|Martin J. Keltz|
Mr. Keltz is an Emmy award-winning producer who has been involved in education and children’s media throughout his career. As the co-founder and president of Scholastic Productions, Inc. (SPI, 1978-1995), he was the senior vice president in charge of new media at Scholastic, Inc. His vision helped make Scholastic, the largest publisher of children’s literature in the English-speaking world, into a global media company.
From The Baby-Sitters Club to Goosebumps and The Magic School Bus, the top-rated Emmy and Annenberg award-winning animated series, SPI was at the forefront of developing educational media content for children and families in traditional and new media during his tenure. Groundbreaking projects in new media with companies like Microsoft were undertaken to produce educational multimedia products related to the science-based animated series, The Magic School Bus and a travelling museum collaborative that brought science and fun-learning to children across America.
Among his many production credits, Mr. Keltz was the co-executive producer of the international Emmy award-winning series My Secret Identity and the critically acclaimed, big-budget feature films, The Indian in the Cupboard (Paramount and Columbia Pictures) and The Baby-Sitters Club (with Columbia and Beacon Films). During his tenure, SPI received over 75 national and international awards, including numerous Emmys, Cable Aces, ACT, Cine Gold Eagle, Ollie and Gemini awards, and was regularly honored with Parents Choice Awards for creating “the best in children’s media.”
Following his career at SPI, Mr. Keltz continued to produce innovative content and programming. For example, with Stuart Samuels Productions, based in Toronto, he spearheaded and co-executive produced the international specials, Urban Wild, for Discovery Canada. As executive vice president of GS New Media, he worked with Sun Microsystems (US and Israel) Protocol Entertainment, Inc. (Canada) and Crawford Productions, Pty, Ltd (Australia) to develop an on-line virtual world for children based on the popular children’s book and television series The Saddle Club.
Recently, working with Jena Ball, Mr. Keltz helped develop and launch The Virtual Worlds Story Project (TVWSP), which creates educational programs and helps groups form communities of practice using TVWSP’s unique Questing model.
Turning Points in Children’s Media
Two of talents behind the creation of The Magic School Bus are re-united for the first time to discuss what they see as a coming revolution in children’s entertainment: the ability to create programs for kids that can have a positive impact on their brains, prepare them for school by increasing the capacity to learn, while still being entertaining and engaging! Michael Hirsh and Martin Keltz will share their experiences over decades in children’s entertainment. They’ll share how the ‘magic’ of shows like The Magic School Bus are created, and explore how digital and traditional media, when informed by neuroscience, will offer a new way to give our kids a head start.
Break Brain Power: Next Steps
Where do we go from here? Faculty to provide closing thoughts for Day One.