2011 Sandbox Summit Reveals Impressive Roster of Speakers from Education, Toy Design, Child DevelopmenSandboxt and Digital Media Fields

March 9, 2011 | Cutting edge technologies are a driving force in the development of youth-oriented products and shape the way kids interact, play and learn. This phenomenon will be explored in depth as an impressive roster of speakers from the fields of education, toy design, child development, and digital media come together for the 2011 Sandbox Summit@MIT : ‘Game Changers: People, Products and Policies that Empower 21st Century Kids’ to be held April 28-29 in Cambridge,  Massachusetts.

“The 2011 edition of the Summit will seek innovative ways to ensure that today’s kids become key players in the 21st century,” said event co-founder Wendy Smolen, who launched the conference in 2008 with partner Claire Green. “It’s crucial for experts from all different fields to converge and share new ways of harnessing ideas to challenge and engage youth.”

To date, the Summit’s confirmed speakers include: Brendan Boyle and Duane Bray, Partners at IDEO; Wendy Bronfin, Director of Product Management at Barnes & Noble; Amy Bruckman, Associate Professor at the College of Computing, Georgia Tech; Drew Davidson, Director of the Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon; Sara DeWitt, Vice President at PBS Kids Interactive; Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, Children’s Game Designer and Researcher; Alan Gershenfeld, Founder and President of E-Line Media;  Jane Gould, Vice President of Consumer Insights at Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group Research; Bill Ritchie, CEO of ThinkFun; Rachel Schiff, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft; Jesse Soleil, CEO and Founder of Massiverse; andVanessa Van Petten, author and expert on parenting and adolescence. A complete list of confirmed speakers and their biographies can be found online.

On the opening day of the Summit, Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education will deliver a keynote address entitled “Learning 3.0: Why Technology Belongs in Every Classroom.” The second-day keynote speaker, Diana Rhoten, Co-founder and Managing Director of Startl, will discuss “The Future of Learning.”

Panel and presentation topics throughout the event include “Plays Well With Others: Leadership in Online Collaboration,” “Technology: Do Kids Need More or Less?”, “Permission to Play: Game Changing Research,” “Where the Wild Things Are: A Day in the Life of a Modern Family,” as well as multiple workshops centered on education, toy and game design and transmedia and digital storytelling.

Registration for the two-day conference is $695 and can be completed online. Questions can be directed to Claire Green or Wendy Smolen. The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is an event sponsor.