Archive for Global Education

Director, Global Online Academy

Professional Opportunity: Director, Global Online Academy
Location: Seattle, WA

(Catlin Gabel is a founding member of the Global Online Academy.)

The Global Online Academy is a 21st-century educational initiative of leading independent schools around the United States and worldwide. The founding members of the Global Online Academy are well known nationally and globally for the strengths of their curricula and programs and for the excellence of the teaching and advising they provide their students. Collaborating in this online educational enterprise allows member schools to offer courses that would not otherwise be available to their students; to share their best teachers’ expertise; and further to diversify the communities and experiences at each member school as students from, ideally, all over the nation and the world interact vigorously with one another. The academy will foster a vital network of schools with a common purpose, enabling a sharing of ideas and initiatives that will benefit each and all.

The mission of the Global Online Academy is to replicate in online classrooms the intellectually rigorous programs and excellent teaching that are hallmarks of its member schools; to foster new and effective ways, through best practices in online education, for students to learn; and to promote students’ global awareness and understanding by creating truly diverse, worldwide online schoolroom communities.

This will be a full-time, year-round appointment beginning immediately.

The Director of the Global Online Academy will report to the Board of Trustees of the academy. The director will be responsible for carrying out the academy’s mission; for working with the board to envision, plan, and implement the initial stages of the online academy and its future growth; to direct the goals and activities of the academy; and to produce regular reports and feedback on the academy’s operations.

The Director will manage the day-to-day operations of the academy. S/he will be responsible for managing student enrollment and ensuring adequate student support, as well as for supervising curriculum development and instructional design, faculty evaluation and professional development, and technology investigation, implementation, and support. S/he will also oversee business operations of the academy, including marketing and communications, budgeting, and strategic planning. Frequent travel will be required.

• A master’s or higher degree in a relevant field.
• Online- and/or hybrid-classroom teaching experience at the high school or college level.
• A sound understanding of online education in a secondary school setting.
• Successful experience in hiring, managing, and developing faculty.
• Successful experience in managing a complex budget with revenue and expenses, directing performance reviews of employees, and executing a business and/or strategic plan.
• Superb organizational skills and attention to detail.
• Knowledge of leading academic technologies and a demonstrated commitment to and passion for staying current with emerging technologies.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Salary and Benefits
Competitive salary based on education and experience along with a generous and comprehensive benefits package.

Additional Information
This position will reside on the Lakeside campus and the selected candidate will be expected to reside in the Seattle area.  While Lakeside School representatives are leading the recruitment process, the Global Online Academy will be incorporated in Washington State and will be seeking 501c3 status.

Apply at Lakeside School

Global Trips: Student Leadership

A number of us are working to make this year’s global trips a whole-community experience. Previously, we made a strong push for teachers to include Botswana and HIV/AIDS in their course curricula. Now, we turn our attention to community events.

Botswana trip participants planned and presented an assembly to Upper School students last week. It was such a pleasure to sit in the audience and absorb the accuracy, significance, organization, and style of their presentation while playing no direct role except capturing it on video. This was for me the first realization of our ultimate goal of conferring as much trip planning responsibility as possible to the students. There is no need for the two adults to act as tour guides. This trip is for the students, and they will benefit so much more when the trip is also set up by the students.

The assembly included:

  • “Stand-up” activity for audience members to learn some key metrics about the effect of HIV and AIDS on the Botswana population. For example, the number of people living with AIDS is increasing, since antiretroviral treatment is now widely available, but the rate of new infections has not decreased significantly.
  • Skit adapted from a chapter of Saturday Is For Funerals (“the driver”), with a short introduction about the role of stigma in the AIDS crisis. I was so impressed with how two students selected a scene, memorized, and rehearsed the skit in a week’s time!
  • Presentation about the basic structure and activities of the trip. Without a comment from the adults, they did not at all mention the recreational portions of the trip — kept the presentation focused on the business.
  • Explanation of how students can help raise funds and send school supplies to villages that need it.

At least seven of the 13 trip participants got up on stage, and they completed all of this within 15 minutes. Transitions were very crisp, and for the most part, students avoided digressing while on stage.

Next up in our month of community presentations:


Saturday Is for Funerals

In preparation for our service trip to Botswana, I recently read Saturday Is for Funerals. We continue to find resources perfectly matched to our trip objectives, including a guest speaker from the Cascade AIDS Project, a Peace Corps correspondence match, and now this book.

Unity Dow and Max Essex present a series of vignettes that cover the spectrum of HIV+ and AIDS cases in Botswana. From newlyweds to newborns, no one escapes this cruel disease. Despite depressing tales of demise, the book is mainly hopeful, since any Motswana can now gain ARV treatment and survive the disease. Saturdays are no longer just for funerals anymore.

We will ask all of our trip participants to read this book, since it presents social, cultural, medical, economic, and political dimensions of AIDS. It will be a terrific introduction for our students.

Read Danielle Friedman’s review of Saturday Is for Funerals.

Global Ed Across the Curriculum

As a follow-up to our presentations on global education, I am guest teaching in our Pathogens and Parasites classes this week, part of a broader effort to broadly integrate global education across the curriculum. Students have studied infectious diseases from the perspectives of science and public health, and now a series of guest speakers have been relating first-hand stories and posing authentic problems to the students. Consistently, students are spending class time researching real-world topics and brainstorming possible solutions. Is it safe to drink the water in Haiti? What precautions should we take when working with HIV+ youth in Botswana? Why have AIDS treatment efforts been so much more successful than HIV prevention efforts?

Authentic problems are complex and difficult to solve, compared with highly specific problems normally assigned during academic coursework. AIDS in Botswana involves principles of biology, public health, sociology, anthropology, politics, and economics. Students, so well trained as logical thinkers, are surprised to find that rational explanations are usually insufficient when they do not take all contributing factors into account. Why is it a bad idea to conduct saliva HIV tests in Botswana? Why would a doctor reasonably acquiesce to a HIV+ mother’s wish to breastfeed a newborn?

School technologists work every day to identify and support authentic uses of technology across the curriculum. The methods for integrating global education are not all that different. Communicate with enthusiasm, focus on the positive effects on student learning, work the most with those who respond with equal enthusiasm, focus learning activities on authentic applications. Use technological tools to facilitate research, group work, communication, and public presentation. Take advantage of the many wonderful electronic resources that exist out there on most topics.

Where are you finding synergy between global education, teaching and learning, and technology?

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Peace Corps Correspondence Match

The Peace Corps runs the Paul D. Coverdell Worldwise Schools program, providing education resources to U.S. schools based on Peace Corps volunteer experiences. One part of this program is a correspondence match, in which a Peace Corps volunteer exchanges written notes with a classroom in the United States. Currently, the program has hundreds more enrolled volunteers than interested classrooms, so consider joining this superb program!

Given our focus on Botswana and AIDS this year, I expressed that I would be happy to participate, but only if the volunteer met very specific criteria: an individual working on HIV/AIDS in a rural region of Botswana. I did not anticipate that the Peace Corps would be able to provide such an exact match, given the thousands of volunteers they have working all over the world. Not they find an exact match, but the individual is extremely enthusiastic, communicative, and well-connected within the local public health and village community! This connection has already paid huge dividends for our trip, to the point that we may change our travel itinerary to include Gumare.

Our Online Conference Presentation

Play the recorded session (60 minutes, Elluminate platform)

TITLE: Enlarging the Box: Reframing Global Education Schoolwide
PRESENTER: Richard Kassissieh, Catlin Gabel School (United States)
CO-PRESENTER: Spencer White CO-PRESENTER: Nancy Leonhardt
FORMAT: Presentation
SHORT DESCRIPTION: A school’s global education initiatives must live within its core programs to be most effective. The presenters will share global education projects that go beyond cultural exchange and language learning. Each example will include the story of how individuals worked to build support for their idea. Local and International Partnerships: connections with humanitarian organizations, peer schools, art organizations and in-country NGOs. Curricular Integration: inviting teachers to collaborate with country experts, building connections between strong school programs and global education. Community Connections: launching a global film series, media and the documentation of trips, schoolwide blogging. International Presence In the Community: Fulbright program, School Year Abroad, student groups focused on global issues. Examples will highlight international service, the Global Viewfinder Film Series, trip planning, curricular integration, cross‐grade collaborations, technology, partnerships with other organizations, and sustainability. We will encourage attendees to share interdisciplinary global projects that happen at their schools.
TRACK: Curriculum

More notes from our last presentation

Global Education: More Than Just Trips

I recently co-facilitated this concurrent session with three teachers at our school, at the PNAIS Fall Educators Conference. The purpose was to describe how we have worked together to integrate global education throughout the school program. Historically, global education has meant international travel, typically with a focus on language and culture. As cultural competence is increasingly recognized as an essential student skill, we have an opportunity to include global education in regular courses, extracurricular activities, and community events. We find particularly interesting synergies between global experiences and academic subjects, community service, and environmental preservation efforts.

Presentation outline

  • Local-international partnerships
  • Curricular integration
  • Involving community
  • International presence in our community

Detailed presentation notes

We created a page on the Catlin Gabel website to document our ongoing work on this project. Please look there for detailed notes on the presentation. We also plan to include the information we gathered from conference session participants.

What does this have to do with technology?

The best technology integration supports school programs without taking them over. Technology is an essential tool in these integration efforts, even if they are not at first apparent. Our highly interconnected world makes the teaching of global cultural competence so important. At the same time, it’s critical to recognize the uneven distribution of technology throughout the world.

Technology tools make it possible to coordinate activities with distant locations and bring the world into the classroom and other school programs. The detailed presentation notes include uses of Skype, blogging, Internet research, long-distance communication, online forums, intranet planning sites, portable media tools, and other technology applications that make this all work.

Presenting at NCCE in March

This presentation was also accepted at NCCE, which will take place in March 2011 in Portland.