What is Education Technology?

Back in the time when a teacher’s main tools were a ruler and a blackboard, it never would have occurred to ask what education technology is. However, today’s education technology is becoming highly sophisticated, requiring professionals with a deep understanding of how technology can help students learn.

Teachers already have to know the basics of teaching using an online platform, but far more advanced developments are arriving on the scene, thanks to people who devote their lives to developing technology for the classroom. For those who think they’d like a high-tech career in education, earning a degree in education technology may be the way to go.

Education Requirements

Those who specialize in education technology often already have experience as a teacher or educational administrator. From here they pursue a career as an instructional coordinator or a similar occupation. While bachelor degrees in education technology are available, educators more typically pursue a master degree in education technology or curriculum and instruction.

Most states also require that these specialists also be licensed teachers, and some also require administrative licenses as well. Depending on the needs of the school, a specific kind of subject expertise, such as math or English, might also be requested.

Career Options: What You Can Do with an Education Technology Degree

In addition to becoming a designer of online curriculum, those who pursue educational technology might work as:

  • Distance learning developers.
  • Educational video producers.
  • Assessment specialists.
  • E-learning consultants.

Education technology graduates may work for K-12 schools, colleges, private businesses, libraries, health care or government agencies.  Since online learning is infiltrating nearly every facet of the workplace, the opportunities in the field are varied and abundant.

What to Consider if you Pursue a Degree in Education Technology

Careers in education technology often either build on or branch off existing career paths. Those who pursue the field as a first career may need to work in a field with less technical expertise in order to get to the point where their knowledge is being fully utilized.

Overall, education technology is a very good option. Those who pursue this degree after spending time teaching in K-12 schools find that it allows them to make more money and have increased opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010 figures indicate that teaching opportunities in elementary and middle schools are expected to increase by around 17 percent between 2010 and 2020. High school teachers, however, did not fare as well, with their growth rate only reaching 7 percent. The salary for an instructional coordinator averaged at close to $59,000 in 2010, while K-12 teachers’ salaries were closer to $52,000.

Those who wish to venture outside the K-12 world may consider using their education technology degree as a foundation for a career as a training and development manager. Workers in these positions earned an average salary in 2010 of nearly $90,000 annually, and the job growth outlook is close to average at 15 percent.

Since careers in education are numerous, it is not only necessary to look at the outlooks for specific jobs. Online learning and the development of programs that support it are becoming more in demand in every area. In years to come, experts in education technology should see opportunities in almost any area they like.

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