March 6, 2014
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces New Online Tools for Educators
SACRAMENTO—Educators across California, from those who work with the state's youngest learners to those in high school classrooms, can use several free online professional development tools created by the California Department of Education (CDE), State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said today.
The CDE is continuing to develop these resources as the state asks its educators to re-emphasize college and career readiness for their students. A series of Professional Learning Modules (PLMs), for example, is designed to help teachers implement the Common Core State Standards. Each of the 13 modules focuses on a single subject, such as "Getting Started with the California English Language Development Standards," which provides guidance to teachers so they can provide a world-class education for English learners. The PLMs were developed in collaboration with county offices of education, the state subject-matter projects, and WestEd and are available on the
Brokers of Expertise* [Note: the preceding link is no longer active and has been replaced with My Digital Chalkboard
Web site at no cost.
"We are working to support our teachers with professional learning as they work to support their students with lessons and activities that prepare them for the real world," Torlakson said. "From the earliest years through graduation, California's children and teachers deserve to have the tools they need to succeed."
The modules were intended to be used by educators independently, in collaborative groups, or as a face-to-face presentation. For instance, the online professional learning resource for English Language Development (ELD) Standards offers self-guided or face-to-face training for educators in how to use the ELD standards in tandem with the Common Core State Standards. Other modules include "CCSS Mathematics: K-8 Learning Progressions," "CCSS: Literacy in Science," and also an "Overview of the Common Core State Standards for California Educators."
Torlakson also unveiled a new Web-based professional development resource called the Early Childhood Educator Competencies Self-Assessment Toolkit (ECE CompSAT) to help hone the skills of early childhood teachers, aides, and directors of programs serving very young children.
"By investing in our children earlier in life, we reap the benefits of a better educated, more productive workforce, and a healthier state in the future," Torlakson said. "We do that by also investing in early childhood educators to ensure they have the skills and the support they need to prepare our children for school."
Early childhood educators can use the free ECE CompSAT to consider their everyday practices, examine what they can do, and what skills they should develop. The ECE CompSAT is an interactive Web site with 100 pages of information and nine hours of streaming video that viewers can use to assess their skills in multiple areas. The ECE CompSAT is based on a 2011 CDE publication found on the California Early Childhood Educator Competencies Web page.
The ECE CompSAT was a project of the Governor's State Advisory Council for Early Learning and Care. This project was completed with the help of California State University-Fresno, WestEd, and the CDE's Early Education and Support Division and Technology Services Division. It was also a component of CDE's award of a federal Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge grant to develop and support systems to rate and improve early learning programs so parents can make the best choices for their children.
* Note: The Brokers of Expertise Web site has been replaced with the My Digital Chalkboard [https://www.mydigitalchalkboard.org/] Web site. The modules listed above are available through this new Web site, using the "search" function.
# # # #
Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100