LeRoy Finkel

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About LeRoy Finkel

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LeRoy provided dynamic leadership and made huge contributions to the development of the field of instructional uses of computers. He did lots of workshops, gave lots of talks, wrote books and articles, and served as a role model of a person who sees what needs to be done and then does it.

Quoting from a California Computer Using Educators Website:

Every new endeavor needs a leader. In 1978, LeRoy Finkel was just such a leader as he joined a group of dedicated educators to create Computer-Using Educators, now a vibrant organization with a national reputation for its knowledgeable members, excellent conferences, and leadership in the use of technology in the classroom.
he success of CUE is directly related to LeRoy's leadership efforts. This fellowship honors those efforts and the inspirational spirit of the man.
Above all, LeRoy was an educator who recognized what many did not - that technology would become a major factor in the educational process. From CUE's very beginning, he showed the way, cajoling, nudging, encouraging, criticizing, as teachers struggled to integrate computers into their classrooms, and their lives. But through it all, he maintained an informed perspective and appreciation of the long view that he always eagerly and generously shared as coach and mentor with all of us.
He wrote books and articles, praised good products, sniped at bad ones, and scrutinized every aspect of educational computing for the benefit of all. He was unafraid to be "feisty, irascible, and opinionated."

Comment by Robert (Bob) Albrecht

This is quoted from Bob Albrecht—Past Adventures:

It happened on a nice day in the summer of 1972, probably while enjoying drinking beer with friends at Pete’s Harbor. An idea: Wouldn't it be nice to start a periodical about personal access to computers for learners, teachers, anyone? As the beer dwindled, the idea grew.

Leroy Finkel was the business brain of our company called Dymax. He said we could do it if we could do it cheaply. The cheapest way we knew was to publish it in newspaper format. Inspired by Big Brother and the Holding Company, we called it People's Computer Company.

The first issue (October 1972) was created by LeRoy Finkel, Mary Jo Albrecht (now Mary Jo Bajada), Jerry Brown, Marc LeBrun, Jane Wood, Tom Albrecht (my son), and me. I was PCC's editor until fall 1976, when Phyllis Cole and Marc LeBrun took over. As Dragon Emeritus, I wrote San Andreas Fault Caper, Don Quixote Starship, Tiny Basic for Beginners, Make-Believe Computers, and Games for You to Program.
Leroy and Jerry and I wrote books, lots of books. Don Inman, Ramon Zamora, and others joined our author team. I wrote or coauthored 30+ books, including many beginner’s books about Basic. My last book was Teach Yourself Visual Basic by me and son Karl Albrecht, published in 1996. Enough! I quit writing computer books and plunged full-time into my real love: writing math & science instructional stuff for learners and teachers.

Comments from Close Personal Friends

Comment by Dave Moursund. One of my favorite remembrances comes from interactions with LeRoy when people began talking about requiring credentialing in the field of compute education. LeRoy was well qualified to create and teach the full range of courses that such credentialing would require, but he had never taken such courses. We used to joke about this situation and to hope that the people trying to implement credentialing requirements would use some common sense.

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