Online Educational Technology Degree Programs Resource
An educational technology degree qualifies graduates for jobs in K-12 public schools, the corporate world, government agencies, the non-profit sector, and institutes of higher education. Many online degree programs in educational technology, also known as instructional technology, are available. Individuals who are pursuing a career in educational technology should have exemplary organization and communication skills. Aptitude for an array of technical teaching tools and methods is also essential.
Educational Technology Degrees and Certifications
Educational technology graduates have an impact on learning processes across the nation. They can find instructional technology jobs in K-12 schools in urban, suburban, and rural settings. They are also qualified to seek employment with higher education institutions, various government agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations. Educational technology specialists do more than just work with computers and technology-based teaching tools. Their jobs involve using technology to increase the effectiveness of the teaching process and enhance the learning experience. The need for qualified educational technology specialists will continue to grow as the scope of technology advances in every aspect of life in America.
Obtaining a master’s degree in instructional technology enables professionals to advance to higher career levels and improves earning potential. Many who pursue this degree are licensed and certified educators who are seeking to broaden their horizons by working in educational technology.
Top-Ranked Educational Technology Degree Programs
The following schools were ranked by US News as having the best curriculum and instruction graduate degree programs (2017).
1. University of Wisconsin-Madison
2. Michigan State University
3. Teachers College, Columbia University (tie)
3. Vanderbilt University (Peabody) (tie)
5. Stanford University
6. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
7. Ohio State University
8. University of Texas-Austin
9. Indiana University-Bloomington (tie)
9. University of Georgia (tie)
9. University of Washington (tie)
Profiles of Traditional Educational Technology Programs
Boise State University
The Educational Technology Department at Boise State University offers multiple graduate degrees and certificates for those who wish to specialize in educational technology, including a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Technology and a Master of Educational Technology (MET), which can be completed entirely online. The MET focuses on skills for improved performance at all levels of education and is preparation for enrolling in the EdD program. Coursework focuses on theoretical foundations, hands-on technology skills, and integration strategies for today’s learning environments. All MET students will complete a portfolio as their culminating activity. Students in the EdD program explore the use of current and emerging technologies for effective and efficient teaching in a dynamic, global society. Areas of particular focus include online teaching and learning, technology integration, academic technology leadership, educational software development, and educational games and simulations. Graduate certificates offered at Boise State include Technology Integration, Online Teaching, School Technology Coordination, and a K-12 Online Teaching Endorsement. US News and the National Council on Teacher Quality have ranked Boise State University’s education programs among the best in the US.
University of Florida
The University of Florida’s Education Technology program allows students to earn a traditional Master of Arts (MA) in Education with an emphasis in educational technology. Students seeking flexibility may want to consider the university’s online program that leads to a Master of Education (MEd) in Instruction and Curriculum with a concentration in educational technology. Graduate students in both degree programs must complete core courses in curriculum and instruction and in educational technology, including distance teaching and learning, foundations of educational technology, and blended learning environments. Students in the MA program must complete 36 credits to fulfill graduation requirements, including a six-credit thesis or project. The MEd program culminates in a practicum in educational media technology while the remainder of the degree requirements are completed online. Applicants to either program must submit GRE scores and letters of recommendation in addition to an official application and application fee.
Ohio State University
The Ohio State University features a 33- to 36-credit graduate program leading to a Master of Arts (MA) in Educational Studies with an emphasis on educational technology. Students opting to complete a thesis will need 36 credits to fulfill degree requirements while students in the non-thesis track must complete 33 credits. Graduate students must complete three core courses in addition to 24 credits in the educational technology specialization. Specialization courses cover issues and practices in educational technology, instructional design, and learning, culture, and technology. Graduates of the program will be prepared to teach in such diverse settings as kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms, distance learning, online learning, non-profit organizations, businesses, community colleges, and four-year universities.
Profiles of Hybrid and Online Educational Technology Programs
Western Governors University
Western Governors University affords graduate students and licensed teachers the opportunity to earn a Master of Education (MEd) in Education Learning and Technology. The online program generally takes two- to two-and-a-half years to complete. Semesters run for six consecutive months, with graduate students completing all course requirements online. Unlike most universities, students pay a flat fee per semester rather than a per-credit fee. Students should be prepared to commit at least 20 hours a week to their studies. Successful candidates must submit a copy of a current teaching license and official undergraduate transcripts from an accredited college or university. All applicants must complete an admissions interview with a WGU official.
University of Maryland University College
The University of Maryland University College awards the Master of Education in Instructional Technology to students who complete its 33 credit hour academic program. While all courses in this program are offered online, each course has on-site field components. Students are not required to be currently certificated teachers, but the program is designed for those who are currently teaching or working in Pre-K to 12 settings and does not lead to initial licensure. By taking two courses per semester, students can complete the program in two years. The curriculum includes such courses as Teaching Information and Media Literacies in the Digital World; Using Technology for Instructional Improvement: Research, Data, and Best Practices; and Leading Technology Change in Schools. An integrative capstone course is also included that consists of a self-directed project designing innovations for a given curriculum. University of Maryland University College also offers an online master’s program in learning design and technology, as well as a graduate certificate in instructional technology integration.
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri’s 100% online Master of Education in Technology in Schools is designed to prepare teachers to plan and implement technologies in classrooms and similar learning environments. The degree requires 30 credit hours to complete. Admission is competitive and requires that students possess relevant experience and have a GPA of at least 3.0 across the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework. Core graduate courses for this master’s program include Technology to Enhance Learning; Instructional Systems Design; and Technology Action Research. Students are also evaluated on a professional portfolio that exhibits the student’s mastery of ISTE standards with supporting work examples. The University of Missouri also offers online programs in Master of Education-Online Educator and Master of Education-Learning Systems Design and Development. The University of Missouri is frequently recognized for being home to some of the best educational technology degree programs in the US.
Educational Technology Degree Requirements and Coursework
Individuals who possess a strong interest in teaching and technology, patience, and good organization and communication skills may be a good fit for an instructional technology career. Requirements for entry into an educational technology degree program commonly include letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above.
Some examples of common courses in the curriculum of an educational technology degree program include:
- Technology and Inquiry-Based Learning
- Technology, Schooling, and Society
- Teaching Information in the Digital World
- Applying Theories of Learning to Technology
- Research in Instructional Technology
- Interactive & Emerging Technologies
- Technology Curriculum and Planning
- Managing Educational Technology Resources
- Differentiated Instruction with Technology
- Leading Technology Change in Schools
- Student Practicum
Top School Technology Blogs
Our list of the top school technology blogs provides great insights into how teachers, technology integration specialists, and directors of technology are preparing 21st century students for a digital world.
Instructional Technology Career Interviews
- Instructional Coach, Marisa Kaplan
- Learning and Technology Consultant, Tony Vincent
- Lead Technology Facilitator, Jon Bergmann
Teaching and Education Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do you need a master’s degree in educational technology to work in this career?
Answer: Requirements for an instructional technology specialist vary depending on the school district but a bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement for an entry-level edtech career.
Question: Can you earn a degree in educational technology entirely online?
Answer: Several schools offer a fully online format for their educational technology program, though some programs may require some in-person time for student teaching.