Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age (EDDA) is a partnership between Mills College, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), and the National Writing Project. The purpose of this initiative is to leverage web 2.0 tools and best practices in civic education to provide all high school students with opportunities that will prepare and motivate them to work for positive change in their communities. In other words we aim to prepare students to be community ready.

By providing civic learning opportunities through the standard curriculum that include academic skill development, exposure to models of civic engagement, and opportunities for youth to work on issues that are relevant to them we can reach all OUSD students and support the development of empowered civic and political actors.

By strengthening pathways for students to develop digital media literacies around online research and digital production that enable them to successfully research, analyze, and act on civic issues EDDA provides OUSD students an increasingly essential civic competency.

EDDA Initiative Goals – We are working to accomplish the following goals by the end of three years:

  • Identify areas of the core curriculum from 9th – 12th grade in the where civic learning opportunities will expand and enhance students’ knowledge, skills, and capacities
  • Develop comprehensive plans at each high school that articulate the civic learning opportunities that will be provided to youth in a sequenced way culminating in a civic capstone project in senior year
  • Build a common understanding of what it means to prepare students to be community ready through the district graduate profile
  • Create models of high quality civic capstone projects that teachers co-create, pilot, and refine for spread throughout the district.


Participating Schools

The EDDA initiative is working with 40 teachers from 7 high schools in Oakland to develop curricular models in the humanities that provide students with opportunities to investigate civic issues, learn civic skills, and engage in civic action.

Participating schools include

  • Castlemont High School (The Castle)
  • Coliseum College Prep Academy
  • Fremont High School
  • Met West High School
  • Oakland High (O-high)
  • Oakland Technical High School (Tech)
  • Skyline High School
  • Sojourner Truth Academy


EDDA Funders



The EDDA Leadership Team and partners are enormously grateful to the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for funding this initiative. The S.D. Bechtel Foundation is dedicated to advancing a productive, vibrant, and sustainable California. For more visit: Bechtel Foundation


mac-logo_smallThe EDDA Leadership Team and partners are also enormously grateful to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for providing additional funding for the EDDA initiative. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. For more visit: MacArthur Foundation


imagesThe EDDA Leadership Team and partners are also enormously grateful to the Educator Innovator Network for funding that expands EDDA work through the Educating for Participatory Politics project. The Educator Innovator Network’s Innovator Fund provides direct support to practitioners who want to move their practice toward connected learning and community engagement. For more visit: Educator Innovator