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Not Made to be Subtle

Final Reflection

Lots of emotions that I can’t seem to get into words to start this final reflection. I’ve shared this feeling with most of my classmates who also found it hard to write this reflection as it is the one last thing we’re doing for this exceptional course. This course has helped me grow as a person on so many levels, I started to look at things differently after every class discussion or topic we came across. I’ve learned several things during this course which I will be talking about in this blog. 

What I learned in this course about myself:

As I just said, this course has helped me grow as a person. A fact that I’ve known about myself is that I enjoy discussions and debates. I’ve developed discussion skills throughout the course, I found myself engaged in most, if not all, discussions that were held. These interactions helped me learn more about the assigned readings, since I got to hear different perspectives. I also learned that I’m pretty good with hands-on activities such as the choosing my digital pathway I explain more about this assignment in my blogpost. I also learned that I can be creative enough to create my own game. Moreover, I also realized that I’ve evolved as a writer, even though I was already comfortable in writing assignments, having written more I think I developed the skill of expressing myself more fluently through writing.

What I learned in this course that I will use in my academic life:

The main thing that I discovered in this course that I will continue to use in my academic life is Hypothes.is, like I said in my tools reflection I used Hypothes.is a few days after we used it in class and I will continue to use it. I usually annotate most of my assigned readings and articles, Hypothes.is made my life easier since I can directly annotate online.

What I learned in this course that I will use in my social life:

I learned to keep an open mind to different mindsets and beliefs. Having participated in the spectrum our classmates created for AUCians, I stood looking at how different we  all are even though we are all AUCians. I also learned to ask about the people I know, whether they’re close to me or not. After discussing the suicide incident that took place a few weeks ago, we had an in-class discussion about depression and the reasons why someone would choose to end his life. This discussion made me realize that not everyone is exactly what they show to the people around them, a friend of yours might be facing difficulties that no one knows about; so I decided to check up on the people I know every now and then. One other thing that I will continue to use in my life generally is the importance of being cautious while using the digital platforms. I’ve become more prudent when accepting cookies or terms and conditions. 

What I learned in this course that I will use in my career:

In my major we learn a lot about the importance of social media and how to market products and services online. I’ve learned a lot about the importance of choosing the most suitable platform for every post. Other than my major, I have grasped a few skills that will benefit me in my part-time job, tutoring. I learned from Dr. Maha, our professor, to be patient and to always be kind and obliging. I also learned from her to be passionate about everything I do in the future.

If I were to show someone my learning in this course I would most definitely show them my game, because this assignment in particular was extremely personal and I got the chance to put my real-life experience into a game that gave people the chance to go through the experience, and I hadn’t done anything similar to this before. I would also show them my digital literacy pathway, since this assignment was very engaging and I would like them to try it out. Another assignment that I would show them is our Data Detox Kit assignment, in this assignment we were to help create Arabic resources by translating the article, Escape the Defaults, into arabic and recording it as a podcast. This assignment shows anyone who was not part of our course the variety in the assignments we were given. Honestly, I would show them my blog since they would need to get an overall view of the work we’ve done throughout the course.

Regarding things I would change in the course to improve it, I wouldn’t suggest changing something in particular. However, I would recommend increasing group activities since these help build relationships between classmates. Also, I would also suggest utilizing Hypothes.is more for annotating rather than reflecting, since these annotations encouraged discussions and allowed us to look at the annotations of our classmates. There is only one thing that I didn’t like in the course which was Soliya as I explained in my tools reflection, Soliya wasn’t very convenient for me as it didn’t suit my busy schedule.

What kind of person should take this course?

In my point of view, anyone can take this course. As I said before we are all very different; however, in this class I found it easy to get into a conversation and become engaged as there was a lot of diversity in our discussions and assignments. But to put it into one sentence I would say: A person who is open to difference and is ready to engage in discussions.

Opportunities to make choices over what we focused on, and how we presented our learning.

Having the choice over what we focused on was the most comforting thing in our learning. I enjoyed writing blogs most of the time; meanwhile, I also enjoyed creating the podcast I talked about above. I also found creating an ALTCV very interesting, as each one of us had the choice of the way we want to present it.

Final Note:

This wasn’t a requirement in the assignment guidelines; however, I would like to say a few things. To start with, I would like to thank my classmates for giving our class a whole different essence. Our class had a special connection, we all felt comfortable during discussions and we all grew closer to each other by the end of the semester making it hard to say goodbye to them. I want to talk a bit about Dr. Maha. I’ve taken a course before with Dr. Maha, and I was super excited to take another course with her before I graduate. With all honesty, I have never been this close to a professor before, I was able to tell her things that other professors wouldn’t take into consideration. This course wouldn’t have been as significant without her. I’ve seen her come to every single class full of passion for what she does, she just radiates positive energy. I felt comfortable asking her for favors outside of the class, because I know that she actually cares for us and she’s actually interested in what each and every one of us does. I want to thank her for being the highlight of my semester, she’s become one of the most influential people in my life. I’ll never forget this class and I’ll try my best to stay in touch. This may be the end of the course, but not the end of our discussions on Slack ♥.

Digital Narrative Game Link

Since my digital narrative game final reflection is password protected here is the link to the game!

My Digital Literacy Pathway

When I first looked at this assignment I instantly started looking at the twisting path which is a combination of the three main paths (theory, tinkering, and taught). I started working on the 3rd combination right away, since I already knew that I don’t want the theory path because reflecting is not my main strength. After doing one of the tinkering path hands-on activities, I got excited do more. So, I changed my mind and I decided to continue working on the tinkering path. 

For the tinkering path, the assignment was to choose 6 different hands-on activities from ds106. The first assignment I did was the visual assignment.After going through the options under visual assignments, I chose to make a collage out of my favorite pictures of my pet, Sultan. I used Photo-Collage for this assignment.

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My mom and I found Sultan on the street 4 years ago, he was malnourished and he was being treated terribly by the people in the area. So we decided to adopt him. Ever since, Sultan has been one of the main things that keeps our family tied. He has this presence in our house that puts everyone in a good mood. So these are a few of the many pictures I have of him. Sultan is at times playful and rebellious, like that time I caught him playing with toilet paper, ruining his ping pong ball, or when he was about to eat our Mulukhiyah. While, at other times he’s loving and just wants to cuddle; for instance, giving me random kisses, or holding onto my hand. This visual assignment got me looking 471 pictures of Sultan on my phone, since the day I got him until a few days ago.

The second activity I did was a design assignment. I’m not that good at design; however, I was interested in doing something new. So, I chose to create a T-Shirt that I would wear every day. 

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Fun fact: I’m so into Egyptian memes and jokes. I use stickers on WhatsApp as reactions to most of the things people text me. Therefore, when I read the assignment description this idea just popped up in my head like a glowing light bulb. So, I thought why not put the reaction I relate most to, on a daily basis, onto a T-Shirt that I might actually print. And voila! This is my design assignment. I used Photoshop for this activity.

The third assignment I chose was the video assignment.

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I chose the #SixSecondArt assignment using Kizoa. It was very challenging to fit anything into 6 seconds, until I got the idea of making a stop motion video of one of my favorite quotes, inspired by this picture I found a few months back. 

What I thought of at first, was the saying I most frequently hear →”bos 3ala nos el kobaya el malyan” which means “always see the glass half full.” Given that I’m a person who prefers to see the good in everything and everyone, this idea made me put it the way I want people to see it. At first one would think that I’m just showing the usual saying, but as the 6 seconds pass I defy the awaited expectation. 

For the next activity I thought I’d try creating an animated GIF. I usually use GIFs in my blogs, and on WhatsApp as well. Scrolling through the options, I found Psycho GIF. Lucky me, I’m a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock, since I’m a film minor I already knew most of his horrifying scenes. 

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 4.29.08 PM.pngSo, I chose one of my favorite scenes ‘Home Invasion’, and turned a short shot of it into a GIF. I added animations and some screen rumbling to enhance the effect, I love this shot as it shows Jeff (the main character) looking across out of his window hoping that Lisa (his lover) would come to the rescue as he had a broken leg.

The next activity I did was a writing assignment. If you know me, you would know that I like to challenge myself regularly. For instance, a few days ago I was studying for a final exam when a friend sent me a riddle by Einstein, too persistent and curious, I decided to take the time to solve it, and I did!! Press this link to try solving it! So, back to the writing assignment, I chose to write down things that I’m thankful for in just 10 seconds. AND I did the bonus of drawing myself in 10 seconds. Trying to quickly jot down the things I’m thankful for in 10 seconds was challenging, when my timer went off I was kinda pissed, I’m thankful for so much more than what I have written. This activity made me contemplate the many things that I’m thankful for, not just what I had on this paper.

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The final activity I did was a web assignment. I realized that Google is brilliant. I chose the Google Draw Something activity.Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 3.53.50 PMThe technology these days continues to amuse me, I played this game with google a few times and Google kept getting them right.

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After I drew them and Google figured them out, I pressed on the Eiffel Tower drawing to see how Googled figured it out because I felt that this had nothing to do with the Eiffel Tower, but there it was how the neutral net recognized it.
Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 4.09.02 PM.pngAll in all, this assignment was extremely engaging, I enjoyed the hands-on activities and I think I’ve had the chance to try out several digital activities throughout this process.

References: 

https://photo-collage.net/photo-collage-maker/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oowcsynjIwc&t=72s

https://giphy.com/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/324048135659443380/

https://www.kizoa.com/

Tools Reflection

Throughout our digital literacies course we have been using many tools for different purposes. I was familiar with some of these tools while there were others that I hadn’t known or tried before. I will be reflecting on 4 of these tools that I was interested in the most.

Slack

Slack is one of the tools we used that I had never heard of before. When our professor first told us that it is a texting app that is similar to WhatsApp I was very excited to try it out. And yes, I have to say that, as I hoped, the availability of a texting application made my journey during the course so much easier. Slack made it easier for us to connect to each other, and also helped us all to be more accessible. We used Slack nearly every other day during the semester to ask questions and to share things that would benefit our class discussion outside class time. When I think about the hassle I go through to reach a professor or contact a class member that I don’t have their number, I feel relieved that, at least, for our digital literacies class I can have a direct or general conversation. On a final note, Slack for work-related or academia-related online communication is a better platform as for me Slack is an easy way to know what’s the closest due date, as well as being a place where I can share my thoughts and find instant responses. So, I would definitely want to use Slack in other courses.

Hypothes.is

Hypothes.is is a tool that we used to annotate articles. But unlike any annotations you do on a printed article, on Hypothes.is we write our comments on a side bar where everyone else has also commented and we all share these annotations. This tool for me was the biggest discovery in our course. Although we didn’t use it a lot during the course, I instantly started using Hypothes.is for other assignments a few days after trying it for the first time. In comparison to the other tools we used during the semester, Hypothes.is was the most beneficial for me. I should have known that this thing exists a bit earlier than my senior year!

Soliya’s Platform

I have mixed feelings towards this. When I first heard about Soliya I was eager to try it out, since I haven’t tried anything similar to it before. When we started choosing the time slots, I realized that I have a very tight schedule to accommodate 2 hours per week. But anyhow I signed up and we started. My first session wasn’t the best, we had terrible connection and I couldn’t keep up. Since I play volleyball and I work after school, I missed two sessions from Soliya. Yet, I caught the last session which was engaging and insightful. What I liked about this tool was that it provided us with a platform where we engaged with people from all around the world, and for me this was a first timer. In general, I think this tool is a good way to utilize digital literacy; however, it is very demanding. It wasn’t very suitable for me especially that all the available timings were in the middle of the day and it took 2 hours per session, which is quite a lot for me. Maybe if it was shorter and had more flexible times I would have enjoyed it more, especially after trying out the discussion on Zoom that was only for one hour and at 10PM.

Google Forms

When it comes to this, I thought I was a master! But I didn’t turn out to be. I used google forms several times before, but all I used it for was for surveys. Who knew that we can make a narrative game on google forms, one that is actually really impressive :P! Rather than using a complex application or platform to build a game from scratch, I think google forms was an easy, yet qualitative solution. Having this experience made me develop skills, relating to dividing sections and linking several parts to each other, I will definitely benefit from in the future.

 

Sources for collage in featured image: 1,2,3,4

Soliya Reflection

Soliya is an online educational platform that has been made available to the next generation to learn about and discuss the different cultures, bias, othering, equity, etc. Through the program participants are able to negotiate several topics from different perspectives, while respecting different viewpoints. Soliya is a comfortable platform for many, my group seemed to be very comfortable to talk about controversial topics without being afraid of being discriminated or judged. Moreover, the base of the group that was set by the facilitator was very friendly and engaging, being able to be attentive to everyone in the group and moderating the conversation so that everyone got a chance to speak was admirable.

Sadly, I was only able to attend two sessions the first and the last. During the first session we introduced ourselves and told each other why we are a part of this program. Honestly, I did not enjoy the first session at all since I spent the whole time trying to connect but there was a problem with all of the group. The problem for me in the first session was that I could not get hold of the conversation or the discussion, we were cutting at different times so every few minutes we miss out on a part of the discussion. The last session; however, was great. We started the session with the facilitator asking us what we would like to base the activity on, and the chosen topic was being misunderstood due to your language. I really enjoyed this discussion as I learned a lot about the group. We also talked about the importance of the digital platforms for education, which was similar to what we discussed in class so I felt comfortable talking about this subject.

Even though I only attended two sessions I guess I can answer the questions requested by Soliya.

Question 1: How does the dialogue in Connect Express differ from other types of online?

My group discussed this question during the last session, and the most common opinion that arose was the fact that Connect Express is mainly for educational purposes. I learned from my group that two of them, like myself, joined Soliya for a CORE class in university. I also learned that another two joined Soliya to improve their English skills by speaking English for two hours straight. I also recall that one person in our group joined the program to learn about the different cultures to deal with people from around the world. All this information made me realize that the dialogue in Connect Express differs from other types of online communication in several ways. One difference is the educational purpose that I stated before. Another difference is the security and privacy of the discussion, having the space to speak to the group about several topics without being watched or censored makes Soliya very unique. One last thing that, in my opinion, gives Soliya an edge is that they provide the platform for people to find their need be it educational or bare interest.

Question 2: What did you learn about the type of communicator you are in the digital world?

Similar to the type of communicator I am in the non-digital world, I am quite open in sharing personal experiences and discussing several people’s viewpoints in life. However, I am more comfortable in texting or I prefer writing a status, than discussing topics verbally online. I think I’m a bit old school in this point, I’d rather have a face to face discussion than a video call or conference.

Question 3: What can you do to foster constructive communication both online and in face-to-face interactions?

For any form of communication to be constructive both ends of the discussion or the dialogue have to be understanding of each other. The most important aspect of fostering constructive communication both online and in face-to-face interaction is to recognize that we are all different and we should respect each other despite our differences.

All in all, the Soliya experience is a new way to shorten the distances between people, allowing them to comprehend the different cultures and perspectives.

Protected: The Life of a Single Mother and her Daughter..

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Algorithms of Oppression Assignment

An exceptional article that enlightens the reader on so many levels in the form of an interview! I honestly enjoyed this article.

https://logicmag.io/justice/safiya-umoja-noble-and-sarah-t-roberts/

First Draft of the Game

Single Mothers and their Daughters!

Draft 1

Game description:

The aim of the game is to highlight the stories behind closed doors. Briefly providing scenarios from the real life of a single mother and her daughter, this game allows the players to get the chance to put themselves in both the mother and daughter’s shoes. These small families go through a lot together, which no one knows of, so the main objective is to take the player deeper into and closer to their day-to-day lives.

I hope you enjoy it! Please provide me with feedback in the comments!

Preliminary Map of the Game

These are the 5 main scenarios for the mother character, there will be another 5 scenarios for the daughter.

Scenario 1:
It has been 2 years since you were divorced. Her father left the country and went to America. Leaving you with all the responsibilities. Your daughter is now 3 years old and she just started going to the nursery.

You wake up one day and you notice that your daughter’s hair is falling off leaving empty spots on her head.

Choice 1:
Take her to the doctor

(When you take her to the doctor you learn that your daughter was in shock, as she never new what a father is. It took her hair 6 months to grow back. Her hair only grew back when she got used to the idea)

Choice 2:
Treat her with a natural remedy that your friend told you about

(You try this out for a few days, it doesn’t work. Your daughter is known to have sensitive skin so the empty spots were very sore. You take her to the doctor where you learn that your daughter was in shock, as she never new what a father is. It took her hair 6 months to grow back. Her hair only grew back when she got used to the idea)

Choice 3:
Ignore it and wait for the hair to grow back

(Her hair grows back in 6 months, your daughter was in shock as she didn’t understand what a father is until she attended the nursery. Her hair only grew back when she got used to the idea)

Scenario 2
It’s your daughter’ 6th birthday. Her father isn’t in the picture, he has stopped providing any financial support (he was not sending what even covers her school fees) and he only calls on her birthday.

Choice 1:
Give her the phone and let her talk to her dad.
(She answers the phone, he talks to her for a few minutes. Then, he asks her “do you have a boyfriend now?” Your daughter gives you the phone and tells you daddy is asking if I have a boyfriend)

Choice 2:
Answer the phone yourself and ask what he wants.
(He is not certain why you are the one answering the phone, he tells you he wants to say happy birthday, so you put him on speaker as he talks to your daughter. She answers the phone, he talks to her for a few minutes. Then, he asks her “do you have a boyfriend now?” Your daughter gives you the phone and tells you daddy is asking if I have a boyfriend)

Scenario 3:
You are shocked by his question to your daughter about having a boyfriend! She is 6 years old! What do you do?

Choice 1:
Take the phone away from her and tell him to stop opening up her mind to such things
(When you take the phone away from her, you lose it a bit. Because not only is he not a part of your life, but also every time he calls it saddens your daughter after her birthday. You tell him that this is inappropriate, he gets angry and cuts the line, your daughter cries. You throw your daughter a huge party and you make sure he is off her mind)

Choice 2:
Ignore it so that your daughter doesn’t think it’s a big deal, and call him later when she is not around.
(When you call him back, you lose it a bit. Because not only is he not a part of your life, but also every time he calls it saddens your daughter after her birthday. You tell him that this is inappropriate, he gets angry and cuts the line. You throw your daughter a huge party and you make sure he is off her mind)

 

Scenario 4:
You get a phone call from you daughters’ father but it’s not her birthday.. how odd?

Choice 1:
Answer
(When you answer the phone you hear the most heartbreaking request. Your daughter’s father tells you that he will not be sending you any money for her school fees and asks you to put her into a public school, as he doesn’t think he should invest in her private school)

Choice 2:
Let your daughter answer
(He says hi to her and asks her to give you the phone urgently. When you answer you hear the most heartbreaking request. Your daughter’s father tells you that he will not be sending you any money for her school fees and asks you to put her into a public school, as he doesn’t think he should invest in her private school)

Choice 3:
Don’t answer
(He sends you a message. Your daughter’s father tells you that he will not be sending you any money for her school fees and asks you to put her into a public school, as he doesn’t think he should invest in her private school)

Scenario 5:
Your daughter is now 15. You worked hard and made sure she stays in one of the best schools in Egypt.

She has a school trip to Paris. You hear from the school that they need her fathers’ approval in the embassy because she is a minor. Her friend is also a daughter of a single mother and is facing the same problem. Bear in mind that he is no where to be found now he’s vanished from your lives when she was 9.

Choice 1:
You decide not to go to the Embassy and forbid her from going to avoid any embarrassment.
(Her friend that is also a daughter of a single mother, goes and gets accepted, you are guilty that you didn’t go)

Choice 2:
You decide to go the Embassy interview to have done everything you can.
(You go to the Embassy, sit for the interview. The interviewer tells you that your daughter is most likely going to be accepted because you have travelled a lot and all the papers show that she is eligible to travel. She is accepted and she travels alone with her school at the age of 15)

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