United States schools and American Overseas (A/OS) schools depend upon educational technology (ET) to support business operations and student learning experiences. Schools rely upon administrative software, on-line course modules, information databases, digital communications systems, and many other ET processes. However, ET's fragility compared to buildings and other physical resources makes it vulnerable to potential compromise from a variety of threats including natural disasters, human created risks, and environmental dangers. In order to make certain that their ET is adequately protected, schools would benefit from engaging in business continuity planning. This study examined the business continuity planning practices among overseas American schools in South America. The results indicated that nearly every school engaged, to some degree, in business continuity planning for ET. However, many educators did not recognize such planning as being critical to the school's mission. In addition, the primary drivers of business continuity planning for ET were reported to have been derived from external factors that existed outside of the school's governance and organizational structures (e.g. keeping abreast of recommended business practices, threats specific to geographic location, etc.) In contrast, the barriers to effective business continuity planning were reported to have been derived from internal factors such as business or academic units not having defined their business continuity needs, lack of staff expertise, and difficulty developing campus policies and procedures. These results indicate a need for educational leaders to take steps to ensure that members of their school community perceive business continuity in terms of mission continuity. Regardless of size, A/OS status, or previous experiences, much of the capacity to remove barriers to effective continuity planning existed within the participating schools' internal governance and organizational structures. Accrediting bodies and other organizations that influence the development of school policy should review their standards of good practice and continuous improvement in the areas of business continuity planning and consider requiring schools to protect the administrative, instructional, and technological systems that support their mission. If new mission continuity standards are proposed, then guidelines and training should be made available to help school leaders implement best practices.
|Advisor:||Yoshida, Roland K.|
|Commitee:||Bishop, M. J., Shreve, Leona, Taggart, Bruce|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/05, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School administration, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Continuity planning, Disaster recovery, Educational technology, Mission, Mission continuity, Overseas schools|
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