Definitions of Scenario Planning

In an article in Harvard Business Review in 1985, Wack wrote:

“Scenarios deal with two worlds; the world of facts and the world of perceptions. They explore for facts but they aim at perceptions inside the heads of decision-makers. Their purpose is to gather and transform information of strategic significance into fresh perceptions.”
The quotes above and below  helped put some sort of sense into what scenario planning is all about for me.
“From this” (deep discussions with a range of experts) “the group aims to draw up a list of priorities, including things that will have the most impact on the issue under discussion and those whose outcome is the most uncertain. These priorities then form the basis for sketching out rough pictures of the future.”
I love the idea of ‘rough pictures of the future!’
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Technological Fads

To dwell on the earlier fads and disappointments that technology has generated in education would be pedantic. Innovators like to believe that theirs is the real revolution. But technology has been about to transform education for a long time. In 1841 the ‘inventor of the blackboard was ranked among the best contributors to learning and science, if not among the greatest benefactors to mankind’. A century later, in 1940, the motion picture was hailed the most revolutionary instrument introduced into education since the printing press. Television was the educational revolution in 1957. In 1962 it was programmed learning and in 1967 computers. Each was labelled the most important development since Gutenberg’s printing press.
—Sir John Daniel[3]

The blackboard has morphed into the electronic ‘whiteboard’; motion pictures still do play a large part in secondary English education for example; Apple TV plays a part in many junior classrooms.  I think the message is that they are not the ‘real revolution’ so much as a supplement to what happens in the classroom and as such they enhance education.

Predicting the Future

In human affairs — political, social, economic, and business — it is pointless to try to predict the future, let alone attempt to look ahead 75 years. But is possible — and fruitful — to identify major events that have already happened, irrevocably, and that therefore will have predictable effects in the next decade or two. It is possible, in other words, to identify and prepare for the future that has already happened.
—Peter Drucker

I have often wondered how one can predict what the future might hold.  We talk about future focussed learning, but then we can’t be fully sure what this might be like.  Drucker’s quote is a good way of making predictions.  Globalisation, ubiquity, the ‘knowledge-age’ economy will all have an impact on education into the future.

My first MOOC

I’ve signed up to this MOOC out of interest for the topic.  My work involves working with professional development facilitators and with schools in New Zealand to bring about change for students, change that helps students to engage and achieve to the best of their potential.  I am a firm believer that we need to look carefully at what learning currently looks like and feels like for our underachieving students.  How can we do something different, change to accommodate their learning needs and make learning a positive experience for them?  One of the things we are using as part of our work is Teaching as Inquiry and blended e-Learning to begin to engage priority learners in our NZ system.

I have tried to start and maintain a blog post in the past – but this has not worked for me.  It will be interesting to see if I have better luck this time, but suspect I will, given that there will be course material to post about.

I enjoyed reading the article on personal learning environments.  Personalizing learning is one way of engaging students.  I am thinking of it here in terms of finding out about the learner, their interests, their strengths and their level of readiness and ability in order to provide learning opportunities matched to their needs.  Personalising learning helps the learner to take responsibility for their own learning, also a powerful way in which to engage students.  The students that the article refers to are obviously older than the school-age students I am thinking of.  However all students need the opportunity to be working creatively with material.  PLEs allow this to happen.  Students can aggregate material of interest to them, work with others to re-craft it and share their new take on the information – all powerful learning processes.