It you enjoy teaching or training and also have a passion for technology, educational technology may be just the field for you! This field involves the practical use of modern technology, particularly electronic and computer technology, to advance the twin goals of teaching and learning. Typically, individuals who specialize in educational technology also possess a teaching certificate for the elementary or secondary level. The focus of this career is on teaching others how to use various forms of technology, as well as integrating technology into the classroom to enhance the curriculum. As technology continues to be a prominent part of everday life, it is imperative students learn how to use it, and teachers in turn use it in their forms of teaching and assessment.
Some individuals who earn a degree in educational technology may prefer to work for a large company, teaching and training employees how to use various forms of technology and software programs. However, the majority of individuals who pursue this field are interested in becoming elementary or secondary education teachers. A career in educational technology goes beyond enriching the studentsí understanding of technology. Individuals in this field (who teach in K-12 settings) seek to integrate technology across the curriculum, so itís not a separate tool, but becomes ubiquitous. Pencil and paper cut across disciplines, and are so established we donít even think about their use; technology should follow suit.
One example of integrating technology into the classroom would be the teacher having students learn various software programs and type essays on the computer. The teacher may also turn to technology to improve the accuracy and simplicity of their assessment methods, such as using Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheets for recording the studentsí grades.
Who is a good fit for this Career?Individuals who would succeed in a technology education career are those who enjoy working with other people. If they choose to pursue a teaching position, they should of course enjoy working with children. Another trait that is important to have if pursuing a career in technology education is patience. Teachers and trainers in this field have to be patient with their students or clients who may not understand what is being taught quickly. Effective communication skills are also important in teaching.
How to Become a Technology Teacher
To become a technology teacher, you must earn your bachelorís degree in Education. It is helpful to have a double major in IT or even a technology minor. Some Educational Technology Programs focus on both how to teach, as well as how to integrate technology into the curriculum and your teaching.
Student teaching, which is like an internship in the education field, provides hands-on experience working with students and teaching. It is important to integrate as much technology in the teaching and learning process as possible during your student teaching experience so you can use that experience that when looking for a teaching job.Upon graduation, you will need to follow your state-specific guidelines for obtaining a teaching certificate. Oftentimes that means passing a series of state-specific tests and taking some history classes prior to applying for your teaching certificate.
Since the field of educational technology can include anything from teachers to trainers, there are a variety of job titles. Below are a few examples.
- Elementary school teacher with emphasis on technology
- Secondary school teacher with emphasis on technology
- Technology coordinator: School-based specialists who help teachers in their goals of integrating technology into the classroom
- Training and Development Specialist
- Training Manager
- Instructional Designer
- Instructional Technologist
- Educational Technologist
Day in the Life of an Educational Technology Professional
Below are examples of individuals who have careers in educational technology and their experiences and viewpoints about the field.
Other Educational Technology Categories
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