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50 Great Online Professional Development Resources for Teachers

Posted on Tuesday June 19, 2012 by Staff Writers

Teachers may spend their days imparting knowledge to others, but that doesn’t mean they should stop learning themselves. Whether they choose to take classes, read books, or just talk with their colleagues, professional development offers a chance to become a better and wiser teacher. There’s no better time than summer vacation to dive into professional development opportunities, and luckily, there are numerous resources out there on the web, making finding, sharing, and accessing great tools for development easier than ever. We’ve collected just a few here that can get you started on learning and growing as an educator.

Essential Resources


Don’t miss out on these sites which are filled to the brim with articles, resources, and learning materials for teachers.

  1. Education Week Teacher PD Sourcebook:This sourcebook is filled with amazing resources for teachers, including great articles, a directory of useful sites, and links to PD events.
  2. Educators Professional Development:EPD bills itself as “professional development for teachers, by teachers” and that’s just what you’ll find here. Listings for local events, conferences, and a monthly newsletter can help you stay in the loop.
  3. Teacher Vision:Teacher Vision offers articles on a wide range of education topics, from learning how to be a better teacher to surviving your first year in the classroom.
  4. Teacher Tap: Teachers will find a wealth of great reading material on this site, touching on topics like technology, information literacy, and high-tech learning.
  5. Getting Smart: Through the Getting Smart website, teachers and librarians can learn more about high-tech learning and innovative ideas in education.
  6. Staffdevelop.org: This simple site offers teachers articles, books, resource links, and information about professional development workshops.
  7. Education World: Education World has a large professional development section on their site, packed with articles, interviews, reviews, and other helpful tools for educators.
  8. Teachers’ Domain: Teacher’s Domain isn’t just a great place to find digital media for use in the classroom. The site also offers access to some useful professional development materials.
  9. Read Write Think: Learn about conventions, read publications, and network with other teachers through the professional development tools offered by this great website.
  10. Common Sense Media: On the Common Sense Media site, teachers can take advantage of curriculum training videos that touch on a number of key educational topics.
  11. Teachers Network: From lesson plans to videos about teaching to how-to articles, the Teachers Network site is an excellent place to start looking for some professional development resources.
  12. Intel Teach Elements: Intel offers teachers a chance to take part in their Teach Elements series which, through videos and reading materials, can help educators to learn more about a range of critical 21st century teaching topics.
  13. Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators: If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all your teacher needs, consider this resource. You’ll find high quality tools for teaching as well as some to help you improve your own education as well.
  14. Podcasts for Teachers: Head to this site to find a list of 40 amazing podcasts for teachers. Through them, you’ll learn more about education news, how to teach, and the free resources out there for teachers.
  15. Best Books Channel:One of the best ways to educate yourself as a teacher is to read books. Luckily, Education World provides a place to find the best of the best when it comes to professional development and other teaching topics.

Courses and Workshops


These sites can help you find professional development courses and workshops, both for free and for a fee.

  1. Annenberg Learner:Here teachers can find information about workshops and courses, distance learning opportunities, personal development resources, or just pick up some new resources to use in the classroom.
  2. Learning Forward: From a professional development book club, to e-learning opportunities, to great content, this site offers innumerable resources to any teacher looking to learn.
  3. Teacher Online Education: In the market for some online courses to help you earn graduate or professional development credits? This site has plenty to offer educators.
  4. iTunes U: On iTunes U teachers can find a wealth of professional development courses, as well as those in just about any topic or field out there. Better yet, nearly all of them are free.
  5. Saylor.org: Saylor is a great place to take courses in basic topics, making it perfect for brushing up on college courses or refreshing your knowledge before heading back to the classroom.
  6. OpenLearn:The Open University offers teachers a chance to find free, useful courses on a wide range of topics.
  7. PBS Teacherline: PreK-12 educators will find a great list of courses offered through PBS and affiliate institutions that are designed to help teachers boost their skills in technology and teaching reading, writing, math, and science.
  8. The Teacher’s Workshop: Head to this website to find out more about workshops, sign up for a newsletter, get reading material, and even find some sample plans.
  9. Staff Development for Educators: This company offers teachers online courses, on-site training, workshops, and other useful professional development resources.
  10. OER Commons: Head to OER for a wealth of open educational resources, including a large number of articles and courses on professional development.
  11. Classroom Connect: Head to this site to learn more about workshops and conferences focused on technology integration in schools.
  12. Beacon Educator: Through Beacon Educator, teachers can take online professional development courses that can help to push their careers forward and give them more confidence in the classroom.
  13. Knowledge Delivery Systems: Those in the market to take online courses for professional development should check out this company, geared toward educational professionals.

Field Specific


Looking for professional development materials that are specific to the area in which you teach? These sites have got you covered.

  1. National Science Teachers Association Professional Development:The NSTA has a learning center, web seminars, and a social network to help science teachers build their professional skills.
  2. National Council of Teachers of English:English teachers should check out the resources offered by the NCTE, including books, articles, workshops, and more.
  3. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Those in the market for some math teacher-specific materials shouldn’t miss out on what the NCTM has to offer. With everything from high-quality publications to e-seminars listed in their professional development section, you’re sure to find something useful.
  4. National Association of Special Education Teachers: Being a special education teacher can be challenging, so you need all the support and resources you can get. The NCSET is one place to find both, so make sure to check out their publications, resources, and social tools.
  5. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities: Through the NICHCY, teachers can learn more about effective staff development strategies for working with students who have disabilities.
  6. American Institute for History Education: Resources on the AIHE site range from grant writing help to web-based distance learning, offering a wealth of services for any dedicated history teacher to take advantage of.
  7. National Art Education Association: Find great professional development resources for teaching art when you visit the NAEA website.

Skill Building


Work on building specific skills that you’ll use in the classroom by visiting these amazing professional development resources.

  1. LOC Professional Development: The Library of Congress wants to help teachers expand their knowledge, so they’ve created tools to help teachers better learn how to get students in touch with primary source material.
  2. Teaching Tolerance: Learn new ways to promote tolerance and understanding in your students, through the great PD resources offered by this organization.
  3. ERIC: No matter what you want to learn about, whether it’s neuroscience or classroom management, you’ll find academic papers on it here that you can read and use to build your knowledge.
  4. CAST: Through the CAST website, teachers can learn more about UDL (Universal Design for Learning) using a series of modules, reading materials, and toolkits.
  5. Edutopia: Edutopia offers educators a number of professional development guides, which can be a great way to build skills in topics like project-based learning, technology integration, and assessment.

Groups and Organizations


These groups and organizations offer a number of professional development resources for teachers.

  1. National Education Association: The NEA is a great place to look for professional development resources. The site is home to great articles, resources for teaching, help with grants, tools, ideas, and much more.
  2. U.S. Department of Education: The USDE offers teachers help with building their professional careers through a series of useful articles and resources.
  3. AFT: If you’re paying those union dues, you might as well get all you can from the union. Visit the union website to find professional development resources and to learn more about the ER&D Program.
  4. Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy: Read the latest research from this organization, which can go far in informing your teaching practice.
  5. GEEO.org: Want to explore the world while working as a teacher? Consider one of the programs offered by the Global Exploration for Educators Organization.
  6. AIR Publications: The American Institutes for Research produce a number of useful publications for teachers that touch on topics like leadership, innovation, after-school programs, school reform, and more.
  7. ASCD: The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s website is full of great resources. Teachers will find a magazine, updates about conferences and webinars, and help with online learning.

Social


Reach out to other teachers and educational professionals through these sites.

  1. Academia.edu: College professors can connect with others and see what research is being done through this academia-only social network.
  2. Teachers.net Chatboards: Looking for a little advice from your peers? Head to one of these teacher chatboards on Teachers.net to get answers to your questions, guidance, and support.
  3. OK2Ask: On the TeachersFirst site is a resource called OK2Ask. It’s a series of short live sessions where teachers can ask questions and get answers to their professional development issues.