AppCamp 2017 Recap

  • AppCamp 2017 took place June 2-4 in Asilomar, CA


    PrintSee the 2017 Agenda

    WHERE: Asilomar Conference Center in Monterey CA. Read more about our choice for this location, in “Lessons from Asilomar.”

    WHAT? Three immersive days to get smart on the state of children’s digital media, in one of the most beautiful locations in the world; with talks, laser critiques and demos. A Sunday-only option is available. Watch this overview video.

    REGISTRATION: Prices start at $399 one seat for one day. Housing and food starts at $208.11 per night for double occupancy, and same gender roommates are available by request. All materials are included, including one year of Pro-level access to the CTREX database. Check back later for next year’s registration form.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 9.07.50 AMSpace is limited, seats are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

    HOUSING: Conference attendees stay at Asilomar. Check back later for next year’s housing form.

    AppCamp Archive


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

    • Barbara Chamberlin

      Barbara Chamberlin 

      Barbara Chamberlin directs game development at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab.

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    • Tom Buyckx

      Tom Buyckx

      Tom Buyckx 

      Tom Buyckx leads the commercial side of Dr.Panda, serving as the CCO. This includes marketing, sales and new business development. Based in China, Dr. Panda creates playful apps with an educational twist. Each title as an earned reputation for being safe and gimmick free, with no in-app purchases or third-party advertising.  Why a panda? The answer is simple: the company is located in the city of Chengdu in China, which is the home of the giant panda. The panda is a symbol of pride for the people in Chengdu, and because of that the team feels especially connec...

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    • Daren Carstens

      Daren Carstens 

      Daren Carstens founded Carstens Studios Inc., where he authors, designs, programs and develops educational products for children. He has worked in K-12 educational publishing for 20 years, and his work has received many awards including the prestigious international Bologna Children's Book Fair New Media Prize in the Best Educational Software category, 2010 & 2011 Parents' Choice Gold Awards - Parents' Choice Foundation, and 2010 & 2011 Editor's Choice Awards - Children's Technology Review. Daren combines the rare talent of a thorough understanding of learning processe...

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    • Warren Buckleitner

      Warren Buckleitner 

      Warren Buckleitner is an educational psychologist who reviews children's interactive media. He's been a preschool, elementary and college teacher in TCNJ's IMM program. He is the founding editor of Children's Technology Review ( He speaks at education and library conferences, and contributes content books and publications, including a decade of children's tech coverage for the New York Times. He holds a degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University (Cum Laude), an MA in early childhood edu...

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    • 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,...

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    • Connie Bossert

      Connie Bossert 

      Connie Bossert is president and CEO of Fairlady Media, Inc., an independent game studio near Raleigh, NC. Connie and her husband James co-founded the company in 2009, and have produced more than 30 games for iPhone and iPad with millions of downloads and counting. The company specializes in development of family-friendly and educational mobile games and has partnered with companies such as Sesame Street, Houghton-Mifflin, Callaway Digital Arts, Sanrio, Hearst Corporation, and American Greetings to create the highest-quality products in the market. Connie holds ...

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    • Vikas Gupta

      Vikas Gupta 

      As the founder and CEO of Wonder Workshop, Vikas drives the Wonder Workshop’s vision, strategy, and growth as it brings products into the hands of children around the world. Vikas learned to program using BASIC when he was 14 years old and later went on to start a company, Jambool, that was acquired by Google in 2010. Previously he led the payments and web services groups at Amazon. Vikas is a father of two, and it was the time he spent with his daughter, his first child, that inspired him to start Wonder Workshop.

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    • Jason Krogh

      Jason Krogh 

      Jason Krogh is the founder and CEO of Sago Sago, a company dedicated to creating the best apps for young children. Jason has designed and developed interactive media for 15 years working with clients such as the National Geographic, Sprout, Disney Jr, Vancouver Olympics and the Toronto Public Library. Jason is also the founder of the Zimmer Twins, an online storytelling platform for kids. His most recent venture started after a particularly satisfying rant with Bjorn Jeffery of Toca Boca. In short, Sago Sago was born out a shared passion f...

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    • Jens Peter de Pedro


      Jens Peter de Pedro 

      Jens Peter de Pedro (aka Jens or JP)  is CEO at Little Frogs, a children’s interactive media consultancy. He is also Experience Director at Monkimun, makers of Lingokids. Jens was part of the founding team at Toca Boca, where he was Creative Lead - Strategy and Operations. He has worked for organizations such as Swedish Television, WGBH and The United Nations. Jens is a founding member of the Alliance for Self Directed Education, fighting for the civil right of all children to learn without coercion. He has a Mast...

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    • Mona Ewees

      Mona Ewees 

      Mona is passionately driven by her belief that every single child in the world deserves a high-quality education. She is responsible for teacher training and classroom technology implementation in the Breteau Foundation's South African partner schools. She herself has been a teacher and school principal for the first 14 years of her career working both in the primary school and high school context in the United States and South Africa. Mona h...

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    • Jennie Ito

      Jennie Ito 

      Jennie Ito, Ph.D. is a Policy Expert for Google Play, focused on the Kids & Family section of the app & games Play Store. She has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, with a specialization in children’s play and social cognition. She began her career as a Fellow in Museum Evaluation and Museum Education at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. She later worked as a con...

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    • Catalina Naranjo-Bock

      Catalina Naranjo-Bock 

      Catalina Naranjo-Bock is a Senior User Experience Researcher at Google Play, where she leads the Kids & Family UX research vertical. Prior to joining Google, Catalina led product research and design at the LEGO Group, Nickelodeon, Yahoo, and YouTube. She holds and MFA in Product Design and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) from the Ohio State university. Catalina has also served as an advisor at Stanford University, University of Berkeley, and the California College of the Arts.

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    • David Kleeman

      David Kleeman 

      Strategist, analyst, author and speaker — for more than a quarter-century, David Kleeman has led the children’s media industry in developing sustainable, kid-friendly practices. Kleeman is Senior Vice President of Global Trends f...

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    • Marc Prensky

      Marc Prensky 

      It's always nice to have a visionary around. We always love having Marc Prensky drop in to share what's new -- he was at the first ever AppCamp at Asilomar and the 2013 Institute. Here's his 2017 bio. Marc Prensky, coiner of the term “Digital Native,” is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, consultant and “practical visionary,” promoting civilization-level change in global education.  Marc has spoken in over 40 countries, authored seven books, and published over 100 essays; his writing has been translated ...

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    • Valérie Touze

      Valérie Touze 

      Valérie Touze is the founder of Edoki Acadamy formerly know as Les Trois Elles. She has been developing apps since 2010.  Education is in the company DNA: 2 of its 3 founders have been Montessori teachers.  The company's apps cover numeracy, geometry, creativity, phonics… in 15 languages, making it an international actor.  All their are available on the App Store and 6 are now also on Android. Valérie has an international background: she grew up in Canada where she studied Business.  She then lived in France where she trained to become a Montessori teacher le...

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    • Mark Schlichting

      Mark Schlichting

      Mark Schlichting 

      Mark Schlichting is a passionate promoter for play. He is also a pioneer of the multimedia industry, an expert in children’s interactive design, and is probably best known as the creator of Brøderbund’s Living Books CD-ROM series. In 2000 Mark founded NoodleWorks Interactive, a creative consulting and production company specializing in innovative design for children. In November 2011, NoodleWorks released its’ first iPad app, a word toy called Noodle Words. His ...

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  • 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


    • 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."

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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!"

    • 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."

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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."

    • 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.