I’ve learned from a broad variety of technology this semester, along with innovative applications for tools I was previously familiar with. Using the resources in this course improved my technical proficiency, critical thinking, organization, teamwork, and effective communication. I’ll be discussing a number of tools, including WordPress, Canvas, Poe, Slack, Google Docs, Hypothesis, and the smart board in the classroom. 

Smart Board

Our classroom is equipped with the same interactive whiteboard and wheeled chairs as my entrepreneurship class. These, in my opinion, give students—including me—the confidence to express themselves. My response is significantly impacted by an administrative and controlled classroom setting where students are not given the freedom to participate as much as they should when the professor or registrar chooses the layout of the class. I found myself wondering why the registrar or the instructors decide the process behind the location and feasibility as in the “Design thinking” module of the digital literacy pathway (All aboard stations). It is debatable whether Marketing lectures should be held in the gardens or in non-interactive classrooms like Literature classes. If I remember correctly, design thinking is an iterative process and invites change. Maybe some classrooms where it will be beneficial for students to visit other locations can be scheduled for specific days in other classrooms like the one in gardens. 

One of the unique aspects of our use was the ability to share phone content directly onto the Smart Board. This feature allowed us to easily project and discuss relevant information or media from our personal devices. Additionally, we often wrote directly on the board next to the news or titles, which helped in clearly illustrating and annotating key points in real-time. Another significant benefit like this previous one that my entrepreneurship class also shares, was the boost in confidence during presentations. Being able to see and interact with the slides on the board made presenting smoother and more engaging. It was certainly refreshing to be in two courses that aren’t similar in concept but in execution where my opinion was valued and wanted which was evident in the course design. 

Hypothesis and WordPress

I had never used either of these technologies before, so the course really broadened my horizons. I feel like I didn’t get to examine it well, therefore I would have loved to interact through hypotheses more via the readings in the assignments. It is a pretty innovative tool as it essentially lets visitors annotate the articles using the side bar and view other people’s annotations. It made it possible for me to record quick ideas as they came to mind and link the idea to the text. Usually, I have a lot of ideas floating about in my mind as I consider several interpretations of a paragraph; this helps me concentrate and filter my thoughts.Since we are not only consuming information but also interacting with it and with one another, this type of interaction encourages analytical thinking and active learning.

WordPress is a tool for creating and disseminating digital information, and it’s a great starting point for posting multimedia and blog entries. It was entertaining to use even though its interface is a little dated and not as engaging as I would expect a website that publishes blogs to be. Since I’ve never had a blog or a digital persona in general, this was a novel experience for me, and it helped me discover that I’m not as active online as I had previously believed. With regard to WordPress annotations, I believe that combining WordPress with Hypothesis will enable us to discuss and interact more cohesively. This integration fosters critical thinking, collaborative learning, active involvement, and encouragement in addition to improving my reading experience.

Soliya’s platform and Emotional Question board game 

A unique channel for virtual communication and cross-cultural discussion was offered by Soliya’s platform. It worked especially well for understanding other viewpoints and promoting global connections. Through the platform, we were able to interact with peers from around the world. A facilitator led the conversations, which included subjects such as empathy, ethics, and introspection.

The emotion board game included two decks of cards, emotions and questions. We were encouraged to discuss events with the emotion and context in which they occurred. For instance, if we rolled the dice and got the emotion “angry” we would describe the circumstances behind “What” and “Angry” happening in our life. I was able to develop my interpersonal skills and think critically about my emotional responses while playing this game.

We were able to gain a deeper understanding of both our own and other people’s emotional reactions by connecting certain emotions with circumstances from everyday life. It also helped me express my feelings and inspired me to consider why I was feeling happy or angry in certain circumstances. As a result, I became more adept at active listening since I was able to comprehend other people’s perspectives by hearing them describe their feelings and experiences.

The emotion-reflecting game followed a predetermined structure with predetermined questions and answers, while Soliya’s platform offered a more flexible setting for conversations about morality, empathy, and awareness. A facilitator led discussions in Soliya by bringing up relevant subjects and making sure that meaningful dialogues took place. Conversely, the emotion-reflecting game was more peer-led and promoted natural and direct conversations between participants. I have learned that I enjoyed the structured format of the game as it guides my thought process and helps me filter my thoughts and limit my hesitancy. Soliya educated me on culture diversity but also the connection people can have outside of culture. While cultural differences set us apart, our ideologies and openness brought us together. It was an enlightening experience as not getting along with others especially on this platform was a concern of mine. 

Slack and Google docs

Slack is a team-oriented communication tool. It facilitates file sharing, teamwork, and real-time communication via channels arranged according to the creators desired design. It promoted open communication and arranged the channels according to subjects, such as homework, Soliya, class schedule, etc. This improves our ability to discover shared content that is connected to our own and to respond to inquiries from others or view them which will benefit us collectively. Slack offers us the privacy we need to share freely in class yet protects the privacy of our individual connections, which is something I appreciated.

A learning system called Canvas is used to oversee all aspects of a course, including communication, grading, and the distribution of course materials. 

I found the customizable features—such as the ability to get notifications for announcements, grade adjustments, and assignment uploads—to be very helpful. A few features, such as content/slides organization and reminders prior to deadlines, are missing. I saw its advantages and wished it was built into Canvas’ settings as I was used to getting notifications 24 hours before a submission’s deadline. The modules were categorized by subjects, which made it rather simple for me to search through the material. However, the slides were a little difficult to find among the other uploads, so I had hoped for a tab on the left sidebar, similar to the one for assignments, to hold the slides and content. 

Conclusion and AI usage 

I realized that I was barely using AI this semester, and a number of circumstances led me to make this decision. Developing efficient prompts for AI was time-consuming and frequently felt complicated, particularly when attempting to generate images. I had assumed that AI would mostly help me with developing ideas or refinement. But as I worked with AI to create digital stories for games, I found that it could go beyond these expectations, offering a level of ingenuity and distinctiveness I had not expected. Even though I didn’t use AI much, I was astonished to learn how much it can improve creativity—especially in digital narratives. When I did interact with AI, particularly for the game creation, it went above what I had anticipated by offering fresh insights and ideas. 

This encounter demonstrated AI’s potential as a creator who may provide fresh perspectives to a project, in addition to its usefulness as a tool for concept refinement. The application of AI by my peers supported my claim that the technology still requires advancement in order to fully understand human variations such as culture and individually distinctive subtleties. For instance, I’m hoping it can succeed if we test it to replicate an online meme about Egyptian humor or old cinematic jokes that already exist.The wide variety of resources we employed in the classroom during the course of the semester really influenced my abilities and mindset. Each tool made a distinct contribution to my development, from encouraging a collaborative approach to improving my ability to communicate effectively. Looking forward, I am excited to continue using Hypothesis for its precision in annotation and Slack for its robust communication capabilities.