Thursday, June 20, 2013

5 Free Summer Professional Development Resources from ASCD

ASCD is offering what they call “high-impact, in-depth professional development resources” at no cost. Nothing better than Free! These offerings let educators take professional learning into their hands by selecting desired areas for growth and immersing themselves in targeted learning at their own pace. All five are available anytime and anywhere there is an Internet connection.

ASCD’s Free Educator Summer Professional Development Resources

ASCD School Improvement ToolDesigned for use in schools and school systems around the world, this online tool offers educators a comprehensive needs assessment as they prepare for the coming year. The tool launches a 15-minute survey that evaluates a school’s strengths and weaknesses in areas of school climate and culture, family and community engagement, curriculum and instruction, and ability to provide and sustain a whole child approach to education. It also recommends targeted resources that will help educators make the most significant school wide improvements and ensure all learners are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

The EduCore digital toolThis digital tool is a repository of evidence-based strategies, videos, and supporting documents that help educators transition to the Common Core State Standards. Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the tool was developed for U.S. educators implementing the Common Core State Standards in both mathematics and literacy.

ASCD’s policy page—This one-stop shop for educators interested in advocacy and education policy offers tips on how to get informed, get involved, and make a difference. Educators can stop by to access ASCD’s legislative agenda (PDF); sign up to receive action alerts; and read ASCD’s policy publications, including the Capitol Connection e-newsletter.

Summer Boot Camp Webinar Series­—This five-part summer webinar series just kicked off and will run through August. Attendees will hear tips and strategies from renowned ASCD authors including Harvey Silver, Donald Kachur, Mike Fisher, Janet Hale, Wendy Ostroff, and Judy Willis. Featured topics include teacher-led walk-throughs, curriculum, and motivation and engagement from a developmental science perspective. Sessions will be archived for later viewing. The full ASCD webinar archive dates back to May 2010 and features ASCD’s collection of targeted, expert-led webinars.

Book study guides and more—ASCD publishes more than 40 education books a year, often offering free study guides and author interviews that enable educators to read between the lines of their favorite professional development publications. ASCD has also released the ASCD for iPad app, which allows for easy reading of ASCD e-books and lets users explore free electronic versions of member benefits like Educational Leadership,Education Update, and Policy Priorities.

“This lineup of free online tools is a perfect starting point for the resourceful educator planning a summer of learning,” said ASCD Executive Director and CEO Dr. Gene R. Carter. “We hope teachers around the world will make the most of this not-to-be-missed opportunity for professional growth.”

For more information about ASCD or ASCD membership, please visit To learn more about ASCD's professional development resources and to sign up for free trials of ASCD’s online learning programs, please visit

NOTE: ASCD's resources for educators are always tops. I love their books, as you can tell through many of my past reviews.

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