General Information


Specific Competencies



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We use a variety of pedagogical approaches in this course: guest lectures, discussion, individual and team projects, interactive computer assisted instruction, and student presentations (written, oral, and visual). You are expected to have access to a computer and to be competent with word processing, presentation, and telecommunication software. In addition, you are expected to have an Internet address and check your e-mail at least once per day.

If you lack computer competencies, please see the receptionist at the Technologies Learning Center in 012 Peabody Hall (the ground floor) for assistance in scheduling programmed instructional materials on lab computers and to obtain forms necessary to obtain an e-mail account. Note that the UNC Office of Information Technology Training Center provides free hands-on classes on a variety of microcomputer and workstation operating systems and applications, including Internet, Word, Excel. I will distribute the schedule of classes in class; however, you must call 962-1160 to register. The Training Center is located on the fourth floor of Hanes Hall.

We will use a variety of procedures in this course. In the initial phase of this course we will focus on the critical literature found within the topics listed below in the topical outline. While in this phase, you will prepare for your role as a member of a planning team for a simulated educational organization by serving as an environmental scanner/abstractor and by contributing to the environmental scanning data base used for this course. The second phase of the course consists of a simulation whereby you will work through each phase of a strategic planning/management process to plan for a school in Orange Country for the 21st century.

The specific requirements of the course are to prepare an annotated bibliography for each step of the planning process (external analysis, internal analysis, strategic direction, strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation), prepare at least three environmental scanning abstracts that may be used in the simulation exercise portion of the course and participate effectively as a member of the planning team planning for a new school in Orange County that is to be in place by the year 2000.

Class Participation

The members of the class bring a rich diversity of background experiences, training, and interest to each session. Part of being an educational leader is being able to learn from others in a group setting by questioning them and by putting forth one's own ideas, so that they can be questioned by others. Class participation is expected.


The presentation of the planning project will be in lieu of a final examination. This project can take several forms:

  1. Be a member of a team charged with drafting a technology plan for one of the new schools in Orange county (an elementary school, a middle school, or a secondary school). The final product is a written, oral and multimedia presentation to the simulated Orange County School Board (your instructor and the current superintendent).

  2. Be a member of a planning team for a school and use the planning tools described in Meeting the Challenges of Educational Leadership to lead the faculty and staff of that school in a planning for technology exercise that includes external analysis, internal analysis, strategic direction, strategic plans, implementation plans, and plans for evaluation.

  3. Be a member of a planning team acting as consultants to a school district. This project will consist of designing introductory presentations of each component of the planning process including how your team will assist the staff plan for the future.

Begin by scheduling (with the TLC receptionist) a work station set up for this class in the Technology Learning Center. One work station consists of a CD ROM player connected to an Apple Macintosh computer; the other consists of a videodisk player connected to an Apple Macintosh computer. On each workstation you will find a handbook, Teaching, Learning, and Technology: A Planning Guide, and an EDSP folder on the hard drive that contains planning templates. The workbook contains all instructions for using the videodisk and CD ROM materials, and suggests at what stages you use these materials. Note that it focuses on developing long-range technology plans, not generic strategic plans. However, the six step process used in the planning guide conform to the six step process in the Morrison, Forbes, Wilkinson handbook, Challenges to Educational Leadership, which you should use to supplement your development of the plan for your school.

Note that we are beginning the planning process early in the semester in order for you to have time conduct an environmental scan, learn the necessary computer skills, and use the remaining class sessions as checkpoints as to how you will deal with the various issues inherent in the planning process.

Your written draft is due on the date of the final examination, at which time your team will also present the plan to the simulated school board.


The primary task of an environmental scanning monitor is to identify (l) good and objective descriptions of the current environment and (2) signals of potential change. Therefore, you need to abstract such items as analyses of perceived changes in societal values, an increase in worker dissatisfaction, or even changes in life expectancy. You should be particularly alert for forecasts about the future by known authorities, such as:

  • Between 1980 and the year 2000 life expectancy may increase by 5 years.
  • In the year 2000, 40% of the world's electrical power may be generated by nuclear power plants.

Articles that include time series information are often appropriate for abstraction. For example: In 1970, 35% of married women were in the labor force; by 1980 this percentage had risen to 49%; by 1990 this percentage had risen to 51%.


  • A trend is a series of social, technological, economic or political characteristics which can usually be estimated and/or measured over time, such as the number of adults enrolling in continuing education programs since World War II. Trend information may be used to describe the future, identify emerging issues, and project future events.
  • An emerging issue is a potential controversy that arises out of a trend or event which may require some form of response. For example, during World War II, many married women entered the labor force for the first time. An emerging issue at that time would have been controversy over women's roles in the home and family.
  • An issue is a controversy with defined stakeholder interests that requires some form of action. An issue for public schools, for example, is the controversy over implementing a voucher plan.
  • An event is a discreet, unambiguous, confirmable occurrence which makes the future different than the past. An event would be passage of a regulation requiring the implementation of a voucher plan in the state within two years.

A major purpose of analyzing trends and events is to identify emerging issues that may affect education. Issues are composed of trends and events. You may, therefore, may want to include a statement of the issue and the trends and events comprising that issue when abstracting.


  • Does the item represent events, trends, developments, or ideas that you have never before encountered?
  • Does the item contradict previous assumptions or your own beliefs about what seems to be happening?
  • Can you link the item to other abstracts which you have previously written or seen?
  • Do the implications of the item have explicit or implicit bearing on education?


    An abstract is an easy-to-read digest of original material. The goal is to write a concise, accurate presentation of the material that is fully understandable without reference to the original source.

    To begin the summary section, ask yourself, "If I had only a few minutes to describe this article to a colleague, what would I say?" What is the most important idea or event that indicates change? Your response to these questions should be the lead sentence of the abstract. Follow this sentence with development and explanation. Use quotation marks to make it clear when you are making direct citations from the text. Whenever possible, include statistical data. Limit the summary to no more than one-half page of single-spaced, typewritten copy.

    The implications section of the abstract is where you respond to the question, "How will the information in this article affect education?" You might also include a list of those emerging issues suggested by the article, a description of future events you see occurring as a result of the trend identified by the article, and/or an identification of issue stakeholders if they are not listed in the article.

    Speculation about implications is a part of the scanning and abstracting process. Here you try to determine an item's potential for affecting other facets of the social environment and/or education. There are no "right" answers in this section. Please provide the reviewer with a couple of sentences that indicate your reasons for selecting the article for inclusion into the data base.

    Appendix B


    1. Below are listed major newspapers and journals/magazines which constitute a diversity of information resources in various sectors of activity. Under each boldface heading, rank those resources which you wish to be assigned. Each person will be assigned one newspaper to begin scanning immediately, and up to three of the other information resources In these resources, your assignment will be to go back to January 1987 and systematically review each for items worth including in our data base. Select those items in accordance with the guidelines described in Appendix A.

    Major Newspapers

    Rank Publication

    The New York Times

    The Miami Herald

    The Wall Street Journal

    The Chicago Tribune

    The Los Angeles Times

    The Christian Science Monitor

    USA Today

    The Chronicle of Higher Education

    The Washington Post

    Major Journals

    Rank Publication

    American Demographics

    Public Opinion Quarterly

    Public Opinion

    Rank Publication

    High Technology



    Computer World


    Technological Forecasting and Social Change

    Information World

    Rank Publication

    Business Week

    The Economist





    Monthly Labor Review

    Rank Publication

    The National Journal

    Mother Jones

    New Republic

    The National Review

    All Sectors
    Rank Publication

    Vital Speeches of the Day


    Washington Letter

    Across the Board


    Naisbitt Trend Letter


    U. S. News and World Report

    Future Survey

    The Futurist