3 Terrific Teacher Communities for Summer PD

Share lesson plans, ask questions, and connect with other educators.

June 14, 2016
Emily Major Project Coordinator, Education Content
Common Sense Education


Thinking about ways to avoid the "summer slide" over the next few months? Keeping up on skills over the summer isn't just for students. The summer break is a great time for teachers to take advantage of those professional development opportunities that are hard to fit in during the school year.

Teacher communities are a nice blend of social interaction and knowledge-sharing among peers. Along with the great websites listed below, don't miss the Common Sense Education Teacher Center, an invaluable resource with some of the best tools, tips, and tutorials for using technology in the classroom. 

Teaching Channel

Price: Free public features; two-week trial for the Teams feature. Contact Teaching Channel for further pricing information
Platforms: Website
Grades: K–12
A community of classroom-teaching videos, this website provides teachers with an opportunity to learn from peers. Educators can share lesson ideas and find support in an active Q&A forum. Rather than take time away from the school day to observe other teachers in action, this innovative online tool allows educators to observe actual classroom teaching anytime. The Teams platform offers a more personalized version of the public model and enables individual schools to share videos within a small group setting.   

Digital Is

Price: Free 
Platforms: Website
Grades: 5–12
For teachers by teachers, this website is a professional development resource for new ideas on teaching media literacy. It was created under the direction of the National Writing Project (NWP) and champions a strong sense of community. The site content is organized into four sections: Blog, Resources, Collections, and Community. This content not only is focused on writing but also extends to general teaching practices. Educators can get support and feedback from peers while staying current in the digital landscape.  


Price: Free
Platforms: Website
Grades: 9–12
Twitter is an incredible resource for professional development. Although not focused primarily on teachers or education, this online social-networking and microblogging platform makes it easy for educators to build and expand their personal learning networks. Education-focused chats are a great way to engage; they're searchable by hashtags such as #edchat, #ellchat, and #sschat. By following other teachers and thought leaders, it's easy to find new resources and support among peers.