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.
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.
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.
Level Up Village recently partnered with Feminist Approach to Technology in India, an innovative organization working to challenge societal stereotypes and empower girls in marginalized communities through the acquisition of technology skills. A group of girls, whose parents are migrant workers, are now collaborating with partner students at All Saints Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in LUV’s Global Web Designers course.
Level Up Village is combining gamification with its mission to globalize the classroom in its recently introduced course: Global Gaming Strategists. In the course, students will play a game called SEED, where they will embark on an educational, dice-based adventure about protecting Earth’s natural resources. The action in SEED can be compared to adventure games, like ‘Pokémon Go!’ or ‘Dungeons & Dragons’. However, SEED’s unique gameplay systems have been built from the ground up with education in mind.
At The Willows Community School in Culver City, California, students recently participated in a week-long, cross-curricular program called “Intersession.” Now in its tenth year, the innovative program is designed to foster deep thinking and problem solving, while providing uninterrupted blocks of time for students to investigate a theme, problem or challenge from a new perspective. This year, the theme for Intersession was power.
Dean of Educational Technology Wendy Amster was on the look-out for a program that taps into this theme when she came across Level Up Village’s Global Web Designers course. She decided to pilot this course for 6th-8th grade students because it fit in directly with her curriculum and represented an opportunity to combine science and technology with the softer skills of communication and collaboration in a global context.