When my eldest child was born 17 years ago, there was no Instagram, no WhatsApp, and certainly no TikTok viral trends to mimic. Back then, who would have thought that we would be able to hail a cab, order food or even have a doctor consultation through our phones? All without the need to step out of our homes.
Technology has evolved in such a huge way that we now depend on the digital world to perform a range of tasks every single day. And this has only increased exponentially with the COVID-19 pandemic. We use the Internet and new technologies to work from our homes, learn new skills, watch shows, and keep in touch with the latest news… all with a few taps on our digital devices.
But with technology, there is also a set of new challenges, like digital fatigue, increased risk of online scams, and the pressure to learn new digital skills especially among senior citizens. In addition, not everyone has the same access to these digital opportunities due to one’s circumstances.
And this is what the first Digital for Life Festival hopes to achieve – to get every Singaporean to be part of the Digital for Life movement, to hopefully pick up new digital skills and enhance their knowledge.
Organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) from 21 to 29 May 2022, the launch event was held at Suntec City Convention Centre last weekend so Ale and I headed down to find out more and hopefully, pick up some new digital knowledge too!
I love how the festival area had three sections to it: Learn (Digital Skills), Explore (Digital Tech) and Play a Part. All three are extremely relevant in today’s digital age – to ensure that we have the right skills to participate in the digital future and have our lives enriched by digital, but more importantly, empower others, particularly the digitally vulnerable, to embrace digital for life.
I also liked how each of the three sections had a wide range of activities that catered to different age groups. So whether you are a parent bringing along young children, a youth, a senior or a person with disability, there are programmes that will appeal to you.
Of course, my tween was immediately drawn to the bright and cheery Google Online Safety Park booth.
Through four different game stations, Ale was tasked to learn the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety – all with the help of fun activities!
Like learning to be Internet Strong by setting a strong online password.
One very important aspect about the online world is to be mindful of the things we share so there is also a station which imparts knowledge on how to be Internet Smart.
Ale also learnt how to be Internet Alert by spotting the fake online.
Sidenote: this game is super fun! I saw plenty of kids and senior citizens giving it a go as well. 😁
Of course, being kind applies to both the real and online world so I was glad to see that participants also picked up tips on how to be Internet Kind.
Oh, and remember to collect stamps as you complete the four game stations! That’s because you will get a go at the claw machine for a chance to win a prize!
Don’t worry if you have missed the lauch event at Suntec Convention Centre. The Digital for Life Festival will be held at Heartbeat@Bedok, L1 Atrium this coming weekend on 28 & 29 May and at Enabling Village on 29 May, along with webinars throughout the week! Oh, and you stand to win $50 GrabFood vouchers if you attend the webinars!
Here are some of the fun activities that you and your family should not miss:
Google Online Safety Park
28 & 29 May 2022 | Heartbeat@Bedok | 10 am – 7 pm | Pre-registration is not required, walk-in to participate
Doom the Gloom Roadshow
28 & 29 May 2022 | Heartbeat@Bedok | 10 am – 7 pm | Pre-registration is required
If your kids love LEGO – which kid doesn’t? – then they cannot miss the Doom the Gloom Roadshow!
In this interactive experience created by the LEGO Group, kids join Captain Safety and his hero squad to defeat the gloom.
Just what is this ‘gloom’? It refers to how we treat each other, or from online meanies and scammers. Through fun interactive videos and mini-games, kids will learn gloom-busting skills and how to better cope with the ‘gloom’.
UOB x Central Singapore CDC My Digital Bootcamps
If you have kids who love tinkering with tech, then do register them for the FREE UOB x Central Singapore CDC My Digital Bootcamps which are also happening this weekend!
Pick from a Virtual Reality Workshop where kids will learn how to programme, animate, and create their own 3D model in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) spaces, or a Game Design Workshop where kids can learn the fundamentals of game design and create their own racing games. Pre-registration is compulsory.
Virtual Reality (VR) Workshop
29 May 2022 | Enabling Village Classroom 1 & 3 | 10 am – 12 pm | Pre-registration is required
Game Design Workshop
29 May 2022 | Enabling Village Classroom 1 & 3 | 10 am – 12 pm | Pre-registration is required
Oh, and PARENTS! There are plenty to learn at the festival too!
TikTok for Good presents: Making a difference with digital platforms
28 May 2022 | Heartbeat@Bedok | 11.30 am – 12.30 pm | Pre-registration is required
See TikTok in a different light!
Spend a morning with TikTok wellness creators, Asher and Hidayah, and discover how popular digital platforms can be used as a force for good – in a fun, lighthearted session. They will be sharing their personal stories and how digital platforms like TikTok, Zoom and Discord can be used to make a difference, provide help, and encourage others to seek help.
How to be a Cyber Safe Family
28 & 29 May 2022 | Heartbeat@Bedok, L1 Atrium | 10 am – 11 am | Pre-registration is required
Should we control screen time with children? Just how much should we worry about online gaming? What should we do if our kids can’t stop dancing on TikTok? Ah, the big questions of modern parenting!
Bring along the kids for this talk because it is recommended for kids aged 8 and up! Filled with interactive challenges and fun activities, parents will learn how to navigate and support their children towards becoming independent online by equipping them with strong cyber knowledge. A child cyber safety expert will help families understand the five core topics of cyber wellness: digital citizenship, passwords and privacy, cyberbullying, phishing, and fake news.
But that’s not to say all the activities are geared towards families, kids and youths. There are plenty of programmes available for seniors as well.
Smart Nation Builder
28 & 29 May 2022 | Heartbeat@Bedok (Near the walkway to Blk 216 Bedok Food Centre & Market) | 10 am – 7 pm | Pre-registration is not required, walk-in to participate
Designed as a roving showcase, the Smart Nation Builder is a 12m truck fitted with eight interactive game stations for members of the public to learn about Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives and digital government services such as LifeSG, Parents Gateway app, Healthy365 and the NLB mobile app.
When I was there, I saw some senior citizens using the opportunity to seek help on how to install and use some of the everyday apps on their phones. Very useful indeed!
Association of Information Security Professionals (AiSP) Booth
28 & 29 May 2022 | Heartbeat@Bedok | 10 am – 7 pm
AiSP is an independent cybersecurity association that believes in developing, supporting as well as enhancing industry technical competence and management expertise to promote the integrity, status and interests of Information Security Professionals in Singapore.
So for those who are looking to advance their interests or careers in the field of cybersecurity, they offer certification courses like the fundamentals of cybersecurity. So even if you have very little knowledge of computers and technology, you are welcome to learn too.
If you can’t head down to Heartbeat@Bedok this weekend, you can also participate from your home too! Like signing up for these FREE Webinars!
Coding with Roblox (for ages 9 to 14)
27 May 2022 | 3.30 pm – 5.30 pm | Virtual event | Pre-registration is required.
Learn to code – the fun way – with Roblox. Using this popular gaming platform, kids will learn coding and make games. Learn the programming language Lua which is widely used in the real world by game developers due to its gentle learning curve and speed of execution. The most exciting part? Kids will use fundamental building blocks of Roblox Studios to create their own obstacle course! Visit HERE for more details.
Tech for Health: How you can enhance your wellbeing with digital apps
27 May 2022 | 2.30pm – 3.30pm | Virtual event | Pre-registration is required
We live in an age where a plethora of digital services are helping us to enhance our wellbeing and live better for longer. In this interactive session, discover one such app developed by Prudential Singapore, called Pulse, which is available to all Singapore residents to download for free. Learn how you can use it to conduct a health assessment, check your symptoms, book an online doctor consultation and even monitor your mental health! Vist HERE for more details.
Singapore Police Force Scam Prevention Virtual Talk
28 May 2022 | 10am – 11am | Pre-registration is required
SMS/WhatsApp 9654 9607 to sign up.
Best of all, the festival is all FREE to enjoy, and you get to take back lots of festival goodies after this! 😊
Personally, my greatest takeaway from the festival is that the activities provide a starting point for us parents to have a conversation about digital wellness, digital readiness and digital inclusivity with our kids.
I have to admit – there are some things in the online world that my kids are more in tuned with than me, so the festival provides the perfect stepping stone in equipping all of us – young and old – with the right tips and tools to build a positive cyber space for the whole family, so that we can explore the online world with confidence.
Digital for Life Festival 2022
Dates: 28 & 29 May 2022
Timing: 10am to 7pm
Venue: Enabling Village
Date: 29 May 2022
Timing: 10am to 6pm
*Webinars now on till 28 May