Online Master’s in Educational Technology
Educational technologists help connect computer and web-based technology to learning. These professionals may teach other instructors to integrate technology into the classroom or may design curriculum and transform traditional course materials to web-based delivery and testing systems. Learn about the types of courses you’ll take in this cutting-edge degree path, what skills you’ll learn and find out the best online master’s in educational technology programs.
Top 10 ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
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Best Online Master’s in Educational Technology
Students who enroll in an online master’s program in educational technology are serious about furthering their careers in an educational setting. Prospective students must weigh the options for a graduate degree program carefully, as not all schools are equal in quality. We make this process easier with our list of online master’s programs in educational technology. In setting the rankings for the best online master’s in educational technology programs, we studied data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDs), the U.S. Department of Education and published materials from relevant universities. All schools on this list are fully accredited.
What Can I Learn in an Online Master’s in Educational Technology Program?
Graduate students pursing a master’s degree in educational technology discover how introducing multimedia elements into the classroom can better capture pupils’ attention by providing interactive opportunities to learn. Programs in educational technology emphasize the planning and set-up of technology-based classrooms.
Graduates who complete the master’s degree program in educational technology will work to design and develop class websites, create technology-based curriculum, create interactive videos and introduce new technologies at a school or district-wide level. Students will develop many skills in this degree program, including:
- The ability to integrate technology into existing research and theories in curriculum, assessment and testing
- How to use data sort students by grades, goals or learning level so teachers are then able to develop effective teaching strategies to help all students
- Introduction to new technologies that can be implemented in schools and classrooms across the globe
- Tools for bridging the gap between today’s technologies and classic teaching methods
What common courses are offered in a master’s in educational technology program?
These are some of the common courses offered in a master’s in educational technology program:
Learning Technologies in the Digital Age
Covers the essentials of computer operations, integrating technology into the learning environment, theory of instructional design with technology and using presentation software.Introduction to Instructional Design
An examination of instructional design theory as applied to educational technologies.
Designing Online Learning Environments
Covers principles of online learning environment design and the ways students and instructors interact with the design to achieve learning goals.
Educational Research Methods
An introduction to research methods for curriculum development emphasizing design, measurement, analysis and interpretation.
Educational Psychology in Instructional Design
Explores how people learn through the use of technology and how this knowledge is put into practice in the classroom.
Student Engagement in Online Learning Environments
Covers current thought on how students interact with online learning environments as well as their retention of knowledge.
Educational Gaming and Simulations
This course explores theoretical and design perspectives, and the practical aspects of evaluating and implementing games and simulations for teaching.
What exams or projects should I expect?
Most online master’s in educational technology programs include tests and a final exam or research paper at the end of every course. In addition, graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in educational technology will be expected to research and write a thesis based on their specialization. This involves an in-depth research topic that the graduate student wants to learn more about, covering a specific area of educational technology.
Alternatively, some schools may require students complete a capstone project, which demonstrates an ability to apply the theories, concepts, methods and technologies learned during the program to research and resolve a real-world instructional issue. Capstone projects can take the form of an eBook, web resource or other digital content.
What specializations are available in a master’s in educational technology program?
Although educational technology itself is considered a specialization within the master’s degree of science, there are additional areas where a student can focus. These can include:
A student specializing in curriculum development will take on additional coursework in curriculum development. This could include learning additional software or design programs used to build curriculum as well as an in-depth look at current curriculum needs at the federal and state levels. Graduates of this focus are prepared to work as curriculum developers for all education levels.
Online Learning Specialist
A student focusing in on online learning will learn how to create and implement online learning environments. Typically, this specialization will focus on how to use online learning for schools at the secondary and post-secondary levels using tools such as webinars, on-demand curriculum and other online learning tools.
A specialist in technology instruction for colleagues unfamiliar with the ever-evolving capabilities of computer systems for educational use. A technology educator keeps up with the latest trends in educational technology and ensures that a school or school district is providing the latest technologies to students, teachers and school administrative professionals.
What Can I do with a Master’s in Educational Technology Degree?
Educational technologists develop curricula in a digital environment that includes web-based learning and education programming stored on internal networks that are accessible only to the school that offers them. Teacher training and assessing technology requirements are also part of the job. Some professionals in the field manage computer learning labs. They order, install and network computer equipment. Technology instructional coordinators mentor and train new teachers in the latest instructional methods. They may also be responsible for ensuring schools meet state and federal mandates for using technology in education.
Training and Development Manager
A training and development manager in an educational field coordinates training and professional development programs for a school division or large educational organization where it may not be practical to gather all participants in one location for training, or the training materials can be accessed by individuals at convenient times, rather than halting classes so teachers can all attend a training session at the same time.
An instructional coordinator is responsible for overseeing the curriculum implemented in a school and ensuring that state and federal teaching standards are met. Instructional coordinators must also create new instructional material, and ensure it is implemented correctly in local schools. These individuals also work directly with teachers and principals to ensure the effectiveness of chosen curriculum.
Distance Learning Director
Configures and maintains video and computer systems linked to a school system’s multiple physical locations. The director is responsible for ensuring reliable video transmissions between locations so teachers and students who may be miles apart can interact with each other. Distance learning directors also interact with teachers on preparing the instructional materials via online video networks.
Networking opportunities with colleagues in the field provide the development of professional relationships and friendships that can lead to career advancement. Professional organizations also provide lifelong learning opportunities to stay current in the field of educational technology through newsletters, conferences and social gatherings. Here are some of the professional organizations supporting educational technologists:
Members are devoted to improving instruction through technology. AECT members may be found in colleges and universities, in the Armed Forces and industry, museums and libraries and hospitals.
A professional society “dedicated to the interdisciplinary empirical investigation of learning as it exists in real-world settings and to how learning may be facilitated both with and without technology.”
ISPI members use evidence-based performance improvement research and practices to effect sustainable, measurable results and add value to stakeholders in the private, public and social sectors.
The society’s stated mission is to help educators worldwide in the use of technology “to solve tough problems in education.”
An international not-for-profit educational organization, the mission of AACE is to advance Information Technology in Education and E-Learning research, development, learning and its practical application.
Promotes technological literacy throughout the world. Offers professional development, awards and research grants.
How Much Can I Make with a Career in Educational Technology?
The chart below shows the pay scales for different careers drawing on a master’s degree in educational technology. Salary rates will vary by location, but the data below gives some insight into average salary ranges for each of the positions listed below.
|CAREER||ENTRY-LEVEL SALARY (0-5 YEARS)||MID-CAREER (5-10 YEARS)||LATE CAREER (10-20+ YEARS)||JOB GROWTH 2016-2026|
|Training and Development Manager||Less than $59,170||$108,250||More than $187,670||+10%|
|Instructional Coordinator||Less than $35,550||$63,750||More than $101,500||+11%|
|Instructional Designers & Technologists||n/a||$63,705||n/a||n/a|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job growth for graduates with a master’s degree in educational technology is projected to exceed the national average of 8 percent for all employment through 2026. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth rate for careers in the educational technology field are projected to grow at least 11 percent.
In addition to increased career advancement, earning a master’s degree in educational technology also increases potential for a salary increase. With a bachelor’s degree, those with a general degree in education make a median annual salary of $46,000, according to the Center on Education and the Workforce. In comparison, those with a master’s make $60,000.
Online Master’s in Educational Technology Program Accreditation
The value of a master’s degree in educational technology depends to no small degree on the school’s reputation and accreditation. U.S. colleges and universities earn accreditation from agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation involves rigorous and regular reviews of a school’s educational programs and student services. Look for accreditation status on the website of any program you are considering. If none is listed, contact the program and ask. Accreditation for the field of educational technology may come through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, the , or through regional accreditation organizations.
How to Pay for a Master’s in Educational Technology Degree
There is more than one way to pay for an online master’s degree in educational technology. The following is a brief list of potential options available to prospective and current students.
- Federal Financial AidMost graduate students are eligible for some form of federal financial aid in the form of grants or low-interest loans. Students should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid to determine eligibility.
- School-Supplied ScholarshipsMany schools offer scholarships through the education department for individuals earning a master’s degree. The amount of money offered and requirements vary by school. Before choosing a school to attend, check with the education department to see if you are eligible for any school-funded or locally-funded scholarships.
- Educational Technology ScholarshipsThere are also international groups that fund scholarships in educational technology. Through the Foundation for Technology and Engineering Educators (FTEE), the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association gives scholarships to help teaching students and professional educators maintain a competitive edge in technology. The Maley/FTEE Scholarship for Technology Teacher Professional Development awards $1,000 to an outstanding professional teacher enrolled in a graduate program in technology education. Applicants are selected for academics and innovation.
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