Throughout the semester we used a variety of tools, most of them were new to me which was very interesting.
First of all I really liked Hypothes.is, that was the first time I hear about it during this course. In other classes we would we get assigned to do a lot of readings and it would become hard and boring to annotate them on google docs for example or to take notes on a paper, because we can lose track go thinking thread we had. Hypothesis.is makes it way easier, from one hand we can directly annotate and write our thoughts while reading the piece and from the other hand it gives us a chance to see other people’s annotations and how they think. It can inspire us, make us see a paragraph that we read from a different angle for example. I felt that it was more engaging and easy to use. As for WordPress, it is my favourite because it is not traditional. Specially, speaking from a personal point of view, online learning can become very boring with the quarantine and staying at home, so I felt that it was necessary for teachers to implement new tools that we can use just to get out of the routine. For example this class wouldn’t be as enjoyable if we used word documents or google docs and submitted our assignments on blackboard, there is nothing new or interesting in that. But the idea of using a blog is new, and would definitely grab the students attention, and also being able to see other people’s blogs was enjoyable, to see the topics they chose, how they tackled the same topic I talked about but from a different perspective, such as the empathy blogposts, each person focused on a point to talk about and had his/ her own style. WordPress made me feel connected to my peers.
Moreover, Slack is a genius invention, it was also new to me, and I would definitely recommend other professors to use it, specially during the online learning, a lot of professors take so much time to check their emails and reply to them, and that is our only source of communication. So it is very hard and stressing to use the email because we never know if the professor is going to reply to our emails. So slack is a lot easier, it is like whatsapp but in a formal way without exchanging phone numbers, because a lot of professors consider whatsapp as an informal form of communication between them and students so they refuse to use it. But slack is more organised, it can have different groups with different topics depending on the course taken, its eases the communication between the professor and students, but also between students themselves.
Furthermore,Soliya is a good source of communication when it comes to having groups online and being able to post on a wall and interact with others,However what I didn’t like at all and really hindered my experience was the video conference. Its technical part is very weak, sometimes I could not hear or see anyone. I would recommend that they use Zoom, it is way faster, and doesn’t have all those connection problems maybe they can have a hybrid system where they can use connect express as a form of communicating online through chat and asking questions through typing on the wall but conduct the live conferences through zoom. But overall, Soliya was definitely a great experience, getting to talk to people from different countries and cultures is very enriching. I was surprised that I engaged in voicing my opinions through the chat, because I am usually an introvert when it comes to talking to strangers.
Finally, I want to talk about Google slides. I have been using google slides for years, however i discovered that I used to use it in a very basic way. This semester I discovered a lot of things in google slides that would help me in other courses such as linking the slides, I never knew about this, and at the beginning I didn’t understand how we could do a game on google slides. But throughout the semester I learned it is actually very easy and makes a difference. I also learned about the copyrights of pictures, before, I used too put pictures in my slides without referencing them or checking their copyrights, and this is something that will help me in the future because I will make sure to always reference any picture I use even if it was a background picture.