The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Parents' Choice Foundation announced on October 29 the creation of the Sandbox Summit: A Playdate With Technology. The conference and exhibition will debut at the 2008 International CES in Las Vegas, running from January 7 to 10, 2008.
The conference portion of the Sandbox Summit, scheduled for January 8, will bring together educators, toy manufacturers, consumer electronics companies, policy makers and media to discuss how technology is changing the ways kids play, learn and connect in the new digital world. A program packed with industry insights, demonstrations and audience participation makes this a must-attend event. The Sandbox Summit's exhibition, which runs for the entire fourday CES event, will showcase the latest high-tech toys and media that children are using today, and explore toys being designed for the kids of tomorrow.
"The relationship between the worlds of play and technology has grown stronger as the market for high-tech toys gains momentum," said Karen Chupka, senior vice president of events and conferences at CEA, producer of the International CES. "The 2008 International CES will be the global destination where attendees will witness the true merging of creative digital play with consumer technology." "Kids are consuming technology as fast as we can produce it," said Claire Green, president, Parents' Choice Foundation. "We have a responsibility to learn what it's like to participate in our youngsters' digital world and to help these kids to become critical and creative consumers of technology." To create Sandbox Summit: A Playdate with Technology, Parents' Choice and CEA have joined forces with toy authority Wendy Smolen and digital kids expert Robin Raskin.
Smolen said, "Technology can open new opportunities for innovative toys. The best tech toys are a catalyst for creative play and learning." Raskin added, "After watching the CE and toy industries grow up side by side, I'm convinced that the Sandbox Summit will be that magical place where the two intertwine to create a new generation of products and services that are innovative, inspiring and safe." The exhibition in the Sands Convention Center will feature products that engage kids and their families from the cradle through college. Miss America 2007 Lauren Nelson will be making special appearances in the Sandbox to discuss Internet safety.
The conference speakers' roster is filled with some of the best minds in the toy and technology marketplace. Gary E. Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop and Sesame Street's Elmo, the icon of creative play, will be the keynote speakers. Other prominent speakers include: Lisa Guernsey, education, science and technology journalist and author of Into the Minds of Babes (Basic Books, 2007); New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla; Alice Cahn of Cartoon Network; YPulse founder Anastasia Goodstein; Ellen LaPointe, vice president of Strategic Partnerships at HopeLab; Symantec's Internet Safety Advocate Marian Merritt and Sree Sreenivasan, WNBC-TV tech reporter, professor of new media and Dean of Students at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism are all scheduled to participate.
Warren Buckleitner, Ph.D., Editor, Children's Technology Review, will present "The Tech Toys PlayOffs," a no-holdsbarred video demonstration where tech "toys" get a thumbs up or down from kids. Parents' Choice Foundation is the nation's oldest nonprofit service organization devoted to advancing parents' informed participation in their children's learning. Parents' Choice offers consumers the information they need to help ensure that learning doesn't stop when schools and daycare are over for the day. Employing a national network of educators, librarians, pediatricians, journalists, critics, musicians, celebrities, and children, Parents' Choice evaluates the entire scope of children's media, and every year recognizes the very best with its coveted Parents' Choice Awards.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the US$148 billion US consumer electronics industry. More than 2,200 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES . Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services.