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How Can I Work in K-12 Instructional Technology?

Whether you're an educator or non-educator, you can enter into the field of K-12 instruction technology. A variety of postsecondary programs are available at the graduate level to prepare you for working in K-12 instruction technology. Read on to learn more.

Instructional Technology Overview

Instruction technology is the integration and use of computers and other media to assist in learning and professional development. It can span across all grade levels and into businesses and other agencies. Many schools across the nation have incorporated instructional technology in grades K-12 and have gone so far as to engage in a laptop initiative, which provides computers to students. Those who work in K-12 instructional technology are licensed teachers, education specialists and non-teaching professionals. They can work within school systems or within agencies, organizations or companies that provide services to school systems.

Important Facts About Instructional Technology Training

Common Courses Technology in teaching and learning, managing changes in technology, technology in K-12 education, program evaluation
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree; interview, statement of purpose, and entrance exam scores may be required.
Online Availability Many certificates and master's programs are available online.
Possible Careers Trainer, instructional technology designer/developer, consultant
Median Salary (2018) $64,450 (for instructional coordinators)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 11% growth (for instructional coordinators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education

The role you'd like to have in K-12 instructional technology will determine your educational needs. Often, licensed teachers continue their education in K-12 instructional technology to enhance their teaching and professional development. This discipline is not solely for teachers or other education specialists. Most degree or certificate programs are open to all.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are typically geared towards licensed teachers, but often not limited to them. Some certificate programs are also approved by a state as a way for teachers to renew their licenses or receive an endorsement. Certificate programs take approximately one year to complete. If you want to be a licensed teacher and also learn K-12 instruction technology, it's recommended that you receive your teacher education certificate either through a bachelor's degree program or through a master's program in teaching.

These certificate programs often teach you effective communications skills and teaching methods using instructional development theories. Classes may also include technology and human interactions, instructional material production and hypermedia's use in educational settings.

Graduate Programs

Master's and doctoral programs are also available in instructional technology. These programs explore topics similar to certificate programs, but also include more design and development aspects of instruction technology. Often, you're required to complete a capstone project. Master's programs typically take two years to complete. Doctoral degree programs are research-oriented and often take longer to complete due to the extensive research and dissertation project requirements.