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.
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. 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.
Some communities are also taking steps to prepare
educators as media mentors to help families and
children be choosy about media and learn how to
use digital tools for learning.
But so far, these efforts are sporadic and fragile.
Very few are fully sustainable or ready to scale up.
Leaders need a plan and relevant resources. Our hope is that
this interactive toolkit will help to generate that planning.
This toolkit is currently in its beginning stages; we will be adding resources and subsections for a more comprehensive publication in Spring 2018. One resource, for example, is our interactive map of innovative programs in localities around the country; we are now in the process of updating that map, based on a survey we are conducting through the end of 2017. (Take the survey here.) We want to create resources that will meet your needs. If you have suggestions for resources, please email all requests here.