Final Reflection

It’s the end of the semester and that is basically a reflection of my experience thought the “Digital Literacy” course. I found it to be a unique and joyful experience where i learned new things in a different way ( More Fun) than the usual courses I take at university. Thanks to the active group I was in, our enthusiastic professor and our hot conversations over different topics .Three most important things I learned in the course are:

1. The good amount of information I gained from playing the “Digital Games” were very beneficial , besides, how to create a simple digital game by myself was something I never thought about and never thought I can do

2. The four steps to check for fake news which are:

  • 1-checking previous work
  • 2-Find the original source of information
  • 3-Read about the topic on other more trusted sites
  • 4-Use what is learned from the better informed research.

3. Privacy problems, how cookies work, how companies can track what we do on the internet and more

4. What helped you learn them
For the first point, it was playing others games to get a sense of how our game should be like , the explanation session were the mechanics of creating the game were explained and finally, trying to do it myself and taking my time  to receive feedback and create further adjustments.

As for the Four Steps to check for fake news, it was the small article we read in class and  class activities that made us practice what we learned and try it out ourselves on the spot.

Finally, the “Do not track” website was what made me learn the most about the privacy topic and its different aspects. I found the videos there to be very interesting and beneficial

All in all I think it was a very nice course and nothing really should be removed from it. Maybe adding more videos or a “movie” about digital literacy  or technology in general would be something nice to have and interesting for the students to.Also,  to learn how people use programs like Photoshop for example and how they use this content in the digital world.I like the idea of the “Self Assessment”, it is great to be honest with yourself, give the professor an idea about how you evaluate your performance and get to reach an agreement about what you actually deserve.

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Contribute Activity

My activity will be about “Equity” and trying to deliver the idea of this theme though a small in class game which will give its participants a sense of not only what equity means but how it really feels too. Students can reflect after that about their experience and how they felt when playing this game.

Game discerption:

The game moderator will be having a pack of chocolates and he will ask the students to get out a piece of paper, shape it like a ball and everyone from his place without moving must try to through his paper and get it into the rubbish bin. All students will have the opportunity to through once equally, however as students will be located in different parts in the room, some will be privileged being so near to the bin and they can easily get their paper in and win the chocolate, yet others who are in further locations might struggle and some might not be even able to view the bin.

The purpose behind this game is to show the difference between equality and equity and how providing the same resources for everyone is different from giving each person what they need to provide everyone with equal opportunity.

Do Not Track

For the “Do Not Track” documentary, I was most interested in the cookies topic titled “Breaking AD” episode 2 , as I wanted to know more about them and how they work so I started with it. It started with explaining that the European directive insists that websites must ask their consumers whether they want to accept cookies that track them or not, yet its not really an option for the consumers, as some websites wont let you proceed without cookies.Then it discussed that as number of internet users increased massively over the years, companies saw an opportunity to advertise over the internet. On the other hand, website owner saw the benefit coming from this to make money. Yet,websites wanted a strong competitive advantage over other media sources like the TV or the Radio, so they thought making ads more personalized through the use of cookies is the answer.I did not know who actually the cookies thing work, fortunately it was explained in the video.A cookie basically works as a tracker that notices you when you visit a website so it can recognize you the next time you come back.However, third parties as people you do not (hackers) for instance, may  still want to track you, so they end up also putting cookies on your machine to track you through these websites without you noticing. In the video it was mentioned too the “Double click” law suit that happened due to the start of illegal use of cookies, before it became legal and other companies as google for example started to use it.What I didn’t know was that Facebook is making almost 10 $ by selling my data to advertisers!

After that i was attracted by the 6th episode because of it’s title “Daily ME” , so I wanted to know what its talking about. It started by discussing how many people nowadays only depend on certain social platforms or websites to get their news from, they no longer use news papers for example.Then it explained how it works when you use a certain web sites that has certain kind of news and with the use of certain algorithms, other similar websites are suggested for you. These similar websites have similar content that reinforces your believes, gives what you want to see and gets up hooked up in certain area. They basically work as editorial decisions.So, you are just exposed to news the you like and their similarities , yet you will not be able to now about other things in the world and you will end being in a bubble! I liked the example that was provided in the video so much. It was about  how the Israeli  people living in Israel only get news they like and similar to their media or websites they use,  so they end up actually not seeing the other perspective of the world about their Israel defense forces violations for instance.In a nut shell, the purpose that companies do so  is to keep consumers stay on these websites and never leave. they do not to incorrectly inform their audience of what is really happening.

 

Finally I watched episode 4 titled” The Spy in my Pocket “. The episode made me so uncomfortable and since then I am totally convinced that my phone is really a little spy who i voluntarily carry with me everywhere. The video presenter said that she installed an app on her mobile to it warns here if her data is shared by other apps, yet that made me think, this app itself is spying on the other apps and accordingly its also spying on you again! It was mentioned then how some apps require an access for our contacts for example and they provided “Angry Birds” game as an example. They require an access for your contacts so they can suggest new friends, however they also use your contacts information for other purpose and they sell it for advertises.Then comes the part where they discussed location tracking through different methods by various apps so they know where you go, what you like according to your number of visits and even what you may need regularly. Adding to this, the use of WiFi networks was discussed and how WiFi networks can track you just by enabling your WiFi on your device. It was interesting for me to know that Facebook is offering free WiFi in hotels, but only if you log in using your Facebook account so they can access all the data they need about your stay. Finally, it was shocking for me to know that some apps can access  your pictures which lets them know even more information about you as the places you go, things your participate in and things you do.To conclude, carrying you smart phone nowadays or even using the internet at all is basically as if your standing naked in front of the whole world!

 

 

Soliya

Soliya Experience Reflection

At first when our professor told us about Soliya, honestly, I was so not into it. I thought why I should waste two hours every week in such a thing. Also, I thought it would be so boring for me and that I wouldn’t even like to open my camera so maybe I can do something of better use at this time.

On the other pole, everything has changed. When Soliya program came to an end, I was so upset and I just wish it could be extended for more weeks. Fortunately, I was put in an awesome group of diverse and nice people from all around the world, Nigeria, Italy, Finland, Tunisia and Libya. We easily managed to come along together to share different information about our experiences, backgrounds and culture. I decided that it’s a very good opportunity for me to gain new information and make new friends so I have to make the best out of it. The discussions were so interesting and engaging. We discussed many various topics of which are; food in each country, weather, politics, social problems, poverty, culture, racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, violence against women, vaccinations and even more things. These discussions involved many different feelings other than being interesting. We tried with all our efforts not to be biased at any time of our discussions, we empathized with each other when some of us suffered from any of the previous topics. We also discussed how we can implement equity in the society and improve all the other negative issues we face in our regions. I liked how the group had this coherence and diversity as we shared our thoughts and ideas with respect and open mind. There was hot discussions, yet with respect and no negative arguments. I made really nice friends through Soliya, as we even added each other on other social platform and we created a Facebook group so we can stay in touch and maybe meet one day. I really liked the Soliya experience and I think it was one of the best things I’ve done in university, it was really good.

 

  1. How was communication on Soliya similar to or different from other online communication you are familiar with?

Soliya’s online communication was so different for me as I am not really used to video chatting with others on any social platform. I may connect with different people through different social platforms, yet our connection tends to come down to texts and sharing some visuals and that’s it, not as Soliya which bring people together in a very interactive way through its video chatting rooms. Even if I experienced this once before or any time again in the future I don’t think I would get the chance to be put again in a diverse group like that one I was involved in Soliya. I was also lucky enough to be within a group of really fun people who I really liked and we even became friends. What made it more different is the choice of respectable people who have open mind and acceptance for different perspectives or points of view with huge respect and friendliness. The only thing I would suggest for improvement is having better ways to help with technical problems that sometimes happen and interrupt the ongoing conversations.

  1. What have you learned about yourself as a communicator in the digital world?

At first I thought that I am somehow an introvert who would be a silent participant or someone who does not share much and maybe I can do something else at that time. However, things turned out to be so different as I found myself so extroverted, participating heavily in every discussion and always will to share my thoughts and ask questions. I wanted to make the best out of this opportunity and to learn new things about different people from all over the world.

  1. What can you do to foster communication in f2f and online modes

I think awareness campaigns encouraging people to participate in different ways of communication whether face to face or online is so important. As people tend to shy away from getting connect to strangers or people who may seem different, however as I found , communication between two different sides is so beneficial , enjoyable , it makes you learn things that may never cross your way and even make new friends. I believe that it would be a good idea if people continue to keep in touch after such programs and it would be awesome if they manage to meet face to face sometime.

Fake News

 

The Fake News section was nice and surprising for me. For a start, we look over the “5 Statistics about infographics” article, which while I was reading I felt its info were not fake as they got lots of percentages and facts, however, this was not the case when  i reached the end of the article. From here we moved to learning about the four moves to know whether the info we are viewing are fake or not which are;

1-checking previous work

2-Find the original source of information

3-Read about the topic on other more trusted sites

4-Use what is learned from the better informed research.

Actually, these were the most important things I learned from this section. We used these steps to check on some info and articles for “practice” ,which helped me learn more by putting these steps into action .

Game final Draft:

-Game description :

Our Game is about being privileged in Egypt either by being wealthy (in terms being of a high social class and having enough money) or by being powerful (by having strong connections and being able to reach what you want using your power) .The purpose of this game is to direct the players to make the right decisions when asked for help. It aims to shed light on the crucial situations that people may regularly face which allows them to wonder whether this decision is an act of kindness that will go a long way or is it an act that stimulates further corruption in the society. The players get to choose either 1-MONEY or 2-POWER which leads them to different paths. There are various scenarios for each path with different consequences for each choice the player makes.

Game link 

-Previous blog posts: 

Game Topic

Game topic:

https://mariamibrah.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/game-topic/

Draft 1:

https://mariamibrah.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/game-draft-1/Game Topic

Draft 2:

https://mariamibrah.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/second-game-draft/

-Game progress and changes:

At first along with my colleague ( Mariam Ibrahim ) we worked together to develop the main idea for the game , the identities we will have and how we can get to have two different paths of being privileged and help others . Then for our first draft we successfully developed our scenarios and we had different situations between “Money” and “Power”.  Also, we worked on making the mechanics of the game (the links between each slide and the other).However, we did not create consequences for the decisions taken which made our game’s useless and makes no sense as the player won’t learn anything from playing . Accordingly, for our second draft we worked on the consequences as we created many different consequences for each decision the player makes and of course we had to re-work all the mechanics(the links) for the game again. Finally, for the final draft we had to fix minor things as we had a problem for some players with the links and how the game proceeds when the make certain decision, yet the solution for this was that the player has to click exactly on the choice they make to proceed to the correct consequence, not just click anywhere in the page or even close to their decision, so we added a “note” mentioning this at the beginning of the game . Also, we tried to work on the wording of some questions to make it easier for the player to understand and take their decision and we added links to the images we used in the game.

If we had more time maybe we would like to learn how we can add a sound track for the game so we can provide a better atmosphere for the player. Also we may have tried to create other  automatic consequences based on calculating the remaining money for those who choose the “money” path or court decisions for those who choose the “power” path.

The most important thing i learned while creating the game is the mechanics of creating the game as i found this to be so interesting (I CAN CREATE A GAME!) . Other than this through our research for the different consequences that result form the decisions for each scenario, I learned the following: 1- The park assistance we find on the streets are illegal and can be taken to jail if an action against them is taken. 2- The Fuel Station worker’s wages mainly depend on the tips 3- We should not pay someone extra money (tips) for doing his/her job as they are already being paid for it and like this we are encouraging them not to do their job perfectly if they are not being extra paid 4- Your use of power might severely hurt another person who was not in equation of your decision at the first place .