SXSWi: Emerging Social and Technology Trends

Trying to live blog, bear with me (all paraphrasing):

Because the registration line was all messed up (took me an hour) I missedthe start of the session. When I came in they were talking about young peopleon social networks. One of ths speakers comment was that he was so glad thathis teens and 20’s were spent in the dark days before online social networks.

One of the speakers just said (paraphrasing), 4 year olds now, when theygrow up, are going to look at the generation now and say, wow, that was sosquare, how could you blog about everything you’re doing? But even if there wasa backlash, we wouldn’t knw about it because they won’t be blogging. (got abunch of laughs)

10:31 CST: They’re now discussing the trend towards allowing peoplemodifying their products. People who make their API’s open have to be ready tosee their product head in a direction they don’t want necessarily. Examplesinclude people hacking hardware to do what the manufacturers normally sell asmore expensive machinery – just hacking gives you all the extra options. Somemanufacturers are ok with this because it generates interest, but most aren’t.Businesses are interested in these secondary economies that can be generated bythe augmentation folks.

10:36 CST: Some speakers putting down Apple for not allowing programmers todevelop for the iPhone. Consumers need to demand from their carriers theability to customize their devices.

10:39: Question: What are the demographic trends that will influence what weare talking about?
A: Living room video conferencing not coming in more quickly is surprising tome. The baby boomers kids will have large screen tv’s, networked forconferencing. 1 year old kids think video chatting is totally normal. A2:People’s desire to use technology combined with the current fear regardingsecurity will create a lot of market for security companies – biometrics,biotech, security services, home security, creating a fortress.

10:46 CST: Most people in the world are or will be accessing the Internetthrough a mobile device. What does that mean for how we are designing theInternet? Most people in Africa will not beaccessing the Net using an overpowered PC in their home, but rather anunderpowered, outdate mobile device.

10:49 CST: In India they have a service called ePost. Send an e-mail to thepost office and they will print it out in rural India and deliver it to people.Hybrid environments emerging. VoIP cannot be run in Indiawithout permission of the government in India. There are a lot of projectsin the global south that require government cooperation even withmonarchs/dictators. People are often afraid to comment on what they are workingon because of fear of being quoted in their home countries.

10:52 CST: Q: What are you opinions on how education could be changed inlight of these social trends? How can we change teaching?

A1: The board of ed in New Yorkjust signed 12million project with IBM to design a database for gradebooks todo metrics of scoring – NCLB.

A2: Lots of ways for students to learn including games and othermodels.Education system doesn’t have the resources or knowledgebase to bringtogether so many different types of learning, the structure doesn’t allow forit.

A3: Mentiong the Ross school and The School at Columbia and how 1:1 and innovativeclassrooms are changing schools. Talking about project where students buildingtheir own albums using Garage Band. Mentioned Google’s apps package foreducation. So many resources out there, how to apply it creatively withinschools to solve a problem.

Q: What is the future of e-mail? Will it be replaced by messaging or SMS?

A1: E-mail is pretty perfect. Asynchronous, not going anywhere.

A2: Videoconferencing is coming. HP has very expensive, no delay, high defvideo system. There aren’t many barriers left to getting a lot cheaper

A3: With large displays in peoples’ home, telepresence should be here soon.Ability to purchase premium network access to support those services throughnetwork providers will evolve.

The next session I am going to is: “Under 18: Blogs, Wikis.”Should be interested because a lot of the people here are trying to figure outhow to make money from the under 18 segment, while I am trying to figure outhow to empower that segment as learners as well as media literate folks. Are wein opposition to each other? Let’s see…

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arvind s. grover

I am a progressive educator, a podcaster (, a blogger, and dean of faculty of JK-11 school (building a high school) in New York City.