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Collection of courses, resources, and webinars created by education experts to train teachers on new techniques, Common Core methods, and hone new skills


ASCDprovides professional development resources that connect teachers to research expertsand to courses for building instructional skills. The association offers four PDtools for teachers; webinars, ‘PD Online’, ‘Educore’ and ‘Principal Compass.’These come in the form of online courses, videos, and webinars. Contentincludes examples from real teachers in the classroom, lectures by experts, andPowerpoint presentations. ‘PD Online’, is a series of online coursesthat span subjects from how to teach to the Common Core standards to managementand school culture. ‘EduCore,’ provides specific math and literacy Common Core-alignedmaterials including webinars, expert-led lectures and sample lesson plans. ASCDalso offers free webinar lectures given by experts.  .

Forprincipals, ASCD offers the ‘Principal Compass’ program, developed with Pearsonto provide administrators with short courses in leadership and management.

  • PD Purpose: Learn
  • Primary Users: Teachers, Administrators
  • Cost: Webinars and ‘EduCore’ are free; online courses are $99 per person with bulk discounts; a one-year site license (for six leaders) to ‘Principal Compass’ runs $4990. Districts with multiple sites may apply for discounts.
  • Skills This Product Targets: Pedagogy skills and content knowledge
  • On-Brand Use: Teachers can take courses, gain content knowledge and achieve course credit.
  • Platforms: Web-based, any browser
  • Deal breakers: Time consuming and costly. Some require a school or district to purchase the PD.
  • Types of Schools Using It: Ranges from small schools to state departments

Product Brief

Value Added

ASCDbrings over 50 years of experience in professional development. Its name istrusted; its brand is strong. The online professional development courses alsoprovide either PD and college credit for completion.

Thebreadth of offerings from ASCD give teachers and administrators the opportunityto combine resources and courses to create their own, individualized PDexperience.

How does it work?

Teachersand administrators can search for and access all PD from the ASCD website.Online courses and ‘Principal Compass’ can be purchased through the onlinecatalog; webinars can be watched for free; the free ‘EduCore’ website can alsobe found on the PD page of the ASCD website.


TheASCD website regularly offers free monthly webinars. Educators sign up on thewebsite to receive notifications of webinar topics and times. There are dozensof archived webinars; new series debut a few times a year. Each webinar coversa specific topic such as updating your curriculum, flipping your classroom, ormotivating students to learn. Webinars are led by experts in the field.

Userscan watch or participate in these hour-long webinars without a special sign-onor account. The webinars are generally supplemented with a short description ofthe video and a handout of the slides.


‘Educore’is the ASCD website created to provide teachers with Common Core-alignedmaterials and information. The site covers literacy and math, and includesresources such as short videos of teachers or researchers discussing the CommonCore, PDFs of Common Core aligned lesson plans, which can be downloaded andedited, and expert-led webinars.

Theseexperts are generally classroom teachers who have implemented Common Core-alignedcurriculum, researchers who study the Common Core, or other stakeholders tiedto the Common Core. ‘Educore’ lets teachers create an account, which allowsthem to track the videos they watch, add materials to a “my resources” page,and create journal entries after reading through a PDF or watching a video.

Teacherscan access this information for free at This site was funded by the Bill and MelindaGates Foundation.

PD Online

Withan online catalog of more than 100 classes, the ASCD online PD offersinteractive, in-depth, and self-paced courses. The courses are made up ofmodules that include readings, slide presentations, videos, and quizzes. Themodules can be completed at any time--either in one session or over time. Thereare no required assignments but the courses do test for learning at variouspoints.

Coursesfor ‘PD Online’ are available in 16 categories:

  • The Art and Science of Teaching (3)
  • Assessment (6)
  • Classroom Management (9)
  • Common Core (18)
  • Curriculum Development (4)
  • Differentiated Instruction (6)
  • Diversity (3)
  • English Language Learners (6)
  • Leadership/Community Building (11)
  • Learning Theories (9)
  • Literacy Strategies (15)
  • Special Populations (5)
  • STEM Education (9)
  • Technology (2)
  • UbD Framework (3)
  • First Editions (31)

Each coursehas five to seven modules, all of which are self-paced and self-guided. Theyhave been created by the ASCD instructional design team in collaboration withexpert consultants and reflect on the latest research. The courses all have asimilar instructional design model, content directly related to the subject anda consistent look and feel.

Apre-course and post-course assessment is available for teachers andadministrators for PD credit.  Universitypartners also offer college credit for some of the courses.

Themodules include relevant videos, readings, mini-quizzes (“check forunderstandings”), and a final application activity. The final applicationactivity asks teachers to take the concepts that were learned and bring theminto the classrooms or offices. These application activities are distributed aspdfs and/or word documents and are up to the teacher to implement on theirown.  Courses are $99.00 apiece and areavailable through the online store. They can also  be purchased in bulk by a school or district.

Principal Compass

‘PrincipalCompass’ is one of ASCD’s newest PD resources. It was developed with leadershipexpert, Robert Marzano, and built around the leadership research of LyleKirtman. A one-year site license for six leaders at a school costs  $4990.

ThisPD is specifically designed to support community interaction among school anddistrict leaders. Principals are asked to complete cycles of self-assessment,which can include a principal uploading materials like photos and PDFs. Aftercompleting a self assessment, participants take a short PD course that can belinked to an existing leadership rubric, or one that the user uploads to thesite.

Theresources include over 3,000 hours of video content, courses created incollaboration with Pearson, and modules (typically no longer than an hour)focused on Marzano’s research. Principals are then asked to implement thelearning into their everyday interactions, and to complete a fresh self-assessment.

How is it used?

ASCD aims to support a wide range of PD offerings to support diverse needs. The idea is to allowteachers and administrators to access the PD they need most, when they want,and where they want. The free materials are limited to webinars and resourceslike videos and PDFs. Fee-based courses can be extensive and take anywhere froma few hours to a few days to complete.

Schoolshave been using ASCD PD through a flipped professional development model, wherepart of the learning happens online at home. Administrators assign teachers anonline course and bring in a facilitator to lead onsite discussion. Forexample, teachers can watch all the modules in a course and then have a follow upsession to reinforce and build on the learning. Facilitators may also leadonline discussions.

Who’s Using It?

ASCDis a very broad organization that has provided all types of PD for many years. Itsmaterials are used by educators in all types of schools, from public to privateand from elementary schools through universities. ASCD PD is also used bygovernment organizations that assign and provide PD to schools and teachers.

Individualteachers frequently seek t PD and continuing education credit from ASCD. With$99.00 courses and free webinars, the materials are readily available. However,‘Principal Compass’ is meant to be used by an entire school or district. Thesecan be expensive tools and are generally paid for by a district for theirstaff.

Content, Content, Content….

Theavailable content ranges from Common Core-aligned courses to classroommanagement to school culture, and more. The courses are created by the ASCDinstructional design team, specifically hired for their subject-specific andcurriculum design expertise in collaboration with experts in the field.

Coursesfor ‘Principal Compass’ are created in collaboration with Pearson. Webinars inthese modules are led by thought leaders in their individual fields, which mayinclude well-known teachers or researchers.  

Training, Integrating, and Implementing


Thereis no training required to use the webinars and ‘Educore’.’ Principal Compass’requires users to familiarize themselves with the leadership curriculum aroundwhich it’s structured.   This can be done through the site.


‘PDOnline’ and ‘Principal Compass’ can be integrated into other systems that are beingused by schools, districts, or states. These tools can also be integrated withand accessed through a state or district portal.


TheASCD PD offerings can be accessed individually or assigned to a larger group.The online courses can serve as PD for an entire school or district, and can beimplemented using a variety of methods including a blended learning or flippedclassroom approach (see “How is it used” above).

‘PrincipalCompass’ is designed to be used by six leaders in a school or district. It ismeant to change behaviors within a school, and part of the PD is to practicethe learning in the physical world, then reflect on the outcomes.


Someof the ASCD products can cost several thousands of dollars and should bepurchased at the school or district level.



Allof the ASCD PD is web-based.


ASCDwebinars are free, as well as all the resources on the ‘EduCore’ site. ‘PDOnline’ offers an entire catalog of courses, each priced at $99.00. ‘PrincipalCompass’ is available for $4990 as a site license for six leaders for a oneyear subscription. All paid-for PD have bulk discounts available for districtsand larger.


Professionaldevelopment and continuing education credits are available through ‘PD Online.’There are also universities that provide course credit for the ASCD onlineclasses.


Few other programs offersuch a complete suite of free and for-credit professional development resources(including classes), across such a wide range of grade levels. For example,teachers and administration can find both paid and free online courses fromsources such as Udemy and Courser


Case Studies1
Lola, @maestraLola
ELD Coordinator/Teacher, Central High School, Oregon

Students becoming involved and working independently in a calm and mannerly way.

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