Online professional development for educators is improving in both variety and quality, especially courses to assist teachers in developing their technology skills.

It’s important to consider the type of course that meets an individual’s need. For example, if a teacher is seeking to improve basic skills, a simple, self-paced course might be sufficient. But for learning to integrate technology into the curriculum, a course that provides regular feedback from an experienced professor and feedback with other students is essential.

More college-level teacher educational programs are offering online courses that can be taken throughout the year. Here are a few examples:

  • The New School University in New York City (http://www.dialnsa.edu) is launching an online certificate program for high school teachers who want to integrate technology. The program will contribute substantial credits toward a master’s degree. Programs like this one, which focus on teaching skills rather than technology proficiency, are superior.
  • Classroom Connect’s Connected University (http://cu.classroom.com/logon.asp) offers non-credit tutorials and online training, but is now branching out into partnerships with universities that can offer degrees. Many collaborative courses are still being developed.
  • Jones International University (http://jiu-web-a.jonesinternational.edu/eprise/main/JIU/e_jiuFS.html) is an accredited university that only offers courses over the internet, most of them with a business orientation. This year, Jones started a master’s degree program for educators, school administrators, and librarians.