Toys, Learning and Play Schedule – Feb. 15

Toys, Learning and Play: Technology Makes Learning Fun

presented-by-ncfl-250-2pxPlay has always been about learning, we know this. These days, learning and play are intertwined and companies must step into a child’s comfort zone in order to make a connection and engage with them. Companies and organizations that are participating in this year’s event will showcase how using iPads, apps, mobile devices and video game consoles has ushered them into this special place where kids enjoy learning soft skills, reasoning, problem solving and social emotional skills in the classroom, at home, and in museums and libraries. Learn how parents, teacher and community leaders are using technological products to scale the sometimes elusive play/learn zone.

Location: Javits Center, Hall 1 E (Room 1E15-16)

[day date=”15 February 2015″]Note new day: Sunday, February 15, 2015 [/day]

1:05 — 1:30

Keynote Address by Dan White, Founding Partner and Chief Product Officer, Filament Games

The market for learning games shows promise but remains nascent. Consider that Game-Based Learning (GBL) was listed in the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report from 2010 to 2012, but that it stagnated at the “2-3 year horizon” for all three years before it dropped from the report in 2013.

Filament Games has developed over 70 learning games and has developed an acute awareness of the challenges in producing and commercializing high quality GBL products. Join a heartfelt discussion about the learning games movement, wherein White will advocate for a critical aspirational goal and confront the challenges of commercializing learning games (and cry “uncle”).

1:30 — 2:00

Using Digital to Bring Literacy and Learning to Life for Kids & Families

The nation’s leading nonprofit in families learning together brings you the latest digital tools driving literacy and learning among children, adults, and families. Renegade Buggies®, NCFL’s newest tool, is a downloadable game designed to bring financial literacy concepts to life through fast-paced buggy racing and purchasing goals.

– Emily Kirkpatrick, Vice President, National Center for Families Learning (NCFL)
Denine Torr, Director, Community Initiatives, Dollar General Literacy Foundation

2:00 — 2:20


2:20 — 3:10

The New Media Mash Up: Learning AS Entertainment  

Media designed for kids is often bucketed as “learning” or “entertaining” by both marketers and parents. We’re missing a critical opportunity to teach children from an early age, that learning IS entertaining! Starting at age 5, children shift their attention to media purely for entertainment, abandoning educational media. This informative session provides development insights to foster innovation in children’s learning through digital media, current research on how digital media is affecting our youngest minds, and a parent’s viewpoint on what companies should strive for when creating an app for children. Learn what makes great educational media for young kids by examining apps chosen in the new Parents/Common Sense Media Best First Media for Kids guide, which debuts in February, 2015.

– Jordana Drell, Vice President of Preschool Games, Nickelodeon Group
– Erin Wilkey Oh, Senior Editor of Education Reviews, Common Sense Media
– Dana Points, Editor-in-Chief of Parents and American Baby, and Content Director, Meredith Parents Network (Moderator)
Alex Turetsky, CEO, Intellijoy
Brittany Sommer Katzin, Senior Curriculum Specialist, Sesame Workshop

3:10 — 3:30


3:30 – 4:20

Blending the Pink and Blue, Gender Barriers: Innovative Entrepreneurs Analyze the Development of S.T.E.M. Toys, Apps and Online Games

The days of labeling a toy specifically for girls or boys are over as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) is mixing the color divide forever. These toy manufacturers are breaking barriers by teaching kids to code, to build intricate architecture structures and even study the digestive tract. As these toys are teaching kids fine motor skills, critical thinking skills and spatial awareness, it’s a new world for distribution and discovery in the pink and blue aisles.

– Jocelyn Leavitt, CEO and Co-founder, Hopscotch
Alice Brooks, Co-Founder, Roominate
Raul Gutierrez, Founder and CEO, Tinybop
Jeremy Scheinberg, Co-Founder and CEO, TROBO the Storytelling Robot
Sara Kloek, Director, Moms With Apps (Moderator)

4:20 — 4:40


4:40 — 5:30

Institutional Disruption: Building Strategic Partnerships that Count for Kids In/Out of School

Traditional institutions, including schools, museums and libraries, are connecting with modern kids and making learning fun, thanks to collaborative partnerships with Video Game Publishers, Game Developers, App Developers and National Organizations who are bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds at school and beyond. Learn strategies used to successfully integrate consumer products into school gymnasiums as well as propel the digital fitness trend. Learn current trends in teaching soft skills and S.T.E.A.M. in digital learning and play in public areas, as well as how to develop partnerships that lead to both innovation and promotion.

Jay Moore, Alchemist of Fun, Spotkin (Moderator)
Scott McQuigg, CEO, GoNoodle
Noelle Millholt, Co-Founder +  COO, Speakaboos
Kimberly Verbonitz, Senior Director, Digital Media & Content Acquisition, LeapFrog
Ashton Eaton, US Olympic Gold Medalist, US Track & Field Star
Josh Chan, Co-Founder & CEO, LightUp