Looking to brush up on your skills? Professional development has always been crucial for ensuring your students receive your best work, don't neglect it, sometimes teachers need to do their homework too.
Onlive VS Offline
Online teaching has many advantages over traditional in-class instruction. Many of those we have been highlighting throughout our previous posts. However, there is one area where stay-at home teachers sometimes struggle, being able to stay on top of their own professional development. Here we are going to look at some of the many affordable options available in order to remain on top of your professional development as an online teacher.
Certificates and Credentials.
As someone that teaches online, it should come as no surprise to you that many universities offer online credentials and certificates. Some schools even provide post-graduate degrees. Teachers are often looking for very specific and niche training for a particular skill set that will enhance their interaction with students.
Regardless if you are a veteran of the online teaching community or someone brand new to the field you might benefit from a certificate in “Virtual Teaching” from The University of California, Irvine available from Coursera.
Coursera offers a wide variety of courses for the Online Instructor - everything from post-graduate degrees to a course on 'The Science of Well-Being from Yale'.
Lynda is one of the premier online education sites for software learning and tutorials. Lynda offers courses on subjects like Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Illustrator and countless others. Lynda has also partnered with many public libraries in the United States allowing their members to use Lynda for free. The courses are separated by subject or skill making it easy to learn only what you need to know. For example, if you are strong with Microsoft Outlook but just need to learn how to adjust your email signature, there is a simple video explaining how. Lynda also offers certificates and credentials for many of their courses.
Being more efficient with your software makes your day easier, it is definitely worth investigating.
Old School meets New School
- Public Libraries
The truth is, much of the professional development our teachers undertake in the private and public-school systems offer no certificate or certification upon completion. They are generally modules with a very specific topic in mind. Being an online teacher, you have the flexibility to focus on those areas you know could do with some extra attention. Don’t discount your local library as a resource for finding not only books but videos and audio presentations. The “analog” materials are often readily available and free to use.
- Social media
Whether we like it or not, we are living in a digital world and one of the most useful parts of social media is community building. A quick search of ‘Teachers Teaching Online’ on Facebook or Twitter, for example, will yield several groups full of members who know what your life is like. Building a community to share your experiences with will aid in your development as an online teacher.
We have recently created a Facebook Group to serve this exact purpose. It is called 'Online English Teachers' and the idea is that it will be a space where online educators can share resources, their favourite articles and hints and tips. Just because you do not work in a school building does not mean you shouldn't have access to a support network! If you would like to join the group, please click here.
The best teachers are always learning. Being at the forefront of your technology knowledge, modern pedagogies, and needs of your students, will enrich your teaching. Be sure to frequently check back with us and reach out with any questions. We’re in this together.