New Dreams Of Myths, Stars And Trails: RE@L Is On The Trek Again!

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May this New Year bring all of us exciting new treks and trails, filled with new opportunities to learn and to share!

This wish for the new year started for us here at RE@L recently while reading a weekly editorial known as “Opinuendo” in the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press a week ago Christmas Eve. See the link by clicking HERE. Their quote went on to tell us that some former newspaper reporter recently relived the Oregon Trail trek in a covered wagon. That is no easy trek!

The editorial also reminded us that some of our ancestors were real pioneers, as well. Those who follow new treks and trails are pioneers. Many of the newest pioneers were the hundreds of thousands of students playing the famous MECC “Oregon Trail” computer game.

The_Oregon_Trail_coverWhat brought broader smiles to us was that our RE@L team member, Don Rawitsch, was one of the three pioneers at MECC who launched that epic Oregon Trail simulation game 40 years ago.

Don is now on the RE@L team, and still working on new products that will bring about even more exciting new journeys for learners of all ages. Several new versions of RE@L’s real learning software will be coming soon to a computer or mobile device near you. Stay tuned!

Star Wars 7Then, a few days later came the story of another trek, another epic tale, this one from a universe of galaxies far, far away, where good still struggles against evil: Star Wars VII: “The Force Awakens.” The film set a record of movie viewings on opening day and it’s certain that more broken records are to come.

Filmmaker George Lucas created this mythic series of movies and even launched his own series of computer games at Lucas Learning, Inc, under the direction of then General Manager, Susan Schilling, who also is on our RE@L Team. Click the the graphic to the right to see the exciting video trailer from this film. We can’t wait to see the movie!

images-1All this reminded two other RE@L team members, Paul Gullickson and Rick Krueger, about the powerful PBS series “The Power of Myth,” narrated by Joseph Campbell, assisted by Bill Moyers. Campbell’s series contained many powerful words and phrases about teachers and teaching, along with learners and learning.

images-2Campbell’s stories captured the attention of millions of viewers and helped us better understand the power of mythic stories of virtuous treks and struggles between good and evil, whether in fable or in fact in our own lives. Click on the graphic to the left to see an excerpt from their historic PBS series.

Our trek soon got even better. Several of us at RE@L were invited to a fascinating GoTo Meeting discussion with Mark Watts, whose father Alan Watts was a colleague of Joseph Campbell. Mark treated us to the stories behind the story of epic Campbell series, and the powerful role that story and myth play in our lives. Mark wears many hats, and is currently directing the construction of the new interpretive center in California, named for his father, Alan Watts.

Unknown-2One of his father Alan’s famous quotes, and one that Campbell, Moyers, Lucas would likely agree with is the quote shown below. We at RE@L agree with it, and it drives daily what we do. Click on the graphic to the right to learn more about The Alan Watts Center.

We at RE@L think this story about stories needs to be retold, but in a more accessible retelling.

Why? Because we at RE@L are dedicated to putting story-based, real-world learning goals into the minds of young learners by using engaging, tested software with cutting edge technology and tools to deliver it.

Unknown-1UnknownOne of the most famous lines from the “Star Wars” series is, “May the Force be with you!”

We at RE@L strive to create new software that will instill that Force of Learning in all learners.

We want our learners to know that the “Do” in learning begins with the “Try,” , but is perfected in sharing and learning with others.

We also know from Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” that the more we tie real learning to the real world, the more likely the lasting force of “Do” will guide our life’s treks.


Join us on this RE@L Blog journey for the next several weeks as we share the rest of  our RE@L stories and journeys.


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Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.