THE VIRTUAL DIRECTOR OF STUDIES IN SCHOOLS
The organization of schools is still in many cases subjected to archaic operational structures that do not integrate selectively digital tools into routine organizational processes that affect mostly the work of director of studies of schools. The functions of these professionals may be substantially improved through collaborative work and the design of digital structures that channel the information, downloading of bureaucracy and paperwork to the school.
This research was conducted in one hundred schools in the province of Toledo in Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) in which we analyzed the potential of virtual tools in the development of priority functions of director of studies and school organization. Families, teachers, students and school inspection services are the four areas in which a good organization and management of the functions of director of studies with support from virtual tools significantly improve; mainly their work, school organization and relationships among participants in the educational process. (Sevillano García, M.ªL. and Vazquez Cano, E., 2008). We take as reference the priority tasks of the director of studies, classified by type and evaluated with the time variable, we address the breakdown of the functions according to LOE and the Organic Regulation Centre rules in order to check how virtual tools can improve the effectiveness of functions of the director of studies of schools. Thus, we intend to demonstrate that these priority functions better in its speed and quality of execution, minimizing time and efficiency problems.
The main functions of director of studies at schools that can be improved with ICT strategies are the following:
- Coordinate academic activities and complementary guidance of teachers and students.
- Develop academic schedules for students and teachers.
- Coordinate the activities of heads of department.
- Coordinate and direct the action of tutors.
- Coordinate faculty development activities and organize teacher training activities.
- Encourage the participation of different sectors of the school community.
- Participate in the development of the proposed educational project and the annual programming.
- Promote coexistence in school
Among the tools and actions based on Web 2.0 with the most potential in our research we can include: virtual tutoring, virtualized attention to diversity, virtual hard disks for the sharing of resources, virtualized control of curriculum development, digital and computerized management of the school activities, social networks and websites for the international exchange of students, sending messages to different members of the educational community, faculty and their families for the call of regular meetings and information, virtual secretary for virtualization of all information, management of discipline (information and administrative data through interactive database), control and management of teacher absences and their substitutions in a virtualized way.