Teachers should be lifetime students, always learning teaching techniques, theories, and newly developed tools. Many times, continuous professional development or teacher training is required by administrators. Below are some websites that have online classes that have classes specifically for educators and teacher development. Most of these websites have courses developed by well-known universities such as Harvard and MIT. Additionally, many are self-paced and even free unless you want an official course completion certificate.
Coursera has classes that cover business, technology, art, and all kinds of other topics. There’s also a large collection of courses and course tracks specifically for teachers. There’s Instructional Design MasterTrack Certificate, a two-course specialization for learning instructional design, a teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) certificate program from Arizona State University, and other single courses that you can take. You can read our review of their Virtual Reality Specialization here.
Similarly to Coursera, EdX has courses from a wide range of topics, but it also has classes for teacher training. There’s the Instructional Design and Technology courses from the University System of Maryland, a class covering classroom analytics, and even a course that covers how to use Minecraft to teach students coding. I’ve covered how gaming should be used in education before, so you should really check out this class if you want to incorporate video games and coding into the classroom.
I’ve taken courses with Coursera and Edex before, but Future Learn is new to me. Their teacher and education courses look promising. My specialties are edtech and computer assisted language learning, so the courses I’ve seen on Future Learn don’t look like they would fit my needs, but some of the courses like Understanding Autism and Child Protection for Teachers could be very useful special education and early childhood education training.
Before taking classes
Before taking courses or training at the above websites, I highly advise you to do some research about what specifics you are going to get out of them. The good thing is most of these courses are free unless you want a course certificate. That is, you can always take the class for free and audit it first. Then, if you like the course and think you need the certificate you can upgrade. Another thing to consider: if you are looking to get continuing education credits from taking these classes, you really need to check with your school or organization first to see if these classes are eligible. But at the end of the day, you have a large amount of free, self-paced teacher training that can be accessed from anywhere around the world.
Have you taken any online teacher training before? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments.