Schools still need educators who can teach math, science and reading, but there are plenty of opportunities to do something a little different as well. If you’re interested in working with kids and teaching them about technology, there are a lot of job openings for you in this fast-growing field. The exact title and job description may differ among school and school districts. Common titles are school or educational technology coordinator or educational technology specialist. For most jobs, you will need more schooling than is required of regular classroom teachers, and your first step in pursuing this career that can combine your love of working with both people and technology should be getting a bachelor’s degree.
As computers increasingly become a part of everyday educational life, the role of an education technology specialist becomes more and more important. You will work not just with children but with teachers and administrators. Your job duties will differ based on whether you work in a single school or for an entire district, but they might include working with teachers to identify educational technology that is appropriate for classroom use and potentially training them to use it. You might also work with administrators to identify needs, train teachers, help with network maintenance and assist students in integrating technology into their lives.
You should find out what the requirements are in the state you want to work in. You may need both a teaching certification as well as a master’s degree in educational technology or a similar area. You might also need a certification or endorsement in educational or instructional technology. Keep in mind that these requirements may vary if you are working at a private school instead of a public one.
While a few institutions offer bachelor’s degrees in this area, it is more common as a master’s degree. Therefore, your undergraduate degree will probably be in education or a similar field. You can pay for your bachelor’s degree with savings, scholarships, grants and loans. If the federal loans you are offered are not enough, you might want to look into private student loans. A student loan calculator can help you estimate what your repayments will be like, so you can use this if you want to know what to expect. Having this information can also be useful when you are job-hunting and looking at salary information.
Getting Additional Credentials
Try to work with or at least talk to some people in this field while you are an undergraduate to be sure this is something that you want to pursue. You will spend some time in a classroom as part of your teaching certification. When you pursue a master’s degree, you can look to some of the same funding sources that you did for your undergraduate degree. You’ll need to take state exams for both your teaching certification and your certification or endorsement in educational technology.
A number of what are often called soft skills are useful for success in this field. These include good communication, problem solving and patience. You’ll need to be good at working with teachers, parents and children, including students who have special needs.
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