One of EDDA’s major accomplishments was working with OUSD to add Community Readiness as a component of the OUSD graduate profile. Beginning in 2013, OUSD seniors aspired to graduate College, Career and Community Ready. Community Ready means students are prepared to draw on their civic and digital learning experiences to identify and analyze issues that matter to them and their community; to take informed, thoughtful action in collaboration with others; to analyze the effectiveness of their actions and reflect on what they learned.
In our knowledge-based culture, fueled by the flood of information available through the Web, it’s vital to be able to determine relevance and credibility of sources in a variety of formats – text, image, audio, video – as a means to analyze issues knowledgeably. To be Community Ready students need to be able to identify issues that matter to them and their community, develop the questions that guide inquiry and deep analysis of those issues, and consider multiple perspectives.
Civic and political action in the digital age is less reliant on established organizations or formal institutions. People can mobilize their peers or an informal network to address social and political issues directly without the mediation of formal political institutions. Through digital networks people can potentially communicate their political perspectives more quickly and more widely than ever before. To be Community Ready students need to learn how to take informed action, communicate thoughtfully and persuasively, collaborate with others, and document their actions both for reflection and to share with others.
Reflection is critical for civic identity development, for one’s understanding of civic issues, analyzing the impact of one’s actions, and considering one’s role as a civic actor. To be Community Ready students need to be able to analyze the effectiveness of actions they have taken, including whether they met goals, were able to mobilize others, and revise course based on action results. They also need to reflect on their learning experience throughout the process.