Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Build Social Determinants of Education Dashboard

In today's article I want to inspire you to learn more about the Social Determinants of Education and data dashboards that public schools could fund using ESSER dollars.  I confess, I had not heard this term, nor thought much about Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Federal Funding (ESSER) dollars until attending a webinar yesterday.

This was a three-part presentation.

Part 1, featuring @RS21smarter showed ways to "use data "outside the four walls of a school" to improve student outcomes.  The presenters talked about how a growing understanding of social determinants have been used to inform public health and healthcare initiatives, and how "Social Determinants of Education" can be blended with school data to understand the impact on achievement."  Then they showed how data dashboards can support decision-making.

Below are three graphics from the @RS21smarter part of the presentation: 

The first shows things outside of the school that affect education outcomes. 

The second goes into greater detail showing the type of information educators should be looking at and that can be accumulated in the type of data dashboard @RS21smarter demonstrated.  I appreciated how clearly the presenters described this information.  

The third is a screen shot from a demonstration of how the data is mapped with a geographic interface. 

Part 2 was a demonstration by Bill Barberg, Founder and President of InsightFormation, Inc. showing how strategy management dashboards can support and monitor multi-stakeholder strategy success.  

Part 3 focuses on how ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Federal Funding) funding (Covid19 government funds) can help with the cost of building dashboards that combine both elements.  

I can't really do justice to the information presented, so I encourage you to take time to watch the video recording of the webinar. click here

3-19-2022 update - here's a blog from RS21 with their section of the webinar featured.

7-27-2022 update - here's another demonstration of using data and maps the target location of social services. 

Here are four articles to help you expand your understanding of Social Determinants of Education:





Why does this excite me so much?

When we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 we intended to build a master database of Chicago non-school, volunteer-based tutor and mentor programs and share that information using maps that showed where they were located and where they were most needed, using indicators like poverty, school performance, violence, etc. 

We also wanted to show assets within the same geographic region of different programs, who could supply volunteers, dollars, ideas and technology to help programs constantly improve their impact on the lives of kids and volunteers.  Initially we published this information in a printed directory, but in 2004 put the directory on-line in a searchable format, then in 2008 in a map-based format.  

Visit this page and this page on my wiki to read about the goals of the program locator and our GIS mapping. 

The dashboard I saw demonstrated yesterday by @RS21smarter represents 15 years of knowledge and technology advancement over what I had started in 1994!  Furthermore the demonstration model is built using Open Source technology, making the code available to every city and technology hub in the world! 

The second part of the presentation also resonated. In 1999 a volunteer from the University of Kansas built an Organizational History and Tracking System (OHATS T/MC) for the Tutor/Mentor Connection, based on work being done by the Work Group on Health Promotion at the university.  In 2007 a team of volunteers from India rebuilt the original OHATS.  This PDF shows how information from the original version was reported in 2002.  This video describes that information. 

When OHATS was rebuilt in 2007 the new site included animated charts showing information for each strategy step.  Thus, we were beginning to build data dashboards in the early 2000s!  Imagine what we might have done since 2011 if we'd continued to receive funding! Sadly I was not able to update this after 2013 and now it's only available as an archive.

It's because I've been collecting and sharing information since 1975 to help people become more effective tutors and mentors and to help programs like the one I led get the resources each needs to constantly improve that I saw so much potential value in the dashboards and ideas about Social Determinants of Education.

The challenge is a) how do I (and others) help more people look at this and use available ESSER dollars and local technology talent to build versions to support kids in their own school districts?  b) how do I help them add some of the ideas behind my own use of maps, to build on-going campaigns to draw volunteers, donors and youth through the dashboards, to the out-of-school resources that are so valuable in student development -- such as tutor/mentor programs? c) how I motivate others to consider using similar dashboards in their own work? 

Here's an example.  I attended another webinar this week, which in this case was an introduction to the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys, established by Congress in August 2020 and now up and running.  This looks like one potentially good thing done by our former President and his GOP Senate.  This event was hosted by Brookings and launched with this article

While I post on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram I seem to have the most interaction on Twitter. Here's an example of how I tried to tie the information in this article together in one Tweet.

Final thought. There are other dashboards.   

I point to many from this concept map.  To help people build the most effective dashboards I feel someone needs to be building a library of these, just like my library of Chicago tutor/mentor programs.  Then, someone needs to look at each and determine what features are most valuable, intuitive and easy-to-use. Then, constantly share this information in ways that help everyone constantly improve.

By the way. That's been needed for my own library since I launched it in 1994.  So far no one  has taken this role. 

Thanks to the people who organized these webinars and made it possible for myself and others to attend.  I hope many will find the information useful and valuable for helping kids who are being left behind by the opportunities of America. 

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