Play 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)
Tonda Sellers, President, Digital Kids Media
Keynote Address by Dan White, Founding Partner and Chief Product Officer, Filament Games
Taking a Stance for The Good, Exposing the Bad and the Challenges of Commercializing Learning Digital Toys and Games?
Educational games are all the rage, but many of these games designed for knowledge retention is nothing more than a digital form of skill and drill. Children are sophisticated gamers and quickly lose interest in many of these products. Dan White, The Chief Product Officer of Filament Games, who earned a MS in Educational Communications and Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BS in Communication Technologies from Cornell University, calls educational games the new frontier. He will share his passion for growing the business of EdTech and design of learning games with you. He will focus on the commercial side and the challenges many companies face when commercializing educational games. Find out what separates the good learning games from the mediocre ones as Filament explains how to get children to learn, while having fun simultaneously with real games for learning.
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)
- Other speakers to be announced
The New Media Mash Up: Learning AS Entertainment
Media designed for kids is often bucketed as “learning” or “entertaining” by marketers and parents alike. By siloing the two, we’re missing a critical opportunity to teach children from an early age, that learning IS entertaining! Starting at age 5, children often 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. The panelists will also look at what makes great educational media for young kids by examining examples of apps chosen in the new Parents/Common Sense Media Best First Media for Kids guide, which will debut in February, 2015
- 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)
- Other speakers to be announced
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
- David Grandison, Jr., Executive Producer, BrainPop (Moderator)
Institutional Disruption: Building Strategic Partnerships that Count with Schools
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. Don’t miss a conversation with Just Dance and SHAPE America as they discuss strategies used to successfully integrate their consumer products into school gymnasiums as well as propel the digital fitness trend. Speakers will also focus on current trends in teaching soft skills and S.T.E.A.M. in digital learning and play in public areas, such as children’s museums. This is a unique opportunity to learn how to develop partnerships that lead to both innovation and promotion.
- Carrie Feigel Bischke, Director of Brand Integrations, Brand Marketing, Ubisoft
- Andrew Mead, Program Manager, SHAPE America
- Other speaker to be announced