A Computerized System For School – Hardware and Software Essay Sample
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Introduction of TOPIC
In this section, I have listed out all the software and hardware that I find appropriate and plan to use. This section also contains my data collection through my observation and my two interviews with a teacher and an accountant. You will see how the data flows from one place to another and you will also see my plan on how to use a computerized system for this school as well as my backing storage plan.
For the manipulation of text-based document, I prefer to use an application program called MICROSOFT WORD. Modifications, such as deleting, inserting, rewording etc. can be done to any document. Document formatting; such as font changing, page layout, and paragraph indentation can come in very handy. For example, when sending letters of complaints to the parents of some student, the content has to be the same but the name to which it is to be sent has to be changed. Instead of changing it by erasing the name and putting another, we can simply use a function called MAIL MERGE. This will make the job faster. But then I would prefer not to use it for mathematical calculations since it cannot calculate automatically. So for tasks, such as making an income statement, I would not use Ms Word.
For the storage of restricted files and documents, I would suggest a database program called MICROSOFT ACCESS. This program is designed for easy access to authorized users only. But then, it can only be used for such storage of data and not for calculations.
For calculations, budgeting, and other finance related tasks, a spreadsheet program called MICROSOFT EXCEL would be the best choice. It can also be used for the creation of timetables, school report card, making income statements for the office, making a mark register for a class etc., Excel would be very useful. Using mathematical, as well as its advanced functions, we can achieve our desired objectives. In this program, data and formulas to calculate those data are entered into the spreadsheets/worksheets and from there we can analyze, validate and sort the data. Using the built-in functions, standard and extended calculations can be done.
Another advantage I find using Excel is that one spreadsheet can contain much information and also, these spreadsheets can be linked to another that contains related information and can update the data in the linked spreadsheet automatically. As for the printing facilities, Excel provides graphing capabilities and a variety of formatting for printed pages, text, numeric values etc.
Ms Excel also comes in with a lot of functions that can help make the statements, marks sheet etc. With Excel, validation of data would not be a creation of income problem at all and mathematical functions present in Excel makes calculations easier.
For example, when creating report card for a student, a spreadsheet named ‘mark register’ where the marks of the student can be found, all calculated, can be taken and put into the report card instead of typing the information again. A function called VLOOKUP can be used to make the job faster and easier.
Another useful function that can be used is the VALIDATION function. If you want a certain value that is between ranges, you can use the Validation function, which allows the user to input only a value between a specified range given by the user himself. This is very useful when making a mark register.
There are other useful functions in Excel. Some of the standard ones like SUM, AVERAGE etc., does mathematical calculations. Some of the most useful functions we are going to come across are VLOOKUP and COUNTIF.
Other programs I would like to use are CD Writing program, and Ulead Photo Impact. I suggested the CD writing program because if ever there is some data I would like to erase from the computer but I can’t because that data is important, I can save it to a CD. I suggested the Ulead Photo Impact to make the banner for the school.
> Epson Stylus C20UX inkjet printer
– Produces good quality output.
– Very appropriate for printing artwork and coloured photographs and pictures.
– Provides a high resolution output
– Very quiet
[I would also suggest a laser printer but the school might not be able to afford such an expensive printer and I don’t think they’d need a more expensive printer that can produce the same quality output as that of an inkjet printer. An inkjet printer is cheaper yet the output is satisfactory.]
> Xerox photocopier
– Produces black and white documents.
– Very useful for producing notices, exam papers, and forms etc. because it can produce at a large scale.
> Philips 17″ coloured monitor
– Produces coloured screen output
– Can produce coloured error/ warning messages alerting the user that an error has occurred.
– Displays options at the top of the screen [usually]
> Acer keyboard
– Have the appropriate keys for typing. Ex.- the alphabetical keys
– Has the certain function keys in front of you rather than choose it form the screen. Ex.- cursor keys, control keys etc.
> Microsoft Mouse [with a scroll]
– A pointing device that helps a user navigates through a graphical user interface.
– Allows the user to select the options from a menu rather than using a keyboard, which takes a longer time since you have to look at the keys, see which one you’re pressing etc. Using a mouse, you can look at the screen and choose the option you want at the same time.
– To position the cursor when editing, deleting etc.
– To select the object to be moved, copied etc.
– The scroll lets you scroll up and down the screen rather than use the scroll in the right-hand side of the screen.
> CD ROM drive
– So that I can add new software that will help the new system
– So that I can put some of the data into a CD as a backing store.
> Acer speakers
– If there is an error, it can make a sound that will alert the user that an error has occurred.
THE USE OF OPERATING SYSTEM
The operating system is the most important part in a computer system. An operating system is software that controls the general operation of a computer, which consists of a set of programs and routines. It contains programs that would enable the user to copy files, delete, load or save files. It is very ideal for this application because of the amount of data that is to be handled, that cannot be handled manually. Using an operating system, it creates a user-friendly environment in which the user can run programs (the loading and running of it), controlling peripherals (most importantly, the printer) etc.
* Through observation
By observing the manual work done in the office and by observing the teachers as well, I was able to come up with some samples of their manual work.
By observing the teachers, I was able to observe the way the attendance register was maintained and the way her mark register was maintained. Sample 1 shows how the attendance register looks and samples 2 and 3 shows the mark register for two subjects. The DFD 1 [Data Flow Diagram] shows how the teachers handle test corrections. Sample 4 shows the report card after the teacher’s has filled in the details of the student’s progress. Another thing I observed is that before the report cards are to be filled in with the details of the student’s grades, they are handed in to the office to be signed by the principal. This took a very long time because there are many other reports to be signed by the principal so the job was divided between two secretaries. Each had a rubber stamp with the principal’s signature on it and they divided the job between the two of them.
Also, by observing, I also got hold of some pay slips and sample 5 is the result after the payroll clerk has filled in the details and calculated the net salary. As we see, there has been some data that has to be written manually, owing to the fact that probably the payroll clerk has forgotten to add. We also see that the output is untidy.
For the income statements, the accountant searches for the information they need in their ledgers and makes income statements. From what I observed this could take time because the accountant has to refer to other ledgers so as to come up with an income statement.
* Interview with a teacher
Below is my interview with a teacher, Professor Minerva Mcgonagall, a mathematics teacher, on how she corrects her test papers etc.
ME: Good Morning Prof. Mcgonagall. Let’s go straight to the point. How do you correct your papers?
Prof. Mcgonagall: Well, before I give a test, I set up a paper and create a marking scheme where the questions I put on my tests has all the answers … I mean all the PROBABLE answers and when I check the papers, after the test, I refer to my marking scheme.
ME: But Ma’am, the
re might be other answers, that are correct but may not be in your marking scheme. How do you handle
Prof. Mcgonagall: Well, if there is an answer that is not in my marking scheme, but I feel that it’s somehow correct, but I’m not 100% sure, I discuss it with other teachers and/or I go to the library and check it out.
ME: Now, I heard you are a class teacher of one of the classes in this school. Tell me the jobs faced by a class teacher.
Prof. Mcgonagall: I have the job of maintaining the attendance register. I have to make sure that the students are either present or absent. But I usually have a student in my class to do it for me. And I am in-charge of the report cards. I have to make sure that the teachers that teach them fill in the subjects and before that, I have to hand it in to the office to be signed and then I put in comments and that’s it, I guess. And I am also in charge of handling the distribution of notices and forms to the students in my class.
ME: Ok. Now, how about the maintenance of mark registers? Have you ever misplaced it? How many mark registers do you keep?
Prof. Mcgonagall: Well, I actually keep 2 registers because I teach Mathematics for Sr. 4 boys as well as girls plus the Sr. 5s. And I also teach Bible for Jr. 6 D. I did misplace my register once, for my Chemistry Sr. 4boys. My, My! What a headache that was! I had to give two more tests for the boys and I had to correct it in a hurry otherwise I would not have anything to write in their reports. And I did misplace one report card once.
ME: And what did you do about that report card?
Prof. Mcgonagall: Well, I told the office and they gave me a new report card and I had to write the all the details all over again. I filled it up in such a hurry that I never got a chance to re-check it again as I usually do.
ME: What do you think about the manual system of this school? Have you ever tried to propose a computerized system?
Prof. Mcgonagall: Oh yes! I have been telling the secretary that its time this school goes for the modern technology but no! All she said is, “Sorry Professor. It’s not in my power to do such things.” I mean, like, as if she isn’t facing the hardships of this manual system. I can see her struggling with those pay slips and I can also see the accountant, Ms. Jorkins, struggling to produce those income statements and balance sheets. How many times I tried to tell these people that we need a computerized system, but they said that it’s not in the budget.
ME: What kind of computerized system would you propose?
Prof. Mcgonagall: Well, actually, I prefer to use Microsoft Office, where they provide a word processing program, spreadsheet program, database program. I would not say no to the use of Internet. Goodness knows how my students more about such things than me.
ME: Well, thank you, Professor, for your time.
Prof. Mcgonagall: No problem at all.
I want to do a computerized system for this school, where the jobs can be done faster and easier for the people working there. I want to a system where the data can be saved in a secure place, where the data can be maintained in an orderly fashion, where the human errors can be detected automatically and corrected and where calculations can be done accurately and that no wrong input can be input.
I want to create a worksheet showing the attendance register of a particular class. This worksheet will show if the students was present or absent for a class. If the student was present, the teacher would mark it with a ‘P’ and if the student was absent, he/she would be marked with an ‘A’. The function I will use here is the COUNTIF function only.
Another worksheet I want to create is a mark sheet that shows a student marks in a particular subject. This will contain at least three test marks, the total of these marks and then the term average. The functions I will use here are SUM and AVERAGE. I will also create a worksheet that shows the records of the students’ marks in all subjects. The total will be calculated and finally the overall average.
I will also create a worksheet that will show a report card, back and front. The marks present here will be the marks taken from the worksheet containing all the student’s marks by using the function VLOOKUP.
A worksheet containing the salary information of the schools employees will also be created. This will show the basic wage the employee gets, the main salary (which is more than the basic) and the allowance (which is the difference between the basic and the main salary). I will also highlight the employees, which have more than 2350 pounds so that they get bonus and a tax payment, using CONDITIONAL FORMATTING function.
I will also generate a worksheet which shows the salary statement. This will show the total expense made by the salaries. I will include an ADDRESS field, which will show the address of the employees. I will use the SUBTOTALS function so that the calculations of the total expense made will be easier.
And finally, I will also create an income statement worksheet that will show the total income and statement made by the school. I will also include a pie chart to show the income and expense.
First of all I want to tackle the problems using Ms Excel. Let us tackle the calculation problems first. Using simple functions like SUM and AVERAGE, we would be able to get a fast and simple answer and to make sure that the answer is correct, we can re-check to see if the values that we input is correct. When it comes to mathematical calculations in income statements, using simple functions as shown above will do.
Now let us see the problems in mark registers. We can create a lot of worksheets [and name it ‘mark registry 1’ or ‘2’ and so on] where we can input all the marks of students, from different subjects [see sample 2 or 3] in the mark register into the computer and for the calculations for Total and Average and Percentage, it is here we can apply the use of SUM and AVERAGE and for percentage we can make a formula like the one shown below:
(G8 – an example of a cell address) =G8/200*100
Now we can create another sheet [named ‘attendance’] where we can input the regularity of attendance of each student. Those who are present can be marked ‘P’ and the absentees ‘A’. We use the function, COUNTIF, where we can count the no. of the absentees or those who were present by using a formula like the one shown below:
(B21:Q28 – range of cells) =COUNTIF (B21:Q28,”A”)
And to create a report card, we can use a function VLOOKUP where we can take the data from the worksheets named ‘mark register 1’ or ‘mark register 2’ and so on. The formula would look something like the one shown below:
=VLOOKUP (102,CUSTOMER! A2:H3, 1,TRUE)
And now before printing out the report card, we must check and see if the data on the report cards are correct and if it is, we can print out a neat and nice report card.
In case, I want to see the top ten in the mark registers, I can use the AUTOFILTER option. This function can display all rows that fall within the upper or lower limits I’ve specify. This makes the data look organized.
The above is just an example of what I’m planning to do. Using certain function shown above and some more functions I haven’t mentioned, I can create pay slips, income statements etc.
To produce the pay slips, I plan to make a worksheet [and name in ‘salaries’] that will show the teachers’ names, basic salary, housing allowance, gross salary, deductions such as tax, pension plan etc. and the net salary. To achieve this, I plan to use functions such as SUM and to create the pay slip; I will use VLOOKUP to put all the necessary details.
Concerning my worksheets, I would also like to validate my data. If I use the VALIDATION option in my worksheets, it can somehow, prevent the wrong input of values because I have specified a range where, if I input a number, I can only input a number between that specified range. If I input a wrong value or a value more or less than the specified range, an error message would appear stating that I have input a wrong value. I plan to use this VALIDATION option in my ‘mark registries’ worksheets in my ‘salaries’ worksheet.
As for my outputs, I want a clear, neat report card that shows the student’s grades for each subject and comments and the average percentage of the student. I want a pay slip that shows the basic and gross and net salaries along with the deductions and name of the person who is to receive the pay slip. I want the income statements for every 3 months to show all the income the school gets from the tuitions, services, bookshop, canteen and the expenses such as the salaries, electricity, water, and I want to see the total income and the total expense of the school. And also I want to generate a graph that would be used a presentation of the school’s income and expense report. The basic outputs I will produce are the attendance sheet, the marks sheet, the salary information sheet, the salary statement sheet, the income statement sheet and the pie charts. Attendance sheets are very essential to the teacher since it contains the information whether a student was present or absent. Mark sheets are very important also because without these marks, there would be no report card.
All the data I have input into the computer can be lost in many ways. When a computer virus gets into the computer system, it can cause the CPU to malfunction, and as a result of this malfunction, data can be lost. Hacking is illegal. Yet there are many hackers that can access authorized data and extract it and this is also another way of losing data.
* COMPUTER VIRUS
A computer virus can enter a computer system by downloading certain files in the Internet. It may erase important files and corrupt the computer, causing the computer to ‘freeze’ or suddenly stop working. There are viruses that can become active on certain dates [e.g.: – Michelangelo virus] and can delete the files in a computer. There are certain viruses that are in a computer but you are not even aware that it’s there.
To protect my computer from getting infected, I would use an anti-virus program that would detect viruses and delete it. But then to make sure that my computer would not get infected, an anti-virus program has to updated every once in a while to make sure it detects new viruses. I can also make certain software write-protected so the virus cannot change it.
Hackers can enter the school system and get any information they want. Since they can access the system, they have also gained access to delete files from a computer. They can cause mix the data and take it from a file and put in another file. They can also send viruses to a computer system that can cause the computer system to malfunction.
So how can I protect my computer from hackers? I can use user passwords for all files in my system. I can choose a password that not even the hackers could think of. I can also encrypt my data in my computer. Data encryption is when the data is encoded in such a way that no one can read it. It can be decoded back to its original form. Therefore the hacker would not understand the file in my computer and therefore he won’t be able to do anything to it.
* BACKING STORES
The backing store I would put my important files into would be a compact disc. I prefer to use re-writable CDs so that any data I put into the CD can be erase anytime want to. I prefer to use CDs because of the large capacity it can hold. It can hold about 700 megabytes so I can store many documents in it. I can also use floppy discs for small documents. I want to back up my files because there are chances that we think our files are safe but it’s not. So in case I do lose some data, at least I know it’s saved somewhere. And I can also use the hard disc in the computer. It is where I can store all the files and folders and data for the school. But to make sure that in case data gets lost or destroyed, I have a backing medium like CDs or floppy disks.
The following are the outputs that the user wants to be implemented, now that I have provided them with the outline of my plan.
> The calculations in an income and salary statement or pay slips are supposed accurate and exact.
> List of all students who failed or list of students who got A+ grades.
> Forms to be filled out by students.
> The attendance sheet that shows how many times the student was absent.
> A marks sheet that shows the records of the students marks in all subjects and the term average of each student.
> The salary information sheet that shows the records of the employees’ salaries.
> The report card can be printed without mistakes.
> A graph showing the income and expense of the school.
> Tables that show different information.(Attendance sheet, marks sheet etc.)