“Education is a never-ending process”
Going by the common adage mentioned above, it becomes quite obvious why there is a lot of emphasis laid upon professional development of teachers. In the real sense and more so as awareness of it is growing in the 21’st century, one learns- education doesn’t stop after earning a degree and starting a career. Through continuing education, career minded individuals can constantly improve their skills and become more proficient at their jobs.
Especially in the case of K12 education administration, it is particularly important for school administrators to encourage teachers to pursue professional development, not only to ensure the best learning outcomes for their students but also to help the teachers become more effective and satisfied in various other aspects of their work.
Professional Development for teachers makes them more efficient in their presentations and course evaluations by exposing educators to new delivery methods, evaluating styles and record keeping strategies.
Besides the support from school administrations and authorities, teachers can also volunteer to grow professionally. This is why, we are sharing information on ten popular web tools to help teachers upgrade their skills to mature professionally. Take a look at the list of tools mentioned below.
This tool helps teachers grow professionally by helping them connect with other teachers, share and gather information by checking out what others in the community are talking about. It helps teachers.
By using hastags such like #edtech and #edchat teachers can engage in professional conversations. Similarly, teachers can look for trending hashtags in their field and use those hashtags to communicate their views and learn on the different perspectives to it from the other teachers in the community.
Twitter can also be used by teachers to connect with educators and seek their guidance. There are a lot of resources and links available on the platform and it is for the teachers to know how to use the platform appropriately.
A committed platform and a credible source too where educators can get high quality, dynamic, digital content. It partners to offer dynamic professional learning that combines the power of content, pedagogy and technology to create innovative and engaging learning experiences. The partnership is aimed at strengthening teacher effectiveness, empower school leaders and increase student engagement.
By following the feeds and other share by teachers, teachers can not only learn but share their perspective by participating in the discussions held there.
Besides, the platform can also be used by teachers to guide their students on how to create their own circles and add members to it. They can then use these circles to work collaboratively with each group being able to see the live stream of the other. Even chat sessions can be conducted to check the comments on their learning as they work in groups.
The Intel Teach Element is a free of cost professional development platform. It offers a series of short duration courses on the 21st century learning concepts.
The platform contains a series of high interest, visually compelling elearning courses which offer deeper exploration of 21st century learning concepts. The Intel Teach Elements courses can be taken online as self-study for professional growth experience.
It is a powerful content engine that allows teachers creation of a specific boards say for example on Educational Technology or for that matter for modern teaching practices. Teachers can also follow several other interesting boards too and subscribe the boards they like. This will help them start getting updates about anything added to them.
Considered as the best free alternatives to Google Reader, this platform is an RSS reader. By using this platform, teachers can read blogs they have subscribed in real time and also use it as a content curation tool in the classroom.
The other benefit of this platform is the tool’s multiple display options that are available- one for the text based and one for the image based interface- both online or as a mobile app.
It is a Twitter curation tool which allows users to turn their tweets or take links from the people one follow on Twitter and organize those links into a virtual paper for easy reading. The reason why it has grown up to be a popular tool for teachers professional development is because, reading several paper.li papers helps teachers find new and interesting food for thought.
This professional social networking tool helps teachers to make acquaintances with other educators and teachers. The platform can also be used to host some interesting educator communities where teachers get a chance to share teaching and learning resources.
It is a free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and its partners. One can also find thousands of media resources, support materials and tools for classroom lessons and teacher professional learning communities.
The platform has more than 1000 plus videos of public television as well as lesson plans and resources. The videos are from PBS NOVA Frontline.
Pinterest is yet another social media website where teachers can develop their teaching skills and connect with other professionals using the Pinterest ideas.
Further, by using the ‘pinboards’ feature, teachers can save everything from photos to blog posts in one easily accessible and usable place. They can also look out for ways to organize the classroom, collaborate with other teachers and educators, start a conversation, share what they are doing in the classroom, find out links and resources, look out for new & innovative teaching methods, find out on awesome new educational products are some of the few beneficial things that teachers can make use of in Pin interest platform.
Did we miss out any other platform in the list?
What platform do you prefer and why do you do so? Please feel free to share about it and help other teachers benefit from your views.