Friday, June 22, 2012

10 Websites Offering Free Online Teacher Education/Earn the Lowest-Cost college credit from free courses!

Many universities and nonprofit organizations offer free, online education courses for amateur instructors, aspiring teachers and licensed educators. Topics of study can range from early childhood care and instructional design to music and science education. Some may even allow teachers to earn the professional development credits needed to renew their licenses.

Earn the Lowest-Cost college credit from free courses!

Most free courses don't lead to college credit. Education Portal Academy's free courses do!
Here's how it works:
1. Watch free video lessons.
2. Take free quizzes.
3. Pass an exam to earn real college credit.

Information and Requirements for Free Online Teacher Education Websites

Teachers can take the following courses, seminars and workshops online for free without having to apply to a university program or fulfill prerequisites. As a result, not all of the courses offer credit for completing them. However, some universities grant course credit to those who pay a fee. These courses might also be approved as professional development or continuing education by state education departments. Teachers who complete these classes might be able to apply credit toward license renewal.
Course materials can be accessed at any time and come in the form of embedded videos, reading materials, downloadable files and Web page links. To access these materials, students usually need a high-speed Internet connection. Multimedia plug-ins, like Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Acrobat Reader or Apple's QuickTime, may also be required. These software programs can be downloaded for free.

List of Free Online Teacher Education Websites

Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings at the University of Massachusetts - Boston

Free PowerPoint presentations help learners assess their knowledge of eight core competency areas, such as child interaction, classroom assessment and program planning. Links to supplemental reading materials and self-assessment quizzes are also available. These quizzes can be printed and used to document professional development hours for early childhood educators in Massachusetts.

Tapping into Multiple Intelligences at Thirteen Ed Online

This free workshop is offered by Thirteen Ed Online's Concept to Classroom series. Learners have access to videos and lesson plans geared toward developing students' various types of learning capacities, such as linguistic, mathematical, musical and existential comprehension. Teachers seeking professional development hours can download a copy of the syllabus and a letter to their schools' administrators explaining how this workshop might be used for credit.

Teaching Evolution at PBS Teachers

This 8-session course covers such topics as the scientific process, natural selection and hominid migration. Online learners can watch videos of case studies and assess student work samples. Downloadable classroom resources, like excerpts of Darwin's letters and autobiography, are also available.

Using Film Music in the Classroom at The Open University

Teachers viewing this 8-hour course learn how movie soundtracks can be used to demonstrate character development or inspire student compositions. Course materials available for download include worksheets, videos and transcripts. A course outline can also be accessed as a Word document or as an eBook in the EPUB format. The course does not provide any professional development or degree credits.

Lessons From the Deep: Exploring the Gulf of Mexico's Deep-Sea Ecosystems at The College of Exploration

After creating a free account, learners can access an archive of videos, lesson plans, webinars and discussion forums. Topics of discussion include deep-sea coral, ocean literacy and underwater geology. The lessons cover research expeditions during 2002-2009 that were funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Educators can obtain credit from California State University - Fullerton's extended education program for a fee. All students receive a certificate of completion.

The Learning Classroom: Theory Into Practice at Annenberg Learner

This free course is for K-12 educators who want to facilitate their students' cognitive development. Over the course of 13 sessions, teachers can access writing assignments, videos and links to online reading materials. Course outlines are also available in PDF format. Students who pay a registration fee through participating universities can receive graduate credit. Some states also grant professional development credit to teachers who complete this course.

Teacher Development: Starter Kit for Teaching Online at Edutopia

The George Lucas Educational Foundation offers this free, online tutorial to teachers interested in creating online or blended learning environments. Available resources discuss online classroom management, asynchronous communication and discussion boards.

Teaching Students with Special Needs: Behaviour Management at the University of Southern Queensland

This 14-week course introduces topics in behavior modification and negative reinforcement. Teachers also learn how instructional modifications can deter disruptive behaviors. Course materials include lecture notes and writing assignments. The assigned textbook must be purchased separately. Students do not receive professional development or college credit for this course.

Intro to Instructional Design at Utah State University

Graduate-level course topics in curriculum development, implementation and evaluation are delivered via video lectures and PDF files. Worksheets for evaluating curriculum design or writing lesson plans are also included. Students do not receive credit for this course.

Gifted and Talented Education at the University of California - Irvine

This 4-part video lecture from UC - Irvine promotes education for gifted and talented students. Teachers can learn how to identify exceptional students and modify the curriculum to meet their needs. For an extra fee, this course is also available for credit through the UC - Irvine Extension.

Earn Real Credit from Free Courses

While the free courses above don't award credit directly, there are two widely recognized and affordable options for students to gain real college credit.

Option #1: Pass a CLEP Exam

The College Board's 33 CLEP exams allow you to test out of your general education requirements. Credit is accepted at 2/3 of colleges and universities in the U.S.

Option #2: Prepare a Portfolio helps you prepare a portfolio that proves your knowledge. A faculty expert then recommends how much credit should be awarded. The process is call 'prior learning assessment'.

Catalog of Free Online Courses 


Free Handbook for Online Teaching

Online Education Jobs  >  Learn to Teach Online
OnFree eBook for Teaching Online Coursesline college teachers can find learning tips and strategies for teaching online courses in a new, free e-book, produced by the University of Colorado at Denver.

The CU Online Handbook explores trends and issues with online learning, including how to make use of new technology. Articles cover topics such as:

• how teachers can transition from face-to-face to distance education
• how to use e-College
• how to use web 2.0 and informal learning techniques
• using blogs for educational purposes
• instructional uses of Twitter

The book can be downloaded as one PDF file, or you can pick and choose chapters to download individually. 

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