Fall Institute 2013 Agenda


    Sunday November 3

    View a list of the 2013 Speakers

    2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

    Informal Demos

    An informal gathering of developers and researchers who want to demonstrate work or informally share. No registration is required; this part of the agenda is open to the public. Please find Lisa or Megan to check in and pick up a guest name tag.

    Location: The Lobby of the Inn at Lambertville Station in the Creekside room.
    The Inn at Lambertville Staiton, 11 Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ

    5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

    Welcome to the 13th Annual Dust or Magic in Lambertville

    Warren Buckleitner

    “The State of Children’s Interactive Media”

    • The view from the front line: Android vs. iOS
    • Game Consoles in 2014: What to expect for kids from the Nintendo 2DS, Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One
    • Economics of iTunes and Google Play; in-app sale reality
    • Lessons from Minecraft, Daniel Tiger, Candy Crush, Furby, the XO Tablet…
    • Trends and news with contributions from a rare and expert audience.

    Get smart fast: 5 minute overviews on this year’s dust and magic, aka “the view from 30,000 feet”  by Robin Raskin, Chris Byrne, Scott Traylor and others. What will 2014 bring? What key products should be watched? What products/companies are most improved?

    SONY DSC6:00 pm


    Welcome and Introductions. Warren Buckleitner

    8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
    Riverside Room

    Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 10.12.48 AM

    Theo Gray

    Theo Gray will explore the magic of Disney, from a rare outsider’s point of view

    The Way it Was Meant to be Told: Dancing with the Mouse by Theo Gray

    Walt  Disney came to Hollywood in August 1923 with forty dollars, some drawing materials and a pair of trousers that didn’t match. But he also had a rare understanding of how to make magic. For two years, Theo Gray immersed himself in the archives of the Walt Disney Company to create an app called Disney Animated. He is uniquely qualified to be our tour guide, to better understand the Walt Disney process.

    In this presentation, Gray will help us understand how the Disney brothers followed their magical formula based on such things as “Plausible Impossibility”  — to build one of the most successful and valuable “Magical Kingdoms” in the world. As you explore the app, you learn that the Disney path to success was bumpy. Roy and Walt continually wrestled with the limits of delivering quality audio, changing platforms, screen resolutions, and the risk of loosing it all.  Sound familiar?

    As the creative director of Touch Press, Gray himself is a pioneer of the interactive arts; having created apps like The Elements and War Horse. He’ll offer his own point of view of how he used the iPad to tell Disney’s story, and why it was a medium suited for the job.  The invention of animation a hundred years ago for the first time allowed humans to communicate long, complex stories that combine the book author’s freedom to imagine the impossible with the playwright’s medium of visual performance. Similarly, interactive apps — for the first time  — can combine textual narrative with dynamic images and open-ended interactivity to tell stories in new ways. Gray’s main message:  We are only just beginning to see the potential of this medium. After this presentation, you’ll be able to more accurately ask “what would Walt do?”



    7:30 am


    8:30  “Child Development 101 for the Designers of Children’s Interactive Media” by Barbara Chamberlin and by Warren Buckleitner. The 2013 edition of our crash course on child development, applied to interactive media. Bring your handout packet.

    10:00   Critic’s Panel with Chris Byrne, (Time to Play Magazine),  Chris Crowell (CTR), Claire Green (Parents’ Choice), Richard Gottlieb  (World Congress of Play),  Warren Buckleitner (CTR); Marc Prensky, Bob Author & Visionary;  Bob Tedeschi, NYTimes; Moderated by Robin Raskin (Living in Digital Times).

    Why does a product make your “editor’s choice” list? What products would you like to see? Which products are quickly dismissed, and why?

    appdance11:00 Demos/Appdance/Nice Touch

    11:30 David Kleeman: TV Magic. Best Practices Linear Media. Are there Lessons for Interactive Media?

    12:00 Lunch

    1:00 Ten Kids App Commandments by Jens Peter de Petro of Toca Boca.

    2:00 Demos

    3:00 On a Mission to Minecraft. Bus trip to Mediatech Foundation: Meet some kids, see how a public library uses technology on a shoestring; listen to a feedback from real kids.

    • Introduction to the Mediatech concept
    • Meet some testers
    • Demos

    5:00 Bus leaves exactly at 5:00 PM to return to the Inn.

    6:00 Dinner (on your own)

    8:00 Will the real Craig Fusco lease stand up? The story of Bobo Explores Light by Bob Tedeschi

    Free play

    Jesse Schell leads a team on a very low tech jigsaw puzzle, as he listens to a demo in progress on Monday night.

    Jesse Schell leads a team on a very low tech jigsaw puzzle, as he listens to a demo in progress on Monday night.



    7:30 am
    The Demo Board from DM 2012 Hurricane Edition

    The Demo Board from DM 2012 Hurricane Edition



    If you’re staying in the Inn, make sure you checkout of your room by 10:00 AM. It is OK to store bags in the Riverside room.

    8:00 Demos/Talks (20 minutes each; a great mind attacks one topic, and we make a video for the world).

    1. Chip Donohue  Digital Media and Early Learning: What We Know, What We Still Need to Learn, and Why It Matters to App Developers
    2. Benjamin Heuston What’s new at the Waterford Institute?
    3. Caroline Hu Flexer What’s new at DDM?
    4. Stephen Gass
    5. Claire Green: Can the skills children learn from physical toys and games transfer to digital toys and games?

    CineKid’s Paulien Dresscher previews her work at Medialab during Dust or Magic 2012 Hurricane Edition

    11:00  Panel: What Should Daren Do? Advice for a small publisher.  We’ll invite producers who have created highly regarded interactive products to talk about their successes and failures. Each can present one PPT or Keynote slide (optional). Moderated by Daren Carstens.

    11:00 Scott Traylor: What have we learned?

    11:45 Evaluations

    12:00 Lunch

    12:20 Transbridge Bus #1 leaves to Newark Liberty, arriving 1:35 PM (for early flights). Note that departure is from the Hess Station, 5 blocks from the Inn.

    1:30 Dust or Magic limo bus departs to Newark Liberty International Airport, arriving 2:45 PM

    1:55 Transbridge bus departs to Newark Liberty Airport, arriving 3:15 PM

    5:50 PM last Transbridge bus departs to Newark Liberty Airport, arriving 7:15 PM (departs from the Hess Station, 5 blocks from the Inn). You can buy tickets from the Valparaiso Deli, Rt 165 & Rt 518, 609-397-1116

  • 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.