Advice Column, Education, Koa Academy, Online Education


  • Koa Academy
  • Category Advice Column, Education, Koa Academy, Online Education

One of the advantages of an online school platform is that technology makes it incredibly easy to enable kids to connect with invited experts and professionals.  For instance, high-engagement online school Koa Academy hosts a monthly online event ‘The Doctor Will Explain You Now’ that brings the learners from Grade 4 and up, as well as their teachers together with a working person who has achieved a doctorate qualification.  The Doctors’ challenge is to explain their PhD thesis in ten minutes in a way that a ten year old can understand.

Mark Anderson, Co-founder and Principal of Koa Academy, says “This is one of the ways that we bring real world into our classrooms and highlight for the kids that the learning they are doing now is going to matter one day in the real world.  They have a fantastic opportunity to engage with a range of individuals who are solving problems and making advances through their research.  It broadens our kids’ horizons and shows them how people can connect their interests and their passions to earning a living.”

One of the school’s favourite experts so far this year has been Dr Tarryn Cawood, a geologist with a PhD in Earth Sciences with expertise in structural geology, tectonics and ore deposit research.  Mark says, “When Tarryn came to Koa to explain her doctoral thesis, our kids who love collecting rocks were particularly on fire!  It was an eye-opener for them to connect with someone doing what they love to do and discover that it is a possibility that you can make a career out of your interests.  What’s also good for the kids is that there is an academic robustness to the conversation, and they realise that there’s much more to rocks than they’ve ever thought about before.”

The Doctor Will Explain You format highlights the vast range of interests in the world of academia that kids can potentially tap into.  Mark says, “What I love is how often our presenters say to me afterwards that finding relatable ways to explain their theses to our kids was almost as stimulating and challenging for them as writing them.  I think this important, because too often academia is inaccessible, and it is important to take high level academics and make it understandable and available, especially to the young people who are our future game-changers and problem-solvers.”  

Discover Koa Academy here.

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