Thinking about ways to avoid the "summer slide" over the next few months? Keeping up on skills over the summer isn't just for students. The summer break is a great time for teachers to take advantage of those professional development opportunities that are hard to fit in during the school year.
Teacher communities are a nice blend of social interaction and knowledge-sharing among peers. We put together a list of our favorite online PLNs for you to check out over the break. And yes, we included our own. See you there!
request to join Common Sense Educators is our Facebook group for educators committed to creating a positive, collaborative culture of digital learning and digital citizenship in their classrooms, schools, or districts. Whether you're a classroom teacher, administrator, tech coach, or homeschool teacher -- you name it -- you can connect with inspiring colleagues here. Topics of discussion include tech integration, media literacy, internet safety, and much more. Members share articles, ask for advice from peers, give virtual high fives, and relate to each other's challenges. If you're looking for support on your digital citizenship journey, connect with over 10,000 innovative educators for ideas and inspiration. It's a closed group, so you'll need to request to join
The Current is an open publishing media-literacy website created and curated by a community of educators. It was created under the direction of the National Writing Project (NWP) and champions a strong sense of community. The site content is organized into three sections: Blog, Resources, and Collections. This content not only focuses on writing but also extends to general teaching practices. Educators can get support and feedback from peers while staying current in the digital landscape.
edWeb provides free online learning communities for educators as well as 300 webinars a year on a wide range of topics, from digital citizenship and coding to math instruction and working with ELLs. Webinars are free for educators thanks to numerous sponsors and partners like Common Sense Education (check out our monthly webinar on edtech and digital citizenship topics!). You can attend the webinars live or watch them in the archive. Plus, attendees receive Continuing Education (CE) certificates that can be used for district-required PD hours.
KQED Teach is a website that offers PD for teachers in media creation and media literacy. Courses include skill-based topics like blogging, digital portfolios, and photography, as well as pedagogical courses like learner-centered design and managing/assessing media projects. You'll also find lesson plans to use in the classroom on similar topics -- all centered on media. Consider using the site to brush up on topics of interest, or go further and earn microcredentials to become a PBS Certified Media Literacy Educator.
A community of classroom-teaching videos, this website provides teachers with an opportunity to learn from peers. Educators can share lesson ideas and find support in an active Q&A forum. Rather than take time away from the school day to observe other teachers in action, this innovative online tool allows educators to observe actual classroom teaching anytime. The Teaching Channel Plus platform offers a more personalized version of the public model and enables individual schools to share videos within a small group setting.
Teaching Tolerance is an anti-bias program for schools established by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The site itself, primarily aimed at educators, has materials to promote equity and reduce discrimination in schools. For professional development, check out their low-cost in-person workshops, free self-paced online learning modules, webinars, podcasts, and online articles. For anyone looking to improve school climate and help students explore real issues like bullying and discrimination, this is the place to go.