Creating a Virtual Classroom for NAU’s Ed. Tech. ProgramBrick and mortar schools are increasingly challenged by the globally networked world.The past four decades have witnessed the emergence of a connected society that transcendstraditional notions of time and space. Yet educational institutions continue to design instructionalstrategies based on a century-old paradigm. Entrenched in the past, many schools viewtechnological innovations as
to existing frameworks. Piece-meal reformsare too commonplace when real systemic changes are actually needed. Are we teaching 21stcentury skills using 19th century practices and platforms?RationaleThe time for systemic change has come. Educators must retool their thinking and practices to meet the burgeoning demand of a virtually connected world. Barriers between live,distance, and virtual classrooms must be torn down. The hard technology is here. The softtechnology must be integrated. The next step is to create a virtual classroom for NAU in which todiscover, explore, and practice the new paradigm.
Statement of the Problem
NAU has a reputation for being cutting-edge among higher education institutions offeringdistance education opportunities. However, over one hundred leading Universities around theworld already have virtual campuses offering everything from registration and enrollment toactual courses that can be taken virtually. NAU’s education department wants to train the nextgeneration of educational technology leaders. Yet without offering such a platform in which tolearn, the goal of educating technology leaders is difficult if not impossible to achieve. NAU Virtual Classroom 3