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Guest Blog Post by: Beth Marcus, CEO, Playrific

The stated mission of the summit is “to address how technology affects the ways kids play, learn and connect.” Each Sandbox Summit strategically intermingles disciplines and viewpoints so that you never sit in a room full of nodding heads. The goal of every Summit is to collaboratively foster ideas that encourage kids to become creative, critical thinkers in the 21st century.

That translates into a showcase of a lot of smart people doing cool things to help kids learn while having fun. The highlights for me were ViewMaster from Mattel, Caine’s Arcade, NYsci, Kidzania & Susan Miller (in no particular order).

Remember the old ViewMaster? With the cardboard image wheels?

ViewMaster

Google and Mattel have updated it with goggles and a twist of augmented reality. The market will tell us but I suspect when the product is in stores this fall, you will see kids come up with all sorts of creative uses for this tech.

ViewMaster 2

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What started as an interesting short movie produced by Nircan Mullick about Caine’s Arcade  has turned into a movement that can have as much impact in the long term as US FIRST. It made even the strongest amongst us tear up! Check out the video.

Cains Arcade

If you haven’t seen it, I’d urge you to watch. The video is a lesson in good parenting and how persistence and hope can lead kids to accomplish great things.

The New York Hall of Science has produced some wonderful apps that are in beta, so sign up.  They are focused on teaching kids about math and science with iPad games that allow kids to apply what they know about the real world within an app to learn about size, volume, fractions, and kinetic and potential energy in a fun and easy to understand way.

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Bravo to Margaret Honey and her team. @MargaretHoney @nysci

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Kidzania has to be the coolest amusement park ever!!! Its all about role playing and all about kids being anything they’ve dreamed of. Parents are not allowed in this virtual city that is in the physical world.

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Kids use their own currency that they get when they arrive, and when they run out they must get a job. Millions of kids worldwide have experienced it and now they’re coming to America. I can’t wait – I might have to take my daughter to Mexico before they open in the US!

Susan Miller, one of the founders of Cupcake Digital, gave a fantastic talk about her illustrious career. What was most important to me about what she said was “never give up” and what her stories showed is what happens when you suspend the disbelief about what you cannot do. She had some great sound bites like “don’t follow your dreams, chase them.” She encouraged us to “look up” both as a way of talking about inspiration and also just looking around you and noticing things the way she does. For her, that has led to inspiration and success.

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We all did a Happy dance at the end courtesy of DK @justadandak.

I hope to see you at next year’s Sandbox Summit conference!