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A Story About Drage

Written by Bill Laurienti

“What did you learn at school today?”

It’s a common question asked over dinner tables all over the country. Too often, the typical response is “nothin’.

Our goal in every SmartLab is to foster engaged, motivated learners who can’t wait to tell family what they’re learning!

This story came to us in an email from parent and District-Wide Principal for Curriculum and Assessment, Kelly Compton from Bradford, PA.

Thank you!

I am not sure how to describe this … but yesterday, immediately after my son got off the school bus, he called me and asked if he could buy something online for his Xbox. Of course, I asked him what it was. He said, ‘Mr. McGinnis told me about this program where you can program your own video game … KODU!’

Not really knowing what he was purchasing, I gave him the approval. After two professional development blocks and soccer practice, I arrived home at 8:30 pm. My mother was quite beside herself. She had been trying to get Drage (my son) to come down to eat for about 1 1/2 hours. He responded to her prompting by yelling down from his bedroom … ‘Gram, I am doing something important. I will be down in a little bit.’

Of course, she wanted to know what was so important. He responded, ‘I am doing something for Mom,’ knowing that she would leave him alone … at least for a little bit.

After hearing this, I immediately went upstairs, prepared to confiscate the HDMI cord for his rudeness.

I walked in to see an 11-year-old boy beaming from ear to ear … proud as a peacock. He said, ‘Wait ’til you see this! I designed my own video game. Mr. McGinnis taught me how.’

Sure enough, he had! 

At about 9:30, after all the other children were in bed, I joined him in his room so he could show me how to do it. Finally, about 11:00 PM, I told him we had to go to bed.

He asked if he could sleep in my room.

I asked why.

His response? ‘So we can talk about our design ideas. We can do this as a family … we can be a family of game designers. How cool would that be?’

He then began listing all the additional equipment we would need to purchase in order to be efficient.

Needless to say, once I was able to get him to settle, I slept very soundly—this is good stuff!

District-Wide Principal for Curriculum and Assessment, Kelly Compton

Thanks, Kelly, for taking the time to tell us your story!

Bill Laurienti

Bill Laurienti is a Content Marketing Specialist at Creative Learning Systems. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education (English) from Colorado Mesa University and a Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching from the University of California's Rossier School of Education. Bill came to CLS after 10 years in the secondary classroom. He believes SmartLabs are important tools for engaging unengaged students and helping them access careers they might not otherwise have imagined.

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