About Us

About Us

Our mission is to build a global online community where kids build, code, play, and learn from one another. We tap the power of youth tech experts to teach and mentor, and have served thousands of kids through our online and community-based programs.

Connected Camps was catalyzed by three girl geeks with a passion for education and the positive potential of technology. Mimi is an educational researcher and advocate for connected learning, on a decades-long hunt to bridge education and entertainment. Katie is a game designer, educator and force behind the creation of Institute of Play and its partner school Quest to Learn. Tara is a technologist and entrepreneur who founded LA Makerspace so kids can make and learn in her local community.

Our approach is backed by lots of research and testing in practice, and is part of the Connected Learning Alliance, dedicated to mobilizing new technology in the service of equity, access and opportunity for all young people.

Presenting Organizations

Connected Camps

Connected Camps is a benefit corporation providing connected learning experiences that foster creativity, problem solving, collaboration and interest-driven learning. By leveraging the power of open networks and partnering with community-based organizations, Connected Camps is committed to delivering the highest quality online learning experiences to young people in all walks of life. Read our 2015 Benefit Corporation Report here.
Institute of Play

Institute of Play is a not-for-profit design studio that pioneers new models of learning and engagement. At the core of the experiences the Institute creates are games, play and the principles that underlie them. Using these principles, the Institute has created successful institutions, games, programs, events, digital platforms and products. Its first project was the design and launch of the innovative New York City public school, Quest to Learn. More information can be found at www.instituteofplay.org. Donate to Institute of Play so they can provide free access to Minecraft camps through local meetups, clubs and after-school programs to kids who wouldn’t otherwise have access.


Mimi Ito

Mimi Ito, Co-Founder and CEO
Mimi Ito, Ph.D., is Professor in Residence and MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning at UC Irvine. She also serves as Research Director of the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub and as Chair of the Connected Learning Research Network.
Katie Salen

Katie Salen, Co-Founder and Chief Designer
Katie is a game designer and educator and more recently Professor in the School of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University. She is the Founding Executive Director of Institute of Play and led the team that founded Quest to Learn in New York City.
Tara Tiger Brown

Tara Tiger Brown, Co-Founder and Board Member
Tara is a technologist and entrepreneur. She co-founded LA Makerspace. She is the Technology Director at the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. She has contributed as an Artist-in-Residence at MuseumsQuartier in Vienna and a Hacker-in-Residence at Sparkfun Electronics.
Barak Berkowitz

Barak Berkowitz, Board Member
Currently Director of Operations and Strategy at the MIT Media Lab, Executive Chairman of Digital Garage, and the CEO of MarketCentrix, a strategic consultancy. Barak previously served as CEO of Evi, a virtual personal assistant. Prior to Evi, Barak was Managing Director of Wolfram|Alpha, the award winning “Computational Knowledge Engine.”
Joichi Ito

Joichi Ito, Board Member
Joichi is the director of the MIT Media Lab. He is chairman of the board of PureTech Health and a board member of Sony Corp., the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the New York Times Co. He is the co-founder and a board member of Digital Garage, and Internet company in Japan.


Victor Lazo
Victor Lazo
System Administrator
Victor is the System Administrator for Connected Camps. He holds a Bachelors in Computer Science and a Masters in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge. As System Administrator, Victor manages all the technical needs for the camp servers.
Gregry Livingston
Gregry Livingston
Design & Curriculum Lead
Gregry has developed cutting edge education programs for schools, camps, and online learning companies and has degrees from Columbia University and Brooklyn College. Gregry develops Connected Camps programs and works with the counselors to make sure every camper has a great experience.
Sima Patel
Sima Patel
Community Manager
Sima is the project and community manager for Connected Camps. She holds an MPA degree from the California State University, Fullerton. She works on both internally organizing our team, the logistics of the camps, and liaising with our community based partners.

Meet Our Counselors


Educator Innovator
Microsoft Research
Connected Learning Alliance

Counselor Network Powered By

USC School of Cinematic Arts
Foshay Learning Center
Vista Mar


CreateSpaceRichmond CollaborativeLA Public Library
Beyond The BellLA MakerSpace
Digital Youth NetworkGlobal Kids