CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- From toddlers to tweens, life is an ebook, ready to download. Kids can - and do - play, connect and communicate 24/7. The 2012 Annual Sandbox Summit, April 17-18, will make sense of what this real-time technology is teaching our kids and what their usage is teaching us. Taking place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the country's most respected academic institutions, Sandbox Summit will bring together experts in the areas of children's media, gaming, toys and mobile to share the latest research and newest devices, and open a dialogue about the role of mobile in our future.
"Bringing together the best minds from both academia and media giants like Disney Publishing Worldwide, Nickelodeon and Microsoft, Sandbox Summit fosters two days of information sharing and engaging dialogue," said Scot Osterweil, Creative Director, MIT Education Arcade. "Our goal is to stir the pot – speakers ask tough questions and challenge us to think about how media is evolving and affecting this generation and the next."
Opening keynote speaker Rex Ishibashi, CEO of Callaway Digital Arts, will address the state of play. Colleen Macklin, Associate Professor in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons The New School of Design and Director of PETLab, will discuss how the art of game creation is evolving in her keynote address on Wednesday.
"I see game design not just as an art form, but as one of the new liberal arts of the 21st century," said Macklin. "However, making games is challenging and full of complexity – demanding new forms of thinking and problem solving."
In his presentation "A is for App. B is for Book. C is for Choice,"Russell Hampton, president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, will explore how digital technology is reshaping children's relationships with reading to create interactive and immersive experiences.
Using research from the latest Cassandra Report, Allison Arling, Senior Director of Strategic Innovation at The Intelligence Group, will discuss Gen Y and Z's digital "Sixth Sense" and their expectations of digital and physical integration in her presentation, "The Kids are Alright: Research from the Field."
Sandbox Summit interactive workshops will once again be a feature of the conference as presenters share best practices for the development of apps and games while inspiring teachable moments. Highlights from the eight workshops include:
Jeremy Roberts, Director of Technology for PBS KIDS Interactive, and Laura Nooney, Sr. Interactive Producer for the WGBH Educational Foundation, partnering to present "So you think you can make an app," which will explore the use of cutting-edge technology to inspire learning among preschoolers.
"Harnessing the Mass Appeal of MMOs" with Eric Klopfer, Associate Professor, Director of the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program, Director of the Education Arcade, will share best practices from the MIT Education Arcade project using the development of an MMO to teach high school students science and math.
Conference attendees will also have unprecedented access to new and not-yet-released products at the Showstoppers cocktail reception to be held at the Microsoft NERD center.
Sponsors The 2012 Sandbox Summit is presented by the MIT Education Arcade and Comparative Media Studies department, and sponsored by Parents' Choice Foundation, Toy Industry Association, Inc., The Microsoft NERD Center and Women in Children's Media.
About Sandbox Summit® Sandbox Summit is a series of conferences designed to address how technology is changing the ways kids play, learn, and connect. Founded by Claire Green and Wendy Smolen, the goal of Sandbox Summit is to ensure that the next generation of players becomes active innovators rather than passive consumers of technology. Through high-energy presentations, innovative demonstrations, original research, and thought-provoking discussions with industry leaders, analysts, journalists, educators and parents, each Summit strategically intermingles disciplines and viewpoints to bring fresh ideas to every event and never talk to a room full of nodding heads.
About MIT The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a co-educational privately endowed research university, is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship to serve the nation and world. The Institution has more than 900 faculty and 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. MIT's commitment to innovation has led to a host of scientific breakthroughs and technological advances. Achievements include the first chemical synthesis of penicillin and vitamin A, the development of inertial guidance systems, modern technologies for artificial limbs, and the magnetic core memory that led to the development of digital computers.
The Education Arcade explores games that promote learning through authentic and engaging play. The Arcade's research and development projects focus both on the learning that naturally occurs in popular commercial games, and on the design of games that more vigorously address the educational needs of players. TEA is a joint project of MIT's Comparative Media Studies Program, and the Scheller Teacher Education Program.