Masterclass 2017 Agenda

  • Archived Content


    Sunday, April 2, 2017

    2:00 Registration desk opens at Block D, Sala Notturno of the service centre (look for signs).  You must have a general pass to the book fair or your Eventbrite ticket to get past the first gate. If you’ve ordered your pass (using the higher 300 Euro fee) you’ll be given your fair pass at the Dust or Magic registration desk.    

    General directions from Bologna:

    How to find the room in the fair:

    2:45 Doors open

    3:00 Welcome and Introductions. Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

    3:05 Mark Schlichting: Making Magic

    Mark Schlichting is a pioneer of the children’s digital space. He is  best known as the creator of original “Living Books”  — Brøderbund’s Living Books CD-ROM. In 2000 Mark founded his own design and consulting firm, and he recently finished a book on design called Understanding Kids, Play, and Interactive Design: How to Create Game Children Love. In this talk, Mark will share some of his favorite stories, tricks and techniques.

    Curious Hat3:50 Luca Prasso:  Creativity and ingenuity in VR/AR

    Virtual and Augmented Reality offer new opportunities for creativity, storytelling, content creation and distribution. We will explore tools, projects and prototypes created at Google in the past couple of years.

    Luca Prasso is a creative technologist at Google’s Daydream Labs, a small team dedicated to exploring new interactions and possibilities in VR/AR. Prior to Daydream, Luca has worked on Google’s Spotlight Stories immersive storytelling project for 2 years. In 2012 Luca co founded Curious Hat, an award winning studio dedicated to the development of innovative mobile children apps. For 17 years, Luca has worked as Character Technical Supervisor at PDI/DreamWorks, working on movies such as Antz, Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.

    4:30 2017 BolognaRagazzi Digital Award Winners with Juror Chair Warren Buckleitner, with juror members and winners on hand.

    christiaan_coenraadsMINI TALKS (10 minutes each)

    5:00 Christiaan Coenraads. How to Make a Terrible Picture Book App. Interactivity in digital picture books is mostly distracting, not engaging, young children. These are the sobering results of research on digital Picture Book Apps by the university of Leiden, the Netherlands. But there is hope. Christiaan Coenraads argues that we should use a different approach to digitizing picture books. In short: lose the gimmicks and focus on the story.  Christiaan is the owner of Het Woeste Woud, a Dutch producer of digitally animated picture books.

    Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 3.27.09 PM5:10 Junko Yokoto Some Dust and Some Magic. Junko is a long-time BCBF attendee and is the Director of the Center for Teaching through Children’s Books. Her research focuses on visual narratives in picture books, digital literature for children, multicultural and international literature, and literacy instruction through quality literature. We’ll ask Junko for her current thoughts on the intersection between VR/AR traditional publishing.

    5:20 Demos. Do you have a product you’d like to show? Prepare a short, 3 minute elevator pitch to give to the entire group. We’ll have standard audio and video input, plus a document camera.

    5:30 Panel: The Annual International State of the Children’s App with Neal Hoskins of Bologna Digital as the Moderator. Take a deep dive on the current issues facing interactive designers, with leading minds from various parts of the world. This annual panel is highly interactive, with plenty of discussion with the audience that will extend well into the evening. Confirmed so far:

    6:30 Break: Back to your hotel.

     Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 9.22.11 AM8:00 Fixed price communal dinner in the center city of Bologna.

    Once again we will meet informally in the evening to dine together and continue the conversation long into the evening, Bologna style.

    The cost is about 35 Euros per plate, and will be collected onsite.

    All speakers and members of the Masterclass are invited. Bring a tablet with apps to informally share.


    Seats are sold using Eventbrite for 300 or 250 Euros each (the lower rate is for registered fair attendees who already have a pass).  The higher rate includes one full pass to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which you can pick up at the Dust or Magic registration desk.

    There is also a student rate of 60 Euros, for a block of seats. A current graduate or undergraduate student ID must be displayed at the Dust or Magic registration desk to have access to one of these seats.

    2017 Speakers

    • Christiaan Coenraads

      Christiaan Coenraads 

      Christiaan Coenraads is the owner of Het Woeste Woud, a Dutch producer of digitally animated picture books. Animated Picture Books by Het Woeste Woud have been the subject of research related to emerging literacy.

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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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    • Luca Prasso

      Luca Prasso 

      Luca Prasso is a creative technologist at Google's Daydream Labs, a small team dedicated to exploring new interactions and possibilities in VR/AR. Prior to Daydream, Luca has worked on Google's Spotlight Stories immersive storytelling project for 2 years. In 2012 Luca co founded Curious Hat, an award winning studio dedicated to the development of innovative mobile children apps. For 17 years, Luca has worked a...

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    • Neal Hoskins

      Neal Hoskins

      Neal Hoskins 

      Neal Hoskins runs WingedChariot, an events and publications consultancy that focusses on digital publishing projects. He is the Bologna Digital Media Hall Consultant, and organizes Digital Cafe program of talks and events each year for the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Bologna, Italy.

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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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    • Junko Yokota

      Junko Yokota 

      Dr. Junko Yokota is Professor Emeritus of Reading and Language at National College of Education, National Louis University (Chicago) and Director of the Center for Teaching through Children’s Books. She was an elementary classroom teacher and school librarian for the first ten years of her career. Her research focuses on visual narratives in picture books, digital literature for children, multicultural and international literature, and literacy instruction through quality literature. Her publications include five editions of a coauthored college textbook, Children’s Books in C...

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    • Michel Kripalani

      Michel Kripalani 

      Michel Kripalani is President / CEO of Oceanhouse Media, a leading developer and publisher of apps for the mobile market. He is a serial entrepreneur, having founded three successful ventures over the past 25 years. He lives and breathes entrepreneurship and will serve as the President of Entrepreneurs Organization - San Diego for the 2015-2016 year. Oceanhouse Media is Michel's third start-up. The company has licensing relationships in place with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Hay House Publishers, Zondervan (HarperCollins), Random House, Houghton Mifflin, Chronicle Books and many others. T...

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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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    • Aksel Køie

      Aksel Køie 

      Founder of Step In Books based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Producer and designer of Wuwu & Co. - A magical picture book, which has been critically acclaimed and won several awards, among these Best Nordic Children’s Game at Nordic Game Awards, as well as the Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award. Cultural and educational entrepreneur, who believes in games as a game-changer within education, culture and health - combining fun with physical activity and storytelling.  In Step In Books Aksel is working toward cr...

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    • Juliet Tzabar

      Juliet Tzabar 

      Juliet Tzabar, Managing Director CEO, Plug-In Media Juliet has been working in media production since 1995, moving from TV dramas to produce interactive content in 2000.  Making interactive content for leading digital businesses, she has specialised in delivering interactive entertainment projects with a broadcast tie-in, largely focused at the children and family audience. Juliet worked as a producer at Victoria Real on the company’s ground-breaking broadcast-related digital proj...

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    • Gerald Cai

      Gerald Cai 

      Gerald Cai is the Managing Director & Co-Founder of MXRi, located in Singapore. EdTech has been an area close to Gerald’s heart for the past 15 years. He is currently building SnapLearn, a platform that brings learning and reading to life through Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR). He was formerly Head of Content & Services (Learning/Reading) at Samsung Asia and Regional Director at Pearson APAC. As a father of 2 young kids, he gets plenty of inspiration and feedback, which makes work both challenging and rewarding at the same t...

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    • Thushan Amarasiriwardena

      Thushan Amarasiriwardena 

      Thushan Amarasiriwardena (yes – it took him till the third-grade to be able to spell his name correctly) is a storyteller at heart and a Product Manager on Google's Kids & Family team, focusing on playful and creative experiences for kids.  Early in life he gravitated towards code as his medium of choice to tell stories in.  Previously he was a journalist at The Boston Globe.  With his long-time friend Andy Russell, they seized an opportunity to bring toy-like experiences on to touchscreen devices like the iPad and started ...

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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


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      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!"

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      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.