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What single individual has made the largest impact on children’s technology design?

KAPi Pioneer Nominees

On January 7, 2010 at the Kids @ Play summit at CES, one of these individuals will be give a KAPi award for the “Pioneer” category.  There are seven individuals on this list, selected in a survey given at the 9th Annual Dust or Magic institute.  Do you have a favorite? Is there somebody that is missing? Comments welcome.

Jeff Braun hosted the pizza party that started the company (Maxis) that allowed Will Wright to make an unconventional game that you can’t win, and “nobody will ever buy.” Of course, that game was SimCity, which lead to The Sims and Spore.  “Believe in your idea, and don’t give up.”

Jeff Braun

Jeff Braun

Caroline Hu Flexor weaves nursery rhymes into App store gold. She is one of three founders of Duck Duck Moose Design that has raised the bar of excellence for iPhone/iPod Touch Apps for children.

Caroline Hu Flexor

Caroline Hu Flexor

Krista Marks is passionate about using interactive media to empower the creative artist in every child. Her use of vector-based graphics/Flash has set the standard for web delivered creativity experiences for children. Under Krista’s leadership, her company (Kerpoof) became the creativity portal for Disney Online.

Krista Marks

Krista Marks

Lane Merrifield is the leader of the small team of dads in Canada that created Club Penguin. He was one of the first to prove that children could play and learn in a virtual world that was completely safe. He is known to millions of children by his penguin’s name:  “Billy Bob.” Today, Club Penguin is owned by Disney, and Lane is still the top penguin.

Lane Merrifield

Lane Merrifield (from Dust or Magic)

Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo is one of the reasons there’s a Nintendo DS in nearly every child’s pocket. His passion for quality has become legendary; and it shows in the products that he’s worked on. He has been called “the father of Mario” and “the soul of Nintendo.”

Shigeru Miyamoto

Shigeru Miyamoto: Photo from Nintendo.com

Mitchel Resnick is the Director of the Lifelong Learning Group at the MIT Media Lab. Many people agree that we should empower children with technology, but Mitch Resnick has put theory into action in the form of SCRATCH.

Mitchel Resnick

Will Wright is the “creative genius” behind SimCity, The Sims and Spore.  His combination of vision and passion has helped to shape the video game category into more than scrolling RPGs.

Will Wright

Will Wright

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2 Responses to "What single individual has made the largest impact on children’s technology design?"

  1. Fran Simon says:

    I propose Seymour Papert, the author of Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas, and the creator of LOGO (Logic Oriented Graphic Oriented.) He is a true pioneer and in my opinion, the Grandfather of Constructionist Educational Technology. He continues to work tirelessly on behalf of children and constructivist technology for children. Check out his site at: http://www.papert.org/

  2. buckleit says:

    Fran — I agree that Papert, theoretically anyway, deserves the honor. However, he never was able to climb out of theoryville like the team at MIT did under Resnick’s leadership. They built their ladder out of LEGOs.

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