AppCamp 2018 Agenda

  • A three-day huddle of the top minds in children’s interactive media

    WHAT TO BRING: Relaxed, casual clothing (layers are best); arrive well-rested with charged batteries.

    DEMOS: If you plan on doing a 5 minute demo, read this for suggestions on format and feedback.

    NO SELLING: Dust or Magic is a commercial free zone. It is self-funded with no affiliation with Apple, Google or sponsors. Participants are asked to turn off  “selling” and turn on “sharing” for the sake of improving this emerging field.  A “swag table” is provided for flyers, white papers or business cards. This is a free-exchange area for participants to share such things as promo codes, white papers, book announcements or other promotional items. Bring about 50 copies.

    Friday June 1, 2018

    1:00 Room check-in (Phoebe Snow Social Hall)

    3:00 Check into Dust or Magic (Scripps Hall)
    Find Barbara Chase to pick up your materials. It will contain your name tag, handouts and so on.

    5:00 State of the App, 2018

    We’ll set the stage for our next 36 hours together, so all the presenters can contextualize their talks. We’ll begin by naming the key trend setting apps; including lessons learned from the KAPi prize and the BolognaRagazzi Digital Award. Panelists will be drawn from the audience. Questions will include:

    • Art by Peter Reynolds

      Art by Peter Reynolds

      VR, AR and VR.  What plugins work best with Unity? Who is doing the best work? What’s working? What are some common mistakes?

    • Who’s making money, and how?  Small app studios known for high quality work are struggling or are being gobbled up by larger groups. Is there a realistic career path for a small, smart designer? Hint, ask Connie Bossert.
    • How do you properly sell an app to a child? Besides the paid, free, freemium, paymium, and subscription models, what’s the best technique to promote new content to a young audience?
    • Children’s App News.  We’ll take nominations for the most magical work of 2017, and discuss the train wrecks. to learn from other people’s mistakes.
    6:00 PM Dinner & Visit to the Pacific Beach
    Caroline_Ingeborn-2508:00 Caroline Ingeborn

    Caroline Ingeborn is the President and COO of Toca Boca. She joined the company in 2013 when she moved from Sweden to the U.S. to help open the company’s San Francisco office.  Since that time she has been instrumental in growing the company into one of the most influential play studios globally.

    Founded in 2010, Toca Boca believes in the undeniable, irresistible power of open-ended play. It uses traditional play patterns to create what it calls digital toys, rather than games, and it broke the mold of gender stereotyping in kids products. Today, Toca Boca is part of Spin Master, with Ingeborn leading all day-to-day operations of Toca Boca and Sago Mini.

    Before joining Toca Boca, Ingeborn helped build corporate development and M&A at Bonnier, the leading media conglomerate in Scandinavia, where she met Toca Boca co-founders Emil Ovemar and Björn Jeffery.

    Lights out…

    Saturday June 2, 2018

    IMM cookbook Logo7:00-8:15  am Breakfast Buffet (dining hall)
    8:30 New: The Interactive Designers Cookbook 2.0
    A good cook knows how to blend ingredients to make a wonderful dish. The results can be magic, or terribly bad. What are the specific ingredients of effective interactive media project? We’ll boil down a one semester TCNJ course on the psychology of interactive design into one hour. This presentation is short, sweet and to the point; and it’s based on the continually updated ibook Child Development 101 for the Designers of Children’s Interactive Media by Warren Buckleitner (Dust or Magic participants get a free download code; and a hard copy is in your handout packet). 
    9:30 Children’s Design Dash

    10:30  Nice Touch — 60 second demos. An informal exploration with show and tell of some of the latest HCI “best practice” applied to multi-touch settings for children (and adults).

    11:30 Talk
    12:00 Lunch

    Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 9.36.40 AM

    1:00 Feature talk


    2:00 Feature talk




    4:00 Feature talk

    5:00 Kid Panel

    We take some time to talk to some real experts to see what they’re playing and thinking about. If you are bringing children who would like to be on the panel, please let me know.

    Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 9.50.41 AM

     6:00-7:30 Dinner & Marshmallow Roast

    7:40 PM Group photo (optional)


    8 to 10 PM Free play and Demos

    Sunday June 3, 2018

    7:00-8:15  am Breakfast Buffet (dining hall)

    8:30 Demos and feedback

    Note that we’ll be moving to a larger hall.

    10:00 The Children’s App Design Conference

    For those with limited time and/or resources, or for those coming to Apple’s WWDC, we’re offering this conference within a conference. Call to register.

    10:00  Welcome and Introductions by Warren Buckleitner and Daren Carstens.

    DEMOS (a chance to show, tell and get feedback from a rare and expert group)

    11:00 Susan Rivers, iThrive Games

    12:00 Lunch

    1:00 Panel: The State of the Children’s App Panel.  We’ll explore the news on Apple’s iOS, iTunes, Google Play and Android; Unity, 3D, VR and AR, and new issues related to IAP, subscriptions and making ROI.


    The Demo Board from DM 2012 Hurricane Edition



    4:00 Demos. It’s your turn. A chance to show off your app in front of a rare and expert audience, for feedback.

    We’ll fit as many as possible into our remaining time.

    5;00 Conclusion

    Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 9.31.14 AM

    2018 Speakers

    Dust or Magic AppCamp attracts amazing speakers. Check back frequently; speakers and details can change. The following speakers have confirmed so far.

    • Caroline Ingeborn

      President and CEO, Toca Boca

      Caroline Ingeborn 

      Caroline Ingeborn is the President and COO of Toca Boca. She joined the company in 2013 when she moved from Sweden to the U.S. to help open the company’s San Francisco office.  Since that time she has been instrumental in growing the company into one of the most influential play studios globally. Founded in 2010, Toca Boca believes in the undeniable, irresistible power of open-ended play. It uses traditional play patterns to create what it calls digital toys, rather than games, and it broke the mold of gender stereotyping in kids products. The company has long sought to create experiences f...

      Continue reading 

    • Susan Rivers

      Susan Rivers

      Susan Rivers 

      Susan is Executive Director and Chief Scientist at the nonprofit iThrive Games, the nonprofit that aims to intentionally use and design games in the best interests of teens to support their thriving. She uses her expertise in emotional intelligence to enhance the social and emotional well-being of adolescents by accelerating the development and widespread adoption of interactive, evidence-based digital products. Susan earned her doctorate in social psychology at Yale University where she later served on the research faculty in the Department of Psychol...

      Continue reading 

    • Nancy MacIntyre

      Nancy MacIntyre 

      Nancy MacIntyre is CEO and Co-Founder of  Fingerprint Digital, Inc.  a global mobile technology company focused on the children's market for education and entertainment products and services. Founded in 2011 and funded by Corus Entertainment, Dreamworks, Reed Elsevier, and GSV,  Fingerprint’s proprietary technology platform and expansive library of over 4000 fun learning games, books, and videos supports award winning services Samsung Kids, Verizon Gizmo Learning,...

      Continue reading 

  • 2018 Events

    Masterclass • Mar. 25, Bologna, Italy • Register
    AppCamp • Jun. 1-3, Asilomar, CA • Register
    Highlights Retreat • Boyds Mills, PA
    Institute • Nov. 4-6, Lambertville, NJ • Register

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  • Conference testimonials


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      Sanj KharbandaVP Digital Strategy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dust or Magic Hurricane Edition

      "Unique, inspiring, eye-opening. I would recommend anyone involved in the interactive space for kids to attend at least one. Thank you to everyone for sharing and being an inspiration."

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      Roby JohnCEO, TapToLearn, Dust or Magic Hurricane Edition

      "Thanks for a great first Dust or Magic. Made it totally worth flying all the way in from Mumbai."

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      Valerie ConnellVP Product & Market Strategy, The Waterford Institute, Dust or Magic 2010

      "Top Notch conference with A-list attendees - a pleasure to be included with the best of the best!"

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      Kate WilsonFounder & Managing Director, Nosy Crow, Dust or Magic 2011

      "Relevant, invigorating and mind expanding: a great event. Warren's energetic, warm and informal style of communication and facilitation is key."

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      Krista MarksDust or Magic 2011

      "The best part is the inspiration that comes from being with a group of like minded, passionate, talented humans."

    • Jens Peter de Pedro

      Jens Peter de PedroPlay Designer, Toca Boca, Dust or Magic Hurricane Edition

      "If you are in Children's Interactive Media it's like coming to Church. You got to go for spiritual reasons. And it's only once a year!"

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      Scott TraylorPresident, 360KID, DM '13 Institute

      "Dust or Magic Fall is a must attend event to help increase chances of making successful children's new media products."

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      Charity GerbrandtCreative Lead, Disney Club Penguin, DM Institute '13

      "So great to share with like-minded people in a low pressure, no drama environment. Great size, space and leadership."

    • Kimberley SorensonThe Waterford Institute, Dust or Magic Highlights Foundation 2015

      "A wonderful opportunity to get down and dirty with a lot of different voices in a protected space. Inspiring + energizing on all conceivable levels -- many many thanks."

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      Jayne ClarePresident, Teachers With Apps, Dust or Magic Highlights 2015

      "Leaving with a wealth of new knowledge, friends, ideas and inspiration!"

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      Erin ReillyCreative Director, Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC, Dust or Magic eBook Retreat 2013

      "This was just the retreat I needed to learn and to be inspired by others." 

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      Scott TraylorPresident, 360KID, DM 2002-2010

      "Come for toys, stay for friendship; leave with knowledge."

    • jlodahl

      Jesper LodahlCEO, SmartTots, Dust or Magic Hurricane Edition

      "Great crowd, great minds, great learning experience."

    • Hans WagnerOwner, Computer Explorers, Dust or Magic 2014

      "Just soaked in all of it. Great environment!"

    • Megan SmithSenior Designer, Interactive Media, Highlights for Children, Dust or Magic 2014

      "Warren and Daren really made everyone feel relevant and comfortable. Perfect balance of healthy criticism and ideas for growth."

    • aleen

      Aleen SteinCEO, Organa, Dust or Magic 2014

      "Even though I'm not making apps right now, exciting and relevant to my life."

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      Lorraine AkemannMoms With Apps

      While there is no shortage of conferences on kids and tech, Dust or Magic stands out in the crowd. This might be because attendees are required to leave their egos at home, or cast them into the ocean until the sessions are finished.