Mirror Magazine

Fusion of work and play
By Anuradha Samarajiva
Digital Fusion 2 is just what its name suggests: a blend with something for everyone. Organised by the Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT), it’s not just aimed at the IT crowd. Instead, says Aashiq, a member of the APIIT Student Activity Club, they’re focused on “anyone who wants to know about tertiary education.”

Although Tertiary is a word most of us don’t use it’s actually very important for anyone after O/Levels or A/Levels. The sad truth is, the majority of students do not qualify for university entrance for countless reasons as Aashiq says, “It’s a fact that not everyone can enter university. But there are other paths to take.”Since most people don’t know about them, those paths are what the programme explores.

But Digital Fusion 2 isn’t just about school. This is clear the moment one enters the APIIT Lanka City Campus. The organisers have planned an almost “carnival atmosphere”, with music and food stalls. There will also be educational booths where students could explore avenues available. APIIT students will set up their own booths, covering every possible topic from MP3s to CD burning.

For anyone who thinks MP3 is a word from a foreign language, take heart, because the event isn’t just for the technologically savvy. Since students “are always faced with the dilemma of selecting their careers, each day a seminar on career skills will be conducted by an industrial specialist. Slated for the first talk is Yukthi Gunasekara, of John Keells Holdings, who will speak on career development. On the second day, Dian Gomez will talk to participants about teamwork and motivation.

Shireen, the activity club’s Secretary General, added that there will also be a quiz, which will cover a range of subjects, including current events, entertainment, and of course, IT. Four member teams from each school compete against each other in five rounds. Apart from the traditional competition with each team member squaring off against each other, there’s also a special group activity, where the teams have to use all their teamwork and time management skills.

Computer diehards can take part in the software and multimedia competitions where creative participants can show off their web and graphic design skills. The less experienced will also be able to learn computer skills at the hands-on workshops, where they’ll be taught the basic of programmes like Photoshop, Flash, and Dreamweaver. The two-day workshop ends with a musical show featuring rock bands and fusion music, so it carries on the theme of the whole event.

Even though APIIT is a tertiary education provider, its students are concerned about the school curriculum as well. According to Aashiq, they want to “send a message to schools that they need to develop these kinds of skills”, which include IT proficiency and practical career sense. As far as the Student Activity Club is concerned, they’ve already learnt a lot of valuable skills as teamwork just from organising and planning this event. They already have some experience, as the club has been behind both Hope Rocks Concerts, held in aid of the Hope Cancer Hospital.

Digital Fusion 2 will be held at the APIIT Lanka City Campus, 388 Union Place, Colombo 2 on August 7 and 8. For more information on the programme, call 2675060.


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