Throughout Dr. Maha Bali’s article about Digital literacies and skills, I was surprised to learn about the differences between them. I have always knew about the concept of digitals, however, I never thought of breaking it down it any further aspects; neither literacy nor skills. As a matter of fact, at the back of my mind I knew something called digital skills existed, but that’s purely because anything in life requires skills no matter what. Dr. Bali expresses and summarizes the main concept very easily and smoothly through Doug Belshaw’s quote, “Digital literacies are not solely about technical proficiency but about the issues, norms, and habits of mind surrounding technologies used for a particular purpose”. This quote I believe to have explained the role of digital literacies as further than just how to deal with technicality, but so much more. Literacies versus skills, tackle the concept of how versus every knowledge related aspect. The digital literacy basically refers to the messages reflected in any digital literacy form. For instance, songs, pictures, graphs, and anything that helps transfer data and convey messages. Despite, the regular use of all these data, this article shed light on the importance and fine details of those concepts. According to Dr. Bali, this article briefly describes digital skills as the teaching of how to use tools and differentiate between the uses of each available tools, while digital literacies further demonstrates in what cases and circumstances each of those tools previously taught used: whether in terms of practical and appropriate images and media, citing permissions to avoid plagiarism, or licensing and copyright in general. Acutally after reading this article I have realized that Dr. Bali has helped us enforce these laws and indirectly taught us the difference between both concepts: skills and literacies, prior to explicitly naming both unique strategies, and that has helped me understand the topic easier, as well as make easy reactions and connections between the article and what we have applied throughout the semester. I believe this strategy helped me enhance my skills in terms of everything, especially identity and wellbeing, as well as communication and collaboration. In addition, I am now a bit more comfortable learning those aspects, in fact I became very confident with this topic after reading the article and can somehow pass it on to upcoming students and teach them. In conclusion, I believe this topic to be of great importance as it symbolizes and demonstrates a an everyday use practice that affects and concerns absolutely everyone, no matter where someone is standing, he will eventually benefit from such knowledge. And the technique of indirectly learning the concepts prior to their identification, helped us understand them and know the differences between them more by heart.
a. Describe the main components of a smartphone and appreciate their main features (thus helping you be able to decide on future purchases!):
b. Differentiate between the different types of smartphone (ie ‘operating systems’)
- The different types of smartphones that exist basically are based upon different softwares. The two main different systems of softwares that exist I guess are IOS (mainly for Apple iPhones only) and android (mainly for Samsungs, but serves other brands as well).
c. Know how to find and use apps, as well as being able to identify the issues with doing such (eg privacy, costs, etc)
A phone can be used in several endless ways. Forms of such include:
- Camera- Can sometimes be accessed by second or third parties
- Social media (Instagram, Facebook, Etc.)- The allowances and permission you grant, allow second and third party users to access private data such as photos, camera, microphone, etc.)
- Entertainment (Netflix, Youtube, Etc.)
- Phone Calls- often can be overheard and tracked
- Messages and Whatsapp- some are not end to end encrypted.
- Online Shopping- Risks of credit card data hacking and tracking
d. Make more effective use of your phone’s camera and other features
- Camera can be used to
- capture important moments
- Record useful data
- Capture important details
- Record videos/film
- Shoot for products- business wise
- QR codes
- Scanning and translating
e. Identify opportunities for using such devices in teaching, learning and other aspects of life.
- Devices such as smartphones are useful in teaching and learning as they help keep track of important data, record notes, capture useful information, record important lectures, translate from one language into another. In addition, it also helps in scanning and submitting assignments online. From another perspective, they are useful as they help save the environment and allow it to go green by submitting everything online and giving up on paper.
This module helped shed light on very useful techniques and features I almost forgot about and some I never knew about how beneficial they actually are. It moreover made me conduct so many researches, especially on the matters of privacy. Looking up privacy in depth will force me to take extra care and be extra cautious when it comes to any social media platform. Really enjoyed learning more about cell-phones, since everything evolves around them nowadays.
- Video Conferencing
a. List, and briefly describe, a number of different scenarios in which video-conferencing can be particularly effective and Identify the appropriate technology/software to use for each such scenario;
- Working from home- Zoom, Google meet
- Online learning- Zoom, Google meet
- Long distance relationships- Facetime, Snapchat video, Skype
- Pandemic- Zoom
- Saving time- FaceTime, zoom, Skype, messenger
- Living abroad- Facetime
- Entertainment- FaceTime, houseparty
- Virtual gatherings- Houseparty
b. Recognise the common problems that can arise with using video-conferencing and identify remedies for these;
- Connection/wifi- open hotspot
- Uncharged device- always charge your device in advance
- Broken camera- switch devices
- Broken Microphone/speakers- connect to external speakers/earphones
- Incompatible browser- switch browsers/ download vpn
c. Prepare a checklist of items to consider when organising, hosting, or participating in a video-conference or webinar.
- Ensure a good quality wifi connection
- Charge your device or sit next to a power outlet
- Ensure good quality sound and picture
- Dress appropriately
- Sit in a calm and presentable space
- Avoid noise from your end
- Mentally be prepared as if you are in an actual meeting
Completing this module allowed me to reflect on how important and efficient online video conferences are. It made me very thankful and grateful that we have such important modern technology that helps ease our lives so so much. I have realized that video conferences help shorten distances between people and allows people to always keep in touch, as well as it helps saves people’s time and money,. It is very beneficial in terms of career, education, and social lives. By just one click, someone can see the whole world live and interact with it as well.
Final Reflection on Assignment:
In general I found the assignment to be quite long and a bit hectic to be honest, however to be fair it was very beneficial. It shed light to very very important topics that I believe to find extremely neccessary to know of at least. I learned so much from this assignments I have completed and that allowed me to easily reflect on the whole previous semester and reflect on my performance. I thought that if I only had half of this knowledge earlier, it would have helped me a lot throughout the semester. Important data and topics such as smartphones and its components, zoom meetings and video conferences, in addition to the digital skills and literacies assignment were all of equal importance. I found them topics to be very crucial and important as they tackle the everyday needs and struggles of nearly everyone in life, and they do so much for me. As I have mentioned before, learning about cell-phones made focus and become self cautious when it comes to social media platforms and privacy invasion. Moreover, allowed me to appreciate the existence of modern technology as one of its forms; virtual communication, have endless advantages. I was also extremely happy and delighted to learn about the differences between digital literacies and digital skills, and how both eventually lead to each other.