Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Job Opportunity Alert - Work-Study Position in Web Content Management for the Kids DIY Media Project

Work-study position: Content Management Assistant

Professor Sara Grimes, Faculty of Information (that's me!!), has one work-study position available for a qualified University of Toronto student. If you are an undergraduate taking at least 1.0 credit (40% of a full course load) continuously from May and August (e.g. one 0.5 F course between May-June and one 0.5 S course between July-August, or 1 Y course from May to August), or a graduate student registered in at least 40% of a full course load from May to August, then you are eligible to apply.

Content Management Assistant

This research assistant (RA) will assist the Kids’ DIY Media and Playing at Making research projects in maintaining their websites and generating data visualizations for reports and project publicity. The ideal candidate possesses strong web and multimedia design skills, excellent written communication skills, and is able to work independently as well as in a team.

General responsibilities may include:
  • Track performance of our current website
  • Continue to enhance website content
  • Generate data visualizations for web and project reports
  • Actively engage and build relationships with the project’s social media community
  • Assist in promoting project events
  • Some literature review
  • Some data analysis
Other or more specific tasks can be prioritized for the applicant’s interest and strengths.
To apply, email a CV and cover letter to Dr. Sara Grimes at sara.grimes@utoronto.ca by [Note: Deadline has been EXTENDED!!!] 4pm, Friday 2 May, 2014.

Interviews will be scheduled sometime during the week of 5-9 May, 2014. Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Coming up: TIFF Kids Industry Conference (at the TIFF Kids Film Festival)


As part of the Kids DIY Media project's partnership with TIFF Kids, we're participating in several exciting events this month, as part of this year's TIFF Kids Film Festival.

For starters, we're exhibiting a table at this year's digiPlaySpace, within the Mini Maker Space. Very exciting stuff. We had the opportunity to go and visit digiPlaySpace last week, and were uber impressed with this year's collection of interactive, multi-media displays and activities. The paint with water wall, was a particular favourite. Our area is called "Creative Play Online" and features computers running some of the most popular kids' DIY media sites, including Scratch and Minecraft. Here's the official description from the website and program:
Create your own worlds in Minecraft, make your own games with SCRATCH, and learn how easy it can be to remix the web with Mozilla's Hackasaurus. These computer stations are presented in partnership with the University of Toronto and Utah State University's research project Kids Do-It-Yourself Media: working towards best practices around children's increased participation in creative cultural production online.
"Today, children's DIY media creation increasingly takes place online, using digital tools that allow them to not only produce and share their ideas with the world, but also develop many of the skills they'll need to be participants, innovators and leaders in the digital economy" (Kids Do-It-Yourself Media).

The exhibit can be found on the first floor of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and runs from March 8–April 21, 2014.

The next major event for the Kids DIY Media project will take place at the TIFF Kids Industry Conference, which runs from April 14 to 17, in conjunction with the TIFF Kids Film Festival. During the conference, we'll be participating on a panel titled "Kids' DIY Media Project: Opportunities and Challenges of Supporting Kids' Making and Sharing Media Online," featuring talks by yours truly, Deborah Fields (Utah State University),  Jason Krogh (one of our industry partners, and CEO of Sago Sago), Brian Alspach (E-Line Media), and moderated by David Kleeman (PlayCollective).

We'll also be running a workshop on the 17th, on "Kids' DIY Media: Best Practices for Creating Online Sharing Environments for Children." Should be a jam-packed and fun-filled 4 days!!

Here the blurb from the press release with links for registration, etc.:

[T]his year's TIFF Kids Industry Conference will feature a diverse group of guest speakers from around the world, ranging from filmmakers, writers and animators to researchers, interactive producers and funders. The programme consists of one day of keynote sessions and panel discussions on April 15, and three days of roundtable sessions and workshops. 
This year’s line-up of over 60 guest speakers includes Graham Annable, co-director of the upcoming 3D movie The Boxtrolls by renowned animation studio LAIKA (Coraline, ParaNorman); legendary puppeteer and actor Caroll Spinney, who has been the heart and soul of Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969; leading transmedia producer Caitlin Burns who has worked on multi-platform marketing campaigns for blockbuster franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar and Transformers; Brian Lovell, founder and CEO of digital marketing agency RED Interactive and developer of the Hunger Games Explorer, the massively popular online hub for fans of The Hunger Games; and the groundbreaking Kids' DIY Media Project lead by researchers Sara Grimes of University of Toronto and Deborah Fields of Utah State University. 
The full line-up and schedule of industry programming can be found here. Accreditation pricing starts at $150 for professionals and $50 for students. For more information on accreditation options and how to register, click here.