Tool 1.2 – Identifying Relevant Trends

Identifying relevant trends in society, education and technology that will help define the Future Classroom Scenario

A trend is a gradual change over time, not always immediately apparent, having potential long-term impact. Trends in educational technology and practice form key building blocks on which Future Classroom Scenarios are built. There are two steps: first identifying and describing trends, and then selecting those that are most important.

1 – Identifying trends

It's important to involve a range of people and organisations with different perspectives and ideas. Trends can be identified by, for example:

Sharing ideas with the Core Group of key stakeholders. Look at the trends and themes presented at the European Schoolnet Observatory. It includes: Trends in teaching and learning; Emerging technologies; and Trends identified by teachers and students. Any of these or a mix can be used to start a conversation with the Core Group on trends.

Trends Identification Questionnaire. Ask the Core Group and Wider Community Stakeholders to complete the Trends Identification Questionnaire. It can be sent also to other stakeholders (parents, teachers, suppliers etc.) to capture their views on relevant trends.

2 – Analysing the questionnaire results

Once you have received your completed questionnaires, use the template provided to capture all relevant information. There is a degree of synthesis and interpretation involved, as this is just a way to quickly gauge views and opinions. The analysis of the questionnaires shouldn't take more than a few hours. This should be done by the facilitator.

  • Read the answers and create categories using the template.
  • To create a category, look for common responses and group them. For instance, if five stakeholders said that touch-screens will have an impact on teaching and learning, then write "touch-screen technology" in column 1 and put "5" column 2.
  • Repeat the same for the three questions:
  1. What technologies will have an impact on teaching and learning in the next five years?
  2. What are the challenges that will have an impact on teachers in the next five years?
  3. What are the challenges that will have an impact on students in the next five years? 
  • To complete the table use some of the explanations provided by stakeholders in the questionnaires to summarise the trend, in column 3.
  • Once you have identified trends you will need to identify which ones are the most relevant for you to use to create a Future Classroom Scenario. This process is explained in Tool 1.3 – Ranking Trends.