Edutronics Systems International Inc.

From Archive of Vintage Robotics & Technology Companies

1969 Logo

Edutronics Systems International Inc. was an audio/visual edutainment provider that produced films on computer programming from 1968 to 1983.

History[edit | edit source]

The company would be co founded in 1968 by Michael Bartlett, Edison Schroeder, and a third indivudual after leaving IBM in 1967.[1][2]

In 1969 the company would plan to go public with the help of Hambrecht and Quist to do the stock underwriting. This would fall through however as the high tech stock bubble at the time burst. Edutronics would instead be acquired by Simon & Schuster, a New York publishing house, shortly after.[1]

During the months of December, 1971 to January, 1972, Edutronics would terminate a large number of its employees. George A. Howard would state that the company was going through "traumatic times".[3]

Edison V. Edutronics[edit | edit source]

Edutronics would have to face a suit at the California Court of Appeals in 1977 over the wrongful termination of Edison B. Schroeder, a script writer and storyboarder under the company, in 1972. The case would be settled in 1978 in favor of Edutronics, given their statements that Schroeder broke a work contract in producing their 700 series of films, instead producing the incorrect 800 series.[4]

This would be appealed to the 4th Appellate District in February of 1979. Schroeder's opening statements argued that Edutronics misconstrued the evidence of his production, noting that the series numbers were internally different than their publishing. Schroeder had worked on OS Overview (1972) as intended, yet Edutronics claim implied he had delivered the JCL Coding Techniques (1972) program. A potential to overturn the ruling was concluded.[4]

By April of 1979 however Edutronics would clarify that Schroeder's incorrect production was not about false statements of the series number, but rather the products submitted. Schroeder was to submit the 700 and 800 series per the contract, but had only managed to submit the 800 series to the company, which was only a revised script of a prior OS Overview script. The lack of work done for the contract won Edutronics the appeal decision.[5]

McGraw-Hill[edit | edit source]

The company's assets would be purchased by McGraw-Hill Inc. in May of 1978.[6] The company would now be renamed to Edutronics/McGraw-Hill.[7]

Ace[edit | edit source]

Edutronics Advertisement[8]

Edutronics' trademarked film style, ACE, standing for Animated Computer Education, was used throughout their programs to simplify computer concepts to make them easy to grasp, claiming it to be a "Super Teacher".[9]

Its films would be outsourced to almost every animation house in the US. Notably citing Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Animation Services Ltd, and Walter Lantz.[10][11] Hannah Barbera is confirmed to have worked on the Programming Concepts (1968) and Data Processing Concepts (1968) courses.[12]

References[edit | edit source]