8 free CPD courses for teachers working from home

Education Technology’s pick of CPD courses for educators, with tips for SEND children and distance learning

Many teachers are looking for continuing professional development (CPD) courses to take during the coronavirus shutdown.

Education Technology has picked a cross-section of non-subject specific CPD courses, particularly focusing on SEND and distance learning.

Course: Leadership of Education Technology in Schools

Provider: FutureLearn, developed by the Chartered College of Teaching

Time: Three hours a week for four weeks

Summary: The course is for school leaders, particularly those with responsibility for technology and teacher development.

The course aims to help teachers learn how to build an edtech strategy, communicate it to a team, and align it with existing school structures. It’ll give learners an overview of the technical and cybersecurity issues to consider, as well as the workload implications of both factors.

There are different approaches to edtech and the course’s two instructors will guide learners on how to pick the best option for them.

Course: Take your teaching online

Provider: The Open University

Time: 24 hours of material

Summary: Although many teachers are used to learning online, becoming a good teacher online is not always straightforward and often requires a new approach, the course leaders say.

Teaching online requires new skills and this course aims to introduce learners to common challenges and solutions. The course is based on the real experiences of teachers and introduces its participants to the latest research and tools. There is an opportunity for educators to test new ideas and develop their own approach.

Course: How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students

Provider: FutureLearn

Time: Two hours a week for three weeks

Summary: Specially designed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, this online course works through the basic and essential steps for teachers who are new to online provision.

The course considers the tools designed for teachers to create and share learning materials, build a library of shared resources, and help students develop a routine for working from home.

The course even considers the personal impact of teaching and learning online.

Course: Focus on SEND training

Provider: Nasen

Time: Nine hours

Summary: This CPD course “won’t make you an expert in SEND”, Nasen explain, but “it will help you to recognise your own skills and experience and use them to begin to unpick the needs of learners”.

The course will familiarise teachers with some essential considerations for SEND learners, which includes meeting the needs of both pupils and their parents, and understanding barriers to learning. The course aims for each teacher to leave with the tools to overcome common challenges for SEND students.

Course: Why wellbeing first?

Provider: Hays

Time: 15 courses, all vary in length

Summary: Hays has created 18 wellbeing CPD courses for teachers, many of which have been updated for teachers working from home. There is a helpful short course called ‘Plan Your Day in 18 Minutes’. There are other courses which aim to help teachers establish a work-life balance, deal with stress at home, prioritise and manage virtual teams.

Course: Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning

Provider: Lyfta, developed by the British Council

Time: Three hours

Summary: This course includes a two-hour session and a one-hour webinar and is designed to help teachers introduce sustainability to any subject area.

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning is a programme that helps teachers  bring global learning themes, centred on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), into their classrooms.

The course will provide an overview for teachers who have already devised some lesson plans inspired by the UN SDGs.

Course: Dyslexia Awareness

Provider: Microsoft, developed by Made By Dyslexia

Time: 1 hour

Summary: This course helps teachers understand the strengths dyslexia learners have and the challenges they face in the classroom. It’ll offer tips on creating dyslexia-inclusive spaces and suggestions of who teachers can contact when they need more guidance.

Made By Dyslexia is a global charity, and they have recruited two experts (from Millfield School UK and Schenck School USA) to share their expertise in these Microsoft modules.

Course: The Online Educator: People and Pedagogy

Provider: FutureLearn, developed by The Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology

Time: Four hours a week for four weeks

Summary: There are an enormous number of free CPD courses available on the FutureLearn site, but this is a good one for those who have mastered the basics of online teaching.

The course will introduce learners to the challenges of meeting diverse students’ needs, myths about accessibility, types of digital exclusion, ethical considerations, self-evaluation, and developing an online identity.

Image source: Freepik

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