Liza Loop

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Liza Loop (née Straus)[1] is an educational technology pioneer, futurist, technical author, and consultant. She is notable for her early use of computers in education, her creation of a public-access computer center, consulting work with Atari, Apple, Radio Shack and others as well as philosophical musings on the future of learning environments from the 1970s on.

Early life[edit]

Loop was raised in Massachusetts and attended Dana Hall; her mother was a science teacher at Dana Hall and her father was an engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Loop attended Cornell University starting in 1963, and later Sonoma State University's graduate school where she was influenced by Stanford University psychologist Dean Brown.[1]


In 1975, Loop joined the Homebrew Computer Club and was the first woman to join the club,[2] and founded the LO*OP Center (Learning Options * Open Portal) non-profit organization.[3] In 1975 LO*OP opened the second public access computer center located outside a museum. After visiting the center, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was impressed enough with her work that he gave her an original Apple I computer to use in her center.[4][5] For most of 1976 the center's Apple I was the only Apple I in the North Bay.[6]

In 1978, when Atari was developing the Atari 800 home computer, Loop was brought in as a consultant to help meet the market for home computers that children and adults could use for learning.[7]

The Liza Loop Papers from 1972 to 1984 (donated in 1986) are housed in Stanford University Libraries' manuscript division and detail the early years of educational computing.[8][a]

In the early 21st century, she became an advocate of preserving the early history of computing in education.


  • Loop, Liza; Christensen, Paul (Nov 1980). Exploring the Microcomputer Learning Environment, Report #5, Independent Research and Development Project Reports (PDF). San Francisco, California: Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  • Loop, Liza; Anton, Julia; Zamora, Ramon (1982). ComputerTown. A Do-It-Yourself Community Computer Project (PDF). Menlo Park, California: People's Computer Company. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  • Loop, Liza; Anton, Julie; Zamora, Ramon (1983). ComputerTown, bringing computer literacy to your community. Reston, Va.: Reston Pub. Co. ISBN 9780835908849. OCLC 9324057.


  1. ^ According to a wiki page by Liza Loop [1], Loop donated several boxes of magazines and papers from LO*OP Center's collection to the Computer History Museum. As of 2014, that half remained unindexed.


  1. ^ a b O'Mara, Margaret Pugh (2019). The Code : Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America. New York. p. 115-117. ISBN 978-0-399-56218-1. OCLC 1057306457.
  2. ^ O'Mara, Margaret Pugh (2019). The Code : Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America. New York. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-399-56218-1. OCLC 1057306457.
  3. ^ "History of Computing in Learning and Education Virtual Museum". LO*OP Center, Inc. Retrieved 29 April 2015. Liza founded LO*OP Center, Inc. in 1975 to provide a nonprofit home for innovative educational project led by herself and others.
  4. ^ O'Mara, Margaret Pugh (2019). The Code : Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America. New York. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-399-56218-1. OCLC 1057306457.
  5. ^ Hill, Adriene. "Classroom Tech: A history of hype and disappointment". Learning Curve. Marketplace. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  6. ^ Tom Owad (17 February 2005). Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage. Syngress. pp. 17–. ISBN 978-0-08-049921-5.
  7. ^ Marty Goldberg; Curt Vendel (2012). Atari Inc. Business Is Fun. Syzygy Press. pp. 458–. ISBN 978-0-9855974-0-5. In May 1978, Liza Loop (a consultant specializing on the various uses of computers in education) is brought in ... She sees the Atari home computers as a viable tool that could bypass the school and the traditional education process and bring real learning directly into the home.
  8. ^ Stanford University Libraries. "Guide to the Liza Loop Papers, 1972 - 1984, Collection number: M1141". Online Archive of California. Retrieved 29 April 2015.

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