Allowing Catholic students from around the world to get connected is one of our aims in the development of the Classical Liberal Arts Academy. In modern schools a spirit of individualistic competition is promoted with grades and "class rank", which makes learning quite miserable. As soon as students finish school, they are judged by how well they can get along and work with others as members of a team. The classical liberal arts, and Catholic studies in general, are much more enjoyable if students develop good relationships with their classmates and help one another.
Through the CLAA's Google Apps accounts, our students have access to awesome communications tools that include Google Chat, Google Hangouts, Google Groups, and more. By default, we do not activate these tools for students. Rather, we leave it for their parents to request them on behalf of the children, with the promise that they will supervise the use of them. The system is safe, being closed, but unsupervised students be a distraction to other students.
1. CLAA Student Forum
A good way to get to know other CLAA students is through the CLAA's Student Forum. This is a Google group forum that is open to all CLAA students. You can access this forum from the navigation menu above Quick Links > Student Forum, or by bookmarking the site: https://groups.google.com/a/claaonline.com/forum/#!categories/claastudyhall.
2. Google Chat
As students get acquainted with other students, they can communicate by email or simply text chat in Gmail.
3. Google Hangouts
For more advanced communication, students can connect to other CLAA students through Google Hangouts, which is Google's version of Skype if you're familiar with that program. This allows for text, voice and video chats or conferences between students. Please note that next fall, video tutor support will be available through Hangouts.
None of these are necessary for success in the CLAA.
Before I send this message and give children something to pester their parents with, I want to make it perfectly clear that no student needs any of these tools to succeed in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy. This is simply an overview of the communication tools the CLAA makes available to its students, which may be used at the discretion of every student's parents.
If you have any questions about these tools, please contact me.