It was 105° in the small town of Nagarote, Nicaragua. Sweat dripped down my face as I lugged yet another pile of dirt out of the garden bed. I sensed my advisees were growing more tired with every passing hour, but we all persevered, determined to both build a new classroom and create a garden that would help further the educational programs at NicaPhoto. That’s what we at Builders Beyond Borders (B3) were known for, after all – building a better world for others.
Level Up Village is expanding its global network with the addition of yet another international school partner: Schutz American School in Alexandria, Egypt. This school year, both seventh and eighth grade students at the school participated in Level Up Village’s Global Conversations: Malala Yousafzai course. The eighth graders collaborated with partner students at Springboard School in Pakistan while seventh graders were paired with partner students at Seacoast Charter School in Dover, New Hampshire.
The team at Level Up Village is delighted to recognize Karen Orozco at NicaPhoto in Nicaragua as Global Partner Teacher of the Year for 2017. Karen has taught seven different Level Up Village courses including LUV’s newest courses: Global Water Crisis and Global Game Strategists. Her favorite course to teach so far is Global Doctors Anatomy. Karen’s students live in the Sonrisa de Dios neighborhood of Nagarote in homes that were only recently wired for electricity. Despite the many challenges the children face in their daily lives, they are receiving cutting-edge technology instruction at NicaPhoto through their Level Up Village courses.
During my trip, I met with headmasters, teachers and students at several schools and introduced them to the concepts of Global Education and, specifically, how Level Up Village empowers this concept… While meeting with Secretary of Education Dr. Utete-Masango, she made it clear that some of the guiding principles of the government’s new education curriculum include the hallmarks of 21st Century Education: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity. The department is looking to implement a communications network (mainly via satellite) that will connect all the schools in the country.
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.
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.
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.