Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Looking Back Over the Emerging Technologies Class:

Technology Change Agent:

As I harken back to my third blog, Change Agent, for this class, I am asked to evaluate myself as a change agent for emerging technologies. I do see myself as a change agent in the field of technology because I love to learn new things and then talk about what I know.  I’m quite enthusiastic when I have good information to share. The research and writing-blogging aspect of this Emerging Technologies class has been my favorite part of the assignments.

I found that I was far more interested in learning about the tools and technology for social media than I was for the programming aspects of working with the content management systems. The difficulty in being “forced” to learn new technologies, as has been the case with me and my fellow classmates, is the supreme lack of time to really absorb and implement what I am learning. However, I must be doing okay in these matters because my grades reflect success.

I have learned some of my limitations and my skill sets. A limitation for me is the ability to grasp programming issues quickly. I can do it when I have the time and desire to focus on it, but it’s not something I enjoy. Nevertheless, this class has really honed my skills in working with HTML/CSS and then taking that code and converting it for use to a few content management systems. I’m certainly no expert but I have some familiarity with the technologies and I know how to research the tools I need to progress further in the ever changing field of digital media technology.

The Most Important Technology for Me:

Every technology that was covered in this class is important. We have learned important information to further develop our skills in preparation for a career in digital media technology. I prefer to think of this question in terms of which technology has sparked my fascination because that is the clue to which direction will make me a happier person, and thus more productive.

I’m especially glad that I chose to research Facebook for businesses for my Technical Report. Even though I had a Facebook account, that actually one of my kids set up for me a couple of years ago, I had never used Facebook. This exercise in learning a new technology opened me up to the field of social media networking which I find intriguing. It fits my mind set of searching for knowledge and then sharing what I have learned. Blogging is fun and Facebook is a very useful tool for connecting snippets of information to lots of people in the effort to entice them back to a home location.

To Generalize or To Specialize, That is the Question:

I think it’s important to continue learning and growing in the field of emerging technologies because the rate of change in this industry is faster than anyone can keep up with. There probably does need to be some form of specialization because technology expands exponentially in every direction. However, I think of myself more as a generalist with an interest in knowing something about a lot of things. This quality gives me more of a bird’s eye perspective. When I do find something that calls my focused attention, I have the ability to specialize; but eventually I will want to learn more and delegate the things that interest me less.

An Innovative Class Structure:

I think the structure of this Emerging Technologies class was innovative. It’s the first class I’ve ever taken that required the research and writing format be posted in a blog. How many classes anywhere make use of this format? It’s a brilliant idea for digital media students. In addition to posting my ideas about what I am learning, it was also a hands-on experience in using the technology that I am here to learn. I appreciate the instructor’s guidance by providing the questions that led to my informed blog material.

I also appreciate the instructor’s insistence on each student visiting and commenting on the blogs of other students. This structure set up the connectedness that we as a class developed, so that by the end of the semester when we worked together in small groups to complete a major project, the people in the class formed bonds of friendship that supported our teamwork. Teamwork is an important skill to have in emerging technologies because the subject is so expansive that projects can be completed more effectively when a group of people specialize in the tasks. It’s still good to be a generalist though so that each person understands what everyone else is doing and each person can be flexible enough to pick up where someone else may need help.

Thanks Jonathan for all of the information and training you’ve given over that past couple of years. Your critical eye and many suggestions have influenced me more than you know.


  1. Lisa, you are very welcome. We've talked about how the digital media program is a mile wide and an inch thick. We have so many technologies to cover in such a short period of time... none of us can be masters of any of them. To be a jack of all trades is at least a master of something; a master of the ability to see connections between different technologies and to research how the technologies work and implement them even if you don't know every single thing. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of confidence that you can do it even if you're not sure how at first. Always remember that.

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