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10 Websites Offering Free Online Teacher Education
Free online courses in teacher education are offered by some real schools. Learn which teacher education courses are available, what topics they cover and which ones lead to college credit.
Free Online Course Requirements
Teachers will find a combination of courses, videos, seminars and supplemental materials from the following sources listed below. Some offer academic credit by paying a fee for taking the course or by taking an exam. Users should make sure that their computers have updated software in order to gain full access to videos and PDF files.
African Virtual University
The African Virtual University offers free online courses, but does not currently offer credit for completed courses. Students are able to access PDF and Microsoft Word files and completely access modules through Scribd. Curriculum Studies explores the role that curriculum plays in learning. Students study how curriculum is determined and influenced from a historical, sociological, philosophical, psychological, political and technological standpoint. Educational Research teaches online students how to identify and thoroughly resolve problems that may come up in education. Participants also learn how to evaluate others' research and to justify one's own.
Annenburg Learner is a free online resource intended mainly for teachers. Credit is available for those who pay the appropriate tuition and fees when taking a course.The Learning Classroom examines learning theories, as well as how people learn and process information. PDF files serve as support materials, as do videos. Writing assignments are included for those who want to pursue them, along with online forms provided for the purpose of organizing information. Class sessions include cognitive processing, metacognition and multiple intelligences.
Edutopia pulls in outside resources from universities and websites for users to take advantage of for free on the Edutopia website. Teacher Development: Starter Kit for Teaching Online is a resource for teachers who want to learn how to teach online. As a first step, teachers are encouraged to take an online course so they can explore what online education is like. The resource also encourages doing online research and provides free online tools. Included in the course are sample teacher lessons and additional resources from universities and Web pages.
Offered on this site provided by the Public Broadcasting Service, Teaching Evolution is a professional development course that offers teachers a way to teach evolution in modern society. The class can also be used as a guide for a professional development workshop. Following a timeline, the course breaks down into four themes: rise of evolution, evolution challenged, battle in the schools and reconciliation. Under each theme, users can click on links to learn about significant moments in time related to these themes. Also included are videos and print resources.
The Open University
The Open University offers free, non-academic credit courses, articles, videos and games. Careers Education and Guidance uses interactive quizzes and other course materials to help teachers explore ways to guide students incareer exploration and in finding additional careers information as they plan their futures. Using Film Music in the Classroom uses videos to teach potential instructors about the structure of composition, the connection between image and music and how to analyze film music. Both courses include activities and documents within lessons.
Thirteen Ed Online
Thirteen Ed Online offers numerous free workshops that allow educational professionals to learn at their own pace. Cooperative and Collaborative Learning instructs teachers on enhancing the learning experience by showing students ways to work together in small groups in order to answer questions and complete projects. Through collaborative learning, students are allowed to strengthen weaker skills and share their strengths. In the workshop Tapping Into Multiple Intelligences, teachers explore the nine intelligences, including musical, naturalist, interpersonal and existential intelligence. Included is a resource to help teachers who are taking the course to earn professional credit. Users will be able to both read about and watch examples of multiple intelligence.
University of California - Irvine
- Building the Parent Teacher Connection
- Gifted and Talented Education Seminar Series
- What Differentiation Should Look Like
Building the Parent Teacher Connection is an hour-long video of a seminar that teaches viewers ways for parents and teachers to communicate with each other about assignment needs for gifted students. This course currently does not offer credit. The University of California (UC) at Irvine offers a credit for the Gifted and Talented Education Seminar Series through UC Irvine Extension. This four-part webinar series focuses on how to support gifted individuals and includes audio and images. Seminar topics include common behaviors of gifted students and creating a parent/teacher connection. What Differentiation Should Look Like is another non-credit seminar offered through a video roughly an hour in length. The seminar explores the need for core curriculum differentiation. Viewers are provided with examples.
University of Massachusetts at Boston
Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings is a non-credit, online course that helps teachers learn ways to grade themselves in the fundamental competencies. These include knowing how young children grow and develop, child guidance and interaction, displaying professionalism and leadership, and five other areas. Users will utilize modules and will have access to supplementary links.
University of Southern Queensland
Offered by a school located in Australia, Teaching Students with Special Needs gives users strategies and methods for teaching students of all ages with adjustment and behavioral problems. Users will also learn about corrective management and personal models for behavior management. Users do not receive credit for completing this OpenCourseWare (OCW) class.
Utah State University
Utah State University offers OCW students the opportunity to earn credit by taking one of several possible exams including the CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) exam. Intro to Instructional Design focuses on instructional technology and how it can be used as part of the teaching and learning process. Supplemental materials, such as PDF files and videos, are included.