Relationships and shared personal connections are a huge part of making learning fun, real and something that we remember long after a school year has ended. They are also great for developing empathy, broadening the mind to the experiences of others and cultivating a global mindset. The challenge for schools developing in countries like China is: How can we help students cultivate this global mindset and experience when nearly all of their classmates are from the same country and culture? Bringing teachers from around the world can go long way, but there’s something extra special about kids being able to connect with other kids and share with someone from a far-away land on their own level.
A growing number of tech-forward schools are integrating global collaboration into their STEM programs by partnering with Level Up Village. A great example of this is Kepner Beacon Middle School, an innovative new school within the Denver Public School district.
This spring, Level Up Village was the first organization to be awarded the Seal of Alignment for Proficiency for ISTE’s 2016 standards for students. That’s an impressive mouthful, but what does that mean exactly? The ISTE Seal of Alignment is designed to give educators and school leaders direct access to the best resources to help their students develop as global citizens in a digital world. There are three levels: Readiness, Proficiency and Mastery. Proficiency is awarded “for resources that offer a flexible implementation plan and provide opportunities to practice the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the ISTE Standards.”
You would think as we have grown from just a few US schools to over 150 US schools that finding Global Partners would have gotten harder, but it hasn’t. It’s gotten easier. Why? Because word is spreading.
A great example is our Level Up Village network in Ghana. In November of 2015, we ran just one course with one school in Ghana. In 2016, we will run more than 40 courses with four partners at ten schools in Ghana, as well as in one of the country’s first Makerspaces. Here is how we got there.
…The opportunity gave our students a chance to learn about another culture, and gave them an experience that taught them empathy for others, as well as an understanding of the design loop. Students were able to work through failure, and see things through a different perspective, unlike anything they had ever experienced before.
All Saints Episcopal School in Arizona invites viewers to step inside today’s Global Classroom and see the amazing work taking place in collaboration with partners students across the world. Third grade students are learning the engineering design process, computer aided design and 3D printing in Level Up Village’s Global Inventors course. Watch this incredible video to learn more.
This Summer, New Canaan Country School was a hub of activity with students in K-8 engaged in variety of hands-on projects that combined technology skills with global awareness. The school’s summer enrichment program included opportunities for students to code video games, create animations and build websites – all in collaboration with students from across the globe as part of the school’s ongoing partnership with Level Up Village.
Are you attending the ISTE conference this week in Denver, Colorado? If so, stop by the Global Learning Playground on Wednesday to find out how to create impactful global learning experiences for your students through Level Up Village programs.
We’re delighted to announce that Lynn Koresh, technology teacher and coordinator at Edgewood Campus School in Madison, Wisconsin, is our very first Level Up Village Teacher of the Year! We’re recognizing Lynn for the terrific work she has done with her students in her LUV courses including Global Inventors and Global Video Game Designers.
“LUV classes helped my students to get a glimpse of life in developing countries. They found that their partners were not as they are often depicted in pictures posted by charities, but instead were kids who have similar interests to their own,” said Koresh. “It was shocking for my students to realize that electricity is not reliable all over the world, and that many of their partners did not know when their power would go out for how long they would be without it.”
Are you hoping to add 3D printer to your school Maker Space? Level Up Village is offering a Polar 3D printer to schools that enroll in two or more courses by May 15, 2016. This offer is valid for schools that sign up for two or more Level Up Village after-school courses and enroll at least ten students in each course.