20 Free Continuing Education Courses for Teachers in 2022

Like any other professional, a teacher can keep a thriving career if by improving their teaching skills and expanding your knowledge through continuing education courses.

The LOWDOWN:
For teachers’ professional development, a CE course is crucial for their career, which explains why most school districts across the US will require teachers to enroll in CE courses, and many of them are free and self paced! Apart from subject-specific classes, professional development courses also focus on universal areas for all teachers. Ideal for K12 to college instructors, these courses allow teachers to improve their skills, develop innovative methods of teaching students, and deepen their knowledge.

20 Free Continuing Education Courses for Teachers

Critical Issues in Urban Education

University of Chicago (via Coursera)

Professional development courses like this is a perfect introductory course to Urban Education Issues. This professional development class focuses on the critical issues surrounding the education reform space in the US, specifically on issues that have summoned polarized views and controversy.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Gives you a whole meaning insight to the “no child left behind” concept 

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling

University of Houston (via Coursera)

This 5-week, 14-hour free online course introduces teachers to digital storytelling and how you can use digital stories to enhance your student’s learning experiences.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Very powerful system with lots of guidelines for teachers’ online professional development

Caring for Others (Specialization)

University of Colorado Boulder (via Coursera)

This four-month professional development course studies how society cares for the at-risk members and the caregivers in the field. Does it aim to find answers to questions like how much misery is in the world these days? Will digital media play a role in sensitizing/desensitizing the grief of others? What are the types of paid care work? How do caregivers manage their emotions?

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Suitable for Beginners (no previous background knowledge is required)

Compassionate Leadership Through Service Learning – Jane Goodall & Roots & Shoots

University of Colorado Boulder (via Coursera)

This is an easy-to-understand this ten-hour CE course for teachers equips you with the relevant teacher resources so you can unveil the differences between community service and service-learning. You will apply the Roots and Shoots model in helping the youth have their voices heard in addressing the needs in their community. Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Uses the Roots and Shoots program model

Teacher SEL: Programs, Possibilities & Contexts

University of Colorado Boulder, via Coursera

SEL, or social and emotional learning, are student programs that continue to rise in many schools. This professional development CE course, handled by Dan Liston and Randy Testa, examines the clear and solid teacher SEL programs and other alternatives to enhance teaching skills.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Thought-provoking but easy to follow
  • Ideal for the advanced learners

Copyright for Educators and Librarians

Duke University (via Coursera)

This very informative five-week, fourteen-hour professional development CE course presented is by some of the most knowledgeable instructors in the industry will give you a greater appreciation for the pros and cons of copyright.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadlines 
  • Numerous tools to address practical problems in the library

Blended Language Learning: Designs and Practice for Teachers

The University of Colorado Boulder, via Coursera

This free professional development online course is designed for language teachers who want to learn to build and teach a blended language course. Upon completing the course, you will earn 1.5 Graduate Teacher Education credits (GRTE) that is used for professional teacher enhancement and re-licensure and school district salary advancement

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadline
  • The course is broken down into several chunks. 

TESOL Professional Certificate

Arizona State University (via Coursera)

Through this TESOL professional certificate, you will learn how to write lesson plans, record yourself while teaching, or make a professional teaching portfolio that will surely impress your employer. In the final Capstone course, you get to have the chance to submit your teaching portfolio for an expert review.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Flexible schedule

Teach English Now! Teaching Language Online

Arizona State University (via Coursera)

For those interested in teaching ESL, this online professional development course will teach you everything you need to learn about online teaching. The course featuring teaching methods is fun because of its interesting “International Travel” theme that entertainingly delivers the contents and lectures.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadline
  • Informative and enjoyable videos

Teaching Tips for Tricky English Grammar

University of California, Irvine (via Coursera)

This easy-to-learn professional development course is part of the Teach English: Intermediate Grammar specialization. Ideal, especially for ESL teachers or those interested in learning how to teach the English language, the course focuses on the problems many students face when learning intermediate grammar.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadline
Free CE Courses for Teachers - fact

Virtual Teacher Specialization

University of California, Irvine (via Coursera)

At two hours per week, this 7-month professional development specialization course teaches you the best practices for online teaching, virtual community building, student engagement, effective ways of using synchronous and asynchronous technologies, social media, data analysis techniques, and so much more. 

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Self paced learning option

Resilient Teaching Through Times of Crisis & Change

The University of Michigan (via Coursera)

This free online course is a perfect introduction to the practices and principles of resilient teaching and is designed with higher education lecturers, faculty, and graduate student instructors in mind across various instructional environments. 

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadline
  • The course helps you adapt to the unpredictable time in education.

Foundations of Virtual Instruction

University of California, Irvine (via Coursera)

This professional development CE course for teachers helps professionals learn the pitfalls of online learning and overcome them by focusing on the basics that truly impact student learning in a class environment.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100$ online and free
  • Flexible Deadlines
  • The lessons are interconnected throughout the course.

Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom

University of California, Irvine (via Coursera)

This is an outstanding course designed to help you use methods of virtual instruction, especially in critical areas of K-12 education. You learn and study the pitfalls that most new teachers come across and how you can overcome these issues by focusing on the essentials that have the best impact on student learning in a blended environment. 

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadline
  • Helps develop advanced-level techniques in an online class

Journey Conversations: Weaving Knowledge & Action

Yale University (via Coursera)

This free CE course for teachers discusses evolutionary sciences and humanities like religion, philosophy, art, and history. It is a professional development class that is part of Journey of the Universe: A Story of Our Time specialization, a 20-series interview with environmentalists and scientists.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Self paced learning option
  • Presented in a format that encourages learning and participation

Performance Assessment in the Virtual Classroom

The University of California, Irvine (via Coursera)

This free CE course for teachers is designed to help teachers effectively assess each student’s virtual performance, including feedback models, compliance issues, data analysis, and online grade book functions.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadline
  • Excellent information presented, high-quality presentations, and resources 

Improving Classroom Management with Class Dojo

Coursera Project Network

This short but helpful professional development CE course will help you set up your Class Dojo, a school communication platform that teachers, students, and families use every day to build close-knit communities.

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Takes one hour
  • Effective in explaining how the platform works and efficiently teaching enrollees how to manage the classroom activities. 

e-Learning Ecologies (Innovative Approaches to Teaching & Learning for the Digital Age)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (via Coursera)

This thought-provoking professional development, online continuing education course explores the seven different affordances of e-learning ecologies that open up real potentials for New Learning- transformative, 21st-century learning.

Best Features: 

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadline
  • Presents a variety of examples of learning technologies

Multimodal Literacies – Communication & Learning in the Era of Digital Media

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (via Coursera)

Based on the book Literacies by Mary Kalantzis, this professional development CE course for teachers explores future directions for a career. It is also ideal for individuals seeking a profession in education and workplace leaders who believe their mission is part “educative.”

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadline
  • The course is important for educators of all subjects.
  • The contents are supported with clear explanations in videos and reading lists.

Assessment for Learning

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (via Coursera)

This free online professional development CE course outlines the present debates and analysis of the weaknesses and strengths of learning assessment methods and technologies, including in the areas of computer diagnostic and adaptive testing.

Best Features:

  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadline
  • Provides many approaches for assessments using different modes of technology. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Teacher and students - free online CE courses

As a teacher, why is it important to continue your education?

Teachers have to be abreast of the best and most recent instructional practices to meet the needs of the students! Professional development goals are achieved by enrolling in MOOCs with live webinars, free webinars, and self paced learning tools.

Instruction today has become complex and multifaceted. It is the teacher’s responsibility to improve a student’s outcome using the best instructional methods to lessen achievement gaps–which an online continuing education course addresses.

What are the requirements for continuing education for teachers?

The requirements for a formal or online professional development or continuing education course vary depending on your state and specialization. Check first with your school and state teaching board for the specific guidelines for getting Continuing Education Units or CEU through online courses and reaching those professional development goals.

Most schools and states require teachers to earn a minimum number of CEUs or CECs (continuing education credits) every five years before one can renew a teaching license.

Key Takeaways

Online professional development courses for continuing education are indeed very important to teachers in so many ways! Enroll in free online courses today and enjoy these benefits:

  • Qualify for promotion and higher salary
  • Ease the transition to a better or new education career for professional growth
  • Boost job security and marketability
  • Encouraging proper time management skills for optimal performance
  • Get more opportunities for professional networking