Guiding kids in digital age

Song (standing left) and her team with children from Rumah Shalom Orphanage Centre.

CHILDREN at Rumah Shalom Orphanage Centre in Bandar Puchong Jaya, Selangor had an “eye-opening” National Day celebration when lecturers and students from a university organised a digital skills development initiative.

Asia Pacific University (APU) lecturers led by School of Marketing and Management senior lecturer Dr Song Bee Lian exposed the children to Microsoft program skills and gamification in learning while fostering patriotism and unity in a National Day-themed activity.

Song said the initiative aimed at equipping children with digital skills, knowledge and understanding of Microsoft programs.

This, she said, would be useful for their education and future employability, as well as help ensure they were not left out in this digital age.

She said 10 children, aged five to 19, were first assessed on their knowledge of Microsoft programs.

“The results showed that nine had no exposure and only one had a basic level knowledge of Microsoft programs,” said Song.

She said the children’s digital skills were measured again for level of improvement after they were exposed to the programs.

“Six APU second-year students who specialised in digital marketing were involved in planning and coordinating the digital skills development activities for the children,” Song said, adding that the event was part of APU’s corporate social responsibility.

Song (standing, left) and Chin (right) guiding the children on the use of Microsoft Word.Song (standing, left) and Chin (right) guiding the children on the use of Microsoft Word.

The digital skill development programme covered Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs and online gamification using quizzes.

The lessons started when APU students Siow Jay Yang and Brian Chin briefed the children on functions of Microsoft programs.

Then, using Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, the children were given essay and presentation tasks on the reasons they loved Malaysia and were trained to use photographs related to the National Day celebration and Malaysia’s diverse culture to express their thoughts and ideas.

The next task involved Microsoft Excel, where they were exposed to some data sets for calculations using various formulas.

They were then taught to perform calculations using the Excel spreadsheet.

Finally, gamification in learning involved 10 quiz questions related to the history of National Day and Malaysia, with winners given prizes.

In the spirit of patriotism and unity, various songs made popular for National Day were played during the event.

Song said, “Nine children advanced from zero to basic level, and one child from basic to intermediate level of Microsoft programs.”

She said the APU team was delighted with the children’s commitment to learn.

The children also received completion certificates of the digital skills development programme.

APU, as a leading private university of technology and innovation in Malaysia, promotes technology-driven education.

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