I found an article on the telegram newspaper by Steve Bartlett, who is a SaltWire Network’s senior managing editor, titled Canadians have an urgent need to improve digital literacy https://www.thetelegram.com/news/canadians-have-an-urgent-need-to-improve-digital-literacy-310826/
It talks about how bad can digital literacy be used. Having enough information about digital literacy can be harmful if it fell in the wrong hands while the good guys remain digitally illiterate. That’s why I think we should raise as much awareness as possible about digital literacy so that we can avoid the harm bad people could do. This article shows some of these horrible stuff that these people could do to show the audience and the digitally illiterate how bad is it really to be digitally illiterate.
An activity comes to mind is that the future course takers could do is having a booth in AUC plaza in assembly and spreading awareness about digital literacy using flyers and stating some facts about the topic in order to have a fighting chance against badpeople who misuse their digital knowledge. Before doing this, these students should be fully aware and well prepared to answer any questions about the matter.
I think the most important topic we covered in this course was digital literacy. Therefore, I went ahead and conducted several interviews with 8 different people 5 within AUC and 3 outside from different age groups ranging from 16 to 24 years old 3 females and 5 males. I asked them 1) have they ever heard of the term and what do they think it means. Half of the people I interviewed have heard of the term before. However, they got the definition wrong. They all had the misconception that it means how to use digital tools such as different apps on their smartphones. Some of the definitions I heard were “knowing how to use the computer” AUC student, “knowing how to use more complicated apps such as Google Maps” another AUC student, “ICDL training course” FUE student. The closest definition I got was “education using technology” AUC student. I asked them as well about their opinion whether or not a digital literacy course should be mandatory for primary school students. They all had the same answer, probably they thought it’s important since I’m asking them about it or because they thought it meant knowing how to use computers , that YES, it’s very important for students to learn this.
After I was done asking questions almost all of those whom I interviewed asked me about the correct definition. They were surprised when I told them that digital literacy meant the ability to find and evaluate information they get online. It also addresses person’s ability to determine which tools are best used in certain situations. They all restated that it should be taught as early as possible because it would prevent many bad things such as “spreading of fake news” AUC student said, “knowing about copyrights and stuff” another AUCian added. After that, I played part of the broadcast we listened to at the beginning of the semester titled “The Digital Literacy Universe”, link is below, that discussed digital literacy. Since the episode was an hour long, I didn’t make them listen to the whole thing just the stuff I found important such as information security and the discourse, kind of language, used in articles and posts on social media. That seemed to interest them more than being questioned, obviously, because they felt that they deal with this stuff daily.
Finally, we had a little activity where they had to get a piece of news and determine its validity. Some of them, mostly AUC students, got news that wasn’t fake, since they’re used to searching in the right places, while others got some fake news. That made me introduce to them some methods to check the news they get such as finding a trustworthy source, searching for many sources reporting the same news, and questioning everything they read online before taking it for granted.
Overall, both them and I enjoyed these interviews and they walked away with a little more knowledge than they came in with. It is certainly an important topic and it should get more attention that it already gets.
Soliya is a different communication platform in many ways, let me start with the technical ones such as no two people can talk at the same time which allows everyone to listen to the others while they talk, with a raise a hand button, if you have any comment or want to speak next. Communication-wise, the facilitator helps directing the conversation to the main issue we were discussing. The breakout room is a nice option as well, where we can discuss matters with our peers without the facilitator so we can be more comfortable. One of the sessions we talked about how different are our digital identities from our real ones. Luckily, me and my peers agreed that we tend to stay away from debatable topics to avoid dealing with strangers that might not be as open mind as we are or not having the ability to be constructive debaters like us😎😂. However, in person we tend to debate the most controversial topics with the people we know. We learned as well that all of us tend to check any hard news, such as politics, and serious matters, before we believe it or discuss it with other people but we tend not to do the same with soft news such as entertainment stuff. This led me to believe that even though we came from very different backgrounds, with the internet earth is in deed a small village. After discussing what makes a person more constructive, we concluded that first of all the person should keep an open mind when conversing with others, then the person must listen well to the other’s point of view and ask for clarification if needed, after that, the person should state their point of view as clearly as possible and encourage the others to ask questions if they wanted. After these four sessions, I learned that we are all alike, we all want to be heard and understood clearly. Constructive communication is achieved if the people who are communicating want to achieve it. The only difficulty I faced was that we were only two who attended regularly, I hoped to communicate with more people but sadly they didn’t attend. We discussed most of the controversial topics such as politics, religion, sexual orientation ,and stereotypes, it was great to learn that people with different cultural background could agree on so many things. My overall experience was very good to the extent that I’m considering to keep in touch with the one person who attended regularly and do some more work with Soliya in the future. I’d like to thank Soliya and this course for this wonderful experience.
After watching episode 4 l, the spy in my pocket, I learned that everything is monitored and stored to be sold. Every info about us such as location, shopping history, what we like in general, all that info is later sold to advertisors to suggest us more products to buy. This is not a surprise to me as I knew from my major that privacy is a rare thing, it almost never exists. I had many incidents that happened to me personally that support this claim, for example, when I was in KSA, I never opened my location yet I found an ad on Facebook for a trip from Dammam, city where I was staying, to Cairo. This was among many things that happened but this is the most recent. The terms of agreement of any app, the thing you never reqd and just agree to, is where the app developers put everything that might get them sued, and we all just agree to it in order to be able to use the app. The thing is even if you never connect to the internet on your phone, you’re still tracked by the sim card and which cell tower it is connected to. This is really scary but there’s nothing we can do about it. The only thing we can do is hide our most important data in an old fashioned way, pen and paper. However, surprise surprise our mic on our phone is always recording, so even the old fashioned way doesn’t protect our privacy. There’s probably nothing I’d do differently after watching this video, because I can’t think of something different to do, I’m open to any useful suggestion though. At least this episode explained how ads work as well as political campaigns. They use our data to classify us into groups to be targeted by different entities be it an ad company or a political campaign… etc. I used to think that people who though this way were paranoid but that’s the truth, we all should be paranoid. The worst part is we cannot do anything about it. Hope this is not depressing😅
Link to the episode
I modified this game based on the comments of several professors and students, but unfortunately, I couldn’t address all of their comments due to time constraints and limited ideas. Some of the comments suggested that the game could be longer but I ran out of scenarios to add that would be specific to the water problem and tragic enough, only thing left would be washing clothes and dishes and cooking. However, I didn’t feel the need to prolong the game with the kind of scenarios that wouldn’t get the empathy of the player or would just add some tragic endings. The link to the previous post:
If I had more time I would have included more scenarios and maybe did a small video addressing the issue. I would have done more research about the issue to fully understand and make the players understand the importance of the issue.
While making this game, I learned that there are a lot of issues in the world that needs more awareness. They affect a lot of lives greatly. Sadly, most of the effects are negative but we need to address them in order to be able to come up with a solution. This game made me live the extreme life of those who suffer for water, something I would have considered living through. I think that these narrative games are probably the most important assignment we had so far. This is the most effective method to learn about empathy.
You can play the Final draft here
Are you thirsty is a narrative game about water crisis in Africa. People living in tjese places suffer a lot for what we consider norrmal. This game will try to simulate some of the horrors they go through in their daily lives.
You can play the game here