Are you a local educator looking for professional development opportunities?
You might want to bookmark this site: www.ocde.us/PLO
The Orange County Department of Education has been building this web resource for some time now, separating trainings and workshops by subject. Think of it as your one-stop shop for all the professional learning opportunities offered by OCDE.
“We wanted to provide districts, schools and the community with access to the services we provide, and we wanted to do so in a way that was easy to access and navigate,” says Ranjit Mayadas, who helped create the site as a manager of events and partnerships for OCDE.
Visit the webpage and you’ll see that each subject area has its own box, so if you click on “Safe Schools,” “Mathematics” or “Early Learning,” you’ll find workshops, trainings and events relevant to those specific areas.
But the boxed headings are also accompanied by color-coded icons that allow users to instantly spot related topics.
For example, “STEM/STEAM,” “Education Technology,” “Science” and “Career Pathways” all feature a light blue icon. The legend at the bottom of the page tells you they fall under OCDE’s STEM and Humanities unit.
Of course, OCDE’s Professional Learning Opportunities site also includes a link to a traditional catalog that can be browsed or printed if that’s more your style. And there’s a calendar link that sorts workshops and trainings by date.
“Our goal is to support students in Orange County to succeed in college or career, and we have a balcony perspective as a county office,” Mayadas says. “Along with our work with local districts, we connect with the California Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education, and we receive information from both. So we kind of get the big picture of what initiatives are supporting district success, and that enables us to, within our teams, develop professional learning that supports those initiatives.”
The trainings have long been available through OCDE. Now it’s about getting the word out through a user-friendly site that continues to evolve, he says.
“From our Educational Services division, we offer an array of workshops across instruction, whether it be in science content, mathematics, prevention or early childhood,” Mayadas says. “So we wanted to create a place where anyone can go and see what OCDE offers for teachers, for administrators and maybe for community members too.”
A version of this story was originally posted on April 5, 2018.