While healthcare continues to command the most jobs of all industries, employment in the fields of computer technology and education rank among the second and third highest, respectively, of all service-providing industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is welcome news for anyone interested in pursuing a degree, and eventually employment, in educational technology. A distance learning educational technology degree can prepare an individual for a rewarding career in education. The beauty of distance learning is its flexibility and convenience, which allow interested individuals to pursue college education while still working and caring for families or taking care of other obligations.
Regional accreditation is the most important type of accreditation for American colleges and universities, as it validates the program and ensures it will be worth the student’s investment of time, money, and effort. There are six geographical regions with accrediting boards throughout the United States, overseeing nearly 3,000 academic institutions, as of 2012.
National or specialized accrediting boards may oversee specific schools and education programs. Two well-known national accrediting boards include the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) for distance education programs, and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Specialized or program-based accrediting commissions for educational technology degree programs may include the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).
Types of Educational Technology Degrees
Students interested in pursuing distance learning degrees in education with educational technology concentrations may typically choose from the following:
Bachelor degree programs are typically Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Educational or Instructional Technology. The majority of distance learning education degree programs with a concentration in educational technology, however, are advanced degrees. These include Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Educational or Instructional Technology, Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational or Instructional Technology, and either Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)in Educational or Instructional Technology.
Educational Technology Degree Courses
Most students pursuing a distance learning educational technology degree initially take foundational educational courses that cover such topics as principles and pedagogy of education, theories of education, learning styles, and theory and practice in online learning. While the actual courses within an educational technology concentration will vary based on the school, some courses may include:
- Computer-Mediated Learning Environments
- Curriculum Design and Evaluation
- Educational Research Methods
- E-Learning Instructional Strategies
- Ethical and Legal Issues in an Online Course
- Instructional Design and Engaging E-Learning Activities
- Online Learning Communities in an Online Course
- Principles of Instructional Design
- Principles and Practices in E-Learning
Benefits of Distance Learning Educational Technology Degree
Distance learning allows students to enjoy the convenience and flexibility of 24/7 access to distance learning materials and studying when it fits into their schedule, instead of having to adjust their lifestyle to attend traditional classes.
Distance learning educational technology classes also allow students to benefit from educational technology even as they learn how to become a professional in the field of educational technology.
Careers for Educational Technology Degree Graduates
Graduates with educational technology degrees typically fill supportive “behind the scenes” roles, creating curriculum and managing the technology that allows instructors to teach students in the classroom or via distance or online learning.
Nearly 20 careers that graduates with educational technology degrees may consider include the following:
- Coordinator of Assistive Technology
- Corporate Trainer
- Course/Curriculum Developer
- Director of Academic Technology Services
- Director of Distance Education
- Director of Information Technology
- District-Level Technology Coordinator
- Educational Software Consultant
- Educational Technology Support
- Instructional Designer
- Instructional Program Manager
- Instructional Technology Specialist
- Media Specialist
- Technology Integration Specialist
- Technology Resource instructor
- Training Specialist