A Whole New World

Valentina Alvarez

More stories from Valentina Alvarez

Imagine being in a class room every day with kids you’ve never seen before, kids from all around the country, kids all over the world. Imagine learning about something that is important to you, from a teacher that is on the other side of the country.

If you missed reading Mr. Mahler’s spring re-enrollment letter, then you may have missed out on the news about a new school partnership that will be expanding course offerings for the upcoming school year. 

According to Head of School, David Mahler, “Beginning in the fall semester of 2017, our Upper School students will have access to a wide range of online courses and elective offerings beyond the scope of our existing curriculum.  These classes …will be taught by independent school faculty from across the globe via the Hybrid Learning Consortium.  We are excited about the new learning opportunities this platform will provide for our students as we continue to explore ways to transcend the boundaries of the traditional classroom and to afford them new paths to pursue their intellectual passions.”

In attempt to bring students and teachers together from all around the world, ODA is teaming up with an online learning program called the Hybrid Learning Consortium (HLC). The partnership will provide online courses that will allow students to expand their horizons and learn about something they wouldn’t normally study in traditional core classes. It opens up opportunities for collaboration and flexible scheduling for the student as well as the teacher.

The HLC offers classes that might not be able to run as electives in a single school due to the classes being so passion-driven as opposed to part of core requirements.  The fact that the courses cannot count as core requirements and only as elective credits may be seen by some as a downside.

Schedules for the classes will be flexible depending on the course. For each course there are specific teachers assigned to teach that course. Students and teachers will work out a schedule comfortable for both parties. Although students may not have class every day, they will still be required to log in to class every day to access assignments and engage with class members. At least twice a week there will be a live video feed for extra help during virtual office hours. Many other students from ODA maybe taking the same class, but also other students from around the country maybe joining the class. They might be taking the same class but their schedules as to when they log on maybe different.

“Initially the transition to online classes can cause confusion but that’s what Ms. Giraud and I are here for. ODA students have such an ambitious attitude that some want to take classes that we don’t provide. Having these online classes will help provide opportunities outside of our four walls. It’s going to open up a whole new world,” says Upper School Educational Technologist, Ryan Kinser.

The option to take online classes is only available to students in grades 10-12 with a 3.5 GPA or higher. The school is committed to making the opportunity to take courses available to all students. To support that vision, the school will underwrite a number of courses each year so the courses will be available at no extra cost.

Underwritten courses will be determined by lottery. Those who still wish to enroll even if they don’t get chosen in the lottery can do so at their own expense.

 If you are interested in enrolling, don’t hesitate to apply for a course when you submit your enrollment. Learn more about each course by checking out the HLC board in front of Ms. Giraud’s office in the Student Center. 

Opportunities are here. Your future is waiting! Don’t waste time. Apply now.


Courses available in the 2017-2018 school year:

More than a Story: Creating Comics and Animations (cross referenced with Art).
Global Perspective through International Film (cross referenced with History)
Superheroes and Philosophy (cross reference with History)
Understanding Film (cross reference with Art)
Art and Practices of Screenwriting (cross reference with Arts)
Many Voices of the Middle East (cross reference with History)

More than a Story: Creating Comics and Animations (cross referenced with English).
Playwriting (cross reference with English).
Art and Practice of Screenwriting (cross reference with English).
More than a Story: Creating Comics and Animations (cross reference with English).
Art and Practice of Screenwriting (cross reference with English).
Museums 101 (cross reference with History).

History & Humanities:
Vox Populi: Developing your Voice as a Citizen.
Modern Human Migration.
Museums 101 (cross reference with Arts).
Holocaust Studies
Immigration in American History & Culture.
Many Voices of the Middle East (cross reference with English).
Essentials of Entrepreneurship
Sport in American Culture

Current Topics in Science and Technology
Topics in Contemporary Healthcare
Science, Ethics, & Public Health

Graph Theory

World Languages:
French I – AP (yearlong)
American Sign Language I-III (yearlong)
Ancient Greek I (yearlong)