ASIJ high school students can dig deeper, and pursue niche interests in their academic studies by taking an online course through Global Online Academy (GOA). ASIJ joined GOA in 2012 to expand learner horizons and provide different kinds of learning experiences that make use of technology and global connections.
There are now more than fifty member schools in the GOA global consortium which means ASIJ students have the opportunity to learn with others from different timezones and cultures.
We asked some of the nine students who are taking GOA courses this semester to share about their experience so far, and why they chose to take a GOA course.
Milla Shin (Grade 11)
Math was always one of my favourite subjects at school. I took Calculus last year, and I loved my class. I wanted to continue taking math, but multivariable calculus was not offered at our school. By taking GOA, I am not only able to continue my math career and apply last year’s content to different dimensions, but I am also able to have the experience of an online classroom.
I have been excited about meeting and working with other people from around the world. Typically, I am used to the people in my class, and I see them outside of class almost every day. Skyping and messaging people I’ve never met in person to discuss calculus has been very interesting and exiting. I am also very surprised about how efficient and effective the class has been so far. At first, I was a bit skeptical about how the class was going to work, and how I would learn without going to class and listening to lectures. Despite several communication and technical problems we had, my teacher has been able to send us videos to watch each week, and I have been able to learn the content that I would have otherwise learned in a normal class.
By taking the GOA course, I have learned to become more independent and responsible. My teacher gives me a certain load of coursework each week, so I have to manage my time to finish the assignments. Also, since I don’t have to go to a classroom and my teacher doesn’t remind me to hand in my assignments, I have to be more responsible and make sure that I complete my work before the deadlines. In addition, if I am confused about a certain concept, my teacher will most likely not realize until I take a quiz or test. Thus, I have to be proactive in asking my own questions.
Kate Latimore (Grade 12)
Art has always been an interest of mine, and I have really enjoyed the various art classes available at ASIJ. While I had taken many classes that involve using paints and ceramics, I hadn’t taken any courses that involved digital art, which I think is a large part of the world around us in today’s day and age. GOA has introduced me to this type of media which is not a specific class available at ASIJ.
Throughout the course so far I have come to realize that design is incorporated in everything around us and that it actually influences the way we act and think. I’ve also found that graphic design is a very effective way to communicate ideas and concepts without using words.
What I’ve learned is how to pace myself when working throughout the week so that I don’t end up having to do all the work on the weekend. Because there is no set class time, I have had to make time on my own to finish tasks. I think this will be important in the future when it will be up to me to designate time for studying.
Ella Noll (Grade 12)
I have always been intrigued by the ability to speak multiple foreign languages. I started with Japanese, made my way to Chinese and now find myself at Arabic. Though I don’t really have a personal connection with the Middle East, the Arab world seems to be such a hot topic of debate and interest in the 21st century that I can only imagine how far the benefits of being able to speak Arabic will go. When I looked through the list of classes GOA offers, nothing jumped out at me as much as Arabic did and I feel so lucky to be able to spend my senior year learning something I’m truly interested in.
A few weeks ago I was notified by my GOA teacher that each student in her Arabic class would participate in a club called the Shu Fi Ma Fi club. Though I was at first a little skeptical and weary about how much extra work it would mean, I now know what a great opportunity it is. The Shu Fi Ma Fi club has paired me with a high school student in Jordan who, throughout the course of the year, will help teach me cultural aspects of Arabic. Last Saturday, I Skyped with my partner for the first time, and we ended up spending two full hours just talking. I learned so much about her culture and was genuinely intrigued by everything she had to say. Learning a language online might seem like it misses out on so many social and cultural lessons, but with technology and resources these days I can participate in things like the Shu Fi Ma Fi club and still get all the benefits of learning a language.
Obviously the trickiest thing with an online course is time management. Especially when learning a language, I have to be careful to learn a little at a time rather than all at once so as to make sure the content sticks. As I struggle with time management, I have found that there are days where I simply want to complete the assignment, and there are days where I don’t want to stop. Those are by far the best days. It’s been a while since I have felt so passionately interested in something, and I’m glad that GOA has allowed me to experience that.
Interview[vimeo 110971708 w=500]
(Above) Grade 12 student Reisa Matsuda is something of an expert on GOA courses because she has been able to pursue a personal interest in the field of health through a variety of courses offered. We interviewed her about how learning online has expanded her learning horizons, and how she is using what she has learned in her work as a student trainer.