by Luqman Bare, DLINQ Intern
The TechKitchen session, presented by DLINQ, https://dlinq.middcreate.net, at Middlebury College, is a beautiful initiative created to give participants the abilities and information needed to navigate the digital world successfully. The session covers a range of subjects, including misinformation and disinformation online. I am a residential assistant for Freshmen. I hosted two TechKitchens for my residences. It is clear from the feedback from the residents who attended the program that they had a positive, engaging, and educational time.
The relevance, interest, and usefulness of the program, which enables participants to use their newly acquired abilities in daily life, are frequently mentioned by my residents. Residents have been able to investigate various forms of technology, create their approach to the digital world, and test out various scenarios thanks to the hands-on learning approach. The program’s use of an engaging format offered an immersive learning environment that improved Residents’ comprehension of technological trends, such as the use of AI and their implications.
Huthefa, an intern for DLINQ, presented a workshop about digital misinformation and disinformation. The workshop’s emphasis on false and misleading online information is one of its main attractions. Residents learned about the effects of incorrect information and how it circulates online, resulting in unwanted consequences such as undermining democracy. Residents also gained knowledge on how to recognize false and misleading information and assess the accuracy of information found online. Many have mentioned how the training has made them more discerning information consumers.
In the current digital era, it is more crucial than ever for people to take precautions to safeguard their safety and privacy online. The residents gained helpful knowledge about how to lessen their reliance on technology and balance their online and offline lives from the conversation on digital detoxification. They also picked up tips on how to erase their digital footprints, such as clearing cookies, to avoid predatory monopolistic organizations, like Google, from capitalizing on their data. We also discussed how to minimize data footprints, such as using Firefox browsing.
AI, such as chatbots, is another aspect of the program that has drawn praise. Residents gained knowledge about AI functionality and potential business uses. The session thoroughly introduces the many kinds of AI, how they operate, and their potential use and risks in the future. Residents frequently showed excitement and interest in the potential use of AI to improve productivity and efficiency across several industries. However, they understood the unethical practices of AI, such as Chatgpt in misinformation, intrusion of individual privacy, and misuse of intellectual property.
The session also introduced residents to virtual reality (VR) technology, which has grown in popularity recently. Residents learned how to use VR headsets to explore a variety of situations, including gaming, travel, and education. Residents have been able to interact with VR technology, test out various scenarios, and explore the technology’s possibilities.
It is evident from the responses from the Residents who attended the program that they valued the opportunity and wanted to learn more about it.
Another essential aspect of digital literacy covered in the workshop was media literacy, which entails the ability to analyze and evaluate media content critically. This skill is particularly relevant in today’s age of information overload, where the residents are constantly bombarded with news, opinions, and advertisements from various sources. Through engaging activities and discussions, the residents learned to discern credible sources from biased or unreliable ones, identify and deconstruct persuasive techniques used in media content, and recognize the potential influence of media on their perceptions and beliefs.
Additionally, the TechKitchen emphasized the importance of digital accessibility and inclusivity. The residents learned about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities when accessing digital content and gained insights into designing and creating accessible digital experiences. This awareness inspired the participants to become advocates for digital accessibility and consider the needs of diverse users in their digital endeavors. Moreover, the TechKitchen workshop touched on the ethical considerations of emerging technologies. Through thought-provoking discussions and case studies, the residents were encouraged to consider the potential consequences of unchecked technological advancements and their impact on society. These conversations fostered a sense of responsibility and awareness among the participants, prompting them to become more conscious and discerning users of technology.
Finally, the workshop concluded with a discussion on the future of work in the digital age. The residents examined the potential impact of automation, AI, and other emerging technologies on the job market and the skills required to succeed in an increasingly digital world. This foresight allowed the residents to plan their educational and career paths with a deeper understanding of the evolving digital landscape and the opportunities it presents.
Overall, the tech kitchen workshop is an excellent program that equipped my residents with the skills to navigate the digital world effectively. The workshop provided a comprehensive overview of various aspects of digital fluency and provided a range of practical applications. The workshop emphasizes misinformation/disinformation, AI, and VR technology. This helped residents become more informed and competent digital students. The feedback from the residents who attended the workshop suggests that the program has been well received and provides a positive experience for those who attend.
Photo by Maarten van den Heuv