Return to the Classroom with New LTC Online Courses

Autumn is just around the corner and in schools across Illinois, students are already busy learning a wealth of new skills and knowledge. Their educators are busy, too, often so busy that they don’t have much time to sit down and do some professional learning of their own.

Here at the Learning Technology Center (LTC), we recognize the challenge that comes with squeezing PD into an already-packed teaching schedule. That’s why we’re getting into the swing of the new school year by launching a handful of new, standards-aligned online courses.

At the same time, we’re also relaunching new sections of our already-popular online courses. Whether you’re interested in learning how to harness Google Classroom’s full potential or you’re curious about what Microsoft Teams can do to enhance your digital learning environment, our refreshed online course catalogue has you covered.

As always, our online courses are entirely FREE, making it easy to expand your professional toolbox and earn certified PD credit without breaking the bank.

Interested in learning more? Check out what’s new in our online course catalogue and enroll today over on our Online Courses hub!

New Courses for a New School Year

Google Classroom: Organize Learning Online


Over the past year-and-a-half, thousands of teachers around the world became familiar with Google Classroom and its remarkable capacity for facilitating streamlined digital learning. But familiarity alone won’t suffice as digital learning continues to evolve. Now’s a great time to dive into Google Classroom and learn what it is truly capable of.

This course is designed to provide learners with a platform-wide overview, including Google Classroom’s numerous customizable features and settings. This course will also guide learners through the process of integrating Google Classroom into their literal classroom, including for in-person, remote, and hybrid learning environments.

Microsoft OneNote: Create and Share Interactive Notebooks


Microsoft OneNote is not only a useful note-taking app, but also a versatile support tool for a variety of interactive classroom activities. OneNote can help your students curate information from a variety of sources and organize that information through a simple, notebook-style interface. OneNote can even be used to create entire “virtual textbooks” that can be utilized across an entire unit or course.

This course will help you learn to make the most of OneNote, starting with the basics and continuing on through a few advanced use cases. Along the way, you’ll learn how to harness OneNote’s organizational functionalities to both maximize your planning time and simplify your lesson delivery in digital and in-person learning environments.

Microsoft Teams: Your Digital Classroom Solution


For some time, Microsoft Teams has been a go-to collaboration and communication tool in the business world. Now, Microsoft for Education has begun pushing Teams as a hub for classroom communication and information sharing.

This app can do all that and more, starting with its capacity to connect students and teachers in a seamless digital learning environment. This course will cover the basics of getting Teams up and running before jumping into collaborative use cases for enhancing any remote learning situation.

Fresh Insights from Returning Favorites

Gmail: Effective Email Communication


Google’s Gmail is widely-used by schools and individuals alike. It’s ease of use, flexibility, and cross-platform functionality make it a great choice to help manage daily communications. But does Gmail have a place in the classroom? If its use in schools across the world is any indicator, then the answer is a resounding “yes”.

This course will take you on a Gmail journey, starting with fundamentals and set-up and continuing on through individual scenario customization. After completion, you’ll walk away with a new appreciation for Gmail and its capacity for facilitating effective communication day after day.

Google Calendar: Simple Online Organization


Both in and out of Google schools, Google Calendar remains a go-to tool for organizing critical time-and-date information, at both an individual and an institutional level. This course will offer an overview of Google Calendar’s most productive features and demonstrate how they might be used in a classroom or school setting.

Google Drive: Create, Organize, and Collaborate


If Google Workspace for Education is a living, breathing, education-facilitating machine, then Google Drive is the machine’s beating heart. Nearly every Google tool and app integrates with Drive, offering you a single, unified place to store every Doc, Sheet, Slide deck, and more.

But just like your classroom desk drawers, Google Drive requires careful planning and execution in order to keep it organized and useful on a day-to-day basis. This course will take you through the basics of using Google Drive as well as offer useful guidance on making Drive a seamless hub for sharing and collaborating in a digital learning environment.

Supporting your Professional Learning Journey

Whether you’re looking to learn a new app or brush up on some old skills, the LTC is here to support you. In addition to our catalogue of free online courses, the LTC also offers an assortment of webinars and regional workshops geared toward keeping educators at the top of their game – even during the busy school year. The LTC’s highly-trained team is also available for in-district and year-round training, which can be customized to fit the evolving needs of your school or district.

Jump Start your Professional Learning with a FREE LTC Online Course

No matter how you look at it, today’s educators are busy people. Planning new lessons, assessing student performance, communicating with parents – and that’s not to mention managing a remote or hybrid classroom. With so many tasks on their plate, even the most organized teachers can find it hard to fit professional learning into their schedule outside of regular in-service days.

Here at the Learning Technology Center (LTC), we understand this dilemma. As part of our mission to support Illinois schools through technology initiatives and professional learning opportunities, we want to make learning new classroom-ready skills easy and intuitive.

That’s why we offer a variety of online courses covering topics from Google Forms and Google Drive to Microsoft Teams and Keynote for Mac. Many of these courses are free to join and are entirely self-paced, meaning that you can engage with the coursework on your own schedule. Plus, when you’re finished, you’ll earn PD hours that can count toward your annual licensure renewal!

Interested in learning more? Check out some of our most popular online courses and enroll today over on our “Online Courses” page!

Our Most Popular Courses

Already, hundreds of educators from across Illinois have taken part in one of our numerous self-guided online courses. Here are some of their favorites – many of which can help educators at any grade level enhance their remote or hybrid classroom:

Create Digital Assessments with Google Forms

Self-Paced / 1.5 PD Hours / Free

Most people know Google Forms as an information gathering app. However, this free app can also be used to assess student performance, both during in-person and remote instruction. In this course, participants will learn everything K-12 educators need to know about building forms specifically for formative and summative assessments. Participants will also learn how to distribute these assessments via an LMS (such as Google Classroom) as well as how to analyze student data generated by their assessment forms.

Move Your Class Online with Google Classroom

Self-Paced / 1.5 PD Hours / Free

When it comes to shifting a classroom online, many educators face a learning curve related to digital documents organization. For those utilizing G Suite for Education, Google Classroom is the solution. In this course, participants will learn how to create an organized workflow using this platform as well as how to:

  • Create and manage a class of students
  • Create and share digital files with students
  • Provide feedback to students
  • Understand the ways Google Classroom connects with 3rd party applications

Google Drive Basics

Self-Paced / 1.5 PD Hours / Free

Is your Google Drive a mess? Do you struggle to find your files in a timely manner? This course will help you get your Google Drive in shape in no time. In this course, participants will learn to effectively navigate Google Drive and organize their files in a system that makes sense to them. Participants will also learn about Google Drive’s special features, including ownership permissions, editing privileges, sharing settings, and more!

Up-and-Coming Favorites

The LTC also offers a variety of online courses on new and emerging topics. Here are just a few courses that educators across the spectrum utilize to stay up-to-date on the latest edtech software:

Meet the New Google Meet

Self-Paced / 1 PD Hour / Free

In this course, participants will become acquainted with Google Meet, a popular solution for facilitating remote and hybrid classrooms. In particular, participants will walk away from this course with the ability to:

  • Join and host Google Meet online video conferences
  • Manage participants in a Google Meet conference
  • Improve the quality of Google Meet conferences and associated presentation tools
  • Use Google Meet in a variety of classroom and remote learning activities

Get to Know Microsoft Teams

Self-Paced / 1.5 PD Hours / Free

While businesses around the world have already embraced the powerful connectivity potential of Microsoft Teams, many schools and districts are still learning precisely how this app can be used as a hub for educational communication. This course will teach participants how to leverage this platform in an educational setting by introducing them to each of the app’s most useful, education-centered features.

Keep It All Together with OneNote

Self-Paced / 2 PD Hours / Free

Microsoft’s free OneNote platform provides a versatile set of tools for student note-taking. It can also be an outstanding platform for creating student-centered texts that support in-person and remote learning activities. In this course, participants will learn how to get started with OneNote as well as some practical ways to apply their command of OneNote in the classroom.

Opportunities for Administrators

While many of the LTC’s online courses are geared toward teachers and instructors, we also offer professional learning options for administrators. Here’s one of our most popular online courses among current school and district administrators:

Cybersecurity for Administrators

Self-Paced / 2 PD Hours / Free (for IPA Members)

Cybersecurity threats are everywhere today, making it imperative for school districts to stay up-to-date on the latest prevention and response techniques. This course will help school and district administrators understand the nature of these contemporary threats, as well as what they can do to prevent their institutional networks from falling victim to an unauthorized intrusion or data breach.

This course was created in partnership with the Ed Leaders Network, the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology, and the Illinois Principals Association. Principals who are IPA members may take the course for free. Meanwhile, educators at Ed Leadership Network schools can participate in a similar, teacher-focused course for free.

Learning for Parents and Caregivers

During this time of remote and hybrid learning, many parents and caregivers have had to step up to support their children’s day-to-day educational needs. The LTC has created the following online course to fill this need, ensuring that parents and caregivers have the knowledge they need to keep their child on the right track:

Parenting in a Pandemic: Brain-Based SEL for Caregivers

Self-Paced / 0 PD Hours / Free

Supporting your remote or hybrid learning student can be a challenge. But one of the best ways to facilitate at-home virtual learning is by establishing a learning space in your home. In this course, parents and caregivers will learn how to do that as well as incorporate social-emotional learning skills, like self-regulation, into their child’s daily learning routines.

Micro-credentials – A New Horizon for Professional Learning

Online courses aren’t your online option for acquiring new professional skills remotely. Micro-credentials are also becoming increasingly popular, with many participants prizing their ability to offer customized feedback and research-based content – all in a self-directed and personalized format.

The LTC is currently piloting its own micro-credentialing program, which is open to the public. Any and all interested educators are welcome to join the remaining sessions, all of which focus on different aspects of remote learning:

  • Managing Remote Learning Experiences – Begins February 22, 2021
  • Designing Remote Learning Experiences – Begins March 1, 2021
  • Supporting Students with Special Needs during Remote Learning – Begins March 8, 2021
  • Feedback and Assessment during Remote Learning – Begins March 15, 2021

To learn more about the research behind micro-credentials and to sign up for our pilot program, check out this recent blog post.

Supporting your Professional Learning Journey

Whatever direction your professional learning journey takes, the LTC is here to support you. Besides our catalogue of free online courses, the LTC also offers an assortment of webinars and regional workshops geared toward keeping educators at the top of their game. The LTC’s highly-trained team is also available for in-district training, which can be customized to fit the needs of your school or district’s faculty.

New Online Course: Keep It All Together with OneNote

Are you looking for an innovative way to enhance student note-taking capabilities? If you’re like many educators, remote and hybrid learning has revealed your classroom’s need to change up this important learning activity.

OneNote from Microsoft might be the versatile tool you’ve been searching for. This platform, which is already available to many educators, can create classroom notebooks and student-centered texts that help keep all learners on the right track.

Keep It All Together with OneNote (2.0 PD Credits)

OneNote has a lot to offer, which is why the LTC has created a brand new online course designed to help educators make the most of its potential. In this free, self-paced course, participants will learn how to get started with OneNote, as well as how to apply the program’s built-in tools to a variety of classroom environments.

You can register for “Keep It All Together with OneNote” over on the LTC’s Online Courses page. Participants who complete all of the coursework on time are eligible to receive 2 PD hours. Sign up today so that you’re ready to learn when this course opens on November 23, 2020.


New Online Courses: Meet & Docs

Are you looking to learn new ways to engage with your students? Check out LTC’s Online Courses for ideas and practical applications in your classroom! We’ve just added two new free online courses that will help you connect and engage with students.

Meet the New Google Meet (1.0 PD Credit)

This course starts with the basics of joining and hosting a Google Meet video meeting, then helps you understand how to manage the meeting and participants. The course wraps up with some resources to help you integrate Google Meet into your classroom activities. Each module includes resources to help you take your Google Meet game to the next level, too!


Let’s Get Going with Google Docs (2.0 PD Credits)

This course will help you develop a basic understanding of Google Docs and how to integrate it into your in-person and remote learning activities. You’ll learn how to create and format documents, insert media into a Doc, and collaborate with students and colleagues within a document. Learn how to leverage the power of creation and collaboration with this fun online course!


These courses are great additions to our current online course catalog:

  • Pages for Mac and iPad (1.0 PD Credit)
  • Keynote for Mac (2.0 PD Credits)
  • Get to Know Microsoft Teams (1.5 PD Credits)
  • Stay Organized with Google Calendar (1.0 PD Credit)
  • GMail Essentials (1.5 PD Credits)
  • Google Drive Basics (1.5 PD Credits)
  • Move Your Class Online with Google Classroom (1.5 PD Credits)
  • Creating Digital Assessments with Google Forms (1.0 PD Credit)

All of these courses are completely FREE! More courses will be added throughout the Fall semester. Registration for these courses will close December 7, 2020, and you can register any time until then. All coursework must be completed by December 14, 2020.

Register for our free Online Courses today, complete them on your own schedule and earn free PD Credits while you develop your technology integration skills. Check back frequently for new courses.

Fall Online Courses Are Open!

We are expanding our popular online course catalog to include new interactive self-paced video-based lessons that you can complete on your own schedule. Online professional learning has become more important than ever before, and these FREE courses will help you meet your personal learning goals this fall.

Our fall courses include:

  • Pages for Mac and iPad (1 hour)
  • Keynote for Mac (2 hours)
  • Get to Know Microsoft Teams (1.5 hours)
  • NEW! Stay Organized with Google Calendar (1 hour)
  • GMail Essentials (1.5 hours)
  • New! Google Drive Basics (1.5 hours)
  • New! Move Your Class Online with Google Classroom (1.5 hours)
  • New! Creating Digital Assessments with Google Forms (1 hour)

We plan to release additional courses throughout the Fall Semester. Other courses currently under construction include:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Forms
  • …and more!

Visit our Online Learning Courses page to register. Registration for Fall Online Courses closes December 7, 2020, and all courses close December 14, 2020.

Summer Online Courses Start May 11

We are excited to announce our Spring 2020 Online Learning Courses for education professionals! These free courses can be taken on your own schedule in the comfort of your home. These learning opportunities will support your professional growth in the areas of classroom technology integration throughout your career. Plus, we can also provide you with Illinois Professional Development Credits to help you renew your Professional Educator’s License.   

Summer 2020 Online Learning Courses

Join us for these FREE Online Courses:

  • Save Time with an Organized Google Drive (1.5 PD credits) 
  • Maximize the Power of Google Classroom (1.5 PD credits) 
  • Understanding the Power of Google Docs (1.5 PD credits) 
  • Google Forms Essentials: Creating Digital Assessments (1.5 PD credits) 
  • Google Slides: More Than Presenting Content (1.5 PD credits) 
  • Getting Started with Google Hangouts (1.0 PD credit)
  • Pages for Mac and iPad (1.0 PD credit) 
  • Keynote for Mac (2.0 PD credits) 

You can start on these free self-paced courses when you’re ready, take breaks and complete what you want when you have a few minutes, and come back to finish them whenever you’d like. When you’re done you can register for another course and complete that one at any time during the summer. Registration for any of these courses opens May 11, and all courses will close August 14, 2020. 

Get all the details and register at We’re looking forward to learning with you!