Soliya reflection

Soliya was an international student conference where students from different parts of the world to share their experience and background about different topics. Unfortunately I was not able to participate this semester as my assigned group conflicted with other courses so I could not attend. However, I interviewed 2 students, attended a focus group where another 2 students talked about their experience and I attended another focus group that was about privacy.

People’s main comment about soliya was mainly about the assigned groups as some of the groups were more interactive than others which made the process a lot more fun and engaging while for those who had groups that did not interact found the whole experience not interesting and maybe for some people they thought that it was boring.At first most of my colleagues felt uncomfortable talking in front of people that they did not know then after several meetings with their groups they became more confident and willing to talk. The students that I interviewed said that they expected to talk about their cultures and countries but it wasn’t like that as the topics were about who they are, their interests, how do we see our cultures and what are their expectations and things that they’re willing to change from their culture stereotypes and traditions.

Other topics where about social media platforms and how much they are involved in their lives. We also talked about social media in the Google hangout that we did which was about privacy. We shared our stories and talked about funny things that happened to us while using social media platforms. The thing that I liked the most was the diversity of people and how interactive and understanding they were. I shared a story of mine which was about someone who created a fake account for me on a social media platform and how I dealt with it and most importantly I felt really comfortable talking and participating in the conversation which was something that I did not expect. Then, they all shared similar stories and experiences about how could people use social media to invade others privacy and how can we protect our identity on social media platforms to avoid any unwanted consequences.



Final reflection

Being one of the most interesting courses that i have ever taken this course was quite interesting and beneficial for me at the same time as almost all the classes were really fun and the topics were very engaging.

The first thing that i learnt from the course is blogging since it was my first time to write and know what a blog post is and it was something that I truly enjoyed, especially when I did the game blog post and found that a lot of people where commenting on the blog post and interacting with it. It gave me a motive to work when I felt like I had audience and that people where looking forward to play it.

Secondly, I guess this course have changed my way of thinking about several topics like when I hear others way of thinking and perceiving problems. One of the topics that I feel like I have learnt from was when we talked about equity and when we learnt how not to judge people based on what you heard about them but based on your own experience and to keep an open mind when it comes to accepting other people’s beliefs and opinions. I also loved the freedom of speech that was provided by Dr Maha where she left us to express our thoughts and opinions freely with no borders or restrictions which gave me the confidence and courage to participate and reflect on every topic with enthusiasm.

Lastly, another major thing that I have learnt was to use google docs to create the game which was also a new experience and a platform that I have never used before and it was easy and flexible to use and most importantly a new skill that I have gained from the course. Apart from that the games that we played made me learn how to put myself in other people’s shoes and experience things from their own perspective.

In general Dr Maha’s attitude helped me learn a lot throughout the course as she was very cooperative and understanding and she made it easy for us to approach her and speak out if she has any problems. Also, the variety of the ways that we learnt through from videos, readings, games and debates and that was the key element that made the course interesting and beneficial.

My only suggestion to improve the course is to include more in class activities as they make the students feel more engaged and remember and learn more from every topic. Also, maybe decreasing the in class readings and the amount of blog post and make it after every major topic instead of  the many blog posts after each class.

Contribute Assignment

For my contribution assignment, I was choosing between the topics that interested me the most, which are fake news and privacy. I watched a couple of videos about both topics and found a couple of interesting videos that can be added to the content of the course.

The first video is a TED-Ed animation video  about fake news and it explained the concept really well, along with that there was a quote that said “A lie can travel half way through the world while the truth is putting on its shoes” which shows us how fast a piece of fake news can spread compared to another one that’s true. Also, it added a new term to my knowledge known as circular reporting which is like what happened with the NASA girl, where a source publishes something then another one takes it and the first publication cities the one who copied as the source for their information; or when multiple sources uses the same source to report something that’s not true. Moreover, sometimes something that was approved by an a credible person may be taken seriously without checking this person’s sources. Another form is when people get information from a Wikipedia source that they are not sure if it’s true or not just because it’s quick and convenient for them.

The second and third one are just funny light videos about privacy where it shows how could the technology steel your information without you noticing it and how could companies and institutions use this information against you as sharing your personal life can affect your professional life Therefore, you should take good care about what you post online so that you can protect your privacy.