Dated: 2 June 2009
Students to promote cross-cultural understanding by creating video clips for ASEAN Media Portal
School children in ASEAN will soon get the opportunity to share their rich and diverse cultures with their peers in other ASEAN countries with the launch of the ASEAN NewsMaker Project. Led by Singapore, this initiative will engage close to 500 primary and secondary school students across the 10 ASEAN countries to produce informational video content which showcases their country’s culture and lifestyle.
The ASEAN NewsMaker Project
This project is endorsed by the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI). The Committee has been supporting projects to nurture talent and promote interaction among ASEAN peoples to help preserve and promote ASEAN’s diverse cultural heritage, while fostering regional identity as well as cultivating people’s awareness of ASEAN.
The ASEAN NewsMaker Project will begin in Singapore in June before being rolled out to ASEAN member countries. Developed by Singapore media company EyePower Games and supported by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), students will utilise the NewsMaker software to learn to produce video clips that touches on aspects of life in their country, ranging from school life to history to food.
Said Dr Soeung Rathchavy, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community: “Raising ASEAN awareness amongst the youth is part and parcel of our efforts to build the ASEAN Community by 2015. Using ICT and the media, our youths in the region will get to know ASEAN better, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the cultures, social traditions and values in ASEAN.”
Following the launch and training of Singapore students, two trainers from EyePower Games will travel to the remaining nine ASEAN member states to provide a 2-day training on the NewsMaker software. The training will cover the use of the NewsMaker software, video-making technique as well as responsible use of the Internet. The training also aims to help participants to develop their language skills as they will be taught how to effectively narrate and tell a story. In each member state, the project is targeted at 40 students aged between nine to 16 years, as well as their teachers who will take on the role of mentor. These students and teachers will serve as multipliers to provide guidance to the other students in their schools.
At the end of the training, the participants will produce and submit video clips (five minutes each) to the trainers. Packaged in broadcast-news format, the produced clips will be uploaded to the ASEAN Media Portal (www.aseanmedia.net) where they can be viewed by all the participants. These clips will add youthful diversity to the rich store of regional cultural information currently available on the portal.
Said RADM (NS) Sim Gim Guan, Chairman, ASEAN National COCI (Singapore) and Deputy Secretary (Information &Corporate Management), Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts: “Continual interaction among the citizens of ASEAN is important so as to boost cultural awareness, underscore a shared heritage and build upon a sense of community among ASEAN nations. The ASEAN NewsMaker Project presents an excellent platform for regional collaboration by engaging the youth in a fun and interactive manner, while equipping them with basic media literacy proficiency including language and presentation skills, and enables the students to use media meaningfully.”
Said Mr Phan Seow Kang, Chief Operating Officer, EyePower Games: “The NewsMaker software was successfully piloted between an American and Singaporean primary school in mid-April this year where students from Navajo Elementary (Arizona) and Yu Neng Primary (Singapore) collaborated to produce clips introducing their school and city. The software is currently used in 85 Singapore schools and the feedback from the 50,000 student users have shown that they have thoroughly enjoyed themselves creating informative clips. By rolling the initiative to ASEAN member states, we hope to share this enjoyable learning tool among students in the region.”
The ASEAN NewsMaker Competition in Singapore
As part of the Singapore leg of the initiative, a competition involving over 120 primary and secondary school participants from 28 schools was organised. Following the 2-day training from 1-2 June 2009, participants have to create a five-minute long video for submission by 8 June 2009. Exploring themes from a pre-determined list of 10 topics, the video must include at least three minutes of narration. The top three winning teams from the primary and secondary categories, as well as the grand winner from these six winners, will be announced in mid July at a prize presentation with the winning clips uploaded onto the ASEAN Media portal (www.aseanmedia.net) and www.NewsMaker.TV.
Annex A for the list of participating schools, competition rules and topics, and prizes.
Annex B for stills of NewsMaker users.
Annex C for keyword translation.
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Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
Formed in 2003, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) plays a vital role in transforming Singapore into a Trusted Global Capital for New Asia Media. MDA spearheads initiatives that promote industry growth in film, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation and Interactive Digital Media. At the same time, in ensuring clear and consistent regulatory policies and guidelines, MDA helps to foster a pro-business environment for industry players and increase media choices for consumers. For more information, visit www.mda.gov.sg and www.smf.sg.
EyePower Games Pte Ltd
Established in May 2004, EyePower Games Private Limited found its first success when the video processing technology that it was developing was licensed to Creative Technology, as an Advanced Video FX (aVFX) feature found in many of its web cameras sold globally. This technology was later used to create the company’s first educational product, the highly innovative and fun NewsMaker software that aims at improving students’ oratorical skills. EyePower Games continues to harness its innovative technology expertise to develop innovative applications that make teaching and learning more effective.
Currently used in over 85 schools in Singapore, Newsmaker is interactive software that teachers used to help their students to improve on their oral skills through broadcast journalism. With fun interactive features that make the process learning engaging and fun, Newsmaker is suitable for students aged 9 and above. For more information, visit www.AboutNewsMaker.com
The ASEAN Committee for Culture and Information (COCI)
The ASEAN Committee for Culture and Information or ASEAN COCI was set up in October 1978. Its aim is to promote effective cooperation in the fields of culture and information for the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding and solidarity among the peoples of ASEAN as well as in furthering regional development. To this end, various projects and activities, ranging from ASEAN Youth Camps to news exchanges among ASEAN media, are conducted each year. There also are workshops and other activities to nurture talent and promote interaction among ASEAN scholars, writers, artists and media practitioners.
The ASEAN-COCI has two sub-committees, one dealing with culture and the other with information. These sub-committees plan, implement and monitor projects approved and funded by the ASEAN-COCI. At the same time, there is in each ASEAN Member State, an ASEAN National COCI that oversees the coordination and implementation of ASEAN-COCI projects and activities. The ASEAN National COCI comprises representatives from the foreign ministries and ministries of culture and information, national radio and television networks, heritage boards, museums, archives and libraries.