Open online system adoption in K-12 as a democratizing factor

University of Idaho
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This study seeks to understand how district size and wealth factors influence K-12 adoption of open source online systems. Most schools now utilize online systems (e.g., CMS, LMS, SIS) for a number of purposes, and it is anticipated that no cost and open source systems could be of great value for democratizing access to information system resources and improving the plight of struggling schools. By using web extraction techniques to collect all public school website data for K-12 districts in the target state (n=133) and merging this data set with public financial records, researchers conducted a series of ANCOVA and MANOVA tests to determine main effects. Results indicate that larger, wealthier districts are more likely to adopt open source systems than smaller, poorer districts. These results call into question the democratizing impact of open source systems for struggling schools and suggest the importance of literacy development for supporting open adoption.

Kimmons, R. (accepted). Open online system adoption in K-12 as a democratizing factor. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning.

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