Technology in British Columbia Schools

A comprehensive survey of the types of computer equipment and software programs used by

Business Education teachers

Research Report Prepared By

Dr. Adriana Zylmans

November 18, 2000

 

In 1999, a survey was distributed to BCBEA spring conference attendees, UBC student teachers in the fall semester, members of the 1998-1999 BCBEA executive, and subscribers to the BCBEA newsletter. Twenty-three of 59 school districts in British Columbia participated in the exploratory research project. In total, fifty-seven responses were received.

 

Survey results were received from the following school districts: South East Kootenay No. 5, Rocky Mountain No. 6, Trail No. 20, Central Okanagan No. 23, Quesnel No. 28, Abbotsford No. 34, Surrey No. 36, Delta No. 37, Richmond No. 38, Vancouver No. 39, Burnaby No. 41, Maple Ridge No. 42, Coquitlam No. 43, North Vancouver No. 44, Powell River No. 47, Howe Sound No.48, Prince Rupert No. 52, Greater Victoria No. 61, Sooke No. 62, Gulf Islands No. 64, Nanaimo-Ladysmith No. 68, Kamloops-Thompson No. 73, Cowichan No. 79.

 

The nature of this study is based on empirical evidence rather than scientific information. The results suggest that teachers use a wide variety of software programs and a range of computers to teach courses in Business Education and Information Communication Technology in British Columbia schools. Figure 1 below indicates the percentage of Macintosh, IBM, Pentium and other computers found in secondary schools. The findings indicate that 52 of 57 responses suggest that 70.3% of the schools use PC computers.

 

Text Box: Mac Computers
Macs	9.8
Mac 5200, 5500	4.5
LC 575,475	4.5
Mac LCII/LCIII	3.8
Imac	2.3
Mac 750	.8
Power Mac	.8
Mac Plus	.8
Mac SE	.8
Mac G3	.8
Mac 6400s	.8
Total Macs	29.7%

Text Box: PC Computers


Pentiums I, II, III	28.0
IBM 486	27.1 
IBM 286	6.0
IBMs	5.3
Dos Lab	1.5
Seanix	.8
Digital	.8
Motorolla 200/300	.8
Umax C500	.8
T Total PCs	70.3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1: Percentage of different types of computers found in secondary schools in British Columbia.

 

 

 

The second part of the survey focused on collecting data on the following:

 

 

Marketing 11

 

        12.7% of schools do not offer Marketing 11

        87.3% of schools teach Marketing 11 {36.4% of the schools teach Marketing 11 in a computer lab (29.1% use a lab full-time while 7.3% use a lab part-time)}.

 

Software used in Marketing 11

19 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98

13.5

 

Word 95/97

13.5

 

Excel 95/97

5.4

 

Access

2.7

 

Power Point

5.4

 

 

 

40.5

MS Works

 

16.2

Clarisworks

 

10.8

MS Explorer-Internet

 

10.8

Type of Software

 

Percent

Netscape

 

2.7

Corel Draw

 

5.4

Simply Accounting

 

2.7

Pagemaker

 

2.7

Publisher

 

2.7

Superpaint

 

2.7

Hypercard

 

2.7

Total

 

100.0


 

When Marketing 11 is taught with the support of a computer lab, 40.5% of the software programs that student's use is Microsoft Office 95/97 or Microsoft Word 95/97.

 

Marketing 12

 

        18.6% of schools do not offer Marketing 12

        81.4% of schools teach Marketing 12 {37.0% of the schools teach Marketing 12 in a computer lab (25.9% use a lab full-time while 11.1% use a lab part-time)}.

 

Software used in Marketing 12

16 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98

20.7

 

Word 95/97

13.8

 

Excel 95/97

3.4

 

Access

3.4

 

Type of Software

 

Percent

Power Point

6.9

 

 

 

48.2

MS Works

 

17.2

Clarisworks

 

6.9

MS Internet Explorer

 

10.3

Netscape

 

3.4

Corel Draw

 

3.4

Simply Accounting

 

3.4

Pagemaker

 

3.4

Superpaint

 

3.4

Total

 

100.0


 

When students use software programs in Marketing 12, 48.2% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97.

 

Accounting 11

 

        100% of the schools teach Accounting 11

        67.8 % of the schools teach the course in a computer lab {57.1% use a lab full-time while 10.7% use a lab part-time}.

 

Software used in Accounting 11

35 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

Simply Accounting

 

46.5

MS Office 97/98

8.6

 

Word 95/97

3.4

 

Excel 95/97

15.5

 

 

 

27.5

Bedford

 

5.2

Clarisworks

 

6.9

Type of Software

 

Percent

Corel Draw

3.4

 

Quattro Pro

1.7

 

 

 

5.1

MS Works

 

5.2

Pagemaker

 

1.7

Publisher

 

1.7

Total

 

100.0


 


When students use software programs in Accounting 11, 46.5% is Simply Accounting and 27.5% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97.

 

Accounting 12

 

        20.0% of the schools do not offer Accounting 12

        80.0% of the schools teach Accounting 12 {70.9% of the schools use a computer lab to teach the course (69.1% use a lab full-time while 1.8% use a lab part-time)}.

 

Software used in Accounting 12

33 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

Simply Accounting

 

57.2

Corel Draw

1.8

 

Lotus 123

1.8

 

Quattro Pro

1.8

 

 

 

5.4

Bedford

 

1.8

Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98

3.6

 

Excel 95/97

16.1

 

Word 95/97

3.6

 

 

 

23.3

Clarisworks

 

3.6

MS Works

 

3.6

Cantax

 

1.8

Pagemaker

 

1.8

Publisher

 

1.8

Total

 

100.0


 

When students use software programs in Accounting 12, 57.2% is Simply Accounting and 23.3% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97.

 

Financial Accounting 12

 

        32.7% of the schools do not offer Financial Accounting 12

        67.3% of the schools offer Financial Accounting 12 {42.3% of the schools teach the course in a computer lab (40.4% use a lab full-time while1.9% use a lab part-time)}.

 

Software Used in Financial Accounting 12

19 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

Simply Accounting

 

40.7

MS Office 97/98

7.4

 

Word 95/97

3.7

 

Excel 95/97

18.5

 

 

 

29.6

Quicken

 

3.7

Type of Software

 

Percent

Lotus 123

 

3.7

Cantax

 

3.7

Clarisworks

 

11.1

MS Works

 

3.7

Other

 

3.7

Total

 

100.0


 

When students use software programs in Financial Accounting 12, 40.7% is Simply Accounting and 29.6% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97.

 

Economics 12

 

        72.2% of the schools do not offer Economics 12

        27.8% of the schools teach Economics 12 {7.4% of the schools teach the course in a computer lab}.

 

Software used in Economics12

5 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98

37.5

 

Word 95/97

12.5

 

 

 

50.0

Clarisworks

 

25.0

Type of Software

 

Percent

Publisher

 

12.5

Netscape

 

12.5

Total

 

100.0


 

When students use software programs in Economics 12, 50% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97. Other word processing software include Clarisworks and WordPerfect 7/8.

 

 

Business Education 8-10

 

        31.4% of the schools do not offer Business Education 8-10

        68.7% of the schools offer Business Education 8-10 {53% of the schools teach Business Education in a computer lab (51% use a lab full-time while 2.0% use a lab part-time)}.

 

Software used in Business Education 8-10

23 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98

13.5

 

Word 95/97

8.1

 

Power Point

2.7

 

Office Suite

2.7

 

 

 

27.0

Clarisworks

 

21.6

MS Works

 

16.2

All The Right Type 2.0/4.0

 

8.1

 

 

 

 

Type of Software

 

Percent

Cortez Peters

 

2.7

Word Perfect 7/8

 

2.7

Corel Draw

2.7

 

Quattro Pro

2.7

 

 

 

5.4

Netscape

 

5.4

Superpaint

 

2.7

Publisher

 

2.7

Wordpad

 

2.7

Gif Animator

 

2.7

Total

 

100.0


 

When students use software programs in Business Education 8-10, 27% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97 and 21.6% is Clarisworks. Other word processing software programs include MS Works and WordPerfect 7/8. For improvement in keyboarding skills, All the Right Type and Cortez Peters are used for drill and practice exercises.

 

Business Computer Applications 11

 

        1.5% of the schools do not offer Business Computer Applications 11

        98.2% of the schools teach Business Computer Applications 11 {100% of the schools teach the course in a computer lab}.

 

Software used in Business Computer Applications 11

48 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98

15.1

 

Word 95/97

11.1

 

Access

4.8

 

Excel 95/97

8.7

 

Power Point

4.0

 

 

 

43.7

MS Works

 

7.1

Clarisworks

10.3

 

Type of Software

 

Percent

Appleworks

.8

 

 

 

11.1

Word Perfect 7/8

 

4.8

All The Right Type 2.0/4.0

 

9.5

Mavis Beacon

 

.8

Pagemaker

 

5.6

Publisher

 

4.0

Adobe Photoshop

 

.8

Photodelux

 

.8

Corel Draw (suite)
1.6
 
Lotus 123
.8
 
Quattro Pro
.8
 
 
 
3.2
Simply Accounting
 
.8
Pagemill
 
.8
Wordpad (HTML)
 
1.6
Netscape
 
4.0
MS Internet Explorer
 
.8
Other
 
 
Delphi 4 (operating system)
 
.8
Total
 
100.0

 

When students use software programs in Business Computer Applications 11, 43.7% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97. Other word processing software used is Clarisworks/Appleworks, MS Works and WordPerfect 7/8. For improvement in keyboarding skills, All the Right Type and Mavis Beacon are used for drill and practice exercises. For desktop publishing, it seems that Pagemaker and Publisher are popular while Netscape or MS Internet Explorer are the browsers most frequently used.

 

Business Information Management 12

 

        34.7% of the schools do not offer Business Information Management 12

        65.3% of the schools teach Business Information Management 12 {61.2% use a computer lab to teach the course}.

 

Software used in Business Information Management 12

29 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software
 
Percent
MS Office 97/98
23.7
 
Word 95/97
13.2
 
Access
2.6
 
Excel
3.9
 
Power Point
6.6
 
 
 
50.0
Word Perfect 7/8
 
7.9
Clarisworks
5.3
 
Appleworks
1.3
 
 
 
6.6
MS Works
 
2.6
All The Right Type 2.0/4.0
 
2.6
Type of Software
 
Percent
Cortez Peters
 
1.3
Publisher
 
5.3
Pagemaker
 
3.9
Corel Draw (suite)
 
3.9
Superpaint
 
1.3
Filemaker
 
1.3
Pagemill
 
1.3
Wordpad (HTML)
 
2.6
Netscape
 
7.9
Other
 
 
Delphi 4 (operating system)
 
1.3
Total
 
100.0

 

When students use software programs in Business Information Management 12, 50% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97. Other word processing software used is Clarisworks/Appleworks, MS Works and WordPerfect 7/8. For improvement in keyboarding skills, All the Right Type and Cortez Peters are used for drill and practice exercises. For desktop publishing, Pagemaker and Publisher are popular while Netscape is the browser used most frequently.

 

Data Management 12

 

        22.2% of the schools do not offer Data Management 12

        77.8% of the schools offer Data Management 12 in a computer lab

 

Software used in Data Management 12

34 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98

20.0

 

Word 95/97

11.1

 

Access

4.4

 

Excel

8.9

 

Power Point

5.6

 

 

 

50.0

Clarisworks

4.4

 

Appleworks

2.2

 

 

 

6.6

Word Perfect 7/8

 

3.3

MS Works

 

1.1

All The Right Type 2.0/4.0

 

3.3

Cortez Peters

 

1.3

Type of Software

 

Percent

Corel Draw (suite)
4.4
 
Lotus 123
1.1
 
 
 
5.5

Pagemaker

 

10.0

Publisher
 
3.3
Adobe Photoshop
 
3.3
Wordpad (HTML)
 
2.2
Pagemill
 
2.2
Netscape
 
4.4
Other
 
 
Delphi 4 (operating system)
 
3.3
Total
 
100.0
 
 
 

 

When students use software programs in Data Management 12, 50% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97. Other word processing software used is Clarisworks/Appleworks, MS Works and WordPerfect 7/8. For improvement in keyboarding skills, All the Right Type and Cortez Peters are used for drill and practice exercises. For desktop publishing, Pagemaker, Publisher, Adobe Photoshop, and Corel Draw are popular while Netscape is the browser used most frequently.

 

Management Innovation 12

 

        54.9% of the schools do not offer Management Innovation 12

        45.1% of the schools offer Management Innovation 12 {21.6% use a computer lab to teach the course (19.6% use a lab full-time while 2.0% use a lab part-time)}.

 

Software used in Management Innovation 12

8 of 57 Responses

 

Type of Software
 
Percent
MS Office 97/98
15.4
 
Word 95/97
30.8
 
Excel
7.7
 
Power Point
7.7
 

 

 
61.6
Type of Software
 
Percent
Clarisworks
 
7.7
MS Works
 
7.7
Publisher
 
7.7
MS Internet Explorer
 
15.4
Total
 
100.0

When students use software programs in Management Innovation 12, 61.6% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97. Other word processing software used is Clarisworks and MS Works.

 

Entrepreneurship 12

 

        46.3% of the schools do not offer Entrepreneurship 12

        52.7% of the schools offer Entrepreneurship 12 {24.9% teach the course in a computer lab (22.2% use a lab full-time and 2.7% use a lab part-time)}.

 

Software used in Entrepreneurship 12

12 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98

38.9

 

Word 95/97

11.1

 

 

 

50.0

Clarisworks

 

11.1

Word Perfect 7/8

 

5.6

Type of Software

 

Percent

Corel Draw (suite)

 

5.6

Publisher

 

11.1

Netscape

 

11.1

MS Internet Explorer

 

5.6

Total

 

100.0


 

When students use software programs in Entrepreneurship 12, 50% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97. Other word processing software used is Clarisworks and WordPerfect 7/8. For desktop publishing, Publisher and Corel Draw are popular while Netscape and MS Internet Explorer are the browsers used most often.

 

Information Technology 11

 

        100% of the schools offer Information Technology 11

        100% of the course is taught in a computer lab

 

Software used in Information Technology 11

40 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98

10.2

 

Word 95/97

7.6

 

Access

.8

 

Excel

5.9

 

Power Point

2.5

 

 

 

27.0

Corel Draw (suite)

 

2.5

Clarisworks

2.5

 

Appleworks

.8

 

 
 
3.3

Word Perfect 7/8

 

.8

MS Works

 

.8

Type of Software
 
Percent

All The Right Type 2.0/4.0

 

1.7

Publisher

 

.8

Adobe Pagemaker

 

2.5

Superpaint

 

.8

Paint Shop Pro

 

.8

Adobe Photoshop

 

5.1

Photodelux

 

.8

Gif Animator

 

1.6

Splash Image

 

.8

Adobe Illustrator

 

.8

Pagemill

 

.8

Quark Express

 

.8

Netscape
 
8.5
MS Internet Explorer
 
1.7
Simple Text
 
.8
Notepad (HTML)
 
1.6
Wordpad
 
.8
Pascal
 
7.6
C++
 
5.9
Java Script
 
1.7
Basic
 
.8
Q Basic
 
.8
Visual Basic
 
3.4
BBEdit
 
.8
LV Pro
 
.8
Dobbler
 
.8
Poser 3D/Bryce 3D
 
1.6
Code Warrior Metrowones
 
.8
Hyperstudio
 
3.4
Hypercard
 
.8
Macromedia Director
 
1.7
Other
 
 
Netvista
 
.8
Oscar
 
.8
MacJanet
 
.8
Delphi 4 (operating system)
 
.8
Novell
 
.8
Total
 
100.0

 

When students use software programs in Information Technology 11, 27.0% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97. Other word processing software such as Clarisworks/Appleworks, MS Works and WordPerfect 7/8 are used less often then in most Business Education courses. Extraordinary emphasis is placed on desktop publishing, graphic design, and programming languages, especially Pascal, C++, Java Script, Q Basic, and Visual Basic.

 

Information Technology 12

 

        8% of the schools do not offer Information Technology 12

        92.0% of the schools offer Information Technology 12 {100% of the course is taught in a computer lab.}

 

Software used in Information Technology 12

37 of 57 Responses

 


Type of Software

 

Percent

MS Office 97/98
10.9
 
Word 95/97
4.7
 
Excel
3.1
 
Power Point
3.1
 
 
 
21.8
Clarisworks
2.3
 
Appleworks
1.6
 
 
 
3.9
MS Works
 
.8
Word Perfect 7/8
 
1.6
Simple Text
 
.8
All The Right Type 2.0/4.0
 
.8
Type of Software
 
Percent
Pagemaker
 
1.6
Adobe Photoshop
 
7.0
Photodelux
 
.8
Superpaint
 
.8
Paint Shop Pro
 
1.6
Web Painter
 
.8
Gif Animator
 
3.2
Adobe Illustrator
 
.8
Adobe Acrobat Reader
 
.8
Notepad (HTML)
 
5.5
Wordpad
 
.8
Netscape
 
7.8
MS Internet Explorer
 
2.3
Pascal
 
7.0
C++
 
3.9
Java Script
 
1.6
Q Basic
 
.8
Visual Basic
 
3.1
BBEdit
 
.8
LV Pro
 
.8
Dobbler
 
.8
Poser 3D/Bryce 3D
 
1.6
Code Warrior Metrowones
 
.8
Pagemill
 
2.3
Frontpage
 
.8
Hyperstudio
 
5.5
Hypercard
 
.8
Macromedia Director
 
.8
Graphic Converter
 
.8
Other
 
 
Netvista
 
.8
Oscar
 
.8
MacJanet
 
.8
Delphi 4 (operating system)
 
1.6
Novell
 
.8
Total
 
100.0

 

When students use software programs in Information Technology 12, 21.8% is MS Office 97/98 or Word 95/97. Other word processing software such as Clarisworks/Appleworks, MS Works and WordPerfect 7/8 are used less often than in most Business Education courses. Extraordinary emphasis is place on learning programming languages such as Pascal, C++, Java Script, Q Basic, and Visual Basic. Other aspects of the course include graphic design and animation using Gif Animator and Gif Converter, and Webpage design using either Macromedia Director, Wordpad or Notepad with the markup language-HTML. The use of Webpage editors such as Pagemill and Frontpage are also introduced and development software such as Hyperstudio is also emphasized in the course. The browsers used most often include Netscape and MS Internet Explorer.

 

Suggestions to improve the use of technology in schools

 

The third part of the survey provided teachers the opportunity to respond to an open-ended question to suggest ways to improve the effective use of technology in schools. The following is a list of teacher statements. The list does not rank the statements in order of popularity.

 

1.      Standardize software and equipment across computer labs

2.      Provide better Internet access - server is often down

3.      More time for teachers to learn and catch up on the latest software programs

4.      Limit Internet access to students

5.      Develop open-ended assignments to allow students to excel at different rates

6.      Have information technology courses taught by specialists

7.      Rearrange classroom set-up so students do not have their backs to teachers

8.      Rework the IRP so they are less vague

9.      Integrate technology into courses rather than teaching technology as a separate course

10.  Need to schedule and organize the ways computer labs are used in schools

11.  Provide for up-to-date textbooks to support teaching of integrated resource packages

12.  Provide for cross curricular computer labs

13.  Provide more open lab time for teachers to use the computers

14.  Have a mandatory information technology course for all students in Grades 8 that teaches word processing, Internet and spreadsheet skills

15.  Train teachers to use technology by providing workshops

16.  Help teachers to keep up with the changes in technology by providing on-going support and training

17.  Provide for up-to-date equipment, hardware, and software (need to get better deals for schools in regard to software licenses)

18.  Provide teachers with full-time technical support to handle computer problems

  1. Create a technology team (committee) at each school to discuss the needs of the entire school

 

Weakness of the Study

 

The author made the following observations about the weaknesses of the study.

 

1.      The study is not a scientific study but exploratory in nature and is based on empirical evidence.

2.      The study does not indicate how much of a software program is being used and/or which features are being used to support the teaching of curriculum content.

3.      The study does not indicate for what purposes the software is being used (i.e. to teach students skills or to perform specific tasks).

4.      The study does not suggest which areas of the IRP the software programs support.

 

Strengths of the Study

 

The author made the following observations about the strengths of the study.

 

1.      The study identifies the diverse computer equipment available in schools.

2.      The study identifies the variety of software programs teachers are using to support the implementation of the new Business Education/Information Technology IRPs.

3.      The study identifies software programs that students in the UBC Preservice Teacher Education Program should be prepared to teach in Business Education and Information Technology.

4.      The study provides an excellent starting point for future research projects.

 

Future Research

 

The author recommends that the following areas be considered for future research opportunities.

 

1.      To identify the curriculum content supported by the software.

2.      To determine the software most needed to meet the learning outcomes of the respective Business Education and Information Technology IRPs.

3.      To determine the features of each software program that is being used to support the teaching of Business Education and Information Technology courses from grades 8-12.

4.      To determine the types of projects students can undertake with alternative software programs

 

In conclusion, it is no surprise that the software programs teachers use when teaching courses in business education and information technology are very diverse. It is likely that the teacher's familiarity and proficiency in using specific software programs dictates the degree of implementation of the software program in the classroom and the purposes for what they are used. Also, it may seem that the types of software programs teachers integrate in their courses of study are highly dependent on the technology resources readily available in the school and may not necessarily be the software program best suited to meet the learning outcomes of the integrate resources packages as prescribed by the Ministry of Education. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Microsoft Office is a fairly significant program for all of the Business Education courses.

 

To all the teachers who completed the technology survey, your input has made this article possible. Thank you!