Ron's Tips for Designing Children's Learning Technologies 

1) tackle the mountain before the hill (ex: the electric pan pipes)

2) avoid sugar coating: make motivation inherent (ex: the DJ math machine). See also

3) don't fear hacking and mashups (ex: Intel's Computer Microscope)

4) don't fear the local (ex: CSDTs)

5) many little gadgets of mediocre quality do not add up to one system of high quality. [exception: once you have a "killer ap" (eg levitating mag boots) its fine to come up with many ways to use it].

6) give kids control of gadget behavior; do not rely on "gee-whiz" effect

7) factor in kids' bodies: floor pressure switches for your weight don't work on theirs; their strength and coordination is not like yours, they may not know how to measure etc. If you use a laptop give them an external mouse.

8) factor in kids' identities: minority children do not need more training in physical education; they do not need games with all white figures or all white cultural/historical references.

9) keep a tension between open (do anything) and closed (one right answer). Some more open behavioral modes-- like appropriation (make it your own), design activities, and exploration-- will work if its an evocative media. Some more closed behaviors will work if you have multiple paths.

10) Let the physical world inform your design: don't just imagine what springs on magnets or water on glass will do; your imagination is crucial but its not an accurate source of information. Experiment!