Kids are growing up with smart phones in their hands, developing their own apps, programming robots and creating online personas. Indeed, technology is prevalent in nearly every facet of children’s lives, including at school where they’re often using technology tools to enhance their learning. But just because a child knows what buttons to push or has access to a world of knowledge at their fingertips doesn’t mean he or she knows what to do with that power, and power it surely is.
Educators at several schools have applied for and received grants in order to run Level Up Village courses, but we recently learned that for the first time, a LUV course was funded after a second grade student applied for a grant. We spoke to Wendy Powers, a teacher at Rooster Elementary School in Austin, Texas, to learn more.
Helping students develop a global mindset is a top priority for many schools, and today’s wired classroom environment is creating new and exciting opportunities to do so. Future-ready Catholic school leader Abby Giroux at All Saints Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is fostering global connections between her students and peers from around the world by partnering with Level Up Village. She recently taught LUV’s Global Web Designers, which combines environmental science with website development and culminates with each student building a website together with a partner student in another country.
“LUV fits the bill for the skills kids will need to be successful in, say, 2025,” said Abby, who is both the Middle School Principal and a teacher at All Saints Academy. “The tech and global connection integrated with science hooked me. Global Web Designers has provided me a platform to teach the science I have to teach in a well-rounded, relevant, applicable, cross-curricular, whole-person way.”
How would you like to grow vegetables, plant flowers and collect eggs as part of your school day? These are just a few of the many hands-on activities for students at American Farm School just outside Thessaloniki, Greece, where a working farm produces milk, yogurt, Omega 3 eggs, turkey, wine and more. In this living laboratory, children learn by doing by engaging in experiential learning and applied research… Students at the school’s STEM Academy recently completed Level Up Village’s Global Scientists – a course that explores water chemistry, water conservation, water pollution and filtration.
After exchanging video messages throughout their Level Up Village Global Inventors course, students in Roanoke, Virginia, and their partner students in Central America connected live via Skype. And what amazing conversations they had! Here’s the story, as told by educators on both ends.
Level Up Village actively seeks out innovative global partner organizations to team up with, in order to provide cutting-edge STEM to underserved populations of students. This January, we launched a partnership with WAAW, which stands for Working to Advance STEM education for African Women – a non-profit organization focused on increasing the pipeline of African women entering Science and Technology fields.
We are delighted to share that Level Up Village team member Nicki Brill has been named a NAA 2017 Next Generation of Afterschool leader, an award that highlights the contributions made by emerging professionals active in the afterschool community. Nicki was profiled in the Winter 2017 issue of NAA’s AfterSchool Today magazine and will be recognized for her achievement at the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) Conference on March 19 in Dallas, where Level Up Village will also be exhibiting.
“Level Up Village Account Director Nicki Brill possesses passion and a commitment to youth — embodying NAA’s core competencies,” wrote NAA in its recent newsletter.
Level Up Village (LUV) today announced it is the first organization to receive the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) Seal of Alignment at the Proficiency Level for the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students. A pioneering provider of Global STEAM (STEM + arts) enrichment, Level Up Village connects K-9 students from around the world for virtual collaboration and cultural exchange. ISTE is the premier membership organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learning in a connected world.
Guest post by Marianne Mann from EduMais in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In cooperation with Level Up Village, EduMais has introduced a new, exciting class: Global Web Designers. The class is an exchange program between EduMais and The Rumson Country Day School in New Jersey, United States. It gives eight children from EduMais and 13 children from our American partner school, aged between 10 and 12 years, the opportunity to exchange video letters and create a joint website about renewable energy.
Level Up Village is keeping environmentalism and internationalism at the forefront in the third grade. For the first time this winter, The Wilson School is participating in a program offered by Level up Village, which facilitates global science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) collaboration between students from around the world. Third grade “Global Scientists” collaborated with a class in Nicaragua, sharing project files and exchanging video letters.