based or internet based searching, communicating and managing materials will directly and indirectly improves the organization's performance (Ghavifekr et al, 2012). Moreover, internet -based tools also have created wide opportunities for school management to leverage their resources. Internet is the most dominant enabler toward better, faster and cheaper approach in operating administration and management daily tasks such as information processing, information transferring, information storing and

information retrieving (Susmita, 2007). Thus, schools administrators ought to pay more attention to give knowledge and information access on the Internet -based educational applications and tools to all academic and non-academic staff.

3.2 Hardware applications

Each year computers and other Information Technology and Communication hardware evolve. New machines and new equipments create new opportunities especially in education administration to make management process easier, faster, and cheaper. In this context, we can see there are some common ICT application tools that have equipped schools administration and management such as computers, photocopy machines, TVs, radio, digital cameras, scanners, DVD players, Laptops, multimedia projector, and overhead projectors (Kawade, 2012; Mwalongo, 2011; Richardson, 2007). Computers were used to store various documents of the administration teachers, pupils and other staffs. Furthermore, interactive whiteboard, smart board and multimedia projectors are widely used by administrator for handling meetings, in-house training for teachers and staff, video conferencing and presentation purposes(Mwalongo, 2011; Higgins,2004; Ashok, 2007).

3.3 Software applications

School administration and management tend to use various software applications in their administration job purposes. The most frequently used applications by school administration and management were Office tools such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), and tally (Mwalongo, 2011; Ashok, 2007; Richardson, 2007; Kawade, 2012). As Higgins (2007) noted, administrators are familiar with range of software that handles information, particularly spread sheets and databases. Although this will be time -consuming, databases potentially offer much more efficient and effective ways to manage information that most schools currently use. There are a lot more software applications that have been used by schools administration and management, for example, the most famous application in schools is EMIS. EMIS, which is an abbreviation for the "Education Management Information System" , is a sub-system of an education system whose aim is to collect, store, process, analyse and disseminate information (Susmita, 2007).

4. Effectiveness of ICT Application in an Educational Administration and Management

Effectiveness is degree to which an organisation's desired goals are correctly achieved bearing in mind the demands from both internal and exterior environments (Lin et al., 2011). According to Lin et al. (2011) 'school effectiveness' is a goal set by administrative leaders through their leadership strategies to help schools reach certain achievements across the board. Using of ICT applications in educational administration will help them to achieve their goals easily. Evidence shows that teachers' response positively in job satisfaction with using ICT applications such as hardware and software's to support their administration and management responsibilities (Selwood, 2004).

Good financial management is an essential ingredient of ICT applications' effectiveness. Therefore, there is a need for supporting financial operations of ICT applications by administration and management in educational organization.

Apart from sufficient financial support, data management is also effective part of school headship. It is important that the school maintains accurate with updated information on its all levels and aspects. In this regard, ICT application helps a lot to keep the records of all levels and aspects of school including students, teachers ,

staff, details of meetings' minutes, school publicity, curriculum development materials and entire management information. Moreover, by using ICT application transaction between schools and educational departments will be more direct and efficient, that alleviating the manual collection and checking of necessary data and minimising the duplication of data on school teachers and students (Kawade, 2012).

Nevertheless, document storage in computers saves a lot of space as physical files are replaced with electronic files. The saved space can be used for other purposes (Mwalongo, 2011). At the same time, use of ICT application in schools can be effective for students. For example using Microsoft Office such as PowerPoint presentation gives benefit to students by making the learning materials more attractive and proactive. This would result a more positive impression of the instructor and therefor, more favourable attitudes toward students' learning (Apperson et al., 2006).

In addition, ICT applications also save time and man power, make students active, simplify teachers works, reduce office cost, and increase reusability (Kawade, 2012; Mwalongo, 2011). Overall ICT applications increase quality of teaching significantly and at the same time it reduces the schools' workload (Selwood, 2004; Kawade, 2012).


In order to fully benefit from the current information era, everyone should be equipped with knowledge and skills related to ICT. In this regard, capacity building and ICT literacy are essential to be considered by the authorities especially in education field. School administration and management should consider the fact that application of ICT in education can contribute to achieve universal education worldwide. For that reason, effective strategic planning for use of ICT application for administration and management that facilitate opportunities for all students, teachers and staff is essential.

This paper highlighted ICT applications roles in various aspects of educational organizations which can facilitate teaching- learning processes as well as administration and management activities at different levels. Overall, use of ICT application in schools is beneficial for administration, staff, teachers and students. Despite the importance of ICT application use in education, studies show that majority of the school administrators have intermediate level of computer expertise and possess an inadequate computer literacy (Sipila, 2010; Afzaal, 2012; Mwalongo , 2011; Webb, 2011), therefore, it will be difficult to use ICT application confidently, due to lack of sufficient and efficient ICT knowledge and skills. To address this issue, along with providing continuous training programme for school administration and management, it is also necessary to provide proper technical infrastructure, equipment, and support to secure the success of the use of ICT applications in education system ( Sipila, 2010).


Based upon the above conclusion, several recommendations can be made:

i) School leaders need to develop ICT skills in order to be effective in their new role as a technology usage leader (Rusmini, 2012 ; Mwalongo, 2011).

ii) ICT Department of Ministry of Education also should conduct ICT training sessions and workshop and design various forums focusing on professional development of administrators in

integrating ICT across school curriculum that will enable the school administrators to become the ICT savvy leaders( Selwood,2004; Afzaal, 2012).

i) Providing ICT tools such as laptops and software tools to administration teachers and staff which will effect on their educational roles.

iv) School can also look for non-government sources of contribution to sponsor and aid various sources within the community to maintain sustainable level of hardware resourcing.

In addition, this study suggests that administrators need a comparative understanding of ICT integration, and must be willing to use their knowledge and resources to promote technology in their management tasks. This literature review can be useful for future comparative purposes in similar researches on various geographical areas.


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