The start of SXSW

13 Mar

Friday was the official start of South by South West, SXSW or as it is known Southby. I had great intentions of coming back to my hotel room and blogging each evening, but the need for sleep seems to take over! I must have walked miles the last few days. The Austin Convention Centre (ACC) covers 881,400 square feet, has five exhibitions halls, 54 meeting rooms and two ballrooms. Yet this is still not enough space to house this huge event. Panels and sessions are also being held in another half a dozen hotels, scattered over downtown Austin.

Austin Convention Center

Day 1
I was up early scanning tweets and established that the hotel shuttle buses were starting pickups from 8.30am. The route to the ACC was going to be busy. Think M25 rush hour plus extra lanes. The I-35 is a busy route in to downtown Austin. Seems the shuttle bus company didn’t take this in to account as a small group of us were waiting half an hour for it to arrive. That said it was a nice opportunity to get chatting to a few people who were also going to SXSW. Social media in one way or another was a major part of their jobs. One guy from Newcastle was touring the US to promote his start up ‘ScreenReach Interactive Ltd’. They have developed an app which allows the user to interact with live voting, polling, interactive tours, multi player games, quizzes; and allows you to check in to the experience and the location. This means you can share the experience with others too. Already my brain was ticking and thinking about how this might be used for induction activities at SHU! I’ve got Sam’s card so we will be talking more about this.

I attended three sessions and will come back to give a fuller account of each. For now here are the titles:
Death of the textbook, emergence of games; The potential of augmented reality for education; and Education 2.0: How social media drives your child’s success.

The choice of sessions is huge. Here is a pic of the conference guide. It’s like carrying a copy of yellow pages around!

SXSW Guide

Day 2
I attended a brilliant session by Rey Junco on Using Twitter to increase college engagament and was invited to a tweetup with Student Affairs Professionals. This brought together many of the great people I have been following in relation to the work they are doing in higher ed using social media. I’ll be meeting up with some of them again over the next week to talk in more depth. Again more to follow shortly.

In between sessions is non stop as I meet up with so many interesting people. I just need some time now to write it all up in more detail and the right location at the time with free wifi with a decent speed!

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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in SXSWi


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