The number of high-tech tools for the education industry seems to be growing at an exponential rate, and many new or aspiring teachers might be wondering how to incorporate current technology in classrooms. The good news is that there are entire courses, and entire degree programs, that teach educators exactly how to make the most of tools like iPads, laptop computers, SMART Boards, and any number of innovative software solutions that enhance the way students learn about key concepts. There has perhaps never been a better time to wade into the world of educational technology, since these programs will help teachers better relate to their students, better adhere to state standards, and more effectively communicate key concepts in a modern way.
Educational Technology Courses: Increasingly Common for Undergraduates
While educational technology courses may have been offered only as electives even a half-decade ago, today they’re almost always required for aspiring educators in undergraduate programs. Most schools require at least three credits of work in educational technology studies, while some require up to nine technology credits that might also include computer science, computer programming, or productivity software topics. In educational technology classes, undergraduate students learn not only how to use tools like iPads and SMART Boards in the classroom, but also how these tools have transformed the learning process. They see demonstrations of these tools used in interactive, problem-solving environments, and learn how to create, share, and collaborate when creating high-tech lessons using online communities and teacher-centric resources.
Though these undergraduate courses are a great way for aspiring teachers to learn about technological developments in their future field, they aren’t available to existing educators who are being surrounded by new, high-tech opportunities. For those individuals, non-credit and graduate courses are the way to go.
Beyond Undergrad: Great Options Exist for Current Teachers
Thanks to the increased presence and importance of technology in the classroom, many schools have actually developed entire graduate programs that focus solely on educational technology. These programs are typically offered as a Master in Education, and include courses in both hardware and software. Teachers will learn advanced ways to use video, tablets and smartphones, laptops, SMART Boards, digital textbooks, cloud-based collaboration tools, and popular educational software suites like eSchool, Moodle, and more. Throughout the 36 credits often required of a graduate program, educators will become leaders in educational technology and may even fill a role as a high-tech advisor to their peers at school.
For those teachers who already have their graduate degree and still want to learn more about the impacts and features of new classroom technologies, all is not lost. Many schools allow teachers to enroll in educational technology courses on a non-credit basis, either online or in person. These classes may qualify for tuition reimbursement from some school districts, making them a great value for educators who need to more effectively leverage tech in the classroom as they relate to a new generation of students.
Coursework Can Make Educational Technology More Accessible
Teachers new and old can benefit from courses in educational technology, whether those classes teach actual classroom tools or broader concepts like computer science and programming. No matter how long a teacher as been in the profession, they can learn how to incorporate current technology in classrooms through undergraduate, graduate, or non-credit courses in this increasingly important area of the profession.