Discussion Skills + Drills: Teaching tech-centric students the art of human conversation

Discussion is at the heart of everything: engaged learning, good citizenship, belonging, well-being, reflection. And yet, for kids growing up in our tech-centric, polarized, world, face-to-face communication has become hard and scary.

R.E.A.L. Discussion is a framework for breaking the art of face-to-face discussion into teachable, assessable, and transferable skills. Designed for Humanities classrooms, R.E.A.L. gives teachers research-informed tools to make discussion equitable and metacognitive: skills, drills and debrief moves.

Join us to explore the research behind challenges kids face in communicating, learn R.E.A.L. from a real teacher, see it in action in his classroom, and practice analyzing discussion together.

Emily Gromoll

Director of Program, R.E.A.L. Discussion

Patrick Farmer

Humanities Lead, Nativity Preparatory School

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

Empowering All Voices: Leveraging Edtech for Connection and Inclusive Learning

Join Stacey Roshan to explore technology’s transformative potential, emphasizing its power to strengthen relationships and understand students’ holistic needs. Discover how edtech empowers students to express themselves comfortably and helps us shift away from a “first is best” culture to one that values every voice and ensures a diversity of thought is represented. Participants will gain practical insights on leveraging technology to personalize instruction, enhance engagement, heighten confidence, and improve academic success. By intentionally incorporating simple web apps into lessons, educators can refocus technology use toward compassionate, connected learning, fostering a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for all.

Stacey Roshan

Edtech & innovative teaching consultant

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

Teaching Students about Learner Variability

In this session, we’ll discuss what the research says about learner variability and explore ways to use the Learner Variability Navigator. Then we’ll dive into our guide Teaching Students about Learner Variability co-designed with educators which provides tips and sample lessons to introduce learner variability. We’ll also look at the impact understanding learner variability has had on teachers and students and why it matters for agency and equity.

Jessica Jackson

Director of Professional Learning for the Learner Variability, Project Digital Promise

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.