Reflection on Course Tools

This course used a variety of tools to enhance learning, and as a visually impaired student, I had a unique perspective on their usefulness. Here’s a reflection on some of the key tools:

  1. Hypothesis
  • Learned: Hypothesis allows annotating and discussing readings collaboratively.
  • Good for: In-depth reading comprehension, group discussions, sharing insights.
  • Not for: Quick reference or casual reading.
  • Learned about myself: I prefer to have discussions after reading independently, but Hypothesis can be helpful for focused discussions.
  • Developed skills: Critical thinking, analysis, communication.
  • Liked: Ability to access classmates’ annotations and perspectives.
  • Didn’t like: Can be time-consuming to annotate everything.
  1. Slack
  • Learned: Slack is a communication platform for courses, similar to WhatsApp but more professional and secure.
  • Good for: Quick questions, discussions, file sharing, course updates.
  • Not for: In-depth discussions or complex topics.
  • Learned about myself: I prefer platforms like WhatsApp for familiarity, but Slack’s organization is helpful in an academic setting.
  • Developed skills: Communication, online etiquette, information retrieval.
  • Liked: Organization with channels, faster response times than email.
  • Didn’t like: Unfamiliar interface compared to WhatsApp.
  1. Canvas
  • Learned: Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) similar to Blackboard, but more user-friendly and efficient regarding its high performance.
  • Good for: Submitting assignments, accessing course materials, tracking grades.
  • Not for: In-depth discussions or interactive activities.
  • Learned about myself: I appreciate user-friendly interfaces that make navigating the course easier.
  • Developed skills: Time management, organization, familiarity with LMS.
  • Liked: Easy to find information, improved performance compared to Blackboard.
  • Didn’t like: Similar to Blackboard in functionality, but the interface is better.
  1. Smart Boards
  • Learned: Smart boards are interactive whiteboards that enhance active learning.
  • Good for: Visual presentations, group activities, brainstorming sessions.
  • Not for: Traditional lectures or note-taking (can be overwhelming).
  • Learned about myself: I benefit from the engaging nature of smart boards and the ability to move around the classroom.
  • Developed skills: Collaboration, visual learning, participation.
  • Liked: Increased engagement, dynamic presentations, multiple information displays.
  • Didn’t like: Can be distracting if not used strategically.
  • I have tried these smart boards in another course called “Inclusion and Exclusion in Egypt” taught by Dr. Alexandra Gasis. These smart boards exist in what are called Active Learning classes, and they are so engaging and enjoyable in the class activities.
  1. AI in general
  • Learned: AI has limitations and biases based on training data. We have red that they trained these models from US, China, and Germany data, and they lack lots of info which makes these models biased like the topic of Israel and Gaza, yet I have learned something called CREATE framework which is used in order to create appropriate prompts, and I found someone who used this framework to create a prompt to break the ChatGPT responses and called “ChatGPT Jalibreak”, it can be accessed via this link You can just paste it to the conversation and then ask it any question you want.
  • Good for: Improving performance, assisting with tasks, providing additional information access for visually impaired students (e.g., Be My Eyes’ “Be My AI”) which is a tool we use in order to make it describe anything we cannot see.
  • Not for: Solely completing projects, replacing critical thinking, perpetuating biases.
  • Learned about myself: I’m cautious about AI’s limitations but see its potential as an assistive tool.
  • Future of AI: AI can be a valuable tool in education, but ethical considerations and responsible development are crucial. It can be used for describing visuals for visually impaired students or for summarizing complex information, but it shouldn’t replace human judgment or creativity.
  • Also, there is a platform called POE which includes most of the AI models in just one place, and you can pay just one subscription in order to access all of these AI tools. I have used it a lot to do most of the class activities and it is a less-time consuming. Furthermore, it is more friendly and accessible with the screen reader users.
  1. Google Forms:
  • Learned: The difference between digital literacy and skills

:  • Used for: Creating a digital narrative game

  • Learned about myself: I lack the wide imagination to create good scenarios


This course’s variety of tools provided a well-rounded learning experience. As a visually impaired student, I appreciated tools like Be My Eyes’ “Be My AI” in such these active learning classes, however, I have not used it in this class, yet it has recently developed more and can be used in such these classes later, and the high performance of Canvas.  For future courses, I would like to use Hypothesis again for collaborative reading because I have not used it much in this class because I have encountered some technical issues, but I was able to figure it out later, and it is so interesting tool, and Canvas for its user-friendly interface.  I’m also interested in exploring the potential of AI for further educational purposes, keeping in mind its limitations and ethical considerations.