More than just a course

Where to start… this doesn’t feel like an assignment to me, it feels more like me actually writing in my daily blog about a remarkable experience. This experience is one that can be described not only as educational, but also enjoyable.

            This course taught me that I am more of a digital user than I thought,  and how I can use digital platforms to enhance my digital skills to express myself and thoughts that I might have, no matter how trivial they are. I also learned that I am more inclined to learn about different cultures and different viewpoints of other  people in other  countries with other backgrounds and religions as well as cultures. This is thanks to mainly the Soliya experience that I underwent this semester and have already blogged about. Secondly, regarding the academic perspective of the course, I learned about how digital media can be used to enhance the learning experience of anyone seeking an education whether they be undergraduates, post-graduates or even school students. I am referring to the increased use of  platforms such as  twitter, slack, and the videos and articles we saw in class as well as the inclination it gave me to watch further videos with similar content that is tied to the material we studied in class. Furthermore,  I believe that being a part of this class has substantially  benefited me in becoming a  more interactive person outside my  comfort zone. I was always a social person but more in the context of being around my circle of friends and partially beyond that; but recently, due to interaction that I was required to make as part of the course, I have become more open to start conversations  and interact with others that I am not necessarily acquainted with. I perceive this as a benefit for my social life, which I see as a basis for every aspect of my daily life. This has mainly been because of activities such as Soliya and in-class activities like the  time when we built triangles with magnets; this required me to interact and cooperate with my classmates who are not technically close to me, and  we shared ideas, jokes and laughs. In terms of how this course will benefit my career; there are several ways. Firstly, I believe that I have  become more  digitally literate in the sense that I am more familiar with the different types of social media platforms and when to use each of them. This is crucial to my career, since I aspire to continue my career in football, where the  nature of the job puts the footballer in a position where they are followed and looked up to, and the primary way for communication with the public is through the different social media platforms.

            Choosing between assignments and material to share that I found most beneficial is  difficult, but if I were to pick a few of the most significant to me, I would have to choose materials pertaining to the narrative games that we had to play, such as ‘Spent’ and others, the alternative CV and the Soliya as well as the twitter scavenger hunt. Choosing each of these three assignments comes with reasons for each. Playing the narrative games was a new experience for me that I quite enjoyed as I had never come across any of the games before, and they were interactive games, where each choice made in the game would lead to a different outcome, on real life issues. This made me more aware of issues present in society, such as ‘Spent’, where I learned the value of money and that there are a lot of people who face these decisions on daily basis. Another game that I enjoyed was ‘Voter Suppression Trial’, which highlights the difficulties that people from certain racial backgrounds and ethnicities face in their journey to place a vote in the U.S., which is a problem that is not only common in the U.S. but also other countries such as Egypt. Creating an alternative CV was the highlight of the course, although it was relatively at the beginning. It was an experience that was both eye-opening and informative in the sense that not only did I learn more about what people thought about me, but more importantly I took the journey through dealing with a digital tool I had not previously experimented with. For me, the journey of creating the video that contained the alt. CV highlighted one of the main themes of the course, which is becoming familiar with digital tools that aid me in expressing myself. Finally, as for Soliya, the experience, as written in my blog, was phenomenal. This is because I got to explore different opinions of people outside my cultural and religious circle. And again, this is one of the highlighted themes of the course. The smaller assignments, such as the twitter scavenger hunt made me realize that I can use twitter beyond what I had already been using it for since it gave me a chance to interact with my classmates as well as people that I have not met before who are active on twitter. This made me more familiar with these people although I may not be outside of twitter.

            If I were to tweak anything about the course, the first thing that comes to mind is to include more native/Egyptian influencers that could teach us about being digitally literate in a way that we could more easily relate to, such as ‘El Da7ee7’ and others. Another thing would be to offer more guidelines on grading and evaluation so as to provide a more guided path to students who seek to excel academically in the course. Finally, slightly decreasing the given material will somewhat provide students with more time to offer quality work on the fewer given assignments.

            This course would be optimum for a person who is aiming to be, already is, or wanting to learn more about  the ways of the online, digital world we live in and how to be taught so through an interactive learning experience.

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