Harnessing the Power of Technology to Inspire Learning

Technology is rapidly changing the face of education — both by creating powerful new learning tools and strategies, and by facilitating remote and virtual education. This Master of Education degree specialization is focused on helping educators develop a deep understanding of how traditional educational research, standards, frameworks, techniques and best practices can be integrated with technology to promote equitable and engaging digital learning experiences for all learners.

The program supports degree candidates in developing the knowledge and skills to become transformative, networked K-12 educational technology leaders capable of integrating traditional pedagogical practices with current technology tools.

Course of Study

Earn this University of San Diego Master of Education degree by completing 10 courses (3 units each): 5 core courses, 4 EdTech specialization courses, and 1 (elective) from one of the following USD M.Ed. specialization tracks:

  • Inclusive Learning – Special Education and Universal Design (UDL)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)
  • Literacy and Digital Learning
  • School Leadership

A Capstone Seminar is the final course in the program and builds on knowledge gained in the research and specialization courses.

Program Course Curriculum

The Master of Education: Technology and Innovation specialization program spans five semesters and includes a mandatory orientation course. Each semester is 14 weeks and is split into two different 7-week courses. Below is a sample outline of what the span of the Master of Education: Technology and Innovation master’s degree specialization program may look like:


Course Units
Master of Education Orientation

This course introduces you to the University of San Diego and provides important information about the program. Throughout the orientation, you will learn to successfully navigate through the Blackboard learning environment and locate helpful resources. You will practice completing tasks in Blackboard as preparation for success in your online graduate courses. This orientation course will be available to you as a reference tool throughout the entirety of your program.


Semester 1

Course Units
Social Justice and Educational Equity

Analysis of the American educational system with a particular focus on issues of diversity, inequity, conflict and social justice within a school context. Historical case studies, contemporary policies and practices, and international comparisons compel consideration of the social construction of education.

Changemaking with Technology

Changemaking involves taking creative action to solve a social problem. Schools and companies are incorporating emerging technologies (e.g., coding, robotics, 3D printing, Virtual Reality, Design Thinking, and interest/strengths exams such as the RIASEC) to enhance learning opportunities and transform instruction. This course provides students with meaningful learning experiences using technology to promote social change. Students will be challenged to think about how technology impacts our daily lives, the way we learn, and how we utilize it in our day to day lives. Students will also gain understanding of how technology can be leveraged to personalize learning for all types of learners including adults. This course is for students to gain innovative and engaging teaching methods for developing 21st century skills and digitized learning.


Semester 2

Course Units
Cognition & Learning

Explore key cognitive studies on human cognition and learning. You will critically discuss research and contemporary debates on cognitive processes, learning, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, developmental mechanism, cognitive styles, motivation, and the socio-cultural foundations of learning with an emphasis on the implications for educators and educational researchers.

Digitized Learning with Technology

This course will address virtual learning by using technology and digitized learning education material that is accessible for all types of learners. Students will learn the foundations and frameworks of educational technology. Students will learn how to use digital content via the Internet and technology tools to transform traditional instruction. Students will also investigate professional development opportunities to keep them current with their profession and the ever changing technology field.


Semester 3

Course Units
Educational Research Methodology

Introduction to the major educational research methods and paradigms with an emphasis on reflective, practitioner-directed inquiry. The course encompasses quantitative methods, qualitative methods, mixed methods, and action research frameworks. Particular emphasis is placed on action research as a reflective and collaborate inquiry for improving educational practices.

Instructional Design for Leaders

This course addresses the systematic design of learning experiences and environments.  Students learn about the use of instructional design (ID) models and predominant learning theories (behaviorist, cognitive, and constructivist) to create effective learning experiences. Learners explore various elements of the instructional design process, including needs assessment, instructional problems, learner characteristics, instructional objectives, content sequencing, instructional strategies, instructional delivery, evaluation instruments, instructional resources, media selection, and formative evaluation.


Semester 4

Course Units
Qualitative Methods in Educational Research

Applied exploration of qualitative research methodologies such as ethnography, grounded theory, case-study and cross-case comparisons, surveys, observations, document analyses, focus groups and interviews. Opportunity to learn and apply a variety of techniques to analyze data and interpret findings.

Universal Design through Technology

In this course, students plan, develop, evaluate, and manage the implementation of technology in various learning environments so that all students are learning at their potential.  This is accomplished by exploring the “what” of learning, relating to the need to present material in multiple formats.  Students also examine “how” learners express understanding of content and concepts through assessment options. students will delve into the “why” of learning by studying learning styles and affective objectives.  A prototype design project and field reports of the project are the major product of this course.


Semester 5

Course Units
Capstone Pathways

For the concluding phase in the program, Masters candidates have the option of three culminating final projects: studies employing action research, studies employing other methodologies, or the curriculum research project.

Teaching Digital Writers

Investigation of theories about how and why we write and how we teach writing in 21st century classrooms. Exploration of how these theories inform pedagogy, professional learning and research.

Co-Teaching: Collaborating in an Inclusive Environment

Examination of research, policy, and practice of co-teaching and collaboration models that support general education and special education students in inclusive classrooms.

Communication, Technology and Curriculum Design

Theoretical and practical exploration of the use of technology to transform learning and teaching in the K-12 classroom. Investigation into the use of social networking, online learning, mobile technology, and web-based applications to facilitate and strengthen science and math education.

Leading Professional Learning Communities

Investigation of strategies used to build and sustain effective site-based professional learning communities. Targeted focus on how to structure school operations and leverage resources to prioritize professional learning, continuous improvement, and each student’s academic success and well-being. (PSEL #7 & 9).

Only Capstone Seminar [EDUC 550] is a core course, students can choose any one elective from the other four listed courses for Semester 5.

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Technology and Innovation