Today, many teachers are logging into online professional development courses to boost their knowledge and increase their confidence in integrating technology in the classroom. A recent article in the Australian Educator spoke of an example of teachers who have seen the many benefits of doing so. One of these benefits is that courses are self-paced and teachers can learn anytime they want.
An online course also promotes regular engagement in activities that support the learning needs of teachers.
Another particular reason why teachers are turning to online PD is that in Australia there are fewer development days than in any other country. An article taken from The Conversation stated that while 97% of teachers do attend PD days, they are finding online courses a more viable option. Issues such as being overworked and lack of face-to-face workshops are amongst the likely causes for this action.
In the 21st century, in a world dominated by ICT, professional development needs be more than learning knowledge and skills. It has to involve teachers taking a personal path to professional integrity and human growth. Online courses need to focus on:
- Teacher’s pedagogical content knowledge;
- Teacher’s understanding of how students learn with ICT;
- An alignment of the individual’s and school’s needs and;
- Ultimately supported by school leadership.
Online courses provides a more feasible and viable option to face-to-face workshops and enables teachers to spend more time in the classroom and less time away at these events. Social networks such as LinkedIN and Facebook are becoming the norm for professional development providers to advertise courses that appeal to the interest of teachers and it is no wonder as online learning is continuing grow.
While there are many courses available online it is important that you choose the one that is going to meet your needs. Accredited courses through educational bodies like the NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA) not only ensures you it has your best interest but also has the added bonus of enabling teachers who enrol to earn accreditation as either a Proficient teacher, Highly Accomplished teacher or a Lead Teacher. Such courses as this means that the quality of the professional development is of a high standard.
Teachers can find online professional development courses in platforms such as: