Thoughts on Equity

After exploring the topic of equity, there was one sentence that stood out for me said by Joojoo Azad in her article “Please keep you American flag off my hijab” ; the sentence was “know that one does not need to be American to deserve respect, humanity, dignity, equality, rights, and freedom from hate and bigotry.” However, I thought of this sentence in a more generalized way meaning that I thought that there shouldn’t be any kind of requirements or prerequisites for one to deserve basic human rights like being respected or being fairly treated. In other words, I believe that every single person should have the same basic rights regardless of their nationality, authority, social class, etc.. This sentence left me thinking of one quote “I should be fairly treated like any other individual because we’re all humans”

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“Orphans by Heart” Game

The purpose of this game is to make people sympathize with orphans who grew up in orphanages by putting the players in their shoes.

 Game Link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd2GxAw6iPKAjaqVt8UhjNiSEaAY-ZN40MuoDZHr8KK7l7mYA/formResponse

Previous Blogposts about the game Links:

Things I changed:

  1. I added some options to certain questions after getting feedback from individuals who had an answer that was not one of the options. For instance, in the sibling question, I added more options including “none” because the player might be an only child, and in the mom question, I added the option (1) because some individuals playing my game might have lost their mother when they were kids yet was raised at home with his/her family, not in an orphanage.
  2. I slightly edited some of the comments on the short answer questions to consider the different responses players may give, and not assuming just one response beforehand. For instance, in the “memory of someone visiting” question, I added 2 scenarios that the player might respond with, one for who respond to this question with a happy memory, and another for those who respond with a sad memory, and in the “choosing your career” question, I added to scenarios, one for those who answer yes, and another for those who answer no.
  3. Since I covered different areas of the life an orphan, I added one more important question which is the career choice.
  4. I changed the description of my game from raising awareness for orphans to raising awareness for orphans who grew up in an orphanage because there are a lot of people who lost their parents when they were kids yet lived normal lives at their homes, and those are not the type of orphans I’m trying to raise awareness for. All the scenarios I included in the game are inspired by personal observations of orphans in orphanages and from people who interacted with orphans who grew up in orphanages and those are the type of orphans I’m trying to raise awareness for.
  • Creating this game helped me get into depth of what an orphan has to live through by closely observing orphans in orphanages, getting into multiple discussion with others who dealt with orphans, and watching videos of orphans talking about their life experiences. In other words, before this game I emphasized with orphans, but after creating it, I don’t only emphasize with them but also deeply understand what it feels like to be an orphan. The most important things that I learned that there are many different aspects to one story meaning that although I closely observed orphans in orphanages and thought I knew everything about them, creating this game and listening to the inputs of others opened my eyes into aspects that I haven’t thought of previously (like marriage, career choice, and old memories) and thus made me understand orphans more deeply.
  • If I had any extra time, I would not have changed anything in the game, because I edited it multiple times based on updated feedback from different people, and I feel like my game started as a good one, but now after adding a lot of inputs from different people, the game became very enriching.

“Orphan by Heart” Game

The purpose of this game is to make people sympathize with orphans by putting the players in their shoes.

The game scenarios were inspired by observing real orphans, asking people who deal with orphans, and watching videos of orphans talking about their life experiences.

I would appreciate it if you leave a comment telling me your opinion about the game.

Link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd2GxAw6iPKAjaqVt8UhjNiSEaAY-ZN40MuoDZHr8KK7l7mYA/formResponse

“Orphan by Heart” Game

My game will be tackling the topic of how orphans feel and how they’re deprived of the simple basic things that we take for granted and do not give such great value. Scenarios that the players will go through will have the format of a question that puts the player in the shoes of the orphan and then commenting on the point discussed in the question by emphasizing the orphan’s situation in this point, for example 1) Q: how many moms do you have? C: you probably answered 1 but imagine having 5 moms throughout your life, none of whom is your mom who gave birth to you. 2) Q: how many sisters do you think you can have throughout your whole life? C: you probably answered average of 3-4 sisters/brothers but imagine having 20 sisters/brothers from the second you’re born. 3) Q: regarding your physical appearance, which member of your family looks very similar to you? C: you probably answered “my mom, my sister, my brother, etc.” but imagine having 20 sisters and 5 mothers/fathers, none of whom has the same features as you do. I’ll ensure good information about the topic by primary research (personal experience) because I go to an orphanage, and I see and observe how they live, how they feel, and how they appreciate the simple things and moments in life much more than we do simply because we’re used to having these things while orphans do not have these “normal” things. For instance, having a normal traditional family where you all look similar, you have one dad and one mom, and you have an average of 3 sisters/brothers, are all simple, normal, basic things that you usually do not give such great value but to belong to a certain entity (a family) is the dream of every orphan.

A Variety of Digital Games

Sleep Deprived Mom

Playing this game made me realize how hard it is to manage time as a mom. Although she always puts her kids as her first priority, she always has the struggle of satisfying her kids and having time to carry out normal day to day activities like talking to friends, reading, sleeping, etc. Moreover, the thing that caught my attention the most in this game is that no matter what I choose, I’ll have some kind of loss, for examples: I did not sleep well and I’m tired throughout the day, I forced my child to go to sleep when he/she does not want to, I missed a talk with a friend, etc. Finally, I think this game can be improved by including questions on a broader scope, so instead of daily events, test in weekly or monthly events to emphasize the fact that moms are always going through this struggle.

Living

I love the concept behind this game because one can never feel the pain another is feeling until he/she is put in the same situation. Moreover, at the beginning, playing the game and interpreting the events occurring to me as a human, I felt that those events are very exaggerated, but upon knowing that stray dogs are the ones which go through these situations, the image became very clear and actually realistic to me. In other words, the events that I considered to be very unlikely to happen to humans, stray dogs go through these events and feel this fear and pain on a daily basis. I believe that the game could be improved by adding more events, so that the person is put in the stray dogs’ situation for a longer period of time that it affects him/her more heavily and deeply.

Illiteracy Awareness

I believe this game was more effective than the other games I played because in the other games, I had to imagine myself as someone else and act accordingly, but in this game, the game maker put the answer choices in Chinese, resulting in that I was personally put in the situation of being illiterate in a certain language. In other words, this game made me feel the pain of others by not metaphorically but literally putting me in their shoes. I think this game can be improved by asking at the beginning what language the survey taker does not know because if someone who understands Chinese very well plays this game, he will have missed the whole purpose of the game.

Empathy and Bias

After a week of tackling the topic of empathy and bias and listening to people talk about how they were judged based on a certain group that they belong to, and how people should recognize and control their unconscious bias. I learned that we should avoid making such hazy generalizations and looking at a person and judging him based on a single fact/story and rather judge him/her based on what he does and say. Moreover, I learned that you’ll never actually understand the feelings of someone until you’re put in the same situation as this person.

What I learned from this week can be summed up in 3 points; the first one, discussed by Chimamanda Adichie in her video “The Danger of a Single Story”, is that one should not generalize, meaning that not because I’m part of a certain group for example my family, then I must have the same traits of other family members; in other words, not because every member of my family looks similar to one another, then we must all have same personalities and traits. Moreover, the same applies to communities, for instance, one must not say all Egyptians are or are not because being Egyptian is just part of who I am, but this is doesn’t mean that I’m like all Egyptians, so one should never generalize when judging someone; instead one should judge on what this particular person say and act.

The second point, discussed by Binna Kandola in his video “Diffusing Bias”, is that we have to accept the fact that we all have unconscious bias meaning that we tend to judge people in a bias way without even noticing it. Although we have unconscious bias, we should learn how to “not display our biases”; this can be done by recognizing that we’re being bias and controlling this bias by not acting upon it.

The last point, which I concluded after playing multiple games such as SPENT and Syrian Journey: Choose Your Own Escape Route, is that to be able to understand the feelings of someone, it’s not enough to read about what he/she has been through, instead you’ll have to put yourself in his/her shoes and see how would you act and how would you feel going through the same experience, and until you do so, you won’t be able to actually UNDERSTAND how this particular person felt, you’ll be just imagining.

Digital Skill, Digital Literacy, and Digital Fluency…. How they are different, and how they interconnect??

In this post, I’ll attempt to clearly differentiate between digital literacy, digital skill, and digital fluency and show how they connect. To do so, I’ll start by stating a definition for each that was most common on the web. 1) to have the digital skills is “to be proficient in how to use digital technologies”, 2) to be digitally literate, one must have “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”1, and 3) to be have digital fluency, one must have the “capability in using digital technologies to achieve desired learning outcomes.”2. To further clarify the difference between them, I’ll provide some examples, to have digital skills is to be able to do basic digital tasks like using Word, sending an email, posting on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, etc. To be able to say that person is digitally literate, he/she’ll have to use these digital skills along with cognitive skills to be able to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a certain digital tool, for instance, he/she should be able to evaluate how putting up a certain public post on Facebook will positively or negatively affect his/her reputation and deciding whether it’s appropriate and safe to share this kind of information on this particular platform. Moreover, as dr. Maha Bali, a professor in AUC, Egypt, explained digital fluency by giving an example of being fluent in a certain language you need some skill and some literacy to be able to be considered fluent in this certain language; similarly, to be digitally fluent, you’ll need to know what tools and how to use them (digital skills), and you’ll need to know who, for whom, when, and why you should use these tools (digital literacies).

Next, I want to discuss the different definitions that the web provides of digital skills, literacies, and fluency, how these definitions are similar, and how they’re different. For the digital skill, I could not find a very clearly stated definition, it was more or less an explanation of what it meant using examples and then informally concluding by a sentence that can be taken as a definition, like the sentence I used above to define digital skills which was on Teachaway. For the digital literacy, I found (to some extent) the same clearly stated definitions with further explanation and given examples on all sources including Edweek, Skillsyouneed, and Teachaway, Wikipedia, and Pomo.

Finally, for the digital fluency, it was best defined and explained on enabling e-learning.

Finally, I’ll reflect on the video and article by dr. Bali by discussing points that will further clarify the difference between digital skill and digital literacy and how they interconnect to result in digital fluency. One point that dr. Bali discussed in her article was how learning should be progressive and not sequential meaning that learning shouldn’t take the form of a sequence that you follow, but it should rather consist of building blocks that you build during the journey of learning until you have an outcome that combines all the building blocks together. Similarly, in learning digital technology, your first building block is the digital skills which consists of learning what the digital tools are and how to use them; your second building block is the digital literacies which is being able to evaluate when and why a certain platform is most appropriate, who you can address using this certain platform, etc., and upon combining those 2 building blocks, you reach the final and third building block which is digital fluency. Another point that dr. Bali mentioned in her video that there are 2 types of literacies, consumptive literacy and productive literacy, meaning that to be digitally literate, one should be able “to listen and to act critically on social media”; in my opinion, dr. Bali explains very clearly that for one to be digitally literate you need not only to act critically but act critically in respond to what you read or found online.

References:

1) Reflected on digital literacy and digital skill definitions https://www.teachaway.com/blog/digital-skills-vs-digital-literacy-whats-difference

Other very similar digital literacy and digital skill definitions

https://www.skillsyouneed.com/rhubarb/digital-skills-modern-workplace.html

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_literacy

http://pomo.com.au/blog/digital-literacy/

2) Reflected on digital fluency definition

http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Teaching/Digital-fluency