As a teacher it is essential that you continue to keep your education current. Most school systems require that you take a certain number of credits or in other ways maintain your education. But like a muscle it is also important that you continue to “exercise” your brain and stay in the habit of learning new things. In addition to taking classes for credit there are many other ways for you to continue to expand your education. And with modern technology the avenues for education are expanding on an almost daily basis.
Here are just a few ways you can broaden your educational horizons while working in the field.
Free Online MOOCs
As many people discover the advantages of taking classes online, more top-tier universities, such as Harvard, Yale and MIT are providing “MOOC’s” or massive open online courses . These online lectures are often available free of charge. Stanford has the most popular free course: Introduction to “AI” with 160,000 students from 190 countries.
Subjects range from economics to psychology and offer wonderful ways to hear cutting-edge professors explain their areas of expertise.
In addition to MOOCS some universities are offering classes, lectures and books via mp3. So, many people interested in expanding their educations can now learn on the go anytime they want. Whether on the bus or out for a jog, listening to podcasts from institutions such as Oxford University can provide hours of enjoyment and deeply meaningful learning experiences. For many teachers, the ability to learn from Oxford professors while keeping their day job is a dream come true.
For people working in teaching, staying abreast of recent trends in the field can be beneficial on many levels. Publications such as the Chronicle of Higher Education can provide up-to-date news and job advice for teachers, especially when one is considering studying towards a PhD in the future or is thinking of applying for jobs at colleges and universities.
Online Research and Degrees
More and more academic journals are becoming available online, and although some require subscriptions, brushing up on top methods for teaching and discussion of education among experts is becoming easier and easier. Using sites that provide academic journals to a wide readership like ResearchGate can do much to expand a teacher’s horizons. Often you can get access through a University or school library.
These days online colleges are becoming more mainstream as traditional bricks and mortar universities find that online classes are low cost ways of expanding their student body (and thus their revenue). Many of these online programs are accredited and thus will meet teacher’s continuing education requirements. But not all Boards of Education accept all online degrees so be sure to check on eligibility before committing to an online degree program.
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