Yes, we are writing this Blog on the First Day of April, but trust us. This is NOT a joke. Although it may LOOK like one!

It’s been a busy few weeks here at RE@L! All the burners on our kitchen stove are taken up with our RE@L Blog cooking pots and pans. In other words, we’ve got a lot cooking here. Why? Because there’s a lot going on here. How do we explain it all?

Well, harking back to our days of yester-year, when Saturday afternoon film matinees were, yes, still a dime, Hollywood shamelessly kept us coming back to the movies every week by showing us a silver movie screen of Previews that looked like this.

Yes, it kept us coming back every week! We hope you’ll be back, too.


No, we are not making movies! We make great software and apps that help kids learn. So, why should you keep coming back to visit this RE@L Blog, you say? Well, for one reason, there are lots of things happening here. 

Here are some of our RE@L “Coming Attractions”:

•     If you are one of our astute readers you may recall that last year, MECC’s “Oregon Trail” was a finalist for the Strong Museum’s Video Game Hall of Fame.

According to Jon-Paul Dysone, Director the The Strong International Center for the History of Electronic Games, “Whether it’s an iconic game like ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ a pioneering educational title like ‘The Oregon Trail,’ or an innovator like ‘Elite,’ which forever changed the design and development of other games,” Dysone said, “they’re among the most influential games of all time.” Well, this year we are hoping to be an Inductee to the Hall of Fame!

You can read the entire Associated Press story reprinted in the Minneapolis Star Tribune by clicking here

DonRawitsch-CoverThat Oregon Trail mentioned above was the learning game our RE@L VP Don Rawitsch helped invent over 40 years ago. It’s been played by tens of thousands of former students everywhere. In Oregon Trail, it’s not just fun and games. There’s real learning going on too. That’s what RE@L is still and always has been about: learning.

OregonTrail25thPosterDon’s now working on new learning games here at RE@L. We don’t usually gamble, but we’re betting OT wins this time around. So, stay tuned to our Blog!

•    What else is happening you ask? Well, because of all the interest in Oregon Trail, your RE@L Blog Co-Editors, Dale and Tom, long in the saddle of RE@L’s blogging, and with the trail boss help of Don Rawitsch are launching a RE@L “AnswerGuys” Blog for all those Oregon Trail aficianados out there. We do not speak Spanish, but we think aficianados means they are very good at Trivial Pursuit questions on Oregon Trail.

      Soon, every few weeks or so, we will be posting a question from OT Trek Master Don about little known trivia from Oregon Trail. The first reader with the right answer submitted to our Comments Email section wins a full color, one of a kind, priceless, 25th Anniversary Oregon Trail Poster with miniature photos of Dale, Paul and Don, the top 3 of the Amigo Founders of MECC.
When we say it’s priceless, we mean exactly that. Take a look at the graphic on the right. That’s the mini-version of our new collectible RE@L OT poster. Soon a copy of it will be in the hands of some, lucky answer-giver.


AnneJolly•    You say there’s more? Yes! Next week we will be commenting on a recent blog from previous RE@L guest-blogger Anne Jolly. Anne blogs frequently on STEM and is considered an expert on the related topics of STEM and girls and assessment, three red-hot topics in K12 these days.

To refresh your memory on Ms. Jolly’s last RE@L Guest Blog for us, just click on the title below:

“What Can I Do To Prepare Myself For A STEM Career?”: Guest Blogger Anne Jolly Has Some Great Answers!


ElliotSoloway    •     Lastly, our well-known colleagues Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris will soon be joining us as co-bloggers on the topic of the rising curve of EdTech competencies among our new teachers. We can’t wait to hear their commentaries and look forward to joining in.

CathieNorrisCathy and Elliot co-blog for the THE Journal on a website called “Reinventing Curriculum.” They have also coined a new word “collabrify,” which we believe the world needs more of, pardon our dangling proposition! Students teaming and working together, using the tools of today to be ready for tomorrow.

Well, as Porky Pig used to say at the end of all those cartoons we watched during those Saturday matinees:


So keep coming back to our RE@L Blog real soon, there’s a lot more to come, folks!  


Readers, send us your thoughts/reactions/comments on this topic.  

Just email us at the address below!

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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.