I want to thank you all for your effort, and patience, this semester. I wish you all the best of luck on the exam and in your future endeavors. Have a wonderful holiday. Before we completely unplug...here are a few thoughts to wrap up.
Unlike as with some courses, your goal here wasn't to become trained. I had no intention of filling you up with static knowledge like you were some empty vessel needing to be moulded. Your goal was, chiefly, to stop and think about this crazy time we're living through, about the traditions you're inheriting, and about powerful the role that technology, information, and communication plays in reshaping our lives, both personally and professionally, or if you prefer, socially and commercially. By stopping to think we give ourselves an opportunity to assess the opportunities and threats of this incredible, still emerging era.
I hope that by now some of what we talked about in the earlier part of the semester is making more sense. You'll recall me speaking about how working with software and understanding communication technologies requires a great deal of imagination. These concepts aren't physical in nature. And yet when executed they are extraordinarily powerful. If you look around you'll notice that an increasing part of our economy and our way of life is being turned over to these technologies. We all need to acquire, in varying degrees, the ability to visualize the complex workings of software so that we may organize, design, and discuss its inherent power and purpose. And we need to understand the role that technology plays in shaping the forces of business and of all facets of society.
You'll also recall me stressing the iterative and non-linear nature or methodology of this course, how through the semester we would visit and revisit topics penciling in detail as we went to give more and more context and life to the important concepts. No sursprise...learning about Information Technology is as recursive and rhizomatic as the Web itself! In this sense each new concept we focused upon and each subsequent post made here sheds more light on the collection of previous ideas we shared. If you'd like to get more out of this course you should look now at the older posts with your new eyes.
As insufficient as it may be we can still look back upon the semester as it unfolded chronologically. We spent the early part of the semester introducing Information Technology, stressing its growing importance, and preparing you to use tools like this weblog. We talked of how our understanding of ebusiness, and information technology in general, required us to think in the abstract using conceptual models. We then went to work, so to speak, filling you with terms and their significance, stressing the role of architecture, and arming you with tools which you could apply to ebusiness scenarios to uncover their inner workings and break down their constituent parts for close examination. In the process we explored some specific examples and we spoke of greater societal issues relating to information technology. We also reinforced these ideas by using the web to collaborate and create a makeshift interactive hypertext learning network in this weblog.
Why is it necessary to study Information Technology in this a business program? The right answer to this might be this: becoming IT-literate will be as vital to your success in the 21st-century as reading and writing was in the last century. A narrow, but for some, a more intriguing answer is also: because taming technology has proven to be very much the "holy grail" of business! As many of you noted after hearing the stories of several successful software pioneers, success in eBusiness can make you extraordinarily wealthy.
As impressive as are the stories of great commercial successes in ebusinesses I hope you realize that the advent of the Networking age is about so much more than a few entrepreneur's striking it rich. We are in the early phases of a very profound and very rapid technological revolution. Ask yourself what the face of society will look like in twenty years. Imagine a world where our applications, our devices, and content coverge; where we can express ourselves and create with ease; where the whole of our collective consciousnous is at our individual behest and untold power is at our every beckon call. Sound futuristic? Well you tell me! The power of computers continues to accelerate while costs drop off dramatically. Micro and mobile technologies are aggressively redefining their role and image. Internet Infrastructure continues to grow more robust and more extended. The decentralized vision of internetworking continues to materialize whereby computing power and connectivity is growing pervasive and with no need for any stifling central authority. New software techniques continue to advance at an incredible pace. We express ourselves increasingly in rich media and we represent ourselves increasingly through cyberspace. Though it's hard to see at first, a new networked world order is emerging out of the centralized, hierarchical one that still dominates. New attitudes toward intercreativity and person-to-person communication have dawned with the rise of you our younger generation. The product of these advances and their collective and universal appeal give us major upgrades in productivity and a new economic system where the long term cost of communication, of information, is virtually nil. They will allow us to grow in a new network society unfettered by centralized hiearchical systems to address our problems and each other more directly and with more accountably. And yet this merely scratches the surface! Again, at this pace, where might we be in another twenty years? Are there great business opportunities? Absolutely! But this networking age is new and it requires a fresh understanding of the needs and wants, not of a corporate system, but of each newly empowered individual.
Let me take this time to wish every one of you a great future! I enjoyed studying with each of you. If you have any constructive criticism or would like to add some parting words of your own please comment here.
This course certainly was different in both format and content. At first, and maybe still, I was trying to go to deep into what was being discussed but I am attempting to just take it for what it is...thinking in the abstract!
Good luck to you and hope to see you around.
Posted by: Frieda | Dec 4, 2007 2:47:41 PM
Honestly, this course is different from most of the courses I've take at UPEI. I find it to be an ok course but I also find it to be stressful too. Mark has tried to make it as easy as possible but to me I find that I'm just having a hard time grasping what's been said. I can now see how society relies on technology more clearly but I just find the material to be in the middle. Its either I get it or I don't.
I wish you all the best in your computer business Mark.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!!!
Posted by: Laura | Dec 4, 2007 7:58:49 PM
Thanks Mark!!! Very informative course. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Posted by: Robert Brazil | Dec 4, 2007 9:46:36 PM
The format of this course is not something i am use to. IT is not something i am very knowledgable in. i also had trouble grasping and understands a few concepts no matter how much i read the material on it. I do believe Mark's posts were very informative and helpful, but it seemed like many terms and concepts that were explained had 2 or 3 terms or concepts within their definition i also didn't understand. However i think im much more computer litterate after taking this class, and i wish all the best to you mark.Good luck.
Posted by: tim macphee | Dec 4, 2007 9:58:43 PM
This course was different from any course I have ever taken. The posts seem to contain only the most important information which is definately a nice change from the giant text book full of many things that are not needed. This really made it easier for me to learn the material. Good luck with your business Mark.
Posted by: Mike Adams | Dec 4, 2007 11:29:21 PM
This was a totally different couse than i expected it to be, i figured that it would be more about how computers work and along that line. I found it dificult to understand some aspects, and sometimes thinking in the abstract. At the beginning of the course i did not realize the realibility that business has on Information technology. Thanks Mark and Good Luck in your future endeavors.
Posted by: Joel Macneill | Dec 5, 2007 12:25:31 AM
Thanks Mark for everything. You're understanding was greatly appreciated in my difficult times. Good luck to you and may others have the chance of learning something new from you just as I have. Thanks.
Posted by: Jimmy Savard | Dec 5, 2007 7:49:36 AM
This course is definatly not like any other course I have taken. It is a bit similar to IT 111 but not really. It is good the way it is designed because like most courses you have to read 300+ pages for an exam with only a quarter of what you read will actually be on the exam. I like that the posts werent very long, and they just get straight to the point that way you arent reading unneccesary information. Thanks again
Posted by: Carrie MacKay | Dec 5, 2007 7:53:14 AM
I agree with most people here, I haven't taken a course like this one. It really was informative and I'll probably go on using the information that was learned. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Posted by: Holly MacInnis | Dec 5, 2007 2:37:51 PM
I also liked the method of posting information on the web for our studying purposes because with the slides we got only the most important information which was helpful when studying we did not have to read through pages of useless information like in other classes that we didnt need to no for the final exam.
Posted by: Brent Campbell | Dec 6, 2007 7:10:15 PM
Yeah had a great time marky mark. Keep doing gods work. Spreadn the word on the C-units(my cool term for computers). Have a great X-Mas big eye
Posted by: Bobby O' R | Dec 8, 2007 10:17:46 PM
Posted by: Erica | Dec 8, 2007 10:20:50 PM
Back at ya Bobby!
Thanks to everyone who made an effort to learn something here....I hope you did.
Posted by: Mark | Dec 11, 2007 7:15:02 PM