The Challenge of Teaching Information Technology in Public Administration Graduate Programs

The Challenge of Teaching Information Technology in Public Administration Graduate Programs

Alana Northrop (California State University, Fullertan, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-87828-952-0.ch001
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Abstract

This chapter first points out the need for a reader on information technology by reviewing the importance given computing education by M.P.A. programs and practitioners. Next, the chapter surveys current textbooks’ and general public administration journals’ treatment of the topic since 1985. Three highly respected public administration journals and six textbooks are reviewed. The journals are found to barely treat the topic of computing, whether as a main focus or as merely a mention in articles. The textbooks also barely mention computing. In addition, there was no consistent rubric or chapter topic under which computing is discussed. The need for a reader on information technology and computer applications in public administration is apparent. The chapter then turns to the consideration of what hands-on-skills in computer applications should be a mark of a graduate degree in public administration. It is suggested that there are six generic skills with a seventh one on the horizon. Finally, the chapter concludes by briefly discussing a range of issues that public administrators should be conversant with if they are to successfully utilize computer applications in the delivery of public sector services. <BR>

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