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Thrive in the Modern Classroom with These Powerful Tools

With its ongoing drive for improvement, the teaching profession has given rise to thousands of resources that help develop and bolster teaching skills. Educators now have abundant access to teaching blogs, workshops, seminars, podcasts and conferences focused on classroom management, curriculum planning, learning development, education advocacy and continuing teacher education. Discover strategies for the classroom, practical tools and technical innovations, and ways to build a professional network of peers and mentors.

Education & Skill Development

For educators, developing skills and remaining up to speed with improvements in curriculum, methodology and technology is a career-long affair. Fortunately, there are professional associations, governmental organizations, corporate sponsored programs and resource libraries focusing on education improvement/reform and teacher development.

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)

Made up of 125,000 members, ASCD is a non-profit organization serving teachers and professors, principals, superintendents and education advocates. It offers online and on-site courses in professional development, including classroom topics such as STEM, literary and content development for educators.

Center for Public Education

The center helps educators to understand the Common Core State Standards adopted by 40 states and currently under implementation in others. The site includes educational articles on the core, multimedia and video presentations, and an extensive list of resources.

Discovery Education

Discovery offers teachers and administrators access to a digital media library and professional development seminars to help educators bring education into the 21st Century. Courses examine leadership, literacy, math and STEM education along with the integration of technology and standards into the modern classroom.

EdWeek Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook

Education Week offers free professional development webinars. Topics include literacy/language arts skills development, special education and mathematics.

Education World

EW is a vast professional educator’s website packed with resources. Professional development topics include expert interviews, new teacher advising, strategies that work and a problem-solving archive.


Funded and administered by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Edutopia offers K-12 teacher-preparation resources through blogs, videos, case studies and success-driven teaching solutions organized by grade level and subject.

Intel® Teach Elements

This top technology company has offered online courses to 10 million K-12 educators to help them make the transition to a core standards curriculum while implementing digital learning, Web 2.0, online tools and social networking.

Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC)

The collaborative is tasked with developing and disseminating programs to assist teachers in developing reading/writing/thinking skills that conform to Common Core State Standards. The site includes expert advice and how-to guides.

Microsoft Educator Community

This Microsoft-sponsored community is comprised of 1.6 million members from around the globe to network and receive training, lesson plans and professional development courses. Specific education roles include teachers, curriculum developers, administrators, deans and policy makers.

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

English teachers and program administrators will find extensive training and career-development resources at NCTE. Programs include facilitated online courses, live web seminars, self-paced investigations and learning for credit opportunities.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

NCTM provides its members with professional development guides and its Principles for Actions Toolkit. The toolkit provides case studies used to illustrate effective teaching practices. The development guides are designed for educators applying NCTM journal articles and publications in making effective changes in the classroom.

National Education Association (NEA)

The NEA helps educators round up advice and support through its Works4Me professional blog. The site hosts comprehensive teaching strategies, lesson plans and classroom management articles designed for new or developing teachers and administrators.

The Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII)

The U.S. Department of Education operates this program devoted to improving instruction and administration across all levels of education. The department’s Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grant Program offers grants to support teacher/administrator career development programs.

PBS TeacherLine

TeacherLine offers graduate education credits through partner institutions for its online teacher development courses based on standards- and research-based methodology. Partner institutions include the Concord Consortium, McRE and ISTE. A recent self-paced course was “Teaching & Learning in the Digital Age”.


Sponsored by the International Literacy Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, ReadWriteThink offers publications, networking opportunities and training for K-12 educators. The website provides access to strategy guides, online seminars and self-paced learning “investigations”.


The organization that founded an education magazine in 1920 today offers professional development through courses and institutes, instructional coaching, case studies and a literacy leadership academy.


Teachers First’s Professional Resource section provides strategies/tools for assessing student populations and informative articles on topics such as bullying, school violence and study skills development. Learn how to employ rubrics in the classroom, integrate technology and work with parents.


Members have access to TeacherVision’s advice and didactic articles, lesson plans and advanced degree preparation. Key categories include teaching strategies, survival tips, classroom and behavior management, a teacher’s reference library and career/job development resources.

Teachers Network

How-to articles at the Teachers Network are penned by professional educators and offered in coordination with the Web Mentors Teacher Helpline. Find lesson plans and suggestions for tailoring teaching styles to best reach students’ learning styles.


Over the last decade TeAchnology has offered free support for developing K-12 educators. Members can receive more than 50,000 downloadable lesson plans, worksheets, timesavers and student evaluation packages.

Academics & Research

Whether pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in education, graduate students will be required to carry out a substantial amount of individual and group research during the course of their academic studies. Most master’s programs in education include a written thesis as part of their curriculum, while doctoral programs typically include the successful completion of either a dissertation or capstone project. In all cases, a good deal of research will be carried out. Fortunately, education and teaching grad students will find a wealth of excellent resources available online to help with their research.

American Educational Research Association (AERA)

The AERA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the scientific study of education. It publishes a number of scholarly journals and books on the subject, and provides access to the latest research on key education topics for all levels of education.

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Teaching Journals Directory

Sponsored by Kennesaw State University, this site provides a comprehensive listing of education-related scholarly journals, along with brief descriptions and web links for each.

Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO)

Located on the campus of Stanford University, CREDO’s purpose is to improve, “the body of empirical evidence about education reform and student performance at the primary and secondary levels.” This website offers access to the organization’s research and reports on charter schools throughout the nation.

Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE)

The CPRE is a network of researchers from a number of prestigious universities and other institutions studying topics relevant to education. This website offers access to the CPRE’s research reports, papers and policy briefs through its publications archive.

Sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences, is an internet-based digital library of education research and information. Its search engine allows access to bibliographic records for over 1.6 million items including journal articles, books, technical reports, policy papers and more.

Library of Congress Education Resources

This Library of Congress site is designed to aid teachers in locating primary resources from the LOC’s digital collections. Nevertheless, education grad students will find the site useful in preparing sample class curricula and classroom materials for degree projects.

National Center for Educational Research (NCER)

Part of the federal government’s Institute of Education Sciences, the NCER supports research for finding solutions of significant education problems in the country through a number of programs geared toward specific issues.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The NSF is an independent federal agency whose mission includes the promotion of progress in science. The NSF’s website offers access to the agency’s voluminous publications, reports and data, including dozens related to education.

North Carolina State University – Teaching Resources for Graduate Students

Excellent clearinghouse for links to websites and other resources geared toward education students and prospective teachers.

Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)

The SREE is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance, “research on policies, programs, and practices that cause educational and related outcomes.” The SREE publishes the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, which member can access from this site.


As education students near graduation and move into careers, they begin to look at skills, training and experience that distinguish them from other candidates in the hiring line. Mid-career educators may also consider the lay of the education landscape in eying promotions or career shifts into administration roles. A good starting place is at the job sites dedicated to teaching and administration careers cited below. Students can also get a leg-up in the hiring process by completing internships with local, state and federal teaching or education advocacy organizations. Not only do internships bolster resumes, they’re a great resource for developing industry contacts and mentors.

Breakthrough Collaborative

A teaching residency is offered to talented college students with teaching career aspirations. Using a students-teaching-students methodology, the collaborative offers intensive nine-week residencies to experienced teachers tasked with supervising the development of young educators in residency.

Children’s Defense Fund

The CDF welcomes interns willing to serve as classroom facilitators and leaders of education outreach, including parental workshops. Summer, fall and spring interns conduct research and provide administrative support to CDF programs.

The Department of Education (ED)

Fall, winter/spring, and summer interns at the Department of Education typically have interests in education policy and administration. Previous interns have served on projects in policy analysis, school financing, legal issues, community outreach and media relations.

Federal Student Aid

The U.S. Department of Education offers qualified students a work-study program for part- and full-time students. Jobs both on and off campus are matched to student career goals and current studies. Salaries vary by level of educational attainment.

Intern Match

Visitors can search for educational internships mapped to their career goals or skills development at Intern Match, powered by Looksharp. Internships are available for teachers, administrators, researchers and education advocates. Search by location, specialty or career interest.

Dedicated to matching students with internships, the company draws from an extensive database of students, employers and educational institutions seeking opportunities for their students. Currently, the site has nearly 150,000 active internship listings.

Monster College

The job-site behemoth Monster hosts an internship-search tool that allows educators to focus their pursuit of opportunities based on their qualifications. Online internship articles provide guidance on searching, applying and landing the right role.


StudentsFirst offers part-time and seasonal internships as well as occasional summer-long volunteer opportunities. The organization advocates for education reform through maintaining high-quality standards for teacher-preparation programs.

Teaching for Change

Graduate students, teachers and other education professionals can apply for internships with Teaching for Change special curriculum projects, marketing outreach, publications research and a documentation project recording effective teaching practices across the nation.

Groups & Networking

For educators and administrators who cannot avail themselves of annual conferences, job fairs and seminars, online social and professional networking can lead to employment and career-long teacher development opportunities. National and international societies and education advocacy organizations are a great resource for teachers looking to build a powerful network of peers and mentors.


    American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)

    The AACTE represents an alliance of evidence-based teacher preparation programs across the United States. Its members enjoy benefits including professional networking, developmental conferences and events, a career center and an innovation exchange.

    American Council on Education (ACE)

    The ACE is comprised of nearly 2,000 accredited institutions of higher learning. Its leadership and advocacy programs extend to healthcare reform, the higher education act, funding and school appropriations.

    American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

    America’s main teacher’s union is affiliated with the AFL/CIO and represents more than 1.6 million educators. Within its divisions representing K-12, post-secondary and healthcare educators, the AFT represents 60,000 early childhood teachers. Member benefits include insurance, healthcare, travel discounts and legal/financial services.

    International Literacy Association

    The association has published more than 800 books on literacy and builds communities of educators devoted to the promotion of literacy as the foundation for all learning. It is co-producer of ReadWriteThink, a website hosting peer-reviewed lesson plans.

    National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

    NAEYC is comprised of 70,000 individual members serving the development of birth through age 8 children. It advocates for professional educator development, early childhood accreditation and public policy.

    National Education Association Student Program (NEA)

    The NEA Student Program serves more than 1,100 chapters at institutions of higher learning. Members are eligible to receive Tomorrow’s Teachers Magazine with monthly tips on surviving the first year of teaching, communications with parents and conducting job searches.

    National PTA

    The PTA provides advocacy and programs to foster parent involvement in the schools. Today it represents more than 4 million members who are teachers, administrators, parents, caregivers and foster family members. The organization’s successful missions created the National school lunch program, universal kindergarten and a reformed juvenile justice system.

    National Rural Education Association (NREA)

    The NREA provides members with a weekly newsletter, mini-grants program, the peer-reviewed Rural Educator and access to REA social media (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube). Its activism efforts strive to provide national support for rural schools through the Department of Education.

    School Superintendents Association (AASA)

    The AASA serves more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and abroad, offering an online cultural exchange, publications, conferences, children’s programs and education advocacy.

    United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

    Founded in 1987, the USDLA was formed as a non-profit organization serving efforts to research and develop online learning. It provides national leadership and advocacy for the creation and support of distance education, and hosts resources including online journals, reports and a newsletter.


    All Conferences

    This global conference directory lists hundreds of conferences for professional networking and career development in education. Recent conferences included stateside and international meetings on literacy, online learning, education leadership and feature interactive workshops.

    Classroom 2.0

    More than 80,000 members from 200 countries participate in networking via forums, groups and blogs. Site tools include chat, recordings and video presentations.


    This Social Network for Teachers is an online community where teachers network, share lesson plans and teaching tips. Site includes blogs, workshops, employment resources, chats and forums.


    Educators can create their own professional learning community or personal learning networks for free at EdWeb. Members include teachers, administrators, librarians, individual schools, districts and educational associations. Online networking allows an exchange of ideas, resources and webinars.

    The Educator’s PLN

    This personal learning network for educators hosts forums, discussion boards, groups, blogs and social media resources. Members can create free pages, build their own networking groups or add blog posts of their own.


    With more than 2 million members that are self-described teachers, the largest career networking site on the planet is also host to groups for elementary teachers, principals, administrators, college professors, test preparation teachers and teachers grouped by subjects.

    Networking Your Way to Secure a Teaching Job

    Career coach Candace Davies advises the Teaching Community at on how to build an effective network of contacts and mentors in the education field. Networking, she says, is a lifetime endeavor.

    Professional Networking,

    While on Monster, be sure to surf the networking skills section to learn how to craft an elevator pitch, use social networks and how to employ Linked-In “netiquette” to an advantage.

    Online Social Networking for Educators

    Cindy Long’s article in the National Education Association’s NEA Today describes the benefits of building a community of peers, mentors and collaborators online.

Industry News & Scholarship

Education professionals need access to news about trends in teaching and new education laws and regulations. With rapidly advancing schoolroom technology and application of best-practice methodologies, teachers depend on industry information to shape their own development and to improve their classrooms.


    The Chronicle of Higher Education

    Designed as a daily news resource for post-secondary educators and administrators, the Chronicle publishes news stories, advice articles, online forums, and facts and figures on compensation, gender, race and spending. It posts hundreds of job announcements each issue.

    CollegeBoard Trends in Higher Education

    Developers of the SAT student admissions examination, CollegeBoard, maintains a reporting site that examines current trends in college pricing, student financial aid and Education Pays reports on college-graduate employment outcomes.

    Education Week Teacher

    Published online by Education Week, this site dedicated for teachers keeps tab on developments in assessments, classroom management, teacher preparation and professional development. Special reports focus on new directions for teacher’s roles and emerging technology.


    The George Lucas Educational Foundation supports this lively website sharing learning and assessment strategies in K-12 education. The Trends Blog examines recent breakthroughs and projections for creating the classroom of the future.

    Inside Higher Ed

    Founded in 2004, Inside Higher Ed is an online treasure trove of breaking news, feature articles and practical career advice. The site hosts webinars, surveys and automated higher-education job search/listings.

    The New York Times, Education

    The Times hosts an online version of its education pages, including articles on terrorism in the classroom, cultural issues, student testing, graduation trends and teaching strategies.

    The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

    The NCES is an omnibus agency within the U.S. Department of Education that rounds up and crunches data related to schools, instruction, employment and student outcomes. Resources include a searchable database on teaching statistics from kindergarten through college.

    National Public Radio, Education (NPR)

    NPR refreshes its education pages daily, providing in-depth stories on current education topics including classroom politics, record-setting high school graduation rates and new education law.

    NEA Today

    Sponsored by the National Education Association, NEA Today publishes daily stories on its website exploring news and trends in education. Topics include education policy, students and social issues, teachers and their classrooms. Daily “must reads” include national stories on legislation, technology, curriculum and learning.

    U.S. Department of Education News

    The DOE maintains a news page packed with press releases, speeches, blogs and higher education data sets tied to post-secondary enrollment, graduation rates, faculty and staff development.


    The American Educational Research Journal

    Scholarly articles, research studies, and articles on social and institutional analysis form the backbone of this journal focused on the economic, political, social and cultural issues in teaching and education.

    International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

    Published twice a year by the Centers for Teaching & Technology at Georgia Southern University, the Journal is a double-blind, peer-reviewed digital publication. Articles on higher and tertiary education are free for downloading.

    The International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (IJTLHE)

    IJTLHE provides a forum for students, educators and administrators committed to improving post-secondary education. A recent article was Conceptions of Effective Teaching and Perceived Use of Computer Technologies in Active Learning Classrooms.

    Journal of Educational Psychology

    Published by the American Psychological Association, the Journal publishes scholarly research, findings and articles concerning the gamut of education affecting people of all ages and levels of learning. Publications include reviews of educational psychology literature.

    The Journal of Effective Teaching

    The Journal is a peer-reviewed digital publication focused on fostering teaching excellence in universities and colleges. Scholarly articles address pedagogy, teaching and learning innovations. The publication is supported by the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

    The Journal of Higher Education (JHE)

    Founded in 1930, the JHE is a leading publisher of scholars across the career process, featuring articles on the impact of higher education from a range of theoretical perspectives and disciplinary focus.

    Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL)

    JoSoTL is published by Indiana University and features data-driven studies, literature reviews, case studies and invited essays by learning scholars.

    The Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice (JUTLP)

    This international journal based in Australia publishes scholarly articles on education design, policy, organizational management, technology developments and case studies.

    Learning and Teaching (LATISS)

    This peer-reviewed journal examines education through the lens of the social sciences. Topics include social policy, curriculum, academic identity, politics, anthropology and criminology.

    The Review of Higher Education

    The Review, published quarterly by Johns Hopkins University Press, features peer-reviewed articles, literature reviews and research findings tailored for scholars, public policymakers and academic leaders.

Apps, Tools & Tech in Teaching

According to Education World, half of American teachers regularly use some form of technology in their K-12 classrooms. The usage varies, from 100 percent of teachers in a school district employing technology, to districts where tech development remains in infancy. Many schools and districts have created positions for “technology integrators” to implement applications, course delivery systems and technology tools for both students and educators. There are tools – free and for purchase – designed specifically for the classroom. These include educational product suites that serve classes, schools and districts. There are also standalone apps for all platforms that improve communication, class content development and the personalization of lesson plans.



    This open-source, multi-track audio editor and recording software works across all major platforms (Mac, OS, X, Windows, Linux). Teachers can record and edit live audio and convert it for presentation in a wide range of formats for the classroom.


    This app, created for the Apple platform, communicates classroom activities and student progress with parents. Teacher tools include confidential instant messaging, class photo imaging and school announcements.


    This all-in-one eLearning software allows users to create online courses, design the teaching environment and publish the work to any online learning system. The author works through a WYSIWYG interface without having to learn complicated programming codes.

    Khan Academy

    Offering free tools to parents and teachers, the Khan Academy provides a learning dashboard that tracks student progress. A non-profit, the academy is a resource of instructional videos and practice exercises for all age levels from kindergarten to retirement.


    Teachers can create their own learning games using multimedia to illustrate multiple-choice questions for students. Students answer quizzes using their own devices with answers aggregated on a large main screen.


    Educators can use Knewton to create adaptive learning lessons that are personalized for student needs. Knewton employs real-time analyses of student weaknesses and partners with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Macmillan Education and Pearson Education to help personalize student content.


    Planboard offers educators cat-herding software for doing online lesson-planning, tracking curriculum and standards, and re-use successful templates from year to year. Its companion product, Dashboard, integrates due dates, attendance and grades. Free to teachers.


    This free, easy to apply set of study tools of quizzes, flashcards and other media allows students to study online, on their own. Subscription services enable teachers to guide an unlimited number of classes using voice and multimedia.


    These multimedia tools assist educators in capturing assessments using questions gathered from the National Science Teachers Association, common core studies and state core applications. Students and teachers receive instant feedback.


    StudySync is a full suite of teaching applications powered by online writing assessments, multimedia lessons, standards-based assessments and personalized remedial assignments. Members have access to more than 1,000 online publications in the resource library.



    Educators can create videos in a matter of minutes at Animoto even if they lack technical savvy. The software allows additions of text, video clips and music that can be shared online, in social media or downloaded to a classroom DVD.


    Based in Silicon Valley, the Edmodo K-12 social learning network allows educators to communicate with students in a safe, moderated social interface. Parent accounts keep families up to speed on student progress and what they may do to improve learning at home.


    Powered by WordPress, Edublogs allow teachers to offer a blog site to each student, to set permissions and to moderate postings. Teachers can comment in privacy on student writings and monitor the required number of posts per student.


    Evernote allows readers to highlight, annotate and archive everything they research across a wide range of platforms and media into a single workspace. Free tools allow user to sync notes and images from their research across all their devices.

    Google Education

    Free teaching/learning productivity tools include Google’s Classroom, Gmail, Docs and Drive. Free and for-pay software includes Google Education Chrome extensions, Apps for Education and Google Play for Education.


    Grockit is a test preparation service for students GMAT®, SAT®, ACT®, GRE® examinations that need assessment, tutoring and improvement tracking in a 24/7 online environment. Students work in both collaborative and personalized learning environments.


    Nearpod allows educators to create multimedia presentations and interactive classes using the teacher’s existing media, free digitized and paid interactive lessons. The software tracks student progress through built-in quizzes and assessments.


    Imagine a social network where students and mentors can collaborate on assignments and you have OpenStudy. The site puts students in 24/7 access to peers and volunteer helpers in English, Math, Chemistry and other topics.


    Soundforge’s PodcastGenerator is an open-source program that allows users to create and publish audio or audio-visual podcasts. It claims its interface and podcast technology is “newbie-proof”.


    Quora is a gathering place where students, scholars and professionals exchange knowledge on a breathtaking range of topics in a question-and-answer format. Visitors need a Google, Facebook or Twitter account to access the site.

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