Prototype Of My Digital Narrative Game

To clarify, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” is a 2012 memoir by American author Cheryl Strayed, describing her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery. Personally, this story had the most impact on me. It really inspired me since the day I read it as it had taught me that we should never give up no matter how many difficulties and obstacles we face during our long journey. Moreover, it affirms that we’re all strong, capable of moving on and overcoming our pains no matter how hard our life is. Also, through Strayed’s story, I learned how to get back in touch with myself. Therefore, I started to connect with my inner self and find out what really makes me happy so I can help myself to get better and literally “cure myself by myself” just as Srayed concluded. That’s why I decided to create a digital narrative game about Cheryl Strayed’s story that allows the player to experience Strayed’s adventure, hike the Pacific Crest Trail, with no previous experience (just like Strayed did) and take critical decisions that affects the rest of their educational journey…

The game is a mixture of role-playing and adventure type. It allows the player to feel more involved and more absorbed in the game. There are some guidelines that will be provided to help the player understand what they need to do and prevent them from feeling lost. In addition, warnings and anticipations will definitely be provided in case of VERY risky decisions or wrong directions. Also, some motivational tips, rewarding badges and appreciation words will appear in the form of notifications, for the purpose of encouraging the player to pursue their long journey and cheering them up.

The advantage of this game is that the player is literally part of the story. The player lives the entire experience from its very beginning to its end, and definitely shares all the failures and setbacks as well as the successes and accomplishments of the main character.

The story is supported by many elements including the player’s/main character’s actions as well as various dialogues whenever they meet other hikers or random people (minor characters) throughout their journey.

In this type of digital game, the story is the main focal point. The player is required to solve mysteries and take rational decisions as the story evolves. On the other hand, it gives the player much more freedom to explore. There are a few main storylines, however, the player has the choice to create their own unique stories.


IMAGINE ONE DAY, you woke up and literally lost everything. In the wake of your mother’s death, your family had scattered and your marriage had completely destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, YOU MADE THE MOST IMPULSIVE DECISION OF YOUR LIFE. With no previous experience or training, driven only by blind will, you would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—ALONE!!

Are you excited?? Let the fun begin!

Game created by : Mariam khalifa and Mirna Ashraf

Image result for hiker


Reflection Paper on: The CLT Anniversary Event

To begin with this conference was held on the 26th of February from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm, at Moataz Al Alfi Hall, the American University in Cairo (New campus). More precisely, it was the CLT’s 15th anniversary event known as “CLT: Celebrating 15 years of promoting excellence in teaching and learning”.

Briefly, this event featured CLT Teaching and Learning Hubs which took place throughout the day, providing a co-design activity, and a celebratory lunch with Tim Sullivan, the keynote speaker.

In my opinion, this event actually allowed us, as undergraduate students to explore a few useful practices and some effective strategies that address challenges related to our engagement within classrooms, group projects and collaboration, technology integration for pedagogical enhancement, assessment of teaching and learning, and more.

CLT Hubs focused on the following: how can technology enhance the way they teach, how do they know if their students are learning, how can they design group work that actually “works” and last but not least, how can they engage and motivate their students to learn and participate in classes?

To clarify, both students and professors were divided into small teams. Each team dissected a challenge related to teaching and learning at AUC, and worked together with the facilitation of CLT to co-design creative strategies in order to overcome those challenges and explore the best possibilities and opportunities for a better learning atmosphere within classrooms.

More precisely, our team was divided into 3 professors and 4 undergraduate AUCian students including me. First of all، we began with discussing the reasons why the majority of students always come late to 8:30 classes in the morning. One of the professors commented: “I can’t really understand if this became an attitude? Why do my students come late to classes? I always take my time to prepare and show them interesting visual materials including entertaining videos and at the end, they miss all the fun just because they’re too ‘lazy’ to come early?? This is very demotivational !!” Another professor commented: “I assume that they don’t have enough time to wake up, eat their breakfast, dress up, drive and park! This is way too much”. We actually agreed on what they both said, emphasizing on the fact that we’re human-beings, we do have a social life because we’re not machines as most of the professors expect us to be. One of the present students shared their personal miserable daily routine saying: “I wake up every morning at 6 am, arrive here at 8:30 and leave by 9:00 pm. I spend the entire day in college running from a class to another. This is way too much for me!”. Therefore, a professor thanked the student for the clarification commenting sarcastically: “I realized now why do I teach DEAD bodies at 8:30 am classes!”.  Another professor disagreed completely with our point of view by saying: “This is your job. If you don’t like it, leave it!”. However, we all agreed at the end that 8:30 am classes aren’t as beneficial as 10:00 am classes because most of the students either come late or literally come “dead” to these classes.

Second of all, we discussed the importance of attending classes by agreeing on the fact that our attitude changes within classrooms by working in groups (or pairs) and participating in various discussions. A female student commented: “Classes make me feel more confident about myself especially when I participate or work with my classmates”. On the other hand, a male student complained about group work activities and suggested to find other options or alternatives for group projects for people who prefer to work individually.

Third of all, we talked about the professor online student evaluation. On behalf of students, this is a long, time-consuming and unnecessary process that students only do it to get the 2 or 3 percent bonus. While professors perceive it as useful and important process that provide them necessary feedback that they can use later to innovate their teaching techniques for the following students.

Other significant topics were discussed including quizzes, grades, attendance, class participation and course materials.

Overall, I can tell that both students and professors took the co-design session too seriously, which led them all to participate, discuss, analyze, critique, comment, share personal experiences and express freely their point of views.

In conclusion, the good thing about this co-design session is that it effectively broke the ice between both students and professors, bringing both of them to the same table, working together in small teams, discussing future plans and strategies that affect both of them. Henceforth, after attending this session, I’m expecting to see real positive outcomes and appreciated changes within classrooms. In other words, starting from the next semester, I’m expecting to experience a better innovated learning atmosphere within classrooms that involves a better understanding and healthier communication between students and professors.



Here are some pictures that I took during the event, using my phone’s camera:


Reflection #4 Recognition Is Futile: Why Checklist Approaches to Information Literacy Fail and What To Do About It



Despite the fact the article is too long, it is definitely worth reading. It actually emphasizes on the fake news issue and provides useful tips and effective strategies to avoid this serious matter.

In my own point of view, I think that discussing such topics is definitely a must. Fake news is becoming a global issue nowadays. Experts themselves don’t know if the fake news problem will get more or less awful! That’s why it is very important to provide the readers with a better understanding of this matter just like Mikecaulfield did in his article.

Effectively, Mikecaulfield, the article’s writer, helped us to identify fake news by looking at certain criterias that I personally didn’t know about before including the source itself (authors, publishers, social media users, etc…), evidence (names, numbers and places), context (current events, cultural trends), intended audience, the purpose and last but not least the execution (how the information is being presented, style, grammar, layout and image choices).  He also provided us with his “four moves” effective strategy to distinguish fake news.

Not only this but also, I liked the way he introduced to us the topic by linking his personal stories, including the whooping cough story, with the fake news issue in a very creative way.

Moreover, he used interesting examples to cover the fake news issue including Jennifer Lawrence’s death news as well as the Harvard medical school study on domestic violence.

In conclusion, due to this article’s topic value and importance, I decided to share its link on my personal Facebook account and added a caption “A MUST-READ!”. In addition, I commented on the article itself and joined the ongoing discussion on the MOOC engagement saying: “Hi there. Thanks to Mikecaulfield’s four moves strategy that allowed us to resist fake news. It is actually the right time to stay informed in order to make decisions that affect our collective future”.

Reflection #3 Education in the (Dis)Information Age

To clarify, Kris Shaffer reflects on the abundance of information on the web. He suggests that the hyperlink maybe ‘our most potent weapon’ against disinformation: The oldest and simplest of internet technologies, the hyperlink and the “new” kind of text it affords — hypertext — is the foundation…


One of the things I really enjoyed about this reading is the introduction and how it actually grabbed my attention. I liked the fact that the writer started the article by sharing a personal experience and talking about his visit experience to the seminar course for history majors at University of Mary Washington, where students were digging into the differences between primary and secondary sources.


I also liked the fact that his whole article is actually supporting or based on his very first argument: “We are all on the front lines in the war against disinformation”. I really liked this argument and I thought it was worth sharing. That’s why I retweeted it immediately once I’ve read it.


Personally, I think that the part on social media platforms killing the hyperlink is particularly helpful in clarifying that distinction between creating a URL and pasting a hyperlink. It’s a lot more consequential than perhaps I had previously considered. Clicking on the URL definitely takes you out of the platform, so they aren’t stopping that, but it certainly does obscure the fuller nature of hypertextuality.


I agree with Shaffer with respect to importance and utility of the hyperlink. The example used to support his argument is actually a good one.


Reflection #2 Power, Polarization, and Tech

Reflection #2

Power, Polarization, and Tech



First of all, there are plenty of elements, techniques and ways that are involved in this essay in the purpose of getting the user to read through the content. One of them is the use of quotations every once in a while, that I personally enjoyed as a reader.

Moreover, I really LIKED the fact that Chris, the essay’s writer, used different reliable sources as evidences to support his arguments, including David Golumbia’s description of the scholarly concept of Cyberlibertarianism, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law, ProPublica’s exposé on how Facebook understands the notion of a protected class on their platform, U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican, Wired Magazine’s investigation of Facebook’s formula for protecting speech, The American Supreme Court, Jessie Daniels’ Cyber Racism, and other sources.

His arguments are very convincing and straight to the point. One of his main arguments that caught my eyes is: “The longer you are on the platform, the more you produce and the more can be extracted from you”.  He actually summed up the whole issue straightforwardly claiming that polarization keys engagement, and engagement/attention are the what keep us on platforms.

The only thing I DISLIKED about this essay is the fact that he compressed too many aspects including gender, sexuality, technology and politics in one essay. He probably aimed to cover the issue from multidirectional perspectives using various aspects. Anyhow, from my own point of view, I think that the essay could have been better if it had focused on one specific aspect.

Reflection #1 Antigonish 2.0: A Way for Higher Ed to Help Save the Web

Reflection #1

Antigonish 2.0: A Way for Higher Ed to Help Save the Web


In my own point of view, this article is actually worth reading. Personally, I didn’t have any idea about this Antigonish movement before. So, I was more than pleasantly surprised to read about this revolutionary model.

One of the things I really liked about this reading is the introduction and how it actually grabbed my attention successfully as a reader and encouraged me to read the rest of the text to its very end. The introduction mainly emphasized on the use of the World Wide Web which was going to revolutionize almost everything.

That’s because the web is a big part of where we live now. But we neither understand it nor know how to use it for learning”. I wouldn’t exaggerate if I say that this is actually one of the very few facts I totally agree with and the most interesting thing I’ve read in a while.

Bonnie Stewart was able to use a rhetorical device in order to persuade us, as readers, that all we really need is not a revolution, yet, a way to develop both the local and global literacies to foster functional democratic participation. This is only possible through the Antigonish model.

The only thing I disliked about the article is the use of too much details while explaining for instance the history of this movement as well as its three different layers, which I found very confusing and unnecessary to know. It was more than enough to mention a few interesting facts about how this movement began and provide a briefer explanation for the three layers.

However, as an overall experience, I really enjoyed reading about this revolutionary model to the extent that I decided to join the ongoing discussion using my google account. I didn’t only comment on the post and share my personal opinion, but I also replied to a few comments by different users. In addition, I shared the reading on my personal Facebook account saying: “Best thing I’ve read today!”. As can be noticed, I kept the caption short, clear and catchy in order to grab my friends’ attention. I got a total of 3 likes, which is not bad at all.






Personally, psychology for me is not only a subject but an incredibly interesting field of study. Therefore, people must realize how important their lives are and learn about the great potential they have as human beings. I don’t think there’s another subject which can will teach them things about themselves and the environment affecting their behaviors.

Studying human psychology was always a great passion for me, and certainly many aspects have developed my love for this field. In order to receive my IB MYP certificate at the age of 14, I had to create a personal project which is an independent research one that is designed to demonstrate the student’s ability to organize, create, and complete a significant body of work. As I was very influenced and inspired by all the psychological books that I’ve read starting from the “secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “how to get what you want and want what you have” by John Gray and ending with the “the magic”, I decided to choose a topic related to psychology and write an extended essay on it. I was discussing how the absence of parents and adults affects the life of a teenager (their way of thinking, communicating, socializing with others, how they feel about it, etc…).  I really liked my topic to the extent that and I spent almost 6 months researching on the internet, meeting both psychologists and psychiatrists, watching documentary movies about this issue, interviewing friends, students and family members… This allowed me to discover teenagers’ needs in that age as well as to see the whole matter from an insider’s view and give an authentic feedback about the suffering of an adolescent excluded, rejected or unwanted by his parents. That’s why I was encouraged to read and discover more things in order to enrich my knowledge in the field of adolescent’s psychology and focus on their development, needs and changes. I got a 6 out of 7 as a total grade for the project, which is an excellent grade. I will never forget my feeling at this moment and how proud everyone was for me including my family, classmates and all my teachers at high school. Teachers took me as an ideal example for other students as I challenged my capacities and worked really hard on the project aiming a full-mark. A lot of effort has gone into making this essay a success.

However, I’ve faced many obstacles including hearing annoying stereotypes and myths about the subject itself and the students who study it and especially from my family and close friends who believe that psychology majors do not have any career in Egypt. Anyhow, I decided to study what I really like, challenge myself and prove them wrong. I worked really hard starting from my first semester in college and by the end of my second semester, I was able to declare the major! `

To sum up, I’m really proud of this experience because it has a precious and valuable meaning for me. That’s why I thought it was worth sharing it. Studying psychology was a real challenge for me. And now? Well, in the meantime, it is the greatest achievement that I’m proudest of and one of my main values, inspirations and motives in my life. Psychology is not just a major… Psychology is what keeps me breathing…