As education and workforce systems evolve, it is more important than ever for educators to keep up with modern digital trends. According to the U.S. Department of Education, technology holds “the power to transform teaching by ushering in a new model of connected teaching.” This “connected teaching” model is becoming increasingly prevalent in schools across the country, and today’s teachers and educational leaders need to stay abreast of the latest trends and skill sets available to them.
Obtaining an M.Ed. in Educational Technology Leadership online offers educators a chance to become informed changemakers in their field. They are offered the research acumen, practical skill sets and leadership training to implement technology in the classroom in strategic and effective ways that improve student learning outcomes.
- Anticipate Emerging Technologies
In today’s digital society, educators have limitless opportunities to select and apply digital tools in the classroom. However, teacher leaders must also be able to keep up with the latest technologies in order to connect them with the interests of their students and fellow faculty members.
An M.Ed. in ed tech leadership provides graduates with a deeper knowledge of multiple new and emerging technology systems and best practices for implementing them. In the Designing Online Learning course at Lamar University, educators learn how the use of technology for online and blended learning can enhance learning. Adapting content for online delivery takes more than a mere platform shift, with the right design strategies leading to richer learning experiences.
- Enhance Student Learning
Educational technology can enhance student engagement and academic success, as research shows. With the right tools and the right educator wielding those tools, students can collaborate with peers, explore creative solutions to problems, engage in critical thinking, participate in inquiry-based learning and synthesize information.
Instructors play a vital role in guiding student learning with educational technology. Educators trained in ed tech leadership are not only able to select appropriate technologies to meet student needs, but they are also able to maximize the effectiveness of those technologies. In doing so, they empower students to connect, engage with content and take ownership of their education.
- Develop and Improve Online and Adaptive Learning Formats
According to several studies, students who learn academic content with technological enhancements outperform students who learn content without technology. Implementing technology in the classroom enhances student motivation to understand and complete tasks. As a result, students in classrooms with technology are more likely to participate in higher-order thinking, communication, collaborative problem-solving and digital competency.
Lamar University’s online M.Ed. in Educational Technology Leadership program also offers a course on Sharing Resources for Digital Environments. The course offers practical guidance on choosing digital resources that augment learning and give it staying power rather than those that provide shortcuts.
- Train Teachers to Improve Schoolwide Technology Use
In a 2019 Gallup Poll, more than half of teachers polled attributed a lack of technological implementation in their classrooms to a lack of training in educational technology. Teachers want to adopt new technologies in the classroom, but they need the training to be able to do so effectively and with confidence.
Educators trained in educational technology leadership are uniquely situated to lead their schools and districts in technological curricular design and implementation. Teacher leaders with technical knowledge can not only advise school leaders on technological tools and practices, but they can also collaborate with their peers to ensure faculty are receiving the necessary training to utilize technologies most effectively.
According to the U.S. Office of Educational Technology, teacher leaders with a broad understanding of their own and their schools’ technological needs can design their own pilot studies, assess their school’s needs and act as models and peer leaders by training other faculty in educational technology.