PRESS RELEASE: Minnesota Gains National Recognition in the World of Digital Technology for Education!


Today it was announced by the Associated Press and other national media sources that “Oregon Trail,” the world famous computer learning simulation program for K12 students, was selected to enter The Strong Museum World Video Game Hall of Fame. 


The Strong National Museum of Play is a highly interactive, collections-based museum, located in Rochester, NY, and is devoted to the history and exploration of play. It is one of the largest history museums in the United States and one of the leading museums serving families.

RE@L, Inc, a new, K12 Ed Tech company in Minnesota, along with generations of previous Oregon Trail users, many now in their 40-50’scongratulate Minnesota, MECC and all of the many millions of Oregon Trail aficionados and supporters who have used this unforgettable learning game over the yearsThe time has come for recognition – and it is well deserved!

Unknown“Oregon Trail,” the most used and remembered educational computing game in history, has touched the lives of and is still fondly remembered by millions of players.  BasicCodingBeginning in 1971, with teletype machines hooked to distant computers, and later migrating to classroom personal computersnearly every K12 student played and learned from their epic journeys along the Oregon Trail.

The iconic software product has defined the educational computing game industry since day one (circa 1971) – yes, 45 yearsThe program is still very prominent across the American culture, including having been featured in a recent movie trailer for Oscar winning film, “ Revenant.”

images-5Minnesota, the birthplace of many technological innovations we know today, can take pride in the worldwide success of Oregon Trail.  MECC, the K12 educational software industry’s flagship and founding organization, more formally known aMinnesota Educational Computing Corporation, produced and delivered Oregon Trail floppy disks to millions of the schools and homes around the world, wherever a computer could be plugged in.

Minnesota’s MECC team created a collection of over 300 software titles that became the staple of schools nationwide, and are still remembered by many former students today. Minnesota’s MECC led the way back in the early 70′s and it’s software leaders today, like RE@L, are leading the way again today.


Water-Capture-2We at RE@L still carry forward that innovative vision of EdTech learning. Like MECC before us, RE@L sees that leading the way requires both foresight and ingenuity to put government and business together to create a win-win for K12 education, for kids, for teachers and parents everywhere. Minnesota has long been a leader in harnessing the marvels of technology to create jobs and address international market needs. RE@L is with them every step of the way!

Here are three brief statements from RE@L team leaders Dale LaFrenz, Paul Gullickson and Don Rawitsch. Not surprisingly they were also members of the MECC team who brought Oregon Trail to the K12 market, and now to the Strong Museum Video Game Hall of Fame. What an honor!


“Oregon Trail – a phenomenon of its own; served its audience well; defined an industry; leaves an enviable legacy; one of many coming products addressing the Quest for new ventures!”

- Dale LaFrenz, Chairman, RE@L


PaulG“The enduring impact of Oregon Trail reached millions of students and teachers. Everyone has a story! Mine goes back to  when I was a student playing Oregon Trail in the 1970s. It propelled me to a career in Educational Technology as a Teacher, and later “living the dream” with the team at MECC. We changed the K12 software world! Now I am part of the new RE@L team. Many of us former MECC’ers have reunited to again create exciting, new software products for the new generation of learners and teachers!” – Paul Gullickson, CEO, RE@L


“Back at the very beginning of educational computing, the Oregon Trail game was invented to show that computers could enliven history, simulate life in another era, make learning active and challenging for kids. The fun of it drew kids to the game, and the game stimulated learning. The Ed Tech revolution was on.”

- Don Rawitsch, Vice-President, RE@L


ShareEmail this to someoneShare on Facebook100Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Print this page
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.