Level Up Village is taking the idea of the pen pal to the next level.
Its mission, “to globalize the classroom and facilitate seamless collaboration between students from around the world via pioneering Global STEAM enrichment courses,” came to life in our Lower and Middle School divisions this year, as students in PreK, third grade, and eighth grade made connections across continents. Through videos, email, and virtual chatting, Level Up Village participants create a global classroom that utilizes technology to connect students around the globe in collaborative projects.
A pioneering provider of Global STEAM (STEM + arts) enrichment courses, Level Up Village (LUV) , was selected as one of the winners for the EdTech Digest Awards Program in the 21st Century Skills category. The program recognizes people in and around education for outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology.
By Susan Fushikoshi, Punahou Schoool, Honolulu, Hawaii
“Clean water- it’s so precious! It’s our basic Need. Where does it come from? What can we do to keep it clean? Do we have water problems in Hawaii? How can I help someone who also has problems with their water?” Punahou 2nd graders in Honolulu, Hawaii started this inquiry about water and discovered the world!
“Hi, my name is Alice; I am from Ghana.” The sweet, soft voice of our first global partner video appeared on the big screen in our classroom. Shivers went down my spine as cheers erupted from my girls. Suddenly, the project became real. After weeks of preparing, thinking about it and discussing it, we finally had contact. For me, it was as exciting as seeing the Apollo landing as a very young toddler…suddenly, the whole world expanded and grew closer at the same moment.
In December, Mrs. Andrews’ fifth grade class at Mountain Brook Elementary School experienced a unique opportunity to speak to their partner classroom in Bogota, Colombia– LIVE! We had been waiting anxiously for weeks for this special moment, which culminated our eight-week Level Up Village Global Scientists course.
Earlier in February, Level Up Village invited its partner schools around the world to post a #GlobalEdSelfie to #SharetheLUV for global education. This was the second year LUV ran this campaign and the posts were outstanding! Thanks to all who participated and enjoy this selection of posts.
Robbins, North Carolina, is a rural town that just 1,180 people call home. Many of the children in this quiet community don’t have an opportunity to travel to see distant places. However, twenty-five of our 4th-grade students now have good friends more than 7,900 miles away in eastern Africa.
The Goddard School in Chantilly, Virginia, embarked on a brand-new, hands-on learning experience this fall that combined engineering and literacy with global perspective. The preschool partnered with Level Up Village to connect students to peers from across the world for shared STEAM (STEM + Arts) projects and cultural exchange. Pre-Kindergarten students were paired with partner students at schools in Ukraine and Zimbabwe through LUV’s lobal Storybook Engineers course.
When I was first introduced to Level Up Village (LUV), I was intrigued by the programme and thought it would be wonderful to team up with a school in another country. I was also interested in teaching my students how to code in a global classroom setting. When I shared the opportunity with my Grade 5-7 students, I received an overwhelming response! They were eager to participate, too!
At OakHill Pilar school in Buenos Aries, Argentina, a Kindergarten group and a First Grade group are both participating in Level Up Village’s Global Storybooks Engineers course and having tons of fun! They’re reading each book with the help of Miss Mai and Miss Pipi. Each book leads to a project that stems from the story: they have worked hard to make spaghetti towers to help Strega Nona and Big Anthony, and then a shell cover to protect Jabuti the Tortoise. They also used the Engineering Design Cycle to build a boat to help poor Monkey avoid Crocodile and shared videos and pictures of their projects.