While the advantages of using online services for teacher professional development are well-known, the potential disadvantages have been less carefully explored. The author, who is the director of special projects for the National Staff Development Council, discusses some of these potential pitfalls:

1. Unexpected costs. When considering online courses, keep in mind the costs of computer hardware, software and internet access, as well as the possible need for in-person supplemental training. Putting information about new district policies online is probably cost-effective, as is distributing other types of information that already is in print. However, actual


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