Communication Through CICS Eyes

There are multiple communication theories, all of them define how communication works or the process involved in communication. Personally, I like Julia T Wood’s communication definition where she states, “communication is a systematic process in which people interact with and through symbols to create and interpret meaning” (Woods 2015).

In my ICS-602 class we were challenged to analyze different theories and developing our own. The class is a challenging class, but thanks to it now I have a better understanding of what human communication is, how dynamic can be and the way that it is transformed due to technology advancements. For instance, the Information Renaissance is a clear example of how technology affects human communication. Furthermore, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Web 2.0 enable users to communicate in ways that were not available two decades ago.

In fact, to better understand each other and our evolving society, we must be willing to accept diversity. Communication has been around since the beginning of mankind, and it will continue to prosper and evolve as long as our species survives. For this reason, Picasso’s art, graffiti on benches, an autistic kid screaming, Morse code, Braille system, algebra terminology, and even our own ICS-602 class are all forms of communication waiting for the right entity to be decoded and perhaps understood (Macias 2016).

The next time you encounter a misunderstanding, think about the other people in context or frame of reference. You will be amazed how many times we can come to a mutual understanding if we learn to listen. Tom Peters stated in his book Thriving On Chaos, “engaged listening may be the principal mark of concern that one human being can evince for another, in any setting” (Peters 1987, p. 437).  

Finally, I would like to share what my friend and peer Erica Stevens said about communication: “There are thousands of components and forms of human communication that have been discovered throughout time (Stevens 2016)”. Now we just have to learn to embrace all of these different components and appreciate the diversity of our world to achieve a common goal among mankind – clear and concise communication.

The Accenture Challenge

The Accenture challenge is part of the CICS CIS-601 class. Accenture allows CICS students to provide possible solutions to a problem related to our field of study. The challenge is about 5 days long and it concludes with a presentation by all teams.

On Monday, students received a case related to the challenge, or RPF (Request For Proposal), regarding a pretend company with a real life issue.  Royal Sea Cruises “Enabling Our Guests Initiative” was the challenge. Following strict guidelines, my team and I prepared for three days as much as we could to come up with the best proposal.  On Thursday around noon, some of my team members met with Accenture representatives to have a 30 minute discussion about the proposal. Then, on Thursday evening our class met to discuss last minute changes and to start, what to me were, some of the longest hours of my life.

The hardest part of the challenge had officially started as all of the teams segregated into different rooms trying to come up with ideas that were unique to the problem. It was especially challenging for me as I have never taken a cruise in my life. In fact, only one member of our team had previous experience with a cruise vacation. Trying to solve a problem which we were not familiar with proved to be harder that we thought.

One of the main points was to increase the usability of the internet on the ships. After doing some research my team decided that to upgrade the antenna (satellite receiver) was the best choice. Thereupon we had to make a selection between the two choices we came up with: EMC or O3b. Based on the technological aspect, our group decided to go with the product and services provided by O3b.

Friday, at 4:15 a.m., our group was still organizing some of the last details to prepare for our proposal. We had to be ready by 8:00 a.m. to present our work to the judges. With only a couple hours of sleep all the groups had to be ready. The last 24 hours before the presentations were intense. Luckily for me, my team was very cohesive. Our team made it to the finalist round. The Accenture challenge was a great way for us to learn about real problems in the industry and our field of study.

About Web 2point0

As I have previously stated in some of my other blogs, the information and communication process is very dynamic. The internet, or web, is no exception to this changes. When the internet was originally developed, it’s main purpose was to provide information flowing from the server to the user. What came next was the ability to interact between individuals, better known as user generated content. Some great examples of these types of sites are wiki pages, social media and blogging sites. Next, the web services allowed users to not only interact with a company, but it enabled the user to interact with each other, as well as with more than one company at the time. For example, nowadays people are able to place an order, pay online (using a third party company to be able to pay) and then click on the provided address link to acquire the best route to the business.  In addition, these directions are usually supported by a map website.

According to Tim O’rreily’s article, What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software, there are some characteristics basic to Web 2.0. The characteristics of Web 2.0 are as follows:

– services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability,

– control over unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them,

– trusting users as co-developers,

– harnessing collective intelligence,

– leveraging the long tail through customer self-service,

– software above the level of a single device,

– lightweight user interfaces, development models, and business models.

 

Next Tim O’rreily gives us an illustration of the web as a platform

web-2point0

To summarize, Web 2.0 is about user generated content; meaning there is at least a two way communication process. Finally, the network should be built or used as a platform. This platform would not have value without the users input. To put this idea into perspective, visualize what would Facebook look like without all of its users entries. This social media phenomena would lose all purpose if not for the status updates, posting of articles and “likes” that users contribute daily.

Information Renaissance

Most people might be familiar with the word renaissance, and most people would also relate it with the European – Renaissance. The Renaissance movement started in Italy as early as the 13th century. The Merriam Webster dictionary definition: Renaissance: the transitional movement in Europe between medieval and modern times beginning in the 14th century in Italy, lasting into the 17th century, and marked by a humanistic revival of classical influence expressed in a flowering of the arts and literature and by the beginnings of modern science

The world renaissance has been adopted from French and means rebirth. So what should we understand by Information Renaissance?

Information has been changing through time thanks to science and communication. The internet deployment and its advancements have changed the way societies communicate since first launched in the early 90’s. Paradoxically, these new ways to communicate have also brought to us new problems that we are just learning about.  In my opinion, the Internet was the single most important development to Information Renaissance.  Furthermore, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Web 2.0 have allowed end users to express their thoughts by using social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook.  In addition, people are able to more easily control their preferences through the use of devices such as smart refrigerators or intelligent thermostats.

While there has been an information rebirth, we are in mid-evolution. The changes will continue to be noticeable every time a new technology deploys. The European Renaissance lasted for over two centuries, so we can expect the Information Renaissance to continue developing for a many more years to come.

Plagiarism in the scientific world

There are various definitions of plagiarism, and all of them circle around the idea of taking credit for work produced by someone else without due credit. The majority of students now days are well aware of plagiarism being wrong and punishable by academic institutions. Some schools go as far as expelling students from their academic institution, while the policy at other colleges and universities it is an automatic fail for the class. Fisher & Partin describe in their 2014 article that sometimes plagiarism can be unintentional. Some institutions like Colorado State University are starting to educate their students by making them take a course completely related to avoiding plagiarism.

According to (Fisher & Partin, 2014) there are three big considerations when looking into plagiarism:

  1. General Knowledge. The authors claim it is hard to decide when to cite certain information considered general knowledge. They noted that many students have not taken English composition classes for several years, and in the scientific academia this becomes an issue since most students are not informed adequately about writing protocols.
  2. Style Manuals. The premise behind this point is that many institutions, and sometimes even teachers from different courses, prefer certain style to the others. While this may seem meaningless, students never achieve mastery in either one of them. Lack of proper mentorship about writing styles is a big influence on plagiarism.
  3. Self-Plagiarism. According to the authors this point is really hard for many to grasp. Many authors will continue to fall victim to unintentional plagiarisms. Every time that we make reference to a published work, even our own work, it needs proper citation.

Although plagiarism could well be unintentional, it does not make it right. Plagiarism could be compared to a robber stealing a bicycle; someone is taking and using something belonging to someone else. We would not be able to claim at court that we unknowingly took a bicycle that didn’t belong to us and expect no consequences. Other authors claim that plagiarism is completely wrong and an illness to the scientific community.

“The pollution crisis I’m describing is not the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere due to an accumulation of greenhouse gasses. It is not the tragedy of plastic materials accumulating in the oceans. It is not the air pollution that is overwhelming many major urban areas and contributing to respiratory and other diseases in the local populations. It is, instead, the pollution of science and medicine by plagiarism, fraud, and predatory publishing.”  (Caplan, 2015)

 

At the end different people might have different perceptions about the issue at hand. While some look for ways to educate and prevent plagiarism, others might just want to point fingers and/or want to take others work as their own. At the end we need to remember that we are professionals and should behave like such.

CICS Meets World

When I first heard about CICS, I thought about a CSI show. I was not that far off from reality: The Center for Information and Communication Sciences at Ball State. Although CICS is not a detective TV show, CICS will help you understand how the technological world works.

The information and communication field is essential to any field of work. Other than having the same physiological needs, one of the similarities between a teenager, an elected president and a brain surgeon is that they all rely on technology to go about their day to day activities. There are many programs that cover the information aspect of education, but unfortunately many of these programs lack the management and leadership component that candidates of a master’s degree from CICS are acquiring on the daily basis.

Graduates from CICS have an impressive 90% placement rate. This rate is directly related to the CICS Mission. The mission of CICS is to provide leadership at the intersection of business & technology through Education, Research, and Experience.  The immersive learning opportunities, research opportunities and professional social experiences are among the reasons why global corporations view CICS graduates as a perfect fit to hire.

 

Furthermore, CICS allows candidates to immerse into the program as a full time student. Being a full time student is beneficial because candidates are able graduate on a quicker timeline than if they were only taking one or two classes at a time.  In addition, it allows students to get to know and trust their fellow classmates who may perhaps be their future co-workers. Projects such as the Accenture challenge  will push you to success!