The Oregon Technology and Education Network Conference, OTEN, unites educators across Oregon to help advance school’s learning through the innovative use of technology. Pacific University has been a large contributor in making the OTEN conference available to teach other educators how to better educate students.
OTEN began when Pacific received their first technology lab in Carnegie hall 15 years ago.The dean at the time was given a small grant to encompass a cluster of private colleges together to talk about how facilities would use technology in the education system.
The original schools that participated in the talks were Willamette University, University of Portland, Pacific and George Fox University. Together they wrote a grant which helped the project move forward with $1.3 million that funded and created the group OTEN.
The 15th annual OTEN conference was held at Pacific Feb. 20. This was Pacific’s fifth year hosting the OTEN conference.
Pacific University education professor Mark Bailey said that Pacific is the main supporter of the OTEN conference because the value of the conference is very important to the faculty, not only to showcase their talent, but also a learning and teaching opportunity to better the university’s education system.
The conference was an all day event, with about 150 attendees, represented by at least seven universities.
The main speaker was Dr. Linda Samek from George Fox University, a regular with OTEN.
“Through the funding between various deans, libraries and schools the only expense for this conference was the free lunch and coffee,” Bailey said. “All of the organization and work is done by the students and faculties at Pacific.”
The OTEN conference has expanded from private university faculty to preschool through grade 12 in the morning, then higher education facility in the afternoon to promote innovated uses of technology across the school board.
“The university has valued the OTEN conference and supported this conference,” said Bailey. “Which has what allowed it to continue and allows us to be the connection between all these universities, teacher preparation programs and teaching programs in a way that helps recognize the expertise and leadership that pacific is providing regionally.”
At the OTEN conference there were many classrooms with different presenters, allowing participants to attend the presentation that most interested them. The presentations were given by teachers and faculty across the board to help give insight through their own experiences.