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Going Global

ACADEMIC Nov 28, 2017

Global Online AcademyGlobal Online Academy (GOA), a program that connects independent schools around the world through online classrooms, recently honored two Nobles teachers with the designation of “learning design coaches.”

Modern language faculty member Ayako Anderson and history and social science faculty member Jenny Carlson-Pietraszek earned the titles for their “commitment to excellent teaching and learning in the classroom, the school and the professional learning community.” They will join 11 other teachers from domestic and international schools in the Learning Design Coaches Cohort, a group dedicated to supporting GOA faculty with ideas for confronting modern learning challenges.

In a meeting of Nobles students taking GOA courses, Anderson and her students demonstrated the benefits of the GOA program. Four Nobles students, Cam Camacho ‘18, Harrison Cohen-Harding ‘19, Alexandra Weinsten ‘19 and Nicole Weinsten ‘19 participated in GOA this year. Respectively, they took Number Theory, Introduction to Psychology, Applying Philosophy to Modern Global Issues, and Medical Problem Solving I.

Among the many benefits of these cosmopolitan classrooms are the relationships formed between Nobles students and their international classmates and teachers. The GOA students of this semester name South African, Hawaiian, Chinese, Singaporean and Japanese students among their classmates. Cohen-Harding interviewed a Puerto Rico-based classmate for his psychology course, and learned of an indigenous dish. Alexandra Weinsten engages with her classmates through online response videos. “I’ve come to know my peers really well,” she says.

GOA multiplies Nobles’ curriculum offerings, giving Nobles students access to 46 courses from over 70 member schools. Alexandra Weinsten learned to apply Platonic, Aristotelian and Confucian thought to the moral question of drone warfare, while Cohen-Harding learned about the influence of environment on personal preference. Camacho learned about cryptography and Nicole Weinsten diagnosed a hypothetical patient.

Layers of support systems throughout the GOA program, including the Learning Design Coaches Cohort, ensure the curriculum remains engaging and current, always for the benefit of the students. The program encourages students to pursue their unique interests, take responsibility for their own success, collaborate with classmates of various backgrounds, and expand their networks to include the world’s best teachers. This online community expands the borders of brick and mortar schools like Nobles to encourage, as Anderson says, “a new way of teaching and learning.” 
 

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