In this course, we used a myriad of tools that were of great help. Some of these tools I’ve already known about, such as Google Slides –which is what I used for my game–zoom, Coursera, AI tools such as Chatgpt etc. There were other tools that I had never used before, and they greatly helped me enhance my skills and knowledge in this course. The six tools we’ll be focusing on are Empathy Toy, Hypothesis, Slack, WordPress (Blogs), Interactive whiteboards, and Digital Narrative Games (Syrian Refugees and Spent). We’ll also be reflecting on my use of AI throughout this course.

The empathy toy was more than a fun activity that we did in class. It makes you switch roles with the visually impaired students, and then you’re instructed by them to make up different shapes. It makes you see the world through their eyes and understand better how they perceive things. The name for this toy is the perfect description of it; it teaches you empathy. Although some may think that this toy has nothing to do with digital literacies, it goes above and beyond that. It teaches you how different people work and fosters empathy and common understanding. This reflects greatly on your identity and the qualities you can possess through such a toy. 

Hypothesis is a website that allows you to comment on different writing pieces and see what others have written. This tool fosters deep and critical thinking, qualities that are very important to possess yet hard to learn. We read a great piece of literature by Lina Mounzer on the Syrian conflict and refugees, which also complements the Syrian Refugees game we played and gives us a very comprehensive overview of the Syrian conflict. This makes us think outside the local and onto the regional events. I think it’s of utmost importance that we learn about different parts of the world in order to open our eyes to crises happening around us. This reading also taught us empathy, as we sympathized with the author’s struggles.

Slack is a very efficient platform that helps me connect very fast with my professor and classmates, as well as ask questions at any given time without disturbing anyone. This platform breaks barriers between teachers and students, which is why I describe it as “connect” rather than talk. When the professor instructed us to use Slack, I didn’t know that such an application existed. However, around a month ago, I came across a post about Slack on social media and how it’s not only used for communication between classmates and professors, but it’s also very commonly used for work in big corporations. Slack was very easy to use and pretty self-explanatory. I believe that I will continue using this platform and introduce others to it as well. 

As someone who loves writing, I was very excited to use blogs to submit our assignments. The course Blog was easy to navigate, and it allowed me to enhance my creativity further when it came to structuring our assignments. When we use Google Docs or similar websites, the assignments are very bland, and it gets hard to be creative with them. However, in all my submissions on the Blogs, I was able to insert interesting visuals, learned to write ALT Text and give credit, and divided my essays into parts so the reader would be engaged with the different sections. In the Blog, I did what I wanted to see: an engaging assignment that was interesting to read. This tool enhanced my digital skills, as well as my writing quality and creativity. 

Interactive whiteboards were a great tool that we heavily relied on. These boards were very impressive to use, as I’ve never used them before. Learning how to use them helped me develop my digital literacy skills as it was very hands-on and required knowledge of technology (i.e., how to connect your phone to the board through the app and open the function you want). They fostered teamwork and self-learning, along with empathy when it came to those who weren’t able to use it (visually impaired). Although accessibility is a focal point in our course, these boards weren’t accessible, and I believe that those unable to access it were left out. They only gave opinions or recommendations rather than interacting with these boards in accessible ways. The only thing I can think of to make it more accessible is screen readers. If these whiteboards had an accessibility option, students could connect their devices to the board and use the screen reader and be able to write inputs on their devices that can be shown on the whiteboard. This way, students are able to work in teams, all while having access to these great boards.  

The Digital Narrative Games (Syrian Refugees and Spent) were one of my favorite tools in this course. It is one thing to play entertaining games, but another thing entirely to play ones that are entertaining and informative. The Syrian Refugees game was a storytelling game that lets you choose your fate. This taught me to combine critical thinking and emotions to make wise decisions. It fosters empathy and rationale, which are aspects I don’t find in most games. By putting myself in the refugees’ shoes, I’m now aware of their struggles. This also taught me to think about people and their hardships more than mine. 

Another game was Spent. It was about living a hard adult life and making ends meet until the end of the month. This game taught me accountability and responsibility and challenged my values (e.g., whether to send my mother to the hospital or not, or whether to take my son’s savings). It built my character, and I couldn’t help but make wise decisions in my life long after playing it. 


AI is a relatively new tool in academia and one that I haven’t had time to digest and get proper training for. I have tried using AI multiple times in different courses, and I found it easier to extract academic information from it than creative ideas. However, even when I get information for my courses, it’s still confusing and, on many occasions, inaccurate. This is why I’ve grown to shy away from using AI. I avoid it not only for accuracy reasons but also for personal growth reasons. So many times, I’ve encountered people who pride themselves on using AI and their lack of effort. They rely on it solely, and it truly shows when you ask them to be creative. They find it difficult to come up with creative solutions, as AI kills any creativity one can have. For this particular reason, I have avoided using AI unless asked by my professors, and even then, I find it very boring and weary to incorporate AI into my assignments. 

Although I try not to judge others on their use of AI, I find it very hard to trust any information coming from this person. However, I can also tell if a person uses both the human mind and the artificial one. They’re usually very informative and want to keep up with modern technology that will aid them in their lives. Despite my distaste for AI, I cannot neglect its importance. Thus, I believe AI should be applied in the learning process for lesser tasks, such as writing an outline or researching sources. These are the only ways I’ve used AI and only for my major political science courses. When it comes to creative courses such as this one, the use of AI should be very limited as it’s irrelevant since creativity relies heavily on the human mind.