Software Innovation Network

Building on the work of Data Ecosystem Innovation Grant project, the creation of the Software Innovation Network focuses on cooperative software development, evaluation and licensing to address currently unmet needs.  The Software Innovation Network will review, revise and improve current practices to provide high-quality software and features to students, educators and administrators:

  • by being highly attentive to meeting Nebraska-specific needs and use cases

  • at a low, sustainable cost

  • with equitable statewide access

  • while raising the level of data privacy and security protections

This Education Innovation Network will include school districts and educational service units working together and with the Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council (ESUCC) to develop and maintain a portfolio of innovative digital tools and resources. Through surveys and follow-up interviews, common areas of need will be identified, clearly defined and prioritized. The highest-priority needs will be selected for focus, and project teams will be assembled to advance toward meeting those needs.

Desired Goals and Outcomes

  • Review appropriate and available data to determine priority software needs in Nebraska.

  • Create a process for prioritizing, evaluating options, testing, deployment, ongoing evaluation and ultimate sustainability / decommissioning for state-wide enterprise-level software solutions.

  • Develop a governance structure to support the process and ensure strategic investment in innovative projects.

  • Use the process to select and implement two or more projects.

  • Evaluate and revise the process based on the experience of the project implementations.


The Network’s leadership and project teams will broadly represent the K-12 education community in Nebraska. For purposes of this Network, a leadership team will assist in advising the work of the Network. In addition, district and ESU’s may submit an application to participate in the work of the Network. 

Leadership Team:  The ESUCC Technology Director will serve as the chair and Network Manager. Members of the leadership team will be representative of the education system and provide opportunities for coordination and strategic priorities. Members selected of the leadership team represent nominated, recommended, or volunteers to reflect the diverse needs desired to support the system. 

Leadership team membership will include the following representative groups including Educational Service Units (ESUs) and school districts:

  • Technology director 

  • Technology integration

  • Professional Learning

  • Administration

  • Digital Learning / Learning Engineer 

  • Special Education

  • NDE

  • Cooperative Purchasing

  • Instructional materials

  • Network Nebraska

  • Network director – ESUCC Technology Director

  • NDE Information Services Officer

Meetings and Timeframe

The ESUCC Technology Director (Network director) or designee will chair each leadership team meeting and attend project team meetings. Project teams will be formed by the leadership team to manage and track project work.

Leadership team meetings will be at minimum bi-monthly and more frequent as the Network is formed and starts its work, scheduled by the Network director and leadership team members. The meeting agenda will be determined by the Network director with input from leadership members. Meetings may be face-to-face or via video conferencing.

At the end of each fiscal year in June or more frequently as needed, the Network director and leadership team will evaluate the effectiveness of the Network and make recommendations to the NDE Information Services Officer for future approaches. 

Duration:  The initial resources of the Education Innovation Fund provide resources for the Education Innovation Network through June 30, 2021.