Tools and Findings from the Field – Digital Promise

Tools and Findings from the Field

Through our EdClusters research cohort and other initiatives, Digital Promise has produced several tools to assist EdClusters as they form and develop. From building strong networks to assessing networks for equity, these tools cover topics that our EdClusters network identified as most important to their work on the ground.

Asset Mapping: A Guide for Education Innovation Clusters
Asset mapping is a tool for identifying and visualizing existing strengths in a community. It can help EdClusters highlight resources so students, families, and other education innovators have an easier time making connections and finding solutions. Asset maps can cover many topics and take many forms; this toolkit provides guiding questions and resources to streamline the development of your map, from ideation to completion.

Principles for Building a Learning Ecosystem – Lessons Learned from Tucson, Arizona
The EdCluster in Tucson, Arizona, has successfully mobilized to support community partnerships and real-world learning in their region. In this case study, we explore several of Tucson’s success stories and present a framework for building strong education ecosystems in any community.

Planning a Social Network Analysis
The most critical component of a healthy EdCluster is a strong network. As EdClusters across the nation grow within their regions, it’s important to take stock of the relationships that are available to build and strengthen. This toolkit provides a simplified approach to Social Network Analysis, which is a research method of understanding relationships and connections between individuals, groups, and things. This approach helps us understand who is working with whom, how information is given or acquired, how power is concentrated or shared within an organization, and how special interest groups form and function.

The Power of Community Networks: Learnings from the Education Innovation Clusters Movement
Field-building is at the heart of the EdClusters network. Dozens of regions have launched multi-sector, multi-stakeholder partnerships and built powerful formal and informal networks that incubate ideas, relationships, and projects. Digital Promise has been honored to support these partnerships, learn from their work, amplify their stories, and create a community of practice for sharing and tackling challenges together through the Education Innovation Clusters initiative. The origin, learnings, and impact of the Education Innovation Clusters movement offers vital lessons, which we have captured here.

Equity Inquiry for Education Networks
Networks have the potential to address some of our deepest challenges in education. But they can also perpetuate the very inequities they seek to address. The EdClusters Equity Working Group developed and workshopped an initial “equity audit” that evolved into our “Equity Inquiry” framework, informed by many others. The tool provides education network leaders and partners with a set of questions to examine diversity, equity, and inclusion in key topic areas: Understanding Your Community, Network Health, Programs and Initiatives, Communications, and Events. It also includes additional guidance and a resource library to support education innovation network-builders in their ongoing equity journeys. Read our blog discussing the framework, explore the tool, and share helpful resources and ideas here.

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