Wow. 12/6/17 is almost upon us. It is hard to imagine that we have almost reached our final Wednesday session of ISYS6621 and that after we walk out of the doors to Stokes 195S we will have no more deliverables left for Prof. Kane (that no final is looking pretty sweet right now!). Like many, I’m sure, in preparation for this reflection, I went through my old blog posts to see my growth over the semester. Overall, a couple of points stood out to me that helped me make sense of the rollercoaster that was “Social Media and Digital Business.” These are the helpful tips that I have acquired and that I wished I could have known way back in August:
- Write your initial blog post and use it as a vehicle to get all of your expectations out of your system. When Prof. Kane said we were going to blog as a big part of this class, I was a little daunted. I had never written in “blog style.” How was I going to come up with a topic each week? And while I struggled to write it, and cringe a little when I go back and read it, I really like the first blog post exercise. I think it set us on the right path and got us thinking about the deeper questions. It is true that all the questions I had now seem pretty insignificant compared to what we actually learned and my expectations for the course were pretty inaccurate compared to what it actually was. Still, writing down those questions and expectations opened me up to be more willing and accepting of all the information discussed in class. I think the first blog taught me how to approach the class, and more importantly, technology and digital business. When evaluating the changes happening in the digital age it’s important to ask questions, acknowledge expectations, but then be prepared to be completely shocked as to how things actually play out in real life.
- Let your blog become your own collection of research. Luckily the blogs get better, which benefits those writing and reading. I learned how to format, I discovered that gifs and lists keep people interested enough to keep reading, and, just two posts ago, I figured out how to include a featured image (I know, revolutionary). But the practice of blogging became my own way of researching and recording about the topics in social media and digital business I found interesting. I think one of the best pieces of advice that Prof. Kane gave about how to approach the blogs was to “make sure you are learning something new.” This pushed me to approach them as mini research projects and, I think I can speak for all of us when I say, it helped us learn how to teach ourselves. One thing we have discussed a lot in class is how fast things are changing and how we need to keep up in order to stay relevant in the digital business environment. Perhaps the greatest skill we have acquired is how to keep ourselves educated and informed. As companies struggle to adapt to technology and new ways of doing business, it is uncertain whether there will be resources provided for us to remain competitive. But thanks to ISYS6621, I think we have mastered how to do that for ourselves, something that will forever benefit us beyond BC.
- Keep up, keep current, and keep questioning. A side effect of this class has been that Twitter is now bookmarked on my browser and on my first page of apps on my phone. My notifications are always on (which we know can sometimes be distracting) because this class showed me just how fast the pace of innovation in technology and digital business is. The coolest thing for me was when topics like AI and blockchain, two things I never discussed prior to this class, were coming up all the time. So many times I would be in another class, browsing the internet, in the dining hall, visiting Boston, prepping for internship applications, or just chatting with friends when I could discuss or apply something we learned in class.
- Be ready to learn so much from your classmates and make sure you are teaching them something, too. What we accomplished, we did as a group. It is very fitting that some of our first readings were on collective intelligence. I think in some ways our class was an experiment in group think, and a successful one at that. I always knew walking into class that there would be people bringing news, concepts, and applications that I had never been exposed to before. That’s why I made it my goal to try to find a unique topic or perspective that I could bring to the table each week. We collectively crowdsourced information and ideas on how we as humans are creating, changing, and functioning within the digital world. I have benefitted so much from the contributions of everyone, from the MBAs to my fellow sophomore. I loved getting to know you all through your Twitter personalities, snack choices, and on which side of the creepy/cool line you stand.
Long live #IS6621!