Monday, March 23, 2009

Posting 4: A day at PNB Darby Park Hotel - E-Community National Seminar

I would certainly love to tale on the trip to PNB Darby Park Hotel for the “Seminar Kebangsaan E-Komuniti” with the main motive, that is, “Merapatkan Jurang Digital: Masyarakat Berpengetahuan, Model Malaysia”. Thus this seminar was held to diminish the digital gap between the citizens of Malaysia through E-learning. Hence, the presence of highly knowledgeable speakers from various backgrounds helped us open our views towards E-learning and the other related notions. I’ve chosen two very interesting topics spoken by these speakers which may be helpful to you readers as well!

TOPIC: Reducing Writing Apprehension Through Blogging Activities.
SPEAKER: Ms. Azianura Hani Shaari (UTM)
The issues to be considered: What are the factors that contribute to writing?
Apprehension writers may generally have negative attitudes and perceptions towards writing.

Symptoms: You may come across many people who fall into the category of writing apprehension. Below are the symptoms that you may notice in these individuals.
· Scared to write
· Hands cramp
· Hate writing
· Mental blocking problems
· Produce shorter essays and,
· Ideas hardly develop.

Contributing Factors: Though the symptoms may be fairly straight-forward, the contributing factors to these can be quite buried and implicit. Below are the contributing factors that glumly contribute to writing apprehension.
· Culture – Face saving: Though this may not be the similar to cause to people from other corners of the world, it certainly is for Malaysian citizens. This literally means that the people of this society find it difficult to accept comments and feedbacks from other people.
· Examination: The education system is rather exam-based. Hence, students do not get motivated to explore their talent and competence in writing but prepare themselves only for the written exams at the end of the day.
· Lack Confidence
Teachers’ Comments
· Proficiency Level
· Audience
· Lack Role Models

Fostering Positive Writing Attitudes through Blogging: Ms. Azianura concludes that blogging has the magic to cultivate positive writing attitudes through web logging. How? As stated below.
· Blogging increases involvement among passive students – Which means it actually provides room for direct participation in writing.
· Promotes brainstorming and Peer Review Activities.
· Face-saving
– Since most Malaysian students are particular about giving and receiving comments, blogging provides opportunity for one to accept comments without losing his/her face.
· Student-centered
· Huge audience
– Especially native speakers. Generates chances of improving since blogging allows students from other parts of the world (especially native speakers) to comment on the writer.
· Boost up confidence and motivation – I would not know if it works the same way for others but it sure does for me. Blogging constantly actually supplies enough boost for writing further confidently.

Thus, the conclusion made to this concept is that blogging is fairly reasonable to assume blogging as a new practical solution in minimizing fear or apprehension towards writing among the second language learners (THAT’S US!)

To me, blogging certainly is a way to reduce writing apprehension. There were many questions asked regarding this particular topic since it is rather applicable to most of us these days. Hence, there were many who felt that blogging may not be the right method as young bloggers may tend to use the SMS terms (short forms/ abbreviations). Thus, there may not be room for improvement. However, I argue on this remark since;

  • Blogging may not be the best solution to improve ones English Language competency but it certainly reduces writing apprehension through constant writing (After all, practice makes perfect right?) However, at the end of the day it all depends on the writers willingness to learn and progress in writing.

  • Bloggers tend to work behind the screen which means blogging actually hides your pretty face till you eventually get the hang of writing and get comfortable with all the feedbacks that come crawling to you. (Notice that the feedbacks start getting better because your writing is getting better!)

  • Furthermore, blogging may seem informal and too casual but it is important to remember that feedbacks tend to come not only from the locals, but from foreigners, such as native speakers as well. This undoubtedly improves ones writing skills as the feedbacks create room for blooming learners.

  • Bloggers who do a lot of writing will definitely do a lot of reading in time to come too! And reading brings many other benefits along with it.

TOPIC: The Use of Media and Digital Technology through E-Commerce.
SPEAKER: Mr. Khairul Afzan.

First, let me define the meaning between these letters, SME. SME basically means Small and Medium Enterprises.

This can be grouped into three categories; that is, Micro, Small or Medium.

These grouping on the other hand are based on either:
-the number of people a business employs or,
-on the total sales or revenue generated by a business in a year.

The concept of SMEs itself can be segregated into two different categories.

  1. Manufacturing Industries - E.g.: Usra Sdn. Bhd.

  2. Service Industries - E.g.: Homestay

The problems encountered:
· Lack of knowledge of the benefits of technology to their industries.
· Lack of confidence in the effectiveness of using E-commerce.
· Lack of capital.
· There is still digital divide in Malaysia that must be bridged.

Recommendations: Below are only a few suggestions that I find important.
· Government should provide broadband infrastructures throughout Malaysia (Rural, Urban and etc.)
· Universities should organize/develop programs to promote technologies to SMMEs.
· Information regarding cyber law should be spread.

Link: Visit the link below given by Mr. Khairul Afzan for further info.


  1. Hi sheelaa!!I do agree that blogging can reduce our fear in writing..but,for someone like me who is not born to be a writer,sometimes I feel like nothing to write and afraid that what I write is wrong..huhuuu...

  2. Glad that you are able to summarize two papers presented at the conference.Even though some of your facts are not really accurate such as the objectives of the conference is not just to "diminish the digital gap between the citizens of Malaysia through E-learning" but most importantly to bridge the knowledge and digital gap those at the marginalized areas, marginalized groups and also to collate information towards developing Knowledge Society based on Malaysian Model.

  3. Thank you for correcting me on that Datin. I must have overlooked the objective of the conference in the first place. I am glad that we were given an opportunity to attend the conference because it certainly was an informative event and an experince to learn from.

  4. Dear Dyla,
    You are probably rephrasing that from Pn. Rozmel's statement right? Well, the fact is, I was never born to be a writer! True. I have never been an imaginative and creative writer during my early schooling days. However, constant practice throughout the years made me improve in both writing skills and confidence in writing. Hence, your issue is a microproblem! I have read your writings and don't see a problem in it at all. You have your own way of writing so write more often. That is the best way to reduce writing appehension. What about times when we just cant think of stuffs to write about? Surf through the internet and read every issue you come across. It could be a reading material in your mail box or a material for information that you can easily obtain from informative websites. There would certainly be some sort of article out there waiting to steal your attention! Finally, Keep blogging and keep on blogging! Hope that answered your question.