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Educational software and technology can help teachers provide more engaging and enriching lessons. Teachers can use technology to simulate real-world learning opportunities and put research materials at students' fingertips. Technology also helps expand access to education, especially as schools struggle to adjust to remote learning amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
School systems spend $13.2 billion on educational technology each year. Nevertheless, successfully using technology in the classroom involves more than simply handing a student a device. The 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment survey found that the best student outcomes come from teachers and students both using the tools available.
A master's in educational technology teaches educators best practices for using technology in the classroom. This degree also helps curriculum supervisors and instructional coaches train teachers to use new technology successfully. Many industries need educators' expertise in developing online learning platforms and new software solutions for the education industry.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Educational Technology Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD|
|2||North Carolina State University||Raleigh, NC|
|3||Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL|
|4||University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL|
|5||University of Georgia||Athens, GA|
|6||California State University, Fullerton||Fullerton, CA|
|7||University of Virginia||Charlottesville, VA|
|8||George Washington University||Washington, DC|
|9||University of Houston-Clear Lake||Houston, TX|
|10||Pepperdine University||Malibu, CA|
- How We Rank Schools
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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology here. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Educational Technology Programs
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Johns Hopkins University
|Baltimore, MD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 93%||
The School of Education at Johns Hopkins confers about 1,000 degrees each year, including online master's degrees in digital age learning and educational technology. Students can complete this 36-credit master of science program in two years (with full-time enrollment) to five years (with part-time enrollment). Program and course objectives align with standards established by the International Society for Technology in Education.
Required courses utilize project-based and collaborative learning strategies. Core courses explore culturally responsive teaching, emerging issues in digital age learning, research, and advanced applications in digital learning. Required courses focus on skill development in instructional design, data-driven decision-making, integrating media, and technology leadership.
Johns Hopkins accepts applications on a rolling basis. Prospective students must complete an online application and submit a resume, 500-word essay, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts.
North Carolina State University
|Raleigh, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 81%||
Teachers and other individuals interested in pursuing online graduate study in educational technology at NC State can earn a 30-credit M.Ed. or a 36-credit MS in learning design and technology. MS students complete a thesis, and licensed teachers who enroll may add a technology endorsement to their license.
Students may specialize in digital leadership, inquiry, or design. Core courses include cultural investigations, instructional materials design and evaluation, and a field-based practicum. NC State offers additional courses in emerging technologies, staff development, and online instruction.
Applicants with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA qualify for unconditional admission. Interested educators should submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a 500-800-word professional statement to apply.
Florida State University
|Tallahassee, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 83%||
FSU offers an online master's in instructional systems and learning technologies that is designed for those interested in becoming instructional designers. Students can complete this 36-credit master of science degree in two years by taking two courses at a time on a year-round basis.
Learners must complete 18 credits of required coursework, 15 credits of electives, an internship, and a portfolio. Required courses introduce learning theories, instructional design, current trends, technology, and inquiry. Additional course topics include measurement, evaluation, and emerging technologies.
FSU seeks applicants with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. The school may waive GRE scores for experienced instructional designers and others with prior graduate study. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, resume, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Out-of-state residents may qualify for a reduced online tuition rate.
University of Central Florida
|Orlando, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
UCF offers more than 30 online master's degrees, including a master's in instructional design and technology with concentrations in educational technology, e-learning, and instructional systems. Designed for teachers, the fully online, 36-credit educational technology track requires core classes in instructional technology, specialization courses, elective classes, and a practicum.
Core course topics include current trends, research, statistics, data-driven decision-making, and instructional systems design. Students take professional specialization courses in emerging technologies, multimedia, and technology integration. Participants can choose from a variety of electives, although UCF does not offer all electives online.
Applicants must apply online and submit official transcripts, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. UCF offers several start dates each year.
University of Georgia
|Athens, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 86%||
Chartered in 1785, UGA offers 19 online graduate degrees, including a master of education in learning, design, and technology with a concentration in instructional design and development. Students can complete this 36-credit master's degree entirely online, although UGA encourages students to attend an annual on-campus conference.
This two-year cohort program requires students to take two courses per term. Students also complete a portfolio, which serves as the basis for a comprehensive exam. Course topics include learning environments design, e-learning assessment, research methods, and designing online courses.
As part of UGA's online application process, applicants must submit GRE or MAT scores, a goal statement and online portfolio, a resume, three letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts. Accepted students may transfer in up to nine credits.
California State University, Fullerton
|Fullerton, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 68%||
CSUF's College of Education offers an online master of science in education with a concentration in educational technology. The degree requires 10 classes, including a culminating project, research project, or thesis. Students can complete this cohort-based program — which aligns with standards established by the International Society for Technology in Education — in 16 months.
Core courses explore educational research, learning theory, and curriculum theory. Concentration courses cover technology in schools, instructional design, multimedia, web design, and professional development. Students engage with course content collaboratively and through a variety of current media.
Applicants with an approved study plan, a minimum 3.0 GPA in previous coursework, an approved major, and a teaching credential or other relevant experience may qualify for graduate standing. However, this program does not require applicants to submit GRE scores.
University of Virginia
|Charlottesville, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 94%||
UVA's School of Education offers a 30-credit master of education in curriculum and instruction with a 15-credit concentration in instructional technology. Full-time students can complete this fully online degree in one year, while part-time students may take up to five years.
Students take core courses in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and diversity. Instructional technology course topics include instructional design, courseware tools, online K-12 instruction, and instructional materials design. Students must pass a comprehensive exam to graduate.
Applicants should submit transcripts, GRE scores (or an approved alternative), a goal statement, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. Students may transfer up to six relevant graduate credits into this program. In-state and out-of-state distance learners pay for the same tuition rates, and Virginia K-12 educators qualify for tuition discounts.
George Washington University
|Washington, DC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 82%||
Offering education courses since 1904, GW currently awards an online master's in educational technology leadership. Students interested in leadership roles in schools, colleges, or other organizations can complete this 36-credit program in two years.
GW requires core courses in research methods, trends and issues in educational technology, educational hardware systems, instructional design, and computer applications. Students select four electives from topics such as education policy, needs assessment, computer interface design, developing multimedia materials, and developing effective training.
GW accepts students into this master's program three times each year and does not require applicants to submit test scores. However, applicants must supply a resume, statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts.
University of Houston-Clear Lake
|Houston, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Designed for experienced educational technology professionals, UHCL's online master of science in instructional design and technology prepares individuals already involved in areas of educational technology or curriculum development for leadership roles. Students can complete this degree in two years by taking two courses each term on a year-round basis.
Degree requirements include three core classes in education, three instructional technology core courses, and one elective class. Courses explore areas related to research methods, trends and issues, design, and project management. Students must also complete a master's thesis, research project, or practicum at an approved site. They also have the option to take a comprehensive exam.
This program offers three start dates per year. Applicants must submit transcripts and standardized test scores.
|Malibu, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 93%||
Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology offers a hybrid master of science in learning design and innovation. Students can graduate from this 32-credit program in 20 months; they complete the majority of their coursework online but spend one weekend on campus in Los Angeles each term.
Designed for individuals who want to implement instructional design tools in schools or other organizations, Pepperdine's program employs synchronous and asynchronous learning formats. Required courses explore topics like virtual learning, ethics, emerging technologies, applied analytics, and leadership. Students must also complete a culminating capstone experience.
Applicants must submit transcripts, two professional recommendations, and a 1-2-page goal statement. They may also submit a resume. Applicants hoping to receive an exemption on test score or GPA requirements (i.e., a minimum 3.0 GPA) can submit an exception request.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Educational Technology Program?
Teachers seeking a master's in educational technology understand that, when properly used, technology can help students succeed.
Teachers with classroom experience often pursue a master’s in educational technology to advance their career and improve their teaching ability. Many school systems reward teachers who seek out higher education with higher pay. The degree can also help teachers qualify for administrative positions in curriculum development and instructional supervision.
Teachers seeking a master's in educational technology understand that, when properly used, technology can help students succeed. They also enjoy sharing what they have learned with others, helping spark better instruction in other classrooms.
A master’s in education requires 30-36 credits. Schools may offer a master’s in education with a technology concentration or a separate master’s in educational technology. Online master’s in educational technology programs provide flexibility for educators as they continue to work while earning their degree. Many teachers continue to work full time while pursuing a master’s degree.
When evaluating potential programs, look for schools with regional accreditation and accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Many states require teachers to earn a degree from a CAEP-accredited program before granting new endorsements for a teaching license.
Many colleges recognize the vast applications of educational technology. They offer concentrations that allow students to focus their studies on specific subjects or populations. Popular concentrations include adult education, online learning, training and performance improvement, and K-12 education.
Master’s programs often require a capstone experience, which can involve writing a thesis, completing a practicum, or developing a professional portfolio.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Educational Technology Programs
While each school sets unique graduate admission requirements, most master’s in educational technology programs require applicants to have an undergraduate degree and professional experience. Some schools require applicants to have an active teaching license from their state and 2-3 years of classroom teaching experience.
Academic criteria may include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. You may need to take the GRE or MAT exam, although many schools have waived testing requirements amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
You may also need three letters of recommendation from professors, colleagues, or supervisors. Some schools request a statement of purpose, which outlines how the program aligns with your professional goals.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Educational Technology Program?
The following list provides a sampling of courses that you might take during an online master's in educational technology. Specific requirements vary by school and your area of specialization.
- Designing Technology-Rich Curriculum
Students consider how to integrate technology into classroom instruction to facilitate student learning. Based on the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers, this course promotes digital citizenship and explores digital-age learning and coursework. Course readings and projects develop skills in designing digital learning experiences and conducting appropriate assessments.
- Using the Internet in Education
The internet offers a wealth of educational resources teachers can use in their classrooms, from videos and multimedia presentations to historical documents and research journals. This course helps teachers understand internet technology like search engines. The class also promotes digital citizenship and explains policies that keep students safe online.
- Blended Learning Environments
A blended learning environment combines online and classroom instruction. Students evaluate educational research and discuss theories to develop best practices for this unique learning model. The course focuses on instructional design and pedagogy.
- Issues and Trends in Educational Technology
This research-based course looks at the history of educational technology, current uses, and future developments. Students consider the challenges posed by emerging technologies, such as augmented reality and mobile learning, as well as strategies to facilitate and inspire student learning. Reading assignments, class discussions, and research papers help students develop an understanding of how educators use new technology.
- Designing Integrated Media Environments
The use of multimedia in instruction can help lessons come alive and spark student learning and retention. In this course, educators consider how to incorporate elements such as video, audio, animation, and still images in lessons. Participants construct a variety of educational presentations, such as videos, apps, and websites.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Educational Technology Degree?
A master’s in educational technology prepares graduates for leadership roles in school systems, higher education institutions, and publishing companies. Instructional coordinators develop instructional materials used in classrooms, coaching teachers on how to use educational tools and collecting data to determine the effectiveness of curriculum materials.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 6% job growth for instructional coordinators between 2019 and 2029. School systems, government agencies, and curriculum publishers all need the expertise of instructional coordinators to meet school accountability standards and drive student achievement.
Explore how a master's in educational technology can further your career. Learn more about education careers here.
- High School Teachers
High school teachers need at least a bachelor’s degree and a state teaching license. These educators specialize in teaching students in grades 9-12. High school teachers often focus on a specific subject, such as math or English. According to the BLS, high school teachers earn a median annual salary of $61,660.
- Instructional Coordinator
Instructional coordinators work as part of a school system’s administrative team. They review textbooks and other classroom materials to ensure they align with state educational standards. Instructional coordinators also help classroom teachers integrate new materials, devices, and software. They offer mentoring and coaching to help teachers improve their skills. The BLS reports that instructional coordinators earn a median annual salary of $66,290.
- Training and Development Managers
Training managers work in almost every industry, designing and implementing comprehensive training programs for employees. They use their knowledge of educational technology to select training materials that best meet the learning styles of employees. They also track progress and measure training effectiveness. According to the BLS, these professionals earn a median annual salary of $113,350.
- Instructional Designer
Instructional designers develop training and educational material for schools, higher education, corporate training, and consumer instruction. They must master user experience design, program management, and content management. PayScale reports that instructional designers earn an average annual salary of $63,440.
- Postsecondary Education Administrators
These administrators work at colleges and universities to support student learning and success. Individuals with a master’s in educational technology may work in educational quality or distance learning offices. As postsecondary institutions expand their online learning platforms, they need individuals with expertise in developing and using educational technology to create course materials and develop course content. The BLS reports that postsecondary administrators earn a median annual salary of $95,410.
Educational Technology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Educational Technology Programs
- Is a master’s in educational technology worth it?
If you enjoy teaching, yes. Teachers can enhance their instructional skills and advance their career with a master’s in education technology. The degree helps teachers spark student success through the use of innovative software and technological tools. A master's degree can also lead to new roles as an instructional coordinator or designer.
- What can I do with a master’s in educational technology?
This degree prepares graduates to integrate technology into classroom learning or to design new educational tools. Career opportunities include instructional coordinator, educational technology designer, and online learning specialist.
- How many educational technology majors get jobs?
Educational technology is a growing field. The BLS projects 6% job growth for instructional coordinators between 2019 and 2029. Additional career opportunities include educational administration (4% projected job growth), high school teaching (4% projected job growth), and corporate training (7% projected job growth).
- How much money can I make with a master’s in educational technology?
According to the BLS, instructional coordinators earn a median annual salary of $66,290. Multiple factors impact earning potential, including education, experience, and location.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a master’s in educational technology?
According to the BLS, training and development managers earn a median annual salary of $113,350. Most of these professionals work for corporate organizations, and salaries vary by industry.