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Free Courses for Teachers: How to Optimize the Online Experience

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It is no news that the world is going digital. Wherever technology advances, other forms of human development follow. And this equally applies to all areas of education and human learning. Education software, online education platforms, and virtual learning programs are constantly being developed to support students and career aspirants who wish to take advantage of distance learning. In this article, we look into what free courses for teachers exist, what they teach, and how they can help you become the best teacher possible.

Related Resource: How to Become a Teacher with Top Online Teaching Degrees

Teachers must keep pace with the racing technology and, through teacher training resources, take advantage of the opportunities that online education presents.

This became even more necessary after the advent of Covid-19. The world saw the importance of taking advantage of the enormous possibilities in the cyber world. And even after the dwindling of the pandemic, it’s evident that e-learning has come to stay. Teachers must look for online training resources to boost their chances of staying in play with the sudden academic curve.

So are you a face-to-face teacher in search of free training courses for online teaching? Or are you already an online teacher searching for free online teachers training resources to boost and increase your knowledge? If yes, this article is written just for you.

16 Best Free Courses for Teachers

1. Pace University Online Teaching Directory

If you’re new to online teaching, listening to online teachers is one of the best ways of getting practical information about e-learning and the experiences that come with it. Pace University has free online teacher training resources with rich data from their professional online teachers. On their academic resource directory, you’ll find videos, PDFs, articles, and guides that’ll inform and equip you on your online teaching journey.

Whether you’re starting as an online teacher or you’re already into e-learning and in need of free training courses to further your knowledge, Pace University is just for you. Their free online learning resources contain insight into designing online class modules, organizing virtual classes and exams, and cultivating proven effective online teaching methods.

Do you have an interest in creating online tutoring videos for students? Are you interested in real, practical experiences in online teaching? If yes, then burrow through Pace University’s online teacher training resources for a great learning experience.

View More about Pace University

2. MSU Academic Tools and Technology Support Resources

Michigan State University has rich academic resources that are storage platforms for their online class management techniques and other critical educational resources. They have an archive of their instructional technology, video production system, and digital accessibility services. They run a Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) that gives the public access to their academic resources.

The information provided on this website will give you a standard idea of setting up online classes, teaching your students, and designing your courses. And if you wish to venture from e-learning towards lecturing in a university, you’ll also learn to fuse distance learning teaching techniques and traditional face-to-face methods.

You are free to browse through their academic resources and learn from your topic of interest.

View More about Michigan State University

3. Russel Stannard’s Teacher Training Videos

Online education is the fusion of pedagogy and the many-sided benefits of technology. Teachers looking into professional development in areas of virtual education must be apt with basic knowledge of technology.

Fortunately, Russel Stannard’s Teacher Training Videos are specifically for helping online teachers learn how to use the latest technology and software available to them in e-learning. As their motto indicates, they offer “simple tech help for teachers.” Stannard believes that a teacher doesn’t need to be a tech expert to use most online tutoring software and technologies.

You do not need to feel overwhelmed by the enormous amount of technology available for online tutoring. Russel Stannard’s free online teacher training resources are readily available to be a helpful guide to you. This is particularly good if you’re someone who loves learning by listening and watching videos.

Their online teacher training videos are divided into two categories:

Introduction to Online Teaching Tools

These resources are for those new to online teaching technologies and wondering about the best online tools for their e-learning profession. In these sets of videos, Russel Stannard shows you online teaching tools and software available for virtual learning. He also teaches you about the types of online education programs that fit a specific software. If your focus is K-12 online education, some software works best with that type of learning. If, however, you’re focused on more advanced online classes, there are also other software to suit your area of interest. These sets of videos are for providing specific software guides to teachers.

Online Teaching Best Practices

The second category of videos is geared towards organizing and conducting your online classes while effectively using online teaching tools. Here, Russel Stannard goes a bit in-depth on a specific device and how it can benefit you and your students. This includes lessons on how to help you effectively interact with students, store online education resources, send out bulk messages and optimize workflow.

Their videos are free, with no sign-up or commitment on your part.

4. OpenStax Online Teaching Courses

OpenStax is an education-based website that serves as a hub where educators, authors, and learners meet to contribute and improve their knowledge. You’ll find books, courses, and reports rich with remote learning insights for online teachers on this online education platform.

Their courses provide insight to online teachers on best practices for online teaching and how to prepare students for an online class. For example, OpenStax has lessons that teach courses on how to use Course Management Systems (CMS). These are tools that make virtual tutoring a hassle-free experience. CMS tools are in the communication, assessment, and storage category. Learning how to use these tools, coupled with knowledge from these online instructor courses, will get you on your way towards a more productive online tutoring experience.

Besides the teacher training course content on online class modules, tools, and practices, you can also learn how to incorporate visual designs into your online course content.

Because a picture speaks louder than a thousand words, learning to use visual design templates and color gradients will boost your student engagement in an online class. A little basic knowledge about graphic design will help you create backgrounds and colorful layouts for your online courses. This will make your entire online tutoring process look more professional and refined.

5. Global Text Project’s Students Motivation Course

As a teacher, trying to teach students who aren’t motivated about a particular course, academics, or life, in general, can be frustrating. An ideal teaching environment is an interactive dialogue between the teacher and the students instead of a one-sided monologue.

As an online teacher, creating a motivating environment is essential for an interactive and productive online class. The Motivating Students to Learn course will teach you how to note behavioral patterns in students and self-motivation techniques to keep students engaged in online courses.

Some of the core features of the course are Operant Conditioning, the Theory of Behaviorism, and how to use them in an online class for a more productive virtual learning experience.

Although not stated, this course is in two categories:

The Psychological/Intrinsic Need of Students

While some people are naturally apt to drive themselves to learn, some people need a little push. There are many factors behind demotivation in students – factors like parental upbringing, peer pressure, and personal mental inclinations.

In this phase, you’ll be taught how students’ minds work and what informs their decisions. And then learn the ways to tap into their intrinsic needs and steer them towards self-motivation and determination for success in academics and life.

Practical Implementation Methods

This course teaches you how to use goal-setting techniques to enable your students to develop a self-efficacy mindset and improve themselves along a given line. In the course content, you will learn proven effective target models to help you achieve this.

This course also allows for a paid upgrade if you wish to obtain a digital certification after purchase.

6. Trends in K-12 Virtual Classrooms Technology by UCI

Are you a budding K-12 instructor looking into a more effective way to implement the use of technologies in your online classrooms? If yes, then the University of California Irvine’s K-12 Virtual Classroom Technology trend is for you.

In this course, you’ll discover the latest technology available for K-12 virtual learning and how to use them for a productive online classroom. You’ll learn about the challenges of these technologies and how to bypass them. One important factor about this course is that it teaches practical knowledge that applies to traditional environments.

Although this course is geared towards K-12 virtual learning classes, it is also advantageous for adult online education.

Aside from learning online tutoring best practices, you’ll also learn:

  • Tools for assessing students’ participation.
  • How effective Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are to virtual K-12 education.
  • How to implement and make good use of open content in your virtual education classes.
  • Methods of increasing student engagement. For example, fusing games with course models to boost students’ interests.

The UCI K-12 virtual classroom technology is a free online teacher training course that takes an average of 5 weeks to complete. It also requires a paid upgrade to obtain the digital certificate.

View More about University of California - Irvine

7. Learn Google Classroom by GFC GLOBAL

This course is for online educators who seek to learn graphic design, 3-D printing, and other aspects of Google Classroom. GFC Global is a free online education platform with over 2000 lessons.

In Google Classroom, you will learn how to use the software templates to create and design your online classes. You will also learn how to create course materials, assignments and enable your students to access them with complete control on your part. Google Classroom also provides options for communication with students and parents who want to be informed about how their kids perform in online classes. One great benefit of this software is that it allows for interactive quizzes, which goes a long way in motivating and keeping students engaged in an online class.

8. Teaching for Home Learning by STEM LEARNING

FutureLearn is one online education platform where you can find rich and insightful courses on online teacher training. It has over 140 free online teacher training courses. For online teachers who are focused on primary education, the primary science course is suitable for you.

The Teaching for Home Learning course was designed to make science education easier during the pandemic. It exposes online instructors to the new environments of remote learning and how to take advantage of them while incorporating creative science activities from home.

The course syllabus contains collaborative ways to help parents participate in the process of educating their kids remotely. It also has suggestions on innovative means to make virtual learning interesting for the kids. But this course also has the more advanced online course content for secondary science students, so it is a broad-range course.

By the end of this course, online tutors will learn to be flexible in using blended techniques for their teaching careers. That means they’ll learn how to fuse their knowledge of face-to-face teaching and their e-learning experiences for much better performance.

9. English Teaching Courses by British Council

The British Council is an online education platform established by the British government to offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to students and teachers. Students can register, learn the English language, take IELTS exams, and obtain digital certification. This also applies to teachers who have an interest in teaching the English language to students.

Their directory allows educators to select the age category that they have an interest in teaching. There are English language learning resources for adults, kids, and teens.

The British Council also provides a broader free online teaching course that teaches English language teachers about the technologies and tools available for their e-learning classrooms.

10. Class Central’s Free Online Course Listings

Class Central is an online education platform with a compilation of over 31 free online training courses from different providers. It lists courses with diversified topics on online teaching pedagogies, character development, and cultural diversity.

Class Central aggregates courses from providers like universities and independent education providers. There, you’ll find free online teacher training courses offered by universities like the University of Colorado Boulder, Relay Graduate School of Education, and the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

As an online education platform with rich academic resources, you’ll find their online courses relevant in K-12 pedagogy and secondary and adult education.

11. Instructional Design Models by the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland developed and offered this course on edX as an online teacher training course for e-learning technology enthusiasts.

In this course, online educators will learn how to design online lesson modules, build templates that encourage interactive virtual learning experiences, and motivate students during online classes. The syllabus introduces online teachers about the evolution of e-learning and the requisite tools relevant to effective online teaching processes – which are basically for design and communication.

One beautiful thing about this course is that it’s not only for online teaching enthusiasts. This teacher training course also applies to conventional face-to-face teaching.

View More about University of Maryland

12. MIT OpenCourseWare

When you mention the top universities in the academic world, MIT is always on the front seat. MIT OpenCourseWare offers free teachers educational resources where teachers can learn more effective ways to help students and boost their profession.

You’ll find graduate and undergraduate courses on exciting topics that will aid your teaching professional development journey on their platform.

MIT has tons of videos on education from top lecturers in the university. So, as an online teacher, you only need to search for recorded lecture videos under your area of interest and watch them for free. Do you prefer learning by hearing and watching videos? If yes, then MIT’s educational videos are one rich resource for you!

13. Analytics for the Classroom Teacher

Curtin University offers this Analytics for the Classroom Teacher on edX. It is a free online teacher training course that helps teachers develop technical skills in data analysis. Since remote learning is chiefly dependent on software and automated tools, online instructors should know how to present facts from accurate data and note their progress in their online classes. This includes student assessment methods, scoring techniques, and effective ways to rate student engagement through automated performance analytics.

This course is focused majorly on teaching online instructors about the practical steps towards good data analytics. It also includes videos from established online teachers and guides on using data-driven analysis to make effective decisions in their online classes.

The Analytics for the Classroom Teacher course spans a month for a gradual and more effective study pace. It has options for a paid upgrade if you wish to obtain a digital certification upon completion.

14. Introduction to Foundations of Teaching for Learning

As with any form of career choice, foundational knowledge is the bedrock of other information gained along the way. The Foundational of Teaching for Learning course, offered by Commonwealth Education Trust, is for teachers who want to know and develop all the professional approaches to teaching. You will find this course on Coursera.

The course syllabus includes student assessment techniques, leadership, instruction processes, and the importance of relationships in the teaching profession.

This course will teach you how to utilize your innate skills and talent in your teaching profession. The course content is relevant for those specialized in K-12 education as well as adult education tutors. At a reasonable slow pace, the course takes up to four weeks to complete. It is a free online teacher training course that requires payment to obtain its digital certificate.

15. Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom

Are you done with all the basic knowledge about distance learning and seek to increase and strengthen your understanding of online instruction? If yes, the Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom is for you.

The University of California Irvine offers it for free, but it is also accessible on Coursera.

Just like the name suggests, this free online teacher training course will teach you the “extra” when it comes to a practical e-learning experience.

The course content will equip you to use your compounded knowledge of online teaching tools and best teaching practices to create a lively, engaging online environment for your students.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn from the course syllabus:

  • Ways to identify students at risk and develop practical means to help them.
  • Design a virtual classroom that promotes collaboration with your students and their parents.
  • Using data-driven methods to compare virtual learning and face-to-face education for identifying better performance.

This is a free online teacher training course with just a four week study period.

You can enjoy it without paying a dime. But obtaining a digital certificate of course completion will require a fee.

16. Get Organized: Becoming a Together Teacher

After learning all the tools and gathering all the necessary knowledge for your online tutoring journey, you will need management skills for effective application.

Get Organizedis a professional management course that teaches organization systems that foster productivity for teachers.

An online teacher is tasked with setting up virtual classes, ensuring a conducive environment, giving assessments and the requisite feedback – for further work. These activities can become overwhelming without a proper understanding of self-organization systems. This free online teacher training course will teach you how to use your resources wisely and optimize your workflow with effective management techniques. It will teach you how to multitask, plan and place priorities according to your area of strength.

Here are what you’ll find in the course content:

  • Introduction to time commitment tools.
  • Goal-setting methods and accomplishment modules.
  • The art of “togetherness.”

This course takes approximately eight hours to complete. But for a pleasurable course study, you may go through it slowly and complete it in four weeks. It does require a paid upgrade for digital certification.

Find Online Teaching Resources Now

Now you know the top 16 free online courses to aid your professional development journey in online teaching. Opportunities for growth and achievement await you. You now have a better chance of becoming a more impactful online instructor with these free online resources.

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