By Alex Wilson, May 17, 2021
WARRENSBURG, MO – Intelligent.com has ranked the University of Central Missouri’s online Master of Science in Educational Technology program as number one nationwide. The ranking comes at an imperative time for educational technology as many schools have begun to implement new technologies and more advanced ways to teach, especially this last year.
Based on their methodology, which includes reviewing material directly from universities and data from other institutional review sites, Intelligent.com has deemed UCM the best place for an online master’s in educational technology degree. The program was scored highly for its strength, student readiness, return on investment, cost, student engagement and accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
The program aims to reinforce modern educational values with 21st-century technology. For example, the program itself reflects the current developments in the educational technology field by being offered entirely online. The program also teaches important but often forgotten aspects of our digital life that are paramount for the educational technology field. Such concepts include digital citizenship and how important it is to promote and be a healthy example of a digital user. Digital citizenship refers to the responsible and productive use of digital and internet technologies. Not only are students of the program learning about these concepts, but they are engaging in these exact same positive practices.
“We aim to remain true to the mission of the University of Central Missouri and recognize the importance of creating relevant 21st century curriculum and content,” Dr. Shantia Kerr Sims, associate professor and program coordinator, said. “As a program, we have built strong relationships with our global network of alumni and continue to build on those partnerships to expose students to diverse perspectives and solid instructional strategies.”
In order to refine their studies, students will participate in activities that, according to the program website, promote excellence and support transformational change throughout the instructional environment while developing and implementing comprehensive integration of technology into the academic experience.
With the current state of education evolving to be more technically advanced, it is becoming vital for schools and educational institutions to hire individuals with knowledge of these technologies. This is one of the reasons why educational technology is a growing industry; The demand for instructional coordinators with specialized knowledge is expected to grow by 6% in under a decade and training specialist positions are to grow by 9% in the same frame of time. The careers opened up by this degree program are not just growing but they are needed and many employers are eager to hire experts in this field.
“The online Educational Technology program works diligently to ensure students are well versed in current trends and research-based practices to effectively integrate technology in a variety of educational settings,” Sims said. “Our students are leaders in their respective fields and this honor is a reflection of the dedicated work of our students, faculty, and staff.”
These same career paths are full of diverse options for graduates which, in turn, creates diverse opportunities options for students of the program. Upon graduating from this program, one will be qualified for many vastly different and unique careers such as educational technology specialists and instructional designers and even instructional coordinators. The field of educational technology is as vast as it desired.
The diversity of the program continues to grow, with a new course that will be offered beginning the second half of the fall 2021 semester. The course, Computer Science for Educators, will prepare future educators to teach the lucrative field of computer science. The course will be available to both undergraduate and graduate students and is another opportunity for students to enter a vast field of career options.