Monday, May 27, 2013

Scenario planning - a way of thinking

Scenario planning is a creative process of looking into the future to inform strategic planning. It is not a way to predict the future, but to be prepared for possible directions of the present (and maybe to avoid the mistakes of the past!). We live in a world that is constantly changing and therefore it is difficult to know how the future will be like to inform planning for education. What we can do however is to identify major trends that are likely to have a great impact on the wider context in which education is embedded. These trends should not be limited to those that are directly linked to education. Within a wider local, national and global ecosystem, there are political, environmental, social etc factors that have an effect on education, which we may not be able to identify if we look at scenario planning from a single perspective.

I find that scenario planning is not just a planning tool, but also a way of thinking that can make people accept the fact that we don’t know and we can’t control everything. However we can be prepared for alternative futures. I believe that it is a collaborative process, where individuals with different roles and perspectives come together and look into the future from different points of view. Through this workshop I am planning to further reflect on scenario planning in the context of primary/secondary education in New Zealand, perhaps with a little bit more focus in Christchurch, a city that is being rebuilt after two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, at a time where Ultra Fast Broadband in schools across the country is on its way.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Scenario planning on shaky ground

Greetings fellow MOOCers!
One more exciting opportunity to participate in an OpenMassive Online Course via Wikieducator! Last year I completed the eLearning and Digital Technologies MEd at the University of Canterbury. Investigating change with digital technologies was and still is part of my learning journey. I was also an assistant researcher for the DEANZ case study on future scenarios for New Zealand tertiary education.
This year I am working as a primary and secondary Science Educator in Christchurch, New Zealand and I am delighted to look into scenario planning from a different perspective. Christchurch has had many disruptions over the last couple of years due to over 10,000 earthquakes (!), but there are also many interesting things happening with eLearning in schools as a result of that. Although the Christchurch experience has taught us that things don’t always go the way you planned, it has also taught us how to be more resilient and adaptable when on shaky ground (literally!).
I find that scenario planning is a way to increase resilience in change, without excluding adaptation and I am looking forward to further explore this in terms of education in Christchurch. I am excited to have the opportunity to connect with fellow educators and look at different scenario planning case studies in different educational contexts!