Global Online Academy is a not-for-profit educational partnership serving member-school students in grade levels 9-12. Established in March 2011, the first classes were launched in September 2011.
The mission of the Global Online Academy is to translate into online classrooms the intellectually rigorous programs and excellent teaching that are hallmarks of its member schools; to foster new and effective ways, through best practices in online education, for all students to learn; and to promote students’ global awareness and understanding by creating truly diverse, worldwide, online schoolroom communities.
In addition to giving you access to exciting new courses, we also hope to create truly global classrooms in which you will learn alongside peers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. These courses are designed, developed, and taught by teachers from our schools and you will receive credit for the course through your school. All of the courses listed below are one semester in length.
If you are interested in taking an academy course, please first consult your academic advisor and discuss the choice with your parents or guardians. Then, fill out the Global Online Academy registration form (in addition to your school’s own registration form) and turn it in to your designated school administrator.
If you have questions about any of the current course offerings or if there’s a course you’d like the academy to offer in the future, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the 2013-14 GOA Course Catalog here.
JAPANESE I: LANGUAGE THROUGH CULTURE
FALL SEMESTER COURSES
ARABIC I: LANGUAGE THROUGH CULTURE
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
GLOBAL VOICES: POETRY WRITING
INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY
MEDICAL PROBLEM SOLVING
MUSIC THEORY and DIGITAL COMPOSITION
9/11 in a GLOBAL CONTEXT
SPRING SEMESTER COURSES
DECLARING OUR HUMANITY
GLOBAL VOICES: FICTION WRITING
INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY
iOS APP DEVELOPMENT
YEAR-LONG COURSES 2013-14
JAPANESE LANGUAGE THROUGH CULTURE This course is a unique combination of Japanese culture and language, weaving cultural comparison with the study of basic Japanese language and grammar. While examining various cultural topics such as literature, art, lifestyle, and economy, students will learn the basics of the Japanese writing system, grammar and vocabulary. Students will learn the Japanese language by examining different cultural topics every two weeks. The ultimate goal of this course is to raise awareness and appreciation of different cultures through learning the basics of the Japanese language. The focus of this course will be 60 percent on language and 40 percent on culture. This course is appropriate for beginning-level high-school students.
PRE-CALCULUS This course takes an applications-oriented approach to topics in advanced algebra and trigonometry. Working as individuals and in teams, students will solve problems related to public health, finance, astronomy, probability, and other practical applications. The topics covered include polynomial, rational, and exponential functions; logarithms; trigonometric functions; and sequences and series. Students taking this course will have successfully completed Algebra II and Geometry.
|2013 SEMESTER COURSES (offered in both Fall and Spring)
BIOETHICS Ethics is the study of what one should do as an individual and as a member of society. In this course students will evaluate ethical issues related to medicine and the life sciences. During the semester, students will explore real-life ethical issues, including vaccination policies, organ transplantation, genetic testing, human experimentation, and animal research. Through reading, writing, and discussion, students will be introduced to basic concepts and skills in the field of bioethics, will deepen their understanding of biological concepts, will strengthen their critical-reasoning skills, and will learn to engage in respectful dialogue with people whose views may differ from their own. In addition to journal articles and position papers, students will be required to read Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
AN INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER PROGRAMMING This course teaches students how to write programs in the Java programming language. Students will develop problem solving and computational thinking skills framed by the questions: How do computers store information? How do they make intelligent decisions? How can they efficiently process large tasks? Students will learn the major syntactical elements of the Java language, objected oriented design and programming, several variants of the software development lifecycle, how to utilize a software development environment, and how to test and debug programs. The emphasis in the course will be on writing actual working programs through short lab assignments and more extended projects. No previous computer programming knowledge is necessary.
AN INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY In this course, students will explore how the human mind works and the impact of environment and biology on the development of the psyche. This course seeks to address a number of questions: Why do people act the way they do? How is the human personality constructed? How accurate is memory? How do human beings experience attraction and revulsion? What do our dreams mean? In addition to discussing, studying and researching how psychological processes can affect sensation, motivation, emotion, learning, and memory, students will also review relevant public policy through discussions with experts on criminal psychology and pharmacology, and review best practices regarding psychological ethics in both clinical and laboratory settings. Finally, students will design a comprehensive review of a particular psychological hypothesis and apply it to an experiment of their own design.
MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS Multivariable Calculus will extend the principles and techniques of a first course in calculus to higher dimensions. Students will study vector algebra and functions, matrices, curves in space, arc length and curvature, and velocity and acceleration. Students will also learn: partial differentiation, local extrema, exact differentials, chain rule, directional derivative and gradient. As a continuation of integral calculus students will study double integration and triple integration, line integrals, volume and other applications. This course is meant for students who successfully completed (B+ or better) a first year AP (or equivalent) calculus course. Students must have access to a computerized 3D graphing utility, such as Grapher (standard utility on Mac computers) or Autograph, and must be comfortable using or learning to use new technology.
ONLINE JOURNALISM The GOA Journal will be an online news magazine that is designed, written and published by students from around the globe. This collaborative course will focus on learning the fundamentals of journalistic writing, understanding the historical arc of journalism, and becoming comfortable with online tools such as Twitter, Dipity, Storify and Wordpress that are utilized by news sites around the world. Students will gain applied skills such as layout, blogging, vlogging, news tweeting as well as the crafting of budget lines, leads, op-eds, features, photo-essays, and graphics. The staff will work as a team to produce frequent content for the site. While school newspapers write for a school community, stories in the GOA Journal will be geared toward a broader audience with stories as pertinent to students in Jakarta as they are to students in Minneapolis. For example, students could cover events unfolding in the Middle East, Facebook’s censorship of art or recent trends in science education from the unique perspectives students bring to GOA’s international community. Students who take Online Journalism are eligible to write for the GOA Journal after their course.
FALL 2013 SEMESTER COURSES
ARABIC I: LANGUAGE THROUGH CULTURE This course will highlight Modern Standard Arabic, and the spoken dialect of the Levant. With an emphasis on Arabic culture, students will learn commonly used expressions and proverbs from North Africa, the Levant, and the Persian Gulf. Students will develop their skills in listening, reading, writing, forming grammatically correct structured sentences, and most importantly, conversation. This will be accomplished through podcasts, videos, chat logs, web conferencing, and letters, which will be exchanged between the participating students in this course and native Arabic speakers from Jordan. Since Arabic is becoming one of the most functional languages in the world, especially in the areas of commerce, business, and trade, students participating in this course can avail themselves of the opportunity to learn the language in a highly stimulating and rich cultural context.
COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENTS This course introduces students to the comparative method of understanding power by studying the political systems of six nations: Great Britain, France, the United States, China, Russia, and India. Some questions that will be addressed are: what are the different models of representative democracy?; and how does religion play a role in shaping government? Students use these case studies to gain insight into international relations and other political science subfields and concepts. Histories, institutions, political processes, and current events will be covered through a variety of readings and sources.
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY The 20th century witnessed some of the most horrifying examples of inhumanity in world history. The Armenian Genocide during World War I, the Holocaust in Europe during World War II, and the Rwanda Genocide in 1994 demonstrated how hatred and violence could unfold in dramatic fashion by the actions of both private citizens and the policies of governments. Yet these atrocities also led to new perspectives in international justice by developing definitions and punishments for crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg Tribunals and the subsequent International Criminal Court proceedings. This course first explores the three genocides in depth, using primary and secondary source readings, group projects, documentaries, and literature, and then turns to an examination of international justice with particular attention to the significance of the Nuremberg Tribunals. Students will write a research paper, collaborate on group presentations, and create a human rights report card website for a current nation of the world.
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY Photography can be a powerful and persuasive tool. This course is designed for students to learn how to give an emotional context to social, political, environmental, and global issues through photography. Students will learn how to prepare for and execute specific
types of photographs, as well as the technical elements of digital editing. While students work on photo-based projects they will simultaneously engage in discussions about such topics as the appropriate use of Photoshop, or the ethics of digital advertising. Students will be given opportunities to interpret specific global issues through their own photographs. In addition to taking photographs, students will write descriptions and reflections about their photographs, and give constructive feedback on their peers’ work. Note: Students must have access to a digital camera.
GLOBAL HEALTH What makes people sick? What social and political factors lead to the health disparities we see both within our own communities and on a global scale? Using an interdisciplinary approach to address these two questions, this course hopes to improve students' health literacy through an examination of the most significant public-health challenges facing today's global population. Topics addressed will be the biology of infectious diseases; the statistics and quantitative measures associated with health issues; the social determinants of health; and the role of organizations (public and private) in shaping the landscape of global health policy. Students will use illness as a lens through which to examine critically such social issues as poverty, gender, and race. Student work will include analytical and creative writing; peer review, critique, and discussion; and online presentations.
GLOBAL VOICES: POETRY WRITING This will be a poetry-writing workshop that explores identity. How are you shaped (or not) by the community you live in? Our goal will be to create a supportive online network of writers that uses language to discover unique and mutual understandings of what it means to be a global citizen from a local place. Students will investigate who they are, where they come from, what issues matter to them, and how they compare to teens across the globe. They will draft and revise poetry and prose, learn to provide constructive peer responses, and create podcasts and video interpretations of poems. Reflective writing will also be an integral part of the learning process. Readings will center on contemporary poetry but will also include art, audio, and film. Projects will include portfolios of writing, collaborations, independent study, and an online class publication. All writers will be encouraged to send their work to international contests and publications.
MEDICAL PROBLEM SOLVING In this course students will collaboratively solve medical mystery cases, similar to the approach used in many medical schools. Students enhance their critical thinking skills as they examine data, draw conclusions, diagnose, and treat patients. Students will use problem-solving techniques in order to understand and appreciate relevant medical/biological facts as they confront the principles and practices of medicine. Students will explore anatomy and physiology pertaining to medical scenarios and gain an understanding of the disease process, demographics of disease, and pharmacology. Additional learning experiences will include studying current issues in health and medicine, analyzing personal health and lifestyle, interviewing a patient, and creating a community-service action plan.
MICROECONOMICS This course provides students with an overview of the modern market economy as a system for dealing with resource scarcity. Students will learn basic microeconomic theory: supply, demand, and resource allocation; profit maximization; analysis of various market and industry structures; social costs and benefits; and international trade. Students will: test their understanding of demand and supply in a stock market simulation; investigate profit maximization by looking at case studies such as Apple; and experiment with game theory to gain insight into the behavior of firms. Using a problem-solving approach, students will learn through interactive lectures, group work, individual projects, discussions, and simulations.
9/11 IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT September 11, 2001, was a tragedy that must be understood on multiple levels. Locally, it radically altered New York City, leaving physical and psychological scars. Nationally, it shook a superpower, prompting widespread fear, confusion, and new policies that highlighted the tension between freedom and security. Internationally, it rewrote diplomatic relationships, launching the War on Terror and spurring many human-rights concerns. While 9/11 was a starting point for all of this, it was also an end point, the product of decades of global transformations. This class situates 9/11 where it belongs, at the center of an extended narrative, amidst the contemporary trends of post- imperialism, globalization, and terrorism.
MUSIC THEORY AND DIGITAL COMPOSITION This course focuses on the building blocks of music (scales, chords, keys, intervals, harmonic relationships, rhythm and meter) with the ultimate goal of helping students create compositions of their own. Students will use a variety of online resources to build their skills and to learn to create and arrange music using various digital media. The intent is for students to craft their own work without resorting to pre-determined, canned, digital samples, but rather to draw from their own intellect musical tools that can be written down, tweaked, and ultimately performed and recorded. Class members will share their work with others online, offer peer feedback in conjunction with faculty guidance, and begin building a body of their own compositions.
SPRING 2014 SEMESTER COURSES
COMPARATIVE RELIGIONS This course will compare Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism. We will view each faith through the same lens, applying a shared vocabulary and framework to discover the origin, theology, and practices of each tradition. Students will work together to consider similarities among these faiths and to identify significant points of divergence. In the final weeks of the semester,
students will be charged with questions that tap both personal and
global perspectives. What are my own religious beliefs, and how do my own religious beliefs influence the way I interact with others? Where in
the world do I see religion influencing political, economic, and/or social issues, and how might the similarities we have identified be utilized to ameliorate tensions caused by the differences among different faiths?
DECLARING OUR HUMANITY: APPLYING PHILOSOPHY TO MODERN GLOBAL ISSUES
Declaring Our Humanity is an applied philosophy course that will use the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a way of connecting pressing contemporary issues with broad-range philosophical ideas and controversies, drawn from multiple traditions and many centuries. We will also reverse our gaze and ask whether we must consider the declaration itself differently, and perhaps more critically, in light of recent political events like the global economic downturn and the sweeping revolutions of the Arab Spring, as well as new developments in fields as diverse as biology, cognitive science, and political theory. In addition to introducing students to the work of philosophers as diverse as Confucius and Martin Heidegger, this course also aims to be richly interdisciplinary, incorporating models and methods from diverse fields including history, journalism, literary criticism, and media studies. The topics we will explore in this class include the institution of slavery in the 21st century; the use of torture by Western countries during the War on Terror; the questions that new technologies raise for the rights to property, privacy, and freedom of speech; the deepening problem of global poverty; and the hope (and fear) inspired by the emergence of new populist movements around the globe.
GAME THEORY Do you play games? Ever wonder if you’re using “the right” strategy? What makes one strategy better than another? In this course, we’ll explore a branch of mathematics known as game theory, which answers these questions and many more. Game theory is widely applicable in the real world as we face dilemmas and challenges every day, most of which we can mathematically treat as games! We will consider significant global events like the Cuban Missile Crisis, Mandela’s rise in South Africa, or the rise of Nobel Peace Prize winner Sirleaf in Liberia from a math perspective. Specific mathematical ideas we'll discuss include two person zero sum games, utility theory, two person non-zero sum games, multi-player games, game trees, matrix algebra, linear optimization, and applications of game theory techniques to a plethora of real world problems. (Prerequisite: Comfortable with Algebra)
GLOBAL VOICES: FICTION WRITING This course will connect students who are interested in creative writing (primarily fiction) and provide a space for supportive and constructive feedback. Students will gain experience in the workshop model, learning how to effectively critique and discuss one another's writing in a digital environment. In addition to developing skills as a reader within a workshop setting, students will work to develop their own writing identities through a variety of writing exercises. The course will capitalize on the geographic diversity of the student body by eliciting stories that shed light on both the commonalities and differences of life experiences in different locations. Additionally, we will investigate the notion of “place” by reading the work of authors from around the globe. Students’ essential responsibilities will be twofold: to act as writers and readers. Both will require participation in discussions of various formats within our online community, as well as dedicated time outside of class reading one another’s work and writing pieces for the workshop.
GRAPHIC DESIGN This course will explore the relationship between information and influence from a graphic design perspective. What makes a message persuasive and compelling? What helps audiences and viewers sort and make sense of information? Using an integrated case study and design-based approach, this course aims to deepen students’ design, visual, and information literacies. Students will be empowered to design and prototype communication projects they are passionate about. Topics addressed will be: principles of design & visual communication; infographics: the art of making information accessible; digital search skills; networks and social media; persuasion and storytelling with multimedia; and social activism on the internet. Student work will include individual and collaborative group projects, graphic design, content curation, some analytical and creative writing, peer review and critiques, and online presentations.
INTERNATIONAL MACROECONOMICS In this course, students will study macroeconomic theory as it relates to domestic and global policies on employment, national income, government spending, and the impact of foreign spending on domestic economies and foreign exchange markets. Students will use real world events and data as case studies in order to develop a better understanding of the driving forces behind domestic and international macroeconomic markets. In the final portion of the course, students will have the opportunity to develop their own solutions to a local/global issue of their choice (such as poverty, environmental pollution, and limited access to education) based on their new understanding of macroeconomic theory.
iOS APP DEVELOPMENT Learn how to build apps for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad in Objective-C and publish them in the App Store. Students will work much like a small startup: collaborating as a team, sharing code, and learning to communicate with each other throughout the course. Individual projects will differ, but there is an emphasis on collaboration. When students finish this course, they will have had the experience of being integrally involved in a project team. Students will understand the fundamentals of object-oriented programming, which is transferable to any modern programming language. Students will learn the valuable skills of creativity, collaboration, and communication in the service of creating something incredibly cool, challenging, and worthwhile.
Note: For this course, it is required that students have access to a computer running the most current version of Mac OS X. An iOS device that can run apps (iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad) is also highly recommended.
NEUROPSYCHOLOGY This course is an exploration of the neurological basis of behavior. It will cover basic brain anatomy and function as well as cognitive, behavioral, and psychiatric disorders from a neurobiological perspective. Examples of illness to be covered include: schizophrenia, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. Diagnostic and treatment issues, including behavioral and pharmaceutical management, will be addressed. Additional topics include: professional standards and the code of ethics governing all psychologists; psychometrics; and the history of neuropsychology.
The Global Online Academy member schools are:
Albuquerque Academy | Albuquerque, NM
Catlin Gabel School | Portland, OR
Cranbrook Schools | Bloomfield Hills, MI
The Dalton School | New York, NY
Germantown Friends School | Philadelphia, PA
Head-Royce School | Oakland, CA
King's Academy | Madaba-Manja, Jordan
Lakeside School | Seattle, WA
Punahou School | Honolulu, HI
Sidwell Friends School | Washington, D.C.
Global Online Academy Web Site