OEN News

White triangular shaped flag with the text "Explore" on a wood floor background
Vanessa Clark

If you’ve been a member of the Oregon Educator Network for a while, you may have noticed some changes to the site recently. These changes are intended to make the experience of using the OEN easier and more useful.

One change is that we’ve added content blocks to the front page to make it easier to find content. The “Recently Added” content block will show you the most recent posts in any public groups and conversations, new groups created, new resources added, events added to the calendar, and new blog posts. If you’re logged in, this section will also show you any recent updates to the private groups that you have membership in. The “Most Popular” content block shows you the most popular groups, resources, and conversations - these are the things that everyone is checking out!

Another new feature is the ability to subscribe to conversations that you’re interested in. Members have always received email notifications on conversations that they start, but now when you click the “subscribe” button on any conversation thread, you will receive an email notification every time the conversation receives a response.

There are a few more updates coming in the next couple of weeks too. Members will now have the option to create facilitated groups that have a designated leader or facilitator. This group type will allow the group facilitator to link a Google Drive, OneDrive, or DropBox folder to facilitate collaborative work within the group. We will also be adding a few new features, including:
• The ability to use your Google or Facebook credentials to create or log in to an OEN account,
• A database full of instructional strategies that has been vetted by the leaders of the Oregon EdTech Professional Development Cadre,
• The ability to post attachments or embed video in your conversations, and
• Documentation guides to help acclimate new users to the site.

In light of all the changes happening on the OEN, it’s important to remember that the real foundation of this community is the educator members. Without educators this is just a site on the internet, rather than a thriving community of practice. The goal of OEN is to support educators across the state, and to make sure that we stay focused on that goal, we will regularly be asking for feedback through quick surveys. If you want to provide feedback and you don’t see a survey posted - please feel free to use the “Contact Us” form any time!

While I’m here, I’d also like to a take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Vanessa Clark - some of you may have met me at conferences, the EdTech Professional Development Cadre, or at any number of meetings, workgroups, or advisory panels hosted by the Oregon Department of Education. I’ve been working at ODE since late 2014, and I joined the Digital Innovations Team in September 2016. Coordinating growth and enhancements to the OEN is one of my primary responsibilities.

Thanks for visiting the OEN - we’re glad to have you here!