Gone are the days of one size fits all professional development. It’s a little ironic because even today, many schools and districts still follow that approach.

But, with the rise of online learning, the landscape of professional development has transformed.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits and opportunities of online professional development. Share recommendations for reputable resources. And provide tips for maximizing your online learning experience.

If you’re a secondary multiple prep teacher, this is for you!

Benefits and Opportunities of Online Professional Development

Flexibility: Learn at Your Own Pace

Learning at your own pace is of the biggest advantages of online professional development. You can learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Accessibility: Learn Anywhere

Whether you’re at home, on vacation, in a library, or even at school, online PD allows you to access resources and courses wherever you have an internet connection.

Customization: Tailor Your Learning Journey

Online PD offers the opportunity to customize your learning experience. Unlike traditional one-size-fits-all approaches, you can choose courses and resources that align with your interests, goals, and teaching style. Mold your professional development journey to your own preferences and needs.

Collaboration: Connect with Like-Minded Educators

One of the joys of online learning is the ability to connect and collaborate with educators who share your passion for learning and improving teaching practices.

Make sure you engage in virtual communities, discussions, and forums to broaden your horizons beyond your school or district goals.

Where to Start: Resources for Online Professional Development

Podcasts: Simple, Free, and Educational

Podcasts are an excellent starting point for online learning. They are accessible, often free, and cover a wide range of educational topics.

Search for educational podcasts in your podcast app to find shows that align with your interests and professional development goals.

PopPD: Teacher-Created Professional Development

PopPD is an exciting new resource for online professional development. It offers teacher-created courses and classes designed to meet the needs of educators.

Explore their diverse range of courses, from classroom management to lesson planning, and discover fresh ideas for your classes.

Use School and District Resources

Check if your school or district utilizes any specific software that offers training. (Your learning management system (LMS) can be a good place to start.)

These companies often provide training resources to help teachers effectively use their products. Take advantage of the free training opportunities available to you.

Online Summits: Learning from Experts

Online summits are like conferences you can attend from the comfort of your own home. They bring together a variety of presenters who share their expertise through presentations and workshops.

Look for education-specific online summits, some of which are free, to gain insights from a diverse range of educators.

Maximizing Your Online Learning Experience

Set Goals and Create a Plan

To ensure you make the most of your online professional development, set clear goals and create a plan.

Establish a timeline, and set aside a specific time each day. Integrate your learning goals into your existing schedule.

Check out our previous blog post on creating a summer plan for tips on maximizing your time effectively.

Active Participation: Engage and Connect

Engaging actively in online courses or workshops is crucial for a meaningful learning experience.

Take part in forums, ask questions, and connect with fellow learners. Take advantage of any support, Q&A sessions, or personalized feedback offered by course creators to enhance your understanding.

Reflect and Apply: From Theory to Practice

After completing a course or workshop, take time to reflect on what you’ve learned. Consider how the new knowledge and strategies can be applied in your teaching practice. Give yourself a fair chance to put in place and adapt new approaches before dismissing them. Consistency and reflection will lead to fruitful.

Useful Links

I’ve decided to do a thing. I’m going to be having a limited edition summer series where I answer your questions and give you some feedback and advice, and some of the other knowledge nuggets that I have accumulated over my last 15-plus years in education to help you be a successful multiple prep CTE.

 I think it’s safe to say that gone are the days of one size fits all professional development. And I will say that it’s a little bit ironic because I’m in the curriculum department of my district and there are still a lot of things that schools and districts are doing that are one size fits all.

Even though the landscape of professional development has vastly shifted now that online learning is so mainstream. Today we’re going to dive into some of my favorite ways to experience professional development while online, and then how to make the most. Of your online learning experience, welcome to the Secondary Teacher Podcast, the podcast for middle and high school teachers juggling multiple preps to get the strategies to reduce overwhelm so that you don’t have to choose between being an effective teacher and prioritizing important relationships.

I’m your host, Khristen Massek, a 10-year high school engineering teacher, former middle school assistant principal and teacher coach. Every week we will discuss strategies, systems, and time-saving tips to help you not only survive but thrive as a multiple prep teacher.   📍 📍 Let’s start off with the benefits and opportunities that online professional development or online PD provides.

The first thing is flexibility. You can learn at your own pace in your schedule. Whether you are sitting at home or you are on vacation somewhere, or you’re in a library or you’re at your school. There are a bunch of different places that you can learn.

Anywhere that you have internet connection, like I just mentioned before, as far as flexibility goes, but there’s part of that accessibility. not only is it flexible in how you learn at the pace, how quickly, how slowly, but you also can do it anywhere you want.  Then you can customize things.

So as you are learning and growing, you can be doing small things at. A time and there are some courses where it’s kind of the pick your own path or journey or destination and how you want to mold it to yourself rather than just taking what the presenter, if you’re sitting in the room with everyone else.

And really like having to do something prescriptive and then you can collaborate. This is one of my favorite things about online professional development and online learning in general, is that you can find people who are your people who like to learn. Like you do or who are excited about experiencing different types of learning or different ways of improving their teaching practices that may beyond the what is going on with your school or some of the goals that your school or your district might have.

Now you might be thinking, okay, you’ve sold me on online pd. Where do I start? Where do I go? How do I even find things? Well, first off, podcasts are probably your simplest, easiest, free way to do online learning. There are some great resources for educational podcasts.

Do some searches when you’re in your podcast app of things that you are interested in learning about, and hopefully some things will pop up that will get you moving into that direction. Now, another resource that is fairly new is Pop pd, so P O P P D. And it’s actually teacher created professional development classes and courses that are online, and I will include a link in the show notes, but there are a lot of different classes and it’s growing, it is new, but it will be continuing to grow and grow and give you ideas of things that you can do for your classes.

From classroom management to lesson planning, to anything in between. And specifically if you’re really nicheing down and you’re wanting to do centers or how does that look in your class? They’ve got a very. Wide spectrum of professional development that is being offered, that the whole idea behind it is to really be for teachers so that it’s not the same old, same old PD that we have all experienced.

And then another thing would be to look for resources that your school or your district might already. Be using. If they are using a software or an LMS or something like that, those companies love to train teachers because they want you to use their product. And if your district or your school has already purchased it, then more likely than not, they’re willing to train you for free.

And one that I just learned about recently and I’ve. Dived into this and it is free is the Modern Classrooms Project. In Utah we are calling it personal competency based learning. The idea would be that it’s, it’s not necessarily a flipped classroom, but it kind of is so, It’s a lot of just allowing students to choose their own journey and then also have ways for teachers to support them through these online learning.

But yet the students are still in your class. I know I probably just butchered it, but I’m gonna leave the link for that one too, and that one is free, and so it gives you a bunch of information about how to record videos and some dos and don’ts if you’re recording videos for lectures or lessons for your students.

And I learned a ton, and I think that is a great resource for you as well. The final way that. I have enjoyed doing professional development is with online summits. Now there’s a lot in the business world, this is like a big thing, but then there are more and more online summits coming for educators. What this typically looks like is that someone is running it, and then they get a bunch of presenters. They’ve got 10, 20, 30, 40 presenters, and then they host it over a few days, and some of them are free, some of them cost money. And what you can do is you can go to this online summit, it’s like going to a conference and you can watch these presentations from all of these different people.

And it’s a great way that once again is really flexible and accessible because it is online. Once you’ve decided which path you wanna take or which course or which summit you’re going to attend, I. It is really important to set some goals to be able to get things done because it isn’t like going to a three day workshop where you are showing up at eight and you are leaving at four every day.

This is very different because it is so flexible and self-paced. It’s also possible for you to start it and you watch the first lesson and then you get busy and you forget about it and you never come back. One thing you need to do is really set a goal that this is when I want to have it completed.

I’m going to be working on it every day for an hour. Go back to episode number 1 34 where we talk all about maximizing. Or creating your summer plan so that you can still get things done, but then also enjoy life outside. This is when you would take this goal and insert it into that plan that you have already created.

Another thing that I have found that helps you be very successful in these online courses or online workshops, whatever, is to actively participate. Just like when you, if you were doing something face-to-face, if they have some sort of forum or Facebook group or something else where you can. Ask questions or you can meet other people.

Or if someone is asking for you to turn in an assignment, you’re doing that. You’re getting feedback that is going to give you the most kind of bang for your buck for the time spent. Also, if the. Teacher or creator is also giving their own time to do any support or any question and answers. Make sure that you take them up on that because that is where you are going to be maximizing their expertise and then getting hopefully some personalized feedback on what you are working on Then, Make sure that you are reflecting on what you are learning, figuring out what you wanna keep, how this fits into what you’re going to be doing for next year, and then applying it and really give it a fair shot at trying something before you give up on something.

Try to apply this new knowledge and strategy to your teaching practice. And give it some time, give it a month, give it two months. See how it works. Is it working for you? What needs to be shifted before you just throw out the whole thing and try a different strategy? Normally when you are learning new strategies, what is going to be the most beneficial for you is something that you are consistent with and that you are.

Trying and that you are constantly adapting and tweaking to fit your needs rather than finding some different strategy. Because there are a bunch of strategies that work and that will help you teach your students. But it’s just finding the one that you feel like resonates with you and then, Consistently keeping up with that reflection and application.

Let’s recap the main points that we talked about in this episode. There are a lot of benefits to doing online professional development that would be flexibility, accessibility, and the fact that you can customize it and make it something that is specific and unique to your learning. Some places that you can.

Look for online professional development would be podcasts, pop pd, or any other training sites that support software or curriculum that is already being used by your district or your school. And then finally, Watch out for online summits, specifically education summits that can help you learn from a bunch of different people, similar to a conference, but from the comfort of your own home.

And then finally, once you have figured out what you are wanting it to learn and how it is going to fit into your summer planning schedule so that you maximize your time, still have a life outside of the school is to set some goals so that you can finish out this PD and then make sure that you have time to apply and reflect what you have learned to see what you are going to continue to incorporate into your teaching practice.

If you got something from this episode today, somebody else could also benefit from this, including your teacher friends. Make sure to send it their way.

Similar Posts