EDEM630: Making Some Key Decisions; Scenario Planning for the future of Whitman #SP4Ed

Learning in 2025

A National Grid for Global Competitiveness; Future Scenarios by Knowledgeworks

Learning in 2025:

Drawn to the scenario grid by Knowledgeworks, I lean heavily towards the ‘Oasis and Provider’ quadrant of the scenario because it is plausible and applies well to this study and the perceivable future of Whitman. The providers are a core group defined by their technological advancement, global connectedness and entrepreneurial creativity. Even though we are an independent entity, our learners come from a demographics which is highly motivated by performance levels and data management. The aim then would be to recognise that it is better to set up a dashboard which will enable these providers with to make sound and wise decision, rather than slip back into a desert controlled by scarce resources.

My decision making context

I am reviewing this scenario from the lens of  the head of department of Educational Technology at an International Secondary school based in , Amman, Jordan. Since our school has just gone trough an accreditation process with an International Organisation based on the American system, we are take the opportunity to

Overview of the Scenario:

The organisation is set up as a non-profit one a majority of its stakeholders are  based overseas. It is in the process of developing and growth; having started off as a place for home-schooling mothers to congregate and provide quality education to their children.  As the organisation has grown up by default, there are some interesting factors in play which can be segregated into either into  beneficial or  detrimental to its growth. However, I know that it is easier to assess these with a 20/20 hindsight, and the value now lies in exploring the possible scenarios that will help it to step into the next generation of providing quality education to its learners.  In some ways I almost feel as if it is about to take a quantum leap and totally miss the step of going down the the traditional growth process. We have  the ability to conjure up the scenarios and have no restrains other than ensuring that we design our ‘badges’ for the students to collect on the way out to flourish in the future. I am whole heartedly entering into the world of conjecture here, because of course I have no idea what the future will hold.

Why do we need to change? The key factors affecting Whitman

  • We are functioning on a assessment based system rather than focusing on personalised learning for each student
  • We have limited resource both of financial and facility
  • Limited funds restrict us from acquiring educators who can commit for a longer period
  • Political demands on day to day functioning because of demographics
  • An international community who require other than a standardised score at the end of high school
  • Text book based as opposed to utilising the easily available resources available with digital learning ( limiting learning experiences)

Brainstorm a list of recommendations

  • Join hands with key decision-makers and globally savvy entrepreneurs to develop and help shape the future of Whitman; this gives the providers a stake in the development and yet drives the change
  • Provide varied learning options; MOOC, OER, other project based courses and internships with firms which can mentor and develop skills for the future
  • Assist teachers to up skill by opening up their classroom domain and using online learning management system ( Moodle)
  • Utilise the resources provided in the region to develop courses focusing on environmental and political decision making techniques rather than exam and text book courses set in a different geographical location ( relevant life skills using contextualised learning)
  • Create a learning environment rather than classes and formal chronological structures for learning ( showcase some design and scenarios to test and pilot)
  • Invest in trialling and developing partnerships with local entrepreneurs

Two most strategic decisions:

  1. The richness of the language and culture can only be gained by focusing and interacting with the local community and the resources it has to offer, otherwise we tend to be blinkered in our approach to decision making abilities. If we are perpetually learning to live “there’ and preparing for it then we miss what the here and now has to offer.  The true value of the education we offer to our students lies not in the test we make them take at the end of maths lesson but how we can make it come alive for them by giving them a passion and desire to apply it. It is imperative that the learning is contextualised to each learner; considering we have only 18 children in a class this is perceivable and possible. The aim is to move away from summative assessment ( if we must assess) to a more formative, learning and personalised model. The question to ask is ‘What’ the student has learned and applied to their life rather than ‘how’ did they do in a test.
  2. Building smart social networks to connect with stakeholders globally is essential and imperative. The aim is for us to have the driving wheel in our hands and then make wise decisions on when and where to turn. Knowing the road blocks ahead helps to chose alternative routes; however, if we are oblivious to them then we will continuously be making ‘U’ turns. Linking in with technologically savvy entrepreneurs, who have a vested interest in not only the finances but seeing growth and advanced allows us to all come out as winner.

Transferability of recommendations for the scenarios alternatives:

The innovation and creativity of learning spaces at Whitman can be opened up to share the ideas and collaborate with the local educational environment. This then truly shifts the focus from the ‘Oasis/Provider’ to the ‘Oasis/Prosumer’ quadrant. The best aspect of this transferability is that there is a rich aspect of openness and the the ability to share resources. The tip over from the standardising of the the learning to allowing for a culture of flexible innovation.

WebLinks

http://knowledgeworks.org

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