AppCamp 2012 Recap

  • Dust or Magic AppCamp 2012 was the third in the post-iPad age. Fourteen bags of marshmallows generated 579 tweets, each captured by the data-loving Scott Traylor. For those of you who missed it make yourself a s’more and watch these videos.

    • The “State of the App” panel at is a good place to start your tour of AppCamp. Don’t miss Robin Raskin’s comments about the cloud at 15:06 (See those sunburned cheeks? Robin managed to fit a Kayak ride in the Monterey kelp beds that morning).
    • Carley Schuler makes research fun with her examination of some of the best selling children’s apps
    • Chip Donohue gives the designers a crash course in DAP (Developmentally Appropriate Practice)
    • Michel Kripalani gives an important rant at 12:38 in called “An Open Letter to Apple.” I think he raises some very good questions, such as “why are we still buying apps from a music store?”
    • Another must-see event is at 29:30 in where Barbara Chamberlin turns her iPad into a nightclub act using Smule’s Magic Piano, as part of her talk “Grand Challenges of App Design.” Chamberlin, a former stand up comic and current professor of educational psychology, shows that she still has her timing.

    Theo Gray didn’t sit down one day and say “I’m going to make an award winning children’s app” when he partnered with Max Whitby to make The Elements. The reason children (and adults) continually launch this large and expensive app can be found at 37:42 in Theo sets the tone for AppCamp when he says “Kids are really smart. They want to learn. If you give them something meaningful, they will become engaged.” A child thinks “Teach me, so that I can become a grown up…. that’s what a kid wants more than anything else in the world. To grow up and take their place in the world.” Another talk with special significance to educators is by stay-at-home dad Daren Carstens, who puts himself in a child’s shoes by subjecting himself to the process of learning something new and very hard: playing the cornet. Put in some earplugs and watch (and keep your finger on your volume). For more analysis about this year’s AppCamp, see Chip Donohue’s “Camping With The App Makers” on page 5, or the AppCamp 3 archive page at


Leave a Reply

  • 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

  • Subscribe to our mailing list

    * indicates required
    Email Format

  • The Official Publication of Dust or Magic
    Full access to CTREX
    The CTR Monthly Issue
    CTR Weekly: Three Noteworthy Apps
  • Tweets from @dustormagic


  • Conference testimonials


    • laserpinters

      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."

    • SONY DSC

      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."

    • dustormagic-peterspicture

      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!"

    • katewilson200

      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."

    • SONY DSC

      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!"

    • Scott_Traylor_200x200

      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."

    • charity 1

      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."

    • JCC

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

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

    • Erin - bio pic

      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." 

    • Scott_Traylor_200x200

      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."

    • Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 4.03.01 PM

      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.