This is a Great List: The Kickstarter Blog – Kickstarter Awards: By the Numbers

Most… Everything?: TikTok+LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch

Kickstarter 2010 Statistics:

Total Successfully Funded Projects: 3,910
Total Dollars Pledged: $27,638,318
Total Pledges: 386,373
Total Rewards Selected: 322,526
Total Pageviews: 50,234,521
Total Visits: 15,766,248
Total Visitors: 8,294,183

read the full awesome list on Kickstarter’s blog:

Crowdfunded Canadian Documentary: The Secret Trial 5

The Secret Trial 5 is a new crowdfunded documentary that examines the human impact of Canada’s “war on terror”; specifically the use of security certificates, a tool that allows for indefinite detention, with no charges, and secret evidence. Over the last decade, 5 men have been held under security certificates in Canada. They spent between 2 and 7 years in prison each. None of them was ever charged with a crime…

Kidlandia Raises $2.5 Million To Create Personalized Fantasy Maps For Kids

Kidlandia, the awesome site that lets you create your own personalized fantasy maps for your kids, has raised $2.5 million led by Alsop Louie Partners with GRP, Net Discovery, Ivan Sutherland and Jim Sandler participating. This brings the startup’s total funding to $3.5 million.

As we’ve reported in the past, Kidlandia lets parents and kids create maps of a fantasy land, where the child is King or Queen of their own eponymous fantasy kingdom. You can insert family members or friends names into the map, so other areas of the land incorporate family members’ names. The map also features whimsical characters from Kidlandia’s brand Kreechurs.

Shortly after launching in 2009, Kidlandia signed a deal with Pottery Barn to feature the maps in its catalog, its website, and its retail stores. Since that time, Kidlandia’s reach has grown to a number of other well-known retailers including Snapfish,,, and NickShop. The startup will actually launch a mini-store at FAO Schwarz’s flagship store in New York City in the next few weeks.

And, Kidlandia has also started to create branded maps for kids toy and entertainment companies, and are currently producing products for Disney, Nickelodeon, Lego, and Marvel.

Kidlandia image

Funding: $725k

Kidlandia is a new web destination where parents and kids can spend time online together creating a fantasyland populated by fanciful characters and the people and places that trace a family’s story. Learn More

Information provided by CrunchBase

Watch/Play! this one: ARG The Black Helix as crowd-sourced authorship – 4D Fiction


“…But what if the creators of an ARG, without the agenda of having it promote a brand or product for an existing IP, actually intend to package the resulting story as a product itself? In a sense, the final product would have a distributed authorship.

A new project called The Black Helix, which began today from The Design Zoo, intends to do just that. Their project, funded by the Northern Ireland Arts Council, asks players to “become part of an unwritten story”….

read the full post:

Toronto is highlighted in John M. Eger’s HuffPost piece on: Arts Integration in Canada: America’s Wake Up Call

All the action integrating the arts into the K-12 curriculum is already well underway, in Canada.

Yes, in good old Toronto, the place Peter Ustinov once called “New York run by the Swiss”, meaning that Toronto is a big city (like New York City), but that it’s cleaner and more efficient (as if run by the Swiss). But of course, Canadians — who clearly deserve our admiration — actually run it.

There are of course a lot of other reasons to admire this city which is the cultural, entertainment and financial capital of Canada, and home to more than 2.7 million people, but now another accolade can be added: It has one of the most comprehensive art integration efforts reinventing education in the world.

The Royal Conservatory of Music based in Toronto, launched “Learning Through the Arts” (LTTA), almost 20 years ago, and they can claim the high ground when talking about preparing the workforce of the future.

According to Donna Takacs, Managing Director of LTTA, “programs are being implemented across Canada, in (a few places) the US and in about a dozen other countries… LTTA is one of the most extensive differentiated instruction programs in the world.”

While the term art integration, often referred to as art infusion, is not well known or accepted, it is really about an interdisciplinary education using the tools of the arts.

As a unique consortium of arts organizations expressed it in a report called “Authentic Connections,” such interdisciplinary work in the arts enabled students to “identify and apply authentic connections, promote learning by providing students with opportunities between disciplines and/or to understand, solve problems and make meaningful connections within the arts across disciplines on essential concepts that transcend individual disciplines.”

According to the Arts Education Partnership in Washington, D.C., the concept “has evolved over the past 15 years as school districts, state arts councils, and arts organizations have experimented with various models of implementation.” Yet as the Partnership noted, “Some programs and schools have chosen not to use the term at all, although descriptions of the curriculum appear to belong in this domain. Much work in the arts professional journals that could be termed integrative is labeled interdisciplinary, perhaps because, as noted in a review of the practice, “the term evokes less controversy and challenge from within the arts professions.”

This is sad. Because arts integration works and the LTTA program proves it. All LTTA’s programs are underpinned by academic research, which show that LATT students score considerably higher in math tests than non-LATT students. Literacy tests also improved, student engagement increased and dropout rates declined.

LTTA has done a lot of work rethinking the curriculum, and now includes lesson plans for:

· History Through Role Playing
· Multiplication Through Songwriting
· Math/Geometry lesson plans Through Visual Arts
· Social Studies lesson plans Through Storytelling
· Social Studies lesson plans Through In-Role Writing
· Science lesson plans Through Dance
· History Through Documentary Photography and Video
· Structures and Mechanisms Through Building Scale Models
· Language Arts lesson plans Through Global Percussion

The message for America is clear.

Without arts integration, America, like most developed nations, will not succeed nor survive in the new global Innovative Economy, an economy that demands creativity and innovation in the workplace.

As demand for a new workforce to meet the challenges of a global knowledge economy rapidly increase few things could be as important in this period of our nation’s history–or Canada’s — than art and art-infused education.

Follow John M. Eger on Twitter:

little whoot! for Toronto!