New Mexico Launches Statewide eLearning Initiative

As part of its Innovative Digital Education and Learning (IDEAL-NM) initiative, New Mexico is launching a statewide program to standardize on a single electronic learning platform--Blackboard--spanning K-12, higher education, adult education, and government. The initiative will also support a new statewide virtual high school.

The initiative will see new Mexico consolidate 22 existing systems into a single Blackboard system through Blackboard's Managed Hosting service. The initiative spans the state's 89 public school districts and 25 public colleges and universities, adult education, and workforce development programs, as well as state agencies, which will use the platform for training purposes.

"We envision IDEAL-NM expanding educational opportunities and access, improving graduation rates, and involving students more in their own educational planning," said New Mexico Secretary of Public Education Veronica C. GarcĂ­a. "This partnership will help give our young people--and our state--the tools they will need to thrive in the 21st century."

The initiative will also be used to power expanded professional development opportunities in the state. And, as part of the implementation, it will be used to support distance learning at the high school and college level in an attempt to "increase the percentage of students that graduate from high school and attend college," according to information released by Blackboard.

"We in New Mexico are building an innovative system of delivering education across the barriers of distance as well as the barriers of different pre-K-12 and higher education communities and educational cultures," said New Mexico Cabinet Secretary of Higher Education Reed Dasenbrock, in a statement released Wednesday. "IDEAL-NM is central to our vision of a 21st century educational system in which all can participate and all can benefit from this exciting endeavor."

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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