For children birth through age eight, educators are an essential part of any family engagement initiative or outreach program that promotes early learning in the Digital Age. The 2018 InTEL project highlights 17 programs that focus on developing educators’ competencies and skills, focused on early literacy and language, STEM, and the integration of technology into their daily classroom practice. (To read profiles of those programs, go to the interactive map above. Clicking on the dots on the map will bring you to the individual profiles behind each dot; alternatively, you can click on the drop-down menu of programs, and click on the program names.)
In addition to developing competency in those topics, early educators need to recognize their role as collaborators with families; research shows that partnerships between families and educators are beneficial for child development and learning. The U.S. Department of Education’s Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships can help scaffold the development of family engagement strategies, policies, and programs. The dual capacity model lays out the goals and conditions necessary to achieve child success. Educators could review this model and update it with an eye toward digital communications and the ways that families communicate today.