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New Course Helps Parents Navigate Online Learning

LAS VEGAS, NM – Parents and guardians of school-age children can develop skills on navigating online learning with their students thanks to a new summer course offered at New Mexico Highlands University.  

Scholarships are available for 20 participants in the Supporting Online Schooling course, which will begin June 4 and meet weekly online through June 25. The remainder of the course is self-paced.  

“The modules are done in a way that everything can be done from a smartphone,” said Marthann Schulte, who helped develop the course. “If you’re a community member who is now overseeing homework help for your kids and grandkids, this course will help you become more comfortable with the technology.  

The course is also designed for people who want to improve their online skills for a new job, people who want training on how to use the Internet, and teachers who want to incorporate more technology in and out of the classroom.   

“We will cover how to leverage technology and be a wise consumer,” Schulte said.  

The course will include two in-person bilingual coaches to help participants navigate the technology.  

“They will be the face in the community,” Schulte said. “They will be the people who can say, ‘if you’re having trouble logging in, let me help.’”  

Schulte said while the pandemic forced a need for remote education, school districts will continue bringing more technology into the classroom, which can be intimidating for some parents and guardians.  

“Some teachers are going to go back to the way it was, and some are going to encourage more digital adoption,” Schulte said. “We’re going to enter a new era of education and technology online.  

The course was part of Highlands President Sam Minner’s goal for the university to serve the community, according to Mary Earick, the dean of Highlands’ School of Education.  

“It was one of the ways we could provide assistance during COVID,” Earick said. 

The scholarships, which provide funds for tuition and fees were made possible by a grant from the Regional Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to facilitate job growth and diversify the economies in communities in seven New Mexico counties, including San Miguel.  

For more information about the course, contact Schulte at marthannschulte@nmhu.edu