"ReBoot Required!" Says New Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development, Steve Grove - So Does RE@L. We Can Help Make it Happen!


Many Minnesotans are rightfully applauding their new Employment and Economic Developer (EED) Commissioner, Steve Grove. Mr. Grove was the former News Lab Director at Google. He was in charge of Google’s collaboration with news organizations all over America and the globe. Unknown-1Steve not only knows technology, he knows how to tell the important news stories about the technological impact that affects all of us.

Click the graphic at the right to view Mr. Grove’s recent video interview at Northwestern University’s “News Summit: Google & The Future of News.” Steve GroveIn addition to that news, Commissioner Grove also posted a  recent call to action for restarting Minnesota’s technology former national leadership in a recent issue of the Star Tribune’s™ Opinion Exchange.

Commissioner Grove shared his ideas about our need for more good news: “Reboot Required (or Seeking a Minnesota Miracle 2.0).”

Unknown-2Read the Commissioner’s Opinion Column by clicking the Star Tribune graphic at the left.

Many of us recall that Minnesota was once a tech leader, and that broad initiative between our technology and state legislators lifted the state’s economy. Regrettably, as time passes, we’ve lost our ranking. Commissioner Grove wants to regain that leadership, to start over again, to “reboot” another collaborative initiative: “Minnesota Miracle 2.0″ So does RE@L.

Our RE@L leaders today, Dale LaFrenz, Paul Gullickson and Don Rawitsch, once led MECC and were a major part of that former initiative. Now, as RE@L (Real Experiences at Life), we are striving to make it happen again.We stand ready to work with Commissioner Grove on Minnesota Miracle 2.0. We know where the “bootstrap” is.

What’s a “reboot?” you may ask? Well, back in the earlier days of computers, in order to get them started again, the computer operator would “boot” them up by passing a looped strip of punched paper-tape code, or punched cards, through  a reading device. It was known as a “reboot.” Well, technology in Minnesota needs a “reboot”. High-Tech has been lagging in this state in recent years, where once we were leaders. Steve Grove has issued a call to action. So, let’s make action happen!

Commissioner Grove addresses “reboot-able” technology issues in general and in K12 education specifically. We need a statewide “Re-Boot” to move our collective Ed-Tech efforts forward, before it’s too late.

unnamedThat old saw, “Better late than never, but better never late,” comes to mind. We’ve lost our lead. Back in the 70’s when MECC first bought many of Steve Jobs’ revolutionary new desktop Apple II computers for Minnesota’s many classrooms. MECC helped push Apple far ahead of competitors, and our classrooms far better-off with  the new desktop microcomputers. Timesharing costs and huge phone connection bills were gone!

Unknown-3Mr. Jobs would have been the first to tell you that MECC’s hundreds, and later thousands of K12 computer software disks put the power of Apple desktop technology in the hand of the users. MECC and Apple made it happen. Moreover, MECC found brilliant, new ways to create a host of software effective for students and a ready choice of teachers.

mecc-1The all-time world-wide winner of fun and useful software clearly was Oregon Trail™. Any baby boomer today who used it almost 40 years ago can tell you what the line, “You have died of dysentery” meant when you played this game. It wasn’t just fun and games learning either. You could make all the “right” decisions and still not make it to Oregon.

Many other software learning activities from MECC were popular too, from Lemonade Stand to Vector Golf. Once again the lesson plans, activities, and resources that MECC provided the teacher made better learning and understanding happen for teachers and students.

The State of Minnesota and MECC helped make all this happen. Former Governors Harold LeVander and Rudy Perpich supported this initiative years ago. So did the Leadership Team at MECC whose foresight and brainstorming teams at MECC kept coming up with new ideas and popular software.

DNR-FishSTEM-circles1-437x1024What’s needed today are STEM-related software products. That is precisely what RE@L is developing with its “Systemic Change” products. RE@L focuses on more teaming and project-based learning, both inside and outside the classroom. Click on the graphic to the left to read more.

Students and teachers today need new software products with instantaneous, virtual access to needed resources. RE@L is developing an innovative, unique real-time solution called the RE@L Web Portal™ allowing both students and teachers access to other resources wherever they are. Click on the graphic to the right for more information.

In summary, both K12 and higher-ed need to collaborate with our many high-tech companies. The State of Minnesota needs to help support these new and powerful, real-world approaches to K12 education. RE@L is a critical catalyst to move this collaboration forward. The RE@L team did it before at MECC and they can do it again!

We know what worked before will work again: collaboration, research, new software that’s hands-on and heads-on, more teaming, learning and sharing real-world skills. What we still have here in Minnesota is the entrepreneurial wisdom to make it happen here again.

The team of MECC software visionaries who brought Oregon Trail™ to young learners is ready to move forward again. Give those early futurists the reins once again. The  RE@L Team will lead the way!!!

Minnesota can once again the “become a nation-leading tech-hub” that Commissioner Steve Grove envisions.

Even more, we can regain our world-wide leadership with new, more powerful K12 learning products
that better serve teachers and students.

With the help of Commissioner Steve Grove’s  leadership,
and RE@L’s upcoming new and innovative software products,
Minnesota can be a leader again.

And this time, even Bigger and Better!


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, was his visionary response to educational reform needed in K-12 schools. Saturn was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom served as an experienced high school mathematics teacher, a school administrator at Saturn School and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. Tom is also a member of the RE@L Team ----- Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L, Inc and one of the founders of MECC, Inc - the Minnesota company that brought “Oregon Trail” and more than a hundred products to millions of K12 students across the world. His work in building new paths for MECC’s “consumer” market” was instrumental in the start of an Industry in K12 EdTECH: including school-markets, students, teachers and parents. RE@L Inc continues to serve K12 as a LearningProduct "launching pad" for schools, online learning and the rapidly growing STEM market as a whole.