#MyDigitalMaker 2020 Accelerates Malaysia Digitization Plans

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The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) successfully ran its first-ever virtualised #MyDigitalMaker Fair. Held from October 5-11, 2020 and called the #MyDigitalMaker Virtual Fair 2020, it used the theme – ‘Digital Skills Today, Workplace of Tomorrow’ – and managed to attract 19,000 registered visitors.

Beyond going virtual, this event had achieved a few firsts. This included opening the fair to an international audience, with no limitation, from countries across the globe and inviting participation from primary school students for the annual Battle of the Digital Ninja competition.

During the week-long event, more than 490 workshops, webinars and tutorials were conducted for students and teachers. The programmes were all done in collaboration with a wide range of edtech companies, corporates and training providers. Among them were prominent partners, such as Chumbaka, Petrosains, Bett Asia, Alphakidz, Australian Computing Academy, Microsoft, Apple Distinguished Educators, Digital Classroom and Arus Academy.

In total, over 200+ materials were made available for browsing over 24-hours per day. There was also a virtual exhibition, featuring 50 virtual booths, that kept visitors engaged and immersed.

In total, more than 200 speakers were featured throughout the week as they offered tips and insights to parents, students and teachers. Among them are those who passionately shared their thoughts during these talks, including government leaders, like Dato’ Suriani Dato’ Ahmad, Secretary General of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia; HE Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, US Ambassador to Malaysia; corporate leaders, such as Dato’ Hamidah Naziadin, HR Advisor, Group Human Resource, CIMB Group; edtech experts – Colin Marson, Head, Google for Education, Google JAPAC; Waris Candra, Head, Asia Pacific, Micro:bit Educational Foundation; and industry leaders, such as Quentin Staes-Polet, General Manager, India and Southeast Asia, Epic Games.

Malaysian personality and influencer like Mat Luthfi, a professional YouTuber and founder of ML Studios was also present along with American technopreneur, 12 year old Samaira Mehta, who is the founder and CEO of CoderBunnyz.

“It’s heartening to see how the #mydigitalmaker Movement is making an impact for communities across the country, including suburban and rural areas. This is very much in line with MDEC’s goal of ensuring all Malaysians have access to the digital economy and can make that digital leap as they embrace the idea of living in this new era of disruption,” said Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC.

In terms of competitions that took place throughout #MyDigitalMaker Virtual Fair 2020, eight were held for primary and secondary schools. Among them are Malaysia’s first micro:bit Idol 2020, the Regional National Robotics League 2020 competition and the Coding Olympics.

MDEC also hosted its annual Battle of the Ninjas, the finale of the annual competition for The Digital Ninja programme. This leadership and digital maker skills enhancement initiative, which supports Malaysia’s best and brightest young digital innovators from 11-17, aims to solve a variety of global challenges. With the theme – “Digital Solutions for Community-based Problems” – it attracted a high number of entries. The winning team – Spartan – created an Internet of Things controlled disposal bin for face masks. It comes equipped with the MySejahtera app to aid contact tracing of mask disposers, a UV light sanitising system and gamification mechanism that encourage users to reuse the bin. The team, consisting of five students aged 11-16, are:

1. Eimaiyan A/L Kaliyappan, 11 (SJKT Ladang Wellesley, Kedah)

2. Julian Siah, 13 (SMK Damansara Utama, Selangor)

3. Wong Jin Tim, 15 (SMK Damansara Jaya, Selangor)

4. Calvin Khoo Zhen Chen, 15 (SMJKC Phor Tay, Pulau Pinang)

5. Nurul Alisa Binti Hairul Hisham, 16 (SMK Taman Megah Ria, Johor)

In keeping with his tradition to ‘shock and awe’ the Digital Ninjas, one of the judges – Dato’ Seri Ivan, Group CEO, Fusionex International – will add on an additional RM10,000 to the prize money as a bonus. Other prizes up for grab include the RM3,825 worth of goodies.

“Interesting games and competitions at #MyDigitalMaker Virtual Fair 2020 like Micro:bit Idol, Digital Story Telling and many other cool competitions are certainly worth checking out,” a student of SMK Lanang, Miri, Sarawak shared.

Headmaster of SK Pengkalan Tentera Darat, Kuala Lumpur, Tuan Mohd Rizan Hj Baba, also added how he was extremely happy to see his students participating in the workshops online and gaining even more knowledge and understanding on what future career prospects need. He’s even more thrilled that they now have an idea of what they want to get into, specifically within the various STEM programmes available on the virtual platform.

Participants were also inspired by the stories of extraordinary teachers and students that have made their mark within the digital making space. These include:

1. Champion of Cikgu Juara Digital 2020, Abdul Rahman Bin Ali Bashah (Cikgu Aman) from SMK Jenjarom, Kuala Langat, Selangor. He now represents Malaysia at the Microsoft E2 Global Education Exchange 2020 that will soon be held at Sydney, Australia
2. Muhammad Qaed Najdat, a student from SM Sains Tunku Jaafar, Negeri Sembilan – he recently won the Gold Medal for Drone Operating at the World Champion Skills 2020
3. Anabelle Lee Syin Yee, the 11-year-old Young Entrepreneur and Innovator from Rafflesia International School KL was awarded the Best Rookie (New Comer) Digital Ninja

The #MyDigitalMaker Virtual Fair 2020 was made possible through the partnership with Engage Media and with the involvement of CIMB Group, the Digital Maker Association as well as public and private sector ecosystem partners. The goal of the event: to future-proof careers of today’s Malaysian youths is well and truly on the way!

For more information on the #mydigitalmaker Movement, please visit https://www.mydigitalmaker.com.

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