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New Mexico State University

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'Green learning' earns NMSU ICT director technology award

The movement is clear - in the streets by way of hybrid cars, in our homes through solar panels and now in the office via the Internet.

Brian Ormand, director of Strategic Relations for Information and Communication Technologies at NMSU, was presented the 2008 Technology Excellence Achievement Award for his commitment to the state's eLearning initiative. (NMSU courtesy photo)

These are all statements of the eco-friendly environmental movement. But how does the Internet fit into green living?

It's all possible through eLearning, a planned teaching/learning experience that uses a wide spectrum of digital technologies to reach learners.

"It's green learning," said Brian Ormand, director of Strategic Relations for Information and Communication Technologies at New Mexico State University. "It cuts down on travel and provides the flexibility that students need."

Less travel means cutting fuel consumption and reducing air pollution.

Ormand was part of a team that helped lead the implementation of eLearning throughout the state by means of Innovative Digital Education and Learning in New Mexico (IDEAL-NM).

IDEAL-NM is a statewide eLearning initiative that mixes organizations, technologies and policies to expand educational opportunities.

The state's eLearning initiative targets middle school, high school and college students, teachers, local academic mentors, state employees, charter school students, home school students and other groups.

"New Mexico was the first state to create a statewide eLearning service that mixes and mashes all sectors of the educational continuum, including PK-12, higher education, professional development and workforce education," Ormand said.

For his role in IDEAL-NM, Ormand received the 2008 Technology Excellence Achievement Award this year from the New Mexico Technology Council, the state's largest advocacy group for technology related business.

"I'm very honored to be a recipient," he said. "I've been involved with eLearning since early virtual learning and the award reflects the work of a lot of people."
With the help of IDEAL-NM, the state was ranked at the top when it comes to online learning.

In 2008, the Center for Digital Education conducted a review of state policy and programs to determine the status of online learning and practice across the United States. New Mexico was ranked No. 6.

According to the CDE, the rankings reflect the vision, policies, programs and strategies that states have deployed around online learning in an effort to transform their academic environment to meet the needs of students.

Ormand's primary research focus is the diffusion of innovation related to eLearning and instructional technologies. His background includes a doctorate in education leadership with a focus on implementation of educational technology systems.