Tools Reflection

Throughout my Digital Literacy course, we as a class have used different kinds of tools, that have really helped us to enhance our experiences. So in this blog, I will be discussing the most useful tools that help me a lot:

Zoom:

Zoom was the best solution for our online session. Actually, this is the only course I didn’t feel the change,  from regular class to online mood. In addition, the first time to use Zoom was for this class but it was not my first time use such a tool like online conferencing. Last year when I was applying for a study abroad I used a similar tool but for a different purpose. I didn’t find any difficulties using this tool, however, I found it different when we had our cameras on. I appreciated a lot that my professor opened her camera every class to talk to us. This made the class tastes different, also it showed me how my professor cares about us and puts so much effort into every class. Opposing, honestly, those professors who didn’t open their cameras I lost interest and I felt I am talking to a machine. Honestly, when we as students opened our camera I felt so happy because I felt yay I can see everyone, feel everyone, and could relate more.  I know sometimes it is so hard to open the webcam due to the internet issues but I would appreciate that most of our class would allow us to open the webcam. Apart from my online classes, this tool helps me a lot in my studying time. As I enjoy studying with others more than studying alone, so I used to call my colleagues to study together. In addition, this tool helped me in my social life, as we now don’t see each other, so not all my friends have FaceTime while all have Zoom in common. So, honestly, Zoom is a wonderful tool that helped me and helped lots of people.

Soliya:

Solyia was another tool I liked. Actually, I can say that was an amazing tool which exceeded my expectation. I firstly had a love-hate relationship with Solyia before using it. One my first session, I found myself. I enjoyed a lot talking to others especially on those days of the pandemic. Solyia actually helped me get out of my comfort zone. I really appreciated how all my colleagues on Solyia welcomed me and made this experience wonderful. However, the website itself needs some work from the technical part. In addition, I think if it was an application it would be easier instead of exploring the website like a stranger. I believe applications are a more friendly environment more than a website. But overall Soliya is a wonderful tool and I wish to have other sessions to get to know new people.

Slack:

Slack is another tool I liked but was new for me. As I never used it and never heard of it. However, this idea of Slack is much easier from blackboard. As when we as a class want to ask something it was easy to communicate and get responses. Also, it is much easier to use it from using emails. because not everyone checks email regularly. In addition, sometimes we as a class have questions in common so it is easy to ask the question and whoever knows the answer can respond so it was a fast communication channel. What I like about slack is that we have our class and inside our class, we have different channels catering to different topics. In addition, sometimes when I would like to text someone and I don’t have their contacts it was easy to send them privately. However, it is not the best tool as I personally prefer voice messaging over text messaging and Slack doesn’t have voice messaging. To conclude, Slack was a new tool but it is a professional tool to communicate with each other and it is a fast communication channel.

Hypothesis:

Hypothesis is another new for me tool for me as I never heard of it and never used it. However, the idea annotation was not new of course. This tool was interesting because it gave me the ability to reflect on what I was reading and to get an idea of how others think about the text. This idea of annotation I usually enjoy especially when I read something for a course, so using this tool made my life much easier. As back then I used to print the paper and annotate but using this tool it is online so it saves our environment. However, this tool is not the same when I used to annotate for myself as when I annotate on my paper no one gets to read what I have written while now everyone can read it. So honestly, I had to take care of what I write to make it for others. Overall I liked this tool a lot as it helped me reflect on the text and reflect on my colleague’s reflections.

WordPress: 

Honestly, this is not my first time to have a WordPress account. I used to have an account when I was in high school. However, I never enjoyed this tool back then. I didn’t enjoy the idea of blogging but honestly, this course changed my perspective of this tool. I now enjoy so much writing my blogs and I find WordPress is an easy tool to use. Actually, writing my blogs using this tool helped me a lot to invest more time to make my blog clear and understandable; as my blogs are public and anyone can read them. So I need to elaborate more to make my readers understand my blog because I am not only talking to my professor. I really appreciated the idea that we have a website for this course and all our blogs get updated automatically so we can read each others’ blogs and get a glimpse of how to improve my writing technique by taking an overall view.

Conclusion:

To conclude, all tools I used throughout this course will help me after this course, academically and personally. All these tools helped me a lot in my learning experience. Honestly, I appreciate so much that I got to know all these tools in one class because we used a huge amount of tools, some tools I knew before but started loving them more, and some tools I never knew about them and were so interesting.

My Digital Literacies Pathway

At the beginning of the semester, I didn’t know what digital literacies is. I used only to have the skills of how to use certain technology, however, I found out I should judge to maintain awareness of what I read and write and why I am doing it and who I am addressing it for. Throughout this course, I tried to develop my digital literacies and skills as much as possible but nothing happens from one day so I believe I need to work more to improve my digital literacies and skills.

So in this assignment after exploring my Digital Profile at the beginning of the semester I found I lacked in many things, so I decided in this assignment to take Taught Path in order to learn more about how to improve my weaknesses. So in this assignment, I will be exploring two modules Online Identity and Reputation  & Design Thinking

 

Online Identity & Reputation:

Although in Solyia we talked a lot about online Identity I felt I need to explore this module more because I am not fully aware of my online presence. In this module I learned a new word called Digital footprint, to be honest, I never heard of it, a digital footprint is basically the trace we leave behind online whether by reaction or by data about our clicking pattern. While studying this module I started thinking what is the trace I am leaving behind, and whether I am satisfied with this trace our should I change my path? While digging more in this course, it asks us to google ourselves, I was quite surprised I didn’t think of the results. However, I wasn’t unsatisfied with the result but I was surprised that google images had my picture and my friends on LinkedIn, not only that but I was surprised when I saw my handball photo taken by the sports complex team as it was my first time to this photo. However, when the module started discussing social media and its side effects I had so much awareness of what was being said. To conclude the questions that were asked like “to what extent does our use of social media open us to risk? are very important and to be honest it took me some while to answer those questions. In addition, after reflecting I found that I need to change a lot online because I am not satisfied hundred percent with my presence.

 

Design Thinking 

I chose to explore this module because Design thinking is a very important tool so exploring it helped me learn a lot. It is a very important topic/tool because design thinking is how we react to challenges we face in a creative way.  In addition, in this module, I learned how design thinking is about believing we can make a difference. Furthermore, in this module, I learned that design thinking gives us faith to change any difficult challenge to a solution. I liked so much the section of Tired of Machine. Finally, I agree hundred percent that design thinking is not applying in offices, rooms, in classes while design thinking must be applied everywhere and at any time.

 

To conclude, honestly, I believe every lesson I learned about digital literacies or skills and anytime I heard the word digital in this course I find the dangers of the digital world more and more even though I am a computer scientist and I have to be more aware of that danger. But honestly speaking I saw that danger from this course more than I ever saw before.

Soliya Reflection

At the beginning of the semester when the professor introduced us about Soliya I had a love-hate relationship. I was excited about the idea that I am going to meet new people, but I wasn’t excited to open the camera for 2 hours, or feeling bored. However, this perspective changed before attending the first session, due to Covid’19 and I personally don’t go to university and everything is now virtual, I felt I am excited to meet new people to talk to them and see them. In addition, after attending the first session, and meeting my wonderful and instructors who have made me want to share as much as they were sharing,  loved how each one was trying to give positive feedback to the other, and that anyone who shared an experience others tried to relate and respond back. After the first session, I felt happy and I felt I want the next week to come. I personally believe during my Solyia session time flew and I didn’t feel that the 2 hours have gone at all. Although Solyia’s session was mainly about us talking and listening to each other I learned a lot, I learned how to construct a good dialogue with my peers and I learned more about a different culture.

Although all my lectures are now online due to the pandemic, I didn’t find Solyia similar at all to the online setting it was different. In addition, dialog on Solyia is different than in face to face meetings. So overall, Solyia was a new experience from all directions from online settings and from face-to-face. It is different from an online setting as all my class we don’t have to turn our cameras were I find something not good because it doesn’t motivate us as a student to pay attention to everything that is being said. Also, it is different because all my lecture is academic not reflecting on us nor about our culture. On the other hand, Solyia is different from meeting my colleagues face-to-face because I believe if I met them face-to-face wouldn’t open up easily nor share stuff easily too. Solyia reminded me more to my talks with my friends either on FaceTime or on zoom, how each one of us is reflecting on their day and sharing stuff with each other.

Moreover, I learned from my instructors in Soliya how to construct a good dialogue either online or face-to-face setting. I learned how to ask the question and how the question should be an open-ended question in order to get all possible information and to make the dialogue to continue. In addition, while we were playing together a game who will draw correctly what they listened to I found out that I only heard the first part and started drawing the animal that came to my mind. Hence, I learned how to listen better and I should listen to how prompt before creating assumptions.

To conclude, to be honest, I learned a lot about myself during the Solyia session. Firstly, I found myself loving exchanging cross-culture. Secondly, I didn’t know that I was going to share or participate a lot I thought I will only listen as I usually do. Thirdly, I learned that I need to listen to what exactly is being said without jumping to a conclusion. To be honest this was one of the best experiences during my pandemic time. 

Reflection on my poem “Two-way road trip”

Two-way road trip is a poem written by Sara Ashour and me, for an empathy project. Firstly, we were unsure of the topic we want to do for our project, but some topics for sure we didn’t want to work on them like Covid’19. Instead of choosing the topic, we decided to leave the topic for now, and let’s choose how we want to represent it. To me, it was difficult to choose the format before choosing the topic so we decided to conduct our project by either a digital game or a narrative story. However, after deciding format, we asked each other what next, we wanted to do something that will catch both our interest as both of us cannot meet and we need to work on it via phone calls due to Covid’19. So, we kept looking for a topic that will interest both of us until we found something in common that we both suffer from. Both of us are an ambivert, in which we are not extreme introverts nor extreme extroverts, while both our siblings are extreme extroverts. Thus, we suffer a lot from the idea that some people sometimes don’t understand us. Therefore, we started researching the difference between introverts and extroverts, and the traits of each type. However, after choosing the topic we now came back to how are we going to represent it are we going to do a digital game or narrative story or are we going to choose something else. Actually, we were influenced by Jose Cossa’s poem and how he created a dialogue between a female and a male and how he mixed the poem with both perspectives, thus we decided to do a poem.

 

For both of us, it was the first time to write a well-structured poem we thought it is going to be difficult. However, when we started writing it we didn’t want to stop from continuing writing it. We enjoyed the process so much and we both wrote the poem together as if it was written by only one person. As mentioned above our poem is composed of a dialogue between two opposite people one is an extreme introvert and the other one is an extreme extrovert. “The Extrovert initiates the conversation in an attempt to approach the introvert and the introvert responds in an analogous way. First, they reveal their personality traits, then they become friends despite their distinctness. They learn from each other and influence each other. The spread of Coronavirus turns their lives upside down. Each one discovers a new side of their personality and learns to adapt to the current situation.” We worked on the poem a lot until it became out it is now, our poem was basic dialog without any details between the relationship between the extroverts and introverts. However, before submitting the first draft we asked our professor about her opinion she advised us to put more real-life examples to our poem to make it more appealing. So, we added more examples especially the example where how each one felt when they first each other and how each one approached or wished to approach the other. However, after submitting the first draft we were advised to add more details i.e more real-life examples in order to make our poem much better. So we decided to add two major parts in the poem firstly, to add a memory before the Covid’19 and how each one responded to it. Secondly, after Covid’19 and social distancing how each one will reflect back to this memory and how each one had a great influence on the other one.

 

To conclude, I really enjoyed writing the poem a lot with Sara, the poem wouldn’t be the same without her. I really enjoyed the idea of the project and I learned a lot. I learned how to write a good poem, and I learned more about extroverts and introverts. Which, will help me to improve by understanding the attitude of the people in front of me, and without judging or saying why is she/he shy they have to get out of their comfort zone. I believe it is now my job to educate those who say that you need to get out of your comfort zone because we as a society don’t understand the difference between extroverts and introverts. It is important to respect others whether they are introverts or extroverts. Finally, I would like to thank my partner Sara for her endless support to make this poem successful and I would like to thank my professor Maha Bali for her endless advice to make this poem perfect as possible.