PBS TeacherLine offers a wealth of professional development resources for K-12 educators on core-subject instruction, in addition to accredited graduate-level courses. The site’s TeacherLine Peer Connection enables instructional coaches to search and save resources and collaborate online with other educators. Additionally, TeacherLine gives educators access to a variety of PBS’ educator-friendly multimedia tools, some of which coincide with the broadcaster’s programs.
TeachAde is an interactive Web site for creating and sharing teaching resources. Educators can use the site to find and share lesson plans, related Web sites and search engines, and to join discussion threads on any education-related topic. Teachers can also build professional networks by forming subject-based groups around their specific needs.
PD 360, a School Improvement Network product, is an online professional development tool where educators can access hundreds of indexed and searchable video segments on topical issues such as improving minority achievement, differentiated instruction, and classroom management. The video segments are presented by experts in the field and provide examples of best practices from more than 1,000 schools. These online resources can be used by mentors, coaches, administrators, and content specialists. Educators can tailor PD 360 to meet the needs of their state or school system’s standards.
Professional development resources for teachers (student, new, and veteran), mentors, administrators, and teacher educators are available on this site. Courses can be customized for interactive school and district staff development workshops. Webinars provide practical strategies for improving student classroom learning. Other tools include book recommendations, classroom resources, Web sites, blogs, and an “Ask a Mentor” feature.
4Teachers specializes in the development of instructional Web-based and professional development resources that address issues such as ELL and at-risk or special-needs students. The site provides ready-made Web lessons, quizzes, rubrics, and classroom calendars so that educators can integrate virtual resources into their classrooms. Teachers can also use the site to create quizzes in foreign languages, compile online lessons, and study classroom teaching techniques for a more productive learning environment. The site is also available in Spanish. Use of some resources may require a subscription.
Out of the University of Texas at Austin, UTeach has created a valuable online data base for their students and novice teachers, but it is useful for educators at any stage of their career who are seeking professional support. UTeach provides multiple links to lesson plans, collaboration resources, classroom management advice, even inspiration and humor pages. Counsel on school culture, tips for mentors, and federal guidelines for student discipline are available directly on the UTeach site. Mentors and novices may find the discussion on career stages interesting.
A version of this article appeared in the March 01, 2008 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook as Web Sites To Know