Sunday, March 22, 2009

Task 4 - E-Kom National Conference '09

Dear all,

Here I am again, posting but this posting is slightly different from the other postings as I actually attended a conference with my tutorial mates. It's "E-Community National Conference - Bridging Digital Device" which I translated from "Seminar Kebangsaan E-Komuniti '09 - Merapatkan Jurang Digital". I hope I translated it correctly. Hee.. Basically it was a conference about finding a way to make sure that not only people who are living in the city get to know and use ICT, but also the one living in rural areas like in the fisherman's villages and so on. Well that's only from my understanding but they were also discussion about other things like OPSP which stands for Online Practicum Placement System from UUM, Bridging Digital Device in SKMM perspective by Dato' Jailani and also Tele-centre Transformation by our one and only Assoc. Prof. Datin Dr. Norizan. So, I've chosen two papers which have caught my attention to be shared here.Photobucket

1. Reducing Writing Apprehension Through Blogging Activities
This paper was presented by Madam Azianura Hani Shaari from UiTM Penang. Thanks to her now I know what does 'apprehension' really means. To those who still doesn't know, 'apprehension' means worry or fear that something unpleasant may happen. Let's get back to the paper. The issue that she pointed out was; what are the factors contribute to writing apprehension. Apprehensive writers basically have negative attitudes and perceptions towards writing like anxiety, fear and worry. Sounds so like me but not when writing, but when presenting. Guess I am having 'presenting apprehension' then. LOL.Photobucket The symptoms for this writing apprehension are:
  • Scared to write
  • Hands cramp
  • Hate writing
  • Produced shorter essays
  • Ideas hardly developed
Hmm so guys, is there any of the symptoms above that you're having? If so, please consult your written communication lecturer ASAP for the 'cure' okay and in my case, it's Dr. Zaini Amir. There are also some factors that result in writing apprehension:
  • Culture - face saving
  • Proficiency level
  • Lack of confidence
  • Examination
  • Teachers' comments
  • Lack role models
  • Audience
And this is when blogging comes in handy for those who are having writing apprehension. There are some reasons why blogging can help which are:
  • Student-centered
  • Face-saving
  • Huge audience - native speakers
  • Boost up confidence and motivation
  • Increases involvement among passive students
  • Promote brainstorming and peer review activities
So, there's no reason for us to be scared to write anymore. Practice writing everyday as "Practice makes perfect". I'm totally agree with Madam Azianura Hani because as a student, when I have my own blog, It's more flexible as I can write anything that I want, but still finishing my required posting for Language and ICT. I were given the freedom on how to decorate my blog and it makes writing more interesting and enjoyable. Besides, it can also enhance my knowledge about networking and stuff like HTML coding as I have to learn in order to be able to decorate my blog. For example like how to insert picture or video into my post and how to adjust their width and height.

This paper also got a very surprising feedback from the members of the floor as blogging is something that is very popular among people all over the world nowadays. Even our former prime minister own a blog. A lady from MIMOS express her concern towards blogging by saying that blogging can also make the students to get use to using bad languages in academic writing as well. For me, it's not a problem because we are mature enough to know when to use and when to not be using bad language. We wouldn't want our marks got cut up just because we won't bother about the language we are using in academic writing. I'm agree with Dr. Sufian's comment when he said that we have to look on what is the purpose of writing in blog first. If we want to concentrate in fluency, then the usage of bad language is allowed. If we want to concentrate on the rules of writing like grammar and such, then the students have to use a proper language. In short, blogging really helps in coping with writing apprehension but further research is needed. Who knows maybe I can use this matter for my thesis in my third year.Photobucket

2. Rural Communities' Information Needs
The second paper that I choose to share here is on Rural Communities' Information Needs which is more related to the conference-bridging digital device. This paper was presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Huda Ibrahim. As presented by her, the most important key lesson on the use of ICT for development in rural areas is before launching any ICT initiative, the information needs of a community should be thorough assessed.

The problem statements are:
  • 85% of the population in the state of Kedah resides in the rural areas
  • ICT penetration and usage programmes have not been very successful
And the reasons behind all this are:
  1. Do not have computers - income less than 400 MYR
  2. Do not have basics ICT knowledge and skills
  3. Do not aware about the existence of online applications
  4. Do not have interest in using ICT and online applications (Zulkhairi et al, 2008)
According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Huda Ibrahim, there are ways to convince those in the rural areas to be more interested to acquire knowledge and to use ICT. Based on her research, the villagers there basically are working in some sectors which are fishery, paddy, palm-oil and also rubber. With the knowledge of ICT, of course they can get to know about weather, types of boats that are available and licenses for those in fishery sectors. And for those who are in other sectors they can use the internet to know about land, fertilizers, pesticides, plantation, subsidy, latest price and many more easily and this can help them to make their lives better. They need more information about business, ICT and computers and career opportunities to improve their lives. It's a win-win situation between the researchers and also the villagers.Photobucket

Wow, what a long post I have here. I hope you are not tired reading. Hee, just kidding. Well, overall, I really enjoy myself there at the conference although at first I thought it might be on something that is not related to me but I am totally wrong. Actually we can join the conference again the next day but since I got lab test and a group presentation that day, I could not go.Photobucket Such a waste not only because of the delicious food, but also because of the knowledge and priceless experince that I got from the conference. Thank you so much to Assoc. Prof. Datin Dr. Norizan for inviting us to the conference worth 200MYR per student for free. We really appreciate it. Hope Datin will invite us again for the next conference. Till the next post.Photobucket
Enjoy some pictures from the conference!!!


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