Online Professional Development: A primer

Many teachers are turning to online professional development to meet their learning needs, but the vast array of available opportunities may be overwhelming. This article provides a framework for making sense of common online teacher learning opportunities. It also suggests situations where online professional development may be most useful and presents a challenge for educators to consider when engaging in online learning.

Educators have access to a dizzying array of virtual learning opportunities, but they must be mindful that working with colleagues produces some of the best learning.

Online professional development for teachers continues to grow in popularity, as schools and educators look for cheaper, more efficient ways to meet current needs and demands. The number of web sites and other virtual learning opportunities makes it difficult for teachers to make sense of the available opportunities, their content, their quality, and how they fit with their personal learning goals.

As providers of online professional development, we know well the dizzying array of opportunities available to educators. Online professional development can sometimes be a good choice with many benefits to teachers, but, at other times, traditional in-person professional development may be a better fit. How can educators make sense of this ever-growing landscape of online professional learning?

Citation: Bates, M. S., Phalen, L., & Moran, C. (2016). Online professional development: A primer. Phi Delta Kappan, 95(7), 70-73.