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SWU launches Master’s of Education in Virtual Teaching

SWU launches Master’s of Education in Virtual Teaching

    11.30.20 | Academics Education SWU Online by Dr. Tyler Watts

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about challenges and with it rapid adjustments that have reshaped learning in our districts, schools, and universities. Educators have risen to the challenge, adapting lessons, learning new technologies, and finding innovative ways to ensure student success despite numerous barriers.

    With vaccines in testing stages and the hope of a not-to-distant school year without masks or social distancing, will adaptations formed out of emergency become transformational solutions? The picture is not yet clear, but early studies like those from Promethean, are discovering that the measures taken to undertake remote teaching are paving a path for extended digital learning approaches. Their 2020 State of Technology in Education report found that the majority of teachers and administrators (82%) see technology-enhanced learning as an area of heavy emphasis in the coming decade. The report emphasizes that hybrid, blended, and online learning solutions are no longer a footnote in district and school strategic planning.

    These early report findings call for a renewed emphasis on leveraging existing technology solutions and teacher training opportunities, while also rethinking fundamental concepts like seat time and core instruction. It also requires administrators and teachers to consider digital equities and the social and emotional well-being of students across digital environments. This has the potential to reshape many of the assumptions we have about education and offer opportunities for our students that will ensure their success and career readiness.

    Southern Wesleyan University is responding to this changing environment by offering a 36-hour online Masters of Education (MED) with a new specialization in Virtual Teaching. Embedded within this program are four courses that lead to a microcredential in Virtual Teaching. The microcredential is also recognized in South Carolina as an endorsement in online teaching.  The program combines relevant educational theories, instructional strategies, and a hands-on exploration of digital learning approaches. The coursework prepares you for success regardless of the teaching environment, leveraging technology-enhanced approaches driven by evidence-based practices.

    “This specialization recognizes that digital learning has a critical role in our classrooms – whether that is in a fully-online virtual setting or utilizing technology effectively in face-to-face settings,” said Program Coordinator Dr. Tyler Watts. “We want to empower educators to leverage those tools and skills in ways that promote engaged learning.” Students may also choose to take the four courses outside of the Master’s program, leading to a graduate certificate in Instructional Design which also counts toward the state endorsement in online teaching. The next cohort starts January 11.

    Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. Click here for details about online degree programs.

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