2017 Digital Kids Summit in Austin, TX

The 2017 Digital Kids Summit was held in Austin, TX at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus of The University of Texas. Over 40 industry trailblazers discussed trends in digital play and learning.

Kids are being raised as digital natives with millennial parents who have less and less inhibitions with technology and connectivity. With growing exposure to a variety of sources and devices how can we responsibly address their play and educational needs?

“Kids want choice and control,” says Lucie McLean of Children’s BBC. They are growing up self-empowered, choosing what they watch on-demand while shunning TV network’s prescribed programming. “Kids don’t watch TV. They watch their mobile screens,” says Chris Williams, CEO of pocket.watch, whose aim is to provide curated cross-platform kids entertainment.



Lots of Stuff to Think About

Reading skills are declining and there is a disproportionate percentage of girls interested in engineering. To answer, Gary Clay, Marketing Lead for Amazon Education spoke about the challenges developing Amazon Rapids, a reading app for reluctant readers while Beau Lewis of Goldie Blox spoke on the Maker Generation becoming an alternative to the Princess Generation.

What will toys and digital entertainment look like in a future where VR/AR technology and autonomous cars have become commonplace?  Will self-driving cars open up new avenues of face time between parents and their kids? What will entertainment look like on those long trips? Can vehicles be equipped with immersive VR capable wide screens?

How can we encourage and inspire imagination through technology?  “Is VR dangerous or is it the future of learning and storytelling?,“ asked David Kleeman of Dubit. He offered The Field Trip to Mars project by Lockheed Martin and Framestore as an excellent example of forward-thinking.



Provocative Subjects and BBQ

How will social media affect the way kids grow into their pre-tweens, tweens, and teens? Their parents have already acclimated through Facebook and our youth are entrenched in a global, social media space. What is the social media trickle-down effect on kids under age 10? How does it affect the 5-year old whose goal is to become a youtube star?

Over the two days of the Digital Kids Summit, many provocative subjects were breached and valuable information consumed (along with some tasty barbeque) and we returned to California with fresh perspectives and excitement under our belt.

And by the way, The Alamo Drafthouse is a worthy cinema experience… we missed the famous Austin bats under the bridge, though.



To find out more about future Digital Kids Media events:



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