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K-State launches online graduate certificate in digital media for educators

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023


MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education are launching an online graduate certificate in digital media for educators

The interdisciplinary certificate is designed for working professionals — specifically teachers, college and university faculty, administrators and graduate students — who seek to advance their skills and confidence in digital audiences, analytics, educational and communications technologies, social media and communication. Classes will begin in spring 2024, and prospective students can apply to the program now.

Learners can choose from three pathways to an advanced degree: a Master of Science in mass communications, a Master of Science in curriculum and instruction, or a Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction.

"More than ever, today's educators and administrators at all levels must upskill and reskill in digital media, educational and communication technology and social media to effectively teach in a digital learning environment and, in many situations, match the technology skill levels of their learners," said Alan Boyer, director of digital innovation programs in the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication.

Boyer, a K-State master's alumnus and member of the school's national advisory council, envisioned the program in collaboration with Deepak Subramony, professor and coordinator of educational technology graduate programs in the department of curriculum and instruction.

"The online graduate certificate in digital media for educators is one of K-State's next-gen higher education digital innovations that addresses the realities of today's post-pandemic environment where blended and online learning occupy a significant position within K-12 and higher education," Boyer said.

Boyer and Subramony aligned existing courses, modalities and lab experiences to create a fully online graduate certificate program that will prepare students to analyze digital audiences and analytics, evaluate and select the most effective educational and communication technology for their needs in the classroom, leverage social media data visualization techniques, understand the cultural and social issues in educational technology, and manage strategic communications.

According to Subramony, educational and communications technology competencies have been increasingly essential to teaching and learning success in the current information age, which has been vastly reinforced by the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

"As educators and students were forced to switch to emergency remote learning mode virtually overnight during the spring of 2020, the consequences of insufficient technological skills became starkly and unflatteringly foregrounded, with severe negative outcomes with regard to effective teaching and meaningful student learning," Subramony said. "The coursework constituting our certificate program aims squarely at building these very skills that are so essential to success in today's post-pandemic pedagogical context."

Many educators acknowledge that without proficiencies in digital, educational and communication technologies, they deliver a less-than-normal amount of instructional content or don't cover new material at all, according to a study by the University of Virginia Curry School of Education in partnership with the EDTech Evidence Exchange. More specifically, 86% of teachers and 84% of administrators said they expected the need for education technology to increase during the next three years. 

"This interdisciplinary collaboration with our partners in the College of Education will build knowledge and skills to help educators deliver high-impact instruction using digital tools, audience data and educational and communication technology," said Chris Culbertson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The program's 15-hour curriculum includes four required courses and one elective. The required courses, which do not have prerequisites, are Social/Cultural Issues in Educational Technology, Educational Technology Change Management, Evaluating Educational Media Products and Digital Media Audiences and Analytics. The three elective options are Communication and Technology, Strategic Communications Management and Social Media Data Visualization.

"The College of Education is proud to work with our colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences as we create a pathway for transferring emerging content knowledge to classroom teachers, who, in turn, will help ensure that the college students of tomorrow are equipped to leverage the power of digital tools and technological innovations," said Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education.

The online graduate certificate in digital media for educators is the latest addition to the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication's portfolio of digital workforce development initiatives on campus, online and in the community, government and industry.

Learn more about the graduate certificate in digital media for educators.

Media contact

Division of Communications and Marketing


Digital media for educators graduate certificate

Written by

Alan Boyer