Expectations of a Master’s in Education Technology

While all online colleges and universities vary their individual programs to a certain extent, you can expect to learn about the following topics that will directly correlate with your work in the classroom every day.

First, you will learn to use the latest technologies as an instructional tool within your current classroom setting. Instead of using direct instruction as your primary teaching method, you will learn to implement technology into your lesson plans moving forward providing you with a greater range of educational resources. You might have students in your classroom learning through online mediums or learning through the use of a variety of educational software products. You will also learn to instruct using Smart Board technology as well as LCD projector systems- two items that are certainly becoming staples of today’s classrooms.

At this point, you will learn how to use the Internet more effectively as both an additional resource and teaching tool in your classroom. You will be able to lead students through research based projects or find educational games in which your students can participate to review key material that they need to know. If you have ever wanted to create a class website for students to access from home or away from school, you can learn to do that as well. On a class website, you can post such items as homework assignments, links to resources your students can use for class work, and upcoming test and quiz dates. This is also one way that you can keep lines of communication open with the parents and guardians of the students you teach.

Staying Ahead With Educational Technology

As technological organizations keep hitting the consumer market with various types of advances, it is essential to keep abreast of the latest pads, pods and perks available. Many regions require their schooling establishments to adopt the approach of incorporating computers as part of the educational system. Also known as educational technology, this subject has been the catchword since the abacus and calculator made their appearance a while back as the next best in advanced learning systems.

Although computers are toted to be the man’s new best friend, one still needs to incorporate intelligence into its usage as it remains no more a tool than a blender. Understandably, it is able to perform a whole lot more than a kitchen appliance but it only functions as well as it is intended to so long it is put to good use. Whatever advances made into artificial intelligence is still man-made. As the saying goes, the creation is only as good as its creator.

Employing teaching methods in accordance with educational technology, educators are able to utilize computing devices to paint a learning environment which can generate interest whilst imparting knowledge. Simply put, expounding on a science experiment from the pages of a textbook only presents it in a single dimension, two at most. By employing techniques incorporating more advanced technological means, students is brought to a higher plane of comprehension as they are presented a multi-dimensional view of the same topic. Complicated topics can also be touched upon as some cannot be reproduced in real life due to associated hazards or lack of resources.

The responsibility of trainers in this field is to apply skills towards generating moreadvanced learning systems. By employing their leadership role towards forging ahead to create and adopt better learning techniques, the assurance of producing a more learned generation is thus a step closer towards realization.

Educational Technology Promotes Visual Literacy

Visual literacy is the ability to analyze and derive meaning from information presented in image form. Under this definition, images can be “read” and through the process of “reading” these images, meaning can be derived and subsequently communicated.

One of the seven recommendations made in a report from the Office of Educational Technology (U.S. Department of Education, 2004) for continuing to improve the use of technology in schools is a distinct move toward digital content.

Moving Toward Digital Content

Anyone that has had a student in college recently knows first-hand that textbooks are becoming more expensive each semester, not to mention how quickly they become outdated. A move toward increased use of education technology and its digital content (multimedia and online information), and away from such textbooks, offers many advantages. In addition to the cost savings, it also means improved accessibility, increased efficiency, and enhancing learning opportunities in a format that engages today’s internet-focused students.

Because of the unprecedented rate of recent advances in educational technology, this move toward digital content also means that educators must increasingly promote visual literacy as indispensable to day-to-day life. Educators are just beginning to recognize the importance developing students’ visual literacy so they may survive, communicate, and succeed in a highly complex world.

Preparing Students for the Workplace

The DOE report makes it clear that educational technology consists of a set of strategic resources that improve a student’s “ability to sense, measure, question, understand, communicate, and learn.” These resources enable students to become scientists, focused on active learning, rather than passive consumers of textbook-delivered content. Students find it easier to learn core concepts because they are offered visual representations of ideas that provide more precision and clarity. Boring, passive memorization of content transforms into a dynamic, hands-on investigative process that exposes them to many of the same tools and processes that they will encounter in the workplace as adults.

Teaching visual literacy in the classroom means providing activities for students to critically analyze the images presented to them through media. It also means equipping students with the tools they need to present their work in a way that effectively communicates the content. More and more students are looking for educational technology to enhance their individual learning environments. As educators, it is our duty to provide it.