Integrating 21st century technologies and best practices in K-12 educational programs is a key focus for the Society of International Education (SIE) in Karachi, Pakistan. One way the organization meets that goal is by offering Level Up Village courses as part of its iEARN Pakistan program.
Guest post by Heather Womersley, Teacher at All Saints Academy
Picture this: Rafay is teaching Kayaunna a few words and phrases in Urdu, his native language. Andrew is excited to hear that his partner Hakia also uses a PlayStation 2 video game console and shares his passion for video games and sports. Zoe, who is a voracious reader, is delighted to learn that Eksa’s favorite book is Narnia.
Although they have never met in person, a group of ten students at All Saints Academy are now 21st century video pen pals, so to speak, with students at iEARN Pakistan. They are collaborating together in Level Up Village’s Global Web Designers course offered as part of our after school program this spring. For eight weeks, we are crossing geographic, cultural, and language barriers to work on solutions to a common environmental problem and learning web design skills at the same time.
We have been busy developing new curriculum here at Level Up Village and are proud to announce some exciting additions to our roster of global education courses. Designed to develop 21st Century skills, our courses all include collaboration and cultural exchange with Global Partner students in developing countries. What a great way to get students energized about what they’re learning and develop a global mindset!
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.
One of Level Up Village’s largest Global Partners is Ekalavya, a network of low-cost schools serving more than 1500 children who live in the slums of Bangalore and Hyderabad, India. Since 2015, approximately 200 Ekalavya students have participated in Level Up Village’s cutting-edge STEAM (STEM + arts) courses including Global Inventors (3D printing) and Global Video Game Designers.
“Fifty percent of the children from the slums will not continue their education after the 10th grade, hence it is important for them to give exposure to the technology which will inspire and motivate them to do well and continue,” said Dr. Jayaram, COO of Ekalavya Schools.
Educators today have an extraordinary opportunity to inspire authentic global learning by leveraging the 1-1 Digital Learning Environment that is rapidly becoming the norm in schools across the country. With technology at our fingertips, it’s never been easier to connect your class with partners around the world for one-on-one collaboration. Here are five ways to globalize your classroom with Level Up Village:
At Nambour State College, a K-12 school in Queensland, Australia, teachers Melissa Radke and Emma Fitzpatrack have integrated Level Up Village’s Global Scientists course into the seventh grade curriculum with a focus on this driving question: How can technology be used to improve water quality in the world?
One of the most important truths Atticus passed on to readers everywhere was the idea that we can’t hide anything in the world from our children—neither good nor bad. Instead, of trying to cover their eyes, we should prepare them for reality and encourage empathy for others by facilitating their exposure to new perspectives.
My classroom was alive with activity and a palpable sense of purpose as I maneuvered around the scattered knots of students, 10 in all, to get a closer look at their design journal entries. Group discussions, the random clatter of keyboard taps and mouse clicks, and the mechanical beeping and whirring of the 3D printer created a surprising harmony as my seventh-graders put the finishing touches on their latest creation — a prototype of a portable electric lamp.