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Become a Better Teacher With Online Education

As a teacher, you know that education doesn’t just take place inside the classroom. Ongoing professional development is important for t...

As a teacher, you know that education doesn’t just take place inside the classroom. Ongoing professional development is important for teachers because it helps them implement new research, tools and strategies in the classroom to optimize students’ learning experiences.

But it isn’t just teachers who benefit from online education. Administrators need continuing education, too. Professional development for teachers and administrators can include in-person or online classes and seminars that a school system or district pays for on behalf of its employees. It can also include opportunities that education professionals seek out on their own, including massive open online courses (MOOCs) or even entire online degree programs. The benefits of professional development for teachers can include helping educators master new technologies, refreshing teachers’ knowledge of their own subjects, helping educators advance their careers and providing better outcomes for students, all without forcing teachers and administrators to stay late at school or come in on weekends.

Master New Technologies

One reason why online professional development for teachers and administrators is so beneficial is that it gives teachers the chance to grapple with and learn new technological tools that they can bring into the classroom. Sometimes, these are tools that students may already be familiar with, but more often, they’re tools that teachers want to harness to bring a more technologically enriched educational experience into their classrooms.

Technology changes at such a fast pace that teachers and administrators typically need to make a special effort to keep up with the demands of new digital tools. Today’s students are often more comfortable with tablets, laptops, and smart phones than their adult teachers. Whether students are using EdTech tools in the classroom or are taking their courses entirely online, teachers need to know how to engage them with technology.

Refresh Your Knowledge of Your Own Subject

Research into the science of teaching and learning is ongoing, and researchers often recommend changes to the way teachers help students engage with subject material. Knowledge in a teacher’s field of study evolves continuously in the same way. Whether it’s historians incorporating new evidence into their conclusions about the way events transpired in the past or scientists making new discoveries that change the way they think about processes occurring in the natural world, teachers need to stay on top of developments in their subject field, so they can impart accurate information.

Of course, that’s not the only reason teachers need continuing education in their subject field. Teachers are human, too. They make mistakes and forget things. Professional development ensures that teachers’ knowledge of their subject matter stays as fresh as it was the day they graduated.

Advance Your Career

Few professionals can advance in their careers without some ongoing training or education to help them develop professionally. Teachers are no exception. Many teachers use professional development opportunities to build new skills and competencies that can help them move ahead in their careers. For example, they might work towards an education administration degree to prepare them for a career in administration beyond the classroom. Ultimately, the opportunities presented by professional development are what one makes of them.

Improve Student Outcomes

Of course, much of the work teachers and administrators put into professional development goes toward improving student outcomes - because why else are these professionals even in the classroom in the first place? Researchers often make new discoveries about how people learn and about how to manipulate the learning environment to optimize learning. A teacher who doesn’t take the time to understand these new developments is one who spends the majority of his or her career using outdated methods to educate students - and that could leave many of his or her pupils struggling to come to grips with the material as it is presented.

Online education provides the perfect format for teachers’ professional development because it allows them to learn new concepts and engage with other professionals in a manner that doesn’t infringe on their personal lives. Most teachers and administrators already have a lot on their plates; their days begin early, and even though students may go home at three o’clock, teachers and administrators often have to spend hours after school grading, doing paperwork and planning curriculums and lessons.

Online learning allows teachers to engage with subject material, form relationships with other professionals via online forums and chats and reflect on their own learning outcomes, all without sacrificing precious time spent with their families or friends. It’s a win-win for teachers and administrators who want to give their best to the students who depend on them.