Choosing to pursue a career in educational technology is just the first big decision. After that, you’ll need to narrow down the setting and specialization in which you’d like to work.
Many graduates of ed tech programs remain (or become) classroom teachers in K-12 schools. Even if this is your path, it can be very helpful to think about what aspects of ed tech you’re most interested in.
The huge variety of instructional technology degree programs means that you’ll have no shortage of choices when deciding what program best aligns with your professional goals. (We've provided a list of the Best Master's in Educational Technology Degrees and Best Online Master's in Educational Technology Degrees to jump-start your search for an ed tech program.)
To help you decide on your area of concentration, here are some of the most common specializations in educational technology.
A degree with a video production concentration will focus on the technical aspects of video, and audio. These programs will emphasize the place of video in modern education. Students will learn to address the specific challenges and opportunities of film as an educational medium.
Coursework in this concentration might include Digital Video Production for Education and Training and Digital Storytelling.
Software and Applications
In this concentration, students focus on the design and creation of software or mobile apps. Depending on the program, the curriculum may lean towards adult learners in professional training contexts, or towards children in K-12 schools.
Coursework in this concentration Interactive Software Development, Designing Integrated Media Environments, and Software for Curriculum.
This specialization highlights the application of visual and graphic design principles to video, websites, software, apps, and other educational media. Programs in this niche will introduce students to industry standard practices, software, and design tools.
Common course topics in this area include Graphic Design for Educators, Visual and Digital Fundamentals, and Adobe Illustrator and Animate.
Instructional design programs in web development typically emphasize front-end design and industry-standard markup languages. Students learn to write and debug code using common markup languages. These programs typically include server-side and client-side programming coursework.
Web development electives might include Using the Web in Teaching and Learning, Advanced Web Design, and Web Page Authoring and Design.
Human Resource Management
Within this concentration, students will learn the fundamentals of human resource management and organizational behavior as it applies to training and development. Besides instructional technology, other topics of study might include grant writing and project management.
Core curriculum for a human resource management concentration generally includes Human Behavior in Organizations. Leadership and Teamwork, and Training and Development.
Ed tech degrees with an information science concentration are ideal for school librarians and media specialists. Students learn to address topics such as multicultural education and advocacy leadership.
Required courses frequently include Selection and Application of Media and Technology, School Library Systems and Services, and Administration of School Library Services.
While many specializations are available on the technical side, it’s also worth noting that some programs offer specializations in school subject areas. These programs are tailored to practicing PK-12 teachers who want to utilize technology to enhance their classrooms. Subject area specializations might be available in literacy, math, science, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).