At Digital Promise, we believe that decisions should be informed by research. As the national EdClusters network has grown, regional entrepreneurs increasingly have sought evidence-based guidance on how to best support education innovation in their communities. Research that catalogs the elements and functions of effective, robust EdClusters can be used to identify how unique ecosystems emerge and grow. Sharing results widely will scale this regional work across the nation.
In 2017, seven EdClusters regions collaborated with Digital Promise to develop research designs for their clusters. Collectively, we also developed a shared research agenda for EdClusters, in an effort to demonstrate the value of network-building in the regional education space.
Some key EdCluster research themes that emerged during the meeting include:
- How networks facilitate the equitable diffusion of social capital
- How networks scale learning innovations
- Connections between formal and informal networks
- How resources are shared among networks
- How communication works within networks
- How technology influences information-flows in networks
- How networks galvanize around initiatives or goals, e.g. personalized learning, graduation rates
- The role of equity in networks
- How networks are affected by geography
- How networks influence policy