Technology Investments: A ‘Game Changer’ – University of Idaho
When broadband internet recently arrived at the Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center at the University of Idaho, Kyle Nagy said the technology had become an instant “game changer” on expanding educational opportunities at the University of Idaho. distance.
“Before, when it was windy or there was heavy cloud cover, we would lose the internet sporadically throughout the day,” said Nagy, superintendent of the center and director of orchard operations.
Not having to attend an in-person class on a set day and time allowed me to thrive in all aspects of my life without feeling overwhelmed or like I couldn’t achieve my goals. Jessica Hall, U of I, Caldwell Graduate
When the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences center near the base of Schweitzer Mountain hosted the Heritage Orchard conference before the pandemic, perhaps 100 people attended the event in person.
Now, thanks to the broadband installed last winter, more than 1,200 researchers, gardeners and orchards from nearly all 50 states and 18 countries have registered for webinars this spring.
“We reached a much larger crowd,” Nagy said. “There is no doubt that the high speed and the availability of bandwidth to reach so many people has been a game changer.”
A $ 410,000 Idaho Department of Commerce grant for rural broadband funded the service, which provides publicly accessible wireless Internet access at the center as well as extension centers in Boundary, Bonner counties. and Kootenai.