When we entered the 21st century, education and technology became synonymous with one another. Today, classrooms use technology on a daily basis, providing students with the skills they will need to live and work in this technological world. In order to implement technology appropriately and use it to its greatest capabilities, teachers are turning to, as well as turning into, instructional technology coaches. Instructional technology coaches are able to develop curriculum, train teachers in educational programs, and assist in integrating technology into the classroom. While sharing many similarities to a master’s in educational technology, a master’s instructional technology degree is slightly different. It provides teachers with many skills they can use to amplify students’ learning experiences and gives these educators options for different career paths.
What is a Master’s in Instructional Technology?
A master’s degree in instructional technology provides its graduates with skills and abilities needed to integrate technology into classrooms, the confidence to train teachers in best practices and implementation processes, and the leadership skills needed to promote the district-wide vision for technology. This is similar yet different from a degree in educational technology, where the main goal is to support a student’s academics through the use of technology tools. An instructional technology degree develops a variety of essential skills that help one become a leader in the technology field as well as the skills to support staff and students in effectively using technology to enhance student achievement.
What You Will Learn in an Instructional Tech. Program
There are many skills that one will develop through an instructional technology degree program. Not only will educators learning this field gain understanding of new technology tools and best practices; but they will become guides and leaders that other staff can lean on. Instructional technology skills one will develop through a master’s program include how to:
- Integrate technology into educational classrooms or environments
- Facilitate digital learning
- Address diverse needs of learners
- Use theories, standards, and frameworks to select appropriate technology tools for classrooms and districts
- Demonstrate mastery of evidence-based concepts through the modeling of best practices in educational technology
- Effectively manage digital resources
- Establish cultures of 21st century learning and growth mindsets
- Understand principles and theories of curriculum design through the use of technology
Instructional technology degrees open up a range of career opportunities for educators. Teachers with this degree can become technology coordinators, technology integration specialists, district-level technology specialists, mentor coaches, or media specialists. Instructional technology degrees shape educators into experts in the technology field, including how to effectively implement various technology tools or programs to amplify student learning. They are well versed in research on how technology can connect to teaching and learning. They can troubleshoot and assist teachers when technological glitches arise. Along with these things, people with this degree stay on the forefront of innovative technology tools and practices.
Technology is used in classrooms on a regular basis, which means it is important to have staff who are experts in implementing, developing, and educating others on best practices. Instructional Technology degrees develop valuable skills educators can use to support 21st century learning and amplify students’ learning experiences.