It is not breaking news that teachers and those that can help teachers (administrators, instructional coaches, etc.) are in high demand. Beyond that, there are some areas in education that are extremely in high demand…science teachers, math teachers, Spanish teachers, and those with educational technology degrees and the know-how to implement the subject.
As an administrator for eight years and a teacher on campus for 10 years who was the campus tech person, I can tell you that the person who can make technology a seamless integrated tool to help students learn is amazingly valuable.
There is a bit of a generational gap between the teachers in the classroom (at times 30 and 40 years older than their students) and their students who are growing up immersed in technology. The ability to bridge this gap is amazing.
Another challenge that exists is that as technology improves, it does so at an exponential rate. So what was learned technology-wise four or five years ago is likely outdated, slow, or not as useful as what has come out in the past year or two.
Those that can help keep a staff up to date and relevant with the world around them is invaluable in that it takes a special ability to teach teachers how to use new tools.
What is an Educational Technology Degree?
An educational technology degree prepares those who are working with students to leverage technology in the classroom. The leverage word there is key — technology is a tool in the classroom. Technology cannot make students learn, but it can put them in a more comfortable environment to learn.
Picture a quarterback coach at any level. Their job is to leverage the tools of the quarterback to make that player effective; this is one of the primary roles of the EdTech person in a district or campus.
Students utilize digital tools, hone pedagogical skills, develop classroom strategies, and learn to support education through technology. Examples of how this looks in the classroom include blended learning, flipped classrooms, how students use chromebooks, and how prepared they are to use technology in the real world.
Reasons to Get an EdTech Degree Right Now
There are many similarities between the classroom from 100 years ago and the one that exists today. There are still chairs, desks, teachers, students, books, etc. However the chalkboard has morphed in most places to dry erase boards, and in the more modern classrooms, there are smartboards, smart TVs, chromebooks, ipad, and tablets. As the students get older, they all have cell phones and can use it for kahoot games, to text in answers, and more.
There needs to be a point person who can help teachers leverage all of these new tools into student success. If a district or campus is making a dedicated effort to integrate technology into the classroom, the second key piece to success is a person who can train and coach teachers and staff in using these tools.
This has never been more relevant than the past three months where most of the learning in the world occurred in an online environment. One of the last effects of the COVID-19 experience will be an integration of elearning into the already existing classroom.
Beyond that, many colleges already have highly developed online degrees and online learning in place and need people to help expand this into their faculty and their program offerings.
Finally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects openings for instructional coordinators to increase nationwide by 6% between 2018 and 2028, indicating that there will be EdTech jobs available.
Benefits of an EdTech Degree
Let’s talk salary! Let me start with my own personal experience here. As a middle school teacher for 10 years with a technology applications certification, I was able to get an additional stipend to help with tech issues and integration around the campus.
Payscale.com lists the master’s in educational technology degree as earning on average around $63,000 per year. Glassdoor.com lists the salary average at $70,000 a year.
Another benefit of this degree is that it allows you the chance at jobs in the long run that connect with education but not necessarily are in a district and a school building. There are numerous education companies that exist to help students learn and are selling their product to schools every day. They need people with experience in training teachers, showing how to use their product in the classroom, and developing their product so that it is truly a tool that helps students learn.
Finally, and this really comes from the heart of a high school principal, our job is ultimately to prepare students to be able to be contributors in the real world. We have a responsibility to develop students who know how to use technology responsibly and properly.
The right person who can leverage technology to help students learn and apply technology into their world can not only help a staff make students successful, but they contribute to the future success of the student.
Ready to take the next step in your career and explore EdTech? Check out our available educational technology programs today!