Now that we’re nearing summer, you might have more time to think about professional development and licensure requirements. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in-person options may be cancelled, so professional development courses and programs can be harder to come by.
If you’re looking for a free, online way to fulfill your professional development or continuing education requirements, you have plenty of options. We’ve rounded up 10 for you to consider, along with a brief overview of each one.
Of course, you’ll want to check to make sure any options you choose meet your state’s specific licensure requirements before you proceed.
Through PBS TeacherLine, you can choose 15-, 30-, or 45-hour courses, which are generally available for continuing education credits. And, through university partnerships, you can even earn graduate-level credit. Each course is self-paced and can be completed around your own teaching schedule.
The Library of Congress offers build-your-own professional development modules on subjects like Understanding Copyright and Primary Sources and Inquiry. These are designed for educators interested in presenting their own professional development course for their colleagues, which you can then submit to your district and request licensure credit.
Additionally, there are online webinars and workshops that can potentially fulfill one hour of professional development.
If you’re looking for professional development focused on social-emotional learning, this could be a great option. TeachingTolerance’s professional development section includes tons of webinars and self-guided learning resources on topics like diversity, leadership, and empathy in the classroom.
For special education teachers, EdWeek offers live and recorded webinars on working with students with disabilities. After watching a webinar, you can receive a certificate verifying one hour of professional development. Recent webinar topics include:
- Strategies for Overcoming Dyslexia Screening Challenges
- Common Core Tests for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
- Tapping Teacher Specialists to Serve All Students
This website offers a wide variety of short professional development sessions geared toward teachers, administrators, and parents recorded from their 2019 virtual conference. You can watch these sessions on your own time and receive one hour of continuing education credit for each, provided they meet your specific licensure requirements. .
Many of the options on this list are self-guided or pre-recorded, but if you’re looking for an interactive professional development option, TeachersFirst might be more your speed. These free, live workshops are each approximately 90 minutes long and scheduled after school hours for teachers with a busy workday.
Whether you’re a STEM teacher or just learning more about the scientific side of teaching, SciLearn offers webinars focused around the neuroscience of learning. A few recent sessions include:
- How to Rewire the Brains of Struggling Learners
- Engaging All Students with Poverty in Mind
- Developing Executive Function from Kindergarten Through High School
The NEA holds live webinars and maintains a website of archived webinars for teachers looking for professional development credits. The organization also hosts a podcast called School Me, and while it’s not eligible for credits, it does offer tons of bite-sized “life hacks” for educators.
Webinars are a quick and convenient way to find professional development hours online. But if you’re looking for a more hands-on option, try completing one of Sanford Inspire’s free professional development courses, which are generally eligible for one hour of credit.
The ASCD’s website has a large archive of webinars for teachers to choose from, as well as live webinar options for ASCD members. Like other webinar options on this list, each session is worth an hour of credit if it meets your state’s specific licensing requirements.