An online degree program in instructional technology trains licensed elementary and secondary teachers to incorporate technology into their class lectures and work assignments. Students interested in obtaining an online degree in educational technology can pursue a Master of Education degree in instructional technology, although a similar program is a Master of Science in Education degree with a concentration in instructional technology. These programs are available fully online or in a blended format that may require in-person fieldwork. Most instructional technology programs available online take 1-3 years to complete.
Individuals interested in gaining training in the subject of instructional technology learn to design, develop and execute modern practices and resources for learning. Many programs allow students to choose a specialization, such as incorporating technology into teaching elementary school or utilizing technology to improve literacy at the middle school level.
Courses in a typical online degree program are designed according to the methods and standards of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Many of the courses put an emphasis on the practical strategies and lesson plans for teaching young students how to use technology. Some common courses include:
- Cultural and linguistic diversity in the classroom
- Introduction to educational research
- Methods of enhancing a learning environment
- Technology and its impact on education
- Technology and its impact on learning theory and instruction
- Supporting information literacy in the classroom
- New and emerging technology
- Reaching students with technology
Online programs in instructional technology may be completed in an asynchronous format, allowing students to access course content and complete studies at their own pace, or a combination of asynchronous and synchronous sessions. These distance learning programs typically utilize a class website, chat rooms, discussion boards, email and video lectures instead of traditional classroom interactions. Students may also use computer conferencing software to participate. An e-portfolio may be a program requirement, and students may need to complete fieldwork in their existing instructional setting.
Career Information for Graduates
Graduate courses in instructional technology are almost always reserved for individuals who are already certified and practicing educators. However, graduates of the program can put their knowledge to use at the following levels:
- Elementary reading and mathematics
- Adolescent literacy technology
- Literacy and learning in grades 6-12
- Mathematics in grades K-5
- Mathematics in grades 6-12
- Middle level education for grades 6-8
- Teacher leadership for grades K-12
Licensed elementary and secondary teachers may wish to pursue an online master's degree in instructional technology to study new ways to incorporate technology into the learning process with their students. Enrolled students may study topics including new technology, diversity in the classroom and the impact of technology on instruction.