Teachers like to stay informed on the latest strategies, technologies, and innovations that can improve student learning. However doing so takes a lot of time and often money. Well, SimpleK12 is making informal professional development much easier by offering a variety of free webinars that generally last 30 to 60 minutes.
Let me start by saying that I am in no way affiliated with SimpleK12. I just like their resources.
Today I participated in a webinar entitled: Bringing your Textbook to Life. The presenter, Shelly Terrell, did a great job of quickly introducing seventeen tips to help make textbooks more interesting and engaging for students. These ideas ranged from games to small group work to using technology. Although there were many great ideas, the resource that stood out to me the most was an app/website called popplet that allows you and your students to create concept maps with words and pictures. It will be a great resource especially for content areas like history, social studies, science, etc.
Many other free webinars are coming up from SimpleK12. You can find a list of them and register for them here. SimpleK12 also provides many webinars on-demand so you can watch them whenever you have time. However, in order to watch the on-demand webinars, you need to sign up for a full membership, which costs a bit of money. A few on-demand titles that sound interesting are: Increase Student Productivity with Free iPad Apps, Project Based Learning through Mobile Devices, and Teaching Reading in the Digital Age. But again, they cost money (just under $300 for a year’s subscription to the site).
SimpleK12 offers more than webinars. There are also a lot of resources, collaboration, and learning tools, but for many of these materials you can only access them with a full membership. Overall, the free webinars provide a quick way for teachers to stay up-to-date on innovative and interesting strategies for their classrooms.