Prior Speakers

  • Here are some of the speakers from past Dust or Magic events. Speakers prior to 2010 may not be listed.


    • 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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    • Carly Shuler

      Carly Shuler 

      Carly leads strategy initiatives at PlayScience, a kid- and family-friendly research and incubation facility focusing on innovation in areas including interactive media and gaming. She brings over 10 years experience in the children’s media and toy industry. Most recently, Carly led numerous industry-focused ini...

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    • Ann McCormick

      Ann McCormick 

      Ann H. McCormick, PhD founded and lead software design at the Learning Company for it’s first 16 products, including Rocky’s Boots and Reader Rabbit.With her team, she created a new category of software and a leading national brand. Ann gave invited presentations for the Special Office of the President (US), the LIbrary of Congress, Members of Parliament (UK), the Congress of the Latin Americas (Brazil), and spoke at telecommunications companies (Northern Telecom, Pacific Bell, ATT) advanced labs (IBM, Apple, HP) and for publishers and toy companies. She consulted to Apple Cla...

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    • Gregg Spiridellis

      Gregg Spiridellis 

      Gregg Spiridellis is the Co-founder and CEO of JibJab Media Inc. and Storybots. He spent the mid-nineties locked up inside NYC skyscrapers pumping out spreadsheets at Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns.  In 1997, he went to Wharton to get his MBA and unexpectedly fell in love… with the Internet.  By the time he graduated, the affair had reached such a fevered pitch that he started an online entertainment company with his brother Evan when it made absolutely no economic sense to do so.  Love will do that to you.  Five years later, in a pre-YouTub...

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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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    • Chris Rettstatt

      Chris Rettstatt 

      Chris Rettstatt is Director of Children’s Digital Content at Highlights for Children. He is a published children’s book author (The Sky Village, Candlewick Press) and has 10+ years creating multi-platform entertainment for children with partners ranging from Simon & Schuster to Nickelodeon to BBC Worldwide. He currently oversees d...

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    • Chris Crowell

      Chris Crowell 

      Chris Crowell is a Sr. Editor for Children's Technology Review, and is currently working in the Lakewood NJ school district as a teacher trainer.  Chris is a nationally recognized educator who has taught kindergarten for the past 18 years in Flemington, New Jersey...

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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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    • Chip Donohue

      Chip Donohue 

      Chip Donohue, PhD, is Dean of Distance Learning and Continuing Education and Director of the Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute in Chicago. He is a Senior Fellow and Member of the Advisory Board of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media at Saint Vincent College, where he co-chaired the working group that revised the 2012 NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center Joint Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8. Chip is the editor of two books...

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    • Björn Jeffery

      Björn Jeffery 

      Björn Jeffery is the CEO and co-founder of Toca Boca, a play studio that makes digital toys for touchscreen devices. Since 2011, they have released 27 products that has sold in over 215 countries worldwide, and downloads of over 85 million in April 2015. Toca Boca has won numerous awards for their apps, including Nappa Gold and iKids twice, 10 Parents Choice Awards and the 2013 KAPi for Most Pioneering Team in Children’s Technology. In 2015, Toca Boca was acquired by Canadian toy maker Spin-Master. Previously, he was Director of Future Media & Technology at Bonnier Rese...

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    • Aleen Stein

      Aleen Stein 

      Aleen Stein is a founding partner and principal shareholder of the Criterion Collection. She’s also CEO and Publisher of Organa L.L.C., a new media publishing company. Organa seeks to bring the best in children’s animation from around the world to American families, and include art, science, cultu...

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    • Barry O'Neill

      Barry O’Neill 

      Barry O’Neill is the CEO of Touch Press, the educational games and family app publisher formed by the integration of Amplify Games, StoryToys, and Touchpress. Touch Press is is known for its high quality apps based on both original and licensed IP, including the multi-award winning StoryToys portfolio of K-3 apps (My Very Hungry Caterpillar, Mother Goose Club), Touch Press Games’ library (12 a Dozen, Crafty Cut, World of Lexica), and its renowned portfolio of reference apps including Theodore Gray’s ...

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    • Bill Doyle

      Bill Doyle 

      Bill Doyle is cofounder of Crab Hill Press, developer of three interactive iPad storybooks: “Don’t Open Before Christmas,” “My Dad Drives a Roller Coaster Car,” and the award-winning “Nash Smasher!” Bill has been writing for decades: MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Film School; editor of Kid City (aka Electric Co.) at Sesame Workshop; editor...

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    • Jeremy Brueck

      Jeremy Brueck 

      Jeremy Brueck serves as associate director of the Center for Literacy at The University of Akron where he provides strategic direction and coordination of services in the design of professional development for pre-K-12 teachers across Ohio. Prior to that, he spent 5 years as a curriculum & technology specialist in Green Local Schools with a focus on designing standards-based integrated ...

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    • Lori Collins

      Lori Collins 

      Lori Collins is the Editor-in-Chief, Early Childhood Publications, for the National Wildlife Federation. Under her direction, NWF recently launched Ranger Rick Jr. print magazine, an iPad app series, Ranger Rick Jr. Appventures, as well as a simple, shape-recognition game called What Did Snakey Eat? tha...

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    • Dan Russell-Pinson

      Dan Russell-Pinson 

      Dan Russell-Pinson President, Freecloud Design, Inc. Dan Russell-Pinson is the creator of several top 10 educational and entertainment apps including Stack the States, Tipping Point, Stack the Countries, Mathmateer, Presidents vs. Aliens and Monster Physics.  Dan has recently expanded his reach by supporting the Android and Windows 8 platforms.  He studied Computer Science at Clemson University and combines his interests in programming, graphics, music and sound to create games that are educational and engaging.  In his free time, Dan enjoys photography, unicycling, music and spending ti...

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    • Max Whitby

      Max Whitby 

      Max Whitby is CEO and co-founder of Touch Press. He was involved in the BBC's pioneering Interactive Television Unit and headed an early collaboration between the BBC and Apple. Subsequently he co-led a management buy-out of this BBC group, forming the MultiMedia Corporation (MMC) a London-based media publishing company that achieved a successful IPO in 1995. In 2004 Max made the radical decision to train...

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    • Anna Ly

      Anna Ly 

      Ms. Ly completed an undergraduate degree in HCI and Business (Finance) from Carnegie Mellon. After many years in finance, she linked business with technology at IBM, where she worked for three years as a Business Strategy and Transformation Consultant focusing on Organizational Change Strategy and Business Strategy. She the...

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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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    • Paulien Dresscher

      Paulien Dresscher 

      Paulien Dresscher is Head of the New Media Department and curator of the MediaLab at Cinekid in Amsterdam. The Cinekid Festival is the largest international film, television and new media festival for children aged 4 to 14 held at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, the ...

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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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    • Jesse Schell

      Jesse Schell 

      Jesse is the CEO of Schell Games, a team of one hundred people who strive to make the world’s greatest educational and transformational games, including Yale Medical's PlayForward: Elm City Stories, Water Bears VR, the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood games, and Happy Atoms. Schell Games also creates pure entertainment content, such as the award winning VR game, I Expect You to Die, and the comedy space game Orion Trail. Jesse also serves as Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon...

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    • Scott Traylor

      Scott Traylor 

      For the past 22 years Scott Traylor has defined the vision behind the Boston-based digital development and consulting firm known as 360KID. His youth-focused company specializes in product ideation, market testing, and product development as a service to companies interested in engaging kids through a variety of different m...

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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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    • Don Rawitsch

      Don Rawitsch 

      Don Rawitsch has worked in educational technology for 35 years, including staff and managerial positions in product development, project management, and customer training.  He has held executive positions at MECC, Jostens Learning, CTB/McGraw-Hill, and Siboney Learning Group and has also done independent consulting, working on a variety of ...

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    • Robin Raskin

      Robin Raskin 

      Robin Raskin is a recovering journalist who now organizes conferences and events on what it means to be “living in digital times”.  An author, editor, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, and consultant, Raskin says she’s never met a media she doesn’t like. Raskin is the former Editor of PC Magazine and Editor in Chief of FamilyPC. She’s been a columnist for USA Today Online and Yahoo and has authored 6 books about parenting in the digital age. She works with Children's Technology Review to produce the KAPi awards ...

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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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    • 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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    • Kevin Hogan

      Kevin Hogan 

      Kevin Hogan has covered  the integration of technology and business for the past 20 years. He has held editorial positions at ForbesASAP, Business2.0, and MIT Technology Review magazines and has written for Wired, POV, and Good Housekeeping magazines among others. Since 2004, he has focused specifically on education, first as Executive Ed...

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    • Claire Green

      Claire Green

      Claire Green 

      Claire Green helms Parents’ Choice Foundation, best known for the Parents’ Choice Awards program. In commemoration of Parents’ Choice Foundation's 30th anniversary, Claire cofounded Sandbox Summit.® Clearly, all things connect to Dust or Magic; Robin Raskin made it possible for the inaugural Sandbox Summit® to be held at the 2008 CES; Scot Osterweil and MIT’s Education Arcade have hosted Sandbox Summit for the past five years. In September 2014, Claire resigned from Sandbox Summit to concentrate more fully on the PlayAbility Scale, nutrition labeling ...

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    • Jim Gray

      Jim Gray 

      Jim Gray, Ed.D. As Vice President of Learning Design at Sesame Workshop, Jim is responsible for the educational quality of interactive products designed to help children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Areas of expertise include children’s development, play, learning, and media design, with a career spanning academic research, teaching, product development, and business innovation. Jim has been a teacher of young children, researcher of innovative learning technologies, Director of Learning at LeapFrog, and ed...

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    • Tinsley Galyean

      Tinsley Galyean 

      Tinsley Gaylean is the Director of The Global Literacy Project ( and is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab. He serves on the Steering Committee of The Dalai Lama Center For Ethics and Transformative Values. Tinsley's education has spanned both art and technology  -- long before it was ...

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    • Caroline Hu Flexer

      Caroline Hu Flexor, Duck Duck Moose

      Caroline Hu Flexer 

      Caroline Hu Flexer is the CEO and Co-Founder of Duck Duck Moose, an award-winning creator of educational mobile apps for families. Founded in 2008, the company has created twenty-one top-selling titles from its first musically focused title, Wheels on the Bus, to its most recent educational platform, WonderBox. Duck Duck Moose has received 20 Parents’ Choice Awards, 17 Children’s Tech...

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    • Drew Davidson

      Drew Davidson 

      Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories across texts, comics, games and other media. He is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mell...

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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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    • Barbara Chamberlin

      Barbara Chamberlin 

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

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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.