Strengthening EdClusters: Asset Mapping to Improve Our Networks - Digital Promise

Strengthening EdClusters: Asset Mapping to Improve Our Networks

September 24, 2018 | By

The national network of Education Innovation Clusters (EdClusters) has grown substantially in the past few years. Today, the network includes 25 clusters in as many cities, stretching from New York to San Diego. EdClusters across the country are harnessing the talents of researchers, educators, policy-makers, and nonprofit leaders, all collaborating to improve education outcomes for students.

As a convener of this network, Digital Promise constantly seeks new ways to strengthen and improve the work of EdClusters nationwide. In addition to hosting annual convenings where individual practitioners share research and strategies, Digital Promise has committed to developing a set of tools EdClusters can use to enhance their work.

Today, in an effort to help EdClusters improve their own local networks and support community connections, we’ve launched our Asset Mapping toolkit. Asset mapping is a tool for identifying and visualizing existing strengths in a community. Asset maps can take many forms and cover many topics, but the ultimate goal—underscoring local strengths—remains the same. The final format of each map depends heavily on the needs and capabilities of the organization creating it.

To date, EdClusters have created asset maps to highlight local resources for students and educators, show connections between edtech innovators in their communities, and provide career and continuing education advice to their community. Our Asset Mapping toolkit draws on the experience of these EdClusters who have gone through the asset mapping process, in hopes of streamlining the process for others who hope to create their own maps.

The goals of the Asset Mapping toolkit are to help EdClusters determine the asset map’s purpose and audience, the process for gathering data, a curated list of resources, and more. As you work your way through the toolkit, guiding questions will help you narrow your focus, leading you closer to a project plan for the asset map you hope to create. Additional external resources and map examples are also included to provide direction on the process of asset mapping.

In the coming months, Digital Promise will unveil additional tools and case studies to help EdClusters build stronger networks, develop more equitable practices, and support powerful ecosystems of learning. Sign up for our newsletter for updates.

If you have questions or feedback about the Asset Mapping toolkit, reach us at clusters@digitalpromise.org.

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