United States Masters in Online Teacher Education
Exploring the potential benefits of an Online Teacher Education Masters Program? As a busy working educator, you know the value of learning, but probably wonder how you might balance your job with top graduate teacher education. Or maybe you are coming from another career that you don’t want to leave until you are better situated with the knowledge and skill-sets to transition into a teaching career. Apart from the fact that many states require teaching professionals to have a master’s degree, or that as a teacher, you might be required to take continuing education classes to keep up your licensure, you want to excel at your job. You want to learn how to bring your subject to life, how to best engage your students, and stay current with the latest in theory and technology. Right? So take a look inside and explore the variety of Online Masters in Teacher Education Degree Programs to find the one that resonates!
Online Teacher Education Masters Programs: Essentials
Teacher Education Masters Programs might be described as education for educators designed by fellow teachers. They emphasize the theories, philosophies, methodologies, and influences guiding education today in different settings. Many do not focus on what to teach in the classroom; rather, they focus on how to teach in the classroom. This means you get the opportunity to learn about developing curricula, assessing student work, or even understanding how to reach a specific group – think ‘urban teen’ or pre-K.
Why Choose an Online Teacher Education Masters Program?
Choosing a distance-learning option may be new to you. Maybe you attended college for an undergraduate degree, but things have changed and you need a more convenient learning option. Or maybe, you have your heart set on a graduate school that is too far to attend but they do offer masters in teaching education programs online. You may even have an undergrad degree in another field and want to transition into teaching. Here’s an example – someone with a bachelor’s in kinesiology might decide, hey, I want to teach…fast forward to an online masters in physical education. And so on. So what to look for in online programs? Here’s a mini cheat-sheet:
First of all, not all online Teacher Education Masters Programs are going to be created equal, so bear in mind a few things to look for in their description:
- 100% online usually means that all the coursework is available online. Usually you get access via a course management system 24/7, and submit work assignments online.
- Partially online may mean that the program is a hybrid – meaning it combines online with on-campus courses
- Asynchronous means your classes are pre-recorded audio and video (so you can hit the pause button)
- Synchronous means your classes are live-streaming and you may have to take part
- Check each program for unique pre requisites, or whether it leads to certification – if that is what you need
- Check into the reputation of the tech support team, and any other online support services you might need
- If your program involves teacher training, fieldwork, internship, in-class practicum, you may have to figure that component out with your grad school if pursuing the online format
Potential Benefits to Online Teacher Education Masters Programs
Aside from convenience and flexibility, remember that ‘online’ is a format.
It doesn’t mean your degree is easier to achieve, or less valid. It does mean that you may self-pace yourself, keep a current list of on-going duties and yet, advance your education. This in itself might bring new potential career paths and choices, refreshed salary expectations and the like.
Online doesn’t mean you are alone. Often times, there are online group discussion boards that you have to contribute to. Online learners stay connected via emails, web chat, video calls, texting and possibly the good old-fashioned telephone. Even libraries are online. You do need to have a computer setup, reliable Internet access, and last but not least, be able to motivate yourself. If you don’t log in, you don’t learn.
What Types of Online Masters Degrees in Teaching are there?
As you search on GradSchools.com, you will notice that Online Teacher Education Masters Degrees are available as:
- Online Master of Arts in Teaching – such as M.A.T. –Secondary Social Sciences
- Online Master of Science Degree Programs such as Master of Natural Sciences Education or MS In Education –Mathematics (Grades k-6)
- Online Master of Education such as M.Ed. program Specialist-Reading
Generally, the Master of Arts in Teaching degree is geared towards the student seeking licensure and the M.Ed. and M.S. tend to be for experienced professionals
Online Teacher Education Masters Programs: Choose a Concentration!
As you see from our directory, there are a variety of concentration areas to choose from. Aside from the subject though, you may need to consider specifying the grade level(s) that you wish to teach. Online teacher education masters programs offer programs to help prospective and current teachers focus on educating students in early childhood institutions, elementary schools, middle schools, or high schools.
In terms of the subject area, do you aspire to teach English as a second language, reading to grade school children? Or do you want to teach music, art or science? You might not explore these subjects in great depth in your program, but, depending on the program, you may learn how to teach these subjects in the classroom in ways that incorporate recent theory, new educational technology, or methods that have been proven to increase attention span with autistic students.
As you plan your graduate work, think carefully about your career and educational goals and plan your educational path accordingly. It is important to consider where you want to live and work and whether or not the subject area you wish to teach is in demand in that location. It’s also important to know whether or not your concentration requires you to complete a practicum, and whether or not you are in a position to do so. Thinking critically about your options upfront might help prepare you for a successful educational experience and to genuinely enhance your career.
Take the Next Step
Whether taking professional development classes is part of maintaining your license, or you are seeking versatility in your methods, take the next step. Explore online masters programs in teacher education to find the one that aligns with your goals.
Resources: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/home.htm | teach.org/ |
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