A Talk with Tomohiro Hoshi, Head of Stanford Online High School

26/09/20236 minute read
A Talk with Tomohiro Hoshi, Head of Stanford Online High School

In a recent insightful conversation, Peter Kim, CGA’s Regional Director for Asia met with Tomohiro Hoshi, Head of Stanford Online High School, to delve into the evolving landscape of online education, the suitability of online learning for different students, and the potential impact of AI tools on the future of education.

A Journey from Researcher to Educator

Who is Tomohiro? Tomohiro Hoshi, born in Japan, shared his journey from the University of Tokyo to pursuing graduate studies in the US at Stanford University. He never envisioned becoming a head of school or even entering the field of education. Instead, his initial interest lay in becoming a researcher, particularly in the area of logic.

However, a unique opportunity to launch an online high school at Stanford captivated his interest, and he quickly became involved. What started as a project to create online philosophy courses for students eventually led him to stay in the field for 20 years, witnessing the growth of online education.

Changing Attitudes Towards Online Learning

Tomohiro highlighted the shifting attitudes towards online learning, particularly in the United States. In the early 2000s, when he first started with Stanford Online High School, people were skeptical about online education. The lack of comprehensive online platforms and the belief that social and emotional learning was only possible in-person contributed to this skepticism.

Over the years, the perception of online education has transformed. With the rapid expansion of online education and the increasing number of families embracing it, there is now a strong belief in the quality of online education.

As Tomohiro mentions, “Stanford Online High School, in particular, has demonstrated that quality education is achievable in an online setting and has earned its place as one of the top schools in the US”.

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Online Education in Asia

The conversation also touched on the growth of online education in Asia, including countries like Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan. Tomohiro noted that the expansion of online education in Asia was initially slower compared to the US due to solid traditional educational systems and regulatory challenges.

As online education has gained momentum around the world, he emphasizes that more families in Asia have become comfortable with the idea of online schooling and are willing to trust in its method. 

Selecting the Right School for Your Child

When it comes to choosing the right school for your child, Tomohiro Hoshi emphasized the importance of considering life goals. “Families and students should carefully evaluate their objectives and determine which type of education aligns best with their aspirations”.

Traditional pathways, such as entrance examination races in Japan, may be suitable for some, while others may find that a global online education better prepares them for international opportunities. “It’s important to choose what’s best for you and your child’s future”.

Suitability of Students for Online High School

Tomohiro discussed the changing landscape of education, where many schools now blend online and in-person components. He emphasized that “students should be prepared to work effectively within an online environment, as it has become an integral part of our lives”.

When Peter asked him his opinion on asynchronous learning, he went on to say that while asynchronous learning can be challenging for some, students who are self-motivated and disciplined may excel in this environment. For others, synchronous learning with some support can be a more effective option.

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AI in Education

Regarding the role of AI in education, Tomohiro acknowledged the potential of AI tools but highlighted the enduring importance of human interaction. “While AI can assist in various educational aspects, motivation and encouragement often stem from interactions with teachers and peers”. He believes that teachers will continue to play a crucial role in education, even as AI tools evolve.

Future of Admissions Criteria

Looking ahead, Tomohiro Hoshi anticipates changes in admissions criteria for US schools. AI tools may influence standardized exams and essay writing, potentially altering the way students are evaluated. While there may be a revival of standardized exams, the evolving landscape of education will likely bring about adjustments in the admissions process.

In this enlightening conversation with Tomohiro Hoshi, we gained valuable insights into the dynamic world of online education and its future implications for students and families. As the educational landscape continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly essential for students and parents to explore the educational options that align with their goals and aspirations.

If you want more information about how CGA may be a suitable option for your child, speak with one of our Academic Advisors today.