Teachers are lifelong learns. We have to be to continue to successfully teach our students and learn about new methods and strategies in teaching. We also have to because almost every school, district, or state requires that teachers complete so many hours of professional development to keep their license or hit the next level on the pay scale.
Professional development can be so pricy. If you’re lucky your district will pay for some of it. If your lucky your district will hire useful presenters to come to your school and provide professional development.
But for those of you who have to spend some time this summer completing those professional development requirements on your own, I have some help for you.
This is a list of several free professional development opportunities for teachers. I have not completed many of these, but as I do I will be sure to let you know more details about them. Before you dive into them check with your district to make sure they will accept the ones you are interested in for professional development hours.
I have included the web address typed out in case any links didn’t work correctly.
List of Free Professional Development for Teachers
Personally, I didn’t like using Class Dojo as a behavior management tool, but I did like it when my son’s preschool teachers used it to share pictures during the day.
I’ve been told that to keep it you must do a Pear Deck training each month.
I tutored a student who used this all the time. It’s kind of a pain in the butt, but also great to make any worksheet digital. I also recommend that you take time to teach your students how to make sure their work is saved in google drive with a heading you want them to use.
It’s a free program that offers professional development and programming. There are opportunities such as seeds from the Tomatosphere, which are seed that flew on the International Space Station
My best tip for passing these tests is to watch some YouTube videos made by trainers. It’s a long test and I didn’t want to take it twice so I put videos on while I did other things. When it got to something I didn’t know I stopped and replayed those parts. This trick alone helped me pass Level 1 and Level 2 on the first try.
These certifications also have to be redone every couple of years.
They are currently revamping this course based on educators’ input. You can sign up to be notified when they open it again.
This looks like a pretty cool platform just from a quick look around.
I did not see if they said it was free on the website, but I think it is. There are specific dates mentioned on the website.
I will say that I do like Common Sense Media. It’s a great site to look up books and other media to see if it is appropriate for your students age and maturity level.
I’m so excited to find this program and group. As I asked around the country it is crazy to me how grades are weighted. There is so much pressure on summative assessments.
Does your school use Hapara? I loved it because it allowed me to put docs into my students’ google drive. I could put their names on the doc with a simple shortcut. When my students told me they couldn’t find something in google drive I knew where it was because I did it. It also allowed me to look into the google drive folders I created. If you don’t help your students learn to manage it google drive becomes an abyss. This is free to current customers.
Kahoot! was a big hit during remote learning. If you’ve been using it this certification might help you get more out of the program.
One teacher I worked with loved to give Minecraft challenges and this program looks awesome.
I had never heard of this. It’s voice commenting in Google Classroom, Docs and more. You don’t have to type it, just say it.
I’ve used the free versions of Newsela. This website has articles for students to read and questions for them to answer. It’s a nice program. There is professional learning and certifications. Most individuals should go for the certifications.
I looked to see if this was free, but could not find a clear answer. If you know please share. What looks awesome about this program is that it seems like it is all about school culture, engagement and more.
This is for music teachers.
As I write this blog their certification program is under construction. I’ve use their program a little bit. It allows you to easily organize the websites and programs you use a lot.
My school valued technology and opportunities to help students learn and grow in their knowledge. The tech teacher used and loved Tynker. I do not have experience myself, but I trusted him with all things tech.
This is a robotics certification. I did not see if this was a free or paid program.
If you want your students to created more videos this ambassador program might be for you. Represent the company and get some perks in return.
List of Paid Teacher Professional Development
These are some others that I’ve heard of but are paid programs or were hard to verify as free. I wanted to be sure you had access to a comprehensive list so I’ve included them here.
This website is pretty good. They offer free webinars if you join live. If you want to see a replay of a particular topic you have to join their membership. If you want the professional development certificate you have to join their membership. They sometimes have a free trial going on or a sale for the membership. The nice part is they offer training on lots of different topics.
To get this certification you must have a subscription or trial account.
The courses are free to take, but you must pay to get the certificates.
After looking around the site a bit it seems like this is paid professional development. The plus side is that you can get graduate-level course credit.
This site looks pretty cool. These are courses made by teachers for teachers. It comes with a 14-day free trial and is $7/month after that.
After a quick look on their website I could not find whether this was a paid or free program. I did see that, for some of their programs, they partner with some universities to provide graduate level course work.
If you love Makers’ Space and want to apply to be part of the movement then you should apply for this selective program.
I looked at a few links for this certification. They all looked like they were paid. If you look into and find different information please let me know.
These courses start at $29 each. Not a bad price to get some professional development in.
Be An Ambassador
These companies/websites want you to represent them one way or another. If it’s a website/company you love then go for it, but I don’t think it would count as professional development.
This site is more like an ambassador program. It seems like if you like their site then you can be trained to tell people about it and attend events for them. They will also give you some perks for your work too. The site itself is about learning through games.
This ambassador program allows you to represent duolingo at different events. They do provide some swag for you.
I have used GoNoodle in school before and it’s a pretty good website. If you want to become an ambassador to gain some perks and share their program this is for you.
I have not used this program, but being able to insert learning content on any website seems pretty awesome.
If you use their program and would like to share it look into becoming an ambassador.
It’s a two year program. You must present about Ozobots. Part of the certification is submitting lessons for them to use. There are some good perks. It looks like it’s free.
This offers webinars. Part of the certification is submitting lessons for them to use.
If you use their robotics tech in your classroom this might be a program for you. If you already love the program become a hero, if you’re knew become a lead educator.
If you complete any of these programs I would love to hear what you thought of them, and I’m sure other teachers visiting would love to hear about them too. Please share your experience in the comments.