The CIS Australia Behind, Beneath and Beyond Social Media virtual programme was a fun, interactive and informative course about social media and the future of technology.
There were eight sessions across the two weeks, each was led by a different speaker and focussed on a specific aspect of social media and technology. One of the advantages of having a virtual programme was that we had speakers from all over the world talking about the field that they are passionate about. Getting to hear their experiences of the topics they care about helped to make the course engaging and exciting. Through the presentations, I was introduced to concepts and ideas that I was previously unaware of and they helped me to broaden my thinking and become more open to change.
Two sessions that really contributed to this were a session on neuroscience and technology and a session held in virtual reality. The idea that technology is at a place where we can recreate the pictures that people are thinking of or the words they want to say or actions they want to do by connecting ourselves to their brains was especially fascinating to me. I had not previously known or even thought about it, but it could have an amazing impact in helping people with disabilities become more independent.
Our session in VR introduced me to the idea of companies, clubs and theatres becoming VR experiences. Over the last year and a half, we have all become accustomed to using online learning and communication methods, but I had not realised that long before this there were companies operating entirely in VR programmes. Now there are even comedy and music performances being conducted from an artist’s living room that people can attend in VR.
The programme helped to improve my problem solving and critical thinking skills. When thinking about the future and technology, there are currently a lot of unknowns. It is hard to say exactly where we will be in the future, and it was interesting to consider the advancements that we are making and the direction that these discoveries and inventions may take us. In our first session, we learnt about exponential thinking from Sally Dominguez and how to be an adventurous thinker. This mindset allows creates a different way of thinking, turning the usual series of questions upside-down and encouraging new and creative ideas and ways to solve problems.
Overall, the programme was really interesting and informative. My eyes were opened to new ideas and ways of thinking that will be useful to me moving forward. The range of presenters from various different backgrounds located all around the world created an awesome experience. The programme was highly topical and fascinating, and I would happily attend another virtual programme in the future.