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Wondering who “won SXSW” this year? Here’s what Fast Company’s Austin Carr has to say:

It’s not about who “wins” a tech conference in Austin; it’s about what technologies will truly disrupt the way we live (hopefully for the better). 
And after so many years of perennially expecting the next big thing in Austin, perhaps the time has finally come when the concept of winning SXSW is no longer necessary or even possible…But if I did have to pick one winner, I’d say it’s Google Glass.

See the full story here. 


Wondering who “won SXSW” this year? Here’s what Fast Company’s Austin Carr has to say:

It’s not about who “wins” a tech conference in Austin; it’s about what technologies will truly disrupt the way we live (hopefully for the better).

And after so many years of perennially expecting the next big thing in Austin, perhaps the time has finally come when the concept of winning SXSW is no longer necessary or even possible…But if I did have to pick one winner, I’d say it’s Google Glass.

See the full story here. 

Must-Have Apps To Make The Most Of SXSW
chmoozing is the name of the game at any conference, but this is the technorati big leagues. Get these apps to keep up with the digital Joneses.
Highlight
Highlight runs in the background on your phone and tells you when interesting people are nearby. If you’re at an interesting tech conference, it quickly becomes completely addictive. I first used it at South By Southwest 2012 and ended up uninstalling it because it just completely drained my battery. I decided to give it another shot at CES 2013, and again found it extremely useful—even using it to stalk Robert Scoble at one point (to no avail…yet).
CardMunch
CardMunch takes a picture of business cards, converts them to text, and then lets you connect on LinkedIn and/or save to your phone’s contacts. Business cards suck and it baffles me that we still use them; CardMunch helps immensely.
LinkedIn
This likely needs no explanation. If you use LinkedIn on the web, you can also use it via the mobile app. You’re at a conference. You’re going to meet new people. LinkedIn is great for staying connected after you’ve gone home.
TripIt
Nine times out of 10, attending a conference means traveling. This means coordinating airfare and accommodations for yourself and communicating those plans with others. Enter TripIt. TripIt makes it easy to store your travel plans in a centralized place that can be easily shared. All you do is connect your email or forward itineraries to an email address provided by TripIt and it handles the rest.
Evernote Hello
Hello is a newish mobile app by Evernote that helps you create rich notes about people you meet. Kicker—it let’s you exchange contact info more easily. Kicker-kicker—it saves history and notes to your Evernote account (duh).
Eventbrite
The best part of any conference is what happens after hours. There are meetups, parties, you name it. Most events at most major conferences seem to use Eventbrite for RSVPs. Bringing a printed-out RSVP confirmation to a party is the conference equivalent of having your mom drop you off at a party in high school. On the off chance that you actually need the confirmation, install the Eventbrite app on your phone
Bloodhound
Bloodhound touts itself as “the complete mobile solution for events.” Features include networking via Facebook and LinkedIn, live Twitter feeds, maps, schedules, and exhibitor information. If you had to pick one app on the list to try out, this will provide the most breadth in terms of features and functionality.
Speek
You didn’t expect me not to plug my own app, did you? One of the hardest things about going away for a week to attend a conference is dealing with work stuff back home. At the very minimum, you’re going to end up dialing into conference calls while you’re away.Speek is a fast and easy way to join conference calls and our apps provide a single click experience for joining. Also, one founder has tattoos and amazing hair. Just sayin’.
Conference-specific Apps
These days every conference rolls out mobile apps just for the annual event. CES had one this year, and so will SXSW. Although the quality and usefulness of these apps vary, it’s typically in your best interest to go ahead and install them and find out.
SXSW Go is available for iPhone and Android.
[Image: Flickr user Steve Garfield]

Must-Have Apps To Make The Most Of SXSW

chmoozing is the name of the game at any conference, but this is the technorati big leagues. Get these apps to keep up with the digital Joneses.

Highlight

Highlight runs in the background on your phone and tells you when interesting people are nearby. If you’re at an interesting tech conference, it quickly becomes completely addictive. I first used it at South By Southwest 2012 and ended up uninstalling it because it just completely drained my battery. I decided to give it another shot at CES 2013, and again found it extremely useful—even using it to stalk Robert Scoble at one point (to no avail…yet).

CardMunch

CardMunch takes a picture of business cards, converts them to text, and then lets you connect on LinkedIn and/or save to your phone’s contacts. Business cards suck and it baffles me that we still use them; CardMunch helps immensely.

LinkedIn

This likely needs no explanation. If you use LinkedIn on the web, you can also use it via the mobile app. You’re at a conference. You’re going to meet new people. LinkedIn is great for staying connected after you’ve gone home.

TripIt

Nine times out of 10, attending a conference means traveling. This means coordinating airfare and accommodations for yourself and communicating those plans with others. Enter TripIt. TripIt makes it easy to store your travel plans in a centralized place that can be easily shared. All you do is connect your email or forward itineraries to an email address provided by TripIt and it handles the rest.

Evernote Hello

Hello is a newish mobile app by Evernote that helps you create rich notes about people you meet. Kicker—it let’s you exchange contact info more easily. Kicker-kicker—it saves history and notes to your Evernote account (duh).

Eventbrite

The best part of any conference is what happens after hours. There are meetups, parties, you name it. Most events at most major conferences seem to use Eventbrite for RSVPs. Bringing a printed-out RSVP confirmation to a party is the conference equivalent of having your mom drop you off at a party in high school. On the off chance that you actually need the confirmation, install the Eventbrite app on your phone

Bloodhound

Bloodhound touts itself as “the complete mobile solution for events.” Features include networking via Facebook and LinkedIn, live Twitter feeds, maps, schedules, and exhibitor information. If you had to pick one app on the list to try out, this will provide the most breadth in terms of features and functionality.

Speek

You didn’t expect me not to plug my own app, did you? One of the hardest things about going away for a week to attend a conference is dealing with work stuff back home. At the very minimum, you’re going to end up dialing into conference calls while you’re away.Speek is a fast and easy way to join conference calls and our apps provide a single click experience for joining. Also, one founder has tattoos and amazing hair. Just sayin’.

Conference-specific Apps

These days every conference rolls out mobile apps just for the annual event. CES had one this year, and so will SXSW. Although the quality and usefulness of these apps vary, it’s typically in your best interest to go ahead and install them and find out.

SXSW Go is available for iPhone and Android.

[Image: Flickr user Steve Garfield]

News Corp Gets Into The Tablet Business With Amplify
Joel Klein, head of News Corporation's new Amplify education brand, announced today at the South By Southwest Educationconference in Austin, Texas, that the company has designed its own branded Android tablet-sized computer. It comes bundled with software designed for teachers and students.
The Amplify tablet comes preloaded with a whole mess of content—Google Apps for Education, Common Sense Media-rated audio, video, games, online textbooks, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, and a graphing calculator. It has specialized search tools to find millions of hours worth of digital lessons and homework, all aligned to Common Core educational standards that are currently being adopted by most school systems. 

You could probably take it along with your 5-year-old kid to a desert island and get her halfway to a college degree.

But that’s not all. Amplify was built from News Corp’s acquisition of Wireless Generation, a major vendor of software-based data systems and assessment tools to schools. So in addition to the content, the new tablets will have lesson-plan builders and dashboard-style tools for teachers, principals, and parents to track and monitor students’ performance.
The 10-inch tablet will be marketed to states, districts, and individual schools for use this coming school year. The cost is $299 a pop for a Wi-Fi-enabled tablet when you buy a two-year subscription to Amplify-branded content, which costs $99 a year. Or you can get one with a 4G data plan for $349 per device and a $179 a year contract. This compares to $399a pop for a non-4G iPad, the most popular tablet in U.S. classrooms. The subscription fees include live chat, phone, and email support and professional development for teachers.
The enthusiasm for touchscreen tablets and phablets in education is surprising even the most ardent technology fans. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said ”the adoption of the iPad in education is something I’ve never seen in any technology.” Education spending on IT is estimated to be at least $20 billion annually, of which a little more than half is currently going to hardware. The Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, Kindle, Microsoft Surface, and even the Nook are allvying for market share.
Asked by Fast Company why Amplify wanted to enter this crowded field on the hardware side, Klein cited the power of an integrated hardware and software platform. “My view has been that if we don’t design a product that really facilitates and changes teaching and learning, and all the supports that go together to make this a robust package, then we’ll be where we’ve been [in the past].”
Read the full article here. 
As exciting as this is, one must wonder what happens to the students in schools that can’t afford these tools? 

News Corp Gets Into The Tablet Business With Amplify

Joel Klein, head of News Corporation's new Amplify education brand, announced today at the South By Southwest Educationconference in Austin, Texas, that the company has designed its own branded Android tablet-sized computer. It comes bundled with software designed for teachers and students.

The Amplify tablet comes preloaded with a whole mess of content—Google Apps for Education, Common Sense Media-rated audio, video, games, online textbooks, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, and a graphing calculator. It has specialized search tools to find millions of hours worth of digital lessons and homework, all aligned to Common Core educational standards that are currently being adopted by most school systems.

You could probably take it along with your 5-year-old kid to a desert island and get her halfway to a college degree.

But that’s not all. Amplify was built from News Corp’s acquisition of Wireless Generation, a major vendor of software-based data systems and assessment tools to schools. So in addition to the content, the new tablets will have lesson-plan builders and dashboard-style tools for teachers, principals, and parents to track and monitor students’ performance.

The 10-inch tablet will be marketed to states, districts, and individual schools for use this coming school year. The cost is $299 a pop for a Wi-Fi-enabled tablet when you buy a two-year subscription to Amplify-branded content, which costs $99 a year. Or you can get one with a 4G data plan for $349 per device and a $179 a year contract. This compares to $399a pop for a non-4G iPad, the most popular tablet in U.S. classrooms. The subscription fees include live chat, phone, and email support and professional development for teachers.

The enthusiasm for touchscreen tablets and phablets in education is surprising even the most ardent technology fans. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said ”the adoption of the iPad in education is something I’ve never seen in any technology.” Education spending on IT is estimated to be at least $20 billion annually, of which a little more than half is currently going to hardware. The Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, Kindle, Microsoft Surface, and even the Nook are allvying for market share.

Asked by Fast Company why Amplify wanted to enter this crowded field on the hardware side, Klein cited the power of an integrated hardware and software platform. “My view has been that if we don’t design a product that really facilitates and changes teaching and learning, and all the supports that go together to make this a robust package, then we’ll be where we’ve been [in the past].”

Read the full article here. 

As exciting as this is, one must wonder what happens to the students in schools that can’t afford these tools?