Information Technology in Context Reflection

I have been sick the past week and a half with the flu and a chest infection so I wasn’t able to attend this class, but what I understand this blog to be is a sort of reflection of what we have learned, things that have sparked our interest and what we have taken away from our Information Technology in Context classes so far this year. It has been a fun and interesting learning experience having different tutors teaching us different subjects every week, learning about the big wide world of IT.

Top three presentations that have opened my eyes to the world of IT and what to be aware of as an IT professional

1. First ever ITC class of the year – Craig

This was definitely an eye opener for me as part of my IT education for the simple reason that it was my first ever class of the entire year. Not knowing what to expect it was a good starting point to prepare me for the year I will have doing the BIT. Not only did I get my first experience in the bachelor class environment, which was very daunting going in because I thought it was going to be strict and information drilling, but I also received the reality check that I would have to step out of my comfort zone during the year. I believe this first class in a way was the biggest eye opener because I definitely got a slight feel of the environment that I will be starting my career in. Going over the course outline and receiving my first bit of homework (first blog post) which was a brand new experience for me and a bit of a scary one, now it’s safe to say I am a bit of a pro now considering this is my 13th blog post!

2. Copyleft – Clare

It is hard to choose just three presentations because they have all opened my eyes to different aspects of the IT industry. So I have focused mostly on the ones that I really found fascinating! The Copyleft presentation from Clare was definitely a fascinating one to me because I had never heard of it before and I unknowingly at the time completely agree with it. This subject made so much sense  to me and opened my eyes to some pretty amazing people trying to make a difference to the copyright act. Now, the copyright act does have a lot to do with the IT world because the internet is filled with other peoples work, photos, music, articles, papers, etc and it is very very easy to just copy and paste someones work and not think twice about it. We also have the big “internet based” one, piracy. As IT professionals we need to realize and come to terms with this to ensure not only our safety from being prosecuted but our friends, family and future clients. Depending on what we choose to major in, the internet could have a huge part of our everyday work life, it is already a part of our everyday personal life, so we do need to be careful!

3. Virtual Environment – Clare

Another presentation given to us by Clare which really amazed me and just had me thinking wow!! Had me thinking that we truly do live in an amazing, innovative time and it is only getting more amazing by the day! Learning about the Oculus Rift virtual reality, Google Glass was really awesome! Realizing the ridiculously awesome technology that is out there! Enough to make any IT professional in training fall into a state of absolute awe! Reflecting on the subject, what is real? What we define as real, (of course with a little help from the matrix) really spiked my interest because I have seen how blurred the lines of reality can become for some people and being able to research more into the subject really opened my eyes to the whole concept of “real” and “virtual”. This subject really reminded me why I chose to start a career in this industry, re-sparked my fascination with technology and the amazing opportunities and experiences they offer!

What during my time this year excited me about a part of the IT world

There have been a few bits a pieces throughout all of the classes that have excited me and pushed me towards a certain way in this industry. Having not being limited by the available opportunities in Nelson, since I plan to move back to Auckland when I have finished my mind is a bit all  over the place as to which direction I want to head in. I would have to say my favorite subject definitely would be Computer Systems Architecture, getting on the inside of the computer, the hardware side of things. This area really interests me and I love learning about the different little parts that makes a computer what it is, learning how to take it all apart and put it back together, learning about different problems and solutions, everything! I have also been excited by some subjects that have been talked about in our Information Technology in Context classes, namely ones that I have mentioned above. The new, out of the box thinking technology devices, software, etc things like that really do remind me why I chose to pursue this certain career. Although web design and systems analysis have been very difficult classes for me, some things said or that I learned in class have spiked my interest. Learning something new everyday I never know when I will come across a subject, program, piece of technology, etc that really excites me and that is an awesome feeling! Knowing that I have chosen the right direction for me!

Single most important thing I have learned this term during this paper.

To remember to be amazed at truly amazing things.

Some people this technological age really do forget to be amazed and let it sink in how innovative and special all this new technology is. I have said this before in my previous blogs, I heard it in a video I was given to watch and it really made a lot of sense to me. Finding myself seeing something that is really special and thinking it’s just another piece of technology. During this course I have had the opportunity to learn and experience some of the technology this century has to offer and it has definitely opened my eyes so much to the point where I remember to be amazed! Younger and younger generations are being born pretty much knowing how to use smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, etc and forgetting how unique those things are, how creative, how innovative and special those devices are! That’s why I definitely think that is the single most important thing I have learned! It fuels my passion and reminds me why I chose this career path.

So remember to be amazed!!

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A little bit of everything, rolled into one class.

Our lesson in ITC on Friday consisted of, not only a lesson from Ellie about the different types of communication and what a blog should be but also an indepth lecture from Craig about Innovative thinking in IT. Both subjects overwhelmed me a bit, as it got me to think further into each topic, somewhere past my own knowledge where Google had to help me.

“Blogs are interactive”, what I learnt from this is that blogs are set out to be a sort of conversation. This one between me, my tutors and my fellow classmates. Keeping it professional but also personable to invite comments and feedback from people who like what I write.

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We also touched on grammar, our use of punctuation. An example Ellie used that I quite liked was; “Let’s eat grandma”, should be “Let’s eat, grandma”. It got me thinking that I should be more cautious with how I write my blog. I tend to make a few grammar mistakes, but then again you learn from your mistakes. Although it would be nice not to make any :-).

Audience, channel, purpose and topic were the terms Ellie used to help us understand the use of context. Who are I writing this for? What kind of channel am I using? What is the purpose of my blog? What is the topic? These terms are very new to me. Like I said previously it was a tad bit overwhelming for me to absorb all this information and to remember it all when I am writing. Very scary to know that there are so many different things to take into consideration when writing something as informal as a blog.

Innovative thinking in IT, even reading the name makes my brain flip. This lecture made me sit back with a confused face and scratch my head. I haven’t really got a full grasp on this subject yet but I’m going to do my best :-).

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At first in the lecture Craig went over the history of technology and how much it has changed over time. An example of this was “The history of music media”, http://mydiginexus.com/music-media-history-in-cool-infographics/ . It was really awesome to see the way music media has adapted over the last 30ish years.

Our task is to find an innovative idea in IT, “the next big thing” and discuss our bias towards it in a historical context. Craig showed us a website called Kickstarter, http://www.kickstarter.com/. Which is basically a website where anyone can show their innovative ideas in any sort of area and “kick start” it.

As this subject is definitely brand new to me, forgive my lack of expertise and some what “noobiness”. This is an idea I found that I think will be the next “big thing” in gaming, as we are forever trying to find technology that makes our lives that little bit easier.

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Your probably thinking why on earth would this be the next big thing? Well, with every generation there spawns more and more gamers. Kids and adults absolutely obssessed with gaming, e.g. my flatmates :-). Their always wanting the lastest and greatest thing out there. From looking at the historical pattern of every single gaming console there has ever been, what the population want is quality and convenience. We have gone from pixels you can count on your hands, to full HD 1080i/p. From corded EVERYTHING, to wireless EVERYTHING. From great big box consoles, to slim more portable consoles. Even I lean toward the more portable consoles e.g: PSP, PS Vita. Just out of sheer convenience. Why I think this is the “next big thing”, to put it simply, I’m aiming at you gamers out there….who wouldn’t want this?? You can carry it around and just plug it into a HDMI port and BAM your good to go! http://content.time.com/time/interactive/0,31813,2029221,00.html .

This product runs off Android, which we are all familiar with due to our smartphones! It provides quality, extremely portable but doesn’t cut out the quality or experience of the games. They are bringing together the portable, Android side of a smart phone and the quality and choice of a console together. I also think another really awesome aspect of this console is how it is bringing back the old Nintendo controller look to them. Very “reminiscent” and greatly popular, so popular they make phone cases modelled after the old Nintendo controller.

Retro-Controller

We are all about making our lives easier and more convenient, I definitely think this has a big future.

Although, is it really a great idea to make everything more convenient? With the growing obesity rate due to growing conveniences is it really a good idea?

Imagehttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7151813.stm

Due to conveniences just like the “Gamestick”, children this generation are growing up barely having to do anything, because let’s face it there is a device for everything these days. So what’s it going to be like in the future? With even more convenience?

Another thing about this product I would like to point out, is do we really need another gaming console? Loads of money goes into making and distributing this kind of thing, money that could be used else where. Especially in a console designed so small to do so much. It will inevitably cost a pretty penny to purchase, and this is where a lot of “handheld” consoles have failed.
http://mentalfloss.com/article/50935/10-video-game-consoles-were-big-disappointments

I personally think this product is like the TV remote you know? Your forever losing the TV remote in the couch, under the table, I lose mine constantly in my bed. Because of the size of the controller itself and the actual “Gamestick”, the chances are high it will get lost, dropped out of your pocket, easily stolen……..lost in the couch. The appearance of the Android powered menu seems to be greatly similar to the infamous Windows 8 menu and we all know how well the population received that and if you don’t here is a little graph explaining my point. 🙂

windows_8_adoption_rate_july2012http://www.dvhardware.net/article55150.html

The “Gamestick” is basically the same as another console that, like this one started on Kickstarter with the same sort of idea called the “Ouya”.

ouya_22884_w_500http://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/611-console-handheld-fail.html .

The “Ouya”, was actually one of the most successful innovative ideas on Kickstarter in history, raising a huge 8.5 million dollars. Like the “Gamestick” the “Ouya” was powered by Android, was created to be a portable, high quality gaming device.  However, it’s not looking like it has a very promising future. It was apparently created for an audience that doesn’t exist. “When placed between a powerful mobile device and a robust traditional console, a cheap jack-of-all-trades may not seem that attractive”.
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/ways-ouya-console-failed,review-1881.html

Whether this device will make it or not, it is pretty crystal clear that the future holds some pretty amazing “innovative” ideas, very daunting but exciting to see what happens next! :-).