Dust or Magic Fall Institute

  • This "hall of magic" leads into the Riverside room, which is full people, technology, demos and help.

    This “hall of magic” leads into the Riverside room, which is full of smart people, technology, demos and advice.

    Announcing the 18th Annual Dust or Magic Fall Institute

    WHEN: Nov. 4-6, 2018, 5:00 PM Sunday through 1:30 PM Tuesday.

    WHAT: A group of reviewers, designers and researchers meet to review the past year in children’s interactive media, as well as the latest research, writing and trends. The three day event—equivalent to a graduate level course—includes review of child development theory applied to the latest interactive media, plus demos, critiques, testing and brainstorming sessions.

    This agenda is not defined by social or commercial agendas. Selling is not permitted; there are no sponsors or booths. Dust or Magic is an outgrowth of Children’s Technology Review’s ongoing study of children’s interactive media.

    WHO: Speakers are selected based on the recent products, books or research that they publish. View the 2017 agenda.

    WHERE: The Inn at Lambertville Station, 11 Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ; the site of the “original” 2001 event.

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    TRAVEL:  Lambertville is on the commuter bus route to and from Port Authority in New York City; for easy access from all points on the east coast of the USA. The best airport is Newark Liberty (EWR). Van or limo service is provided to/from the Inn on Sunday and Tuesday. For more logistics, click here.

    COSTS: $1480 for one seat, $990 each for 2 or more. Registration fee includes meals (except dinner Monday night), handouts, materials and a ride to/from Newark airport. Rooms at the Inn cost $140 per night. Don’t delay, space is limited and we’ve run out of space every year. Register using this form.

    Dust or Magic is designed around the concept of editorial independence, without sponsors or affiliations with organizations like Apple, Google, Microsoft or Amazon. Costs are covered by registration fees.

    Read about the 2017 Fall Institute (archived content).

  • 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!"

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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!"

    • 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!"

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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."

    • 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.