Do kids really need more tech time? It’s a question that undoubtedly remains top of mind within the kids’ media industry and one that will be explored in depth at the 2011 Sandbox Summit, which will be held next month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The two-day Summit on April 28 and 29 is bringing together experts in the areas of children’s learning, media and toy and game development to explore how kids can use technology to become creative thinkers.
This year’s keynote speaker, Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education, will set the tone of the Summit with new details from The National Education Technology Plan and a discussion on whether kids’ developmental benchmarks ought to be reassessed in this digital age.
Conference highlights also include a panel entitled Technology: Do Kids Need More or Less? moderated by Alan Gershenfeld, founder and president of E-Line Media, featuring Sara DeWitt, VP of PBS KIDS Interactive, Rachel Schiff, senior program manager at Microsoft Interactive Entertainment, and Wendy Bronfin, director of product management at Barnes & Noble.
Interactive workshops will also anchor the conference and will focus primarily on themes surrounding teaching styles, digital puzzle solving and channeling transmedia success.
“When we first started the Sandbox Summits more than three years ago the conversation was about toys. Now toys are tools and tools are toys,” says Wendy Smolen, Sandbox Summit co-founder. “Not only has play changed but the vocabulary and the industry has evolved. Now it’s defined by multiple platforms, constant connections and touch screens.”
Smolen says the Summits intend to wade through the research and serve as ‘idea forums’ for educators, toy designers, digital media developers, TV producers and researchers.
For more information visit SandboxSummit.org.