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.

 Two-way road trip

Written By: Sara Ashour and Iman Yehia

This poem is a dialogue between an extrovert and an introvert. 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. 

When I first met you

I thought you were an elegant and shy person

I did not know who you are

I thought you were not welcoming me into your life

I did not know how to make you open up

When I first met you

I thought you were an enthusiastic and social person.

I did not know how to attract you

I thought you were welcoming me into your life

I did not know how to open up.

~~~~~~~

When I first approached you.

I spoke and spoke

I heard little but you attracted me

I wanted to know more about you

When you first approached me

 I listened and listened

I spoke little but I was happy to open up

I wanted to tell you more.

~~~~~~~

You want to know where I get my energy from

I get my energy from people

I get my energy from socializing

I get my energy from speaking up

You want to know where I get my energy from

I get my energy from myself

I get my energy from reflecting

I get my energy from spending time on my own.

~~~~~~~

You want to know what makes me feel down

I feel down when I am alone

I feel down when in lockdown 

You want to know what makes me feel down

I feel down after being around people for so long

I feel down for not having a break from chitchats.

~~~~~~~

Whenever there are gatherings or discussions

I want to be heard, I want to be noticed

I am fluent, I shall speak up

I do not want to be a shadow in place

Whenever there are gatherings or discussions

I want to listen, I want to observe 

I am not fluent, I shall keep quiet

I do not want to be the center of attention.

~~~~~~~

Do you know what I like about you? 

I like how you are socially intelligent

I like how you are a good listener 

I like how wise your advices are

Do you know what I like about you?

I like how social you are

I like how outgoing you are

I like that you are a good public speaker.

~~~~~~~ 

When we became friends 

I learned how to reflect 

I learned how to value time

I learned how to listen to others

When we became friends

I learned how to approach people

I learned how to open up

I learned how to express my feelings.

~~~~~~~

Suddenly everything turned upside down

With COVID-19 in town

I no longer see you nor my friends

I no longer go out of the house.

x2

~~~~~~~

 I have never felt this lonely

I have never felt so depressed 

I feel like I have no motivation to work

I feel like I have no one by my side

I have never felt this comfortable

I have never felt this relaxed

I feel more energetic

I feel more productive.

~~~~~~~

But time went by

I have never thought that I will be happy

It is a good opportunity to think and reflect

It is a good opportunity to see my life from a different perspective

It is a good opportunity to know who I am

But time went by

I have never thought that I will be so bored

It is hard to go on without seeing friends

I thought because I love to refelt so this is going to be easy

I thought that I’d be in my comfort zone but, I am not alone.

~~~~~~~

Do you know why?

Because I never reflected before

Because I never took me time so it was the right time

Because my life was full of activity so I forgot my values

Because I am graduating I need to see my future

Do you know why?

Because I reflected a lot

Because I give myself time to hear my inner voice every weekend

Because now I need to step out of my comfort zone.

~~~~~~~

A couple of days ago my grandparents asked me to visit them

It took me a while to decide what to do

I denied their invitation

I do not want to cause harm for whom I love

A couple of days ago my mother asked me to go to the supermarket

I didn’t think twice to go or not 

It took me 15 minutes to get ready

At this moment I forgot about the pandemic. 

~~~~~~~

Do you remember our days at university?

Every Thursday I would stay on campus post classes

I would tell you to hang out with me and my friends

I would search for a new place to explore

I waited for every Thursday to come 

Do you remember our days at university?

Almost every Thursday I would tell my friends I have to go home 

I would tell them my parents need me 

I would go home to recharge my energy after a long week of social interactions

I would find an escape from social gatherings.

~~~~~~~

If only I could go back in time

I would have insisted on making you hang out with me

I would spend more time on my own 

I would have stayed with you in gardens to listen to music 

Now I know the value of spending time on my own 

If only I could go back in time 

I would have started hanging out with you more

I would go more often

I would have stayed post classes

Now I know the value of people.

~~~~~~~

Part 2: Digital Poem

A friend and I have been thinking about researching and writing about a topic of traits that we have in common. Both of us are a bit more introverts than extroverts and both our sisters are extreme extroverts. Both of us do not like talking a lot and we are better at listening to others. So, we thought about researching the characteristics of an introvert and extrovert person. Both of us conducted a personality test and it turned out the both of us are ambivert.

 

“And unlike my theory about how outgoing or shy we are, introversion and extroversion actually relate to where we get our energy from. Or in other words, how we recharge our brains.”

Extroverts are those who get their energy from having many people around them. They are more likely to talk with strangers and interact more with others.

Introverts are those who get their energy by sitting alone and reflecting on life. In addition, their energy gets drained by sitting with many people. 

 

We were quite unsure about which type of illustration we are using for our project. We thought about creating a digital game or writing a digital story but we were inspired by Jose Cossa’s poem. We decided to illustrate our project by writing a poem about extroverts and introverts. We will try to make our poem caters to our reader’s personality, in which if you are an extrovert reader you will find this poem describing you and visa versa. 

 

References

Articles:

https://www.16personalities.com/articles/mind-introverted-vs-extraverted

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/the-difference-between-introverts-and-extroverts/

https://buffer.com/resources/introverts-and-extroverts-what-they-are-and-how-to-get-along-with-everyone

https://mindhacks.com/2013/07/22/what-makes-an-extravert/

Personality test:

https://www.danpink.com/assessment 

Poems:

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/to-my-dear-brother/

https://twitter.com/lonerloaner/status/794440847563497472 

 

 

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/to-my-dear-brother/https://twitter.com/lonerloaner/status/794440847563497472

Learning to Learn Online

Reflecting on  Time Management for Online Learning in this free book about learning online:

I believe that Time Management is the key to success. COVID’19 changed our lives instead of attending lectures at university, now we study/learn online. Thanks god it is not my first time to study online, last winter’19 I took a Harvard course online which I had to manage my time to finish the course because it is self-paced. However, having all my courses online, dealing with all changes, studying on different platforms and changing all my assessments into smaller components which increased my work require so much work. Hence, I need good time management in order to pass this semester with all the knowledge needed. So now I have to replan my semester instead of having scheduled classes and exams now everything changed. In the free book about the time management course, I learned that I have to read all the requirements and to write down all the announced lecture times, exams, and assignments to have an overview of how my semester looks. In addition, the article advised after writing all the requirements down I have to create a weekly schedule. I believe, that I actually plan my week ahead before COVID’19 crises so I don’t feel that I will find it difficult to plan my week.

However, I find it so difficult now to stick with the schedule I put because studying at home consumes more time and because I am a family oriented person I try to spend so much time with my family. While reading the article I felt that the article proposed a solution to my problem which asked us to do a daily schedule/list and then it asked me to do an assignment planner. I find it so beneficial because I get bored quickly by doing one big assignment all in one time; so dividing the assignment into small tasks and putting next to it the time/date that I will finish it is so helpful. I believe, if I do all that this article asks from me I believe that the my online semester will go smoothly and hopefully it will be a wonderful semester.

 

 

Digital Narrative Games

In this blog, I will be telling you about my experience in playing 6 Digital Narrative Games. I will be telling you what I felt, what I learned, and how these games could be improved in my opinion, and in the end, I will compare all games together.

Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route

This was the first game I started with. I was really excited to play this game because I really appreciate Syrians in Egypt and I really wanted to put myself into their shoes and see how difficult their journey was.  I have a problem that I put high expectations from anything I do, so while I was playing I had lots of expectations, for example, when I had to choose the country I chose Turkey because I wanted to see how they are going to settle down and if I will be able to handle my new life there or not. To me, I was happy that I ended up surviving but at the same time, I wanted the game to continue but I didn’t get any outcome from this game.

Spent

While playing this game, I was very stressed because I have putten myself in the situation if I wake up one day and I don’t have enough money to live what some decisions I will take. So I had a different perspective while playing I played with Iman’s mindset and how I will react if I don’t have money. Thus, some decisions I took others might see it stupid for example, I wouldn’t ask others for money but anyone who asked for money even when I didn’t have money I gave them. I lost at level 27, and I was really frustrated. In my opinion, the game doesn’t need any adjustments, and I learned how Iman could respond to some difficult situations.

Liyla

I chose this game because this game is about people in Palestine, and I wanted to feel 1% of what they feel. Although, this game doesn’t illustrate actually with what they feel I tried my best to feel how difficult their life is. While playing this game every step I took was for me a day and waking up every day not knowing my future is so difficult. I was afraid of every step I took and that I might die in any second.  I believe, that I didn’t learn how Palestinian feel but I learned how to put myself in their situation for like 1%. In my opinion, the game was awesome but maybe the game shouldn’t be in white and black it needs some colours.

Virtue Reality

While playing this game, to be honest, I didn’t feel that it was playing an educational game, and I forgot the purpose of the game while playing it. I got bored in the middle because I didn’t find a purpose while playing it all what was in my mind is I want to collect as much money I can collect to upgrade all machines and teach all my employees. So, I didn’t learn something from this game. I believe, that this game had lots of visuals in it which I liked the most, but I believe that users (players) should choose their projects and where the money should go to help the village they are in.

Single Moms

My result of this game was “You are a great Mom, who sacrifices her comfort for the sake of her children.” which made me very happy. Because I have put myself into my mom’s shoes as my mom is a single mom so I answered based on what she would do. I didn’t really learn anything from this game because my mom is a single mom so I believe that is why I didn’t learn something new. However, I believe the result came so early I believe the game should be longer with more real-life examples.

Know Yourself

To be honest, I chose to play this game because one of my close friends is the one who created it. I liked this game a lot because I related to some of the real-life examples that were given. While answering some of the real-life examples I found out that I was judgemental and I was opposite with the decision I took. In addition, while answering some real-life examples I didn’t find a solution that suited my decision. However, I believe this game could be improved if there were more options and more images.

All Games Together

I believe that Spent, Single Moms and Know Yourself are similar to each other in the sense of the user is putting him/herself into the situation and start imagining how they react to the situation. While Syrian Journey, Lilya, and Virtual Reality are similar in the message they are sending; as one is sending a message about Syrian, the other about Palestinian and the third about real issues around the world. Most of these games required me to think before I react.