Talks About Tech Weekly 112: First Digital Youth Council Meeting 2014

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Tech To Help You Get Back To School

Yes, it’s that time of the year Back_To_School_!!!_(165920274)again when everybody is going back to school. But going to school today has vastly changed from 20 years ago or even just a few years ago. Technology has played a vital role in that change and as a result, today I’m going to share with you some of my recommended technology for going back to school.

1. USB Stick – It might seem like a given in todays society but keeping a USB key on your keychain could be a life saver and with prices dropping all the time you can get very high storage at a very low cost. My recommendation is this Kingston 32GB key for only £9.

2. Phone Battery Charger – I use my phone in school all the time. It’s a great calender tool, social media device, scanner, voice recorder and so much more but that takes a huge toll on the battery. I found a really cool 3000mAh battery that will fit in your pocket or your bag so that you can charge your phone at any time without the need for a mains socket. At only £14 the Anker Astro Mini is a steal and a must for a heavy smartphone user.

3. Headphones – If you are a music fanatic a good set of cans is really important. They need to be comfortable for long periods of study and sound great but at an affordable price. My favourite headphones for the price at the moment are Sennheiser HD201. They fit over your ears for great comfort and have large drivers making them a great sounding headphone. For £18 on Amazon now they are a must have.

4. Earphones – If you need something a little bit more discreet for your daily commute to and from school maybe these ME Electronics M6 earphones could be a great option. I have had a pair for a while now and I was so happy with them that I bought two other pairs.

5. Phone – A phone is possibly the most important technology device for a student. It is small enough to fit in their pocket and powerful enough to do tasks that many PC’s struggle with. As a student you want to look for the best phone at the best price possible. My favourite Android phones at the moment are the offerings from Motorola. The Moto E is a very powerful phone with a 4.3 inch display and dual core processor but only costs £90 on Amazon right now. If you’re looking for something with a slightly larger screen, better camera and processor then the Moto G is a great option. The 4G version is available now for only £155.

6. Tablet – eBooks are becoming a very popular platform for books in schools but they can be very costly. An iPad costs upwards of €400 but there are some great options from Android too. The Google Nexus 7 is a great tablet in a compact package and for the price you can’t beat it.

7. Laptop – A few years ago a laptop was out of the picture for most students. Cheap laptops were pretty much rubbish and the higher end laptops were far too expensive but recently Chromebooks have become very popular. They run the web based operating system ChromeBook. The idea is that all of the applications on the Chromebook are web apps and everything is stored in the cloud but you have a full sized laptop screen and keyboard. The Acer C720 is probably the best value for money at the moment. It has a 12 inch display, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage but don’t let that put you off because Chrome OS does not need a lot of power.

First Digital Youth Council Meeting
Last Monday 25th August I attended the first Digital Youth Council meeting in the Science Gallery in Trinity College, Dublin. The council is the first of its kind in Europe and consists of 12 member who will discuss Technology in Ireland from a young persons point of view.

The members of the council are:

  • Harry McCann
  • Jack McCullen
  • Ciaran Flannagan
  • Lauren O’Reilly
  • Edel Browne
  • Cian Bohan
  • Cormac Kinsella
  • Jordan Casey
  • Emer Hickey
  • Ciara Judge
  • Sophie Healy-Thow
  • Daniel Kyne

I have had the honour of meeting all 12 of the members and I’m really excited to see what might happen at future meetings. I want to thank Harry McCann very much for inviting me to the meeting.

Amazon Buys Twitch
Twitch is the popular live streaming platform for gamers.
They started 3 years ago as a spin off of Justin.tv dedicated to gamers. Since then it has grown into a huge network of the worlds most popular gamers live streaming 24/7.

Last week Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million. It looks like Amazon wants to get a bit of the action in gaming. In 2012 they set up their own gaming studio and created a number of games for Facebook and they acquired the game Killer Instinct by Double Helix Games. You have to remember that Amazon sells loads of games every year. In fact they are one of the biggest vendors of video games in the world.

It has been reported that Google offered Twitch $1 billion earlier in the year.In a letter from the CEO of Twitch, Emmett Shear says that ‘We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.’
Twitch probably declined Google’s offer because they wanted it to be part of YouTube.

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