Old Greenwich, Connecticut, and Harare, Zimbabwe – July 24, 2017 – Level Up Village (LUV) today announced it is bringing global education opportunities to schools in Zimbabwe through its new partnership with eLearning Solutions. Based in Connecticut, Level Up Village is a pioneering provider of global STEAM (STEM + Arts) enrichment courses and is working with more than 250 schools in the United States and partner schools in 20 countries. Based in Harare, Zimbabwe, eLearning Solutions is a digital learning solutions provider of 21st century learning solutions designed to empower educators, stimulate learners and promote learning excellence across sub-Saharan markets.
In every Level Up Village course, students are paired one on one with partner students in other countries. Together, they follow the same curriculum and collaborate on STEAM projects by exchanging asynchronous video messages, collaborating on shared project files and creating personal profiles – all through LUV’s Global Communication Platform. Starting in September 2017, students will also be able to connect with their partners in real-time via live video chat.
“We are delighted to grow our network of schools in Zimbabwe through our new partnership with eLearning Solutions. Level Up Village courses target essential 21st Century skills and prepare them for success in the global economy,” said Level Up Village CEO & Co-Founder Amy McCooe. “We give schools everything they need to facilitate global collaboration between their students and partner students in other countries, so together, they can learn STEM skills such as 3D printing, programming and web design, as well as the softer skills of communication and collaboration.”
Level Up Village began working with five schools in Zimbabwe in 2017: Tynwald Primary School in Harare, Wise Owl School in Marondera, Sharon School in Harare, Goldridge High School in KweKwe and Anderson Adventist High School in Gweru. In the coming few months, eLearning Solutions expects to introduce LUV programs to as many as 20 additional schools in Zimbabwe.
“We expect that educators across Zimbabwe will be keenly interested in introducing Level Up Village’s global education courses to their classrooms and look forward to bringing LUV programs to even more schools in the next year,” said Isaac Chafera, Head of Business of eLearning Solutions. “Level Up Village’s innovative programs enable schools to create a cutting-edge 21st Century global learning environment that is helping students in Zimbabwe to develop essential STEM skills, while also learning to communicate effectively with partners in the United States.”
“I am very excited that we are taking Level Up Village’s global STEAM programs to a higher level for the benefit of our learners and our staff,” said Sevias Mujere, Primary School Headmaster at Tynwald School in Harare, Zimbabwe. “It such a fantastic program that the country needs to know and embrace. This is the kind of program that allows children to communicate with anyone, anywhere.”
Level Up Village courses align with several sets of standards including Next Generation Science Standards, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards. The recent government review of the curriculum in Zimbabwe has also made it easier to blend Level Up Village courses with core curriculum requirements. In March, Level Up Village was the first organization to receive the ISTE Seal of Alignment for the 2016 Standards for Students. (Read more here.)
Level Up Village offers a variety of global STEAM courses covering a wide range of topics, such as CAD & 3D printing, web design, programming and the global water crisis. Students apply design thinking to real-world challenges, conduct experiments and develop prototypes – all while communicating and collaborating with global partner students who are following the same curriculum. Through a combination of guided discussion, hands-on activities and interactive media, students identify an issue and apply design thinking to solve a real-world problem. Students not only work together on projects, but also discuss the real-life application of their learning and learn about each other’s daily lives and cultures. The result is meaningful global collaboration and an enhanced understanding of the world.
Level Up Village boasts a rapidly growing global network of schools including more than 250 schools across the U.S. and more than 40 global partner organizations (schools and NGOs) in 20+ countries, including Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Ukraine, Nicaragua, Honduras and Brazil.
Schools that partner with Level Up Village receive the following:
- Fully developed, cutting-edge STEAM curriculum
- Comprehensive teacher training
- Access to LUV’s growing network of global partners
- Experienced management of the global collaboration process
- Ongoing customer support
While schools in Zimbabwe get to access Level Up Village at no cost to the school, schools are expected to meet a high level of stakeholder participation, dedication and attention to the three pillars that make this collaboration a success:
- School leadership
- Teacher participation
- Technology infrastructure (especially connectivity)
Level Up Village will also give technology grants to Zimbabwe schools participating in LUV programs to assist the schools in developing their ICT infrastructure.
About Level Up Village
A social impact company based in Old Greenwich, Conn., Level Up Village (LUV) delivers pioneering Global STEAM (STEM + Arts) enrichment courses that promote design thinking and one-to-one collaboration on real-world problems between students from around the world. Launched in 2012, LUV runs courses during school, after-school and in the summer for students at more than 250 U.S. schools, with 40+ Global Partner organizations in more than 20 countries. For more information, visit us at levelupvillage.com or find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter @LevelUpVillage.
Level Up Village is a P21 member, a SETDA Emerging Private Sector Partner and the first to receive the ISTE Seal of Alignment at the Proficiency Level for the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students. Please see our blog page.
About eLearning Solutions
eLearning Solutions is an ecosystem of partners that plan, design, deploy and manage sustainable 21st century learning solutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 2000, the company supports primary and secondary education by providing technology based solutions that empower educators, stimulate learners and promote learning excellence. eLearning Solutions is also a member of P21.
Andrea Sherman, PR & Communications, Level Up Village firstname.lastname@example.org