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16 Spring and Summer Professional Development Resources for Educators 

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As the 2020/2021 school year comes to a close and educators start thinking of how they’ll spend their summers, now is a great chance to catch up on some professional development (in between enjoying the summer weather, of course).

Professional development is wonderful for education because it benefits everyone! Educators are introduced to new teaching methods and tools and students benefit by having an engaging educational experience that keeps them excited about learning. 

For spring and summer 2021, we’ve rounded up online resources, upcoming webinars and some of the most exciting education conferences happening all over the globe (while still accessible from our couches). 




EDxEDNYC 2021 Virtual Education Conference
June 3, 2021
9 a.m. EST

This conference has exactly what educators are looking for because it is designed by the educators at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies, a public high school in New York City. Attendees will network virtually, learn best practices and discuss all things related to pedagogy.  

STEAM & Space Education Virtual Conference
June 7-8, 2021
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST

This two-day virtual event brings together PreK-12 educators interested in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education) and space. Educators and industry leaders will share best practices, resources and ways to inspire students to consider STEAM and space as a future career.

Pride in Education - LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Education 
June 11-13, 2021
Free, donations accepted 

This global conference is open to anyone who wants to incorporate more LGBTQ+ history and celebration into their classrooms. Educators will be able to expand their knowledge and best practices through keynotes, panel presentations, research, knowledge sharing and workshops.  

Navigating the New Normal: 2021 Early Childhood Education Conference
June 19-29, 2021

This virtual conference helps early childhood educators best manage life in a COVID-19 world. Topics include anti-bias in the classroom, mental health, trauma-informed care, cultural competencies, advocacy and more. The conference also features a keynote on resilience from early childhood education legend Sonia Manzano, also known as “Maria” from Sesame Street.

Online Teaching Conference 
June 21-23, 2021

Pulling together a premier group of faculty, staff and administrators, the Online Teaching Conference will provide educators with tools to create innovative and effective online education experiences. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network and share ideas with other educators at the conference. 

2021 Summer Institute on Education, Equity & Justice (SIEEJ) Virtual Conference
June 28-30, 2021

Like many conferences, SIEEJ recently opened up its annual conference on education, equity and justice to attendees tuning in remotely. This year's theme is Leveling the Playing Field: Intersecting Race and Disabilities and will feature speakers and author talks from various thought leaders. Full recordings of the sessions will be made available to registered attendees. 

PSCC Distance Learning Conference 
June 22, 2021
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST
Free, registration required

Attendees of this conference will learn how to serve the needs of all student populations and all aspects of online learning and teaching. A more detailed schedule of the conference, including speakers, will be released in early June.




Financial Education Workshop
Multiple workshop dates through July 1, 2021

While this workshop is not educator-specific, financial wellness is important for anyone, regardless of industry. Topics range from banking, debt, mortgages, investments, ISA's, pensions, retirement, insurance, family financial planning, later life planning, care, estate planning and more. For additional information on financial literacy, read our blog from earlier this year.

Virtual Teacher Workshop: Using Photographs in Teaching about the Holocaust
June 16, 2021
6-7 p.m. EST

The workshop will use a range of contemporary images taken before, during and after the Holocaust to explore how these historical sources can be used effectively in the classroom. Part of the workshop includes a close look at ethics behind photographing victims, context behind the photographs, the photo editing process and other ways to reflect upon the ways in which photographs can be used to deepen school students’ understanding of the Holocaust without compromising the humanity of the victims.

Education TEDTalks

The TED brand, which was founded in 1984 with the TED conference, has become a phenomenon, due to the fascinating ideas shared by its high-caliber speakers. TED Talks - the name given to those speeches - have racked up roughly three billion views. In 2013, TED hosted eight talks on education, which are all accessible here



This website is a professional online community for educators and offers free webinars nearly every weekday. also has professional learning resources, edFocus Fridays, the opportunity to join professional-learning communities and connect with other educators and much more. 


Edutopia was founded by the mind behind Star Wars. That’s right, George Lucas is heavily involved in education and in 1991, Lucas founded Edutopia and Lucas Education Research. Edutopia’s mission is to highlight education best practices and provide resources on how to implement these innovative practices. 

BookWidgets Blog

The BookWidgets Teacher Blog features an average of two posts a month that are full of tips, ideas and resources. 

KQED For Educators

KQED is a free, media literacy and teaching hub. Provided by the nonprofit public media station KQED, educators have access to professional development courses, classroom resources and unique tools. A portion of KQED is MindShift, which explores the future of education.

Free Technology for Teachers

Founded by high school computer science teacher Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers connects educators with the now-necessary tools for distance learning. Byrne writes plainly about technology and applying it to the classroom, making the blog an accessible resource for any level. Included in the blog are plenty of tutorials and links to technology resources to incorporate into teaching.

Learners Edge

Get lost in the multiple webinars on demand Learners Edge features. The website also has an informative blog, which has recently tackled topics such as bullying, how to clean up your Google Classroom, financial tips for teachers and more. 


If you’re considering following your dream of teaching, Rutgers Alternate Route can offer you the support and training you need to succeed. Be sure to follow Rutgers Alternate Route on Twitter and sign up for Alternate Route’s monthly newsletter for more information and stories from the field of education.

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Heather Ngoma

Heather Ngoma has over 20 years experience collaborating with educators across New Jersey to drive education innovation. She currently serves as the Director of Rutgers University's Alternate Route Teacher Training Program at the Center for Effective School Practices, a program which helps career changers, recent college graduates and other aspiring education professionals become licensed teachers in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter @heatherngoma.