Embracing the Known

As I walked out of our first Digital Transformation class on September 1st, I was convinced that it would be my first and last course with Professor Kane. In my first blog post I openly admitted that I wasn’t confident in my social media skills and that my only active social media was LinkedIn. If I was being fully transparent, I would have also said that I refused to own a smart phone until 2018, when my flip phone stopped receiving text messages and had a very difficult time with outgoing phone calls. I’ll never forget asking the cellular salesperson if I could replace my flip phone with the same version and was met with the response that it was discontinued 5 years before. Overall, I spent the majority of my 20’s actively avoiding digital transformation of any kind.

The last few months of class have been eye opening in a way that I did not expect. I have not embraced social media. In fact, I still haven’t been convinced that Twitter is beneficial in a personal or business application, though it was fun and engaging in class, so I’m clearly undecided on this. Nor am I making an Instagram or Tik Tok account to create more digital engagement.

Instead, this class has made me curious. Reviewing my other peers blogposts, many have chosen a specific digitalization topic to explore or have themes that they enjoy. This comes in steep contrast to my blogging approach, which covered a range of different topics with no correlation. From business communication chat tools and addictive digital behavior to laser mapping technology and providing internet to the world. Digital Transformation was eye opening because I found myself wanting to learn about all of the digital transformations happening in the world. Where before I was content living under a rock, I now want to be fully immersed and understand emerging digital technology and trends.

The main aspect of class that sparked this newfound interest in digital technology was the student presentations. I loved hearing about the technologies that my peers were passionate about. Whether they were using new technologies in their workplace or were passionate about future digital capabilities. From cryptocurrency to augmented reality, every student presentation brought new and interesting information to the table. In fact, it was rare for me to not go home after class and immediately research the topics my peers presented on that night to learn more.

The Colbert GIF above is how it felt every time Professor Kane opened the class up for Twitter discussion. It is the first time in my MBA experience that the beginning of each class had real energy in the room. Everyone was excited to discuss the leading trending digital topics, which brought excitement to class (which is incredibly difficult to do in a night class after most of us have finished up an entire work day). As Professor Kane predicted, it did take a few classes for everyone to get comfortable speaking, but soon enough we all embraced the class format and I don’t think there was ever a time we ended Twitter discussion section early due to lack of engagement. This format of open discussion helped me become comfortable wit the class, and more importantly comfortable discussing digital transformation for the first time.

In my first blog post, I highlighted what I thought were the most important sections of the course syllabus and how I hoped we would be able to achieve each of the stated goals this semester.

  1. My primary goal is to create a robust learning environment – Every class had rich discussions and there wasn’t a class where I left thinking I hadn’t learned something new. CHECK
  2. What I care almost exclusively about is students genuinely engaging with the class – I had never had a class as engaging as it seemed every one of my classmates participated in discussions every week. CHECK
  3. You should expect this class to be HIGHLY INTERACTIVE – See above. CHECK
  4. If you do not like such highly interactive classes, you might want to reconsider whether this class is for you – 100%! If you do not want to be an active participant and push yourself to engage every week this will not be the class for you. CHECK

Thank you Professor Kane for a refreshing classroom experience! This classes success is based solely on the students embracing the class format. Thank you all for being so engaging and “buying in” to Professor Kane’s interactive approach. Happy holidays!

7 comments

  1. Definitely can relate to your experience with this class! Though I’ve had a smartphone since 2011, so I can’t relate with you on that one haha. The blog posts is something I can definitely relate with as well. I hopped around a bunch of different topics over the course of the semester. Which I did enjoy, but did make finding a new topic to write about a bit more difficult too.

  2. parkerrepko · ·

    I’ve mentioned this in comments on other blogs in one way or another, but – the students’ engagement (discussions, presentations, etc) really made this class special. At the same time, @geraldckane needed to organize it in a way that fostered that engagement. I think you make important reflections by calling us back to the course description and pointing out that we, as a class, with the help of @geraldckane succeeded in making this class an engaging space to learn.

  3. DropItLikeItHox · ·

    It is so interesting to read your perspective on technology. I’m sure the majority of the class had a smartphone by 2011/2012, so hearing the 2018 reference is mind blowing. I wish we had heard your perspective more in class in terms of your thoughts on social media usage as someone that doesn’t have any accounts and has a more mistrusting view of the ‘benefits’ of social media. Maybe there’s still some time over the next few days before the twitter discussion dies down?

  4. rjperrault3BCCGSOM · ·

    Someone in our generation lasting until 2018 with a flip phone is impressive so kudos to that. In regards to your thoughts on the class I agree that one of my favorite parts was individual presentations each week. Since they were up to students creativity to relate something to digital transformation, it was really great to see all the topics people came up with.

  5. kaylacyrs · ·

    As do many trends – flip phones are coming back. I am first and foremost impressed with the fact that you didn’t lose or break your flip phone over the course of the 5+ years that you had it. That is not a feat I could have achieved. I think one great thing about the class environment is while it is highly interactive, Prof. Kane as well as the other students make it comfortable enough to make even those who are not typically inclined, willing to speak up. Also, while I said I’d never make a tiktok I absolutely am addicted now so watch out!

  6. Shannon Reardon · ·

    I wonder if Apple would ever consider making a high tech flip phone? If flip phones are coming back, maybe its worth considering.

    Anyway, I couldn’t agree more with your line “Where before I was content living under a rock, I now want to be fully immersed and understand emerging digital technology and trends.” School work often gets me falling behind in tech news and updates, but as this class taught me, continually learning modern trends will greatly benefit you in ways more than expected. Staying currents helped me spark conversations too about new tech; it’s school content that people actually want to hear! Graduating in May, I will be sure to take this lesson post BC and into the workplace.

  7. albertsalgueda · ·

    They say:
    “People are usually afraid of change because they fear the unknown. But the single greatest constant of history is that everything changes.”
    Embracing the unknown, doing an unconventional type of class, this is all part of the game. Thank you for this amazing last blog post, happy holiday!

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