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IDEAL-NM Innovative Digital Education and Learning in New Mexico

IDEAL-NM provides eLearning services to PK-12 schools, higher education institutions, and government agencies. We reduce geographic and other barriers to educational opportunity while increasing the digital literacy skills youth and adult learners need to participate in a global economy.

New Mexico is the first state in the nation to create a statewide eLearning system that from its inception encompasses all aspects of learning from traditional public and higher education environments to teacher professional development, continuing education and workforce education. IDEAL-NM is a joint program of the New Mexico Public Education and Higher Education Departments.


The IDEAL-NM initiative was announced by Governor Bill Richardson on October 27, 2006, and followed by legislation sponsored by Representative Rick Miera and Senator Cynthia Nava in the 2007 session.

Implementation of a statewide eLearning delivery system for PK-12, higher education, and state agencies. This includes statewide software licensing for a Learning Management System (LMS). Creation of a state-led eLearning program in partnership with local schools, districts, and Regional Education Cooperatives. The intent of this program is to provide online courses that supplement the curricular offerings of New Mexico schools.
Creation of a statewide eLearning Service Center for PK-12, higher education, and state agencies to support the use of the shared eLearning delivery system via the LMS. This includes Help Desk support for the administration and use of the eLearning LMS software.

Who We Are

IDEAL-NM provides eLearning services to New Mexico PK-12 schools, higher education housing, and government agencies. We reduce geographic and capacity barriers to educational opportunity while increasing the digital literacy skills students need to participate in a global economy.

What We Do

Collaborates with New Mexico schools in providing online courses that expand educational opportunity for all students. The high-quality courses are taught by New Mexico teachers.
Works with Regional Education Cooperatives in facilitating eLearning best-practices training for member schools. Implements a shared eLearning infrastructure using a single statewide Learning Management System, web conferencing system, and Help Desk (scheduled for Fall 2008 rollout).
Provides professional development courses for PK-20 teachers, and training courses for government agency employees (courses to be developed in 2008-09).
Promotes statewide sharing of other educational resources, including subject matter expertise, instructional content and support services.
Coordinates with other statewide technology initiatives.

Why We Do it

Expand education opportunities, close achievement gaps, support college and career goals, and prepare students for global competition.
Reduce the cost of technology access to PK-12 schools, higher education institutions, and state agencies.
Reduce the travel and personnel costs of state agency trainings and PK-12 teacher professional development via online courses.
Increase technology application skills of New Mexico youth and adult learners.
Facilitate more cooperation between PK-12 schools, higher education institutions and state agencies.

Advisory Council

Veronica Chavez-Neuman, Program Director, Distance Education and Extension Learning, New Mexico State University
Jim Holloway, Assistant Secretary, Public Education Department
Brian Ormand, Director, New Mexico Learning Network
Susie Bussman, Director, Regional Education Technology Assistance
Tom Ryan, Executive Director of Technology, Albuquerque Public Schools
Shari Zimmer, Education Specialist, High Plains Regional Education Cooperative
Gary Cozzens, Director, Career and Technical Education, Region IX Education Cooperative


Virginia Padilla-Vigil, Executive Director
Laurie Wilder, eLearning and Technical Support Specialist
Amy Jaramillo, Academic Services Director
Andre Jackson, Student Services Coordinator
Belinda Vigil, Administrative Coordinator

What is a Web Portal?

Did you know that in New Mexico there are already 40 public schools, 12 charter schools, 17 state agencies, and 11 higher education institutions that have developed portals through IDEAL-NM and are offering their own online learning programs?

A web portal allows you to access all of IDEAL-NM's middle and high school online courses and use them in fully online or blended learning formats. Through your web portal you can develop your own courses, build collaboration through communities and organizations, and share content and resources across your organization.

There are three components to a web portal:

  1. Content System: Store and share resources and content within your secure portal.
  2. Community System: Build communities of practice within your portal and use the virtual collaboration tools (e.g. Wikis, Blogs, Chat, Announcements, and Messaging).
  3. Learning Management System: Develop and deliver online content (k-12 courses, professional development courses, training modules, etc.)