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Self-paced online learning for educators can be a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because you can fit professional development into your schedule and move ahead at your own pace. It’s a curse when you have too many options to choose from or spend a lot of time on a program that’s not high quality.
The ISTE Seal of Alignment program vets PD programs to make it easier for educators to choose PD that works for them. Products and services submitted for evaluation undergo a rigorous review by a panel of ISTE Standards experts and are evaluated based on how well they build the skills embodied in the standards indicators.
Here are four programs that passed muster by ISTE’s review panel:
This two-year comprehensive professional development program from the eMINTS National Center strives to change how teachers teach and students learn with technology. Participants complete learning activities, like creating lesson plans and classroom materials, while receiving nearly 200 hours of direct online instruction paired with 40 hours of in-classroom coaching. The program includes formative and summative assessments, teacher guides, evaluation rubrics, and supplementary teaching and learning materials.
Seal reviewers said this resource promotes mastery of the ISTE Standards for Teachers and shows educators how to fully incorporate technology in the learning and teaching process. The program takes a research-based approach to organizing instruction for any subject area or level, and the materials are well designed, clearly presented and use a constructivist approach.
21 Things 4 Teachers
This site helps educators make connections between technology tools and best practice instructional strategies. It offers a free option for educators who prefer to learn from online tutorials and a paid program for those who prefer to collaborate in a cohort with a highly skilled instructor. It provides just-in-time training for K-12 educators covering a wide range of digital applications framed within the context of different educational practices, issues, considerations and environments. The courses provide 30, 60, 90 or 120 hours of instruction, with the opportunity to earn graduate credit.
Reviewers said this resource helps build the foundational technology skills needed to support the ISTE Standards for Teachers. Participants have the opportunity to learn about a broad set of digital tools and applications to help enhance classroom instruction and professional practice through modules that are well laid out, attractive and easy to navigate, and that cover topics central to the effective use of technology in the classroom.
VIF Learning Center
This professional development program focuses on helping preservice and inservice teachers integrate global learning across grade bands and subject areas. Educators progress through a series of modules using inquiry-based learning methods. Participants can collaborate via an online community, earn and collect digital badges as they progress, and work toward earning a global-ready teacher designation. Completion of each module nets teachers 10 hours of credit toward license renewal.
Seal of Alignment reviewers determined that this resource provides substantial opportunities for teachers to practice the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the ISTE Standards for Teachers. It includes 47 project-based learning modules that show teachers how to integrate global concepts into their curriculum and various tools for enhancing learning in a global context.
This online program helps teachers earn the certification needed to teach high school computer science courses. The academy offers four courses that introduce database programming and the Java programming language – Java Fundamentals, Java Programming, Database Design and Programming with SQL and Programming with PL/SQL. Each course includes 90 to 180 hours of facilitated, sequenced instruction. At the end of the series, participants attend a two- to three-day event to conduct a final project and take the exams to become certified to teach high school computer science.
Reviewers said this resource promotes mastery in the ISTE Standards for Computer Science Educators. Participants get access to high-quality, detailed multimedia instructional materials that are well organized and visually appealing. Users can also practice and implement their new skills in real-world settings while receiving expert feedback and instruction.
Learn more about the ISTE Seal of Alignment and the ISTE Standards.