Summer. It’s that hard-earned time for teachers to relax, re-energize, and begin planning for the next school year. Trying to fit all of the excellent professional development options that are available into summer schedules can be a real challenge – one that doesn’t get much easier once the whirlwind of the school year begins.
That’s where online professional development can make a difference. But where do you start? Is this going to be hours spent in front of a faceless computer screen? Maybe you’re new to online learning and it feels overwhelming.
It doesn’t have to be. Online learning can offer flexibility and accessibility while giving you the chance to expand your skills and teaching strategies. At Facing History and Ourselves we’ve built a community of educators that come together through our online courses to learn from each other and grow professionally. Here’s three reasons you should consider exploring online professional development before the summer passes you by.
1) Work when/where it’s convenient for you.
Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl or whether you have an hour here or 15 minutes there, online professional development is tailored to fit your schedule. You have the flexibility to work when you want. It’s also easily accessible. You can work from your mobile device, the teacher’s lounge, or your kitchen table. You can even participate in your pajamas. We won’t tell.
2) Learn with educators from across the country and around the world.
You can connect with other educators from all over the world to learn from and share your own expertise. Gain a new perspective, discuss challenges and opportunities, and reinvigorate yourself for the school year ahead by expanding your own network with peers you may not have otherwise communicated with.
3) Build technological skills and comfort.
Maybe you’ve considered online professional development but worry your tech skills aren’t up to par. Or maybe you’d much rather be in real conversation with your colleagues instead of just typing into an anonymous text box. Or maybe you use all sorts of tech in your classroom and want to learn about some new tools. Online courses tend to cater to a wide range of skill levels – from those who have never taken an online course to seasoned techies. You can gain a new comfort level with educational technology that allows you to connect with other course participants beyond simply typing in a chat box.
Facing History and Ourselves has provided online professional development for over 10 years to thousands of participants across the U.S. and to more than 30 countries. Our courses are designed by and for educators, with an eye specifically toward making our proven approach and pedagogy accessible online. We offer a deep dive into curricular content with online courses like, “Holocaust and Human Behavior,” “Teaching The Reconstruction Era,” “Teaching to Kill a Mockingbird,” and “Choices in Little Rock,” using the latest edtech tools to help you connect with each other and grow professionally.
Still not convinced to give it a try? We also offer graduate credit!
Our fall online courses are filling up quickly. Sign up today!
K.C. Kourtz is the Senior Program Associate for Technology at Facing History and Ourselves. She loves working with educators, strong coffee, and hanging out with her preschooler, and her Boston Terrier.