In this paper, I will be reflecting on the best five digital tools we have been using in this course. The first amazing tool we used was the classroom. The classroom was highly equipped with advanced technology from Epson such as the screens and projectors. The Chairs were very comfortable and easy to move. This made the classroom dynamic very smooth. We could change the order of the chairs easily and that opened the field for more in class activities. Several things might be done using this classroom. This opened my mind to the fact that we can change or use things differently. Every single time we entered the classroom, we found an order of the chairs. Some professors may love to use it in that way. However, we change the order of the chairs in class time. I remember During assembly I went to the classroom and saw a new different arrangement of chairs. The point is that every professor utilizes the classroom the way he, she finds it more convenient. The classroom is equipped to accommodate all the needs of professors. They can divide their students into 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 groups or they can just keep the normal arrangement of any classroom in case they do not want to divide into groups. It is a very flexible classroom and it serves both students and professors to get the best out of it. The soundsystem in the classroom is at an advanced level. It makes me feel that I am surrounded by the sounds. Projectors are everywhere to show visuals. All of that makes an unforgettable experience. The smartbordes that we used every single class during the icebreaking are very fun and engaging. It opens endless possibilities of activities and games which make the learning experience even better. The lights inside the classroom were very good and powerful. Even if we switch them off and open the projectors, the projectors will be able to enlighten the entire classroom properly. There were also charging plugs everywhere. Also there was this moving powerbank to make our life easier inside the classroom so if we are doing activities using phones or laptops, everyone will find a plug to charge their phones. The worst thing in this classroom was the bad ventilation. The classroom windows and curtains have to be always closed because the outside light affects the brightness of the projectors. Thus we kept them closed during the class time. It is bad especially during corona. I always feel like I need some fresh air. Thank Allah, we have a considerate professor that always allows us to go outside to get some fresh air and eat snacks during the class time.
The second tool we used was an App called slack. We used this app as a tool of communication between us as students and the professor. There are three things I liked in this app and only one thing that I did not like. The APP was feasible to all of us and so organized. The doctor organized it into channels and specified every channel to a specific topic. For example, there was a channel for assignments, a channel for class time activities, a general channel, a random channel etc. we use every channel for a specific reason. The second things I really liked was the high privacy. The app does nor require or show our contact number. Unlike discord app, which provides the same features that slack provides and the channels features, yet it asks you about your phone number. Slack is very considerate and understanding of people’s privacy which makes some people use it confidently without being afraid. The App is also available as a website and as a laptop app. So, I can use it via my laptop. This is the third thing that I liked in this app. This was very important to me because I do not use my smartphone regularly. I do not take care of my mobil notification as it used to notify ne about stupid things. I use my laptop more than I use my smartphone. Especially during the academic semester. I used the app on my laptop and it was notifying me when someone sent anything which made my life easier and I was capable of responding to the majority of messages. What I did not like about slack was that i felt it is a little bit overwhelming and a little bit hussle. When someone sends a message, I go lost amid channels to find the message. When I want to remember something the professor mentioned, I navigate through channels and messages to find it.
The third amazing tool we used was the hypothesis App. This was the first time I ever used this website. I thought at the beginning it is hussle as I used to post my comment in public, not in class. My professor kept telling me to stop posting my comments in public, just put them in class so she can find them easily. I did not know how to do that. I just opened the link, then I went to write my annotation and post it. I never left the app before I was capable of seeing my annotations posted among other annotations. I did not know where the mistake was! I can find my annotations, why can’t you?!. I hated the website and hoped that we would not use it again. However, after I became more familiar with the website and I learned how to post my annotations in class, I realized that the app is very practical and useful. I was able to see my colleagues’ comments and reply to them and add my own comments and annotations. I enjoyed the discussion we had on each other’s annotations. This was the most enjoyable and practical thing in using this app. I wondered to myself, why don’t we just use google docs and we will be able to annotate and comment as well. However, I realized after that other people see our annotations and we can see other’s annotations and have conversations with them. When I understood the point behind digital literacy where we make everything feasible to others to read and get use of it, I found the answer of this question. There is no point behind posting annotations in a google doc and after the end of the class no one will be able to see our annotations or benefit from them. Nevertheless, in Hypothesis my annotations will always be there and people will be able to see them and comment on them.
The fourth website we used was the Soliya website. I will be commenting on Soliya website as a tool we used to communicate, if you need to see more information about the program itself I suggest you to have a look to my soliya reflection: (https://wordpress.com/post/joefadlallah.wordpress.com/94 ) The website was very organized. I felt it was going to be difficult to deal with but it was very easy. It reminds me of Yahoo because once it opens, you will see endless messages from people who joined the program with you greeting others and asking questions. Do not panic, it is okay. Join them if you wish. You will find the upper bar telling you how many notifications you have, how many private messages do you have?, you will find a link to your account file. The most important thing is the left hand side bar. You will find more information about your group. You will find a chat box between you and your fellow group members only. There, it will seem less overwhelming. It is just you and your fellows and facilitators. You will be informed by the time of the meetings and the tasks required. It is not hard to coop up with this information. There is a button that will direct you immediately to the zoom meeting if you have so you do not have to save the link. There is also a one slot to submit every task and assignment. This made it less overwhelming. You do not have to check slots and be afraid of submitting a wrong file in submission links. It is too easy and too simple to use. It allows you to contact people from different backgrounds easily.
Last but not least, the fifth tool was google slides. I usually use google slide to create presentation slides. Especially, when it is a group presentation. I prefer to use powerpoint presentation, if it is an individual one. The idea of using it to create a narrative game is a very creative and smart idea. It gave my game dynamics and made it very fun. We used the tool of linking slides to create the sense of dynamic in our games. Each choice will take the player to a different slide, different scenario and different consequences. Players will not know what are the consequences of choosing the other options which make him more focused on his/ her scenario without giving them any clues about the other consequences to keep their minds undistracted. I thought about it, what if we told them to go to slide number x. While navigating through slides they will read things and other consequences that will distract them and also the game will not be enjoyable. This also will make players curious about the other consequences that did not appear to them. They will want to play it again to try different options. This game is the thing that I am very grateful and proud of during this semester. I invite you to have a look at it and follow the instructions to get the most out of it. https://wordpress.com/post/joefadlallah.wordpress.com/76