EDUCATION

Broadband and education information technology (IT) can transform learning and teaching in New Mexico, reducing geographic and financial barriers to online opportunities. Often, populations living in rural New Mexico do not have consistent access to resources and information. Broadband services provide statewide educational, cultural, and recreational resources and opportunities. Broadband technologies also benefit our community and economy through online training, certificate programs, and communication.

Broadband Educational Communities

  • Online classrooms and labs
  • Online libraries and data archives
  • Online research
  • Digital and computer literacy

Education Issues and Objectives

  • Equality of access to online education
    • Consistent high-speed connectivity
    • Collaboration
    • Global competition
  • Educators and librarians
    • Collaborate and learn through video conferencing
    • Manage interactions with students
    • Manage interactions between students
  • E-learning
    • Web-based training and instruction
    • Skills improvement
    • Virtual classrooms
    • Support systems
  • Social networks and socialization
  • Schools as evacuation centers
    • Emergency communications
    • Shared information
    • Connected communities
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New Mexico Broadband Working Group

The New Mexico Broadband Working Group is developing components for the Statewide Broadband Strategic Plan that focus on Education, Health, and Economic Development sectors. This group engages teachers, librarians, and other education groups, community representatives, broadband providers, and policy officials to help shape and improve online education technology in New Mexico. Working Group objectives for all the sectors are multi-pronged:

  • Broadband availability and adoption
  • Gaps in broadband services
  • Existing facilities and services
  • Key applications and potential funding sources to improve or enhance community broadband access and use
  • Digital Literacy Resource development
  • Tribal and Municipal broadband planning and implementation guidance
  • Policy changes that can improve access and use
  • Governance to promote broadband adoption, integration, and collaboration

Education Goals

The New Mexico Broadband Working Group Education sector members have identified seven major goals for the strategic plan.

  • Ensure quality and reliability of current bandwidth for education.
  • Support underserved students and provide equal opportunity for all students.
  • Support digital learning.
  • Expand distance education.
  • Provide broadband for virtual-classroom, online learning.
  • Develop infrastructure so that students can take tests online, long-term.
  • Support collaboration among education teams.

Toward these goals, the Education sector members are developing a database for education infrastructure, services, and applications. Data compilation begins with a survey to describe technology availability and use in the state's educational facilities. Questions cover Internet access, network design, electronic devices and tools (PCs and tablets, for example), technology services (such as cloud computing and videoconferencing), technology use for Common Core Standards, etc. This survey also characterizes the potentials for using technologies in teaching and learning and identifies challenges and barriers to using broadband services.

In a high-speed world, many communities in New Mexico risk finding themselves behind the curve. Residents, businesses, and educators all can benefit from enhanced broadband availability, higher speeds, and widespread adoption. The NM Broadband Working Group will monitor state, regional, national, and federal programs for Web-based education opportunities, allowing the broadband program and providers to offer resources and recommendations to improve our Internet access to learning-based and teaching technologies and services.

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