Futuring is filled with many parts. When all the parts are used and played out correctly we can see many different outcomes for the future of education. Two important parts of futuring are scenarios and scanning. Scenarios, not only used for educational purposes, “have become extremely popular.” (Mietzner, D., Reger, G., pg. 221) are used to plan out a variety of different outcomes so that there is a smaller chance of unexpected events. Scanning is a process in which all the information you will be looking at is collected, such as different styles of doing things and popular trends. This information is then put together and used to compile ideas about the future. With all the time and effort put into futuring we can see how it is a very important step in the educational world. It is important to have a plan of action for the future so that teachers are getting the best of information to pass along to their students. If there is not futuring there may never be new and better ways to do things and everyone would be stuck in the same spot and not advancing at all.
Scenarios is a very big and important step and a very useful resource in futuring and has been around for a very long time. There are many types of scenarios such as “Complete formulated scenarios, Sketchy scenarios, Global scenarios, Problem specific scenarios” (Mietzner, D., Reger, G., pg. 225) which are used to provide many different outcomes for the future and can be used in many different areas, not just the education field. Businesses and school administration can use scenarios alike. Anyone who uses scenarios is in the end looking for many different ideas and outcomes that could potentially happen in the future.
While scenarios can be very beneficial there are also some down falls of this type of research. Positively, scenarios will give the end user many different ideas of things that can happen in the future good or bad. The information can be used to make better decisions on what can come next for the group. New ideas and developments can come from putting together many different ideas and a stronger more powerful outcome can happen. Many different and new developments can arise because people are thinking outside of the box. On the negative side, there is a lot of time and effort needed in collecting the information. Making sure that everything was taken into account when scenarios were developed and will all the work put into creating scenarios even be useful in the end? Also when all the scenarios are created and ready for use it will take time for the ideas to come in effect which can be disconcerting for people with all of the work they have put forth.
Scanning is the other step in futuring. Scanning is a process in which all the current trends and ways of doing things is collected from places such as the news, newspapers and magazines. Things that are collected are long-term items and not “what’s hot now” and quickly disappears. “The initial and continuing process of reviewing and analyzing current literature, Web sites, and other media to identify and describe noteworthy trends and their possible development and future impacts.” (WFS, para. 1) With scanning, useful information is extracted from many different areas and put altogether in one place. When all this information is gathered in one place it becomes a useful tool in the futuring process because it can give us a peek into what the type of trends can be in the future.
Along with scenarios, scanning have positive and negative sides to it. On the positive side there is a lot of information collected that is relevant to today. We can see what is working and what is not working within this collection. There are many different trends and ideas that work today that will have a positive effect on the future of education. Information can be collected and trends and ideas that are already instilled can now be made stronger and better for the future. Negatively, because there is so much information available, and it is changing so fast that it may be hard to determine what information is actually relevant. The process of scanning is time consuming and there is so much information out there that if the relevant information is not collected it could negatively impact the outcome. Many people can have different ideas of what is trending now based on their own thoughts and ideas. In this case it can be hard to choose what information can be used throughout the process and not just be one sided.
In conclusion, we can see that with these two steps, scenarios and scanning are important steps within futuring. There is a lot of information to be collected and used and there are both positive and negative effects of both areas. It is very important that special care is taken within each step so that proper information is gathered and used in the correct way to get the most positive outcome there can be. Scenarios can be very useful and help us all see the many different outcomes we can have for the future. We can step outside the box and think of many different way to do things to make the future better for our educators and students. With scanning we can see the many benefits this type of step has to offer. We can see what is trending now and use this information to make the trends stronger and more useful in the future, or create new ideas because of the experiences. Both are needed and useful steps in the futuring process and will help get to a better end result.
Mietzner, D., Reger, G. (2005) Advantages and disadvantages of scenario approaches for strategic foresight, Retrieved on November 6th from
World Future Society (2015) Methods, Retrieved on November 6th from http://www.wfs.org/methods,
Kirkwood, H. (2015) Futuring, Retrieved on November 7th from http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Ex-Gov/Futuring.html