At Cross Country Education, we know your dedication to your students extends throughout the year. This summer, whether you have some free time or you’re working in overdrive on the transition to virtual instruction, you’ll find these free online course offerings can help! Now more than ever, it's critical to continue actively learning so you remain on top of your game as an educator. Check out this list of our favorite free online professional development opportunities for teachers and school-support professionals, and don’t forget to bookmark your favorites!
MOOCs for Online Professional Development
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were designed to make learning widely accessible via the internet. Most MOOCs are created and published by well-known universities, and many even consist of the same coursework college instructors deliver to their own students. Plenty of the courses are free or inexpensive to attend. New courses are added regularly, and the topics are endless.
Coursera and edX are just two of the many different MOOC platforms. You can start by exploring MOOC websites like Coursera and edX for different topics. Then, find enrollment information for those that interest you and sign up! Here are some examples of fun, engaging, and diverse topics we’ve found on Coursera and edX:
- The Science of Well-Being from Yale
- Technology Entrepreneurship from Harvard
- The Health Effects of Climate Change from Harvard
- Fashion as Design from MoMA
Other Professional Development Opportunities for Educators
Eventbrite typically promotes local, in-person events; however, due to COVID-19, they have adapted their platform to include many online options. You can browse Eventbrite by date or topic of interest. Here are a few courses you may find intriguing:
YMCA360 is an on-demand platform that is open to all. On YMCA 360, you can find classes geared toward group exercise, youth engagement, well-being, and more, from some of the most in-demand instructors. To begin, check out these fun and engaging classes:
Virtual Education…on Virtual Education!
If you could use a little help transitioning to online instruction and virtual student engagement, you are not alone. Nationwide, educators are being asked to implement online learning for their students as school systems close in response to COVID-19. We bet you could appreciate some solid resources for virtual education…on virtual education!
Learning Forward Professional Learning Association has published Supporting Educators During COVID-19, a webinar series on distance learning. The series was designed to make online instruction manageable and productive and to help you boost student engagement. You can download the webinar, materials, and presentation slides and view them at your convenience. Here are a few of their presentations to get you started:
- Teaching in an Online Environment
- How to Lead When the Path Isn’t Clear
- Taking Care of Yourself During Uncertain Times: Mindfulness and Well-being for Educators
Updates on How COVID-19 Continues to Impact Education
To stay abreast of the latest developments in education as it relates to coronavirus, tune in to EdSurge. This education news service offers a live webinar series on the second Friday of the month called Understanding the Impact of Coronavirus on K-12 Education. You can register to receive updates on the COVID-19 series as well as other topics.
Relax and Grow as You Enjoy Your Summer
As you bask in the warm sun, remember, summer is a time to relax and renew. It’s also the ideal time to soak up some new knowledge so you can shine bright for your students for the new school year!
Interested in checking out some of our other favorite virtual resources? Visit our Cross Country Education blog to find info on free teaching resources, CEUs, and other professional development opportunities for educators and school-support professionals.