Best Master’s in Educational Technology Online Degree Programs

Learn how to implement tech into the classroom that can lead to better student outcomes with an online master’s in educational technology. Discover the best programs available, review the curriculum, and more in this guide.

From kindergarten through college, today’s classrooms and learning spaces are becoming integrated with technology. By earning your online master’s in educational technology, you’ll build key expertise in multimedia and instructional design that facilitates learning in the 21st century and beyond. These programs develop specialized expertise in new and emerging technologies widely applicable in primary, secondary, and postsecondary settings.

Learn more about master’s in educational technology online degree programs in this guide, including cost, what to expect, how accreditation works, and where to find the best programs. Plus, explore profiles for several top-ranked programs, curriculum offerings, and common career paths.

2021 College Spotlights: Top Master’s in Educational Technology Online Degree Programs

We’ve identified three best-in-class programs to help narrow your search. We vetted the schools listed below using criteria that support career advancement and professional mobility. We considered key factors like affordability, flexibility, accreditation, and student support. Find out which schools rise to the top and stay tuned for Online Master’s Degrees’ complete ranking arriving soon.

University of Florida

The University of Florida offers a master’s of education in educational technology. The top-ranked program entails 36 credits delivered on a 16-week semester schedule. Most students finish their course of study in 2 years or less and graduate fully equipped for key educational technology and instructional design roles. Each student also completes a culminating capstone experience in educational media during their last semester of study. The program holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Administered by UF’s College of Education in partnership with its School of Teaching and Learning, this online master’s in educational technology uses a robust learning management system that includes synchronous and asynchronous elements. The curriculum begins with instructional design and educational technology foundations and includes additional courses in education research, integrated media, learning analytics, and human-computer interaction. Students also have access to a wide range of professional development, advising, and technology support services.

Texas A&M University

Graduates of Texas A&M University’s online master’s in educational technology often become course developers, technology coordinators, and learning and performance specialists. The 36-credit program trains aspiring professionals to harness the power of new and emerging technologies, optimizing them for different audiences in a variety of educational contexts. It develops core competencies in learning theory, program assessment, and instructional design. Texas A&M does not require standardized tests and extends three different admission periods throughout the year.

The school delivers all classes and curriculum requirements entirely online. Core courses look at educational psychology, e-learning development, and educational technology broadly conceived. Students can also select from a diverse menu of free electives that support their interests and encourage exploration. Recent offerings include mobile learning design, educational gaming, graphic communication, and online course design. Students also receive instruction in educational research methods and can take graduate-level courses outside Texas A&M’s College of Education and Human Development with prior approval.

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University’s online educational technology degree sets itself apart from other programs by extending three areas of emphasis in assistive technology, K-12 teacher, and adult learning and training. Designed for education professionals in primary, secondary, and postsecondary spaces, the course of study requires 30 total credits and is accredited with the International Society for Technology in Education. It provides students and working professionals with key skills in technology integration and enhanced learning environments.

NAU uses personalized resources to deliver its curriculum and relies on tools that blend self-paced, flexible study with scheduled progress in a structured environment. Online tutors, IT specialists, and librarians remain available for all learning experiences, and each course includes interactive and collaborative elements. Students receive regular feedback from faculty as they progress through a sequence of classes that cover instructional theory, distributed learning systems, action-oriented research, and statistics. Some students may need to complete a thesis depending on their area of emphasis.

Advantages of Earning an Online Master’s in Educational Technology

An online master’s in educational technology program offers a unique and distinctive set of benefits. They allow you to expand your professional profile in ways that save money while also meeting your individual needs. Here are just a few of those advantages.

  1. Career Advancement

    There is a very strong correlation between educational attainment and career advancement. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that professionals with a master’s degree see higher employment rates and higher earnings than those with a bachelor’s degree. Earning a master’s in educational technology online gives you more opportunity and is often a requirement for senior-level education roles.

  2. Convenience

    Many online educational technology degree programs attract working professionals because they offer more convenience and accommodation. You will have no problem maintaining your current position while you study. Many programs expect this. Some even offer opportunities to convert relevant experience into program credit. This means your status as a working professional could reduce your time in school.

  3. Affordability

    Affordability is one of the major benefits of obtaining a master’s in instructional technology online. Many programs offer cheaper tuition rates than in-person alternatives, and some may even extend special flat rates for online students.

What You’ll Learn in an Online Master’s in Educational Technology Program

These programs develop knowledge foundations in educational technology and cultivate the hard skills you need to use new and emerging tools. Along the way, you will also gain a deeper understanding of education policy in the U.S. and the primary research techniques used in educational technology. You will also refine soft skills in project management, program evaluation, and theories of learning.

Most online master’s in instructional and educational technology begin with core courses designed to give you an overview of the field. Once you have familiarized yourself with those core competencies, you can begin to consider free electives that cover more specialized topics of interest. Quite a few programs provide a list of common courses or an overview of their plan of study. Find out more about popular coursework offerings below.

Popular Courses

  • Educational Technology Foundations

    This class introduces students to the field and provides a survey of educational technology theories and practices. Students learn to critically analyze pertinent literature and develop plans for implementing theories that address specific issues or problems. The class also looks at how different technologies are applied and how context affects the successful application.

  • Quantitative Research Methods

    Students in this course gain proficiency in the primary research methods applicable to educational technology and learning design. They learn to identify key characteristics of high-quality research and conduct targeted research that addresses a specific problem. The class also looks at developing hypotheses and narrowing research questions.

  • Instructional Design

    This course builds core skills and knowledge in systematic instructional design techniques focusing on new technologies and digital applications. Students learn to perform each step of the design process, including initial planning, sequencing, delivery, and final assessment. Additional topics may include project management and media selection.

  • Educational Hardware Systems

    Students in this class develop a solid knowledge base in educational technology professionals’ main hardware systems in K-12 and postsecondary contexts. The course cultivates an understanding of how those tools function within larger systems. Armed with that understanding, students assess how hardware can further educational goals in the classroom.

  • Current Issues in Educational Technology

    This course focuses on contemporary trends and problems in educational technology. Students examine key policy issues and look at the social and political factors that contribute to policy formation. They also gain a deeper awareness of how educational technology has shifted learning in recent years due to digital innovation.

Specialization Paths

Specializations are a great way to enhance your studies. They allow you to broaden your skillset by focusing on common applications that can advance your career even further. Specializations can vary quite a bit, and many schools will offer them based on program character and faculty expertise. Below we list some popular specializations available to you when you pursue a master’s in educational technology online.

  • Technology Leadership

    This specialization helps you build expertise in identifying key organizational problems in educational technology. It develops additional leadership skills and gives you the tools you need to analyze problems and implement clear solutions. It also looks at human resource management, technology design, and staff training.

  • Distance Education

    Focusing your educational technology studies on distance education prepares you for work in e-learning and virtual instruction. It looks at how learning theories inform distance education applications and how professionals can increase engagement and interaction. Students build key competencies in course design, content delivery, and learning management tools.

  • Computer Science Teaching and Learning

    This specialization looks at educational technology within the context of computer science instruction. In many cases, it prepares students for teaching endorsements in computer science. It focuses on research methods, coding and programming, data analysis, and computer network systems. Also, students interact with new and emerging technologies specific to computer science.

  • Multimedia

    Earning an online educational technology degree with a multimedia concentration broadens your skillset to include web design and multimodal applications. It looks at how multimedia design learning theories cam generative instructional solutions. It also develops proficiency in the key software packages used by designers and multimedia professionals.

  • Human Performance Technology

    This specialization brings educational technology knowledge into conversation with the lean management methodologies used in business and organizational development. Students learn how new technologies can affect human behavior to increase motivation, information retention, and collaboration. Additional topics may include systems design, social psychology, and knowledge management.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Educational Technology Degrees

Accreditation is a key indicator of value and should be a top priority. It acts as a quality assurance measure and ensures that schools meet acceptable standards of excellence. Both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation establish guidelines for this process. They also recognize the independent agencies that administer accreditation.

You should always make sure that prospective schools hold institutional accreditation. This applies to the school at large and comes in two forms: regional and national.

Some programs may also have specialized accreditation. In educational technology, these credentials usually come from organizations like the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, or the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation.

What You Can Do with a Master’s in Educational Technology

Most master’s in educational technology online degree holders find meaningful work in school districts or higher education institutions. Others may put their skills to use in corporate settings by training staff and employees. Either way, employers with educational needs often seek out qualified job candidates with experience in technology integration and enhanced learning techniques.

The jobs detailed below represent some of the more popular career paths available in educational technology. Each profession benefits from a positive job outlook and logs above-average earnings. They also come with plenty of opportunities for future growth.

Instructional Technologist

Instructional technologists help teachers and other school officials implement new technology tools in the classroom. They find work in every educational context and may travel to assess new technologies and design platforms. They often make curriculum recommendations, provide classroom support, and manage network systems.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$42,000 $58,345 $79,000

Source: PayScale, 2021

Training and Development Manager

These professionals use their expertise in educational technology to help businesses and other organizations update their knowledge base. They work in various industries and often conduct technology training sessions and identify solutions that can help improve organizational goals. Some work in-house, while others find employment with outside agencies.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$64,720 $113,350 $196,070

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Instructional Coordinator

Instructional coordinators oversee and assess school curriculum. They use their expertise in educational technology to implement tools that enhance curricula and improve learning outcomes. They often train teachers and other staff in new technologies. They typically work within larger school systems or for governmental agencies.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$38,260 $66,290 $103,790

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Education Administrator

Education administrators oversee the operations of their organization, typically a K-12 school or a postsecondary institution. Those with specific expertise in educational technology use that knowledge to inform administrative decision-making. They keep their organization updated on new developments in the field and manage a team of educational technology professionals.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$46,110 $85,450 $146,190

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Educational Consultant

Consultants with expertise in educational technology work with school systems and higher education institutions to improve learning. They empower their clients to use a more adaptable and responsive approach to technology. They help assess curriculum design needs and provide their clients with the resources necessary to mobilize new tools.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$39,000 $62,754 $102,000

Source: PayScale, 2021

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Master’s Degrees in Educational Technology

It’s important to fully understand the financial commitments involved in an online educational technology degree before you apply. Tuition rates can fluctuate quite a bit and usually depend on factors like the type of school, where you live, and your enrollment status. You can use the table below to get a sense of the range of costs. Fortunately, there are plenty of financial aid opportunities available. Many schools extend their scholarships, as do private businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations.

What Your Online Master’s in Educational Technology Could Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Total Tuition Cost

Boise State University

Master of Educational Technology – 100% Online Program

33

$478/credit

$15,774

Drexel University

Online Master’s Degree in Educational Technology

45

$1,007/credit

$45,315

Oklahoma State University

Educational Technology, MS – Online

36

$432/credit (in-state)
$562/credit (out-of-state)

$15,559 (in-state)
$20,223 (out-of-state)

FAQs About Earning Your Educational Technology Master’s Degree Online

What are the admissions requirements for an online master’s in educational technology?

It’s always best to check with individual programs for specifics on things like admission requirements and deadlines. Each school is different, but overall most call for a complete application that includes the following materials:

  • A relevant bachelor’s degree earned at an accredited institution
  • Official academic transcripts verifying the previous study
  • A current CV or professional resume
  • At least three letters of reference from former employers or supervisors
  • Recent GRE scores (waivable in some cases)
  • A short personal statement is written in formal academic prose that discusses your background, the reason for study, and professional goals.

Some schools, like the University of Michigan, could require a valid teaching license for admission. This is not a universal requirement, but it’s something to keep in mind.

How long will it take to finish my master’s in educational technology

Students typically finish in about two years on average, but you’ll be able to set your own pace in most cases. For example, Oklahoma State University and Concordia University-Irvine offer one and two-year tracks to accommodate a wider range of circumstances. More intensive programs like the one at Azusa Pacific provide a 12-month accelerated course of study. Boise State, Drexel, and George Washington University, all graduate students in 2 years. Most online educational technology degree programs follow a similar trajectory while still allowing for flexibility depending on your preferences.

Can I earn a master’s in educational technology 100% online, or do I need to visit campus?

Yes – unlike similar programs in other disciplines, these programs deliver all curriculum and course content entirely online. The University of Arkansas, the University of Maine, and Thomas Edison State University offer great examples of what you can expect. 100% online delivery means that you can complete all program requirements using digital tools in a virtual learning environment. Most programs use synchronous and asynchronous components to achieve a nice balance between structured interaction and self-paced study. Some may also provide in-person opportunities, but these are typically optional. You will not need to visit campus unless you want to.

Does an online master’s in educational technology prepare you for initial teaching certification?

Very few online master’s in instructional technology programs provide a direct path to initial teaching certification. One reason for this is that educational technology is a broad field that includes, but is not limited to, traditional classroom instruction. Programs like the one at Framingham State University do not result in initial licensure and explicitly state as much. Many programs do not provide direct guidance on this, but you can always follow up with program administrators to find out more.