If the first thing that you instinctively do when you wake up is check your smart device for social media notifications, then you supposedly understand how pervasive technology has become in our lives. We live in a world where we constantly interact with one another through digital and social media, and depend on technology for all of our entertainment and basic needs.
We even rely on tech for step-by-step directions – a huge shout out to Waze for getting me to work safely.
It’s easy to forget that beyond our uses of technology, there’s a world full of possibilities that are open to those that are growing up in this fully integrated culture of technology, gaming, connected communication, learning and personalization. The opportunities are endless for today’s youth, and for many it is right at their fingertips; but for just as many, it stops at the gadgets they use and the games they play.
While the everlasting spirit of consumerism and materialism consumes many, the fact of the matter is that our future will ultimately be made and shaped, not consumers, but by innovative creators and thinkers.
In order to fuel that innovative spirit, Eduspec Holdings Berhad teamed up with Youth On Unity (Y.O.U) to introduce a multi-tiered initiative called Digital Campus. This initiative enables Malaysian youths to learn and develop their creativity and innovation via digital education and in turn, apply that knowledge to real life.
This year, Digital Campus is looking to set a new standard by introducing the ASEAN edition. Spreading across three countries — Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam — Digital Campus ASEAN edition will help participants expand their existing knowledge and skill-set and enhance their worldview. The organisers anticipate a large number of participants to flock to the event’s contests in coding, robotics, digital art and animation.
“Our mission and singular passion is to empower youths to create and innovate with technology,” said E H Lim, CEO of Eduspec Holdings Berhad. “We intent to expand to other ASEAN countries, as we believe that all youths have to think digitally to better their world. And we thought what better way to do that than by opening it up to our neighbouring countries?”
He also adds: “This opens up more opportunities for youths regardless of where they come from, which is ultimately our aim: spreading digital knowledge and exposure.”
Digital Campus will consist of three competitions: WeCode, International Robothon and the Digital Art and Animation contest. Each contest is carefully designed to bring out the best creative output in youths digitally, and students from across ASEAN can take part in any of these contests to represent their schools in the regional competition.
Students that compete in the WeCode challenge are expected to explore and come up with their own original game, entertainment piece or animation programme for primary students; or a mobile game or edutainment app for secondary students. On the other hand, teams participating in the International Robothon will have to build and program a robot that can perform multiple tasks and demonstrate a solution to a problem that the field of engineering commonly faces in the field. This challenge will be based on the EcoWatch theme.
Primary school students are invited to come up with an art piece based on the theme ‘Life in the 23rd Century’ while the secondary students are expected to come up with a piece of art based on a ‘Fantasy World’. However, the possibilities to express themselves through the Digital Art and Animation contest are endless.
Each representing team has to compete among themselves at the National Contest level until they qualify for the finals. The finals for Digital Art and Animation will take place at Jakarta, Indonesia on November 8th followed by International Robothon at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on November 29th, and the finals for WeCode will be held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 6th.
Participants can also look forward to a guest appearance during the competition finals from Zach Marks, the boy who conceptualized and founded Grom Social at the age of 11. Now 15 years old, Zach created Grom Social as a “social network created by kids for kids”, a safe social network especially for kids under the age of 13.
“We are extremely proud to serve as a hosting platform for DC Digital Art & Animation 2015,” said Zach. “The competition is an exciting and extraordinary opportunity for kids to further their digital art skills, network with other kids and gain recognition of their work. We look forward to hosting the artwork of the competition’s entrants.”
Digital Campus’ end goal is to inherently help youth to evolve from simple computer users to computer enthusiasts that can do wonders. And when they do, they will be able to join the workforce with a unique perspective that will propel the nation forward.