The 8 Best Places On The Internet For Professional Development

As each new school year begins around the world, one thing that remains a constant grumble for teachers is most education establishments’ requirement for consistent professional development. A simple online definition for the term professional development is something that “encompasses all types of facilitated learning opportunities including credentials such as academic degrees to formal coursework, conferences and informal learning opportunities”.

There is a problem, however, with professional development in terms of the fact that nearly all teachers are required to undertake and complete different education credits to be able to keep their current qualifications, but it often is the case that the training days put on by schools are too broad and not helpful at all. Even worse, some schools simply do not have the funds to support teacher training, forcing their employees to seek these credits externally. Searching for appropriate professional development training can be a headache, especially online where there are literally hundreds of different options to consider.

In order to streamline your options and make your choices much easier, we have put together a list of eight of the very best online professional development programs, offering a range of credits in a number of different ways.

  • Intel Teach Elements

    Intel Teach Elements is a site that offers several online continued education courses for teachers who have a specific and focus interest in technology in 21st century classroom subjects. The course will help you learn about the multiple types of social media that can be incorporated in to today’s classrooms, and following in the nature of today’s fast paced culture, the classes are free, short format and get down the point and technological focus straight away.
  • Modern Lessons

    Modern Lessons is another free learning platform online that has been designed specifically for teachers who are looking to either sharpen and expand their technology skills, or get started with them altogether! A number of basic classes are offered, for example how to register and use a Twitter account for your class for numerous projects, but there are also a few more complex and dedicated courses including how to use Google in education and lessons on how to integrate the use of iPads in to the classroom.
  • PBS Teacherline

    PBS Teacherline is a site that offers a broad variety of online courses that can help teachers earn credit for enrolling in different classes. This is not a free site, and the prices will vary depending on whether you are seeking a graduate level credit or not, and fees will also very between different courses. The majority of K-12 subjects are offered, along with courses that focus on the integration of technology.
  • Annenberg Learner

    Annenberg Learner is a great site for teachers that offers a broad range of online workshops and courses that can count for a continued education credit. If online classes are not your kind of thing, then the site gives you the options to purchase a DVD instead to learn that way. Courses on the site are searchable by respective subject matter, and one of Annenberg Learner’s best attributes is the detailed description of each course, so you always know exactly what you are going to get.
  • ScholasticU

    ScholasticU is the dedicated online branch of education big boys Scholastic, designed for teachers and administrators to undertake courses for continuing education credits and graduate credits. The site caters to all preferences, with full format courses alongside ‘quickie’ courses for those who want some professional development in a faster time frame. The majority of the classes are targeted for Pre-K through the secondary school teachers, and there is also a great online community of teachers that you are given the chance to interact with.
  • Library Of Congress Teacher Modules

    The Library of Congress offers a wide range of courses to teachers online, and best off all it is free. The courses are designed to help teachers learn how to effectively use and make the most of the vast collection of resources that the library houses. It is important to note in this particular instance that completing the course will award you with a certificate of completion rather than a graduate credit.
  • ASCD

    ASCD offers over one hundred different online courses in professional development for teachers, meaning that you are sure to find something to interest you. The courses range in difficulty and scope and include teaching with technology to teaching to the Common Core, and at a well-priced $99 for most courses, the site is certainly one to remember.
  • Teachers First

    Teachers First is a site that offers free courses in two separate kinds of formats. You are able to choose between pre-recorded sessions or live sessions focusing on a number of different educational subjects. Any live course that is taken can be rewarded with a certificate of completion.

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