Melanie Link Taylor, M.Ed., a writer and educator living in Southern California, shares educational websites for teachers to find professional networking online.
Professional networking is becoming critical for educators interested in keeping skills 21st Century-relevant. And thanks to recent advancements in communications technology, teachers can find professional networking online.
Educational sites often afford convenience, privacy and expertise in a variety of educational areas. There are also interactive activities for teachers joining an online community. Here are a few advantages to connecting online:
- Current educational topics discussed by experts and educators in a timely, thorough manner. For example, the latest input on educational technology use in the class; special education innovations; and school-wide interventions, such as social and emotional interventions, are hot topics currently inspiring teachers in their professional pursuits.
- Convenience and privacy comes with networking online. Professional development is generally limited to scheduled on-campus staff or team meetings, conferences, or district training. A teacher may have a question or comment on a topic with no opportunity during these gatherings, or the teacher feels the question or comment is too basic or too sophisticated for the discussion. Educational sites can provide a responsive venue through articles, group discussions, webcasts, videos or a search by a teacher using key words at the teacher’s convenience.
- Opportunities to investigate new teaching areas and/or extend teaching expertise abound through sites that are specific to educational technology, special education or improved teaching methods. A teacher may want more information about learning disabilities, for personal or professional reasons, and find helpful information and professionals online. Maybe a video demonstrating a specific lesson would be very helpful. There is an abundance of sites to enhance a teacher’s knowledge and methods.
(Next page: A list of great sites for online networking)