As invigorating as it is to travel to a seminar or convention, it’s also nice to stay at home and study. When it comes to your professional development plan there are several digital learning resources literally at your fingertips. These include webinars, online courses, and virtual events. Depending on the format you can participate according to your own schedule, learn at your own pace, and repeat as often as you like.

Effective professional development

According to a Center for Public Education (CPE) report, most teachers participate in workshop-style training sessions during a school year. However, participants in the study reviewing those training sessions felt that their professional development training was ineffective, changing neither teacher practice nor improving student learning.

Professional development that is effective has:

  • Duration that is significant and ongoing
  • Support for a teacher during implementation in changing classroom practice
  • Initial exposure to a concept that engages the teacher through varied approaches
  • Active participation for teachers, which helps make sense of a new practice

Variety–in both presentation and activities–is the key to effective professional development sessions. According to the report, “These activities can include: readings, role playing techniques, open-ended discussion of what is presented, live modeling, and visits to classrooms to observe and discuss the teaching methodology.”

Virtual events

Cengage Learning virtual events include interactive workshops, live streaming videos, lectures and webinars that focus on various teaching topics and technologies.

The events are grouped by specialization which includes:

  • Business and computing
  • Career, health care, and trades
  • Humanities and social science
  • Institutional
  • Math and science
  • Products and initiatives

When you find a live event that interests you, just click the button to register. A confirmation email will be sent to you with details on how to join the webinar. The final step in registration allows you to add the event to your calendar so you’ll be reminded to attend.

The beauty of a virtual live event is that you can participate with the presenter in real time while sitting in your home or office.

If you’re unable to attend the live event, you can access recorded webinars through the Cengage Archived Virtual Events page.

Dive deep with an online course

When you want to spend more time exploring a new topic, then take a look at the course offerings from Ed2Go.com. There are thousands of online courses from trusted partners and local schools. The courses are affordable and access is easy.

The Ed2Go course catalog includes a number of teaching and educations courses in areas such as:

  • Classroom computing
  • Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Reading and science
  • Test prep

Before deciding on a course you can view a demo lesson, quiz and assignment. All courses include discussions where you can interact with the instructor.

Challenges of implementation

Another finding in the CPE report stated that teachers need support when implementing new approaches. Several case studies showed that even experienced teachers struggled with a new instructional technique in the beginning.

Cengage Learning’s Digital Course Support services help teachers to implement digital learning solutions such as MindTap and Aplia in their courses. Training on demand is available from instructors who have successfully used Cengage Learning’s digital tools in the classroom.

What professional development experience has been the most productive for you? Tell us in the comments.