9 December 2004 OPETA and GPEN: models for local and global networking
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With the rise of photonics education and training programs globally at all levels (from grade school to grad school), it becomes crucial to put educators from around the globe in contact with each other to avoid repeating mistake or re-inventing the wheel, and to share best practices. Networking on such a scale is the goal of the Global Photonics Education Network (GPEN). Started by a group of educators from nine countries and four continents in 2001 at the "Education and Training in Optics and Photonics" (ETOP 2001) in Singapore, the GPEN has slowly gained momentum, membership, a structure and support from major international optical societies. One of the main ideas behind the GPEN is that while one must network globally, this should have an effect locally. This is why an important part of it all are the local education clusters. Such clusters are developing in different forms and one vivid example is the Ontario Photonics Education and Training Association (OPETA). Founded in June 2001 by nine Ontario education institutions with new programs in photonics, OPETA now counts more than sixty members throughout Ontario and beyond. Whether it is through its regular meetings, its active listserv email service or its role in distributing more than $4-million in industry equipment donations over the past two years, OPETA has had a profound influence on the development of photonics program in the province. In this presentation, I will present OPETA and GPEN as successful models for effective networking between photonics educators.
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Marc Nantel, Marc Nantel, } "OPETA and GPEN: models for local and global networking", Proc. SPIE 5578, Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Astronomy, Biomedicine, Imaging, Materials Processing, and Education, (9 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.581147; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.581147

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