Archives For Technology

The online Doctorate of Education in Instructional Technology degree is a unique program that prepares students to be leaders in merging technology with learning.

“This program consists of a unique collaborative curriculum between the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Computer Science Department, offering a meaningful blend of technical application and instructional theory,” says Marilyn Rice, Ph.D., doctoral director of the Doctorate in Instructional Technology program.

Faculty in the Instructional Technology program have been pioneers in the online teaching and learning environment, having taught elements of courses online dating back to 1999.

shutterstock_154665698“The program follows the cohort model, where students move through the coursework together,” says Rice. “Having used this approach for many years in other programs, we find that the cohorts help develop an atmosphere of a cohesive classroom culture even though all courses are online.”

By completing the program entirely online, students are able to pursue their degree without the having to relocate due to the restrictions of residency requirements

Dr. Rice says the experience and enthusiasm of online learning is evident in the Doctorate of Education in Instructional Technology program, utilizing a variety of online learning resources.

“We’ve found the communication and collaboration opportunities among people from various walks of life and cultures provides a secondary level of learning for our students that is not attainable in most face-to-face programs,” says Rice.

Graduates of the program are poised for success in a variety of applications, such as leaders of instructional technology, guiding their organizations toward achieving meaningful integration of technology, or as instructional technology leaders working in school districts, community colleges, universities, or businesses in support and service roles regarding instructional design, assessment of learning/management systems, networking, and assessment/implementation of instructional software.

Applications for the program are due June 1.

For more information about the online Doctorate of Education in Instructional Technology degree visit http://distance.shsu.edu.

SHSU President Dana Hoyt was recently on the set in Florida with former Entertainment Tonight host Julie Moran to record an episode of “The Balancing Act” on Lifetime Television. The two discussed SHSU Online as well as a number of different ways online education can be beneficial for women, namely flexibility, affordability, and quality.

“The Balancing Act” is currently in its sixth season and focuses on topics that are relevant to women and their busy lifestyles. This particular episode takes a deeper look at the subject of Online Education and the burgeoning population of female online students.

Be sure to check out the show above featuring Dr. Hoyt and SHSU Online!

More than 90 percent of SHSU’s online students live and work in Texas, with more scattered around the US, and a few who live even farther afield, like SHSU Online student Tony Tovar who is pursuing a principal certification.

For the past 12 years, Tony Tovar has made Shanghai, China his home with wife Yun Yang and daughter Noelle, teaching sixth grade language arts, history, and drama at Concordia International School Shanghai.

Tovar admits that his early college years weren’t very focused.

“I basically majored in Ping-Pong, pool, and sleeping,” says Tovar. He took three years off before returning to school with a much more serious outlook, one that eventually led him to education.

“I started out as a communication major, switched to English, and then decided to add secondary education as a fallback, and I discovered I loved teaching.

He switched his major to elementary education, graduated and went on to earn his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction ten years later. He’s now pursuing a Principal Certification from SHSU Online, to take his career in education to the next level by becoming an administrator.

“After 20 years of teaching, I’ve decided that I want to move into administration,” says Tovar. “I want to take my influence beyond the classroom and help shape a new generation of teachers and learners. It’s the logical next step for me.”

Tony Tovar with his wife, Yun Yang, and daughter, Noelle

Tony Tovar with his wife, Yun Yang, and daughter, Noelle

While Tovar admits that he’d prefer sitting in a classroom, learning together with a group of people, his Shanghai address made that difficult.

“My teaching license is in Texas. In order to have principal certification added to my license, I needed to take courses from a program approved by the Texas Education Association. However, they don’t approve universities in Shanghai, China.”

With no immediate plans to return stateside, Tovar looked at his options from an international perspective, turning to US-based, accredited universities with online programs.

Fortunately for Tovar, he was no stranger to online education, having completed his M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction online. Before completing his research, Tovar outlined his specific needs relative to his online education.

“I was looking for program that I could complete in two years or less and for a program with classes that interested me.”

But, more importantly, he wanted a program that took into account that he already had a Master’s degree.

“The main thing that made me choose SHSU was that it gave me credit for my previous education and experience,” says Tovar. “SHSU is giving me the tools to get my principal certification without having to work on a second master’s degree.”

Tovar still experiences hurdles similar to those other online students may have, like balancing a full-time job, his family life and demands of schoolwork. Tovar tries to take advantage of quiet, early mornings, planning time during the school day, and lulls in action between when school lets out and dinnertime.

For Tovar, the fact that he lives in Shanghai, China and not in the United States has not changed his online learning experience.

For example, Tovar especially enjoys being able to think about his responses before giving them.

“A nice part of taking online classes is that I have more time to craft answers. In the classroom, the teacher or a classmate asks a question, and you have to formulate an answer quickly or you don’t always get to share,” says Tovar. “With the discussion board format, I can look at someone’s post, think about it, and come back later that day or the next day and give a response that is more thoughtful.”

Along with these benefits, Tovar does experience one unique advantage of taking online courses while living in China: the International Date Line.

“Shanghai is 13 or 14 hours ahead of Huntsville,” says Tovar. “If an assignment is due on Friday at midnight, for example, I can wake up on Saturday morning, have a cup of coffee, and put the finishing touches on it before I turn it in, and it’s still on time.”


Are you an American living and working overseas looking to further your education? Or perhaps you’re an international student looking for an accredited university program? Explore our many online degree and certificate programs.

Online Schools Center has included SHSU in a list of the top U.S. online schools that “offer the discerning learner the finest education using the most progressive technology.” SHSU ranked #15 on the list, ahead of such institutions as UCLA, Johns Hopkins and Boston University.

techThe list from Online Schools Center cited numerous reasons for ranking SHSU so highly this year, starting with SHSU’s seven lecture theaters that have been equipped with interactive television technology. These rooms, which are operational at both main campus and The Woodlands Center, enable classes to be streamed live to distance learners, with the added benefit of adjustable cameras and multiple microphones. The list also mentioned SHSU’s effective utilization of Blackboard to organize course content while also empowering web-based students to use the university’s library, career services and writing hub.

Online Schools Center describes itself as a resource geared towards business professionals, busy stay at home moms and dads, and those with full schedules whom would prefer an online option. To learn more about Online Schools Center and view the complete list of rankings, visit their website.

The online Master of Education in Instructional Technology program at Sam Houston State University provides students with the skills to use technology as a tool to relay classroom or professional development instruction.

“We designed this to be a very personal program, so we implemented a variety of methods to provide the most beneficial and educational experience for our students. The program is designed to open a lot of doors to potential careers for graduates of the program in various corporations or in the education field.”

– Dr. Kimberly LaPrairie

The 18-month program, provided by the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, may be completed entirely online and enforces a strong, working knowledge of technological communication methods including web design, podcasts, webcasts, and virtual world environments.

SHSU Online Master of Education in Instructional Technology“The program is a combination of courses covering curriculum and instruction, computer science, and educational leadership,” says Kimberly LaPrairie, assistant professor and coordinator for the Master of Education in Instructional Technology program. “The program is designed to open a lot of doors to potential careers for graduates of the program in various corporations or in the education field.”

The M.Ed. in Instructional Technology degree consists of 30 credit hours covering a range of disciplines, drawing course content from three departments within the university. The coursework consists of four Curriculum and Instruction courses, four Computer Science courses, and two Educational Leadership courses.

LaPrairie says the College of Education made strides to set the level of expectations high for student interaction and accessibility while using the online program.

“We designed this to be a very personal program, so we implemented a variety of methods to provide the most beneficial and educational experience for our students,” she says. “Some universities have hundreds of students enrolled in their programs with one professor and one grader. We accept approximately 20 students in a semester, and utilize virtual office sessions and all of the other technological communications that we teach in our course.”

Visit http://distance.shsu.edu to find out more about the Master of Education in Instructional Technology offered through SHSU Online, and see what you can do to get started today!