Empathy 140 characters at a time

--Originally published at kimberlyuribe.wordpress.com

If you’ve ever felt victimize by your social networks asking “What’s happening?” or “What’s on your mind?” is either because you’re an independent strong user who needs no interface to ask you anything about your day or because you can’t actually reduce your “complicated millennial mind” to fit a text box. Ok, or maybe you don’t care at all. Whichever the answer is, what those boxes ask us is way deeper than we think.

This boxes challenge us in different ways according to the nature of the platform. While Facebook’s phrase addresses our own thoughts, Twitter asks about facts, about things happening in that moment. Of course we skip all of this interaction and just tweet about how hungry we are (as if spending all of our money in pizza isn’t enough). According to “Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope“; a study that explores the relation between followers, followees and friends, networks that matter in social media are those that are made out of patterns of interaction between people rather than those made of people the user claim to be friends with (like adding someone to the friend’s list in Facebook). As a reflection of the findings, to figure out the size of a network that matters, one must consider users who actually communicate through direct messages with each other.  This research found out that people using Twitter only keep in touch with a small number of the people they follow. As a conclusion, it questions the point of view of scholars, advertisers and political activists who believe that online social networks help as a propagation of ideas and formation of social bonds.

Although(thru a basic and lame skimming of the paper and a fast Adobe pdf highlighter tool) mathematically the study makes sense, some educators have a different point of view. Social networks including Twitter, make a great difference in how we perceive the place were we live (hello! mother earth, duh) and people whom we read have an important role for us to build an opinion and impress your crush with facts and knowledge.

New generations are most likely to get informed by social media (Facebook, Twitter or even Snapchat visiting the discovery section) than what they are from other “oficial” media. Information we take from social networks stays in our brains all day long (including all of those memes from 9gag). We can actually know how many people have seen our tweet complaining about traffic jam (omg, never ever go out by 8:00 a.m.). So, how could we change the world if we consider the content we post every day? One brain-full woman and cute mother called Maha Bali (Long Story Short I met her thanks to a cool Google Hangout session you can watch here. She’s a Professor at the American University in Cairo, passionate on the process of learning and teaching and is one of the co-funders of Virtually Connecting. Oh, and a blogger). In one of her posts she talks about promoting empathy and social justice online. Some of the most important things I read in her post where that:

  • Some of the most important works from people who want to achieve this social justice state that raising consciousness about oppressive conditions may actually cause freedom.
  • Question power structures!
  • Social media empowers people to stand up for their opinions and believes
  • Make people aware of what’s happening thru social media
  • Share virtual space with others, regardless of geography

After reading her article two things popped out in my head: being and feminists and a vegetarian. These are two things I’m passionate of talking about. Nevertheless, sometimes I remind silent because most of the time people will only react with things such as this:


Ok, sometimes those jokes are funny, I have to admit. But my point is that, I don’t want to change people’s habits one talk at a time, but if people ask my reasons on why am I vegetarian, I want to raise awareness on topics such as food ethics or animal cruelty. I really don’t want to have a beef with no one (ah ja ja! see what I did there?). Just when I was about to give up on giving my opinion whenever I feel like, something happened. I’m fan #1 of making remarks and jokes about “The Patriarchy” or heteronormativity. You know, those things you can actually hear like “Doing [whatever] is boy’s stuff” that men tend to ignore or categorize as offensive. I’m so triggered and pissed when these phrases catch my ear. And my friends know it. Almost all of my friends are men, which is great because I think there’s a big learning process between me learning what is like to be a boy, and them learning what is like to be a girl. So after a month or so of hearing my constantly complains about the topic, what surprised me the most happened one lovely Friday afternoon: “Ok, so can you actually explain to us what do to mean by  <<The Patriarchy>>?”

This is not a drill people! A group of men actually where interested in feminism! The Suffragettes would be so proud of me! 

After explaining what all of those terms mean, and giving examples on how we see things as normal when they are not (making “You kick like a girl” offensive when it shouldn’t), my friends had bunches of questions. I was surprised. Sometimes when we hear all of these anti-feminist comments or when someone says we are Femi Nazis, we get so pissed off that we actually ignore ignorance. I got surprised to realize that maybe, just maybe, most of the times people say something against feminism is because people actually don’t know what it stands for. How did I know my little conference about “The Patriarchy” worked? (If after 3 times that you just read the term “The Patriarchy” you aren’t reading it in a gloomy and scary voice, you’re doing it wrong and start over reading this). I knew it worked because my friends now point out any anti-feminist comment. They start to realize which comments where heteronormative; from zero to hero. The moral of the story is that now I feel like I actually made a difference on how people (coff coff men) see feminism and understand them.

Going back to the social empathy, justice  and social media, Social Networks that matter are not those whose interactions are made from people talking to each other, but those who speak to the world. This type of networks aren’t exclusive of the XXI Century, the rise of social awareness thru what we write has been popular since… ever. Virginia Woolf, a writer, essayist, editor and feminist is considered one of the most outstanding figures of Modern Literature and of course, Feminism of XX Century. Virginia aside from writting novels, wrote some damn good essays like “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” which is one of the most quoted texts in the Feminist movement. Nowadays, Virginia Woolf’s works is on point, thanks to a couple of blank pages filled with the voice of the oppressed. New generations have easier ways to communicate with each other. We don’t have to wait for someone to publish our books in order for people to read what we are up to. Twitter is a great tool not only to complain or retweet Tumblr quotes, is a way to talk about What’s Happening?, give your opinion in 140 characters and why not? making someone think about your tweet and create reflexive content online. Sometimes, people just need a little bit of information to change how they see things. I wish Virginia Woolf to be alive, her tweets would be LIT.







An influential lady

--Originally published at Frida Díaz

Maha Bali is an Associated in Professional Practices that is currently living in Egypt. She uses twitter as an educational tool and her blog has the particularity that it shows how long it would take to read every post. Her blogs are usually read in about 5 minutes, but the comments that follow can take longer to read than the post itself. Her daughter plays an important role in her life, and in her Hangouts conversations (she’s adorable).

She disagrees with the ideology that millennials spend too much time on their cell phones instead of socializing due to the reason that it is impossible to know if what they are doing isn´t truly important for them. She believes that technology does not break people apart; on the contrary, it brings them together. There’s a huge amount of introverts around the world that gain confidence whenever the use technology for communication. Face to face communication is overrated, it is not necessarily more important to pay attention to someone in front of you than to someone over the Internet.

Regarding the blogging part, she encourages mentioning others on your blog, as long as you are trying to get the best part of them. She believes posts are not supposed to be so long (no more than 1,000 words) unless you have something more important to say. If the post is too long, you can divide it into steps. Also, she suggests to write a short summary on top of the post if it´s too long.

She suggests being careful whenever you are talking about politics, different cultures and other sensitive topics and always use respectful words. In case of getting in trouble, an apology will never have the same impact as the first post.

Pictures are great for explaining something, but do not overload our post with them. Videos can also be helpful, but the time of the reader should also be considered before using this source. Every source of media has its advantages: video can help express your emotions and transfer them to the viewer, podcasts can be listened everywhere like in the car or while coking, but the post can make the writer appear smarter as they have more time to think and edit what they are posting.

All of this was retrieved from the conversation we had with her last Thursday; also, her blog has realy interesting articles that everyone should read.


--Originally published at Frida Díaz

Alan Levine a.k.a CogDog is an expert on the implementation of new technologies in education that agreed on having a conversation with us during the iTec course. He usually uses his blog to post the solution he found to a problem he considers relevant. For achieving this purpose, it is necessary to guide the reader through the process of thinking he had while he was coming through the solution.

He feels everyone should post whenever they feel like it, without established schedules. Sometimes he posts about three times per week and sometimes he does it once in a month. Everyone wonders if their work is actually great, so it´s okay to feel afraid of publishing, but you still have to do it.

Regarding the security issues someone may face during this communication with the rest of the world, Alan believes that if your information is really important to you, you shouldn’t be posting it online.

Furthermore, he believes that images inside a post are important to keep the reader’s attention. The images he uses for his post tend to be pictures he took during his free time. He assures that this activity helps him get relaxed and eventually he starts seeing the world differently, which helps him solve his problems more efficiently.

His pictures had been used for commercial purposes without his permission. But instead of getting upset, the CogDog suggests us to feel proud that our work is being appreciated and distributed, especially when it helps other solve their problems.

You can read more about Alan Levine on his blogs: http://cogdog.wikispaces.com/ and http://cog.dog/. I also suggest to get a look at his github or flickr accounts.

A pink hurricane

--Originally published at Frida Díaz

Amy Burvall is a well-know teacher that loves supporting startups that help spreading education. Since she beat breast cancer about 10 years ago, she encourages everyone into living life and having fun.

For perfectionist people, like me, she developed the term “raw thought”. A “raw thought” is the creation of a short post that is more of a draft. At the end of the draft you write the words “raw thought” which means you will make it better somewhere in the future.

She recommends everyone to spend at least half an hour a day being creative. Visuals are excessively relevant in social media communication. Do not have an intended audience, at the end of the day, anyone can see it. And most importantly, publish something that is helpful and only publish what your mother would approve.

I recommend everyone to visit Amy’s blog and twitter account. They are full of mesmerizing drawing she made herself and lot of pink details that show her feminine side. Every single one of her post is flooded with creativity and style.

Students have a voice

--Originally published at Frida Díaz

On Tuesday we had the opportunity to talk with Lee Scallerup Bessette, an Instructional Technology Specialist at University of Mary Washington. During our conversation, her main concern was to let students know that their perspective is also relevant for the Internet. Even though students are the youngest members of the conversation, they should be considered active members in the conversation.

She warmly welcomes every student to have a voice and claim their space on the Internet. She also remarks that anyone´s thoughts will change over time. It´s fine if you become embarrassed of something you said years ago, but that´s not a reason to erase it. Everyone should cherish how they felt when writing something, and how time has changed their perspective. The Internet is big enough to hold what you said, you don´t have to delete it just because you´re ashamed. But if you really feel it´s necessary, it´s fine.

I recommend visiting her personal blog and her twitter account. She also has a website in which she teaches how to do certain things inside a blog: http://dgst101.net/ 

Last Day!

--Originally published at Digital Identity

Terminamos la Semana i, hoy fue el último día de una semana llena de aprendizajes y pensamientos compartidos durante las conferencias y blogs que realizamos. Y bueno, hoy comenzamos hablando sobre nuestros blogs, después tuvimos un pequeño taller con Diego Zavala quién nos enseñó algunas técnicas de cómo hacer la edición de un video, nos recomendó algunas páginas para inspirarnos a editar, también en donde podríamos encontrar música libre y vimos algunos ejemplos de lo que se logra con una buena edición. Aquí mi video realizado colaborativamente con Viviana y Orlando:

Un poco de creatividad durante la sesión:


Fue un taller muy interesante y de ayuda, muchas gracias por tu tiempo y esfuerzo Ken?

Digital Presence

--Originally published at Frida Díaz

During our second day in Semanai we had the chance to talk with Laura Gogia, an educator expert on the area of Digital Presence. Although this course is named Digital Identity, Laura Gogia proposes an innovation in the name, as the term presence also involves how you interact with others.

“Presence is closely related to but different from identity.  Identity is who you are; presence is how you behave. How you present yourself.  How you engage with the space and others in it” (Gogia, 2016).

Also, Laura believes that aesthetics are important when making a blog; furthermore, it´s important to “take a step back and look at their blog site through the eyes of a stranger” (Gogia, 2016) every now and then. This way, you can engage your site with constant improvement and make it nice for others. Also, including pictures gives a sense of better understanding (Gogia, 2016).

She makes emphasis on how everyone should publish whatever they want as long as they understand what they are talking about .It is fundamental that you do NOT seek for someone t tell you what to publish. It´s okay to receive some suggestions and try to help other with confusing concepts, but do not seek for approval. The web is dynamic. If you don’t like something anymore, erase it! If it´s necessary, change EVERYTHING.

“I change the purpose, organization, and appearances of my websites – including this one – fairly regularly”(Gogia, 2016).


Gogia, L. (2016). Digital Presence: A Scheduled Chat with Ken Bauer’s Students. September 27th, from Messy Thinking Website: https://googleguacamole.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/digital-presence-a-scheduled-chat-with-ken-bauers-students/

Gogia, L. (2016). Why (not?) consolidate your digital presence. September 27th, from Messy Thinking Website: https://googleguacamole.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/why-not-consolidate-your-digital-presence/

Gogia, L. (2016). Why personalizing your blog matters. September 27th, from Messy Thinking. Website: https://googleguacamole.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/why-personalizing-your-blog-matters/

Gogia, L. (2016). Why embed images & videos. September 27th, from Messy Thinking. Website:https://googleguacamole.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/why-embed-images-videos/

Digital Identity

--Originally published at arantza&#039;s blog

So today I want to write about digital identity, which is what I’ve been learning about this week in school. Digital identity is basically who you are on the internet, which means on any type of social media like Twitter, Facebook and such. Even though social media sounds magical and awesome, what’s not cool is to make your personal information available to everyone. I may seem paranoid, but the truth is there’s a lot of crazy people out there who may want to harm you and the people you may know. What I strongly recommend is that you be careful with what kind of information you make available for everyone to see, like your address.

Social-Media-Consumption-Facts.jpgI would also like to say that the way you behave online has a big impact on others and their opinions about you. For example, let’s say that someone posts an embarrassing photo of someone else. You have a few choices: tell the person who published it to take it down (even though it cannot be entirely erased now), report this person, or share the photo and become another cyber bully. Another example is a company that fires its employees for what they post online. This happened some time ago in a company that produces canned goods, which I won’t mention (you know, I don’t want to give bad publicity). Some employees where “doing their job” and posting some photos on Facebook. Well what they did was that they were taking their pants off and taking pictures while the food was there, before it was canned. Guess what happened later? A lot of customers saw these photos on social media and they decided to stop purchasing these goods because of what the employees were doing… Of course, they got fired on the spot.

pexels-photo-57690.jpegAnyway, social media can be fun, educational, and it brings people together, which creates a globalized world. Your digital identity can be safe and can look good if you are careful enough on social media and anything that involves you and your interaction with others online. There won’t be any bad consequences if you are conscious of what you post, what you share, and what you publish.

If you guys want to watch a YouTube video of Dave Cormier (educational researcher and speaker on Open Learning) talking about digital identity, go ahead!   He explains that you should always post anything that your mom wouldn’t be embarrassed of… True.

Myself in 5 pictures

--Originally published at Frida Díaz

Every person is defined by certain characteristics; we all have something we love about us, something we need to improve and something that nobody knows. During the Semana i course with Ken Bauer, we had an activity that consisted on taking pictures with words from magazines to complement them. These words were related with the characteristics mentioned below.

For example, I always try to see the good on every situation, no matter how bad it can be.



I become easily frustrated when someone does something really slowly that I could be doing faster. For example, when I´m waiting for someone to finish typing their text


Today I spent an entire hour tying my trench coat. I still don´t like how it looks.


When I was younger I used to be extremely shy; now it´s hard for me to sit next to a person without trying to know something about them. For example, today I met Romana Macurová (she sat next to me).


It’s hard for me to make a decision; I always find something I don’t like about everything. Every day I come to class; I NEED to sit on a chair with a color that matches my outfit.


This whole activity was inspired by Amy Burvall. You can contact her via twitter, instagram and her personal blog.

1984 featuring: your laptop

--Originally published at kimberlyuribe.wordpress.com


We know for sure two things: oreos are the greatest cookies ever invented and we can find almost everything in the internet. This isn’t a new thing, in fact I’m opening a brand new pack of oreos right now, right here. I wish they were double stuffed oreos. Anyway, going back to the important stuff (not that oreos aren’t), almost everything is in the internet. The only thing I hadn’t found in the internet is the word “strufulufus


Actual proof that I’m not making up information *Testifies in Spanish*

Long story short, you won’t find that word in google because I made it up. Aside from this fun fact, almost nothing is out of the web. Everything we do, search, look up, shop or even hide is in the internet right now. If you’ve ever found an embarrassing picture of your junior high school years, then you know what I’m talking about. If you consider that’s the worst thing you can find about you in the internet, you are wrong.

Remember the book we all probably had reading assignments about in school? I’m not talking about you this time Poe. I’m talking about 1984, a book wrote by George Orwell in 1949  about a political dystopia in which he introduced one of the most controversial and horrifying entity ever; The Big Brother. If you haven’t read the book (or you just read the sparknotes article of it for your reading assignment, which in that case shame on you) I won’t bother spoiling it so these are the things you should now about it:

  1.  Big Brother is a character in George Orwell’s novel
  2. No one nows Big Brother, but it’s presence is always there, appearing in big screens the “party” has placed in all the city
  3. The party was able to control every single thing through cameras and the omnipresence of this entity.
  4. Big Brother is watching you.

Before I become your (probably boring) Literature teacher and because I promptly lose inspiration to keep talking about one of my favorite books, I’m going straight ahead to what my point is:

Big Brother a.k.a  the entire web, people around you, your teachers, the whole world and most important: YOUR MOM. #omg

Ok, maybe you have your digital life out of your mom domains (If I were you I wouldn’t be that sure), but it is an universal truth that anything and everything you’ve ever posted is there, stays there and will be there FOREVER. *Starts to analyze each and every picture, snap, screen cap, or cat meme ever sent*. More or less six months ago, I was haunt by the idea that my social networks where compared to 2007 Britney, a mess. I start to think that I haven’t arrange my social digital life. I started deleting people from Facebook based on birthday notifications, blocking people to see my embarrassing junior high school pictures and trying un unsubscribe from annoying emails from Victoria Secret, Top Shop and my personal Bank (Ok, these aren’t “social networks” but they are still annoying.). Done. People weren’t able to black mail me with a picture of me wearing an Aeropostale t-shirt anymore! (Hurray!), but pictures where still there. There was a bunch of stuff blocked from people but still available in the web. If I were famous or something (Something a.k.a. Kardashian like famous), a hacker would be able to take all of my pictures, posts and most embarrassing teenage moments away from me, but most important of all my information could be available for anyone with the right amount of persistence. With college, family, friends and all of the categories magazines warn you’re going to have problems when trying to be productive, I had no time to organize five years of inconsistencies, bad orthography, unwanted friendships and bad social networking managing. Big Brother was watching me. If I was going to be observed, I needed to be sure what the world was looking at. But as I had no time to re arranged everything, I shut them down. Yes, I started disappearing from the digital world. I thought this was a great idea, so I thought that separating oreos perfectly was an easy task but…

(Is the one from the left a bad oreo separation process or is it my OCD?)

Trying to get rid of my social networks only caused me to loose one important issue to address for any millennial, baby boomer, person, citizen or alien; the control of my digital footprint.

You know what is even worse than people looking at your 13 year old pictures? Not knowing who is looking at them and what are they doing with those pictures. 

If you try to google yourself, you’ll found


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