Those Who Learn From The Past Will Change The Future!

Many of you know that RE@L, or Real Experiences At Life in longhand, is a software startup initiative begun by the same, creative team of leaders who earlier in their careers brought MECC, or the Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation, to the software world.

MECC, of course, brought Oregon Trail to the world, arguably the most famous educational learning simulation game of all time.


Click on Poster to Enlarge

We thought you might enjoy viewing some of these classic MECC ads from the past. We sure did! They brought back a lot of good memories. They were recently posted by Philip Bouchard on Facebook as samples from his new eBook, “You Have Died of Dysentery: The Creation of the Oregon Trail.” It can be purchased on by clicking here.

It’s quite a story and worth the read. Oregon Trail seems to have as many followers today as it did 30 years ago.

We are sending on several of these time-capsule ads to you, not because they look back 30 years, but largely because of the forward vision MECC had back then and RE@L still embraces today. It takes quality products to be successful, and it takes creative advertising. MECC knew both those secrets of success.

To read the posters in greater detail, just click on the ads. 


Look at these MECC ads and you will clearly see why RE@L still believes teachers need to use today’s tech tools wisely and well. MECC included parents on their list of who needs to know about EdTech and learning. Parents wanted the best learning tools for their kids back then and they still do today. RE@L keeps them informed with what they need to know.

No, we may no longer use projecting devices atop our overhead projectors, as we now have SmartBoards and iPads. Yet, the thinking behind it is the same here at RE@L: put powerful tech tools in the hands of both teachers and students, along with the resources, and instructions and assessment to make learning happen successfully.

Our focus at RE@L is still on hands-on, collaborative, project-based, real-world, learning-based products.


Click on Poster to Enlarge

Take a look at these ads from over 30 years ago and see where our RE@L pedigree began, and why teachers and parents still look to us for software solutions that work. Just click on the poster to read the fine print. 

Oh, and one more thing! Don’t forget ALL of our software products are kid-tested just as they did at MECC. We listen to what our young learners have to say about our software and it makes it even better.

Who knows what teaching and learning technology will look like 30 years from now? We don’t.  But we do know that RE@L will know. And teachers and students will be grateful that we do.

PS:  Stay tuned for more of those wonderful, old MECC posters from an era gone by, but with lessons for us all…..




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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.