ASIJ and Global Online Academy

Paul O’Neill (director of teaching and learning) updates us on Global Online Academy (GOA). Five years ago ASIJ joined GOA, an online platform with over 60 schools from all over the world, in an effort to broaden the opportunities for high level courses that our students can take and to create additional specialist areas.

At the start of the 2016-17 school year, we opened courses to grade 10 for the first time and a total of 26 students took part in GOA courses. Courses such as IOS app development, global health, medical problem solving, organic chemistry, linear algebra and comparative politics provided additional pathways and opportunities for students to pursue areas of interest.

One of our students last year earned a GOA Citation, which is awarded to participants whose exemplary presentations best represent the goals of the conference: raising awareness, promoting grassroots action and promoting institutional change.  Rae Edmunds earned her GOA Citation for her presentation on gender inequality in Japan.  Rae summarized her project by saying that she “described the state of gender inequality in Japan and explored the cultural conditions that accounted for such a huge disparity in a very developed and modern country.” She then compared Japanese gender-related policies to those of Iceland, which has been deemed the most gender equal country in the world, looking at the issue from four lenses: labor participation, pay gap, maternity leave and political participation. You can learn more about her project on the GOA  website.

This year, a new cohort of students embark on an exciting new experience as they undertake courses with GOA. Each semester GOA offers a range of interesting and diverse courses that provide broader subject choice. Courses that our students will be taking include: filmmaking, poetry writing, Arabic language and culture, digital journalism, human rights, entrepreneurship in a global context, computer science and abnormal psychology.

GOA courses generally fit within concentrations such as new models of thinking, building empathy and human behaviour, catalyzing change, design and technology, exploring diversity and supporting sustainability. These concentrations allow for students to pursue ideas and passions. This invariably creates a personal pathway within domains of study that become a point of interest for students to pursue or to fill a gap that their school curriculum might not meet.

This year we also have three of our ASIJ high school faculty members teaching courses for GOA. Ryosuke Suzuki is teaching Japanese language and culture, Beth Crissy is teaching medical problem solving and Brendan Sarsfield is teaching architecture.

In addition to our three high school teachers, we are thrilled to announce that Jessica Gould has been awarded the title of Learning Design Coach by Global Online Academy. Jessica is also teaching a GOA course. This year Jessica was invited to join the 2017-2018 inaugural Learning Design Coaches Cohort which is made up of thirteen coaches, each of whom has demonstrated a commitment to excellent teaching and learning in the classroom, the school, and the professional learning community.

Learning Design Coaches will:
  • Lead collaborative initiatives between and among schools as a GOA vision ambassador.
  • Submit for conferences as a GOA Learning Design Coach.
  • Be eligible to lead professional learning workshops, courses, and events.
  • Create and publish content including writing blogs and thought-pieces about their modern learning ideas and innovations.
  • Learn coaching and leadership skills based on their individual goals and interests.
  • Join a growing community of instructional coaches and educational leaders.

You can learn more about Global Online Academy and our students’ previous work with the program by checking out our past posts: ASIJ Joins Global Online Academy and Expanding Learning Horizons with GOA.