Photo Manipulation

I am using eyewash, I am manipulating a personal photo and putting it in a different context.

1)

In this photo, it looks like me about to commit suicide.

But the whole photo reveals that it was a sarcastic halloween joke.

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2)

This image appears to be a women’s sports team are tired and expressing loss.

The full image shows the reality of the team actually celebrating their win.

Exploring Digital Literacy

This post contains several sections of different activities done to explore digital literacy.

The first activity was exploring my Digital Confidence Profile. It is a series of questions that asks you on where you see yourself in terms of mastering digital skills. You are either comfortable, confident, or still taking baby steps. My results have shown that I am confident in the teach and learn (I scored 4), and that I am comfortable in all other parts (scoring 3). Pretty digitally literate and skillful I say. Haha!

I am proud of the results; however, I would like to develop my skills and become confident in “create and innovate”.

In the second activity, we were asked to research the online database for definitions of digital literacy, digital skills, and digital fluency. I have found several academic sources on such topics.

( https://online.cune.edu/defining-digital-literacy/

http://connect.ala.org/node/181197

Click to access Skillsoft_whitepaper_What-are-digital-skills-a-comprehensive-definition.pdf

https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=digital_learning )

What I have understood is that Digital Literacy is the knowledge that one has to know how to evaluate, research, critical think, use the internet, email and communicate through technology. And for one to achieve that, one has to have the digital skills such as production of media, manipulation, using devices effectively and following digital trends. Having both of the literacy and the skill, you become a digitally fluent person where the digital world becomes a language that you natively speak.

One POMO article written by the researcher Lisa Harrison explains how one should be literate as well as skillful.

In an article titled “Knowing The Difference Between Digital Skills and Digital Literacy, and Teaching Both” written by Maha Bali, stresses on the importance to become digitally literate as well as digitally skillful.

“Saying that any digital tool teaches us digital literacies is like saying a pen or a keyboard teaches us writing. ” —Maha Bali

Relating this to recent news, I wish that we raise awareness about digital literacy. Kids and young teenagers have the digital skills and are really smart, but they are not digitally literate. They could be easily deceived by technology. The Blue Whale Game is a terrifying proof of that. These vulnerable audience grant strangers access to their private information and are later blackmailed to suicide. Over 130 children have been manipulated and have committed suicide. How sad is that? Couldn’t have that been avoided if they were taught how to be digitally literate as well as digitally skillful?

Another activity was to take like a quick mini course about something that is digital. I took two; one about Digital Image and the other about Graphic Design (my major and interest). Both courses were really valuable and informative. I really enjoyed them (I even received a badge). I see them very relatable to my daily life as I encounter them in my work.

Soliya

Soliya is a two-hour session of online exchange of cultures, where one learns about different cultures, perspectives, and traditions through communication of video call with its natives.
My experience with the first half of Soliya (two sessions), was definitely remarkable. Before trying it, I had some assumptions in mind. I assumed that we will be a big diverse group of people who are video chatting where people are loud, cannot hear each other, and have a bad internet connection. I assumed it will be messy and random. But it turns out, to my advantage, lots of participants did not show up. And this resulted in such an organized conversation. We were a group of six ladies; me (Egyptian), two students from Italy, one from Tunisia, and a self-teaching mother from Palestine, and our great facilitator who managed our discussions and highlighted questions and reflections. Our ages ranged from 19 to 45. Since we were a small group, we got to be introduced to each other very well and we had all had the chance to ask and answer questions. The second session was like that as well.
Our most shared topic was women’s rights and how women are portrayed by the people in power. Certainly, we as Arabs had a somewhat shared insight about that topic to answer the Italian’s questions.
We also had a funny conversation about our traditional oriental food, that made us all rub our bellies.
Our conversations were flowing, where everyone who had thought about an interest they would share it out loud. That made it very interesting, casual, and friendly.
Waiting to update you after finishing the next two sessions!

Flip The Script – Invisibilia

Listened to a podcast dedicated to narrate situations that were prophecized to act someway, but ended up differently, thus, flipping the script. On https://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/485603559/flip-the-script
One situation that I found similar, happened with my friend at his university.
He had an oral exam where the professor gathers a group of 15 people and asks them one by one the same question where they can all hear what the previous students have answered. The professor starts by giving a mathematical equation to the first few students and they answer. He then asks the fourth student who was ranking the third in her class, and every student after her started answering by her answer and copied her as she was well-known to be the top of her class. When the turn has reached my friend, he answered it differently. The professor started to mock him in front of the whole class by sarcastically saying “Do you really think that you are the only one in class who knows the answer? Do you think that you are that smart and that only you can have the correct answer? Wow, how confident are you.” My friend very humiliated and feeling down for messing up his exam, starts explaining to the professor how he reached that answer and tells him why he thinks its right. The professor inappropriately interrupts him from explaining himself by raising his voice to ask him for his full name to grade him.
Suddenly, the professor flips the script completely and announces his grade in front of the whole class! A full mark! He praised him for his cleverness on getting the correct answer, not copying his colleagues, and sarcastically mocks his colleagues about the wrong lame answer they gave.

(P.S. Somebody needs to stop that professor from that un-educational and unacceptable behavior)

Intersectionality

A part of one’s identity is their race, class, and gender; and these identities defines them. It is strange how a set combination of these identities differs one’s position in a society. This metaphorically reminds me of the sets we took in mathematics. You have different elements (identities as race, class and gender) that gives you different results based on intersections and unions.

In the paper “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color”, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw has chosen a set of identities that are marginalized by society. Women (A) who are considered inferior to men, and who are of color (B). A and B together already puts you in a weak position. And if we topped these with the layer of social class and it is a poor one (C). Then A, B, and C together gets you the worst results, the most marginalized. People of power in society use intersectionality against them.

JRMC Interview Podcast

Starting off with an undergrad degree in computer science, Dr. Maha Bali sure found her passion in a totally different field to pursue her career in and decided for the career shift in the education sector.

When Bali realized that computer science was not her field of passion, she continued on with her education process, doing her Master of Education in E-learning and did her PhD in education studying the development of critical thinking for the American University in Cairo (AUC) students.

Bali was one of the very early staff at the Center for Learning and Teaching, that was established in 2002, and she started working early 2003. Bali believes that the center has many facilities and offers many sources of guidance for all faculty members to better enhance their classes’ atmosphere and the learning process.

The center is known for services such as giving workshops on trying different techniques in the classroom, going to classes to assess and give feedback and also one-on-one consultations with faculty members.

Some of the faculty members walk in asking if a certain new idea would work in the class they are teaching, and as Bali confirmed, the center tries to find resources with the professors that is exactly related to their case or the course being conducted.

Bali’s knowledge and expertise made her even develop her own course. AUC asked Bali to create and strategize a course in Global Studies that she could teach herself, whilst she gave a few options, the one that was agreed on and currently being taught is “Digital Identities and Digital Literacies in Intercultural Context.”

Part of Bali’s job description is to help introduce technology in the learning process, she even faced difficulties when she started working at a young age and was supposed to direct faculty members who have been teaching for decades and tell them that the way they are teaching is insufficient and that it needs development.

Bali decided on going with the approach that there are new education technologies developed which will help facilitate and smoothen the learning procedure.

Becoming more and more critical about technology, Bali confesses that her mission was not just using technology, but rather using it in the most literate way possible. She also believes that technology should be taught in the matter that will be beneficial for students after they graduate since it won’t be useful to just integrate the formal side of the internet and disregarding the more popularly used side, for example, social media.

Even though Bali wishes to integrate her opinion and thoughts about E-learning, she currently cannot do this on the broader scale, but she is pleased that she is able to implement this at least in her course for now.

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Digital Narrative Game Prototype

I would like to create a game that shows the struggles of a single mother, especially in our patriarchal Arab society. A single mother faces lots of obstacles trying to balance her work with her children and everything else that falls within. Adding more pressure on single mothers is our man-driven country that underestimates the power of a woman making it on her own. The game would put the player in a single mother’s shoes of making tough decisions with the aim to empower women.

Struggles:

  • Financial loads
  • State documents
  • “You are just a woman” “Bring your man”
  • Balance children with work and everything else
This game is dedicated to my widowed mother who has struggled to raise me and my two sisters on her own.