I’m leaving with more questions than answers…Does that make sense?

A letter to prospective students:

What do you expect from a professor that warns you of his class? I don’t mean to ASSume, but you probably imagine a heavy workload and meticulous grading. Well, not this time. It’s not that the class was impossible to manage; I would argue that the structure, once you got into the flow, was a part-timer’s dream. For example, you are asked to write several blogs throughout the semester, but posting dates are second order. What you are really graded on is content and originality. I often found my blog ideas randomly by listening to podcasts or simply just falling upon topics that made me wonder “why” and “how”. Hence the title.

Conclusion 1: #ISYS8621 made me a more [digitally] curious person.

How gif - System Concepts

In terms of class content, Professor Kane sets a wide net. You will have a general idea of what you will learn in #ISYS8621, but it’s dependent on class participation. The class is f le x i b l e! You have a lot of input into what you learn because so much of it is taught by your fellow classmates. Some of my favorite lessons were discussions/blogs regarding LiDAR technology, NASA’s influence on technology today, and Esports. And, to my surprise, you learn a lot from Twitter…and that’s coming from someone who dreaded having to make a Twitter account.

Conclusion 2: Follow people outside of your network. It’s cool to learn about others’ interests and specialties.

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Talking about good people to learn from, we had some of the best speakers I have had at Boston College come to our class. My favorite was Fergus O’Donoghue. O’Donoghue’s resume was…woah…but what was really fun to learn was his experience with Amazon Alexa. He was part of the Alexa team early on and told us about how they envisioned Alexa. He expanded on how the team had to change its vision because of feedback from consumers. Adaptation was an unexpected theme amongst successful technology. This leads me to my third conclusion.

Conclusion 3: Often question “what sort of world are we creating with technology” –Jerry Kane (At least, I believe he originally said it)

Technology Creates More Jobs Than It Destroys - Foundation for Economic  Education

Monstrous companies like Meta and Amazon can continue to adapt to consumer preferences, but they also need to consider what negative opportunities they are opening and their social responsibility to avoid those negative situations. For instance, my class became over-familiar with Meta (Facebook at the time) whistleblower scandal. While I’m not here to argue if Meta really did instigate violence on January 6th, I think it’s fair to say that digital technology has transformed [almost] every aspect of our lives; Good and bad. Managing the effects of technology whilst still allowing for digital disruption, I’ve learned, is difficult. It’s not something you can necessarily teach in a book, hence, the structure of this course.  

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With all of that said, I will repeat what Professor Kane said: “Fair warning, this course will be different… It will take a few weeks to figure out what is going on.” You need to be able to step away from the class structure and truly allow yourself to be curious and listen to others’ perspectives. It’s about embracing an academic sense of wonder. Or as I had said in my first blog, the “digital roll coaster.”

Final thoughts

I’d like to say thank you to Professor Kane and all the 30 teachers I had in #ISYS8621. I feel that I got to know many of you on a deeper level than I could have in a typical MBA course. I really enjoyed learning about your backgrounds and hearing your perspectives during discussions. I wish you all the best of luck and Happy [early] New Year!

10 comments

  1. Tanker 2 Banker · ·

    I shared your sentiment at the beginning of the course about dreading the creation of a twitter account. Yet, we are somehow better for it. I was exposed to a whole new subset of crypto enthusiasts that largely published hype content, but that has helped me develop a better sense for identifying true insight.

  2. I agree with much of your sentiment as well, Bianca. One of my favorite topics in this course was Lidar technology and blockchain. Also, like you, I found that technology has both positive and negative applications that we weren’t necessarily aware of before taking this class. This unconventional class has paved the way for many of us to get to know our peers on a deeper level, which is a far cry from what we are use to in other classes.

  3. albertsalgueda · ·

    I can relate to every word you wrote in your post. As you put it in the third conclusion, this class made me wonder what kind of World are we creating… I feel overall optimistic as I see that all of us really want to create a positive impact by leveraging digital technology. I hope you have a bright future, I wish you the best Bianca!

    1. Wishing you the best too! Enjoy a whole month off from school…we all earned it!

  4. parkerrepko · ·

    I think you made a great point about stepping away from the class structure and embracing curiosity and listening to others’ perspectives. I’ll admit, I was skeptical of new technologies but allowed myself to learn from others. Additionally, there are gray areas when it comes to technology, and listening to someone else’s perceptive can broaden my understanding of what type of world we are creating with technology.

  5. bccryptoassets · ·

    I too was skeptical about creating a Twitter account, but as the semester progressed, I actually started scrolling through daily posts and subscribing to accounts outside of the class. I don’t think anyone followed me back, but hey, I did have a few people @ me so that was pretty cool. I’ll never truly understand the hype about clout on social media, because that literally has no purpose for their platform. Several rappers use the lyric having more followers and dollars because they can monetize themselves, but in reality they are selling themselves short. This class has taught me that–technology isn’t meant to drive popularity or drive an insurrection, it’s meant to find certain people and catch their interests. Learn from others and then teach others. It’s been a pleasure being in class with you and wishing you all the best until graduation and further with your career.

    1. Wishing you all the best too! Hopefully, we will have another class together before we graduate. Have a great winter break!

  6. Really great post. I do agree that once you get into the flow, the class just sort of happens organically (when it’s working right). I’ve often heard of my teaching style that people leave with more questions than they came in with, to which I reply “yes, but they are much better questions!”

    1. They are indeed much better questions. Thank you for the wisdom!

  7. DownEastDigital · ·

    Really enjoyed reading this one as it was a great way to neatly summarize how I felt about a lot of things as well. The course seemed to just click into gear for me with all the different deliverables and eventually became something I didn’t even need to track. I expected to leave this class with an understanding of how businesses could and should transform digitally but instead I’m leaving with a deeper understanding of our future in general. The metaverse and VR/ AR are things I wouldn’t have come close to discussing outside class and now I’m debating about buying an Oculus after all of Bryan’s comments/ posts.

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