What a platform! The concept of accepting different people is in deep need to be refreshed for our society. I knew going into this experiment that I would emerge a different man, and I must admit that indeed I have. Accepting other people’s thoughts and opinions is a postulate of successful social interaction that we have been missing. And a tool such like Soliya is design to renew our faith in that very postulate.
The topics themselves that we discussed were increasingly interesting, from women’s rights, to identity, to freedom of self expression to social interaction. The variety and intrinsic value are incredible to say the least. And the fact that so many opinions were put on the table was eye opening. It is one of a kind, not every day does one get to listen to 7 or 8 different opinions from completely different origin about one topic. Soliya have achieved their aim, “Engaging with difference constructively”. I believe that a society can only rise because of how well differences are handled. In Egypt, for example, difference is handled badly and with great prejudice. This makes opinions grow in a hard shell that is difficult to crack, making any argument an exercise in futility. While Soliya is a very good tool to eliminate this, I believe that the government should embed this concept into much younger audiences. This should cause a ripple effect to the older generations too as they catch up and become more accepting like their offspring.
On Soliya, everyone was safe, respectful and topics rolled right by. I personally changed my mind about a lot of things just by actively experiencing respect for my own opinion. We are fundamentally human, what unites humans is significantly greater than what separates them, and I believe that Soliya is proof of that previous statement. Soliya unites people, breaks walls and erects bridges across time and space.
The second session started off a little bit rougher, dire traffic in the AUC library caused the internet to be unstable. Took around 17 minutes until anyone else showed up and eventually, we started the second discussion. This time it was centered around social interaction, behaviors and taboos. Then one Italian man shared that the easiest way to become friends with someone at a party for example is to be genuinely interested in what they say for two full minutes, and the rest is easy. The conversation shifted then into how the Niqab prevents social interaction, and I commented that our AUC is currently undergoing its own share of niqab problems, and we all agreed that people should be allowed to wear whatever they wish and be allowed inside all the places they wish to enter, regardless of ethnicity, origin or what they have on their bodies.
As their website describes: Soliya is an organization that aims to prepare the next generation with the ability to “Engage with difference constructively”. I found that rather poetic. The session itself is comprised of a group of ethnically different people that sit together in a video chat room. I walked into this experiment with mixed feelings; the quality of the stream probably won’t be good, the sound will not be excellent, the people will not speak good English and so on.. But it was nothing like that! The people logging in shortly, and to my surprise, it was a small group, which mean that we could all be introduced to each other well. Our collective ages ranged from 18 all the way to 42, and since our number was not large, we managed to clearly discuss our opinions, thoughts and reflections. Our most shared topic was Women in the Arab world. Sure, we are different, but fundamentally we are human, and that is where our differences ended. It was friendly, impressive, awesome and most importantly fun.
Looking through the stations on AllaBoardhe, I found a number of stations that are worth checking out. Personally, I have always been a fan of online security and breaching. First off, the website does start its education rather linearly. Beginning with Wikipedia articles that describe what the basic idea of a computer virus is. Then, it proceeds little by little to explain how to keep your passwords and financial information safe. This is a key point that everyone must learn before navigating to websites that use credit cards. I have come to learn that credit card fraud and theft are very common today because of their unregulated widespread use online. Not only that, but the website did point to the number 1 concern with new internet users – phishing. The greatest forms of security can always be beaten by someone looking over your shoulder, and AllBoard does emphasize social engineering to a degree considered acceptable. Overall, I did not learn anything new, but that is partly due to my interest in the matter. Yet, I was assured that someone who may have not been interested in cyber security before would indeed have sufficient enough knowledge after browsing through this station to be more careful online.
Another station that caught my attention was learning tools. This is a topic that I am particularly uninformed in. I first got introduced to concept maps, a way that if I recall correctly I first got introduced to in my Core 1010 course. Then, I dived deep into aspects of studying and a mind mapping software. This was rather enlightening for me, as the mind map-software made everything exponentially easier to do. Then, the interesting things started coming. Classes like Student Success Toolbox did offer insight into how people behave and function, and what should be done to enhance the memory and studying experience. This is genuinely useful to a person like me. I have struggled multiple times in the past with deadlines and studying, and I always set goals too lofty for my own sake. I am willing to give these new techniques a shot, since any improvement is highly welcome. Overall, I must admit that this is a genuinely useful section to bring any beginner up to speed on a variety of topics – boosting the overall digital literacy.
Going through the Digital Literacies for Online Learning was an eye opening experience to say the least. I believe that to find the most important elements of digital literacy, one needs to go back in time to what is the definition of literacy in general. One might consider the act of using a laptop to be perfectly normal. However, for a 2 year old, it is more plausible that a laptop can only be controlled with dark magic, rather than gentle taps of their fingers. For a total beginner, using a laptop has a shockingly steep learning curve; while for a novice, it is as easy and intuitive as their own thoughts. Therefore, there is a lot of learning and literacy that is associated with using a modern day laptop, that users today take for granted.
Since the age of information started rolling out, literacy had to branch out into the digital area. Similarly, there are skills necessary with the basic use of social media for example that allow a user to control their privacy in the way they see fit, or different post publication options, personalized ads and so forth. This is a lot like trying to use a laptop for the very first time, except that instead of potential destruction of the laptop, there comes the potential leakage of private information, cyber bullying, hate speech and so many more side effects to the illiterate use of the internet.
I believe that since with every new website or idea exposed on the internet, a new tool emerges. This new tool allows anyone to expose other people to their ideas, thoughts, dreams, hopes and desires. Much like this blog, it is a tool. Therefore, I believe that it is in the favor and utmost interest of everyone that people are educated on the severity of their impact of the use of these tools. The crucial difference between the new term “Digital Literacy” and the old one, is that digital literacy grows far faster. For example, if someone misuses a guitar while seated in their room, they will only hurt themselves and the guitar. If someone misuses social media, things like the blue whale game that encouraged hundreds of people to kill themselves happen. Ergo, with the new age of information and internet coming into view, it is time for people to grow literacy about what they can do, and what can be done to them through the use of the internet. Everyone has seen their parents share fake news articles on FaceBook or fake Egyptian propagandists throwing hate speech in slurred language so that FaceBook does not pick up on them.
It is of great truth that with the growing freedoms that the internet applauds, the users need to learn about how to stay safe on it. I suggest courses that elevate the digital literacy of growing people; awareness campaigns that highlight ongoing problems with the user base of the internet as it stands today and so forth.
I read through Digital Literacy for Dummies while writing this paper and going through the online course. I felt that the language is simple enough for “illiterate” people like myself to tolerate.
During the course I came across the Hypothes.is activity and I attempted to install the extension as the activity instructed but unfortunately the developers behind it have not yet updated the extension to work with any modern updated browser. But I have researched it, and learned that it is valuable to annotate whenever possible, and that it is crucial to a more literate online life.
Wempen, Faithe. Digital Literacy For Dummies, Wiley, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/aucegypt/detail.action?docID=1813091.
The Egyptian society has been totally unfair to women it is never recognized as a major citizen but she is observed as a minor citizen who has no right but has huge responsibilities. As a matter of fact, women in Egypt are carrying the full responsibilities of their families they feed, educate and take care of all the members of the family. In fact, in Egypt men do not carry any responsibilities at all they only go to their work and when they return home they do nothing except watching TV. Leaving any other duty on their wives. In some cases women are obliged to work and take care of their families at the same time as their husbands do not work or they do not want to work. The matter, which increases the burden on women they start their day very early preparing their children for schools, they then head to their jobs when they return back they cook dinner for their children and at night they start another role of studying for their children. So, they have different roles they work to get money to support their families, they cook to feed their families and they study for their families. And if any of the family’s members get ill she takes them to the doctor and stays up all night besides them until they become better. As, for the role of the husband actually it does not exist at all for they do not work so they do not earn money and they do not support their family leaving it to their wives they even take from them money to buy cigarettes and go to the cafes. This is examples of the injustice practices which is applied on women from men and the whole society which blames for not taking care of their families and never blame men for not supporting their families. On the other hand, there are many women which are abandoned by their husbands leaving them to face the difficulties of the life alone this example is widely found among the Egyptian society. We find hundreds of women entering the labor market to get payment which would help them to support their financial needs of their families which is supposed to be the role of men. Besides, they carry their responsibility towards their children who need to be feed and taken care of so they are carrying very huge burdens which most of the men in Egypt are unable to carry. Unfortunately, this is the dreadful situation in Egypt most of the women are carrying more responsibilities than men and they have proved their capability of this. Although, women were successful but this had shown the cruelty of the society to women and how hard Egyptian women lives are due to the injustice of the Egyptian society.
Once we had set to the forest as there was a fabulous place where people had been heading to for camping and spending very nice time. Especially, that this place in near a small lake where people could swim and catch fish as well. So, we thought that it would be a great place to spend our week end after a long tiring week which had made us very exhausted and in great need for long rest away from the hustle of the big cities. I went with my wife, our ten year old boy and our 18 year old girl. We took with us my sister, her husband and their two children they had brought with them a new wedded couple who wanted to spend a nice time in the nature. As, they were unable to have a honey moon because they had no money we all needed this kind of trip and we were hoping to have a splendid time. We began our trip at midnight to reach our destination by dawn had reached before sunrise and we started to set up our tents and we finished by the first daylight. Then, we had breakfast we all had a long swim in the warm water of the lake we all were having fun and the children made it even better with their loud laughs and hilarious attitudes. While, this time we has set up a big fire and the women were preparing dinner we ate and sat around the fire singing some songs and we were enjoying ourselves very much. Suddenly, we saw a black figure standing behind my wife and pointing a gun to her head he was very calm and asked us to give him all the money we had. Unfortunately, we had none there was nothing to be done to save my wife we all stood still with no move or a word it was the longest night I had ever experienced in my life. I felt completely helpless I even could not think what to do I saw a desperate look in my wife’s eyes asking me to save her from this terrible situation. But, I had no clue how to help her suddenly mu daughter began to dry asking him to leave her mother as she would die without her mother because she had a serious health condition and the only one who took care of her was her mother. Actually, my daughter had a strange illness which made her unable to control her body functions she needed someone to feed her, bath her and take her to the toilet. We were surprised that my daughter told him all this while she was crying begging him to leave her mother for her sake. In fact, what made us more surprised that this man was listening to her carefully and stopped shouting as he was doing before she started to talk. Moreover, he dropped down his gun and left my wife who rushed into my arms as that time I saw my daughter running to the man hugging him and thanking him for leaving her mother and saving her life. All of a sudden, we heard thunder and it started to rain and my daughter told the man to come into the tent to hide from the heavy rain which had turned into a terrible storm. We all were very nice to him as we were thankful that he did not kill my wife. My sister gave him a hot cup of tea and her husband gave him something to eat. He then started to apologize to us telling that he never was thief but he had lost his job because he had to look after his ill wife. So, he could not go to his job which made them fire him after the death of his wife he could not find a job to support his children which made him tend to steal to get them food. The man was telling us this to show us that he did not kill anyone before and the gun was only for frightening people to give him money. As a matter of fact, we felt sorry for him we searched our pockets for money and gave him all what we had so that he could buy food for his children we even took his address in order to help him whenever we could. He refused to stay any longer after taking the money he insisted to leave to get his children food who were extremely hungry. We all bid him farewell and asked him to take good care of his children and to find a job, we told him never to lose hope and as long as he would search hard he would definitely find a job. Really, we had a very terrifying night but my daughter had managed to change it and save her mother and succeeded in flipping the attitude of the man.
My digital profile of me is quite accurate for several reasons. Although some things i would like improve but otherwise the other facts shown is correct. first section was find and use which is shown in the pie chart that i can confidently research and find basically information on using advanced tools like library one at my university AUC. As I know all of the copy rights limitations. the second section shows the creation and innovation. I can definitely use media resources like video and audio presentations, as i spent my whole 2 years at uni making different types of presentations with different types of resources. in terms of safety and security. I’m very confident at understanding and using security settings in my device. As I can also teach the security settings to elderly people who lack the use of it to prevent any information hack from the public. when it comes to learning tools, i used a couple of sources like blackboard, but didn’t get into details with VLE/LMS. In tools and technology, i did a basic download on some softwares like Mac OS software or AntiVirus, but never looked for more complex softwares. Last section was the communication, I am aware of how to communicate online for entertainment use like Skype or study use like Solyia ( where you communicate with over 8 people ).