Brian Fisher | July 14, 2011
In what could prove to be a model for online collaboration among independent schools, Cranbook Schools (Bloomfield Hills, MI) is one of the 10 charter members (and the only boarding school) of Global Online Academy.
Global Online Academy is a non-profit consortium of ten schools working to bring rigorous academic courses and great teaching online so that students the world over can share great courses and work together.
Seattle's Lakeside School is spearheading the creation of Global Online Academy.
Courses begin this fall with five offerings that read much like college courses:
What makes people sick? What are the best ways to mitigate health disparities? 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. Additionally, students will learn about the biology and epidemiology of certain diseases and use illness as a lens through which to critically examine social issues such as poverty, gender, and race.
Math for the Computer Scientist
This course will give students a chance to explore the math concepts and techniques that form the basis for programming and computer languages. Specifically the course will touch on logic and Boolean algebra, number theory, big O, recursion, graph theory, and random walks. Students will explore these topics through projects and programming challenges, learning theory, and application as they create their own math and programming solutions to open-ended problems.
Media studies builds a bridge between the creation of visual arts, and the analysis of texts in subjects such as English or history. Students will develop the ability to question what a given visual text is trying to say, how it goes about saying it, and what impact the medium (e.g. print, television, film, Internet) has on the message. Issues of race, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, nationality, and ability will be explored in the media that surrounds us.
En Otra Voz: Perspectivas del Mundo Hispanohablante
This course will explore current events from a variety of Spanish-speaking cultures around the world. Students will read news websites and blogs, listen to radio programs, watch news videos, and summarize and report events to the class (all in Spanish). Concurrently, students will explore the history, literature, and film of different Spanish-speaking regions of the world while developing their individual competencies in written and spoken Spanish.
How do cities work? Who does the work? Who are they working for? What are the answers to these questions for your city? Students in this hands-on, seminar-style course will explore the answers to these questions within the context of urban planning, sustainability, leadership, and civic engagement. It is a designed for students from around the world to work together to engage their respective communities and help address various urban issues through the completion of a plan which students will develop for a client.
(All course descriptions from Global Online Academy.)
For more details and some perspective from Germantown Friends, read "Private Schools Unite to Share Courses Online."