1980-1983

1980

Building

• Offices at 2520 Broadway Drive are renovated so that all metro-area MECC employees, except for 6 MIS staff members, will be at the same site.

Products

• A pilot project utilizes an Apple II and a Pioneer videodisk player for an economics class.

Platforms

• Pilot program for using Apple II computers for MIS.

• Initial study indicates that providing schools with an Apple II computer does not reduce their time on the timeshare system, but much of what they do on the timeshare system could be done on the Apple.

Conference

• December 6: 7th Annual MECC Statewide Conference, held at Minneapolis Community College/Minneapolis Technical Institute. Computing contest winners announced in student and teacher brackets.

• Spring conferences across the state.

News

• Institutional memberships are offered. This allows districts outside of Minnesota to distribute MECC software within their organizations.


1981

Products

• “By the end of January, 1981, all MECC Apple diskettes will have a comprehensive teacher support booklet to accompany them.”

• MECC stops duplicating disks for districts; schools now duplicate their own from the single copy provided.

• Apple II Courseware Releases: Designing Instructional Materials, Business Vol. 2–3, Elementary Vol. 7–13, Mathematics Vol. 2–4, Science Vol. 4, Guidance Vol. 1, Art Vol. 1, English Vol. 1, Programmer Aid Vol. 1, and School Utilities Vol. 1–2, plus books (22 titles, 121 programs). The Market Place is released for Atari.

• Apple II and Atari Sales: 3,564 and 650, respectively.

Platforms

• MECC begins supporting the Atari 400 computer, in order to offer a microcomputer in the $400–$600 range (computer: $257; disk unit: $243; black and white TV: $75); this necessitated a major conversion project.

• Timeshare equipment is upgraded as provided in MECC’s contract with Control Data.

Conference

• Spring conferences across the state.

News

• The annual budget for fiscal year ending June 30, 1982, was $7,862,837.


1982

Products

• Apple II courseware: Elementary Volumes 7 (kindergarten), 8–9–10 (geometry), 11/12 (language arts), 13 (nutrition); Mathematics Volume 2 (English measurement), 3 (geometry); Art Volume 1 (perspective); English Volume 1 (parts of speech); Teacher Utilities Volumes 2–3–4 (test and drill building); School Utilities Volume 1 (projections); Business Volume 2 (payroll simulation) and 3 (new version of MICAS).

• MECC starts to develop MIS software for the Apple II.

• Copy system starts creating protected copies.

Conference

• MECC ‘82 (MECC’s first national conference), held at the Hotel Leamington. Keynote Speakers: Steve Jobs (co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Apple Computer) and Alan Kay (developer of Smalltalk language and Sr. Vice President of Research at Atari).

• One question from a Wisconsin teacher “Is there a way to delete names and messages entered by students on the onscreen tombstones in The Oregon Trail?”

• “We are holding our own in a tough, competitive market.”


1983

Building

• 3490 Lexington Ave. No., St. Paul, MN  55112.

Products

• Apple II Courseware: Electronic Spreadsheet, Experiencing Procedures, Three R’s of Microcomputers, Processing Words, Apple Assembly Language Training Materials, Spanish Language Math Practice, Nutrition Vol. 1–2, Food Facts, Health Maintenance Vol. 1–2, Heat Loss, Computer Generated Mathematics Materials Vol. 1–2, Automotive Technician Mathematics Vol. 1–2, Health Immunization Record Keeping, Special Needs Vol. 2, Blissymbolics: Blissboard, Bliss Library, Bliss Drills, and Grade Manager.

• 10 titles for the Atari.

• More New Software: The Friendly Computer, EZ LOGO, Classification, Basketball Statistics, Mind Puzzles, Grogins’ Fractions, Oh, Deer!, Adventures with Fractions, Problem-Solving Strategies, Early Addition, Practice Makes Perfect, Polls and Politics, Modeling, and Extensions to Applesoft BASIC.

• Total Courseware Sales: 152,619 of 206 items. Courseware Development staff doubles in size.

• MECC releases a booklet of Logo activities for students in grades 5–9.

Platforms

• Timeshare network ceases operation. The last mainframe MECC used was a Cyber 720. Technical Services Department prepares to focus on supporting the use of microcomputers in the classroom.

• Courseware conversions for Commodore 64 (100 packages), IBM-PC (30 packages), and Radio Shack (40 packages) computers. MECC continues to support Apple II and Atari computers.

Conference

• MECC ‘83 “In the Land of 10,000 Computers” at the Radisson South Hotel. Free product: Using the Computer in the Classroom in-service training guide. Keynote Speakers: Floyd Kvamme (Executive Vice President for Sales, Apple Computer) and Philip Estridge (Division President, IBM).

News

• The annual budget for fiscal year ending June 30, 1983, was $8,746,096.

• MECC Maze contest—a student programming contest.

• Quality circles are implemented within MECC.

• 1983–84 MECC members include over 125 institutions in 47 states, all Canadian provinces, and 15 other countries, spanning 6 continents.

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