The 25 Best Online Masters in Educational Technology Programs
Just like everything else, the educational experience is changing and online study adds another dimension to gaining this experience. More and more, teachers are integrating new technologies into the classroom, and students are reaping the benefits of increasingly interactive and engaging learning tools. The days of chalkboards are long gone, but so too might be the days of white boards; and as a further sign of the times, “Blackboard” now stands for an online platform. If all this can get confusing, that’s understandable. No doubt, teachers may sometimes sense that their students have better technological intuition than they do.
A master’s in Educational Technology provides teachers with the skills to utilize, implement, and evaluate emerging learning technologies in their classes to optimal efficiency. More important, teachers will gain a theoretical foundation in educational technology, so when the next big thing comes out (inevitably right around the corner), teachers will have the background to make a seamless transition. It’s also worth noting the degree is not exclusive to K-12 educators: many programs are also appropriate for business trainers who want to leverage new technologies into their lessons.
Below are our top 25 online programs – because what better way to learn about the power of education technology?
- Affordability (1/3): the average out-of-state tuition per credit hour
- Completion Time (1/3): minimum amount of course work required for certification
- Academic Reputation (1/3): the rank of the school’s parent institution according to US News
1. Kent State University
Online Masters in Educational Technology
Kent State University, founded in 1910, is a public research university in Kent, Ohio, with additional campuses in Cleveland, Independence, and Twinsburg, Ohio, New York City, and Florence, Italy. The university also has a robust online education presence, with more than 30 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs available from a wide range of disciplines. (In total, the school offers 300 degrees, including 250 bachelors and 50 masters). KSU has received high academic marks from notable institutions: the Carnegie Foundation has ranked it in the top 80 public research universities in the country, and the Times Higher Education named it in the top 200 universities in the world in 2010. Further, as one of the largest higher education schools in Ohio (approximately 44,000 enrolled), Kent State boasts an alumni network of over 210,000 from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.
KSU’s online master’s in Instructional Technology is designed for working teachers who are looking to leverage developing technologies to enhance the classroom experience. The degree is also appropriate for those looking to develop skill sets in corporate training, multimedia production, web development, administration of technology centers, and elsewhere. In particular, the curriculum consists of 34 hours, 19 of which are required, such as Learning Theories, Designing Visuals for Instruction, Instructional Applications of the Internet, and more. From there, students have the opportunity to customize the degree to specific areas of interest through a variety of dynamic elective options (Digital Video in Education, Simulation Games in Education, Virtual Reality, Designing Multimedia for Instruction, etc.) Alternatively, students can substitute 6 elective credits with a thesis project. For maximum flexibility and to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, all online course work is 100% online and asynchronous.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $382
2. Northern Arizona University
Master of Education in Educational Technology Online
Founded in 1899, Northern Arizona University’s flagship campus is in Flagstaff, with a student body of approximately 20,000; further, the school’s Extended Campus, which includes online options and 30 satellite campuses throughout Arizona, serves an additional 7,000 students. As a leader in online education, NAU began offering online coursework in the 1990s and today has nearly 100 degrees across a broad spectrum of disciplines. NAU was also the first public university to offer competency-based credits, which awards academic credits toward relevant life and work experience. As part of that initiative, in 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the university with a $1 million grant to launch the Personalized Learning program, a dynamic educational platform that includes a customizable curriculum online at a self-paced schedule for a flat-fee of $5,000 per year.
NAU’s online MEd in Educational Technology consists of a minimum of 30 credits. Students also have the opportunity to tailor the degree according to professional interests through an emphasis in either K-12 or Adult Learning and Training. (Alternatively, for interested students, NAU has a graduate certificate in Education Technology that consists of just 15 credits.) Upon graduation, all students will have learned to: integrate software, media, and the internet into learning environments; think critically about how technology can benefit the classroom; and implement standard practices appropriate for directors and coaches in Educational Technology. (For reference, the curriculum and student learning outcomes align with with Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC).) All NAU online course work is designed for maximum flexibility, with working professionals in mind, and classes are capped at 25 students to support an intimate, collaborative setting.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $431
3 (tied). Bowling Green State University
Master of Education in Classroom Online
Bowling Green State University (colloquially Bowling Green) is located in the titular Ohio town, 15 miles south of Toledo. Founded in 1910, BGSU has been recognized by Washington Monthly, Forbes, and U.S. News, among others, for academic excellence; the Carnegie Foundation has classified it as a “high research activity” school. While supporting a relatively large student student body of 20,000 (1,000 online), Bowling Green maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of just 20:1, and 80% of the school’s 800+ full-time faculty hold terminal degrees. Students come from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide. The school’s is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which includes all online degrees.
Bowling Green’s online offers an MEd in Classroom that consists of 34 hours (11 courses), with a stackable certificate or endorsement which students can earn concurrently to build resumes. (A 3-in-1 master’s / tech endorsement / K-12 certificate is also available for interested students.) The pragmatic, skill-oriented curriculum includes classes like Technology Leadership and Professional Development, Dynamic Media, Real World School Tech, Information Literacy for Teaching & Learning, and others. Further, to fit the needs of working professionals, courses deliver in accelerated 8-week blocks, and students can complete the degree in as little as 18 months to set them on a career fast-track. Graduates will be qualified for roles as Ed Tech Innovators, Technology Coaches, and a range of leadership positions in their school district. The degree is taught by nationally-recognized experts in the field, with experience in e-learning, digital divide, dynamic media, and contemporary innovative teaching/learning issues.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $444
3 (tied). Boise State University
Online Master of Education in Educational Technology
Boise State University, founded in 1932, has student enrollment of approximately 23,000, making it the largest institution of higher education in Idaho. BSU is also the state’s fastest-growing research university and has more than doubled out-of-state enrollment in less than a decade. It recently joined a consortium with Purdue, Rice, Georgia Tech, the University of Michigan and Texas A&M in a $5 million effort to create longterm, hands-on applied research projects designed to provide undergraduate and graduate students with practical, real-world experience in their respective fields. In total, the school offers more than 200 degrees, including over 100 graduate programs and 157 certificates, with its education school earning especially high academic grades (#1 in the northwest region).
BSU’s online master’s in Ed Tech offerings include a Master in Educational Technology (MET) and an MS in EdTech, each of which consist of 33 credits. Some example classes include The Internet for Educators, Instructional Design for Educators, Theoretical Foundations of Educational Technology, and Evaluation for Educational Technologists, among others. From there, students have the opportunity to customize their degree through 15 credits of elective course work, plus a capstone research project / thesis to demonstrate mastery in the area of study. All online course work is designed for maximum flexibility (100% online), and classes are highly collaborative, engaging, and interactive. Prospective applicants should note that no GRE scores are required, and Boise State offers online admissions advising throughout the process. For those interested, the school also offers an online Doctorate of Education and graduate certificates in Technology Integration, Technology Integration, and School Technology Coordination.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $379
3 (tied). Western Governors University
MEd in Education Learning and Technology Online
Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit, and 100% online university based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and founded in 1995 by 19 state governors with the goal of creating a flexible, self-paced higher education degree. In particular, WGU distinguishes its offerings through competency-based credits that award students for previous life and work experience, which accelerates degree completion time, lowers costs, and reduces redundant course work. For its innovative work, WGU has been recognized by TIME Magazine, Fast Company, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and many more; and in 2011 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the university $4.5 million in funding. It is the country’s top producer of math and science teachers and won the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning from the United States Distance Learning Association several times. The school’s current enrollment is approximately 70,000, with over 60,000 alumni.
WGU’s online master in Education Learning and Technology is designed for working teachers, district technology coordinators, media specialists, and corporate trainers who want to learn how to integrate technology effectively into their careers. The curriculum consists of 30 credits (10 courses), with classes like Foundations of Instructional Design, Instructional Design Production, Research Design and Analysis, Issues in Technology Integration, and Technology Production, among others. Students must also complete a 6-credit learning and technology capstone project in order to demonstrate mastery of the subject material. Students committing 15 hours per week to the degree can expect to complete the degree in as little as two years, but motivated students can finish in just 1 year. All online course work is designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, and students complete all course work on their own time. WGU’s school of education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (the first exclusively online program to do so).
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $250
6 (tied). University of Arkansas
Master of Education in Educational Technology Online
Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville has a student enrollment of slightly less than 27,000, with nearly 7,500 students taking at least one online class. Despite large numbers, the university maintains a student-faculty-ratio of 19:1, and students have the opportunity to choose from over 200 degrees. The online school is available in both 100% online and blended formats for students who want a combination of traditional and online deliveries. (Colleges available for online course work include the College of Education and Health Professions; School of Law; Sam M. Walton College of Business; Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences; Fay Jones School of Architecture; and J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences). Notable alumni of U of A include Former President Bill Clinton, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, S. Robson Walton of Wal-Mart, Rod D. Martin of PayPal, and numerous U.S. congressmen and governors.
Arkansas’s online Master of Education in Educational Technology consists of 34 credits, focusing on instructional design, distance education, training and development, teacher education, and utilization of instructional technologies. Designed for maximum flexibility, students may complete the degree on full- or part-time schedules, and graduation time ranges from as little as 1.5 years to 6 years. Further, there are three entry dates in the Spring, Summer, and Fall (GRE scores not required). Upon graduation, students will be qualified to: design technology-integrated instruction programs; administer technology programs; research instructional technology trends; coordinate distance learning; and train and develop in corporate, government, and health care settings, among others. The curriculum aligns with the Curriculum and Instruction Department (CIED) of the College of Education and Health Professions; the program won the United States Distance Learning Association Best Practices Gold Award in 2011 and the Blackboard Catalyst Exemplary Course Award in 2009.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $400
6 (tied). University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Online Master of Education in Learning Design and Leadership with a Technology Specialist option
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, founded in 1867, is the state’s second-oldest university, with 150 undergraduate and 100 graduate and professional programs. It is widely regarded as one of the top public universities in the country, appearing on rankings in U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Academic Ranking of World Universities, QS World University Rankings, and more. It has also been listed as a “public ivy,” and is considered one of the top research universities in the US, according to the Carnegie Foundation and The Center for Measuring University Performance. Among its distinguished alumni and faculty include 21 Nobel laureates and 20 Pulitzer Prize-winners. Illinois graduates have gone onto found or lead such organizations as Netscape Communications, PayPal, the NFL, YouTube, THX, Yelp!, and more.
The university’s school of education offers a degree in Learning Design and Leadership (LDL) with a Technology Specialist option; the master’s degree consists of 8 courses (32 credits), though a certificate (3 courses) or endorsement (6 courses) is also available. Some example courses include Learning & Human Development with Educational Technologies; Learning with Mobile Technologies; and Learning & Human Development with Educational Technologies, plus a wide range of electives to customize the degree. Online courses are designed for maximum flexibility: synchronous virtual classes, asynchronous work, 100% online delivery, and available in accelerated 6- and 8-week formats to provide career fast-tracks. Further, online admissions are rolling (no GRE scores required). Graduates of the program will be prepared for careers as teachers, instructional designers, educational technology analysis, eLearning consultants, and online learning designers and developers.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $459
6 (tied). Lamar University
Online Master of Education in Education Technology Leadership
Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, has a student enrollment of approximately 15,000, offering 96 undergraduate, 50 master’s and 8 doctoral degree programs. It is one of just two universities in the state to have been named a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Further, Lamar was one of only 16 higher learning institutions to receive an “A” rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for core curriculum standards (715 schools were featured). Its online degrees have received special attention for its affordability and graduate programs, many of which are nationally ranked. In 2009, the school began offering a unique online dual credit program in partnership with the University of Texas at Arlington for high school students in the state, available for free through state funding. Its alumni base of over 75,000, and the average starting salary for Lamar graduates is the highest in Texas.
Lamar’s MEd in Education Technology Leadership consists of 36 hours, with classes like Concepts of Educational Technology, Multimedia and Video Technology, Information Systems Management, Teaching with Technology, and Digital Graphics and Desktop Publishing. The curriculum also emphasizes hands-on learning, and all students must complete two internships. Course material is available over Blackboard, which encourages a highly collaborative, intimate learning environment and supports a range of tools like group discussion threads, live chat rooms, and multimedia. Additional resources include online tutoring, tech support, career services, and an online library. There are application dates throughout the year to accommodate prospective students’ busy schedules. For those interested, there is a related MEd in Digital Learning and Leading.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $235
9 (tied). University of North Dakota
Master of Science or Education in Instructional Design and Technology Online
The University of North Dakota was founded in 1883 in Grand Forks. Considered among the top 100 public universities in the country, it has been ranked highly by Forbes, Princeton Review, and Washington Monthly. In total the school offers programs in over 220 fields of study, including 90 undergraduate and 54 master’s degrees, and has 40 online programs – MBA, Applied Economics, Educational Leadership, Forensic Psychology, Social Work, Public Administration and Nursing. The student body of nearly 15,000 represents 50 states and 85 countries; and with classes capped at 22, the educational experience remains highly intimate and collaborative. Its alumni are spread throughout politics, business, science, the arts, and athletics, including 8 governors of North Dakota, a former Deputy National Security Advisor at the White House, NBA coach Phil Jackson, aviator Carl Ben Eielson, journalist Chuck Klosterman, and more.
North Dakota offers an MS or MEd in Instructional Design & Technology consists of 34-36 credits, which can be completed in as little 2 years. (For those interested, UND also offers a fully online Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design & Technology for 12 credits). Some potential areas of study include Technology and Information Systems, Technology in Higher Education, and Leading Curriculum and Learning, with a special emphasis on course work that falls in the crosshairs of education, psychology, and communications. In particular, graduates will be prepared to: leverage the latest technology for educational purposes; analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate technology-based instruction; build computer, video, web, and video-game based learning methods, and more. Online course work at UND is both supportive and flexible, mirroring on-campus benefits. All students have access to career services, academic advising, online tutoring, an e-library, tech support, and counseling, among others. Please note that the college is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the curriculum aligns with the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $400
9 (tied). University of North Texas
The University of North Texas in Denton dates back to 1890. Originally a teaching college, the school went through several incarnations throughout the 20th century – alternatively North Texas State Teachers College, North Texas State College, and North Texas State University – until becoming UNT in 1989. The university is subdivded into 10 colleges, two graduate schools, and an academy, covering the sciences, engineering fields, liberal arts, fine arts, performing arts, humanities, public policy, and more. (There are an additional 34 doctorate programs.) UNT’s enrollment is around 38,000, and its 326,000 alumni can be found in a wide range of careers; over 200,000 live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Some notable graduates include the musicians Roy Orbison and Michael Lee Aday (bettern known as “Meat Loaf”); Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi ambassador to the United States and former adviser to the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia; NASA professional James Pawelczyk; architect O’Neil Ford; and Bishop Leontine T. Kelly, among others.
UNT’s MS in Learning Technologies consists of 36 hours (12 courses), 100% online, and designed for professionals looking to gain skills like: courseware and media design to support teaching, learning, and training; design and management of instructional systems; instruction development and implementation; and ed tech issues analysis. Core classes (24 hours) include Learning and Cognition, Multimedia in Technology Applications, Analysis of Research in Educational Technology, Technology Based Learning Environments, and New Technologies of Instruction, among others. From there, students have the opportunity to customize their degree through choosing a specific track in either Instructional Systems, Instructional Systems Design, Instructional Systems Technology, or Teaching and Learning with Technology. All UNT online course work is designed for maximum flexibility, and students complete studies on their own time. Further, an accelerated track is available for students looking to fast-track their careers (combination of 3-, 8-, 10-, and 16-week deliveries); on a full-load, this option can be completed in as little as 14 months. Students opting for the normal pace complete work in 24 months.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $635
11. Iowa State University
Iowa State University, founded as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm in 1858, is located in Ames. The university is highly regarded, ranked in the top 50 public schools by Washington Monthly, and the Carnegie Foundation classifies ISU in its R1 category for its high research activity. The Academic Ranking of World Universities, QS World University Rankings, and Times Higher Education World University Rankings highly rate the school as well, and it is one of only 62 elected members of the Association of American Universities, a North American organization of leading research universities dedicated to excellent academic research and education. Iowa State has a student enrollment of approximately 36,000 and robust alumni network. Among its graduates include George Washington Carver, astronaut Clayton Anderson, suffragette Carrie Chapman Catt, former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, and Senator Tom Harkin, among other Pulitzer Prize winners, statesmen, academics, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and more.
ISU’s online MEd in Curriculum and Instructional Technology (32 credits, 11 courses) is designed for working teachers who want to expand their knowledge base in EdTech and classroom integration. Some classes include Designing Effective Learning Environments; Using Technology in Learning and Teaching; Principles and Practices of Flexible and Distance Learning; Technology Diffusion, Leadership and Change; Creative Component; and more. Course work is mostly asynchronous for student schedule flexibility and delivered via Blackboard or Moodle, which encourages a collaborative learning environment with group discussion threads, live chat rooms, and other multimedia. (Note that some classes may require traditional face-to-face meetings on Saturdays.) Further, with graduet classes limited to 15-18 students, ISU’s instructors can devote one-on-one attention to students. Students can typically complete course work in 3 years, with accelerated classes over summer semesters. Note also that all students benefit from in-state tuition.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $452
12. University of Florida
The University of Florida, in Gainesville, was founded in 1853. Today, as a member of the Association of American Universities, it is considered one of the very best public higher learning institutions in the country:U.S. News, Washington Monthly, Forbes, and many others all give UF high academic grades. It’s also considered one of the best bangs for your buck: Kiplinger’s and the Fisk guide each ranked it #3 on their respective affordability lists, and 66% of students graduates with zero debt. There are over 200 academic programs available, including 123 master’s degree programs and 76 doctoral degree programs. Perhaps most important, UF boasts one of the most active and loyal alumni bases in the country, with over 330,000 graduates from all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide, giving students an extensive network to jumpstart or continue their careers. (Or sometimes employers come looking on their own accord: corporations rank Flordia in the top 10 colleges for recruiting new employees.) Some notable alumni include Joe Scarborough, Marco Rubio, Bob Graham, Beverly Perdue, two Nobel Prize-winners, orty-two U.S. Representatives, eight U.S. ambassadors, eleven state governors, and more.
The university offers an online MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Educational Technology, which consists of 36 credits – 9 C&I core, 12 EdTech core, 12 EdTech electives, and a 3-credit culminating experience, which is a 16-week practicum in Educational Media and Instructional Design that gives students the opportunity to gain valuable real-world experience in the field. Some example classes include Designing Integrated Media Environments, Blended Learning Environments, Internet in K-12 Instruction, and Games and Simulations for Teaching and Learning, among others. Alternatively, Florida also offers an online EdD, EdS, and 4 related graduate certificates: K-12 Teaching with Technology, Instructional Design, Managing Distance Education Environments, and Online Teaching and Learning, all of which are 12 credits. All course work is designed for working professionals with busy schedules, and students are able to complete the degree in two years or less. Additional resources include career services, online tutoring, and student counseling.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $690
13 (tied). University of Maryland – University College
MEd in Instructional Technology Online
The University of Maryland – University College, commonly UMUC, is located in Adelphi, with satellite campuses in Baltimore, D.C., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; in total, 142 locations in over 20 countries. With over 90,000 students worldwide, UMUC is a leader in online education, with 90 degrees, certificates, and specializations in Business and Management, Education and Teaching, Liberal Arts and Communications, and IT and Computer Science, among other areas. In fact, UMUC began its pioneering distance learning program in the dial-up days of the internet. All UMUC courses are designed specifically for adult-learners, and 92% of its student body is also employed full-time. Consequently course work is highly flexible, with a career-focused curriculum, and students complete studies according to their own schedules.
UMUC’s online Master of Education in Instructional Technology is designed primarily for K-12 teachers and consists of 33 credits (11 courses). Classes include Teaching Information and Media Literacies in the Digital World; Web-Based Teaching and Learning: Design and Pedagogy; Using Technology for Instructional Improvement; Technology in K-12 Education; Hardware and Software in Instructional Development; Leading Technology Change in Schools, and more. All students must also complete an intergrative capstone project to gain valuable, practical experience in the field. Graduates will be able to: integrate current and emerging technologies into curriculum, instruction, and assessment (mobile, multimedia, web-based, etc.); assess effectiveness of individual technologies in the classroom through school-based data and empricial research; develop lessons that align with Common Core standards; and lead EdTech initiatives on an administrative level at schools and in school districts. For those interested, UMUC offers related degrees like a Master of Science in Learning Design and Technology, Master of Distance Education and E-Learning (with three specializations), and an MAT. This degree aligns with standards set by the NCATE and is a candidacy for accreditation.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $659
13 (tied). Purdue University
Online MSc in Education in Learning Design and Technology
Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, was founded in 1869. Today it offers over 200 bachelor’s degrees and 70 master’s and doctoral programs. (19 programs are exclusively online.) With a student body of nearly 40,000, it is the second-largest school in the state and has the 4th largest international student population in the country. Further, its alumni network of over 450,000 is considered one of the most active and loyal in the country – the Princeton Review ranked it 11th overall. This isn’t a blip. In general, Purdue – already regarded as one of the top research universities in the world – excels in career placement and professional training. The Wall Street Journal ranked the school 4th for preparing students for the workforce, and the Princeton Review has it 19th in career services. It has also been recognized for affordability, best value, and earning potential. Graduates hold 15,000 US patents and include 23 astronauts, Nobel Prize winners, and three Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.
Purdue’s MS in Education in Learning Design and Technology incorporates the newest in learning theory, educational technology, and instructional design principles, designed for instructors from any background – education, business, government agencies, military, etc. The 33-credit curriculum consists of classes like Learning Theories and Instructional Design, Strategic Assessment and Evaluation, Advanced Practices in Learning Systems Design, and several practicum experiences and portfolio sessions to gain practical, hands-on work. From there, students also have the opportunity to tailor the degree to areas of professional interest through a wide range of electives. Courses are designed for maximum convenience and flexibility to allow students to balance their studies and careers. Coursework is asynchronous with assigned due dates, and material is available online 24/7. Further, with online group discussion threads, live chat rooms, and virtual classrooms, the degree encourages collaborative learning in an intimate setting. The degree is accredited by the the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $650
15. University of Missouri
The University of Missouri, founded in 1839, was the first public university west of the Mississippi River, in Columbia. (There are satellite campuses in Rolla, Kansas City, and St. Louis.) Classified as an R1 by the Carnegie Foundation, it is widely regarded as one of the top public schools in the country and holds membership in the exclusive Association of American Universities. The student body stands at approximately 36,000, and the alumni network is extensive: there are over 300,000 graduates worldwide, including figures as diverse as Jim Lehrer, Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Martin Heinrich, Brad Pitt, Jon Hamm, and astronaut Linda M. Godwin. Mizzou also offers a robust online program, with 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees available – the second most in the SEC and third in the AAU among public univerisities. Per year, over 15,000 students take at least one online course and about 800 earn degrees, with an average age of 34 (most being working professionals).
Missouri offers three related master’s in education tech, in Learning Systems Design & Development (primarily concerned with programming development), Online Educator, and Technology in Schools, each of which are 30 credits. Example classes from the last two options include Teaching Online Courses, Learning with the Internet, Instructional Systems Design, Designing Online Learning, and Intro to Web Development, among others. (Note that in addition to these options, Mizzou also offers graduate certificates and an EdSp for some specializations.) Some courses deliver in accelerated 8-week blocks to provide a career fast-track. There are also elective opportunities to further tailor course work to the student’s area of professional interest. Further, Blackboard delivery encourages a collaborative educational environment through group discussion threads, live chat rooms, and multimedia. Other student resources include academic advising, online tutoring, a writing center, and e-library.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $587
16. University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota is the state’s flagship public school (and oldest), located in Vermillion, about an hour southwest of Sioux Falls. Founded in 1862, USD has a student enrollment of approximately 10,000 and maintains a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, meaning small class sizes, individualized instruction, and intimate, collaborative learning. Of the 450+ faculty, 82% have earned terminal degrees in their field. There are over 200 undergraduate and 60 graduate programs offered from 7 colleges and schools in medicine, arts and sciences, business, fine arts, health sciences, law, and education. USD’s alumni network of 62,000 is active and eager to help recent graduates begin or continue their careers. (97% of USD graduates find job placement or continue an advanced degree.) Among some of the school’s notable graduates include Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today; Tom Brokaw, author, broadcaster, and longtime anchor of NBC Nightly News; 9 Rhodes Scholars; a Nobel Prize winner; and several US congressmen.
South Dakota’s online MS in Technology for Education and Training is designed for current educators looking to incorporate current and emerging technologies into instruction, with a focus on instructional systems and the principles of learning design. The curriculum is broad-based, practical, and hands-on, so graduates are prepared to utilize a number of skills: leveraging technologies to gain access to electronic information resources; applying learning theories and models for instruction; designing, developing, implementing, and assessing multimedia instructional content; and leading educational change on an organizational level through distance learning. USD’s online courses are designed for flexibility, with working professionals in mind. Student resources online include testing services, a writing center, orientation and readiness guide, tech support, and student services.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $442
17. Penn State World Campus
Penn State’s World Campus is the university’s online campus, launched in 1998, with students from all 50 states, more than 60 countries, and 7 continents. One of the leaders in distance education, Penn State offers 120 online undergraduate and graduate degrees, plus professional certificate programs. In fact, Penn State has been providing distance education opportunities since 1892 – a solid century before dial-up – when the university began the nation’s first correspondence study programs to farmers throughout Pennsylvania. Still, online students can take advantage of the many resources on-campus have, including an alumni network of more than 645,000, all of whom are highly active and loyal to the Penn State community. And once Penn State graduates start their careers, they hit the ground running: according to a survey by the Wall Street Journal, PSU graduates are ranked #1 by recruiters for professional preparedness.
The university’s MEd in Learning, Design, and Technology is designed for instructors in any setting – K-12, corporate, military, and in the community. The 30-credit curriculum consists of a core in Systematic Instructional Development or Systematic Instructional Development for Teachers, Emerging Web Technologies and Learning, and Designing Constructivist Learning Environments. From there, the degree is highly customizable, with 21 credits of electives to fit students’ professional areas of interest; classes include Educational Technology Integration, Learning Design Studio, Gaming to Learn, and Theoretical Foundations of Learning, Design, and Technology, among others. All course work is asynchronous, so students are able to complete studies according to their own schedules, either individually or in peer-to-peer sessions online. For those interested, the World Campus offers related post-baccalaureate certificates in Educational Technology Integration and Distance Education, plus a master in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $805
18. Kansas State University
Online MSc in Curriculum and Instruction with Digital Teaching and Learning specialization
Kansas State University, in the other Manhattan, is the state’s oldest public university, founded in 1863. Classified as an R1 research university by the Carnegie Foundation, KSU is first in the country among public universities for its 124 total Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall scholars, and it has been ranked well by U.S. News, Washington Monthly, Forbes, Academic Ranking of World Universities, QS World University Rankings, and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. There are more than 250 undergraduate majors and minors, plus 65 master’s degrees, 45 doctoral degrees, and 22 graduate certificates. The student body of 24,300 comes from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Over the years, alumni have included governors, senators, the vice-president of Liberia, a chief White House photographer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and more.
K-State’s online MS in Curriculum and Instruction has a specialization option in Digital Teaching and Learning, which consists of a minimum of 31 credits. Core classes are Emerging Technologies in Education, plus seminars in Educational Computing, Design, and Distance, and Technology Change, Research, and Theory. From there students complete the specialization elective block, with classes like Digital Video in the Classroom, Mobile Learning, and K-12 Virtual Classroom, among others. The degree is designed specifically for current teachers (a teaching license is required for admission), and students will particularly focus on how to apply emerging technologies to instruction, applying theory to practice, and analyzing, evaluating, and fostering technology use to create new models of leadership for learning. Graduates have taken leadership roles in technology integration and in technology-focused schools. Others have become technology directors, technology lead teachers, and curriculum technologists. For those interested, KSU offers related master’s degrees in Educational Leadership and Adult and Continuing Education, plus a graduate certificate in Online Course Design.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $529
19. University of Central Missouri
Master of Science in Educational Technology Online
The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg is about 50 miles southeast of Kansas City, home to approximately 14,000 students from 42 states and 61 countries. At 16:1, the student-to-faculty ratio is excellent, meaning more one-on-one instruction and small classes; and of the nearly 500 faculty members on staff, over 70% hold a PhD or terminal degree in their field. There are 150 programs available – from bachelor’s and master’s degrees, education specialist options, and/or a cooperative doctorate; these include 10 pre-professional programs, 27 teacher certifications, and 37 graduate programs. UCM also prides itself on having the lowest tuition in the state, and 92% of students receive some form of financial aid or merit-based scholarships, which total more than $5 million per year.
Central Missouri’s online MS in Educational Technology, which began in 1998, consists of a minimum of 30 hours and is designed primarily for K-12 teachers looking to effectively integrate technology into their classroom. Classes include Foundations of Ed Tech, Communication in Online Learning, Assessment and Evaluation of Online Instruction, Education Product Development and Management, Online Course Development, and more. In addition, all students must complete an internship in the field to gain real-world, hands-on experience, plus take 6 credits of electives to customize the degree to areas of professional interest. Graduates of the program will be prepared to lead educational moves toward technology and create and support effective digital-age learning environments. Students should also be able to develop, implement, and evaluate ed tech initiatives. With course work delivering through Blackboard, the degree encourages both self-paced and collaborative learning through group discussion threads, live chat rooms, and virtual classrooms. For those interested, CMU also offers a graduate certificate in Online Teaching & Learning (15 hours) and EdS in Educational Technology (30 hours).
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $324
20 (tied). Ball State University
Online Master of Arts in Technology Education
Ball State University is located Muncie, Indiana, with satellite campuses in Fishers and Indianapolis. Founded in 1918, the university is classified as a high research activity university by the Carnegie Foundation, is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and has been ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the top colleges in its region. Its student body of 21,000 represents 48 states, 43 countries, and each of Indiana’s 92 counties. There are 180 undergraduate majors and preprofessional programs and more than 100 master’s and doctoral degrees from 7 different colleges. Of particular note are the school’s 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio and 90% record of professors teaching classes, both of which are impressive for a school of its size. Also noteworthy is Ball State’s unique emphasis on immersive learning programs, which incorporate research, projects with community partners, and capstone experiences throughout each degree in order to provide hands-on experience and prepare students for real-world scenarios. There are nearly 200,00 current alumni, and past graduates have included David Letterman, John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John’s, Kent C. Nelson, former president and CEO of UPS, and numerous government officials.
Ball State’s online MA in Technology Education is designed for working, licensed technology teachers (6-12), ideally teaching in areas like pre-engineering, manufacturing, communications technology, drafting, design, energy systems, or wood technology. The curriculum is 100% online for flexibility and convenience, and consists of 30 hours: Technology: Use and Assessment; Implementing Technology Education; History and Philosophy of Technology Education; Strategies and Materials for Teaching Technology Education; Curriculum Development in Technology Education; and Seminar in Technology Education. From there, students have several research requirements, a thesis (optional for prospective doctoral candidates), and directed electives. (Note that the program allows for relevant, previously-earned academic credit to be transferred into the degree, pending approval.) For those interested, BSU also offers a MA in Career and Technical education. This degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $590
20 (tied). Michigan State University
MA in Educational Technology Online
Founded in 1855 as the country’s first land-grant institution, Michigan State University, in East Lansing, has a student enrollment of approximately 50,500, the eighth-largest in the United States. Of its 200+ available degrees, MSU’s programs in elementary teacher’s education, secondary teacher’s education, industrial and organizational psychology, nuclear physics, political science, criminal justice, hospitality, and dietetics are particularly well-regarded; and the school has been highly ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Washington Monthly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and QS World University Rankings, among others. Michigan State has also collected a fair share of academic awards: 42 Goldwater scholarships, 17 Rhodes, 18 Churchill, 16 Truman, 16 Marshall, 12 Udall, and more. There are currently over a half of a million alumni worldwide, giving students a nearly unprecedented network of employment opportunities. Past graduates include billionaire philanthropists Tom Gores and Eli Broad, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford, Quicken Loans founder and billionaire Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, and numerous politicians, professional athletes, and artists.
MSU’s Master in Educational Technology is 100% online and can be completed in as little as two years or as many as five. Core requirements include Learning in School and Other Settings, Technology and Leadership, Teaching K-12 Students Online, Approaches to Educational Research, and a capstone in Educational Technology. From there, students have the opportunity to tailor the degree according to professional interests. For students that are K-12 teachers in the state, many choose to complete the NP Endorsement, which aligns with standards set by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Course work is flexible, and graduates of the program have gone on to roles like Technology Integration Specialists in schools and/or at the school district level, Technology Directors, Instructional Designers, Department Heads, Technology Consultants, and ed tech advisors. For those interested, Michigan State also offers a 3-course Certificate in Serious Games and hybrid cohort classes over the summer.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $767
20 (tied). Fort Hays State University
Online Master of Science in Instructional Technology
Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, is the fourth-largest public university in the state, with approximately 11,200 students enrolled. Of that number, over 6,000 are enrolled in FSHU’s online program, which is a robust distance learning school with more than 40 online associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees granted from four colleges – Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Business and Entrepreneurship; Education and Technology; and Health and Life Sciences. The school’s online demographic represents a diverse bunch, from over 27 countries and between the ages of 18 to over 70; but, regardless of age or origin, everyone benefits from Fort Hays’s exceptionally affordable tuition model, which placed in the lowest 2% in the U.S. Further, with over 20 years of experience in distance learning, FHSU is a nationally recognized leader in online education.
Fort Hays’s online MS in Instructional Technology is designed for teachers, trainers, or any professionals interested in utilizing instructional technology. All classes are delivered exclusively online, both for maximum flexibility and to introduce students to open educational resources (OERs) that can be immediately integrated into the workplace or classroom settings. The 36-credit, 12-course curriculum includes classes in Utilization of Technology, Educational Research, Instructional Technology Theory and Practice, Educational Leadership, and Design and Assessment, in addition to electives and a practicum experience to gain hands-on work. All course work can be completed at a self-paced schedule, and accelerated delivery formats in 4- and 8-week blocks set students on a career fast-track. Further, through dynamic and innovative educational platforms like Blackboard and GooPLE (designed by FHSU professors), students are encouraged to participate in peer-to-peer learning through group discussion boards, live chat rooms, and video conferencing.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $253
23. The College of Saint Scholastica
Online Master of Education with an Educational Technology Certificate
The College of Saint Scholastica has a student enrollment of approximately 4,200 and is located in Duluth, Minnesota, with satellite campuses in St. Paul, St. Cloud, Brainerd, Hibbing, Rochester, Inver Grove Heights, Grand Rapids, Cloquet, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1912, the school is affiliated with Catholic and Benedictine orders, each of whose mission’s is integrated into each program’s curriculum. While most of the student body comes from Minnesota, all 50 states and 29 countries are represented. The main campus itself lies on Lake Superior, making for a scenic landscape, and the city of Duluth has been called one of the best small cities for college students.
While there is no specific educational technology degree, Saint Scholastica offers an online MEd on which students can add an Educational Technology Certificate for 33 total credits. With an emphasis on action research, differentiated instruction, assessment and data-driven decision making, technology integration, and critical thinking, the core curriculum is as follows: Current Issues and Future Trends in Education; 21st Century Tech for Teaching; Introduction to Educational Research; Prom. Critical Think Classroom; Data Driven Classroom Assessment; Culturally Responsive Instruction; and a final research capstone. Designed for any school professional or education/technology professional, courses are flexible to accommodate busy schedules, and material is based on the latest learning theory, research, and standard practices. Note also that with a cohort model, Scholastica students benefit from a highly collaborative and intimate educational environment. Additional resources include a program advisor, 24/7 tech support, online tutoring, Adobe Connect, and more.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $405
24 (tied). Columbia University
MA in Computing in Education Online
Columbia University, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, was founded in 1754 as King’s College, making it the oldest college in New York State and just the fifth chartered higher learning institution in the country. It is also, of course, one of the most prestigious universities in the country, and has been ranked in the top 20 worldwide by Times Higher Education World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. The student body is approximately 28,000, spread across twenty schools, plus additional campuses in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Asunción and Nairobi. Among its distinguished alumni include five Founding Fathers of the United States; nine Justices of the United States Supreme Court; 20 living billionaires; 29 Academy Award winners; 39 Nobel Prize winners; 123 Pulitzer Prize winners; and 29 heads of state, including three United States Presidents.
Columbia’s online MA in Computing in Education is primarily designed for current K-12 teachers looking to incorporate effective learning technologies in the classroom. The degree consists of a minimum of 32 points, included 12 points of required course work: Object-Oriented Theory and Programming, Theory and Programming: Interactive Media, Cognition and Computers, Technology and School Change , Instructional Design of Educational Technology, and Equity, Ethics and Social Issues. From there, students have the opportunity to tailor the curriculum through a variety of electives. Finally, all students must complete a “breadth requirement,” consisting of 6 points in course work outside the program, plus an integrative project to demonstrate mastery of material and gain valuable real-world experience. For those interested, online courses (part of hybrid options) are also available for MAs in Technology Specialist K-12 and Instructional Technology and Media; and an EdM in and EdD in Instructional Technology and Media.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,512
24 (tied). University of Nebraska at Kearney
Online MEd in Instructional Technology
The University of Nebraska at Kearney was founded in 1905 and currently has an enrollment of approximately 7,000 students. In addition to an extensive traditional on-campus network, including in Omaha and the flagship in Lincoln, UNL has over 100 online programs in a wide range of fields – from Agriculture & Life Sciences, to Journalism & Communications, to Public Administration & Community Service – with bachelors, masters, doctorates, certificates, and endorsements. All faculty come from one of the school’s four campuses and are highly qualified experts in the field, promoting a style of learning that emphasizes a seamless transition from classroom to the professional sphere.
Nebraska’s online MEd in Instructional Technology emphasizes computer applications and other technologies in education and business training, including web design and development and multimedia creation. The 36-credit curriculum includes Educational Research; Design and Development of Instruction; Motivating the 21st Century Learner; Copyright, Fair Use, and Ethics; Developing Web-Based Portfolios; Developing Web-based Educational Environments; Technology Tools for Teachers; and two field experiences in Instructional Technology and School Library. All course work is designed for maximum flexibility – with self-paced opportunities and asynchronous classes – and many students maintain their careers while completing the degree. Students also benefit from a highly collaborative learning environment and regularly use group discussion boards, email, and live chat rooms to study with peers and professors. Applicants may apply for entry in Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters, and should have earned at least a 2.75 undergraduate GPA. For those interested, the degree also has specializations available in Leadership in Instructional Technology, Information Technology, and School Librarian. Note that students with previous academic work may be eligible to transfer credits into the program.
- Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $405
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