Online professional development: Your summer PD in a virtual setting

During the summer months, educators look for ways to stay on top of trends and best practices they can incorporate into their classrooms and schools for the upcoming school year. This will be even more essential this year as we have an opportunity to pause, reflect on the past few months of online teaching, and retool for the fall.

Educators’ professional learning needs vary, ranging from synchronous to asynchronous lessons and short how-tos on technology to deep dives on particular areas. No matter the need, video plays an integral role in online professional development, especially as more things have moved to a virtual setting.

We’ve seen a number of innovative examples of educators and teacher leaders who have made this shift to online professional development. Many teachers have taken advantage of the unique benefits of Prezi Video, a video editing tool that puts essential content alongside the speaker, enabling them to maintain eye contact and use facial cues and gestures to stay connected to their audience.

Read on to see examples of teachers using Prezi Video in their online professional development.

Higher education: Transitioning to online learning

Allison Upshaw, Ph.D. is the Director of the Faculty Development Center and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Stillman College, and has been a longtime Prezi user and arts educator with a deep appreciation of the power to visually engage a viewer. Dr. Upshaw quickly developed an entire series of “Teaching Tips with Dr. Allison Upshaw” with over 20 videos for her faculty at Stillman College, with the goal of helping them make a smooth transition to online learning.

In just one minute, Dr. Upshaw provides a tip that is pivotal for an online learning environment.



Dr. Upshaw knows that her colleagues have a strong knowledge base for the content they’re teaching, but they’re not always as familiar with the best ways to deliver that content online. Her Prezi Video series gave her the ability to share her expertise, allowing the faculty to think about the “how” in information sharing as well as the “what.”

In her next tip, she encourages her Stillman colleagues to continue using whatever communication tool works for them, but she insists on one key point.



Each of the videos in her series are short and focus on one area such as assessment types, consistency, essential questions, learning styles, learning preferences, and teaching with poverty in mind. Her online professional development series is effective for not only her colleagues at Stillman, but for all educators. Her success with Prezi Video is opening up new opportunities for her to build a library of resources.

Efficiency and efficacy in online learning

Not only is Sarah Brown Wessling an NBCT, an ELA at Johnston High School, and the 2010 National Teacher of the Year, she is a mother, teacher advocate (@SarahBWessling), learner, speaker, and questioner. Her extensive work in and around the classroom has led her to create some amazing Prezi Video content with practical ideas and thoughts. Most recently, she has done a series to support deeper engagement with students during online learning. Her videos were timely in addressing some of the most pressing issues educators were facing as they shifted to online learning. She was able to use Prezi Video to create instant, on-demand content that teachers needed and at a time when they were not able to attend in-person trainings.

In this video, you will have a better understanding of online learning vs. independent work.



Virtual office hours can be effective in student learning rather than a requirement. Find out how to maximize your time and student learning.

Stay connected while you work remotely with Prezi Video


Social-emotional learning for adults

Deli Moussavi is a founder, speaker, teacher leader, and facilitator at Heart Venture, and focuses her work on leadership, communication, and emotional resilience. She has transformed school cultures and teams by training educators to lead their work and their lives by their hearts’ desires. Her use of Prezi Video is an example of how educators can access professional learning that both complements their work in the classroom and also provides a focus on educator mental health and well-being. 

In order to be our best in the classroom, we need to take care of ourselves. Learn how in this video.



We need to learn how to use our voices, and Deli gives us tips for how to do so.



Part of the work I do at Prezi is to curate educator videos and share them with you. I have come across some great examples of professional learning that can be used right now. If you have some that you have created and would like to share, please be sure to send them my way on LinkedIn or email.

Whether you’re looking to enhance your own professional learning or you are a school administrator looking for content that you can use to support teacher development online, you’ll find Prezi Video helps you do this quickly and easily. You can use something you’ve already created like a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation as a starting point for your video, or you can create original content using one of the many video templates available.

Sign up for a free live training, or check out the library of on-demand tutorials to get started.

Tracy Leonard, Prezi Teacher in Residence

Tracy Leonard

Tracy has taught in elementary and middle school classrooms, and served as a school site administrator for a PreK – 8 campus that integrated the Core Knowledge curriculum with state standards. Over the past 10 years, her teaching has turned to adults offering professional development and conference workshops across the country.


Related posts

Learn more about Prezi for your business

Try Prezi for free