December 9, 2009

Professional Development

Filed under: — mbrown @ 2:04 pm

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  • FREE (
    Federal Resources for Educational Excellence
    FREE was created to showcase more than 1500 federally funded teaching and learning resources. Subjects include: arts and music, history and social studies, health and physical education, math and science, and language arts. This is a great way to find high-quality resources.
  • Teacher Tap 

    Teacher Tap provides free professional development resources organized into project pages that focus on a specific topic. Each project page contains practical hands-on activities, common questions, teacher resources, software suggestions, and useful learning resources. For a more indepth look at specific topics there are also online courses available.
  • Best Evidence Encyclopedia (
    The Best Evidence Encyclopedia was created to provide all educators with unbiased reviews of educational programs that have been successfully evaluated in valid research. This free resource is a powerful tool that allows educators to make better-informed choices when choosing educational programs.
  • teachers’ domain (
    Teachers’ Domain is a completely free database of educational media, support materials, and tools to enhance classroom lessons and professional development activities. You can search this vast database of resources by subject and state standard. The digital media available is provided by several public broadcasting entities and their partners. Teachers’ Domain is funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • izzyshare (
Izzyshare is a great way for educators to find and share classroom design ideas. Create a free account to obtain access to a database of classroom photos. Search by schools, themes, topics, or people. You can upload pictures of your own terrific classroom design or search albums of other classrooms to find inspiration for your own.
  • Thinkfinity (
    Thinkfinity is a resource for K-12 teachers to find free high-quality lesson plans, student interactives, professional development opportunities, afterschool projects, online games, and current events. The Thinkfinity Community is a free opportunity to connect with colleagues online, share resources, and join discussions with educational groups across the country. Each week on the front page you will find a featured lesson plan and interactive tool, education news, a featured blog, today in history, an invitation to join a weekly discussion, and a monthly webinar. All lesson plans are designed to meet state standards and easily accessed through a searchable database.
  • TeachersFirst (
    TeachersFirst is a completely free resource that allows you to organize all of your online resources, blog posts, lessons, and wiki’s in an advertisement-free environment. Create a custom home page to share your favorite resources with parents, students, and colleagues. You will also find hundreds of online resources and lesson plans searchable by grade and subject.
  • PBS Teachers (
    PBS Teachers is an amazing new resource for pre-K-12 teachers. You will find thousands of lesson plans, videos, interactive games, and simulations to use in your classroom. You will also have access to PBS Teacherline which has 130 online professional development courses in Language Arts, Math, Instructional Technology, Instructional Strategies, and Science. Resources are organized by grade level and subject.
  • Byrdseed Gifted Classroom Ideas (
Looking for new ways to inspire and challenge your gifted students? This is a terrific blog dedicated to gifted education. Find everything from lesson plans, theory, timesaving online resources, and tips for meeting the unique needs of your gifted students.
    Open Educational Resources (OER) was created to provide educators around the world with free K-12 lessons, college courses, videos, graphics, and media to use in the classroom. Just register for free and start searching. OER Commons has established partnerships with more than 100 reputable institutions such as MIT, Yale University, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, NASA to provide you with the highest quality courseware available.
  • Learning in Hand (
    This site is dedicated to providing educators with high-quality resources for mobile learning. More schools are choosing to utilize the less expensive technologies students are already familiar with such as iPods, Netbooks, PDAs, the iPad, and iPod touch. If your interested in using these technologies in your classroom, you will find lesson plans, blog posts, applications, audio, video, and podcasting resources to help you get started.
Access all of your saved documents, photos, and files from your phone, home computer, work computer, or any internet connected computer using Dropbox. This free resource was created to make sure you always have access to the files you need. First you download the free application to each of your computers and mobile devices. Then anytime you create a document, download photos, or need to save something to your computer you put it in your dropbox. Dropbox automatically updates the files to the dropboxes on each of your devices as well as the Dropbox web site.
  • Google for Educators (
    Read important announcements, find high-quality online resources, connect with other educators, read about best-practice teaching examples, Google classroom contests, and stay informed about free upcoming webinars to supplement your professional development activities over the summer. Learn to use Google Apps, Google online books, and Google Teacher Academy!
  • A WebQuest about WebQuests (
    Learn how to develop great WebQuests in 90 minutes by completing this WebQuest written by Bernie Dodge. Discover the different possibilities open to you by analyzing several WebQuest examples and discussing them from different perspectives.
  • Substitute Teaching from A to Z (
    This site is a collection of helpful classroom management techniques, teaching skills, and useful advice to help substitute teachers have successful classroom experiences. The site was created by an experienced teacher who is also the author of Substitute Teaching from A to Z. There is also an advice column for substitute teachers to submit questions.
  • eSchool News (
    covers education technology in all its aspects–from legislation and litigation, to case studies, to purchasing practices and new products. It provides the news and information necessary to help K-20 decision-makers successfully use technology and the internet.
  • Case Creator (
    is a video-based case creation tool designed to provide teacher education faculty and students a way of sharing a common pedagogical experience through the use of real video embedded in a highly interactive interface.
  • Edutagger (
    is a social bookmarking service for K-12 learners and educators, allowing you to store your web links online and share them with other educators, all within an educational context.
  • WestEd (
    helps ensure that all students have a challenging mathematics and science education. It shows how teachers can more effectively present complex mathematics and science material, how districts and states can design and implement the best assessment strategies and innovative practices.
  • Teaching Excellence Network (
    is a place to create, experiment, debate, connect, and explore the world of teaching with other excellent educators. New and experienced teachers will encounter thoughtful discussions that will educate and inspire them. Check out the Blogs and the Community Discussions.
  • Instructional Assessment Resources (…_practices)
    provides an overview of best practices related to instruction, technology use and assessment. This site discusses the relationship of assessment and evaluation to instructional practices along with recommended instructional assessment and evaluation processes.
  • Internet4Classrooms (
    helps teachers use the Internet effectively. There are step-by-step tutorials for learning applications used in K-12 classrooms, large collections of links and resources to help students practice skills required on various assessments.
  • Lesson Plans Page (
    is a collection of over 3,000 lesson plans from Preschool through High School and beyond, which was developed to assist educators of all types. You can search by subject or specific topics. Teachers can participate in discussions with other educators on a variety of topics.
  • Waypoint (…e=Rubistar)
    is Web-based software designed to help you extend your RubiStar rubrics and create feedback for your students more efficiently and effectively. Waypoint takes rubrics off the page and converts them into an interactive webpage so teachers can pre-write much of the feedback they know they will give to students. Creating feedback is as easy as checking options on a webpage and modifying pre-written text where appropriate.
  • Top 10 Educational Blogs
    offers teachers of all subjects a list of blogs that are a must-read to stay up to date on the latest education topics and trends.
  • The Principals’ Partnership (
    is a rich resource that provides information and online assistance for high school reform efforts and a virtual community of principals who share ideas, strategies and stories of improvement in their own schools. The program is designed to assist principals to meet their leadership needs and professional growth objectives.
  • CyberBee (
    is your site if you are looking for fresh ideas on how to use and integrate technology into your curriculum. Examples of how the Web can be used in the classroom are given in the Curriculum Ideas section. You can also find research tools that will help you gather and process information in a meaningful way. The Howto’s section offers you tutorials designed to make technology easier and Treasure Hunts contains interactive activities on different subject areas.
  • Harnessing the Web (
    is a tutorial that will help you implement collaborative, project-based learning on the Internet. There are five main sections, where you can find resources on how to define, design and deliver online projects. You can also find exemplary projects and learn to choose the right tools for them. Section D is a collection of articles, guides, and other resources to consult.
  • Blogs in Education (
    is designed to provide some resources if you want to use blogs for your classes. You can use blogs for annotated links, knowledge management, course readings and instructional tips, knowledge sharing. Your students can use them for reflective or writing journals, submiting assignments, e-portfolios, and the like. There are also articles, examples, writing tools, and more advanced tools.
  • Training Cafe (
    offers web design materials and training programs to integrate web multimedia projects within academic subjects. Learn how to use web technology into your classroom and make your website a rich communication portal for students. Get access to the tools and resources to make the web a better place to learn. This site does not require membership to access training materials nor do you have to log in.
  • Kim’s Korner for Teacher Talk (
    provides ideas for teachers in middle school to use in their classrooms. The Writing, Reading & Literature, and the Grammar sections offer ideas, activities and lessons that you can adapt for your classroom. The Classroom Management section has ideas for many areas of classroom management. Those areas currently include getting organized, bulletin boards, where to find inexpensive items, icebreakers, review games, simplifying the work load, activities for the first day, welcoming new teachers, rewards, and ideas for a postcard exchange.
  • Technology Professional Development (
    is a planning resource for technology professional developers, school technology specialists, and K-12 administrators. This site is organized around the following themes: Visualizing Technology-Supported Engaged Learning, Current Reality, Effective Staff Development, Evaluation, and Implementation. Each one of these sections provides you with up-to-date planning information, tools, and resources that can be used sequentially or selectively to support specific planning activities.
  • Grade Connect (
    is a free online course management system for teachers to use. It allows teachers to post homework and assignments, grades, announcements, and send progress reports and mass or single e-mails to the students in the class. The students have access to a personal calendar that reminds them of the upcoming deadlines.
  • EdWeb (
    what are schools doing with computers today? how successful are they? EdWeb was designed to examine the role of the Web on education. You can explore the history of Web development and the potential role the Web can play in the classroom. You can also learn the basics of web page design and about the variety of reforms that have swept the world of education in the last ten years. Finally, you can participate in discussions dedicated to the role of the Web on education.
  • Web Sites for Educators (
    serves as an access point for resources that fellow educators have found effective and valuable to use. You can share your lesson plans or see what other teachers have developed. Also, get ideas on how to speed up classroom management tasks.
  • Linda’s Teacher Training (
    guides you through the steps to develop your own web page, provides you with sample pages so that you can see some ideas put into practice, gives you tips on how to develop a storyboard for your site, and offers a list of resources that can give you more information on how to use web pages for instruction.
  • Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators (
    offers a categorized list of Web sites that are useful for enhancing curriculum and professional growth. Each of the categories under Subject Access includes a list of resources from which you can get ideas for your classes. The Teacher Helpers section offers interesting and useful information about Web page evaluation and rubrics.
  • Classroom Connect (
    offers K-12 standards-based classroom learning materials in math, language arts, science, and social studies to help educators use the Internet effectively in their daily classroom instruction.
  • CyberSmart! (
    explores ways to successfully integrate technology into the core curricula by encouraging an effective use of the Internet as a safe learning resource. The CyberSmart! curriculum is non-sequential and can be easily integrated and correlated with the National Educational Technology Standards. The lessons include both online and offline activities.
  • Kidspired Tales (
    gives you ideas to develop new literacies into your content area instruction and helps to develop positive attitudes toward technology uses.
  • Best Practices of Technology Integration (
    explores other ways to integrate visual learning and thinking skills, see resources other teachers have created, and check out the showcased lessons for educators. If you like them, you can download the files and use them in your classroom.
  • webTeacher (
    if you need to know about web basics, multimedia, homepage construction, and more, this is your site. If you need step-by-step advice and guidance, visit techs4schools (
  • Web English Teacher (
    offers new ideas and resources related to critical thinking, poetry, reading, speech, writing, and the like, to teach your English class.
  • Teaching Tips (…achtip.htm)
    offers ideas on how to make your teaching more effective. Tips on teaching techniques, assessment, organization, and many more teaching-learning related topics.
  • Teacher Focus (
    gives teachers a place to put their ideas to be discussed and answered by other educators.
  • PT3 (
    offers a comprehensive list of resources on technology and how to use it more effectively; by the U.S Department of Education.
  • AskERIC (
    a 1100 lesson plan collection, written by teachers from all over the United States (with searchable database).

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