As we near the end of the semester and get ready for finals, writing this blog is such a stress-relieving activity, as it has been all semester. Giving my own opinions and insights and writing both objectively and subjectively for an audience of so many intelligent peers has been a great outlet this whole semester. And its just one of the reasons why IS6621 has been my favorite class at Boston College thus far.
The level of engagement with Professor Kane, collaboration with classmates, and interesting/relevant course materials always kept me at the edge of my seat. The course felt native to me; the concepts we covered were applicable to any career we choose, and relied on platforms that we have all grown up using like Twitter. Thus, it was actually much easier to learn in this class than it was in other classes, and the information being delivered was much more desirable than that of other classes.
I never thought I would appreciate having to share articles and staying up-to-date with news and events as this class requires. But I found myself sharing interesting articles even more than what was required of me, looking to share my opinions about them and anxiously awaiting responses from my classmates to see what they thought. Being more aware of what was happening around me was so rewarding for both this class and my life in general, and is a trend I will definitely continue even after this semester. Discussing these news items and current events in class made every single class so new and refreshing, and it was awesome getting to see everyone’s views on different topics.
I’m amazed to see how much I have learned about my classmates through their social media and classroom presence, and I feel like I’ve developed real connections and relationships with them. The group-learning experience was truly magnified with the use of social media. There was a constant-feedback aspect of the class, whether commenting on blog posts using WordPress, replying and re-tweeting through Twitter, or evaluating peers and Professor Kane through Survey Monkey. In addition, we learned so much information from each other outside of the classroom, sharing interesting news events and giving insights that were very beneficial and relevant for all of us. When we met in class, a few of us would present on interesting topics every day, not only giving us valuable information about the digital world around us but also sharing stories about ourselves, and giving a peek into our personal lives and interests.
In a world that is so unpredictable, especially the digital world and Social Media in general, Professor Kane was able to shock us a few times. First he predicted that the Facebook “dislike” button wouldn’t actually be a dislike button, but rather users would be able to express emotions other than just “like” on different posts. We were also shocked with the ISIS Paris Attacks just a few weeks ago, and saw an explosion of activity on Social Media that was utilizing many of the things that we talked about in class. For example, brands were getting involved through social media, the Red Cross was using social media activity to deploy help, and people were sharing news and information at a faster, more detailed, and more accurate way than most news channels!
The course ended up being much more interesting and engaging than I had ever imagined, and really utilized personal relationships, experiences inside-and-outside of the classroom, and current events masterfully to be so effective. Although we only met for about two and a half hours a week, this course actually took place all the time, as we were all constantly plugged in through social media and interacting with one another. Professor Kane masterfully spread out the comments, tweets, and blog posts amongst students, so there was always new content to take advantage of and learn from. The topic of Social Media and Digital Business is so vast and fascinating, and although its hard to grasp every element of it, one thing that we must understand is that it is constantly changing. By adopting our mindsets to account for this fact, and preparing us for the digital world that lies ahead (which will, in about 5 years, completely transform our personal lives and the workplaces in which we operate), this class proved to be extremely valuable. It trigged my interest
in topics like Virtual Reality, to the point that I ended up presenting on that topic in class. It also emphasized the vast significance of things like social gaming or hashtags, which I always believed to be afterthoughts. Social media and digital business will affect all of our lives in truly profound ways, and those that are able to understand them best will be able to not only deal with them the most effectively but take advantage of them. Thank you IS6621 for a wonderful semester, and I look forward to staying connected through social media!