State-wide New Mexico E-learning Program Adopts Wimba for Collaboration
- By Dian Schaffhauser
New Mexico's Innovative Digital Education and Learning program (IDEAL-NM) has selected the Wimba Collaboration Suite to pilot as its statewide collaborative learning platform. IDEAL-NM will deploy Wimba's in its statewide network of K-12 and higher education institutions, which includes 89 districts and 22 college campuses, to enhance student engagement and collaboration and increase learning outcomes.
According to a statement from the vendor, New Mexico was the first state in the nation to create a statewide e-learning system that encompasses all aspects of learning from traditional public and higher education environments to teacher professional development, continuing education, and workforce education. This partnership will enable IDEAL-NM to offer Wimba's applications across its network of institutions, facilitating the use of online video, voice, instant messaging, content authoring, application sharing, and whiteboarding throughout the state.
"With a scope as large as ours, communication and collaboration are crucial," said Donna Harrington, e-learning technology director for IDEAL-NM. "The Wimba Collaboration Suite will enable us to bring our statewide community of users together online, so that we can collaborate, brainstorm, develop, and implement best practices that will help our students to succeed."
The Wimba suite includes Classroom, a virtual learning environment that includes audio, video, application sharing, and content display; Pronto for instant messaging; Voice, for embedding vocal interactions into pages of a course management system; and Create, a content authoring tool that converts Microsoft Word documents into Web content for Blackboard and WebCT courses.
Designed to work within the state's existing Blackboard online course management system, the Wimba suite allows users to do single sign-on and gain access to Wimba tools directly from the online course environments.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.