I had some interesting meetings yesterday about the site. One was about making an iPhone app version of it, directing parents to games and providing the research as a deeper level. I think this may be a good way to use it. The other was about development of the site itself, and the suggestion of a feedback form for parents which I will send out this week (it being the last week of the workshop. I also spoke to a game developer with concerns about positive gaming, who had some good thoughts about developing the site as a standalone tool for parents and educators (some of his feedback influenced the previous post).
The club will be winding up at the end of April, as the weather warms up and more kids play in the yard.
I've learned a lot from running the club, which I hope I can use to improve the site. This summer I'll be making some changes to highlight the brain-puzzle focus more and get kids working across cognitive skills. I may return to the curriculum idea, recasting the cognitive categories as "levels" and having them go through one before going on to the next. To make this work I'll have to take a close look at the objectives for each game to know where to set the bar. I also have to figure out how to get more feedback on the results, and will be contacting the game designers to see what's involved in getting the scores fed back and tracking time spent. There may be a way to use elearning software to manage each child's learning experience, so I'll be looking into that. I'm still torn between adding lots of games and letting them explore vs. choosing specific games and making sure everyone tries them. Currently I'm leaning toward the latter.
In new developments, I have a meeting Wednesday with the Special Ed staff to see how the website might be used within their program. I may also be doing a one-week version of the club at a Thinking Camp this summer, here in the city. I'll continue to comment in the blog as things develop, so I have a development diary. One day it might come in handy!
Mitch Moldofsky is founder of the Thinking Skills Club, a computer game club that helps develop cognitive functioning for kids. He hold a B.Sc. in Cognitive Science and Psychology from the University of Toronto.