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Thursday 04/24/20149:00am-11:30am - Center for Architecture
Thursday Morning Mini-Talks

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Thursday Morning Mini-Talks will be hosted by Wendy Smolen and Claire Green, Co-Founders of Sandbox Summit.

Do parents, designers, and researchers agree on what’s “Educational”? (9:00-9:10am)
According to a new report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, parents believe their children spend only 5 minutes per day engaged with educational content on mobile devices. Yet there are more than 20,000 educational apps in the App Store, with $1 billion in sales. There is clearly a disconnect. Do parents and app designers agree on what’s educational? Are children actually spending far more time with educational content than their parents think? In this panel, Azadeh Jamalian of Tiggly will discuss the vague term “Educational”.

Not Just Fun and Games: Driving Behavioral Change Among Teens (9:10-9:20am)
Games can create deep engagement. But can they drive real behavioral change? Planned Parenthood aimed to find out by creating nine mobile gaming apps encouraging teens—particularly African-Americans and Latinos—to make informed decisions about their sexual health and their future. Deborah S. Levine (Planned Parenthood), James Early (Threespot), and Liz Ott (Threespot) will discuss the apps, other approaches considered, and the challenges of creating a framework for facilitating real behavioral change.

Minecraft and World Peace: Using Multiplayer Games to Promote Conflict Resolution (9:20-9:30am)
Games for Peace is a non-profit that uses popular commercial games to promote dialogue between Arab and Jewish children. Uri Mishol, its founder, will explain how commercial games like Minecraft© are used in programs that bring together young adults from conflict zones. In “Play for Peace weekends”, G4P invites gamers from across the Middle East (some of whose countries are officially at war) to meet, chat and play together. Another unique program brings Arab and Jewish schoolchildren in Israel together every week in a Minecraft game world, with the aim of reducing prejudice and promoting dialogue.

Raising Innovation Disrupters (9:30-9:40am)
Raising innovation disruptors involves cultivating invention, creative, original and critical thinking from a young age. A great way to raise a disruptor of any economic background and ethnicity is through teaching them how to make games for change. Executive Producer Shannon Sullivan and Globaloria game-design student Geraldine Agredo from The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria will talk about how designing games-for-change cultivates innovation and creative skills that go beyond traditional curriculum requirements – disrupting education and school routines, and surpassing students’ own expectations and perceived learning abilities.

Karl Rohnke, Old School Game Changer (9:40-9:50am)
Karl Rohnke is a pioneer in educational gaming. He captured and taught new games as a way to create stronger communities. He started with Outward Bound, helped found and run Project Adventure and in semi-retirement left behind the most comprehensive manuals on experiential education and outdoor gaming that exist. Karl is not just a game inventor, but a catalyst for others. His trainings are not about teaching games, but teaching the process of creating games. His work is felt in echos in the modern game community, as many of his followers and their followers teach and inspire game creation today. With Peter Vigeant

The Biggest Math Class Ever (9:50-10:00am)
The Norway Algebra Challenge was a massively open online learning game competition in which 36,000 kids and 1,000 teachers participated. Jean -Baptiste Huynh will share his experience with the Challenge and will argue that this event shows why and how video games can totally change the way we learn, and might play a key role in education in the future.

Creating Games and Interactive Media for the Precocious Preschooler: Lessons Learned (10:00-10:30am)
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a new animated program for preschoolers ages 2 to 4, which builds on the pioneering PBS series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In conjunction with this new series, a companion website features games and interactive experiences for children in this age group. The site allows young children to engage in highly entertaining activities, based on the long-honored, social-emotional curriculum of Fred Rogers. Using imagination, creativity and music, the games teach key social skills necessary for school and for life.This talk will focus on the lessons learned in creating games for children ages 2 to 4. The panel will discuss the importance of games in developing social-emotional skills. Many games targeted at children in this age group emphasize academic skills, rather than social-emotional skills, to further a child’s development. But overwhelmingly, evidence supports the significance of emotional intelligence as children mature. The speakers will explore the value of this strategy in designing these games. Finally, the group will share some of its successes with games for children in this age group.
With Jesse Schell, Angela Santomero, Paul Siefken

Game On? The Parents’ Perspective (10:30-11:00am)
What are parents’ evolving hopes and concerns about the games and apps that are omnipresent in our kids lives? How are they negotiating the big thorny issues (violence, addiction, physical inactivity) and embracing the positives (fun, collaboration, learning) today? Linda Burch, Co-Founder of Common Sense Media, in conversation with two parents, will delve into these questions and highlight shifting attitudes as the millennial generation become parents.

The Minecraft Experience (11:00-11:30am)
This lively panel session will explore the Minecraft experience from a variety of perspectives (school, museum, home, research, and self-organized) to define the edges of that experience and Minecraft’s relationship to, and impact on, learning. The notable educators and learners will describe and question the relationship to learning of various adoptions and adaptations of the game. The panel session will be preceded by online activity, for learners, teachers, parents and developers, to articulate, define, and categorize experiences, questions and share evidence-based arguments. Panelists will draw on this crowd-sourced material to bring voices from the global player base into the room.
With Bronwyn Stuckey, Nicholas Fortugno, Barry Joseph, Linda Polin, Sasha Barab, Yasmin Kafai