Best Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Programs
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A certificate in educational technology is a graduate certificate that focuses on providing teachers with tools and technologies to use in their classrooms. Students learn how to lead online classes and use technology to engage their students.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), tuition and fees for graduate school cost an average of $12,410 per year for public schools in 2019-20. Private schools charged $26,597 per year on average. Most online graduate certificates in educational technology take one year to complete. Some only take six months. Programs at top online schools may cost less than on-campus programs.
With a graduate certificate in educational technology and a master's degree in the field, people can become instructional coordinators. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that instructional coordinators earned a median income of $66,970 per year in May 2020. The BLS projects that job opportunities for this career will increase 10% from 2020-2030.
What Is an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?
Some people may think that a certificate program leads to teacher certification, but that is not the case. Students who want to work as a certified teacher must complete a bachelor's degree in education. They must also complete 4-6 months of student teaching. The exact requirements vary by state. For example, some states require CPR certification.
A graduate certificate is designed for people who are already certified teachers. A graduate certificate in educational technology helps teachers learn to use technology more effectively in their classrooms. It also improves their chances of advancing in their careers.
Although a graduate certificate requires graduate-level courses, it does not lead to a master's degree. However, graduate certificate and master's degree courses may overlap. That means students may apply some of their credits to a master's degree later.
What Can I Expect From an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?
Good teachers are strong communicators who speak and listen well. They adapt to changes easily and work well with others. They demonstrate patience and show empathy to their students. They are engaging. They never stop learning. Many of the traits that make good teachers can also help individuals excel in an online graduate certificate in educational technology program.
Certificate in educational technology programs generally require 9-18 credits and take 6-12 months to complete. Educational technology programs may have slightly different names at some schools, such as teaching with technology. Regardless, these programs all teach students how to use technology in education effectively.
Students taking an online graduate certificate in educational technology better understand multimedia, instructional development, and instructional system design. They learn how to work with other professionals, such as game developers, to create games, simulations, and other instructional systems.
Before enrolling in an online program, learners should check for any in-person requirements. Some online programs are not fully online.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?
Foundations of Instructional Technology
This course introduces students to the instructional technology field. Students learn about the field's history, instructional design theories, and learning theories. They also study instructional systems development models.
Instructional design uses learning theories, content expertise, technology, and communication skills to design learning experiences for students. Learners explore how to absorb new material quickly and figure out the best way to teach it.
Instructional Technology Tools and Development
In this course, students learn how the latest technological advances affect education. The course reviews different types of media and their delivery methods. It also exposes students to various audio, video, and data technologies.
Fundamentals of Online Learning
Students enrolled in this course learn about the methods, theories, and history of online learning. The course includes case studies and instructional theory. Students learn how to use online learning tools in their teaching.
Instructional Technology Leadership
This course helps students develop leadership skills for technology administration and planning. Students learn how to plan and implement technology integration and evaluate the final results. They also learn to budget for educational technology.
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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?
To enroll in an online graduate certificate in educational technology, students need a bachelor's degree. Some schools may require a bachelor's degree in education.
Prospective students must submit official transcripts from any college courses they have taken. They may also need to submit a college application essay or personal statement and 2-3 letters of recommendation. Students with work experience should ask their supervisor for a recommendation letter. Or, learners can ask professors from their bachelor's program.
What Can I Do With an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Degree?
The BLS projects job growth for K-12 school teachers, instructional coordinators, and training and development specialists between 7-11% from 2020-2030. This is average to slightly above-average growth compared to all other industries. The Economic Policy Institute reported a teacher shortage in March 2019, and the pandemic has aggravated the problem. Due to financial constraints, low-income schools have a greater shortage of credentialed teachers.
K-12 teachers earned a median annual salary of $60,660-$62,870 in May 2020, depending on the grade level. Teachers with a master's degree typically earn more than those with only a bachelor's degree or a bachelor's degree and a graduate certificate.
See where a graduate certificate in educational technology can take you. Learn more about teaching careers.
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers create lesson plans for subjects such as math, science, reading, and social studies. They teach classes, give out assignments, and grade assignments. They also help students learn how to interact with each other. These teachers may need to help supervise students during lunch or recess.
Median Annual Salary: $60,660
Middle School Teachers
Middle school teachers also create lesson plans in various subject areas. They make and enforce classroom rules and help students overcome learning problems. These teachers give students assignments and grade those assignments. They prepare students for taking standardized tests and supervise students during lunch and detention.
Median Annual Salary: $60,810
High School Teachers
High school teachers develop lesson plans and use them to teach their students. Typically, high school teachers specialize in one or more education areas. For example, one teacher may only teach math or science, while another teaches English and foreign languages. Teachers in small schools likely need to teach more than one subject.
Median Annual Salary: $62,870
Training and Development Specialists
Training and development specialists plan and administer training programs for employees at their company. They talk to employees and managers to determine what skills employees need, then create course materials to deliver the training. They may select training manuals from external sources to use in their training.
Median Annual Salary: $62,700
Instructional coordinators oversee teaching standards and curricula at elementary, secondary, and other schools. They plan the curricula and determine what type of training, workshops, and conferences the teachers need to attend. They analyze students' test scores and recommend teaching techniques to increase learning and retention.
Median Annual Salary: $66,970
Educational Technology Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
People who want to become teachers need state certification. Most education bachelor's degrees prepare students for teacher certification. Students who pursue a graduate certificate in educational technology typically already have their teacher certification.
After earning an online graduate certificate in educational technology, some students may wish to advance their education to the master's level. There are several master's in education, including:
- Master's in Educational Technology
- Master's in Adult Education
- Master's in Early Childhood Education
- Master's in Education
- Master's in Educational Administration
- Master's in Educational Leadership
- Master's in Educational Psychology
- Master's in Elementary Education
How Do I Choose an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?
Costs for graduate certificate in education technology programs vary widely depending on the program. Schools may charge between $300-900 per credit. A student's residency status also impacts tuition rates. When searching for the lowest cost, consider the true program cost, including on-campus or off-campus housing and lost wages.
Students should consider whether a program features synchronous or asynchronous courses when deciding which program is right for them. Synchronous programs require learners to log in at a specific time. Students should also consider whether the program is full time or part time. Part-time graduate students often take one course per semester to continue working while earning their certificate or degree.
If learners take their certificate in educational technology online, location may not matter. However, prospective online learners should check for in-person components when deciding between an online or on-campus program. If an online option has in-person requirements, students may want to choose a nearby program.
Accreditation is the process where a third-party organization examines the teaching standards and curricula used at an institution and decides whether the institution meets their standards. Students who attend schools that hold institutional accreditation may transfer credits more easily to another school if they transfer.
Many schools offer student support services, including online student services for online students. Depending on the school, they may offer tutoring, mentorship services, academic advising, and internship placement. They may also provide career services and alumni networking events. Learners should think about what services they might need and see if prospective schools offer them.
Best Accredited Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Educational Technology Programs
Is a graduate certificate in educational technology worth it?
For most degrees, you can compare the salary before and after getting the degree and use the program's cost to figure out how long it will take for the degree to pay for itself. However, with a graduate certificate in educational technology, students may continue in the same career after earning the certificate. This is especially true if they are already a teacher.
In that case, students should examine the other benefits of earning this certificate. For example, they become more familiar with various technological tools and methods to make their job easier and help their students learn better.
What can you do with a certificate in educational technology?
A graduate certificate in educational technology can help people revolutionize their classrooms with technology. They can find new ways to keep their students engaged and learning. This certificate can also help graduates improve their online lessons.
Learners who decide to continue teaching may negotiate a raise due to their additional qualifications. Or, they may decide to pursue training and development specialist or instructional coordinator careers. Instructional coordinators make slightly more than K-12 teachers, with a median income of $66,970 per year in May 2020.
Is an educational technology certificate program hard?
A certificate in educational technology program consists of 3-6, three-credit graduate courses. Graduate courses are often harder than bachelor's-level courses. However, a certificate program is often easier than a master's program since many master's degrees require a final capstone project. Learners should also keep in mind that certificate coursework relates to the work they already do in the classroom.
How long does it take to get a certificate in educational technology?
Educational technology graduate certificate programs require 9-18 credits. Students enrolled in a 9-credit program who take all three classes at once could finish in a single semester. Taking nine credits per semester for an 18-credit program allows students to finish in two semesters.
Enrollment status affects how long it takes to earn a certificate. Part-time learners often need more time to finish. Students could stretch a 9-credit program out to three semesters or an 18-credit program to three years. Make sure to check with a school to determine how long students can take to earn their certificate.
What's the highest paying job you can get with a certificate in educational technology?
Although instructional coordinators typically need a master's degree and five years of experience, students may get this job with a graduate certificate. They will likely still need a few years of teaching experience before advancing to instructional coordinator. The top 10% of instructional coordinators earned a median salary of $105,650 per year in May 2020.
These professionals develop curricula and teaching standards for the schools where they work. Part of the job involves browsing different textbooks and deciding which ones to use in the classroom. They also train teachers in new educational programs and mentor them to become better teachers.