On January 2, 2017, SCE is opening applications for a new Challenge initiative focused on digital learning. Over the last two weeks, SCE has posted a series of blogs that outline why we view digital learning as a key pathway to the development of 21st century skills and a list of questions we aim to address through our next this initiative. This is the final post in the series before the newest program goes live. We call it: What Does Success Look Like?
SCE Digital Learning Challenge: What Does Success Look Like?
Our previous investments and partnerships have taught us that that many afterschool programs have access to the internet and computers, but the quality of programming and equipment is highly variable depending on where kids live and what resources are available. We know that training can be expensive and for many inaccessible, but we believe that many organizations have figured out innovative ways to train their staff on new models of teaching and learning and digital technology at low-cost and high-impact.
That said, we are well aware of the fact that technology alone is not the answer and technical assistance can be scarce and expensive, but we are certain there are organizations out there that have figured out clever ways to cut through some of these challenges.
We believe that the people working for nonprofits all across the country have figured out ways to use both interpersonal and digital skill-building to equip youth with the skills to thrive. This initiative is focused on those organizations: we want to learn how organizations work with the people, utilize the spaces, and find the resources readily available in the community to implement a digital learning program that is both engaging and impactful.
If you’ve been following along this blog series, you are aware that SCE intends to bring together a learning community of afterschool programs and a strong evaluation partner to engage in a process to uncover best practices. It is our assumption that each partner operates in their own specific way, with their own specific language, but we believe there are likely commonalities. Throughout this Challenge, we plan to also invite human resource professionals, system intermediaries, and digital media supply-side organizations (including product developers and distributors) to the table in an attempt to break down silos between and across industries, while supporting and promoting collaboration.
Success for us means getting closer to the solutions of these tough challenges and finding creative ways to communicate and elevate these ideas so other informal learning practitioners and educators can make use of them. We hope to better understand from you, the afterschool organizations, how we can better support partnerships and growth among informal learning environments, system intermediaries, and supply-side developers and distributors to ensure that teens are equipped with the 21st century skills they need to thrive as individuals, professionals and citizens.
We hope this program captures your interest and imagination. It is a large challenge, one that will involve hard work, time, learning, connection with quality colleagues, and, of course, fun.