Promoting early learning through the support and empowerment of families—especially those who are under-resourced—has become an imperative for education leaders nationwide. In 2014, New America published Envisioning a Digital Age Architecture for Early Education to help leaders visualize success in this media-infused environment.
Since then, New America and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop have joined forces to document initiatives that use digital tools to connect with vulnerable families and improve educational outcomes. This project culminated in a public, interactive map which uses data visualization to show where innovative programs are located, how those programs are designed, and what evidence of impact they are able to share. Interactive tools such as on-demand video and text messaging are being used to inspire and reassure parents, to share learning materials between formal and informal settings, and to bring parents closer to their children’s learning. The map and an accompanying report, Integrating Technology in Early Literacy: A Snapshot of Community Innovation in Family Engagement, has been used since 2015 by policymakers and philanthropy leaders in early learning to better understand the current landscape of programs across the country.
Now, New America and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center are working to update the map. We invite family engagement and early learning program leaders to fill out our survey. Results will be published publicly next Spring, giving community and state leaders around the country new insights on the changing landscape and which innovations are having a positive impact.