Executive Director Geoff Best
Each issue of Global Connections will include a feature interview with one of the OCENET team.
1. What is the Ottawa Carleton Education Network (OCENET)?
GB: The Ottawa-Carleton Education Network is a non-profit organization established to provide financial support for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
2. What was the origin of OCENET?
GB: OCENET was the idea of a former OCDSB Director and was created in 1992 to market and sell various services and products of the board. In 1999 OCENET elected to focus on International Education as the primary means for generating revenue.
3. What is your role at OCENET?
GB: As the Executive Director I am responsible for the ongoing growth and development of the organization.
4. What are the main goals of OCENET?
GB: The main goals of OCENET include the following: to create an international network of educators and students to share knowledge and expertise; to create a forum for Ottawa students and teachers to meet and learn from international students and teachers; and to provide a sustainable source of funding for the OCDSB.
5. What are some of the accomplishments of OCENET?
GB: Over the last 10 years OCENET has attracted over 2000 students to OCDSB schools. We've also established a language school and provided training to more than 600 teachers from a number of countries including Korea, China, Sweden, Spain and Nigeria. Revenue from these initiatives has helped to provide funding to support OCDSB schools and programs in such areas as outdoor education, ESL programming, and a wide variety of individual school projects. We have also partnered with schools in China to provide EFL training to students there, and we are continuing to develop partnerships with schools in other countries. It’s an exciting time to be involved in international education!
6. What are the next steps for OCENET?
GB: We will work closely with the OCDSB on international initiatives that will help to promote and support the board's new strategic plan in areas of global citizenship, intercultural learning and in internationalizing the curriculum.