Thursday, March 21, 2013

Free Online PD!

Like most teachers (I hope), I love learning.

As part of that, I'm always looking for new things to learn so that when I someday get back in a classroom (my fingers are crossed, and I pray regularly for this September), I'll be the best teacher I can be, and will not have gotten too rusty.

A year ago while on Maternity leave, I discovered Whole Brain teaching (WBT), and have done lots of reading and video watching of that. I will definitely be bringing aspects of that into my future classroom.

But did you know there are a whole slew of other great free resources out there to help you  improve your classroom?

Here are just a few:

1. The Positive Engagement Project: This was started by one of the founders of WBT, and takes a similar stance on many things, but has some great fresh ideas! They have some similar classroom management activities, lessons for Language Arts and Math, as well as a great program for Character Education. It's not PD in the traditional sense, but if you read their programs, and begin to use it, you will have developed as a teacher.

2. Intel Teach Elements: This site is more than a single PD course, its a collection of many. designing Blended Learning, Inquiry in the Science Classroom, Collaboration in the Digital Classroom, and a few more.

3. Alison: I believe this is British, but it has at least a few classes relevant to any teacher. They seem to actually be a funnel of courses offered across the internet, as some courses I have clicked on come from the US. I think I'm going to take Children's Studies  as a review. They also offer: Diploma in Outdoor and Physical education Studies, Social Work Studies, Managing safety and Health in Schools, Childhood and Youth Studies, Physical Education: Coaching Styles and TechniquesFundamentals of Storytelling (which I just started!), and several more! These are just the ones I'm humming about right now. 

4. Concept to Classroom: A couple Samples from this source include After School Programs- From vision to Reality, Making Family and Community Connections, and Webquests. There are only 13 courses right now, but you may find something you;d be interested in.

5. Open Education: There are so many to choose form here! Education around the Planet, Dyslexia Quiz, Open Education, and Film Music in the Classroom. There's a huge variety to find here.

6. ESL: Just what it said. This will be especially useful to teachers with second language learners in their regular classroom, and those working in immigrant communities.It's presented through weekly e-mails. If I end up on a reserve whee the primary home language isn't English, I may definitely look into this one.

7. Teachers Without Borders: I'm trying to navigate this site, but you have to register to join and get full access. Registration is free, and mine is pending. They currently offer two courses, each of which you can take as paid, instructor led, or free, self paced. I'm very interested in the Peace Education Course. Courses change often  it seems.

8. ASCD: They offer webinars, to the best of my knowledge which are free to watch and participate in, as the future ones have set dates and times.They also have a database of past webinars, which may have something you'd like to study. They have a series of courses about the common core, for those of yo in the states, and one called Classroom instruction  that works, based on the book of the same name.

What free PD opportunities have you found?

Once I take and finish some courses, I'll blog about them, and link back here.

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