On & Off Campus Blog

Zoom classes have made learning on a global scale an easy adjustment
Zoom classes have made learning on a global scale an easy adjustment
Nathan Bornstein '22

Since coming to BB&N freshman year and learning about Global Online Academy (GOA), I knew it was something I wanted to try. A few years ago, I began learning Japanese. Now, I am a student in the Global Online Academy course Japanese level II. So far, the class has been really interesting and I have learned a lot. Also, because I was already used to online classes, it was not much of an adjustment.

Last March, online zoom classes sounded like something out of a dystopian horror movie. Now, it is the reality for kids all over the world, yet Global Online Academy has been functioning as an online course platform for years. If we weren't in the midst of a pandemic and if I didn't have online classes last spring, I think adjusting to an online classroom would have been a challenge.

GOA is an online program that connects students from all over the world. It creates a global classroom based on one specific subject. GOA uses Canvas, an online course management program, to delegate material and work through the course. Each week, my teacher posts the weekly assignments and due dates. Our job is to finish those assignments on time. So far, many of my assignments have been asynchronous, but we have occasional group meetings for projects or conversation practice. In addition to Canvas, both the students and the teacher use the Twist messaging application to communicate with each other.

I have been able to incorporate my GOA work into my normal weekly schedule by taking advantage of my free blocks. When the new material for the week is published on Sunday, I create a rough GOA schedule for myself that includes allotted time for GOA work.

In addition to learning Japanese through GOA, I have learned other useful lessons. The biggest takeaway for me has been learning how to communicate with people on the other side of the world. For example, last week I had a project with two other students; one was from California and the other, from Singapore. It was so cool to be able to meet and learn the same material as them, even though we are miles apart.

Now that so many students are accustomed to online learning, signing up for an interesting GOA course, like Japanese, is a no-brainer. Perhaps, even more opportunities for global online learning will present themselves in the future. It's almost just like any of my other classes; the only difference is that all the students are from different parts of the world. GOA is truly learning on a global scale.