In the beginning of this semester, I thought this course would be just like any regular core curriculum course, very time consuming yet not interesting. However, as the semester is coming to an end, I can say that this was one of the very few courses that I feel I’ve spent a lot of time on it but with a return, return of experience and knowledge. The top 3 things that I gained from this learning experience are understanding the online privacy issue, understanding people with different backgrounds and understanding myself better, and understanding how I should be more skeptical of anything I read/watch online.
How safe it is connecting online and posting our lives online was a question that I always had and being a part of this course definitely helped me answer this question to a very satisfying extent. I chose the topic of privacy in almost all assignments that we had the privilege of choosing the topic that we work on; I researched on the topic of privacy in the Mozilla and curation assignment. There were many sources that we explored both in class and outside, all of which helped answer my initial question. For example, the videos “Amazing mind reader reveals his gift” and “Internet Privacy Prank” proved that anyone online can access any information you post online about your private life. Moreover, the articles “The top 50 passwords could easily be better” and “Ranking digital rights (privacy)” proved how neither companies nor we are doing anything to secure our online experience. Thus, the answer to my question was that we’re not safe online and anything we post online is not private, as it becomes available to anyone online; moreover, I learned that we play a role in this privacy issue because we’re not making any effort to secure ourselves.
Soliya program allowed me to connect with people from all over the world, people with completely different backgrounds and life experiences. This experience not only enabled me to gain knowledge about the different cultures and mentalities of people living in different countries but also enabled me to gain knowledge about myself as a person. I learned that I’m very confident and open about my own background even when dealing with people who don’t understand where I come from or what my beliefs are. Knowing this about myself is so precious, as I’ll not question my confidence in the future, something that I’d never known about myself If I was not part of this course and program.
I’ve always been very skeptical of things I read online and almost never believe them; however, I tend to slightly start believing online news when they start spreading across social media and everyone is talking about them or when the content is being said by someone in a video. The video “The truth behind the Nasa girl” taught me that not because the news is spreading everywhere, even between trusted companies and shows, then it must be real because in this video the messages were edited by Photoshop and everyone fell for it. Moreover, the video “It’s getting harder to spot a deep fake video” shows that with the technology advancing, even a video of someone talking might be fake because by this technology you can literally put someone’s words in someone else’s mouth. After exploring the topic of online fake news and understanding the advancement of technology, I came to the conclusion that I should be extremely skeptical of anything I read/watch online because anything can altered to look real when they’re actually fake.
I believe that the content of the course included a variety of topics which I personally liked because I ended up learning about different topics. Moreover, the variety of sources including videos, articles, games, etc, was also very helpful because people got to choose what they’re comfortable with the most. However, I think to make this course better, the number of assignments should decrease and the percentage on each should increase, so that I have less assignments to work on in a certain period of time because at some point I felt like I had a lot of mini assignments and was not sure if I was missing something or not, so the less yet bigger assignments would eliminate this problem.