Every year, more and more teachers are taking advantage of the wealth of information available online. Teacher blogs, education sites, social networking tools and lesson plans are all available on the Internet, and each can provide a tremendous boost for teachers getting back into the swing of things at the start of the school year.
While the breadth of information can be a blessing, it also leaves teachers with a lot to sift through before they can find the most helpful resources out there. To help make your transition back to school as smooth and successful as possible, we've assembled this list of the seven best free online resources for teachers:
Education World is the self-proclaimed "educator's best friend," a web suite that brings one-stop shopping for all things professional development. Education World offers a series of lesson plans, ideas for utilizing technology in the classroom and information for brushing up on the social climate of schools and the children you teach.
Teach-nology provides teachers with resources to help better adapt their classroom to today's generation of students. By helping teachers embrace the technologically evolving educational landscape, Teach-nology serves a vital purpose in preparing for another school year. Teach-nology offers more than 40,000 lesson plans as well as 10,000 printable worksheets, rubrics and other online resources.
Technology, Entertainment and Design, or TED, offers some of the best resources from industry experts on almost any subject. Talks and demonstrations are posted daily, and there is something for everybody. Recently, TED added an educational suite of videos called TEDed. Already, you can find more than 100 videos on an array of topics, with more being added frequently. If you want to keep your students engaged in a way that only a stimulating video can, check out TED.
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) is a large collection of federal resources for all things teaching. Completely free, the resources made available here adhere to the highest educational standards and cover topics from music to physical education. The homepage includes a subject map for easy browsing of all the site's resources. No matter what your discipline, you will find invaluable resources to help construct a full and diverse curriculum on this site.
PBS has put a lot of effort into maintaining its collection of teaching resources for educators of students in grades K through 12. All free, these resources include learning media and videos, education news, lesson plans and professional development resources for teachers. The resources are tied in with quality, familiar PBS programming, which has been trusted by educators for generations. Browse by age range to help find the most relevant resources.
Thinkfinity is a collection of free lesson plans and resources offered by the Verizon Foundation. The award-winning website was recently revamped for the new school year to make it easier for educators and experts to connect and share information and best practices. The community features offer educators the chance to engage in discussions, network, read blogs and swap resources with one another. Verizon has connected with 12 content partners and affiliates to bring the best 21st-century teaching resources to you for free.
The National Education Association (NEA) has assembled a terrific back-to-school guide for educators. Whether you are a veteran of the trade or a first-year teacher, getting off to a good start is vitally important. The NEA guide includes resources for setting up the classroom correctly, establishing rules and routines, dealing with disruptive students, finding year-long support systems and simply keeping your sense of humor in the classroom.