Educational Technology is an increasingly complex field which benefits anyone interested in a career in this industry. This is largely thanks to the diversity in technology used in modern teaching methods. Course delivery is evolving and the days of being sat in front of a blackboard have well and truly passed. The modern classroom, laboratory or lecture theatre requires a host of apparatus to facilitate learning effectively.
What does educational technology involve?
The industry is constantly expanding to include more tools and services and they all need different skill sets. A large part of the technology is based around educational material and the way in which it is delivered. This could be anything from software designed to train and test students to a website that can be used to track progress and communicate with course tutors and students.
One of the major advances in modern learning has been the use of ‘Blackboard’ in universities. Blackboard is how education establishments communicate course materials, deadlines and general faculty information to students. Moodle is another content management system used by colleges where students and tutors can log in and are able to submit coursework and receive feedback.
These excellent examples of educational technology are usually operated on the university or college servers and are often part of the faculty website. Classrooms also require technology from smart boards that are linked to a computer, through to network infrastructure and live linked test and monitoring equipment.
Which sector of the industry has the best career options?
The Association for Educational and Communication Technology (AECT) states that the largest growth sector in education technology is content provision for course research material. The requirements are largely for online blogs and wikis that are used as authority level evidential support for students. People who can produce web based applications that either deliver content or assess students are also in high demand.
In order to be taken seriously by education facilities in either of these areas you would need to have completed your education to at least degree level for application development and at least MSc level is preferred for anything that involves education material. In most cases application development could not exist without the course materials so companies employing people in this industry generally recruit both developers and educators with the latter often working as a freelance or ad-hoc employee.
Picture: Robert Kneschke