...we consider media and technology both as tools and as objects of study in and of themselves...
The Master of Education concentration in Learning, Media and Technology prepares students to understand, critique and improve technology- and media-based learning and teaching. The program is structured such that students construct solid knowledge of theories of learning and instruction, as well as theories of the design and use of educational technologies and media. Just as importantly, we offer a number of courses and research experiences through which students develop facility with applied aspects of technology-centered educational practices (e.g., authoring software systems, utilizing tools such as Director and Flash). By encountering multiple opportunities for the analysis, design and testing of educational technology/media, students develop a principled approach to technology- and media-based instruction and learning.
As a program, we consider media and technology both as tools in learning and teaching specific disciplines (e.g., mathematics and science) and as objects of study in and of themselves. With regard to the former, and in line with the affiliated faculty’s expertise, students explore the educational uses of a variety of technological forms (e.g., robotics systems for learning engineering, physics, programming, and the arts) and computer-based environments (e.g., software systems for learning scientific image processing). As for the latter, students actively engage in designing and using various learning technologies and media, including Web-based environments, computer-mediated communications systems, computer-based virtual worlds, and new media for new literacies.
Finally, we seek to understand these issues as they cut across sites of learning (e.g., classrooms, after-school programs, museums, and/or the home) and across the lifespan of individuals. We approach the development of such understanding through grant-funded faculty research activities. Opportunities for working closely with faculty on these projects are available to interested and committed Master’s degree students.
We seek to build a vibrant community of practitioners and researchers, and thus students of a variety of backgrounds (e.g., mathematics, the sciences, arts and history, business, engineering, and so on) are encouraged to apply. In fact, we believe this orientation reflects the complexities and various contexts in which technologies and media intersect with problems of teaching and learning.
Regardless of background and career interests, desired student characteristics include:
Students graduating from the program must complete 33 hours of coursework. Beginning in Fall 2008, students will also be required to complete a substantial Master’s thesis or project. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the program and the profile of students, we anticipate accepting a variety of thesis formats. For example, students may choose to write a scholarly work of publishable quality. Alternatively, students may choose to create a digital learning environment accompanied by a thesis that documents the theoretical underpinnings that frame its design. Thesis decisions will be made in consultation with the student’s academic advisor.
A number of additional features of the program are specifically designed to enrich students’ learning experiences and professional growth. In particular:
1. We provide students opportunities for professional internships on-campus. Such internships afford students the possibility to apply their knowledge in real-world settings and/or to develop original research work.
2. We maintain close links with other departments and concentrations in the College of Education, most notably the Doctoral programs in Mathematics, Science and Learning Technology (MSLT), and Language, Literacy and Culture (LLC).
3. We collaborate with local schools and after-school programs. In advancing technology- and media-based instructional practices in the local communities, we also build a network of sites for students to conduct research and development work.
4. We collaborate with other departments and schools on campus. In particular, we have close ties to the Department of Computer Science, which offers a number of technology design and skill-building courses.
(*) Required courses
Prospective student contact: Florence R. Sullivan (Associate Professor)