Sarina Simon: Influences and Influencers | mentors
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Augmented Reality to Increase User Engagement

24 Oct 2016, Posted by Sarina Simon in Children's Media, Distance Learning, Edtech, electronic books, English as a Second Language, instructional design, kids' media, Learning Science, Mobile App Development, Uncategorized

For some time now my colleagues, most of whom are younger and hipper than me, have been extolling the virtues of Augmented Reality.  And they are not alone.  Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, recently stated that he felt AR would be bigger than VR. And most market analysts agree that AR is going to become a huge market opportunity, topping $120 B by 2020. The recent success of Pokemon Go with 100MM downloads worldwide, has made consumers more aware of AR but some would argue that Pokemon Go does not really use AR technology.  That’s an argument that I can’t…

Tolaca Rocks, Won’t You?

13 Apr 2016, Posted by Sarina Simon in casual games, CD-i, Game Design, kids' media, Mobile App Development, Philips CD-i, Puzzle Games, women in technology

I used to play games of all kinds.  As a kid I loved board games, word games, almost any kind of competition – especially if I could win.  In recent times, videogames, computer games and mobile games have either been too violent, too time consuming, or too difficult for me to play. Of course, like millions of other people, I played Tetris, and I especially liked it when we licensed it for its first appearance on a CD.  I still remember the tagline we wrote for it.   TETRIS The classic becomes a legend on CD-i ! Too bad so few…

“The Big Short” – The Best Educational “Media” I’ve Seen In Long Time

26 Jan 2016, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Edtech Aspirants, Children's Media, Distance Learning, Edtech, instructional design, Responding to RFPs, Software Engineering, women in technology

Years ago I worked for the Walt Disney Company in their Educational “Media” group.  Our mandate was to create workbooks, filmstrips (yes, filmstrips) and films for the school market. Our goal was to bring the Disney “magic” to learning and we had plenty of good examples to lead the way. Walt Disney was a master communicator.  He knew how to introduce complicated concepts to the average guy and make them understandable and appealing. Of course, he also had large budgets to work with and amazing actors (including Mickey et al) to deliver the “courses.” Our little group did not have…

Virginia “Ginny” Rice: Pursuing Excellence and Having Fun Along the Way

05 Jan 2016, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Advice for Edtech Aspirants, Distance Learning, Edtech, Expert Interviews, instructional design, Learning Science, women in technology

Ginny Rice is an accidental entrepreneur, researcher, problem-solver and designer of programs for education, museums, business, and public information. Her clients have included the National Museum of American History, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Newseum, NIH, Philips Consumer Electronics, and a hôtelier in Vietnam.     1. Your technology roots go back to the early eighties when you   co-founded Lunaria, an “interactive media” company. Can you tell us a bit about the company and how it got started? My partners and I were working at an R&D company designing medical simulations for a start-up. When the founder ran out…

How Much Work, If Any, Should You Do On Spec?

17 Nov 2015, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Advice for Edtech Aspirants, Bidding Process, Children's Media, Graphic Design, Managing Development Teams, Marketing, Mobile App Development, Responding to RFPs, Software Engineering, women in technology

I am varying from my usual format to share something I found very funny and highly relevant to the business of digital media. I recently came across this video from an ad agency in which they effectively mocked the ad industry’s  practice of expecting work on spec, also known as working for free. The ad agency, Toronto-based Zulu Alpha Kilo, released the video on November 2 and it has already garnered over 1 million views. The video suggests that no other businesses operate this way, but as developers we know that at least one more, ours, does.  (By the way my…

Jessie Woolley-Wilson: A Leader Who Inspires Others to Dream More, Learn More and Be More

01 Sep 2015, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Advice for Edtech Aspirants, Children's Media, Distance Learning, Edtech, Expert Interviews, kids' media, Learning Science, Online Math Learning, women in technology

Jessie Woolley-Wilson is Chair, President, and CEO of DreamBox Learning, Inc., the company that pioneered Intelligent Adaptive Learning™. She has 20 years of experience in K–12 e-learning and has held several leadership roles in prominent education companies. Before joining DreamBox Learning, Jessie was President of Blackboard’s K– 12 Group where she led the company’s growth for the virtual and blended online learning market. Prior to Blackboard, she was President of LeapFrog SchoolHouse where she established SchoolHouse as a leader in ed-tech and one of the fastest growing educational software producers in the U.S. Jessie also held leadership positions at collegeboard.com, the…

Joanne Roberts: Innovating and Leading the Way

21 Aug 2015, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Children's Media, Edtech, Expert Interviews, interactive television, kids' media, women in technology

Joanne Roberts is an entrepreneur, you might say a serial entrepreneur, who’s been working in the media business for more than 30 years. She’s created three successful TV series, run several businesses and worked in new media since 1995. Her focus has been creating programming for kids, teens and women and most recently, she co-founded Now Next Media, LLC with her business partner Peggy Doyle.  They’re currently 100% focused on growing WHAT NOW WHAT NEXT, a collaborative network for women entrepreneurs, 40+. Joanne is also the mom of a 16 year old daughter and spends her time juggling the full…

Who Says Women Can’t Make Games?– Meet Ariella Lehrer, CEO Legacy Games

03 Dec 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Children's Media, Expert Interviews, Game Design, Learning Science, Mobile App Development, Online Games, Videogames

  Ariella Lehrer is a 30-year veteran of the games business. As a female, she is a rarity and a much admired pioneer.  She has founded and managed three companies,  all of which were involved in the design, production, and marketing of interactive games. Currently she is the CEO of Legacy Games, which is based in Los Angeles, with development studios in Hungary and Poland. Legacy began 16 years ago making medical simulations like Emergency Room, graduated to adventure games such as Law & Order, which morphed into hidden object games like Murder, She Wrote. Currently, Legacy is focused on casual to…

Ken Locker: Always At the Leading Edge

05 Aug 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, English as a Second Language, Expert Interviews, interactive television, kids' media, Mobile App Development

Ken Locker is the COO of the Living English Company, which has created an integrated cloud based software platform for companies that employ Hispanic blue-collar workers who do not speak English well. It offers a complete mobile app for administrators, supervisors and workers, incorporating language learning, vocational training and workforce managementHe has more than twenty years of senior management experience in the media industry, with expertise in digital content production, game and app development, distribution, online video operations and monetization, social media and marketing. Previously, Ken was the Chief Operating Officer of Film Domain Media Group, which offers multi-platform digital VOD…

Laura Foti Cohen—A Renaissance Woman in Contemporary Clothing

17 Jul 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Editorial Expertise, Marketing, social media

Laura Foti Cohen started her career in book publishing, but found it moved too slowly for her. She then spent several years as a journalist for Audio Times and Billboard, covering audio technology at the dawn of the digital age, music video at the dawn of MTV and home video at the demise of the Betamax before leaving for a job in RCA Records’ video division. In 1987, she made the move from New York to Los Angeles and linear to interactive, joining Philips Media as Marketing Director, rising to Senior VP. Since 1996 she has run Sound Input, a…