Global Online Academy
Punahou School is a founding member of the Global Online Academy (GOA). Established in 2011, GOA offers diverse and rigorous credit-bearing courses to students in member schools around the world. All GOA courses have synchronous components (when students collaborate together or work with their teacher at a set time, generally using video conferencing software) and asynchronous components (students choose when to participate.)
GOA students participate in a truly global classroom, learning alongside peers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Courses are designed, developed and taught by teachers from member schools and meet the rigor and high quality for which these schools are well-known. Credit is awarded by Punahou for participating Punahou students.
Class size is limited to 18 students drawn from participating schools, so enrollment of Punahou students is limited. Punahou students may enroll in only one GOA course per semester and selection may be by lottery if necessary. Students may register for GOA courses during their programming conference with the Dean. Enrollment in any GOA course is subject to Deans’ approval.
GOA imagines a future where all students acquire and practice modern learning skills to be global citizens. The mission of Global Online Academy is to reimagine learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society. We deepen learning through courses that equip students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be successful in high school, college, career, and life. We coach teachers to think differently about how they design student learning experiences. We work with educational leaders to ensure they have the strategies and tools to lead innovation and change.
Global Online Academy is a not-for-profit consortium of 70+ independent schools from around the world. Started by a group of independent schools looking to bring the benefits of online learning to their teachers and students, Global Online Academy prepares students for a global future by providing new, modern ways for students to learn and teachers to teach.
The schools that are members of Global Online Academy are well known for the strengths of their curricula and the excellence of their teaching.
Our program brings together experienced teachers and highly capable students in an interactive, rigorous learning environment. Our courses encourage the awakening of new interests and a passion for learning. Our classrooms bring together a variety of voices representing the geographic, cultural, and ethnic diversity possible in a global online environment.
Class size is limited to 20 students.
All GOA courses are developed and taught by teachers who work at one of our member schools.
Teachers create their own materials for classes and connect students to curated material gathered from a variety of sources. Just like in brick and mortar classrooms at our member schools, in GOA classrooms emphasis is on engagement, interaction, and collaboration among students and with the teacher. GOA classes are teacher-paced, meaning students are assigned work throughout the week rather than given assignments to complete over a large block of time. All classes contain both synchronous and asynchronous components, giving students the opportunity to connect in real time but also providing them with the flexibility to work when and how they would like.
Through their curricula, teachers aim to meet three main goals: to create and maintain meaningful relationships with, and among, students; to create opportunities for students to share their local and personal perspective on global issues; and for the work to be meaningful and rigorous.
The core demand of modern learning is that students learn how to navigate an increasingly complex, networked society. In a GOA class, students practice and hone modern skills in practical, hands-on ways.
In GOA courses students practice and master six core competencies to become modern learners:
- Collaborate with people who don’t share your location
- Communicate and empathize with people who have different perspectives from your own.
- Curate and create content relevant to real-world issues.
- Reflect on and take responsibility for your learning and that of others.
- Organize your time and tasks to learn indepedently.
- Leverage digital tools to support and show your learning.
By participating in learning experiences that are interactive, generative, and personalized, GOA’s students and teachers develop the skills necessary to become modern learners who can leverage online environments to connect with people, places, and resources beyond their school communities.
All Global Online Academy faculty teach at a GOA member school and are nominated by their head of school to be considered to teach in the GOA program.
Our skilled teachers guide and support GOA students throughout the learning process. Teachers offer ongoing feedback, ask engaging questions, seek to challenge student assumptions, and facilitate discussions. Teachers give each student one-on-one attention and are prepared to respond effectively to the needs of the individual student learner.
GOA faculty seek to preserve in modern online pedagogies a central and highly valued core component of their experience in traditional independent school classrooms: the transformative connections they can make with students. They embrace and seek to demonstrate the creative collaboration, networked learning communities, online skills development, and global connections made possible through the online environment.
All GOA courses are taken for credit, which is granted from a student's member school. GOA courses are typically taken as part of a student's normal course load, as the requirements are the same for any advanced level course a student might take on his / her campus. GOA courses are usually taken in place of a regular academic or elective course.
Each semester includes 14 weeks of coursework. Students are expected to commit an average of 5-7 hours each week to these courses.
GOA is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
See also the GOA Member Benefit Pillars