New UHV master’s degree in education technology to begin in January
To fill a growing need for technology specialists in schools, the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development will begin an educational technology master’s degree in the spring.
The new 30-credit-hour, online degree is designed to prepare students for a variety of leadership positions integrating the use of technology in the classroom, business world or adult-education settings.
“The use of technology in teaching and learning is growing at a phenomenal pace,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “Superintendents are interested in hiring graduates with educational technology degrees.”
In 2013, Litton asked an advisory group of area superintendents whether the university should start teaching graduate-level educational technology courses. The answer was a resounding yes. UHV began offering an educational technology concentration in fall 2014 for students earning a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction.
Litton said it was UHV’s plan all along to introduce the concentration and later offer an educational technology master’s degree. He said students already pursuing a concentration in educational technology can easily join the master’s program.
“A master’s degree in education technology will appeal to current UHV students and educators looking to advance their careers,” said Jeffrey Cass, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This is a great example of how UHV has implemented a program to meet a need. Education and technology go hand in hand in our schools, and so the demand is great for graduates with knowledge in both areas.”
A recent example of the impact of educational technology was seen at an event Oct. 15 at Bloomington Elementary School, Litton said.
INVISTA donated $25,000 to UHV to develop an educational game to help Bloomington students improve their math test scores. “Math Castle” is an 8,000-question game designed by UHV graduate students and math education professor Barba Patton to provide a fun way for students in second through fifth grades to improve their math skills. At the event, many Bloomington third-graders told Patton and the graduate students how much they’ve enjoyed playing the game.
Litton said almost every elementary and secondary school now has a technology specialist. The specialist usually operates the technology lab and assists teachers with instructional strategies. Many larger school districts have a supervisor of technology. A master’s degree in educational technology typically is a requirement for supervisory positions.
“I think the schools of the future will look very different,” Litton said. “The use of technology already is an asset in a variety of ways. Students enjoy using the technology, and it is making a difference.”
Students enrolling in the new master’s program will have their choice of three tracks: education technology, education technology with business, and educational technology with adult and higher education. These tracks will meet the needs of students seeking various positions and leadership roles concentrated on technology, said Sherry Vafa, a UHV assistant professor of educational technology.
The educational technology business track is not found in other universities in the state, Litton said. He said businesses often are looking for technology specialists. UHV students would be trained with both business and education knowledge.
“Many of the same technology learning techniques found in school can be used to encourage learning in the business world,” Litton said.
Litton said interested Master of Business Administration students also could take educational technology courses. The courses are designed to allow students from other disciplines to enroll even if they don’t have an education background.
UHV hired an outside consultant with expertise on educational technology to help the university design the courses. The new courses meet the Texas Education Agency Accreditation guidelines and International Society for Technology in Education standards.
For more information about UHV’s education programs, call 361-570-4252 or visit www.uhv.edu/education/.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.