Professional Development Tools For Teachers
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Discover Why Professional Development For Teachers Is Important

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus coined the timeless phrase, "Change is the only constant in life." This is changing the education landscape globally, leading educators to continuously improve their teaching skills by way of adopting new-age platforms and tools. Teachers are opting for professional development to enhance the way education is delivered to students. Professional development isn’t a new concept in the education sector. In 2014, the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation reached out to 1,300 teachers with the help of Boston Consulting Group. They discovered that 29% of the teachers were highly satisfied with the professional development offerings at that time. At the same time, 34% of the teachers believed that professional development had improved.

What’s more, the expectations of students are also changing in terms of the manner they wish to learn and what they want to be taught. A career-oriented approach to teaching is being incorporated more than ever before so the traditional, textbook-learning skills of teachers are holding less and less value. In such a scenario, the importance of professional development for teachers cannot be stressed enough.

Learning Tools For Teachers

While there are many dedicated courses and tools that teachers can make use of, the following ones have become really popular since they offer a multitude of features for teachers to develop the skills to deal with the rapidly changing education sector.

  • Feedly
  • Edmodo
  • Teaching Channel

Feedly

Feedly is a handy tool launched originally in 2008. It is an RSS news aggregator that works on multiple web browsers and is also available as a mobile app for iOS and Android.

As an RSS feeder, it basically collects content, like news and other articles, from various sources on to your device. Teachers can use this platform to aggregate educational articles at one place for themselves and even share the same with their students. Gradually, it can help to easily create a feed pool that can come in handy for accessing the latest information.

Edmodo

Edmodo is a dedicated educational tool that enables virtual classrooms across geographical locations. It allows teachers and students to connect and work in an online classroom. It is claimed to be the world’s largest network for K-12 students, teachers, administrators, and parents.

Even the parents can use this tool to stay updated about what goes on in a classroom and interact with teachers if they wish to. The teachers, on the other hand, can easily access professional development ideas that can come in handy on a daily basis.

Teaching Channel

Teaching Channel is a platform designed with content for teachers looking for professional development. The videos are meant to enhance teaching techniques regardless of the subject and the grade a teacher handles.

Through this tool, teachers can collaborate, give and share feedback with one another on their self-improvement goals. You can learn from the video content or upload and share your own videos as well.

Rise Of Social Media As A Learning Tool For Teachers

Want to maximize your professional development? How about giving social media a try?

Aside from the usual tools, it is interesting to note that a number of social media platforms are also being used by teachers to expand their knowledge and interact with students to know how to improve the education system.

  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Twitter

One of the most prominent social media sites, Twitter, is being used as a highly engaging platform for teachers around the world, where teachers can get together and discuss anything related to education.

Hashtags can be used to search, share and promote knowledgeable content, particularly about teaching techniques. For example, #edchat and #edtech are two leading hashtags that can yield insightful results for educators around the globe. Acting as a Professional Learning Network (PLN), Twitter is enabling teachers to cross boundaries online for creating a giant, shared education resource.

Pinterest

This is another widely used app designed to create, view and share interesting ideas in the form of visually attractive images. Pinterest is not only meant to view and save beautiful pictures, but it can also be used as a creative tool to enhance creativity among teachers and students.

Both can use Pinterest to create boards, for instance, that inspire and exude emotions. It can be used to bring your ideas to life or for creative learning. The "Teachers on Pinterest" page has a whopping 166k followers, and according to the description it is “a pinspiring place for teachers to find and share creative ideas.” The page consists of boards for lesson plans, classroom decor and other types of content to make learning more lively. What’s more, boards that you create can be saved and shared with anyone using this app.

Building on the example of Twitter, teachers can explore various online forums, like Quora, Reddit, Discuss, LinkedIn Answers and Yahoo Answers, to try and interact with teachers around the globe while asking professional development questions. This can help in not only bringing diversity to their teaching by interacting with teachers from different cultures but also allow them to learn various ways of it and understand the level of education in other parts of the world.

Educators and anybody else in the education sector across the globe are realizing the importance of professional development for teachers. It is becoming a mandatory step in a teacher’s life for enhancing their career by learning new tools, incorporating them for increased efficiency in teaching and raising the overall standard of education. There are many other tools that can be used to maximize your professional development depending on the various requirements in education.

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