Our last three RE@L Blogs dealt with the useful topic of how to turn CyberBullying into CyberTeaming. Thanks to Tulane University’s School of Social work, we were able to reprint their comprehensive informative content, resources and remedies on how to make K12 team-based learning more effective. Click here to read those three informative reports on CyberBullying.
You may be surprised to learn that this CyberBullying to CyberTeaming topic has been long on our RE@L agenda. It was also a key part of the MECC software agenda. Three of our current RE@L leadership team were among the first to address these critically needed social media solutions. That focus is once again being brought by our RE@L team in our forthcoming sofware.
More on that below.
We left you with this interesting graphic at the end of our last REAL Blog. What was it all about?
40 years ago, three of our current RE@L Leadership Team (see below) were in key leadership positions at MECC Software. Unlike other software producers, MECC was committed to addressing the culturally-sensitive topics of bullying and sissifying others. Their interests and talents were different from other students.
Click on the graphic to the left to see a very touching and short 3 min video on what taunting, name-calling and stereotyping can do to hurt and impede the talents of others, particularly young children and students.
The actor shown above is playing the part of “Oliver Button” from a well-known children’s book titled, “Oliver Button is a Sissy,” written by by famous author, Tomie dePaola. The author of this popular children’s book as a boy had been subjected to tauntings, teasings and belittlings, even by his own father and older brother, simply because he wasn’t like other boys. Because of that difference, Tomie was called a “sissy.” See his adult photo at the right. Mr. dePaola’s powerful book “Oliver Button” is still available at Amazon.com by clicking here.
The video above also shows a powerful discussion between talented teacher, Mary Cowhey, and her elementary class on how to deal with these sensitive issues on our personal differences, gifts and limitations of each of us.
Even with those differences we need to work together! That’s why CyberTeams are so important to the success of our learning and doing.
RE@L Blog has noted that Ms. Cowhey, who participated in this video years ago, is also a talented author, and is still bringing topics of cultural differences to her students. See the information on her book, “Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Teaching Differently in the Primary Grades.” Just click on her graphic to the left.
Fast-forward to today! Ever wonder how RE@L got its name and mission? RE@L stands for Real Experiences At Life. We believe that every word in our name is important to K12 learning. Our mission is driven by our motto: “RE@L…For The Love of Learning.”
RE@L is totally committed to make more learning happen for more students. In fact the primary goal for RE@L software is: “More Learners Can Learn More!” Sounds redundant, but it’s not! RE@L is dedicated to finding new ways for more learners to be successful in attaining their learning goals. Among those ways is collaborative learning and teaming.
Our current RE@L leadership team led the way against bullying and taunting in K12 long before it became the issue of concern it is today. Having read our recent blogs on CyberBullying, our loyal readers can see what a key issue productive collaboration has become in today’s STEM-driven world. RE@L knows collaborative teams must work together to address key problems and create workable solutions.
Here’s what RE@L’s Chairman, Dale LaFrenz, and President/CEO, Paul Gullickson have to say about that important goal:
“Collaborative Learning is the cornerstone of our vision for not only our RE@L STEM products, but for all of what we do. Collaboration between and among students in the classroom, across classrooms everywhere, and connections to Real World Practitioners makes our vision a needed reality.
This success can happen only if everyone on the learning team respects each other and the unique skills they bring to the team. Successful teams, no matter the task, have no place for counter-productive CyberBullying. Since success is the goal, becoming CyberTeams and CyberBuddies that value each other and can work together is essential to team success.”
Positive results and success in today’s world depend more and more on an effective TEAM!
Consider a Relay Race for example. It’s a very good example.
Each team member plays a key role for the success of the team, and therefore is valued by others on the team.
Winning teams must support each other no matter their other differences. Results depend on it!
To achieve common goals, each member of a CyberTeam must first and foremost value and trust each member of their CyberTeam. “They must have,” as the saying goes, “each other’s backs.”
That’s precisely what RE@L software strives to make happen: -> EFFECTIVE CYBERTEAMING!
Our RE@L leadership goes all the way back to MECC’s Oregon Trail™ (OT) days. Not only did Dale, Paul, and Susan Schilling (and many other team members) help create the most famous computer simulation learning game of all time, Oregon Trail™. They pioneered a broad array of hundreds of K12, hands-on, real-world, project-based software. Both students and teachers loved it and learned from it!
The baton in this relay race has now been passed on from MECC’s former team to RE@L’s current team. Fortunately, they are still dedicated to makng CyberTeaming happen.
Along with Dale and Paul, Susan, RE@L’s CEO for The RE@L Institute, was also a key software innovator at MECC. Ms. Schilling brought a new vision to software and learning that was gender-fair, team-centered, and bullying-proof. Many other talented women were also a part of that team.
Susan Schilling is now responsible for helping RE@L set guidelines for our new RE@L software products. RE@L products will include components for ALL learners, with emphasis on developing appropriate tools and resources for each learner, no matter their current skills or gender. Furthermore, EACH student will help ALL students learn.
That’s a real RE@L Learning Team!
Why is this intense focus on effective teaming so critically important to RE@L? The answer is that RE@L Software uniquely incorporates STEM-based, team-driven, collaborative, project-based learning. Why? That’s the only workable model able to meet our needed national technology goals.
Here’s our famous RE@L “3-Bubble RE@L Graphic” diagram from our homepage. It drives learning software at RE@L:
Classroom Learning and Real-World Learning:
The first activity of our RE@L 3-phase approach provides the teacher and students with the supplemental learning materials to support the topic being studied. Our resource materials provided in print (PDF format), video and PowerPoint will give each teacher step-by-step instructions on how to integrate and present RE@L STEM Investigations topics into their classroom.
Resource materials are also provided for student use as they learn about the specifics of the topics presented. RE@L provides what we call “Just-in-Time” Learning™ through our online portal so students and parents can access all the materials we provide.
The Field Experience phase of RE@L STEM Investigations next focuses on extending the learning from the classroom to the “field.” Here students can apply their classroom learning, gather data, make inferences and create presentations used in the third phase of RE@L-world change.
Students use the tools provided by RE@L’s Instant Portal to gather data: print-based documents, mobile devices graphics, as well as our powerful Geographic Information System (GIS) to authenticate their data collection. These tools, used in business and industry, allow students to experience real world applications (click the link to see RE@L STEM: Water Quality).
RE@L World Change
RE@L believes one of the key tenets of STEM is that K-12 students must be exposed to the broad requirements of new 21st century careers.
Our third phase will utilize RE@LView™, an integrated video-conferencing tool that supports students in the sharing of their findings with other classrooms and experts in the field. This phase allows students to see how their work can influence change in the world , all while exploring the career choices that support needed world change.
“CYBERTEAMS WILL CHANGE THE WORLD! AND RE@L WILL LEAD THE WAY!”
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