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Making the most of the summer to prepare for the new school year: Developing Apps for Kids Conference

imagesThe 2015-2016 school year is done, and it is the right time to plan the next one. Making the most of the summer to prepare for the new school year, Tech With Kids hosted the Developing Apps for Kids Conference on June 15, 2016, in San Francisco. Jinny Gudmundsen, who hosted the conference and is the editor-in-chief at Tech With Kids, wrote: “This conference is for anyone working in the children’s app space. It is the go-to event for app developers, designers, illustrators, marketers, toy companies, funders, and other professionals who are working in kid tech media. The conference brings together industry leaders, top reviewers, and visionaries to offer advice on the business of kids’ apps.”
I was very impressed by the perfect organization of the conference: all events were on time and were extremely well coordinated. There were 6 panels, 24 speakers, a lot of demos, free discussions about the direction the kids’ application development is taking. Also, there was professional synergy, and, what is so important, enchanting personal communications. The speakers list was very impressive: such a pleasure to see the successful developers and be able to learn from them and moderators were excellent as well.
 
The conference started with the panel “In the Store and Beyond: Marketing & Discovery Tips,” followed by the panels “The Importance of Play in Kids Apps,” “Women in Tech: Driving Success in Mobile Apps,” “Diversity 2.0,” “Strategies for Making Money in the Kids’ App Space,” “Designing Learning Apps: Consumer vs. School”.

The panel “Women in Tech” was presented by three women business leaders: Connie Bossert, Ariella J. Lehrer, Nancy MacIntyre and the moderator Lorraine Akemann. The discussion was about the importance of the business model, how to define a distribution strategy and the significant role of proper field-testing. One piece of advice was very important for me, as an indie developer, to offer existing apps for free before launching a new app. Next time our company Bel Math Apps will do just that.

I was familiar prior to the conference with Connie Bossert’s excellent apps, which were introduced at the Teachers With Apps chat. We started to talk and discovered, that we have so much in common.

The panel “Strategies for Making Money in the Kids’ App Space” was very impressive: Matt Hutton, Michel Kripalani, Emmet O’Neill, Ariel Michaeli with Nancy MacIntyre from Fingerprint Play  as the moderator. All speakers built successful businesses and are well known within the indie community. They shared their insights on strategies how to create a successful business. All agree that the apps visibility is the key to downloads’ increase. There was a discussion about the subscription model, about the importance to provide the keywords for the successful search, and about the effectiveness of bundles. One very interesting observation: what is good for one country, not necessary would work for another. Also, all agreed that there is no universal tool to maximize sales: one has to be ready to try out different strategies.

The panel “Designing Learning Apps: Consumer vs. School” was especially interesting for me and my company Bel Math Apps. The speakers were Cyrena Chih, Matt Kicinski, Sooinn Lee, Stephanie Dua, , Srinivas Mandyam and with Deena Minwalla as the moderator. For me, there were a few new revelations that, in my opinion, could help some developers to be successful.

  • Cyrena Chih, Head of Product and Business Development at DuckDuck Moose
  • Matt Kicinski, Founder & President at Artgig Studio
  • Sooinn Lee, CEO & Co-Founder at Enuma
  • Stephanie Dua, CEO & Founder at Homer
  • Srinivas Mandyam, Co-Founder, and CTO at Tynker
  • Deena Minwalla, Program Director at co.lab (Moderator)

Some speakers stressed that the Asian market for mobile educational applications is huge, and is growing very fast. Sooinn Lee told that in China, kids start learning math when they only 2 years old, and kids start reading very early also. I never run into math apps for 2-year-olds, maybe, it is time for indie developers and educators to explore this market?

All in all, I really enjoyed this conference and would like to thank Jinny Gudmundsen for organizing this amazing event, that stimulated discussions & engaged the entire conference community in a friendly & constructive atmosphere.

BIO:

imgres-1Tatyana Belyavskaya taught on the college level in St. Petersburg, Russia for more than 20 years and moved to the USA in 1991. Over the next 20 years, she was a software engineer, a Web designer, a database administrator, and an information systems analyst. Prompted by their grandkids’ math questions and problems, Tatyana and her husband (who is the software developer) decided to reach more children helping them to master basic math skills. They founded the company Bel Math Apps and published a few tablet, phone and desktop applications for arithmetic practice. Tatyana likes to read and travel.

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References:
http://blog.momswithapps.com/2016/06/09/ Lorraine Akemann (about “Women in Tech”)
http://www.techwithkids.com/ Jinny Gudmundsen
http://www.techwithkids.com/blog/index.php/developing-apps-for-kids-conference-2016/

Mobile Learning Experience 2015


http://www.techwithkids.com/blog/index.php/category/jinnys-corner/

Take Two – APP Fest 2016


http://www.techwithkids.com/blog/index.php/2016-tech-with-kids-conference-agenda/
https://www.facebook.com/jinny.gudmundsen
http://fairladymedia.com/ Connie Bossert “Fairlady Media”
http://www.legacyinteractive.com/ Ariela J.Lehrer “Legacy Interactive”
http://fingerprintplay.com/ Nancy MacIntyre “fingerprint”
http://blog.momswithapps.com/ Lorraine Akemann
http://www.oceanhousemedia.com/ Michel Kripalani “Oceanhouse Media”
http://www.codagami.com/ Matt Hutton “codagami”
http://storytoys.com/ Emmet O’Neill “StoryToys”
https://appfigures.com/ Ariel Michaeli “appFigures”
belmathapps.com “Bel Math Apps”
http://www.duckduckmoose.com/ Cyrena Chih “Duck Duck MOOSE”
https://artgigapps.com/ Matt Kicinski “artgigsapps”
http://enuma.com/ Sooinn Lee “enuma”
https://homerlearning.zendesk.com/hc/en-us Stephanie Dua “Homer”
https://www.tynker.com/tynker.com Srinivas Mandyam “Tynker”
playcolab.com/about-us Deena Minwalla “co.lab”

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