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Archive for July, 2010

Having just had a meeting on technology professional development this morning, and having read last weeks assignment. I have pondered what makes good technology professional development when it comes to teachers. I think what is important is more frequent development meetings over long meetings once a month meetings. Give the teacher a tool for the classroom that they can make in the learning session, and also an opportunity to get feedback from an administrator or peer. Too often we instructor teachers in a way that not consistent with what we would expect out of a classroom teacher. I also think that the teacher need choice or voice in what they need for the classroom. Mandating a skill that not everyone needs for the classroom, or has already mastered is a waste of time. You need baseline data on where you are in order to figure were you what to go. Lastly, someone needs to make sure that everyone is sticking to the plan, and focuses the attention towards the end goal.

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The basis for most of the traits and skills for an educational technologist are based on searching various job lists at careerbuilder.com, monster.com, Association of Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) Job Center, and Educause Information Technology Jobs.

Here are some of the common skills/experiences that are needed, as listed by employers:

  • Adobe Dreamweaver/web publishing
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Learning management systems
  • Instructional design training
  • Online teaching
  • Networking management
  • Communication skills
  • Integration of technology into the curriculum

The common traits an educational technologist should have are the following:

  • Organizational skills
  • Self-starter
  • An ability to work with both “tech” people and the customer
  • Customer service skills
  • Communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Ability to train others
  • Integration of technology into the curriculum
  • Both hardware and software experience

Educational technologists work in a variety of settings and carry out different functions. They might do one or more of the following jobs in a university, school or business: design instruction, manage resource collections, and produce instructional materials. (Ely, 2000) Educational technologists might also find themselves in charge of the more traditional role of IT person or technology coordinator for a business or school.

Most educational technologists would at least have a BA/BS degree in a field like Information Technology. Most K12 districts, universities, and colleges wanted someone with a MA or higher degree in education technology or a closely related field.

Educational technologist is an emergent field. Most of the research and job titles were for educational technology, educational technology instruction, educational technology resource collection, etc. Educational technologists are expected to be able to, not only manage the technology for a district, but also work with teachers/instructors in enriching their practice with the use of technology. (Jugovich, & Reeves, 2006) More institutions are looking for educational technologists because it is not enough for schools to simply have the Internet up and running and assume teachers are getting the most out of the technology. Many institutions are expanding their expenditures on technology, and they want a person to direct the system as a whole. They want someone who can ensure that teachers are integrating technology into the classroom and curriculum. (McClure, 2007) Another reason is that educational institutes have started to outsource the infrastructure of the technology because it is cheaper and leaves the technology specialist more time to focus on educational issues. (McClure, 2007)

The salary range for an educational technologist varies greatly, depending on the title, educational background, and who is doing the hiring. Here is a sample of two positions an educational technologist might have from http://www.salary.com/salary/index.asp.  A Instructional Technology Specialist make between $34,000 to $62,000. Technology Research Manager makes between $79,000 to $130,000.

Helpful Websites about Education Technology as a Career:

This is an ERIC Digest by Donald P. Ely on what educational technology and educational technologists are. There are a lot of links to other sources. http://www.ericdigests.org/2000-4/2000.htm

ERIC link:

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/simpleSearch.jsp;jsessionid=+syLl8RLGSgPwmZJ3Y7bgA__.ericsrv002?newSearch=true&eric_sortField=&searchtype=keyword&pageSize=10&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED438807+&eric_displayStartCount=1&_pageLabel=ERICSearchResult&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no

The Department of Education website, that has related studies and research on educational technology: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/technology/index.html

Wikipedia entry on educational technology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_technology

Specific websites for jobs in education technology:

Association of Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) Job Center

http://www.jobtarget.com/home/index.cfm?site_id=136

Educause Information Technology Jobs

http://www.educause.edu/content.asp?page_id=1219&bhcp=1

North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) Job Postings

http://www.nacol.org/forum/index.php?showforum=7 (it does cost to join)

Center for Online Educators Job Board http://www.educatoronline.org/jobboard.htm/

References:

Ely, D. (2000). The Field of Educational Technology: Update 2000. A Dozen Frequently Asked Questions. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED438807)

McClure, A. (2007, December). Technology spending survey ’08. Retrieved from http://www.universitybusiness.com/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=960

Jugovich, S, & Reeves, B. (2006). It and Educational technology: what’s pedagogy got to do with it?. EDUASE Quarterly, 29(4), Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/ITandEducationalTechnologyWhat/157431

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