Although technology has become a cornerstone of modern society, educators have been slow to embrace the digital revolution. A recent survey from U.S. News & World Report found that merely 8% of teachers 'fully integrate' technology in their classrooms; meanwhile, 43% of students feel 'unprepared' to use technology as they advance to higher education or enter the workforce. The field of educational technology seeks to reverse these trends.
Also known as instructional technology, educational technology is the study of various tools, platforms, and learning management systems used to facilitate and enhance learning at all academic levels, from preschool and kindergarten to the postsecondary level. This discipline not only explores the design and implementation of various educational media, but also the underlying theories and approaches to learning that drive these innovations. Educational technology is a popular area of specialization among today's students seeking master's degrees in education. Many graduates go on to pursue careers as instructional coordinators, utilizing different technologies to develop curricula and learning standards at schools across the country. However, the multidisciplinary nature of educational technology is also useful for aspiring teachers, school administrators, counselors, and other school personnel.
Read on to learn more about the cutting-edge field of educational technology, as well as some tips for finding the best online master's degree in educational technology programs.
- WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MASTER'S IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY?
Graduates with a master's in educational technology are prepared for many careers, including curriculum developer, curriculum director, and technology coordinator. Read more here..
- WHERE CAN I GET A MASTER'S DEGREE IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY?
Many schools offer on-campus and online programs in educational technology. BestColleges has a ranking of 50 schools that offer online master's degrees in the field. Read more here..
- WHY GET A MASTER'S IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY ONLINE?
Professionals who hold a master's degree have a lower unemployment rate than those with a bachelor's. They also have a higher earning potential. Read more here..
- WHAT IS AN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY DEGREE?
Educational technology programs teach students how to integrate various tools, platforms, and learning management systems to enhance learning at all academic levels. Read more here..
Choosing a Program
WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?
A master's in educational technology online program will introduce students to the latest tools and platforms used in the education profession, as well as the foundational technologies that have served as building blocks over the years. Some programs allow students to concentrate their studies in certain specialization areas, such as special education technology or early childhood education technology. Additionally, many online master's in educational technology include practicum courses, which allow students to visit working schools and receive hands-on training from experienced teaching professionals. Some programs culminate in a capstone project, as well, which may take the form of a formal presentation or a portfolio requirement.
HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT ONLINE PROGRAM FOR ME?
The requirements of an online master's in educational technology program will vary from school to school, so you should take time to research each program and ensure your top choices align with your career goals. Student outcomes can be quite useful during this process; carefully vet each candidate school to learn about dropouts, student retention, graduation rates, post-degree career statistics, and other learning trends. Accreditation is also crucial; all of your potential schools should have earned accreditation from a recognized, accrediting organization. Also keep an eye on courses and programmatic requirements, such as capstones and practicum courses, to ensure that you'll receive an adequate level of education, training and evaluation before entering the workforce.
CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE MASTER'S in EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY?
Online students with part- or full-time jobs tend to thrive in asynchronous (or self-paced) master's degree programs. These flexible tracks allows you to access lectures and course materials using streaming video and other online platforms, submit assignments via email, take online exams, and participate in virtual discussions with your professors and fellow learners. Current technology also enables you to study away from your home computer using a laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other devices with Wi-Fi access. For added convenience, you will be able to coordinate practicum courses at schools that are reasonably close to your current residence, rather than commuting long distances.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING MY MASTER'S IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY ONLINE?
The best online master's degree in educational technology programs are designed to mirror on-campus offerings. Web-based students follow the same rigorous curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, and often compete for the same jobs after graduation. In exchange, online learners follow a flexible course structure that is particularly conducive to those with jobs, small children, and other important commitments that may potentially conflict with campus-based education.
What Are The Best Online Master's in Educational Technology Programs?
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
|Raleigh, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 79%||
North Carolina State University offers one of the nation's best online master's degree programs in educational technology, preparing graduates to teach and design instructional materials for middle, high school, and college students. Online coursework in the program is fully asynchronous, meaning students can watch lectures, complete assignments, and take exams entirely on their own schedule and from anywhere with an internet connection.
The 30-credit program also allows students the flexibility to design their own course of study. After completing a single foundational class, students select one of three concentrations. The engineering and technology concentration, for example, covers subjects such as how to teach creative problem-solving and how to develop curricula for emerging technologies.
To earn their remaining credits, students choose five specialty content courses in areas like teaching in an online environment, research in adult and higher education, and integrating technology into training programs. Most full-time students in the program earn their master's in two years.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree in science or science education from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA. They must also submit three references and a personal statement, though NC State does not require prospective students to take the GRE. The university provides a variety of scholarships to its graduate education students, determining these awards largely on the basis of academic excellence and financial need. North Carolina State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Johns Hopkins University
|Baltimore, MD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 93%||
At Johns Hopkins University, students can pursue a master's in educational technology online at their own pace, making it an ideal choice for educators who want to advance their career without leaving their current job. The program also equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to take on training and research roles in corporate and entrepreneurial contexts.
In their first year, students complete courses in culturally responsive teaching, the evaluation and research of technology interventions and programs, and advanced applications of instructional technology. During their second year, students transition into more advanced subjects, examining topics like designing and delivering e-learning environments and integrating media into standards-based curricula. Johns Hopkins also encourages all students in the program to take a course in inclusive technologies, preparing them to meet the unique educational needs of learners with diverse abilities.
To apply to the program, prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. In addition, they must submit two letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay that details the student's reason for pursuing a degree at Johns Hopkins. The university does not require applicants to take the GRE.
Along with state and federal financial aid opportunities for educators, graduate students at Johns Hopkins may apply for several institutional scholarships. For example, the College of Education Endowed Scholarship provides aid to students with demonstrated financial need. Johns Hopkins University holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Virginia-Main Campus
|Charlottesville, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 95%||
Students pursuing an education technology master's degree online at the University of Virginia benefit from a rigorous but highly flexible program. The university's Curry School of Education allows students to choose whether to study full time or part time. Students who want to graduate as quickly as possible can meet all of the program's requirements in as little as one year; students who need to balance coursework with professional or personal obligations may take up to five years to earn the degree.
Students can also customize their learning by choosing one of nine focus areas. Within the instructional technology concentration, students take classes in subjects such as instructional materials design, computer courseware tools, and online instruction for K-12 classrooms.
Regardless of their specialization, all students must pass the program's comprehensive exam. The exam consists of a 10-12-page paper in which students apply learning to an educational text. A student may, for instance, write a paper in which they critically disagree with the position put forth in a letter to the editor, explaining why the author's policy proposals would not improve educational outcomes for students.
To apply to the program, students need a bachelor's degree and GRE scores. The Curry School requires applicants to score at least 150 on the GRE verbal section, 145 on its math section, and 4.0 on its writing section. The University of Virginia holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Central Florida
|Orlando, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 70%||
The University of Central Florida hosts a fully online master of arts in instructional design and technology, with professional specialization tracks in instructional systems, e-learning, and educational technology. Most full-time students earn the degree in just two years.
The program begins with core coursework in instructional systems design and an exploration of current issues and trends in the field. In the educational technology track, students take classes in teaching and learning with emerging technologies and adapting and introducing existing technologies into classroom settings. All students must take three electives and complete a practicum either at their current place of employment or another educational organization in their community.
UCF pairs every online learner with a dedicated success coach. This adviser helps students select their specialization and electives, directs them to academic resources like online tutoring, and offers guidance on choosing a career path and finding employment after graduation. Online students also enjoy access to a writing center and research support from UCF librarians.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. While the university does not provide institutional scholarships to online learners, it waives most campus-based fees for students enrolled at a distance. The University of Central Florida holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Florida State University
|Tallahassee, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 80%||
Florida State University offers working professionals one of the most accessible online educational technology master's programs in the country. All courses in the program are asynchronous, allowing students to schedule learning around the demands of other responsibilities. Most online learners study part time, taking just 1-2 courses each semester and earning their degree in 2-4 years.
The 36-credit program features coursework in technology and design, theories of learning and cognition in instruction, and inquiry and measurement. All students must participate in a field-based experience and pass a comprehensive examination. For the exam, students must submit a portfolio of work, such as a draft technology curriculum or a digital tool meant to assess student progress.
Prospective students need a bachelor's degree and at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants must also take the GRE, earning a verbal score at or above the 50th percentile and an analytical writing score of 3.5 or higher. FSU waives the GRE requirement for individuals with five or more years of professional experience as an instructional designer.
The FSU College of Education provides more than $400,000 in scholarships, grants, and fellowships each year. While FSU offers most of these awards based on financial need and academic merit, some aid programs specifically serve public school teachers, students of color, and immigrants and their children. Some online students may also qualify for in-state tuition. Florida State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Georgia
|Athens, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 85%||
The University of Georgia's fully online master of education in learning, design, and technology prepares instructional designers for leadership roles in education, healthcare, government, and a variety of other industries. Most students earn their degree in two years. Students who previously completed graduate-level coursework may transfer up to nine credits into the program.
Instructional design and development students take classes in areas like development tools, video production, e-learning evaluation and assessment, and project management. To graduate, all students must maintain at least a 3.0 in their coursework and submit a product portfolio that demonstrates mastery of core competencies and skills.
Though not required, UGA encourages students to attend an instructional design conference on its campus in Athens. This conference allows students to meet faculty and classmates, participate in hands-on learning experiences, and network with leaders in the field.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and GRE or MAT scores, though students with an advanced degree or significant professional experience may request an entrance exam waiver. In addition, prospective students must submit a resume, goal statement, three letters of recommendation, and a link to an online portfolio. The portfolio should demonstrate at least a basic understanding of how to use technology to design content and the ability to learn in a self-directed manner.
The University of Georgia holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Texas A & M University-College Station
|College Station, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 82%||
Texas A&M University offers a fully online master's in educational technology with minimal barriers to entry. While all Texas A&M graduate school applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, this program does not require that prospective students take the GRE or maintain a minimum undergraduate GPA.
The 36-credit program begins with five required courses, building a foundation of knowledge in subjects like educational psychology, learning theories, and measurement and evaluation in education. Students may then design a course of study that prepares them for specific careers.
For example, a student who aspires to a role in instructional administration may take classes in program planning and assessment, while a student who plans to work at a for-profit education company may complete coursework in game design and mobile learning. Texas A&M also encourages students to participate in an internship, though it is not a requirement for graduation.
In addition to sharing transcripts from their accredited college or university, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. The essay should outline an applicant's reason for applying to a particular program at Texas A&M, their relevant academic and professional background and training, and their readiness to study at the graduate level.
While Texas A&M's College of Education and Human Development does not offer scholarships or grants to online learners, military veterans living in Texas may qualify for a tuition exemption even if they study at a distance. Texas A&M University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 38%||
At Western Governors University, students can work toward their master of education in instructional design almost entirely at their own pace. Through its competency-based approach to assessment, WGU allows students to advance through coursework as soon as they demonstrate mastery of key concepts and skills. In some cases, online students can earn an advanced degree in as few as six months.
The 30-credit instructional design program at WGU includes classes in design theory, analysis, and production. It also helps students develop critical research skills through courses in the fundamentals of a literature review and evaluation methodologies and instrumentation. All students must complete a capstone project, a design and writing assessment that requires students to apply graduate learning.
Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Though applicants do not need to currently work as educators, they must have access to a "community of learners," or a group of at least 15 children or adults, who will serve as the focus of the student's in-class instructional design work and capstone project. WGU does not require prospective students to take the GRE or hold a minimum undergraduate GPA.
The university offers many financial aid opportunities. For example, active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families may qualify for a military appreciation scholarship, and teachers can apply for a scholarship to continue their education. Western Governors University holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
California State University-Fullerton
|Fullerton, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 66%||
California State University, Fullerton's online master's program in instructional design and technology uses a cohort model, so students work closely with the same classmates throughout their graduate education. This approach allows students to benefit from the diverse backgrounds and expertise of their peers.
The program includes coursework in areas like issues in the e-learning and design process, instructional strategies for universal design, and emerging technologies in the field of instructional design. All students must complete a research project and a field-based practicum; online learners may satisfy the latter requirement at their current place of employment. While CSUF offers most classes in an asynchronous format, students must participate in an orientation shortly after they enroll and a research symposium at the midpoint of their studies.
CSUF requires prospective students to hold a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA during the final two years of their undergraduate program. In addition, applicants must write an essay explaining why they are good candidates for the program based on their experience and professional goals. Aspiring students must also participate in an interview during which admissions officers assess the applicant's knowledge of technology and their ability to succeed as an online learner.
California State University - Fullerton holds regional accreditation the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
|Champaign, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 85%||
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a fully online master of education in learning design and leadership with an optional endorsement as a technology specialist for Illinois educators. The program consists of 32 credits, and most full-time students earn the degree in two years or less.
In their first three semesters, students take required courses on technology and education reform, ubiquitous learning, and learning and human development with educational technologies. During their final semester, students choose electives that align with their personal interests and professional aspirations. Elective classes cover topics such as e-learning ecologies, new media and learner differences, and program evaluation.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 GPA during the final two years of their undergraduate program. Applicants must also submit a professional resume, three letters of recommendation, and a 500-word personal statement.
Students enjoy many financial aid opportunities. For example, the Al S. Davis Leadership Award provides support to students from underrepresented groups who plan to serve as educators in urban areas, and the William Chandler Bagley Scholarship offers aid based on academic merit and commitment to public service. Certain graduate students with demonstrated financial need and exceptional academic achievement may qualify for a full waiver of tuition and fees.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
George Washington University
|Washington, DC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 81%||
Through its online master's program in education technology leadership, George Washington University trains the next generation of instructional designers, curriculum developers, and school leaders. The program also equips students with skills applicable to training and development work in corporations, nonprofit organizations, the military, and government agencies.
The 36-credit program first provides an introduction to foundational subjects like applying educational media and technology, educational hardware systems, and developing multimedia materials. Students can then customize their learning through electives in areas such as instructional needs analysis, developing effective training with technology, and developing digital professional portfolios.
Most full-time students earn the master's degree in about two years. GW also offers two 18-credit graduate certificate programs in instructional design and educational technology leadership that students can complete in just one year.
The GW Graduate School of Education and Human Development requires prospective students to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, but it does not set a minimum GPA or require applicants to take an entrance exam. Candidates must submit a resume, statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation.
Online learners do not qualify for the university's institutional scholarships or grant programs, but they may receive application fee waivers along with forms of government aid, such as the federal TEACH Grant for students who plan to serve as educators in low-income areas upon graduation. George Washington University holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|Waltham, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 90%||
Brandeis University offers a part-time, fully online master's degree for aspiring instructional designers, educational technology specialists, and online course developers. In addition to asynchronous access to lectures and assignments, online learners may optionally join synchronous review sessions to interact directly with instructors and classmates. Brandeis limits class sizes to 20 students to create intimate learning environments and pairs each online learner with a dedicated academic adviser.
The 30-credit master of science in instructional design and technology consists of 10 courses. Six required courses cover topics like the principles of online instructional design, digital ethics and the legal landscape of instructional design, and managing instructional design projects. Students then choose four electives in areas such as learning analytics and adaptive and game-based learning design. All students must complete a practicum, either working as a consultant to an organization on a real-world challenge or developing a design solution to a hypothetical case study.
Applying to the program requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, a resume, a statement of goals, and at least one letter of recommendation. Brandeis does not require prospective students to meet minimum academic requirements during their undergraduate program or take the GRE. Non-native English speakers must submit results from an English language proficiency exam, such as the TOEFL. Brandeis University holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Michigan State University
|East Lansing, MI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 79%||
Michigan State University's online master of arts in educational technology helps educators develop the skills and knowledge needed to qualify for advancement without interrupting their career. In addition to a fully online offering, students can enroll in a hybrid program that combines distance education during the school year with face-to-face instruction in the summer months.
In both versions of the program, students must earn at least 30 credits to receive their degree. After completing core coursework in the theories of learning and educational research, students may choose from elective classes covering subjects like applying educational technologies to issues of practice, teaching students online, and creativity in K-12 computing education. All students must complete a proseminar in educational technology. This course requires students to prepare an online portfolio summarizing their learning in the program.
Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. This program does not require applicants to take the GRE. Students who previously completed graduate-level courses in educational technology may transfer up to nine credits toward the degree.
Online learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. Students already enrolled in a program at the MSU College of Education may apply for endowed scholarships and fellowships, but the university does not provide aid to newly admitted online master's students. Michigan State University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Appalachian State University
|Boone, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
Appalachian State University offers a fully online master of arts in educational media and instructional technology with three areas of specialization: K-12 education, online learning and professional development, and new media literacies and global perspectives. Students may also elect to pursue a more general course of study, choosing electives that align with their unique personal interests and professional goals.
Through classes in digital technologies in education and technology policy and the law, the K-12 concentration prepares students for teaching and educational leadership roles in public and private schools. The concentration also leads to licensure as an instructional technology specialist for North Carolina residents.
The online learning and professional development concentration allows students the opportunity to analyze the ethical and social issues related to distance education pedagogies and develop skills related to the creation of online learning communities.
Finally, the new media literacies and global perspectives area of concentration positions students for professional roles that use social media and other emerging technologies to educate and train. Coursework in this area covers subjects like media influence and identity across cultures and multimedia image production.
Attending this program requires a bachelor's degree and an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0. Prospective students must also submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, and results from either the GRE or Miller Analogy Test. In some cases, Appalachian may admit students with exceptional test scores and an undergraduate GPA as low as 2.5. Appalachian State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|Irvine, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 79%||
Brandman University hosts one of the nation's most open online master's degree programs in educational technology, providing numerous ways to qualify for admission. For example, a prospective student may apply if they hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs between 2.5-2.99 may also qualify with satisfactory scores on the GRE or other entrance exams. In addition, Brandman allows students to demonstrate their academic readiness through letters of recommendation, writing samples, and portfolios of professional work.
Once admitted, students in this 30-credit program take core classes in areas like research and evaluation methods, learning theory, and the social foundations of education. Within the teaching the 21st-century learner concentration, aspiring instructional designers also complete coursework in the application of technologies in educational settings and advanced design and assessment. Students must also complete capstone projects to synthesize and apply their graduate-level learning.
Brandman offers all of its online courses in an asynchronous format. Students may also choose to enroll in a hybrid program, combining online education with face-to-face instruction at one of the university's 18 campuses across southern California.
Regardless of where they live or how they choose to study, graduate students at Brandman pay tuition at the same rate. Active duty military personnel and their families, however, receive a tuition discount of approximately 40%. Brandman University holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
|Saint Louis, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
Webster University's online master's in educational technology helps students harness the power of technology in service of education. Through a curriculum aligned with standards established by the International Society for Technology in Education, the program prepares its graduates for roles as instructional designers, technology specialists, and teachers.
The 33-credit program begins with core coursework in curriculum design and technology ethics. Students then advance into more specialized topics, like graphic design for educators and video production for teaching and learning. As they approach graduation, each student can customize their course of study through elective classes, take a capstone course, and demonstrate their newly developed competencies by creating a portfolio of design work. Most full-time students earn their degree in just two years.
To apply to Webster, prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. They must also maintain at least a 2.5 GPA during their undergraduate studies. While Webster does not use the GRE to make admission decisions, it does ask that all applicants submit a resume, at least one letter of recommendation, and an essay explaining their reasoning for seeking a master's in educational technology.
Online students pay slightly higher tuition than on-campus enrollees. Along with a blanket tuition discount, military personnel and first responders may also qualify for additional scholarship funding. Webster University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
University at Buffalo
|Buffalo, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 75%||
Students at the University at Buffalo can pursue an education technology master's degree online and in one of three areas of concentration: content and pedagogy in technology integration, design and development in technology, and online education.
Before choosing an area of emphasis, students must complete foundational coursework in subjects like the educational uses of the internet, digital media in education, and equity and diversity issues in technology. Each student then selects four additional electives within their specialization. For example, a student focused on online education may take classes in digital content development to prepare for a role as the head of a college's online instructional department.
In addition, all students must complete a master's project. This capstone course provides learners the choice to write a research-based dissertation or serve as a technology consultant for an educational organization in their community. In either instance, students work under the close direction of a dedicated faculty adviser. Full-time enrollees typically earn all of the 33 credits required for their master's in just 18 months.
All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They must also submit two letters of recommendation and a statement of educational and career goals. UB does not require prospective students to take entrance exams or maintain certain undergraduate GPAs.
UB also provides several forms of aid to New York residents. For example, a student pursuing a master's in education who commits to teaching in a New York public school for five years may receive a scholarship that covers all of their tuition and fees. The University at Buffalo holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|Bloomington, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 77%||
Available in both residential and fully online formats, Indiana University Bloomington's master's program in instructional systems technology provides the flexibility working professionals need to continue their education. Full-time students usually complete the 36-credit program in two years, while part-time students may take up to four years.
In their core coursework, students analyze issues like the development of instructional interventions, the evaluation of performance improvement systems, and design thinking. While the residential program incorporates a year-long studio project, online students instead take elective classes in subjects such as adult learning and cognition in education. Online learners may optionally participate in instructional design internships, but they are only required for residential students.
Each applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and boast a 2.75 undergraduate GPA. They must also take the GRE, though IU Bloomington does not set a minimum score for this exam. In addition, every candidate must submit a resume, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation.
While the IU Bloomington School of Education does not provide assistantships or scholarships to online learners, all graduate students may apply for travel awards. Travel funds support students who plan to present at a national academic conference during the school year. The university also partners with the Pat Tillman Foundation to make additional aid available to veterans and active-duty military personnel. Indiana University Bloomington holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
|Malibu, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 85%||
Through its Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University offers an online master of science in leadership with a focus on learning technology. The program provides both rigorous and flexible preparation for aspiring chief learning officers in the public sector and directors of training and development in the private sector. Most students earn their degrees in just 20 months, though part-time students may take up to seven years to meet all of their graduation requirements.
At the beginning of the program, each enrollee must participate in one brief residency at the university's campus in Los Angeles. Learners then take fully online and asynchronous coursework in areas like rethinking the design of learning ecosystems, entrepreneurial leadership for innovation and change, and applied analytics and data visualization. Every student must also complete a capstone integration experience, which may involve a thesis, product design, internship, or presentation at a professional or academic conference.
Applicants must possess bachelor's degrees from accredited institutions. In addition, Pepperdine recommends that each prospective student maintain at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Candidates do not need to take the GRE, but they must submit two letters of recommendation and a statement of educational purpose.
Online students at Pepperdine do not qualify for most scholarship and financial aid programs administered by the university, but they may receive waivers for fees associated with campus-based services. Pepperdine University holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
East Carolina University
|Greenville, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
East Carolina University's online educational technology master's program provides project and field-based training for students seeking employment as technology specialists, instructional coordinators, and program directors. Most full-time students earn all 36 credits required for their advanced degree in two years.
Each class in the program requires students to create project artifacts or practical demonstrations of the skills and knowledge they developed in the course. For example, enrollees in a class on integrating technology into curricula must produce a staff development module that offers instruction to teachers on how to use digital tools to assess learning. A course on the administration of school technology programs similarly requires each student to draft a policy manual for a hypothetical educational organization.
Along with their coursework, each student must complete an internship, either by taking on a special project at their current place of employment or by helping a nonprofit organization address a challenge in instructional technology. Students must also write a final report on their internship, explaining the progress made toward stated goals while drawing on research from their graduate studies.
Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The program does not require students to submit GRE scores or maintain minimum undergraduate GPAs. ECU awards several scholarships to education students based on academic merit and financial need. East Carolina University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
|Blacksburg, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 84%||
The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, more commonly known as Virginia Tech, hosts an online master's program in instructional technology designed specifically for part-time study. Most students balance their learning with a full-time job, taking just one course each semester and two accelerated courses during a summer session. At this pace, students typically earn their degrees in three years.
The 30-credit program begins with an overview of subjects like design for learning and applied theories of instructional design. Every student must also take a research-intensive class, developing the quantitative skills needed to evaluate products and programs. Enrollees may then choose from a list of electives exploring topics like distance education, visual literacy, and the principles of learning message design.
Each student must create a professional development portfolio demonstrating that they have mastered competencies articulated by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology and met standards established by the International Society for Technology in Education. Faculty advisers also work with students to ensure that the portfolio serves as an indicator of expertise for future employers.
Every applicant must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. While Virginia Tech generally only accepts students with undergraduate GPAs of 3.0 or higher, it may provisionally admit students with lower grades. The program does not require the GRE, and students with previously completed graduate-level coursework may transfer up to nine credits from another institution. Virginia Tech holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of South Carolina-Columbia
|Columbia, SC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 75%||
In the University of South Carolina's online master's program in educational technology, students prepare for roles both in classrooms and in corporate, government, and healthcare settings. Because the program intentionally trains instructional designers for such a wide variety of industries, applicants do not need to hold teaching licenses or bachelor's degrees in an education-related field.
All of the coursework in the program is available online and in an asynchronous format, with instructors providing schedules for the completion of certain activities and requirements. Each class lasts eight weeks, and students typically take two classes during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. At this pace, most students earn their degree in two years.
The program's curriculum covers subjects like the application of learning principles, the design and evaluation of information access and delivery, and the management of technology resources. Each student must also complete a research seminar, internship, and one elective class chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser. The program also features a comprehensive exam in which students create and present online professional portfolios.
In addition to a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, all applicants must take either the GRE or Miller Analogy Test, though UofSC does not set a minimum score for these entrance exams. A prospective student must also submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement indicating why they want to study educational technology. The University of South Carolina holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|Irvine, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
Concordia University Irvine offers a fully online master of arts in educational technology with flexible start dates and no face-to-face requirements or synchronous class sessions. This makes the program ideal for students who want or need to pursue advanced degrees on their own terms.
The 30-credit program features a set list of 10 courses, allowing students to explore diverse topics within an intentionally designed framework. Classes explore curriculum assessment, brain-based teaching, and emerging learning technologies. After completing eight required courses, students enroll in two capstone experiences: a course that introduces students to the fundamentals of action research and a project where students put this learning into practice in a real-world setting.
Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.7, and a current teaching credential. Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation and a personal essay.
Once enrolled, CUI pairs each student with a dedicated academic adviser who provides guidance on enrollment options and program requirements. Online learners also benefit from career services like resume evaluation and interview coaching. While CUI does not offer scholarships to its online education students, it does partner with nonprofits, corporations, and government agencies across the country to provide discounted tuition to these organizations' employees.
Concordia University Irvine holds regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
SUNY at Albany
|Albany, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
Through the SUNY at Albany School of Education, students can earn a master of science in curriculum development and instructional technology either online or on campus. The online version of the program features largely asynchronous coursework, though some live interaction with instructors and classmates is required. Most full-time students graduate in two years.
To earn advanced degrees, students must complete a total of 30 credits, beginning with introductory coursework in systematic design of instruction, the fundamentals of program development, and educational computing. In consultation with their advisers, students then create personalized areas of specialization, allowing them to pursue personal academic interests or prepare for specific roles in instructional design. Finally, every student must either complete a capstone research seminar or write a master's thesis.
Each applicant to the program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and write a brief statement of their educational goals. Of the three letters of recommendation required for admission, at least one must come from a former professor or academic supervisor who can attest to a candidate's readiness to study at the graduate level.
UAlbany provides a variety of forms of aid to its graduate students. For example, the Carson Carr Graduate Diversity Fellowship supports students from underrepresented groups, and the Bridge to the Doctorate Program offers financial assistance to current master's students who ultimately aspire to earn a Ph.D. in a STEM field, including educational technology. SUNY at Albany holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of West Florida
|Pensacola, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
The University of West Florida provides a fully online path to a master of education in instructional design and technology with concentrations available in both human performance technology and distance learning. A full-time student typically completes this 36-credit program in as few as 24 months, taking two, eight-week classes each semester.
Students begin by completing core coursework in areas like applied instructional technology investigations, advanced instructional design theory, and the implementation of instructional technology projects. Students focused on human performance then work to acquire skills and knowledge related to employee training and development; those focused on distance learning take classes in digital video for instruction and web-based tools for educators. No matter the area of concentration, each student must also complete a field-based capstone project.
Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution; maintain at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA; and take either the GRE, GMAT, or Miller Analogy Test. A candidate with an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher may apply for a waiver of the entrance exam requirements. UWF also asks each candidate to submit a two-page letter of intent outlining their academic and professional qualifications, in addition to their reasoning for pursuing a master's.
UWF does not offer institutional scholarships to students in its online programs, but active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families may receive discounted tuition. The University of West Florida holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
What Else Can I Expect From an Educational Technology Online Master's Program?
While specific requirements and coursework will vary between programs and schools, these educational technology online master's programs prepare teachers and K-16 technology facilitators and resource personnel to integrate technology into an educational environment. The program can also be used for implementing technology into training programs in the private sector. The following is a general overview of what you can expect from most online master's in instructional technology programs.
CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY DEGREE
|Concentration||Description||Careers This Concentration Prepares For|
|Distance Learning||Concentrations in distance education focus on applying distance learning theories to the design, delivery, and management of distance education programs. Related coursework involves the investigation of theoretical concepts of online learning.||Distance education coordinator, eLearning specialist director, or manager|
|Curriculum, Technology & Educational Reform (Technology Specialist Track)||This concentration equips educators with a better understanding of technology and how to apply it in their workplace or classroom. Topics include the implications of emerging technologies on teaching and learning.||Technology specialist|
|K-12||Programs concentrating on K-12 environments focus on enabling graduates to integrate current and emerging technologies into curricula, instruction, and assessment. Graduates are trained to utilize school-based data and empirical research to assess the effectiveness of individual technologies in the classroom, as well as develop lessons that align with Common Core standards.||Technology resource personnel, technology facilitators, and training specialists and instructional designers in education|
|Multimedia||This concentration has students explore and apply multimedia learning theories to the design and development of learning solutions that integrate multimedia software applications.||Multimedia designer,
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER'S DEGREE IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
The following is a sample curriculum featuring many common courses in educational technology online master's degree programs.
- Introduction to Instructional Technology: This course presents an overview of the International Society for Technology in Education and the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers. Students will explore methods of incorporating instructional technology as a teaching and learning tool in school and non-school settings. The course also provides an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience utilizing software and technology as teaching tools.
- Mobile Technologies in Education: Students explore how mobile technologies, including wearables, tablets, and augmented reality applications, are used to teach in classroom settings and other informal environments. Learners analyze case studies and identify common strategies for integrating mobile technologies and how these are adapted based on economic, educational, and socio-political contexts.
- Distance Teaching & Learning: The coursework examines theory and practice of various forms of synchronous and asynchronous distance education models. Students interpret and apply theory, research, and standards-based effective practice to distance learning design, development, and evaluation. Topics include applying design and learning standards in a range of development and delivery tools.
- Instructional Design: This course focuses on applying instructional design principles to the development of instruction. Topics include foundations in learning research, learning situations and instructional models, innovations in software and hardware, and contemporary trends and issues in instructional design.
- Philosophies of Education: In this course, students examine the educational issues confronting society and philosophical problems. The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation for understanding concerns regarding modern society and education.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY?
Online educational technology degrees usually require students to earn 30 to 39 credit hours. Most master's degrees can be completed in two years. Some considerations that affect the length of an online master's in instructional technology program include the availability of summer term courses, whether programs require the completion of a thesis in order to graduate, and whether the student is pursuing a dual degree program. Another important factor is whether the program is cohort-based, which requires students to move through courses in a particular sequence with a group of their peers. Cohort-based programs tend to have a more rigid timeframe for completion. Students who prefer to set their own pace should select individually paced programs rather than cohort-based programs.
CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER'S IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY PREPARES FOR
- Certified Education Technology Leader: Demonstrates the mastery of knowledge and skills necessary to successfully build and implement modern K-12 learning environments. This certification prepares professionals for careers as chief technology officers, technology directors, chief information officers, and directors of digital learning.
Accreditation for Online Master's in Educational Technology Degrees
Online master's degrees in instructional design and technology can hold specialized accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The goal of the CAEP is to advance the preparation of educators through evidence-based accreditation, assuring quality and continuous improvement to strengthen student learning.
Online educational technology degrees can obtain accreditation through national and regional accreditation bodies, which ensures that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality. There are a total of 19 recognized accrediting bodies in the U.S., which are reviewed for quality by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, an association of 3,000 degree-granting institutions. A list of all accredited schools can be obtained through the DOE or CHEA websites.
Employment Outlook for Master's in Educational Technology Graduates
Many careers in education are attainable with a bachelor's degree, but most positions related to classroom teaching, school administration, and curriculum development heavily favor candidates who have earned a master's degree. As a result, unemployment rates are much lower for master's recipients working in education. The table below features data published in 'From Hard Times to Better Times', a 2015 report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW). As the table indicates, unemployment rates are better for education master's degree-holders across the board; please note that the master's degree fields listed below include those with specializations in fields like educational technology. For comparison, the unemployment rate for all occupations in the U.S. currently sits at 4.3%.
|Master's Degree Field||Unemployment Rate for Bachelor's Degree-holders||Unemployment Rate for Master's Degree-holders|
|Miscellaneous Education (Includes 'Instructional Development')||3.6%||2.3%|
|Language and Drama Education||4.2%||2.3%|
|Physical and Health Education Training||3.5%||2.6%|
MASTER'S IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY SALARY
Salaries in educational technology will depend largely on the employee's experience level, as well as other factors like degree attainment level, certification status, school size, and city/state of employment. The following table features career salary projections for five of the most popular careers linked to educational technology.
|Occupation||Median Entry-Level Salary (0-5 Years)||Median Mid-Career Salary (5-10 Years)||Median Experienced Salary (10-20 Years)||Median Late-Career Salary (20+ Years)|
|Instructional Technology Specialist||$47,426||$59,616||$57,394||$65,459|
|Director of Instructional Technology||$60,000||$71,000||$77,000||$74,000|
MASTER'S IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY CAREERS
A master's in educational technology will be suitable for any aspiring teacher, school administrator, or instructional developer with an interest in bringing technology to the classroom. Five popular career paths for online educational technology degree recipients are described below, along with their median salaries and projected job growth over the next seven years.
- Instructional Coordinators: Instructional coordinators are responsible for developing and implementing curricula and learning standards at elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools. They must be familiar with various forms of educational technology, and may also have a hand in designing new tools and platforms. They also analyze test scores and evaluate students to ensure their implementations are effective.
- Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: Technology plays an important role in K-3 education as students acquire foundational knowledge and skills in core study areas; most classrooms feature computers equipped with games and programs designed to help students build these areas, and many teachers have introduced tablets into their lesson plans as well. Kindergarten and elementary teachers must also craft lesson plans that incorporate learning technologies, and demonstrate how to use them for their young students.
- High School Teachers: In recent years, educational technology has become fundamental at the high school level. Students are required to complete assignments and projects using web-based sources, and most schools include tech-based courses as part of the standard curricula. High school teachers are responsible for helping students utilize technology in order to excel in their classes, as well as enabling them to use these tools and platforms as they advance to college or enter the workforce after earning a diploma.
- Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals: Principals oversee all day-to-day activities at public and private school across the country, including curriculum development and the implementation of educational technology. They also work with other administrators to evaluate overall student performance based on several factors, including access to reliable learning technology. They are also responsible for ensuring that their teachers are integrating technology in an effective, impactful way.
- Special Education Teachers: Today's educational technology offerings include various programs aimed at students with emotional, behavioral, physical and/or cognitive disabilities. Special education teachers lean on these tools and platforms as part of their daily classroom routine. They may also work with parents or guardians of students to help them integrate these helpful technologies into their home life.
|Position||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate|
|Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers||$55,490||6%|
|High School Teachers||$58,030||6%|
|Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals||$92,510||6%|
|Special Education Teachers||$57,910||6%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Many master's in educational technology online program graduates benefit from obtaining membership with a professional organization grounded in their field. These organizations grant access to academic journals and publications, invite members to attend conferences and networking seminars, offer reduced rates for certifications and professional development courses, share job leads, and provide advocacy on behalf of the entire profession. Three leading organizations in the field of educational technology are outlined below.
- International Society for Technology in Education: For more than 40 years, ISTE has bridged the gap between educators and computing technology. The society has produced comprehensive learning standards for students, teachers, administrators, coaches, and dedicated computer science teachers. ISTE also holds an annual conference, and offers a wide range of online courses and webinars.
- State Educational Technology Directors Association: SETDA is a nonprofit organization launched by state education agency leaders in 2001 that has spread to every state and territory in the U.S. The association provides resources focused on five core areas: equity of access, digital content, online assessment, interoperability, and digital learning. SETDA also strives to provide advocacy for various educational technology policies and implements, and also offers professional development opportunities for members.
- Association for Educational Communications and Technology: Founded in 1923 as the National Education Association's Department of Visual Instruction, AECT today boasts 24 state and six international affiliates. Member benefits include invitations to conferences and professional networking events, access to an extensive selection of online publications, scholarships, internships, and reduced insurance rates. Standard membership is available for $135 per year, while students can join for $75 per year.
Financing Your Online Master's in Educational Technology Program
An online master's degree in educational technology is a significant financial investment, and as a result many students must rely on financial aid to afford the various costs associated with these programs, including tuition and course supplies, housing, meals, and administrative fees. A large number of undergraduates and graduate students receive support through federal student loans, which ― unlike private loans ― carry a fixed interest rate. You can learn more about federal loan opportunities by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, a wide range of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs are available for students earning a master's degree in educational technology online. For more information about financial aid options, please visit the links below.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.
- Best Online Master's in Educational Technology Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location 1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 2 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 3 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC 4 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 5 University of Georgia Athens, GA 6 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 7 Texas A & M University - College Station College Station, TX 8 University of Houston - Clear Lake Houston, TX 9 University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign, IL 10 George Washington University Washington, DC 11 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 12 Brandeis University Waltham, MA 13 California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA 14 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 15 East Carolina University Greenville, NC 16 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA 17 Webster University Saint Louis, MO 18 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA 19 Appalachian State University Boone, NC 20 Brandman University Irvine, CA 21 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 22 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY 23 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL 24 SUNY at Albany Albany, NY 25 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA 26 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg, TX 27 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 28 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC 29 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA 30 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX 31 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR 32 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC 33 University of Oklahoma - Norman Norman, OK 34 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA 35 Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA 36 Ohio State University Columbus, OH 37 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL 38 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA 39 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 40 University of Dayton Dayton, OH 41 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC 42 California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA 43 University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, HI 44 Concordia University - Chicago River Forest, IL 45 Antioch University - New England Keene, NH 46 Texas A & M University - Commerce Commerce, TX 47 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS 48 Concordia University - Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN 49 Iowa State University Ames, IA 50 University of North Texas Denton, TX
- Best Online Master's in Educational Technology Programs of 2017
Rank School Location 1 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 2 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC 3 University of Georgia Athens, GA 4 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA 5 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 6 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX 7 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 8 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 9 California State University-Fullerton Fullerton, CA 10 University of Dayton Dayton, OH 11 University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia, SC 12 Appalachian State University Boone, NC 13 East Carolina University Greenville, NC 14 Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, IN 15 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA 16 Concordia University-Chicago River Forest, IL 17 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA 18 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA 19 Emporia State University Emporia, KS 20 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC 21 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN 22 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR 23 SUNY at Albany Albany, NY 24 Webster University Saint Louis, MO 25 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC