Empowering Students and Educators: An Update from our Executive Director

I'm so pleased to share an update about our programs that marks another chapter in the story we continue to write with you, our partners and colleagues.

It’s been a year since we launched our new mission to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society. With a focus on both students and educators, this new mission captures how we’ve evolved as an organization since 2011. We’re incredibly proud of the professional learning partnerships we’ve developed with so many schools and learning organizations, the slate of courses we’ve developed for students (including five new courses in 2019-2020), and the dozen new schools we’ve added to the consortium.

To continue driving this mission, we've been pursuing a number of new initiatives, and we're adding to our team in the upcoming year to continue growing and evolving:

  • The Competency-Based Learning Toolkit is an extension of the work our teachers are engaged with in our student courses and at schools around the world. This ongoing dialogue between our student and professional learning programs is something unique to GOA: we practice what we preach by putting our work into action with the faculty in our student program, which informs and validates our professional learning work, and vice versa. You can now purchase the Toolkit for teams of educators at your school. In the coming year, we’ll be launching new programming based on the Toolkit to support schools and educators looking to adopt this student-centered, skills-based mode of learning.
  • We’ve also launched a program for middle school-aged students designed to help schools address specific topics that are often left unaddressed due to time and curricular constraints. We believe these short online courses on how to learn in a modern age are a great solution for our schools to deliver what students need in a flexible, globally-connected format.
  • Our Rethinking School series was a hit, with over 1000 educators from 116 schools engaging one another in conversation about assessment, the role of the student in a modern classroom, the role of teachers in our schools, how we curate and create content and material, and how we think about time and place. The series continues with two courses in July, and we're running another cycle from September to February. These courses are open to all and free for educators from our member schools.
  • Our team is growing, as well! I’m pleased to introduce to you three amazing educators joining GOA full time in June. Deepjyot Sidhu, having just completed her Masters at the Klingenstein Center, joins our Professional Learning team as an Associate Director. Joining our Student Program team is Kelsey Hall, our Associate Director of School Engagement, who brings her experience in admissions at several independent schools, including Pace Academy in Atlanta, GA, and Delbarton School in New Jersey, to working with communications, admissions, and advancement teams at our member schools. And, after several years at Noble and Greenough School as a Communications Manager, Lexi Sullivan joins us as our Program Coordinator, supporting both of our growing programs.
  • Jason Cummings will step into the role of Director of Student Programs, leading the growth and evolution of our offerings for middle and high school students. Eric Hudson is taking on a new role as Director of Learning and Design, where he will oversee the development of new programs and products for students and educators.

I’d also like to welcome the following new schools who joined our consortium to give their students full access to our Student Program:

No matter when you began working with us, now is the time to review our offerings and reflect on how they align with your work. A few ways to do that:

  • Click through the links in this update and find the one or two that feel most relevant to you and your work.
  • Share this post with colleagues to spark a conversation.
  • Learn more about our plans for the future by reading GOA’s Vision and Strategy.

I’m incredibly proud of the work our students, teachers, partners, and the GOA team have done over the past eight years, and am looking forward to what lies ahead!

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