Our Students Connect
First Class is the place where we hang around,
And crazy fun Skype chats definitely abound.
Group discussions in classes are a place to connect,
But I promise you, chatting we never neglect.
Email • Instant Message • Hangout
Teacher Meetings • Video Chat • Hangout
FirstClass is NorthStar Academy's primary platform for communication among students, teachers, staff, and supervisors--in short, it is the social hub of NSA. You can chat in real time with students and teachers around the globe or email about any topic. The Student Cafes (one each for elementary, middle school, and high school students) are home to fun discussions about pop culture and crazy virtual adventures.
Hold up! Adventures? In an online school? This is not something you'll want to miss--students can fight dangerous porkypines (the mythical cause of procrastination) and venture into the depths of cyber space in search of truth, justice, and cookehs! *Star Wars theme plays from all around* All from the comfort of your living room! There are also interest areas and clubs for everyone. Whether you are a new or veteran student, FirstClass is welcoming and enjoyable.
While not a private platform, NSA utilizes Skype to strengthen connections among teachers and students. At any time during your courses you have the opportunity to meet with your teacher live on Skype, an experience that makes NSA more than just a cyber school. Many students also utilize Skype for private and group messaging and live calls. You can video call at any time with friends and teachers to know that they are real people always there to help.
What's All the Buzz About?
Featuring Elbow Pics!
NSA's classes have multiple opportunities for student interaction--that's what makes them great! Group discussions allow students to talk about various subjects and gain deeper insight into the current topic. Math classes provide "I Need Help!" discussions for difficult problems, while group discussions in literature classes allow students to present their opinions on the material.
Similar interaction can be found in the Enriched Virtual Program, a unique option that provides one live class every week with your teacher and classmates. It also has weekly due dates that, in combination with live interaction, simulate a real classroom without sacrificing the flexibility of homeschooling.
If at any time you are struggling with your classes, you can contact your teacher via FirstClass or Skype or seek help from fellow students in the Tutoring Folder--the one-stop shop for explanations to your frustrations. And this isn't even all of the great connections you can make through NSA's classes!
NSA's connections extend far beyond the online world of FirstClass; many students and teachers get to meet in real life! Traveling across the United States or perhaps to another continent? You'll likely have the opportunity to meet with another student or your teacher: over 70 countries are represented among thousands of students.
A tradition started many years ago by two NSA students is that of elbow pictures. When any number of NSA students or teachers meet, they are required (by the unspoken law of FirstClass) to take a picture in which their elbows are awkwardly touching. The crazier the better! Here are some cool examples of the tradition of elbow pictures. ;)