MSON: The Education Gamechanger

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Grace Pitman, Editor in Chief

Technology’s presence in education has gone to a whole new level in Casady’s newly implemented program, MSON (Malone Schools Online Network). Casady has partnered with the Stanford Online High School to enroll students in online classes taught by faculty across the United States. The provided courses expand the courses available to Casady students to include computer programming, Greek, organic chemistry, app design, and advanced abstract math. This change transforms the way students learn, and breaks the barriers in how far a student can dive into arduous topics. Casady School is the only Oklahoma member of the Malone Schools Online network (MSON), which offers a variety of online courses that enhance Casady’s existing college preparatory curriculum. MSON courses use the Stanford University Online virtual seminar model and are taught by faculty from 19 Malone Schools currently participating in the Network. Representing a “virtual Harkness Model,” each MSON course enrolls no more than 16 students, allowing for active, real-time discussion. The program has three prerequisites: the student enrolling must have taken the necessary classes offered at Casady to prepare for the class, be a senior, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.75.

Josh Bottomly, Associate Head of School for Academics and Director of College Counseling, was a major player in bringing MSON to Casady. When asked about MSON, Mr. Bottomly said, “MSON is a one-of-a-kind online program and is extremely cutting-edge. It is pretty much a game changer for the Casady Community.” Senior, Blake Gerard, is currently taking a MSON class in computer programming. Blake had nothing but good things to say about the class. When asked if it is hard to communicate since it is all online, Blake said, “no, it has actually been very easy to discuss things and talk to the students and teacher during the live feed. We all introduced ourselves at the beginning of the program and the conversations and class go very well.”  Mr. Bottomly and Blake compared the learning experience on the computer to “the Brady Bunch” theme song video. The live feed is set up with one monitor with the teacher in a box in the middle and all the students surrounding it in other boxes, and another monitor with solely the lecture on it. Through this, MSON brings a whole new level of education to the table. Blake’s class doesn’t have quizzes or tests, but instead focuses on projects to further immerse the students in their experience and knowledge of computer programming. As Mr. Bottomly said, this program is cutting-edge and implemented this year, so it will be interesting to see what each student thinks about this type of learning once the class is over. One thing is for certain: MSON is changing the way our community understands learning.

Previously featured in the Oklahoma City Friday Paper