KDSL Global interviews Luke Meinen of Level 5 Bahrain

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview with Luke Meinen, Manager of Level 5 Bahrain. This is an initiative of International School Services, a nonprofit that leads schools, facilitates recruitment and provides best-in-breed learning solutions.

 

Tell us about LEVEL 5. 

First and foremost, LEVEL 5 is a nonprofit that hosts creative learning experiences for students, educators and the wider community on a myriad of topics that aim to spark innovation and creativity in education.

The first LEVEL 5 opened in Shenzhen, China four years ago and has proved to be a successful platform to help educators shift practice, design real-world, experiential learning, and ignite passion within students in the creative spaces. With the success of LEVEL 5 China, we saw the opportunity to expand this endeavor into the MENA region opening LEVEL 5 Bahrain at Riffa Views International School.

Our professional learning workshops focus on three categories; making, contemporary pedagogy, and innovative leadership. This wide range of events will help us provide a new type of professional learning for region. These workshops are available for educators, community members and students as we recognize the power of young and old working and learning together.

During the 2019-2020 school year, we will host 12 full weekend workshops, night events, and single day weekend learning experiences. These events will be facilitated by both local and international educators and artists from around the world.

For a full listing of events, workshops and learning experiences, check out www.thelevel5.org/bahrain. For any questions, please reach out to level5bh@iss.edu.

 

Tell us about the new space with the Riffa Views International School.

The creation of LEVEL 5 has been a process that has taken a full year to complete as we knew we wanted this space to reflect the school community it resided in. We were gracious enough to have been given a beautiful space with huge amounts of natural light as a blank canvas.

In order to leverage the ideas of the entire RVIS community, we invited staff, students and parents into the space to help us co-create this new space. We loosely followed a Design Sprint model to rapidly ideate, prototype and test ideas from all who participated. You can read about this process in detail here Co-creating Authentic Change. This helped us gather the best ideas from the entire community to begin the process of designing this new agile space.

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For LEVEL 5 to be successful, it requires a completely agile space that can be reconfigured to meet the needs of any type of workshop or learning experience. Utilizing prior successes of the LEVEL 5 China, research from the Stanford d School and a plethora of other resources we designed the space around this concept. Writable surfaces for ideation everywhere, agile furniture, smooth transitional flooring and caster wheels on EVERYTHING have helped us create this flexible space.

Actual construction of the space took three months to complete (time lapse of construction), and it was launched in late May of the 2018-2019 academic year. Along with this beautiful new physical space, we will also be out fitting it with a host of creative tools like 3D printers, laser engravers, microcontrollers, traditional fabrication tools, and much more. These will be for students, parents, educators and community members to use design, create and test new and innovative ideas.

During the day, LEVEL 5 will be open to the RVIS community and students to use. We are not using it as a traditional space to host scheduled classes, but more as an open space that can be booked by the teachers. The hope is to have these ideals and innovative practices flow into classrooms rather than being isolated in the space. Our aim is to help inspire the students in our school by providing them with the same type of learning experiences that happen during our professional learning workshops both inside LEVEL 5 and out.

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What strategies do you use to activate the Bahrain educational community?

Over the past year, another focus for LEVEL 5 Bahrain has been to activate the educational community across the island by building collaborative relationships between schools. In Bahrain, the relationships that have been built up between schools are often competitive in nature through sports, competitions, and other events. There were pockets of collaboration, but we wanted this to grow as we know that when educators share knowledge and practice, everyone wins, especially the students.

With this in mind, we began to systematically create opportunities for sharing, collaborating and learning that were open to all educators on the island regardless of what school they taught at. We created a What’s App group to share ideas and learning opportunities, promoted an existing Facebook group, started a shared hashtag (#bahrainedu) to deprivatize the great things that were happening in classrooms around the island, and started events called #TeachmeetBahrain to provide opportunities to physically meet up and share.

In just a year, some great things have happened, and I believe that this will continue to grow as more people engage in these opportunities to collaborate. For a detailed look into this, you can find the steps we took here; Activating Your Educational Community.

 

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Luke Meinen is the manager of LEVEL 5, Bahrain where he coordinates events and workshops and facilitates learning experiences. Over the past year, he has worked to co-create this new space with the Riffa Views International School community. He is also working to activate the education community in Bahrain through the organization of TeachMeets, collaborative groups and social gatherings for educators and leaders.

 

Prior to joining LEVEL 5, he worked as an elementary educator for nine years in East Asia, Africa and the Middle East designing authentic learning experiences for his classes and colleagues. He enjoys fabrication, playing basketball, surfing and spending time with his family in his free time.

 

 

 

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KDSL Global Managing Director selected as a judge for the GESS Education Awards 2020

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We are thrilled to announce the 7th annual GESS Awards, whether you’re a teacher, supplier or anyone in education this is your chance to celebrate excellence in the education industry.  The Gala will take place on 26 February 2020 in Dubai at the H Hotel. KDSL Global Managing Director Kevin Simpson has been selected as a judge for the awards.

What are the Awards?

The awards highlight and reward the quality and diversity of educational products, resources, services and people as well as the best educational establishments and the most dedicated members of the teaching profession. The GESS Education Awards aim to encourage the raising of educational services & product standards throughout the industry and aims to be recognised throughout the sector as the accolade of excellence.

 

For more information on GESS Education Awards visit https://www.gessawards.com
Meet the team of judges here https://www.gessawards.com/judges

 

 

KDSL Global interviews Leisa Grace Wilson of Teach Middle East Magazine

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Leisa Grace Wilson of Teach Middle East Magazine. This is the premier magazine for educators and the entire education sector in the Middle East and beyond. They offer information on a wide range of topics ranging from finance, culture, travel, leadership, school news, and more.

 

Tell us about the Teach Middle East Magazine.

Teach Middle East Magazine is the premier magazine for educators and the entire education sector in the Middle East and beyond. Our vision is to equip educators with the materials and tools they need, to function optimally in and out of the classroom. We provide a space for educators to connect, find inspiration, resources and forums that are aimed at enhancing their teaching techniques, methodologies and personal development. We connect education suppliers and service providers to the people who make the buying decisions in schools.

 

What topics are you hoping to cover in the future?

The upcoming Volume 7 of Teach Middle East Magazine will continue to feature strategy filled articles, interviews and research-backed pieces for the connected educator.

 

What is your editorial style?

Teach Middle East Magazine focusses on ensuring that the articles it carries add value to educators and help them to perform optimally both inside and outside of the classroom. The magazine is divided into two sections. ‘Class Time’ and ‘After the Bell’ catering to both the professional and personal development of educators.

 

To learn more about Teach Middle East Magazine visit https://teachmiddleeastmag.com/

For their latest issue visit https://teachmiddleeastmag.com/teach-middle-east-magazine-sep-dec-2019-issue-1-volume-7/

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Leisa Grace Wilson is the Editorial Director of Teach Middle East Magazine. She has been working in education for the past twenty-two years as a teacher, Head of Department, Education Advisor and Vice-principal. Leisa Grace has worked in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. In 2014 she joined Teach Middle East Magazine, where she shares her passion for education through her writing and editing of the print and online issues of the magazine. She is also a speaker and has presented at education conferences globally.

 

 

KDSL Global interviews Travis Bouldin of We Are All Incorporated

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Travis Bouldin, Founder and President of We Are All Incorporated.  With a focus on discovering, learning, and changing, Boulden provides global experiences to youth.

 

Tell us about We Are All Incorporated

We Are All Incorporated has a simple mission of providing new or nontraditional experiences to teens from communities with limited resources. We Are All Incorporated does not prohibit access based on lines of differences, especially race and socioeconomic status. As such, activities can range from a local fishing and hiking expedition to a day trip for skiing and snowboarding. Other times include catching a flight abroad for cultural immersion and enrichment. Young community members develop new understandings of themselves, the world around them, and ideas for enhancing diverse relationships through respect, appreciation, and mutual concern. Teens carry these understandings with them into adulthood as they enter higher education institutions or start new careers as participants in our national and global community.

 

 What inspired you to found We Are All Incorporated?

I didn’t have the opportunity to engage in international travel during my childhood. I didn’t leave the country for the first time until I was 26. Over the last decade, I’ve visited 32 countries. I find value in every part of the experience, including the skills needed to navigate basic directions when in a new country, touring historical sites, immersing in new cultures, and finding ways to share stories about cultural commonalities, common interests, and common concerns.

I grew up with a river and wooded area just beyond my backyard. I spent most of my days fishing, boating, exploring, and biking, which started a love for outdoors activities. As an adult, I include these activities regularly in my life. I find value in them and I wish to share that with others who rarely have an opportunity to get out of the city.

I originally partnered with other organizations that specialized in global travel for low-income and/or teens that had limited opportunities based on where they lived. However, I found that while these organizations had an honorable mission, the opportunities were not equally accessed by everyone. So, I started We Are All Inc. to reach the people that needed more motivation than a flyer or announcement.

 

 What upcoming expeditions and experiences do you offer?

I attempt to include teens in selecting and planning the activities that we choose. We will meet in August to calendar monthly trips and our international experience for the 2019-2020 calendar year. Activities will begin in September 2019!

 

For more information please visit https://freshglobes.weebly.com

 

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Travis Bouldin is the founder and president of We Are All Incorporated. For 15 years, Travis has worked in education as a teacher, teacher leader, instructional coach, principal, and district leader. Travis values education as a “great equalizer” and believes that every child has the right to excellent teachers and great learning spaces. He has a fundamental belief that every child can be successful if provided with the right opportunities from the right people.

Having small-town roots, Travis enjoys fishing, boating, hiking, biking, and anything that allows him to be in nature, which he has passed on to his son. His love of travel and different cultures has taken him to 32 countries. Travis is a fan of American Realism and self-publishes short stories inspired by the genre. He is currently working on a plan to open a small farm to share a love of animals and agriculture with people in urban communities.

Travis holds a certificate in Global Education, M.A.T. in Teaching Secondary Social Studies, M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership, and is currently a candidate for an M.A. in American History.

 

The Knowledge Economy Report

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Historically, there has been a mismatch between property developments, and the schools that supposedly serve them (geographically) in terms of school curricula, and average annual fees. This paper, amongst other things, serves to highlight opportunities to better marry schools within a community, to highlight current parental demands and affordability levels, and by doing so, reveal real opportunities for potential investors, and schools.

The Knowledge Economy Report (Dubai) from the Education Intelligence Group is now available for investors. Visit https://educationintelligencegroup.com/shop/the-knowledge-economy-report-from-the-ground-up/

 

 

 

 

KDSL Global interviews Marla Hunter

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Marla Hunter of Live. Love.Teach!, LLC. Currently, Hunter is based in the United Arab Emirates and passionate about coaching, diversity, and inclusion. She is a new collaborating partner with KDSL Global with plans to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the international education space.

 

Tell us about your work mentoring teachers.

I have been mentoring educators for almost 10 years now. Without mentors or instructional coaches, teachers would flounder in every decision they make. I use practical strategies to support the teachers that I coach and elevate. This helps to improve the quality of education for students.

Below are the steps that I use during coaching/mentoring

  • Reassuring new teachers
  • Providing encouragement to all
  • Offering feedback
  • Being there during the “oh no!” and “ah ha!” moments
  • Reflecting together

 

Tell us about your work towards moving schools to embrace diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion is something that I have been working on since I began my work in education 15 years ago. It is important to remember that it is the responsibility of educators to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) of the students in their care; whether the student is in their immediate classroom or not. NPR‘s Bill Chappell reports that, according to the Census Bureau, “By around 2020, ‘more than half of the nation’s children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group.’” Can you imagine that this is just the USA? Just think about GLOBAL education. When I moved abroad I helped to start a Facebook group catered to People of Color (POC) teaching abroad and wanting to move abroad to teach.  I have conducted several Periscopes and Facebook Live conversations to discuss DEI and other concepts of global education.

As a collective we need to stop talking about DEI in international education and start taking action.

  • Building community
  • Building trust
  • Instruction/Professional Development

 

What leadership coaching services do you offer?

I offer the following services that can be found on my website:

https://www.missmarlahunter.com/coachingservices/

  • Teacher Mentoring
  • Leadership Coaching
  • Technology Coaching
  • Employee Training and Development

https://www.missmarlahunter.com/professional-development/

 

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After a successful career of teaching in both public and private education in Nashville (TN), Memphis (TN), and Orlando (FL), Marla Hunter is now teaching internationally and has taught in the following places: China (Shenzhen), Nigeria (Abuja), and currently the UAE (Al Ain).

Marla graduated from University of Memphis, by way of Oakwood College (now University), with a Bachelor’s in K-8 Education and from Nova Southern University’s MATL (Master’s of Teaching and Learning) program where she earned a degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

It is believed that as educators we must work to inspire the students with a love of learning. We must also teach them how to learn and equip them with the tools necessary for their next step in life. The child must work to be teachable, to practice their lessons faithfully, and to learn from their mistakes and from the mistakes of others. Finally, the classroom must encourage curiosity, foster thinking, and facilitate productivity. It must be a safe and inviting environment in the eyes of the child.

Marla is a firm believer in the use of EdTech & a lover of Maths. She has participated and facilitated several math initiatives in Tennessee and Mt. Holyoke University: SITES-M School (Strengthening Instruction in Tennessee Elementary Schools) – Focus on Mathematics, Summer Math for Teachers Working with Data: DMI Training/ DMI Facilitation Training, Summer Math for Teachers Geometry: Examining Features of Shape DMI Training/ DMI Facilitation Training, and SITES-M DMI Training for Teachers Number and Operations, Part 1 Building a System of Tens: Calculating with Whole Numbers and Decimals. She also provided quarterly Parent PD (Early Childhood Parent Sessions) in Reading, Math, and STEM/STEAM at the International School of Abuja.

Marla’s school in Nashville, TN was also the anchor school to begin the use of Common Core State Standards for the state. Marla receive training and became a trainer in CCSS for both K-8 Maths. She developed workshops to help educators in Memphis & Orlando. She also helps school districts, homeschool co-ops & various educational companies development EdTech and other curriculums for their various programs.

 

 

KDSL Global Education Branding Project

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Are you interested in becoming an education consultant? Starting up a new education company? Scaling up your education business?

Then join KDSL Global during 14-21 July 2019 for the Education Branding Project. This week long online journey will provide you with daily tasks leading to a toolkit.

For cost and more information email kdslglobalinfo@gmail.com.

 

Testimonials from Education Entrepreneurs

“Thank you, Kevin, for being an invaluable resource! As you know, I am new to the world of education consulting and you are the ONLY resource I have found to answer my questions related to building the business. You not only provided timely responses to all of my questions, but also you have made me feel comfortable about asking those sensitive kinds of questions, like pricing, that I cannot answer on my own. You are a wealth of information, and I appreciate your willingness to share your expertise individually and through the upcoming workshop.”

“Kevin Simpson has a talent for a conveying in simple steps something daunting like starting a consult ing business. During the week-long gig Kevin guides you with practical information and motivation to keep you going to achieve your goals. It’s a great way to connect with others and start to build your ED network.”

“My work with Kevin Simpson through his ED Branding program has been an incredible resource for me as I establish my consulting business. Not only did I learn a lot during the initial sessions, Kevin’s continued support and referrals have been invaluable to me.”

KDSL Global interviews Barbara Zielonka

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Barbara Zielonka about innovation and her new book. Zielonka gives personal insight into her teaching strategies and approaches that have helped her bring innovation into her curriculum and meet the needs of the learners of today and tomorrow.

 

Tell us about Education Influence and the role that innovation plays in education. 

Education Influence is a network of teachers handpicked for their influential leadership in the community. They are chosen to act as beacons to educators around the world who may require guidance to allow their children to reach their full potential. Education Influence is also a hub for teachers all over the world to come together, safe in the knowledge that they can access a local influencer who is willing to help them move forward.

 

I believe education plays a very important role in developing the next generation of problem solvers, critical thinkers, entrepreneurs, innovators and go-getters. If we really want our students to become successful, we need to create innovative education systems. For many teachers, innovation is strictly linked with the latest technology they use in their classrooms which is true to a certain degree, but for me, innovation means engaging students in ways we never have before and stepping outside of the box. Once teachers develop an innovative mindset and get out of their comfort zone, their students will be able to do the same. We, educators, need to create authentic and innovative opportunities for our students instead of focusing on scores and tests.

 

Tell us about your new book, “Keys to Educational Success: The Teaching Methods of a Top 10 Finalist of the Global Teacher Prize.”

Writing a book has always been on my bucket list. In 2014, I coauthored an English course book and I still remember the feeling I felt when I held it in my hands. In 2018, I participated in the Global Education and Skills Forum and after my masterclass one of the teachers approached me and asked whether I thought about publishing a book where I could share all my teaching strategies and methods. This question made me think. So as you can see the idea to write this book was born then and I am glad I did it.

 

In Keys to Educational Success, I give a personal insight into my teaching strategies and approaches that have helped me bring innovation into my curriculum and meet the needs of the learners of today and tomorrow. Through many examples and practical tips, I show how giving students a voice and a choice, cultivating a lifelong learning mindset, allowing students to shape their learning and letting students follow their passions and interests has made me a successful and renowned educator.  The book is divided into 17 chapters that can be read in any order and can be purchased on Amazon.

 

https://www.amazon.com/KEYS-EDUCATIONAL-SUCCESS-TEACHING-FINALIST/dp/8230341958/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=barbara+anna+zielonka&qid=1558774357&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

What do you hope your readers gain from reading this book?

The purpose of this book is to show teachers, trainee teachers, leaders strategies, approaches and tools that will make their educational journey inspirational and successful. My hope is also that every reader recognizes the importance of a student-centered approach and lifelong learning mindset. These two elements have helped me shape the classroom of the future and spreading the word about them in my book may help other readers/educators accomplish their educational goals.

 

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Barbara Anna Zielonka is a full-time high school English teacher, global educator, educational technologist, teacher trainer, project manager, judge in international educational competitions, lifelong learner, catalyst for change and reader.

In 2007, she earned her master’s degree in English Philology from the University of Silesia, Poland. During the past eight years, she has frequently participated in many post-secondary learning programmes in Norway such as Professional Digital Competence for Educators, ICT in Education, Educational Technology, Mentoring and Communication, international conferences, seminars and workshops all over the world. In 2012, she was one of the teachers who represented Norway at the Teachers Summer Institute 2012 in Amherst (Massachusetts), sponsored by the United States Department of State under the Fulbright Program. In 2014, she co-authored an English textbook Skills for vocational students. She participated in the Pestalozzi workshops and Comenius/ Erasmus programmes, Transatlantic Educators Dialogue between 2012-2019. In May 2017, Barbara received the ‘Gullepleprisen 2017’ from the Norwegian Educational Data Society (NPeD). This prestigious prize is awarded yearly to an educator who has used ICT in teaching in an innovative way. In June 2017, Barbara became the only European winner of the Great Global Project Challenge Grant for her global project called ‘The Universe is Made of Tiny Stories’. In March 2018, Barbara was named one of the top 10 finalists of the one million dollar Global Teacher Prize. In May 2018, Barbara became the laureate of the ‘Outstanding Pole in Norway’ contest in the category of Science.

In her teaching of English, Barbara focuses on the power of international projects, the pedagogical use of ICT tools, learner empowerment, entrepreneurship, innovation and connections-based learning. Several of her global and collaborative projects have received international recognition and awards. She also serves as an ambassador in the following organisations: Varkey Foundation, eTwinning, Connections-Based Learning, HundrED, Teach SDGs and Education Influence. She conducts professional development sessions as well.