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.
“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.
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.
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.
In March of 2016, I departed for Ukraine, and after three months of intense culture and language training, I received my site placement in the small town of Zalishchyky, Ternopilska Oblast. I was assigned to Zalishchyky State Gimnasia which is a specialized Middle School and High School that ranks among the top schools in Ukraine due its uncommon access to resources and passionate teachers. My primary role in the school is to serve as an expert English Language Teacher. … My third role is to create and implement projects for our school and community. Level Up Village (LUV) has become one of many projects.
“That’s why my brother’s thumbs are so long!” The once silent room erupted with laughter. The students were engaged in creating a fictitious family based on particular genetic traits. One student had the revelation that his biological brother was not, in fact, an alien but that a dominant trait in his family’s lineage must have caused his brother to grow really long “alien” thumbs. This activity was part of Global Doctors: DNA, a Level Up Village (LUV) course I taught last spring at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Windsor, Connecticut.
Greenwich, Connecticut – November 20, 2017 – Level Up Village (LUV) and Zaniac Greenwich today announced they are teaming up to bring one of LUV’s innovative global STEAM (STEM + Arts) programs to Zaniac’s vacation camp this December. LUV’s Global Inventors course will provide students the opportunity to connect and collaborate one-on-one with peers from Hong Kong on a 3D printing project applied to real-world issues.
As a former Hartford-area resident and current STEM nerd, I was very excited to attend the Annual Connecticut STEM Conference at The Connecticut Science Center last week together with Oletha Walker, who has taught several Level Up Village courses at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Windsor. Throughout the conference, STEM was discussed not merely as a collection of four subjects, but as a bridge to other disciplines with highly relevant, real-world applications. Here are my key takeaways from the conference: