An educator teaching online

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, many educators are looking for opportunities to sharpen their online teaching skills. The good news is there’s still plenty of time for teachers to get the PD they need to be ready to meet the challenges ahead.

The better news is that there are some new sources to pay for it — even with rapidly diminishing district budgets. 

Whether you’re an administrator looking for ways to get your staff up to speed on remote learning or an educator hoping to gain proficiency in digital assessments, active learning or other online learning topics, you can get money to fund quality PD. Here are some options to pursue:

1. Apply for grants and scholarships

Several education organizations like the Association of American Educators Foundation, the National Education Association and your state or district education foundation offer grants and scholarships that often cover professional development.

2. Tap CARES Act funds 

The CARES Act reserves $30 billion for education stabilization funds, including $13.5 billion specifically for K-12. Districts can use that money to develop educators’ skills to design online learning opportunities for all students.

3. Use ESSA and IDEA funds

Keep in mind that these federal dollars may be used for PD. To find out how, check out the ISTE guide “Using ESSA to Fund Edtech,” which illustrates how technology can support many of the allowable uses of ESSA Title IV-A funds. The U.S. Department of Education’s 2017 Dear Colleague Letter provides additional guidance on ESSA and IDEA.

4. Spend 2019-20 budget dollars

Don’t leave money on the table! While nearly all school districts are facing tough cuts for the 2020-21 school year, many still have funds sitting in district PD budgets for the current year. This is money that educators can use to register for PD this summer.

Now that you know where to find money, here are some quality professional learning opportunities to help educators feel prepared and confident with online learning: 

Summer Learning Academy: This flexible, comprehensive professional learning series combines courses and webinars led by online learning experts to get you on solid footing. 

ISTE Certification: This intensive, fully online training based on the ISTE Standards helps PK-12 educators redesign learning activities with technology to engage students in real-world, authentic, active learning.

ISTE Conference & Expo: This event, which has been delayed until Nov. 28-Dec. 1, will be flush with sessions focused on topics educators care about now: online learning, equity, social-emotional learning and more. 

ISTE U: These flexible online courses cover a variety of topics, including online learning. They range from 1-2 hour self-paced minicourses to intensive 30-hour instructor-led courses.

ISTE membership: For the reduced price of $75, ISTE membership keeps PD going all year through free webinars and endless opportunities to connect with thousands of educators.  

ISTE summer learning academy