Instructional Technology Specialist Career Overview
People who work as instructional technology specialists are responsible for helping faculty members, curriculum directors, and other educational professionals to incorporate technologically advanced materials into their classrooms. While this is a relatively new kind of position, it is quickly becoming more and more in demand and more opportunities are opening up every day.
The kinds of people who become instructional technology specialists are those who have one foot in the IT world and who have one foot in the world of education. These are people who understand the importance of technology in all aspects of today’s society and who also understand the importance of being able to direct the use of this technology so that it is beneficial to those who use it for educational purposes.
Instructional Technology Specialist Job Description
While the role of this kind of professional is going to vary by school, in most cases these kinds of professionals are expected to oversee all of the computers, video players, audio devices, and telecommunication devices in an institution. This kind of professional might be responsible for performing the basic upkeep expected of an IT specialist, such as performing security checks and updating programs so that they run well.
Because an instructional technology specialist is an educational professional, it is common for him or her to help and educate students. This kind of professional might help students who have problems with computers and other kinds of information technology. At the same time, this kind of professional might work with those who are technologically inclined. In other words, he or she might supervise aspiring IT professionals and might train them to perform basic IT duties around the school. It also is common for an instructional technology specialist to teach some computer science courses.
Some common duties of an instructional technology specialist include:
• Updating technology to meet current standards of educational excellence
• Keeping up with new kinds of technology by attending seminars, conferences, and trade shows where new products and concepts are introduced and discussed
• Supervising student IT workers
• Assisting faculty members in incorporating new technology into lesson plans
• Consulting curriculum directors regarding technological learning materials
• Composing policy regarding use of information technology
Instructional Technology Specialist Education and Training
Since this is a relatively new kind of position, there are few federal or state dictated requirements in terms of education. With that being said, most states do require that teachers, educational administrators, and curriculum directors have graduate degrees in education and years of experience teaching. Since the instructional technology specialist position will likely fall under one of these categories, it is sensible to believe that it is more than beneficial to get this kind of experience.
People who become instructional technology specialists tend to have master’s degrees in areas that reflect their areas of educational interest. For example, people who want to work in high schools might concentrate and train in technology as it applies to students between the ages of 15 and 18. It also is common to have master’s degrees in the education or computer science or other similar disciplines.
Instructional Technology Specialist Requirements
While there are no specific tests or certifications required for this kind of professional in most states, it’s important to understand that certifications are available and that many schools individually might require them. It always is a good idea to strengthen your credentials, especially if you are interested in a position in a prestigious high school or college environment.
Some common requirements of instructional technology specialists include:
• Dedication to the advancement of education through technology
• Understanding of basic computer concepts and telecommunication processes
• Ability to work year round and to travel to attend seminars and conferences
• Excellent communication skills
• The ability to communicate complex technological concepts to individuals who might be struggling to understand
Instructional Technology Specialist Outlook and Earnings
Because this position is growing demand all over the country, it is clear that the opportunities for individuals interested in this kind of work are growing quickly. As a matter of fact, when you have this kind of knowledge and the necessary qualifications, you can count on finding a number of varied and inspiring opportunities. The salaries of these professionals vary greatly, ranging from between $40,000 a year and $70,000 a year.