Best Professional Development Websites and PLNs for Teachers

Though our reviews look atĀ a tool's learning potential forĀ students in the classroom, many of these resources offer learning opportunities for educators as well. Expand your teacher network through a PLN (professional learning network), find inspiration, and build your knowledge of the best teaching practices with these rich professional development sites and online communities.

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Top Picks



Exemplary Common Core-aligned lessons from rock star peers at large

Bottom Line: Get a head start on the Common Core transition with this professional community for great classroom-ready lessons.

Common Curriculum

Sleek lesson planner replaces bulky binders, promotes collaboration

Bottom Line: Ditch pen-and-paper planning; embrace the flexibility of collaborative lesson planning and calendar design.

PBS LearningMedia

Impressive collection of classroom-ready, free digital resources

Bottom Line: Excellent free site has thousands of valuable, high-quality digital resources for students and teachers.

PowerMyLearning Connect

Create playlists and differentiate with quality third-party content

Bottom Line: A curation of some of the best educational content on the web made easily accessible, both for students and teachers.


Excellent free resource for all things reading and writing

Bottom Line: A language arts teacher's dream; lesson plans, professional development, and all-around quality support.

Smithsonian Science Education Center

Teacher-geared site outlines steps for innovative science instruction

Bottom Line: Use the SSEC's site as a stop on your changing-science-instruction path; just be prepared to reach out to them for constructive details.


Quality Common Core-aligned lessons with great modeling for teachers

Bottom Line: An innovative way to enhance lessons and tailor learning for individual needs.

Teaching Channel

See colleagues in action with digital PD for discussion and reflection

Bottom Line: This video library of actual classroom teaching offers opportunities for professional educators to watch, share, and improve their craft.

Teaching Tolerance

Thought-provoking classroom resources support diversity education

Bottom Line: It's an invaluable teacher tool to help reduce prejudice and encourage tolerance in schools, as well as within society as a whole.


Manage classes, content, and communication with social LMS platform

Bottom Line: This free platform allows for teacher-monitored classroom communication but lacks excitement.

Digital Is

Engaging space for tech-forward instruction, teacher collaboration

Bottom Line: More like a media-specialist mentor than a website, it's a resource for new ideas on teaching with technology and media.

KQED Education

Great news and classroom resources support both teachers and students

Bottom Line: With some organizational adjustments, the site could be an exceptional place for both kids and teachers to find educational inspiration.

Voxer Walkie Talkie Messenger

Voice- and text-messaging app is a teacher PD standout

Bottom Line: A cool tool for teachers to collaborate with each other (but maybe not with their students).


Visually appealing, endlessly creative gallery of images and ideas

Bottom Line: An effective way to search for new ideas and save them for later use, but keep an eye on the source -- and on your watch.


Smart classroom tool if used with care; priceless for PLNs

Bottom Line: Twitter offers something for everyone: information, resources, and an easy way to connect with just about anyone.

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