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Treasure Hunt 1.0

Treasure Hunt 1.0

Treasure Hunt Publisher's Description

Treasure Hunt was developed by Tom O'Brien, the designer of Safari Search, King's Rule and Puzzle Tanks and other classic prize winning software for Sunburst Communications. 

The activities involve three challenging visual/logic search challenges for age 5 through adult. The early activities are very easy but the later ones are extremely complex and they challenge the brightest users. 

All activities call for gathering data, testing hypotheses and making inferences, skills which are mandated by states' Math Standards and by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in terms of success in mathematics and success in business and in life. 

The user is always in control to choose an activity, to gather the information s/he wants, to construct hypotheses and to draw inferences. Each activity allows the user to correct choices and make changes without penalties.

The purposes of Treasure Hunt are: 

1. To cause users to invent complex thinking involving one of the most basic activities of thinking: necessary inference. 

2. To provide an arena in which users invent and extend problem-solving tactics. 

3. To give users experience in selecting, collecting, organizing and using information. 

4. To give users an opportunity to see themselves as able and inventive organizers of the buzzing blooming confusion that surrounds us all. 

5. To work collaboratively and individually with rich and powerful ideas. 

6. Perhaps most important: to have fun while doing the important things listed above. 

The activities were extensively field-tested with school children and adults. A wide variety of users were successful with all of the activities. Students who had little success in school math activities were often more successful than their "high achievement" peers. 

O'Brien says, "The complex thinking players construct and the attitudes that go along with their success were stunningly positive. Children and adults commonly said--with their body language and sometimes their words--'This is tough stuff. I can do it. Stay away.  Don't tell me how to figure things out.'"

The activities in Treasure Hunt--and children's successes--are reported in an article by Tom O'Brien his colleague Judy Barnett in the November '03 issue of Phi Delta Kappan.

Some of the activities in O'Brien's software were described at length in the November '03 issue of Phi Delta Kappen, an article which was immediately reprinted in UK and which is soon to be reprinted in Mathematics and Informatics, the journal of the Bulgarian Academy of Science, and several other articles are in press showing fairly stunning success with kids of all stripes - especially kids who have not had much success in school.

O'Brien, a former NATO Senior Research Fellow in Science and a researcher on the development of thinking, received the Lifetime Technology in Learning Leadership Award from Computer Using Educators (CUE) in 2002.

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