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A Story About Drage

“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 program is to foster engaged, motivated learners who can’t wait to tell their parents what they’re learning!

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

Thank you!

I am not sure how to describe this….but…. yesterday immediately after my son got off the school bus he called my cell phone and asked if he could buy something online for his Xbox. Of course, I asked him what it was. He said, Mr. McGinnis told him 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 1.5 hours. He responded to her prompting (yelling) 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 says, “Wait till you see this!” I designed my own video game. Mr. McGinnis taught me how…. Sure enough, he had!!!! AMAZING.

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. He continues, “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….good stuff!

I just had to share!


Thank you Kelly for taking the time to tell us your story and allowing us to share it with the SmartLab family!

Matt Dickstein

Matthew Dickstein, CEO of Creative Learning Systems, has been a successful entrepreneur in the field of education for over 25 years. Prior to joining CLS in 2004, he played key management roles in building National Technological University, a pioneer in the field of higher education distance learning, and ELS Language Centers, the largest teacher of intensive English language programs in the U.S. Matthew received a B.S. in business from the University of Colorado and holds an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.

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