Equity

I have always heard the word ‘equity’, but I always mixed it up with ‘equality’.  However, I started realizing equity’s meaning with a very popular image that was a trend on social media, and then the Dr. brought it to class discussions as well.

eq.png

I loved how it simply describes it. After seeing it, I understood that Equity is not about everyone getting the same thing, because simply not everyone has a need of the exact same thing, but rather getting ‘quantity’ needed of the thing. Our needs & the extent of how much we need are never the same. Therefore, with help of Wikipedia’s definition of Equity: Equity or economic equality is the concept or idea of ‘fairness.’ So, it is all about getting things fairly but not equally.

Moving to a source that was a huge benefit to me which talked extensively about Equity from a historical perspective until today; Ehab Abdou’s article: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1T3HkB3mETK7RCGuWAkwNg_hkk68XEsJlYCF957zMiL4/edit

He was arguing about the fact that Coptic history is not included in the textbooks from the 1950s stating that “It is clear that Egyptian history is narrated from a perspective that values an Arab Muslim identity over other perspectives and voices.” I can relate to that from my school, in the Arabic textbooks from primary to secondary stages, they never mentioned or witnessed with something from a Coptic point of view. Even if the lesson is talking about a general topic, it would usually be supported with a verse from Quran or Hadith, but never a verse from Bible! Even when it comes to our religion class, knowing I was in a Coptic school, teachers used to take my Cristian colleagues to another room to take their lesson. This is a huge equity problem in itself! Where is fairness in witnessing everything from one religion and neglecting the other, knowing the fact that our country is filled with people from both religions, and both parties have the right to know about each other’s religions. But instead, the educational system forced that we would get to learn only about one religion, and the other can be learnt in its specific ‘religion class.’ It is not about certain religion or certain group being neglected, but rather about the fairness and the equity that both parties should get as long as they survive in the same country and learning all their information from the same educational system. On the other hand, Ehab Abdou also spotted the fact that “Other textbooks allude to the influence of ancient Greek philosophies, which rendered Judaism and Christianity more complicated and less accessible to ordinary people.” In which, Judaism & Christianity has always been viewed as a religion to the elite, the ruling party, and shall no ordinary person be accessible to it. Maybe the problem is ancient and did not just arouse by our educational system, but it is an eye opener for such a topic that needs to be fixed.

Last but not least, ending my blog with my favorite part of the Equity’s topic which is the ‘Privilege Walk Game’ that our professor tried with us. I did not understand what we were doing at the beginning or what is the aim of the game. Then, when each of us was assigned a completely different identity (gender, social status, class, nationality…etc), and each person had to act according to their new identity. Our reactions to situations and the position of where we are standing determined our ‘real’ position in society if we were in the shoe of that person. We reached to the result of; if you are rich, and have another American or European passport besides the Egyptian one, you can do whatever you want in the country. While if you are poor, or a refugee. then good luck getting anything! The game resembled equity in its simplest yet the deepest truest definition of it.

After all, Equity’s topics are so diverse, its problems differs from one society and one country to another, and of course, its privileges differs as well. I loved our class discussions about it and in my blog; I focused on spotting the sources that had a real effect one me.

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Game Draft #1

Me & my colleague Ahmed Afifi are working on a game called University Life. It is about the obstacles that students face in their everyday  Uni life & how they are willing to get over it & continue on their way to success.

 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSenB3pcjxScT2MCV2olEdqmq1ulXsUK7JIrInyEm0FCQB5hcQ/viewform

Game Draft

The game me and my friend Mohamed are planning to make is named for now “Football quiz,” that’s draft 1 for the name hopefully we might have a better name when submitting the game.

When we first thought about a game we wanted to design a game that isn’t really sad we wanted to design a game that actually the players might benefit from it and might take something from it with their lives. The players are expected to encounter situations that for sure will be challenging for them, as they will be required not to think with their current age, but to put themselves in the shoes of a 12 year old boy, and how will the pressure from the surroundings like his friends and family, how does the pressure of these people will affect his decisions, will he hold tight on the things he love the most or will he change all of his beliefs on order to escape from all the pressure that surrounds him, all of these will be known throughout the game and it will be totally based on the answers or choices the player takes. It’s not a path A & path B, but it has different paths for the answers someone gives. So briefly the game tackles the concept of persistence and passion. The game with all of its information is based on personal experiences and annually situations that will for sure add the sense of reality to the game.

Digital Games

Trying digital games with an aim behind is a very new experience to me. I have experienced some new topics that never crossed my mind and got to put myself in others’ shoes. I felt and learnt a lot as well.

Sleep-Deprived Mom Game (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScap1su2i270VXK3DtWGWA683lyU6UkXJer_cSpN2tl0rXCjQ/viewform?c=0&w=1)

  • I have tried the sleep deprived mom game, it had 2 scenarios after each question, and both eventually lead to losing sleep no matter what I choose. I liked that it was so realistic, and it reminded me with what I witnessed with my mom while taking care of my baby brother & sister years ago. Maybe what I didn’t like that it was limited options but the 2 options made sense anyway. What is weird that I felt really sleepy during the game! I felt like I got really tired and I regret all the hours wasted in the game whenever I make a choice that requires losing 2 hours of sleep and so on. What I have learned is that the next time I see a mother trying to sleep, I’ll take her baby and take care of it till she gets some rest!

 

Fake it to make it (http://www.fakeittomakeitgame.com/)

  • Before I try this game, I double thought if I would be able to play it because usually I am a very cautious person about what I share on social media, as I don’t share anything before making sure it is correct & from a reliable source. So ironically, spreading fake news was not that easy for me during the game. I was so picky about which news I might share. For example, I kept thinking which is less harmful to share ‘the president is a member of this religion’ or ‘check the most expensive vacation the president was on.’ Needless to mention that I chose the second news because its impacts or damages for those who read it would be less. I know I am too serious for a game. I couldn’t complete it anyway. I liked it seemed like a real website but I didn’t like that it was a bit vague & I didn’t enjoy it. However, it learnt me or acknowledged me that I am hard to let go of my concepts even though it is a game, but it something that I am poriud of after this game!

 

Single Mothers Game (https://writer.inklestudios.com/stories/fzvq)

  • It is a game where I get to choose whether my husband die or left me & my children, then go through many scenarios to adapt living without him & to support my family financially. I chose that he has died, so it showed me that now I have problems with my inheritance as I can’t take it immediately. So, I have to work or sell my properties. Of course I chose to work, then I got really pissed off with the fact that I was paid as a part time because this was more of a “manly” job. As if the latency of inheritance wasn’t enough! The game really made me feel the struggle. I loved it so much and I wished that the scenarios would complete endlessly so that I know how the situation is like to a single mom till the very end.

 

 

Child Abuse Orphan edition (https://writer.inklestudios.com/stories/2v24)

  • This topic was so out of my usual scope. It makes me live as an orphan & at first I have the choice either to keep living & bear the abuse of the caretaker or runaway. I ran away, found another orphanage, got adopted, finished highschool & moved wih my parents to US! I liked that finally a happy ending to story instead of being depressed with the result at the end. From the previous game, it left with an expectation that I will lose the family at the end or they’ll abandon me. What I didn’t like is that I wasn’t left with much options, only runaway or stay at orphanage & to stay in Egypt/Move to US. Otherwise, it was just story telling with one button to click to see how the story would go.

 

Street-Sweeper (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScDnVBWYxmSI_xiYIqdEJcLIWupYrTh3MZW2nrOUP9gRZUCPA/formResponse)

  • Again, so out of my scope the topic was. It started with telling me to increase my shift from 6 am to 4 pm, to 8 pm instead! Without getting paid for the extra hours. of course I chose to not work that day as a form of protest, but I wasn’t paid that day & got fired for behaving badly! So, I had to retry the game to put myself more in the shoe of the street sweeper. I tried again, and got fired again! Why? Because I didn’t have enough money so it is either buy my medication & beg in streets, or save the money to feed my family. So I saved, then it got worse, I was sick in bed so I got fired. This was so hard! Maybe the hardest of the 5 games. She supported her game with very realistic pictures. And giving me so hard choices. Not only this, I also chose to be submissive in all the situations that I have could stood up for myself and talk for. But I felt like I had absolutely no right to do this, and instead I will be yelled at so I just chose to remain silent and keep the suffering for myself.

Empathy & Bias

In this reflection, I will reflect on empathy & bias using different resources like articles, videos and games. Mentioning people’s thoughts & perspectives as well as my personal opinions. Beginning with having empathy and being moved deeply inside with the incidents that occur to some people all the way to being biased towards others.

Starting with the game Syrian Journey, It made me feel empathetic rather than biased towards a certain group. I chose to go to Turkey as it is the safer road. Then, after I chose to go to Greece and when arrived there, I had to choose whether to run into the woods with my family, or risk the mother & her daughter from drowning. Of course I chose to rescue them as I couldn’t bear the picture in my mind of them drowning in the sea, but it cost me to go back to Turkey and be away from my family that is in Greece now. I played again to see what the other option would do. So, in the second time, I chose to leave them drowning and run with my family into the woods. Again, it cost me leave them in Greece & run to Europe so that I can get asylum. In this case if & only if I was accepted in Europe as a refugee, I would be able to get my family to live with me. This was so heartbreaking for me because it made feel the real struggle of the Syrian refugees that no matter what they do, there would still be a huge possibility that they would be separated from their family if they seek survival in good conditions. Which means that family at last would remain as a word to them but no actual existence to it, as each member of this family is separated & living somewhere in a different country than the others.

Of course here I remembered the article written by Lina Mounzer “War in Translation” where she discussed their situation, and how it felt living in Syria during the war & the family members seeing each other getting killed, harassed, or running away from the country. Her strong word choices made me feel their struggle, or at least imagine it with the pain they are feeling in their chest with every situation they pass by. I really liked the part where she mentioned that in translation, the choice of words is really important or else the reader won’t be able to feel the struggle. However, reading the article then playing the Syrian journey game was a perfect combination to emotionally understand the Syrians situation and empathize towards it.

Talking about the game Spent,’ well it was the first ‘emotional’ game that I’ve tried. It was based on making all tough decisions, and on deciding what are you willing to sacrifice to keep what you care about or what you have ‘empathy’ towards. For me, It was either maintaining my money or caring for my family. It was so hard to balance. The first sacrifice I made in the game was myself; I chose not to have an insurance, to sell my car, and to ignore the need of going to the doctor in order to keep my money for my kid and my family needs. However, it kept going harder like having only $400 left but my mother needs medication that costs $350. Of course I chose to bring the medication but I quickly ran out of money. But still, I loved the game; it needed emotional thinking and taking emotional decisions rather than intellectual ones.

Moving to being biased, I have tried the IAT (Implicit Association Test) and this was my result “Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for Arab Muslims over Other People. Result is described as an “Automatic preference for Arab Muslims” if you were faster responding when Arab Muslims and Good are assigned to the same response key than when  Other People and Good were classified with the same key.” I enjoyed playing the game itself very much as I was impressed how it was able to determine my answer from how fast I press the keys & what was easier to process in my mind (like Good & Muslims were easier to relate than it was Others & Good). However, I wasn’t surprised with the final answer because I know for sure that if I am at a place where there are Arab Muslims & foreigners, I would definitely choose the Arab Muslims. And I wouldn’t call this a bias but rather being comfortable to whom look like me, and we would understand each other easily. Also, I definitely won’t treat the others badly or in a disrespectful way that is why I don’t call it a bias but rather I preferred whom I’ll easily communicate with.

                One last thing is Diffusing bias video by Binna Kandola, he talked about Bias in a psychological way that explains it all. He started by stating sentences that represent my personal opinions like “We’re all biased without exception”, a sentence that I truly believe in, and also when he mentioned that we are not divided into people who have bias and others who don’t, but rather people who are aware of their biases and others are not. Moreover, When he mentioned “One of the ironies is that those people who believe they have no bias probably are the most biased because there’s no reflection going on,this sentence made me stop and think, whenever we open a class discussion and bring up bias, someone must mention being biased towards black people. I believe that I am not biased towards them at all but in the matter of fact, I haven’t been in a situation where I have to deal with an African American for example to see how I would react, and how the thought in my mind would like. Will I act normally as if I am dealing with any other person in my daily life? Would it feel weird and I might avoid dealing with him/her? I had all this questions on my mind and I don’t think that I’ll find an answer to if I’m really biased or not until I am in a real life situation that shows me how I would think, feel and react.

            All in all, as hectic and multi-resourced this reflection was to me, as much I have enjoyed it because I got to try new types of games that actually had a great aim, and also I’ve got the chance to watch videos and hear different people’s opinions and perspectives about bias and empathy towards completely various and different groups of people.

Digital Lietracy

Displaying Screenshot_20180913-110608_Samsung Internet.jpg

Starting with the digital confidence profile, this was my result. I am partially glad of it, i don’t think i am most proud of something particular, but i definitely want to improve my knowledge of tools & technology as it evolves very quickly everyday.

Moving to the exploration part of Digital Literacies for Online Learning, and before doing anything, of course I should start looking to my very first reference (Wikipedia) about what Digital Literacy is defined as.
1. Wikipedia’s definition: Digital literacy is a component of media literacy. It refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, produce and communicate clear information through writing and other forms of communication on various digital platforms. Digital literacy showcases an individual’s grammar, computer, writing, and typing skills on platforms, such as social media and blog sites. Digital Literacy also includes other devices, such as, smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs
– After reading this definition, and comparing to others that I have read, I can’t say it is a good one. Like the part that says “Digital literacy showcases an individual’s grammar, computer, writing, and typing skills on platforms” I see that it depends more on the normal definition of being literate & trying to relate to social media which is very vague and doesn’t make sense. Furthermore, it is too long though it is much simpler than this. I actually liked the below definition way more for its shortness & accuracy.

2. From: Education Week https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/11/09/what-is-digital-literacy.html

The American Library Association’s digital-literacy task force offers this definition: “Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” This definition is what i liked the most beneath many of which i have read.

  • What I found really interesting in this article too is the controversy of the two professors’ opinion. One professor said that reading a book/article online is like ‘offline reading,’ it is just you and the screen, nothing more. While the other professor said that “online reading requires a host of additional skills.” This is because when you read online there is always graphics, hyperlinks, videos, audios and much more that makes the experience of reading the same text for two readers is extremely different. No reader can stop at reading the text from top to bottom without checking any of the additional info in the graphics or links. In the matter of fact, I would abide by the second opinion more because online reading is much more interactive. Though physically it is only me and the screen, but what exists behind that screen is way much more knowledge than a person or a textbook would hold.

3. Moving to defining Digital Fluency; defined from https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-digital-fluency-definition-example.html

Digital fluency is the ability to select and use the appropriate digital tools and technologies to achieve a particular outcome. It goes beyond understanding what types of tools are available and moves into a zone where a person can choose the right tools based on the situation & knows how to best use them to meet the situations’ requirements. For example, digital fluency learns Operational Director to not only understand what project management software is, but how to use it across an organization to facilitate communication & collaboration.

  • After reading this, digital fluency feels like a branch of digital literacy but more specified in using the right tools, while literacy require only knowing those tools.. not to choose between them.

Another source where i found an interesting definition: http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Teaching/Digital-fluency
It stated that:

  • Digital literacy – A digitally literate person knows how to use digital technologies and what to do with them.
  • Digital fluency – A digitally fluent person can decide when to use specific digital technologies to achieve their desired outcome. They can articulate why the tools they are using will provide their desired outcome.
    – To me, this is the most accurate definition of both for comparing & stating the differences among both.

4. The Article published by POMO was a very good source too. It defined Digital Skills very clearly (though it is not easily found on any website) It defines & gives examples for digital skills as: “These skills include, for example, the ability to operate computers and navigate the net effectively, to cope with large volumes of information, to evaluate the reliability of information, and to critically assess what seem to be natural (and not ideologically biased) technological tools.”

digital-literacy.jpg

I also liked the info graphic that they attached pretty much. It sums up all the different aspects of different literacy & shows that it is the bigger umbrella where digital skills & digital fluency relies under. The difference between the 3 is that: Digital literacy is the first step that requires acquiring a good knowledge of what to do with everything online on the internet. Digital skills is how you deal with them, while digital fluency is when to use a specific tool to achieve a desirable outcome.

5. Regarding the video, I really love how the doctor resembled digital skills & digital literacy. Like when she said that you should know the mechanics of a car before you actually learn to drive it. Though I have seen digital skills in a different way, not parallel or different than digital literacy. But I imagined it like a ladder where it starts with literacy, the next step is skills (broader knowledge of the know-how), then the fluency (Being fluent in the usage of media).

Moving to the last exploration part of the stations, I have tried two of them:

  • First was All aboard smartphones in tools & techs. It was full of interesting information like Bluetooth is originally a name of a Danish king in the 10th century, and touch screen work by electrical conduct to the finger (that’s why it won’t work while wearing gloves). I’ve did well & got 75%, but n second attempt was a 100%! Also, from the result of my Digital confidence profile, I wanted to improve the tools & techs section. So, I am glad that I already took a step forward with such a quiz.
  • I’ve also tried online security under Identity & Well being section. I wanted to explore that part as I feel that I am missing a lot about it. Actually it was very beneficial as many information I had absolutely no idea about. However, I did very bad in the Quiz & got 33% but I guess it’s okay, we learn from our mistakes anyway.

After all, i really enjoyed this activity. It was something out of my usual scope & outside my usual topics of question/research. It was full of information that i would use in my daily life. Moreover, it was diverse, maybe a bit long but worth it at the end.

#UnboundEq Activity

At first, when I heard that we are going to make a twitter scavenger hunt, I had no idea what it could be about. I had second thoughts that maybe we would be searching for something specific on twitter like watching people’s posts & make an assumption about them from their tweets or something. However, it turned out to be completely different.

I loved how diverse the nationalities participating in this activity. When I knew that we would be students from different countries participating in such an activity, I expected that we wouldn’t be interacting together, and only people that are in the same classroom will be the only responding to each other. So, I was amazed when I found that many students from other countries actually replied to our class posts, retweeted and so on.

The part of guessing the photo was my favorite, however, I couldn’t guess any image right except for only one. For example, when I first saw this photo,20180923_030602.jpg I thought it is a cloth; a texture of a t-shirt or a bed sheet. Then it turned out to be a collection of rocks!

While this photo when I first looked at it 20180923_030515.jpgI believed it is a bird, on a second thought I found that it is a whale’s fin. I was surprised then with how I saw it wrong though it is a very clear fin.

This activity made me learn & realize that not everything we see is what we necessarily believe it is. We could be seeing only part of the bigger picture, and we keep on making judgements and endless assumptions on this part, though it is not true at all from the very beginning. Similar to what always happen on social media, we see only a part of a video of someone cursing then we go like (OMG! How can this person say such words on TV, he has no morals, his program should be banned…etc) but what we did not see is the rest of the video where he was talking about someone that said those words, or a call that made the presenter so mad, or the video is fake and it was different words said at different times, then someone just put it all together so that it would seem real, while it is only a cheap rumor that someone is trying to spread. Furthermore, it made me question myself that after I see something very clearly (for example knowing that the video was fake, or seeing that it’s actually whale’s fin not a bird), I wonder how didn’t I realize such a simple thing from the very beginning, and that it was crystal clear but I disturbed myself with the thoughts in my head & ignored the clearest details that shows the reality of what is in front of my eyes. So, the next time when I see something online, I wouldn’t believe my interpretation until I make sure that I understand and see the thing correctly so as not to be fooled with my own thoughts/wrong interpretations or fooled by someone else’s trials of spreading rumors.

 

AltCV

  • I used to be the narrator & the leading actress in most of my both schools’ theater.
  • 20180913_005520.jpg
  • I tried 7 different sports; but kickboxing was my most favorite
  • I’ve got accepted at a UN internship, unfortunately I didn’t go.
  • I’ve dealt with many cultures from around the world in a conference in Dubai (Srilanka, Slovakian, Hawaiian, Iranian, Japanese, All Arab Countries nationalities,… etc)
  • srilanka
  • Two years ago, I was kind of a tour guide to a Korean friend of mine in Egypt, and we’re in contact since then.
  • yuki.jpg
  • I’ve taken an Italian course couple of years ago (but of course I’ve forgot everything now :D)
  • “Most Responsible” title in Prom & was nominated for most beautiful spirit too!
  • prom

Online Identities

“We expect more from technology and less from each other.” (Turkle, 2011) This quote was mentioned by Sherry Turkle in her book “Alone Together.” She was referring to the usage of social media in specific. Nowadays, people became obsessed with their phones; holding it for most of the time. They reached to the extent that they are more attached to their virtual life that they built on Facebook and less caring to their real social life. Social media is both a bless and a curse depending on how people use it, as it also affects people’s identity and changes them a lot.

Social media, Facebook in specific, can be a blessing as it provides what people need. Many people on Facebook have friends that may reach up to 600 friends, that’s whenever someone post a status or a photo, he will find an immediate like or comment from some of his friend. This makes the person feels that he has people’s attention, and that he is cared for, surrounded by people; this maybe one of the reasons of why people get too attached to social media rather than real social life. It also provides them the chance to show their diverse identities, Zhang, Jiang and Carroll mentioned in their article “Social Identity in Facebook Community Life” made a study which shows the effect of Facebook on people’s identity. They found that participants in their studies were experiencing many concrete identities in social interaction on Facebook. One of the participants referred to himself in his photos on Facebook as One of the Penn Staters, a photographer, a Chinese horse rider and, a soccer player (Zhang, Jiang, & Carroll, 2010). This participant resembles many of the people using Facebook, they feel confident while showing off their different identities on Facebook, and their feeling that they will get people’s attention make them feel satisfied and more addicted to Facebook.

On the other side, social media regular usage can be a curse as it helped in changing people’s identity and adding to it a lot. It affects the way that teenagers develop; it takes away some traits from their personality that they can’t be missing when they grow up. “This transformation [in terms of usage of social media] can give rise to new features of identity in terms of how it’s formed, developed, and enacted” (Zhang, Jiang, & Carroll, 2010). This means that people’s regular use of social media affects their personality and how it is developed. This matches what Turkle mentioned in book, she was talking about the fact that we are always on and available on social media made teenagers completely dependent on their friends and family, and took away their self-independence. Turkle describes a couple of cases where teenage girls text their friends as soon as they experience some kind of emotion, whether good or bad. Before these emotions are fully developed, they are already seeking their friends support or advice. And if the friend doesn’t respond right away, it’s simply a matter of choosing another name and finding someone who will (Turkle, 2011). This leads to the development of a “collaborative” self, rather than an independent one.

To conclude, though social media’s usage may differ from person to person; some may use it as a source of news and others may use it to interact with their friends. But after all, there is one thing that no one would disagree on which is “our cultural norms are rapidly shifting” (Turkle, 2011). We became too addicted to our virtual social life to the extent that it changed and is still changing in our personalities a lot. We should pay attention to such a thing and regulate/put a limit to our usage. We shouldn’t let it take a part of our souls and personalities away with it. We are expecting more from technology for it makes us always connected to every event around us, and to all the people that we know. While expecting less from each other because we think that we are getting more attention on Facebook to the extent that we don’t feel lonely at all. This notion has to change because that is not a real social life that our whole life can be built on. This life is just ‘temporary.’

 

References

Turkle, S. (2011). Alone Together. Basic Books.

Zhang, S., Jiang, H., & Carroll, J. M. (2010). Social Identity in Fcaebook Community Life. International Journal of Virtual Communities and Social Networking, pp. 74-87.