Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff
School’s out and while it’s time to take a well deserved rest, many teachers can’t help but reflect on the year’s worth of experience they just had.
There is more excitement and motivation than ever to learn new things and innovate the classroom. Luckily, there are many great resources out there to support teachers' professional development without making them pay out of pocket.
Want to get a jump on summer teacher training and learn at your own pace? Check out our recommendations for free teacher PD and find what interests you the most!
To improve your media literacy skills:
KQED (the nonprofit public media station) has an online professional learning platform that engages teachers in a hands-on approach to learning digital media literacy skills.
Their free courses can either be instructor-led or self-paced.
With instructor-led courses you get individual feedback from expert instructors and a course certificate indicating 20 or 40 professional learning hours upon completion.
The self-paced courses don’t include a certificate of completion because they are shorter (around 6 hours) and target specific skills.
Check out Podcasting and Audio Production for the Classroom, Making Digital Comics, and the many other free courses they offer to jumpstart your digital media know-how!
To support ELLs and students with learning disabilities:
The IRIS Center develops free and engaging online resources in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College (one of the best colleges for educators).
The courses cover evidence-based practices (on subjects like accommodations and IEPs) to help improve learning outcomes for struggling students, particularly those with disabilities.
The best part? Until December 2021, the IRIS Center will be offering free certificates! That way you can verify module completion and effort toward PD hours to your admins.
To supercharge your social studies classes:
Facing History and Ourselvesis an organization that works to address racism, antisemitism, and prejudice at pivotal moments in history so as to help students make connections between the past and the present.
Their online self-paced courses cover topics like the Civil Rights Movement and the Holocaust, and come with a certificate of completion for five professional development hours.
Make sure to also check out their on-demand webinars for lesson plan ideas, worksheets, and other great resources.
While the majority of their PD opportunities are free, keep an eye out for the handful of interesting paid workshops they offer!
To learn a little bit of everything:
Sure, you don’t have to go to Harvard to get a high-quality education. But never is that more true than now!
edX.org is a great resource for if you're looking for a diverse selection of free professional development options for teachers offered by top-notch universities around the world.
Standout courses include Introduction to Family Engagement in Education from Harvard University and Teaching Critical Thinking through Art from the Smithsonian.
Although the fee for an instructor-signed certificate with the institution's logo might seem steep, it could be a good motivator to finish the entire course this summer!
To engage your students with video:
Edpuzzle is an edtech platform designed to help teachers embed questions in videos with easy-to-use editing tools.
You can find a YouTube video, upload your own, or choose from an expansive library of teacher-created video lessons.
The free online certification courses cover flipped learning, the self-paced classroom, privacy and security (with tech), plus all things Edpuzzle!
As you complete the courses, you’ll earn snazzy badges and get free certificates of completion to show your admin.
To introduce yourself to mastery-based grading:
The Modern Classrooms Project is an organization whose goal it is to use technology strategically by way of a self-paced, mastery-based instructional model.
Mastery-based grading (one of our buzzwords of 2021), is the idea that we must help students master foundational skills before letting them learn more complex content. This helps bridge any potential learning gaps and builds students’ confidence in their abilities!
Their free, self-paced course gives you a blueprint for how to implement mastery-based grading while using blended learning and self-pacing strategies.
Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a freecertificate stating that you have done five hours of professional development!
P.S. Looking for even more free teacher PD options this summer? Check out our recommendations from last year!