Understanding and Redirecting Disagreements: An Interview with Dr. Ruth Braunstein

Understanding and Redirecting Disagreements: An Interview with Dr. Ruth Braunstein

Dr. Ruth Braunstein is the founder of The Meanings of Democracy Lab at the University of Connecticut. The lab engages students and partners in collaborative research and discussion about the contested moral and cultural foundations of American democratic life. What follows is a conversation between Ruth and R.E.A.L. Director of Program Emily Gromoll. The interview…

Introducing Our 2023 Annual Report

Introducing Our 2023 Annual Report

Remember Computer Labs? When I was growing up, schools had Computer Labs: structured programs where students learned future-focused skills like typing and eye-mouse coordination (yes, that was a thing). Today’s schools don’t need Computer Labs, but at R.E.A.L.® we believe they need Conversation Labs: programs that explicitly teach discussion skills to kids growing up and…

Congratulations to the Winners of Our National Student Essay Contest!

Congratulations to the Winners of Our National Student Essay Contest!

We are delighted to announce the winners of The First Annual R.E.A.L. ® Discussion National Essay Contest! We invited the thousands of students who have used R.E.A.L.® this year to submit an essay examining the role of face-to-face discussion in a tech-centered, AI-powered, ChatGPT-frenzied world. We noticed shared themes across the many submissions we received…

Cotter’s Blotter: Reflection, Emotional Wellness, and “The Four Pivots”

Cotter’s Blotter: Reflection, Emotional Wellness, and “The Four Pivots”

by Cotter Donnell The end of the academic year always feels so full – full of fun events, big emotions, and new ideas. I don’t know about you, but my mind has been running in overdrive for the last few weeks! Here are a few things that have caught my attention. Enjoy! Making time for…

Cotter’s Blotter: Introverts, Civility, and the Power of “And”

Cotter’s Blotter: Introverts, Civility, and the Power of “And”

by Cotter Donnell Welcome to the latest installment of Cotter’s Blotter, a recurring blog post where I share some of the education resources, interesting ideas, and captivating questions we’re thinking about at R.E.A.L.® Here’s a quick roundup of some of the ideas that have been on my mind and some of the things we’ve been…

Cotter’s Blotter: Learning Loss, Stellar Teachers, and SEL

Cotter’s Blotter: Learning Loss, Stellar Teachers, and SEL

by Cotter Donnell Welcome to the latest installment of Cotter’s Blotter, a biweekly blog post where I share some of the education resources, interesting ideas, and captivating questions we’re thinking about at R.E.A.L.® Here’s a quick roundup of some of the ideas that have been on my mind and some of the things we’ve been…

A Gen-Z Response to ChatGPT

A Gen-Z Response to ChatGPT

Since OpenAI launched its groundbreaking ChatGPT AI chatbot in late November, the education world has been abuzz. Will such a sophisticated language model negate the need for writing instruction? Will it completely upend the road rules surrounding paper-writing and exam-taking? Will it further alienate tech-dependent students who may already feel distanced from the “real” world?…

Cotter’s Blotter: AI, Black History Month, & Future-Proof Skills

Cotter’s Blotter: AI, Black History Month, & Future-Proof Skills

by Cotter Donnell Welcome to Cotter’s Blotter– a biweekly blog post where I share some of the education resources, interesting ideas, and captivating questions we’re thinking about at R.E.A.L.® I hope you find them inspiring and thought-provoking. Artificial Intelligence and a More Hopeful Future Anyone paying attention to current discussion in the field of education…