Highlights Foundation Retreat 2016 Agenda



    Sunday, April 24, 2016


    Kate Wilson, CEO, Nosy Crow

    2:00 – 5:00 PM Arrive. Check into your room, pick up workshop materials. Please note that this agenda should be considered a draft; and may be altered during the workshop session, depending on the group.

    5:00 Greetings, Welcome and Introductions. Overview of the agenda.  What magic looks like and demos of the 2016 BolognaRagazzi Digitial Award winners by Warren Buckleitner.

    6:00 Dinner

    7:00 An evening with the Nosy Crow’s Kate Wilson. The leader in digital storytelling knows how to work within a narrative structure to weave interactive elements that increase engagement. Here’s a closer look at the recipe for an award winning app. See Kate’s comments on a panel from last year in Bologna.



    caterpillar-soloMonday, April 25, 2016

    8:00 AM Breakfast

    9:00 Demos: 50 apps in 60 minutes. Language and literacy apps that everyone needs to know. We can’t take you to Bologna, but we can bring some of the apps to Pennsylvania. Here’s a closer look at what the 2016 BRDA jurors discovered this year.

    • Fiction vs. non-fiction techniques.
    • Innovative interactive design strategies.
    • Android, Apple, Kindle, Windows and other platforms

    10:00  Katie Paciga: Old Theory Meets New Technology.  A fresh look at new technology from the point of view of old literacy theory: e.g., whole language vs. phonics in an iPad age.


    12:00 Lunch

    1:00 Group photo & Walking Tour, A walking tour of the Highlights Farmhouse with Kent Brown. See where the first issues of Highlights for Children magazine were conceived.

    Lovely_Gailheadshot2:00 Gail Lovely: Technology for Language Enrichment in Schools and Libraries

    • Introducing apps to young children for the first time
    • Using a tablet in the classroom
    • Using a tablet in the library
    • Apps that use the camera
    • Augmented reality apps


    Michael H. Levine

    Michael H. Levine

    Lisa Guernsey3:30 Michael Levine and Lisa Guernsey: What we learned when we wrote “Tap, Click and Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens.


    5:00 Break


    Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.42.00 AM6:00 Dinner

    7:00 And evening with Daren Carstens: Inneraction vs. Interaction. Thoughts on interactive design that increases (rather than decreases) engagement with the concept. Daren will demonstrate Math Doodles and illustrate his unique creative process.

    9:00 Reviewing the reviewers (optiona); and a frank and informal look at some dusty apps, with some help from some Teachers With Apps.


    Tuesday, April 26, 2016

    8:00 Breakfast
    9:00 Q/A with Michael Levine and Lisa Guernsey
    10:30 Writing  and Encoding Apps

    • Apps to help with fine motor development
    • Apps for verbal development
    • Making movies and digital creativity experiences.

    Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.45.54 AM

    11:30 Review


    12:00 Lunch

    1:30 Evaluation and depart

    Faculty for 2016

    • Katie Paciga

      Katie Paciga 

      Dr. Kathleen A. Paciga, "Katie," is an educator, researcher, and family gal. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and a B.A. in Spanish from Loyola University Chicago in 2002; a M.S.Ed in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2006. She completed her doctoral studies in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Literacy, Language & Culture from UIC in 2011. Katie began her career as an educator with six years of primary level teaching experiences in schools servin...

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    • Lisa Guernsey

      Lisa Guernsey 

      Lisa Guernsey is director of the Early Education Initiative and the Learning Technologies Project in the Education Policy Program at New America. She leads teams of writers and analysts to examine policies, tell stories, and generate ideas on new approaches to help disadvantaged students succeed.  Prior to her work at New America, Lisa worked as a staff writer at The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She has also contributed to several national publications, including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time...

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    • Michael H. Levine

      Michael H. Levine

      Michael H. Levine 

      Michael H. Levine is the founding executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The Center conducts research, builds multi-sector alliances, and catalyzes industry and policy reforms needed to advance high quality media experiences for all children. Levine also serves on the executive team at Sesame Workshop where he focuses on educational impact and philanthropic partnerships for the global non-profit. Prior to joining the Center, Levine was Vice President for ...

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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 (www.childrenstech.com). 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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    • Gail Lovely

      Gail Lovely 

      Gail Lovely is an independent educator who currently leads her own consulting and training company. Gail enjoys working with teachers, schools and private companies to design and implement technologies. Gail has worked in public education as a teacher and district implementation specialist, in privat...

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    • Kate Wilson

      Kate Wilson, Nosy Crow

      Kate Wilson 

      Kate Wilson is the founder and managing director of Nosy Crow, a four-year-old, multi-award-winning publisher of children's books and apps. She comes to app making with a background in children's publishing: before setting up Nosy Crow, she was the UK publisher of US books from Goodnight Moon to The Hunger Games and Judy Blume's Forever, as well as working on UK bestsellers like The Gruffalo and Horrible Histories. She's interested in children's literacy, in building businesses for the long term and in cake.

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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.