Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sandbox Summit, Day One

There are a few key highlights from my first day at Sandbox Summit. First thing's first, the bag is awesome. Moving along...

Photo via LaneSutton.com
I won't recap each session for you. You can follow a lot of the great tweets using #sandbox for specifics. Rather, I'll highlight some things mentioned that stood out to me. I learned about social media entrepreneur Lane Sutton. Nope, that picture is not placed on his site ironically to invoke his childlike spirit. That's Lane, a 15 year old social media expert. Lane's using his social media smarts and savvy business skills to teach adults how to get attention online. My personal favorite part of his website is his ownership of the title "Digital Native." He's embracing it, and using our language for his benefit. Call him. He's usually available after 3:30pm.

The next thing to blow my mind was a demonstration of Microsoft Kinect's collaboration with National Geographic and Sesame Workshop. They're working together to create truly interactive programming for young people. Alex Games, a Microsoft employee who presented on the topic, emphasized this technology as a means to promote co-viewing between parent and child. I'm eager to see how it evolves!

Big learning moment: the difference between iReader and eReader. People use both terms all the time, without little distinction, but Ruckus Media pointed out that an iReader is interactive, a book app, while an eReader is a version of the book that can be read on a mobile device.

Lastly, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh blew my mind with their new exhibit/program MakeShop (as if Pittsburgh wasn't cool enough). MakeShop is not only a workspace in the museum, it's a movement. The program combines the DIY/Maker trend with technology and education. Materials and guidance are supplied by the museum, and Makers (big and small) are encouraged to "share" their work, though "share" can mean many different things to many different people. What does it mean to you? I am so inspired by this work and would love to check out the Mini Maker Faire. It sounds like a great excuse to get out to Pittsburgh.

Before I sign off, some trends I noticed/heard:
User Generated Content (UGC) is huge and will probably continue to grow/take on new forms
Crowdsourcing. Is it just me or did American Idol really jump start this movement? To respond to my question, text 123--...
Pittsburgh is to kids' tech as Toronto is to kids' animation.

Off to dream about augmented reality...

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