Explore a Master's Degree in Education Technology
An online master's degree in education technology gives students an opportunity to closely examine how modern technology can be used to enhance the educational process, promote student engagement, and potentially improve student educational outcomes. Students pursuing an online master's degree in education technology are people who realize that the learning landscape has changed from white boards, textbooks, and lectures, to incorporate Smart Boards, e-books, iPads, and online learning. Students will learn how to design instructional systems that implement technology, how to utilize audio and video in classrooms, how to integrate online learning tools and educational software in instruction, and more.
Most online master's degree programs are set up to be completed in two years of full-time study, although some accelerated programs can be completed in as little as one year. Accelerated online programs are rigorous and intensive, and require a student to attend the program full time and year-round. Part-time students will generally take longer to complete an education technology program. Some master's programs in education technology are available in a hybrid format, requiring a blend of online and on-campus instruction, while others are delivered 100% online.
The curriculum in an online master's degree program in education technology may be divided into foundation courses, core courses, electives, and specialization courses. Students are generally exposed to established types of educational technology widely being used in classrooms, as well as emerging education technology that has yet to be put to widespread use. Many courses are focused on building practical skills, such as designing distance education courses, or conducting technology needs assessments for schools. While required course work differs greatly from program to program, a few courses you may encounter could include:
- Introduction to Educational Technology. In this course, students are given a broad overview of today's educational software, methods of using technology in various learning environments, and means of introducing innovative technology into traditional educational settings. Emphasis is on research-based best practices, as well as the primary barriers to integrating educational technology in modern classrooms.
- Educational Technology Integration. This course examines different theories, models, and case studies for integrating technology into the classroom in a way that does not significantly disrupt the present education process. Students look at challenges and obstacles involved in integrating new technology, as well as practical solutions that mitigate those challenges.
- Measuring the Impact of Technology on Learning. In this course, students learn quantitative research methods by which they can evaluate the effectiveness of education technology. As a result of gathering and interpreting this data, students learn how effective certain technology is in helping educators achieve certain learning outcomes.
Students complete a wide range of assignments and projects in an online master's program in education technology. Professors may ask students to create an online course, draft lesson plans that incorporate educational technology, or write a critique of a research study pertaining to education technology. Most online programs require students to participate in online discussion boards as a means of gauging how well you are grasping the material, in addition to taking exams and writing papers. Education technology programs often culminate in a capstone project, in which a student may be asked to work independently or in a group to draft a proposal and in-depth plan for meeting a real-world technological need at an actual school. When writing the plan, students draw from what they have learned from their program course work.
Building a Career
Graduates of master's programs in education technology can pursue a variety of careers that involve multimedia development, instructional design, training and professional development, curriculum development, or distance learning development. While many find work in higher education and K-12 education settings, others find niche careers in training agencies associated with business, government, the military, and health professions, according to Montana State University Billings. Others become instructional coordinators in school districts.
Instructional coordinators are in charge of a school district's curriculum and teaching standards. These professionals must have a minimum of a master's degree, and often must possess teacher certification or school administrator licensure, depending on the state they live in, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Instructional coordinators reported a median yearly salary of $58,830, the BLS noted. Salaries may vary, however, based on your level of experience, the region of the country you live in, the size of your school district, and other considerations.