Dust or Magic - Creating Interactive Media for Children is an exploration of design issues and project development for children birth to 15. The course will combine a general introduction to learning and teaching theories, educational and teaching strategies, usability principals and the popular market.

Students explore stages of child development and theories of motivation and learning, including constructivism, behaviorism, social learning theory, and then apply that theory to interactive design for children. A broad consideration of interactive media being used by children will be critiqued, including educational software, mobile devices, online social environments, video games, traditional children's media, and electronic toys.

We’ll examine common design breakthroughs as well as mistakes; especially missed opportunities for making an interactive product more effective for the target audience.
Ongoing class work includes an analysis/critique of current products in the educational and commercial markets, design case studies and project development. Guest speakers will present perspectives on product development, instructional techniques and industry trends.

The class also incorporates concepts of project planning and management, and where appropriate, technical/production activities.

For a final project, students work in teams to design and develop a prototype of an interactive product for children. This includes a concept and design document, screen designs, and where appropriate, physical mock-ups.