Cool Sites Tech Tips

What Will You Learn this Summer? 35 Professional Development Resources

Part of the Cool Sites series

Photo adapted by Kevindooley's photo The Teacher Creative Commons Attributes 2.0 Generic

Photo adapted from Flickr by kevindooley licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Summer has officially started for many of you! I know that you will probably be relaxing for the first few days, but eventually you may feel the need to be inspired and motivated for the upcoming school year! Social media provides us with incredible opportunities to choose the way we want to develop professionally. You can choose the topic, the medium, and who you want to learn from. You can choose the way you like to learn, because social media provides us with several multimedia experiences, such as webinars, LMS, live video, and more. The experience is usually dynamic and motivating because you are learning with others around the world! Additionally, you will be developing your Personal/ Passionate Learning Network (PLN).

Professional Development Opportunities to Choose From…

Free Programs:

  • The 30 Goals Challenge- Over 1500 educators have downloaded this free e-book that challenges you to accomplish 30 social media and professional development goals in 30 days. These are short-term goals, such as guest posting, setting up a Google alert, causing a ripple, and contributing to a blog carnival. Download the free e-book to get you started. Additionally, feel free to contribute to my new weekly series that will be featuring a post from an educator who accomplished one of the goals.
  • 31 Days to Become a Better Edtech Leader- With his vast experience, Terry Freedman offers excellent goals to accomplish each day that help you use educational technology effectively. Goals include conducting a SWOT analysis to organizing an inservice! Here’s a handy list of each post and the links.
  • The 23 Things Project- Take Steven Anderson’s 10 week course that shows you how to use various web 2.0 tools effectively in the classroom.
  • SEETA Courses- The South Eastern Europe Teachers Association offers several week courses with a guest author or expert in the field. You can check past courses or take the upcoming one with Lindsay Clandfield from June 16-20, Coursebooks of the future: Adopt, adapt or abandon? You will have to register, but the courses are free!
  • ELT Moodle Web 2.0 Tools course- Andy Chaplin offers several classes to help you become acquainted with using Web 2.0 tools effectively with English language learners. Register for free!
  • Moodle Web 2.0 Tools course- An 8 week course to learn more about Web 2.0 tools. Register for free!
  • Edufire Free Live Online Classes- Register for free and have access to various topics such as using various web tools or learning a different language. You get a live tutor on a video.

Attend Live Events in Real Time!

You can attend several free conferences, webinars, Twitter chats, and presentations online with your PLN! These usually last one hour, but many conferences also offer free all day live streaming of their keynotes.

Free Online University Classes:

Ever dream of studying at Stanford or MIT? Well you can attend several free online courses from their universities. Below are useful links to find a free online course at several top universities in any subject!

  • MIT Open Course Ware offers over 1900 free online courses in over 20 subjects. You can subscribe by RSS or get e-mail updates.
  • Stanford on iTunes- Download courses, faculty lectures, interviews, music and sports that will play on your iPod, iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC.
  • 17 Universities with free online courses- Find out how to access these free courses from some of the most respected universities in the world! This article also describes the experience of learning through these online classes.
  • 250 Free Online Courses- Find a list of several more free online courses from the top universities categorized by subject.

Learn Through These Blog Series

Books! Books!

Find several more professional development opportunities by clicking on the tabs of Mike Fisher’s Live Binder.


Try any of these professional development opportunities and blog about your experience. Blogging helps you reflect and decide how you can apply this learning to improve your instructional methods.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

What are your favorite ways to learn online? Did I miss any other great professional development opportunities?


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  • June 13, 2010 - 19:25 | Permalink


    • June 13, 2010 - 20:38 | Permalink

      Hi Tim,

      I don’t mind at all! Spread it! :-) Thanks so much for your video comment! I love video comments because then I can see and hear you!

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  • Kimberly Herbert
    June 14, 2010 - 12:32 | Permalink

    I’ve already attended a week-long workshop for my district. I was trained on real ways to use technology in my classroom – then was given a $10,000 grant to spend for my campus. There are 2 teachers per campus in the program each year.

    My district funds it through the Technology allotment each year.

    I’m spending 2 hours a day working on lesson plans for using tech in learning, and writing another set of grants for materials we will need.

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  • DeAnna
    July 2, 2010 - 14:11 | Permalink

    Thank you so much for these resources! I am currently taking a course called 23 Things through my district staff development which is how I discovered this blog! I am feeding it into my reader now so I can keep up with the amazing things your blog offers! The summer is a wonderful time for teachers to learn the things we wanted to do all year but didn’t have time for and I agree. The internet is filled with free staff development! There is so much to know!

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  • harry
    November 12, 2011 - 06:14 | Permalink

    It is better to include too much information than not enough, as this minimizes the amount of back-and-forth communications. Be very specific and be sure to provide details, opposed to high-level actions.

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