Western Oregon Educational Technology Summer Conference
On August 15th, 2023, Western Oregon’s Educational Technology Program held a free online conference that focused on providing practical skills, discussions, presentations, and workshops on ethical, smart technology integration into teaching, learning, and training.
The conference was for anyone (teachers, staff, classroom assistants, administrators, etc.) working in K-14 who was interested in improving or expanding their use of technology to support teaching, learning, and training in their current or future workplaces.
The conference offered multiple sessions with different presenters in each session. The presenters were individuals with experience using technology to support teaching, learning, and training and who wish to share their takeaways, research, and/or experiences with others.
The goal of the conference was to promote joyful, intelligent, ethical, and compassionate user- and learner-centered technology in learning and working environments.
There were a total of five sessions at the conference.
- The first session was presented by Seyed Abdollah Shahrokni and Britany Stagnoli. Together, they discussed the use of educational escape rooms (EER). The workshop walked participants through the process of building a virtual EER using Google productivity tools. The workshop supported educators in the creation of opportunities for students to be involved further in the learning process by participating in escape rooms that focus not only on content but on engagement, critical thinking, and technology use.
- The second session, presented by Alexandra Smith, a graduate student in the MSEd: Educational Technology program, was about making up for the missing interaction and connection, while suggesting that it’s possible to connect and interact more to learn in an even more effective and meaningful way in an online learning space.
- Next, Dr. Justin Greathouse discussed what ChatGPT can and cannot do, ethical implications, and modeling practical uses of ChatGPT.
- The fourth session, presented by Laura Peterson, Dr. Jamie Crosswhite, and James Crawford, talked about asynchronous teaching tools to foster student engagement, positivity, and community. The presentation highlights strategies that can be implemented in the online classroom to promote student centeredness, choice, and accessibility through a multifaceted approach to engage students in equitable means of learning in order to create joy through types of engagement. Some teaching tools that can be used to achieve this are discussion board, Jamboard, Padlet, peer groups, student-instructor collaboration, and student liberative learning.
- The final session was a panel that discussed promoting the joy of online learning across context, audience, and time. The members of the panel were Dr. Dawn Gilmore, Dr, Sarah Prestige, Lina Du-Lazzara, Dr. Chinh Nguyen, Anitra Nottingham, and Toni Jones. Together, they addressed the essence of joy in learning, designing joyful learning environments, fostering inclusivity and empathy, and overcoming challenges in online joyful learning.