Malaysia Dateline

Covid-19: Citizen generated activities using mobile technology

Amidst of the Covid-19 pandemic, many households feel disintegrated with connections from the outside world.

Malaysians are in a situation that gives an impact to the whole world as the country needs to extend the lock down until 14th of April 2020.

Due to this condition, the followings are some generated activities for Malaysians during the crisis with the availability of their own mobile devices and wireless connection.

For formal learning, the citizens can take the advantage of using social media platforms via their own mobile devices such as smart phone, iPhone or Tab.

Teenagers or adults who are in universities can use their mobile devices to continue learning while completing their assignments.

For example, they can manage their communication via social media such as WhatsApp, Telegram application to communicate with their friends and lecturers.

They can even share their work using social media to submit their work using cloud platforms such as Padlet or Google Drive.

Students can also create the content of their assignments using video content such as PowToon, Filmora or Movie Maker for their assignments.

In fact their lecturers can conduct online meetings and discussions with students based on available network such as using mobile devices to access Zoom or Skype meetings within their own work stations or convenience at home.

Likewise, employer and employees can make use of mobile technologies, to communicate and update and share documents with their current informed status of working.
Citizens can use free open source platform via mobile devices to read and gain new knowledge amidst the COVID-19 lock down.

For example they can subscribe to a platform for e-learning via mobile devices such as Udemy and Coursera in which they also provide some free courses for students to learn or revise new learning skills.

In the meantime, for informal situations particularly for learning and activities, the same context is applicable with the usage of mobile technologies.

Husband and wife can learn new skills such as cooking, gardening, managing their finance, health and exercising from mobile technology such as via of YouTube.

Families, grand-parents and grand-children can communicate via Skype virtually with their sons and daughters to update on their current situations via mobile technologies.

For those inclined to religious this is the time to revise their religious knowledge from their holy book such as Al Quran or Bible. Additionally free novels and books are available to be read using mobile technologies.

For preschool children, besides watching movies all the time, their parents can guide their kids with learning using social media to learn the language skills such as Reading, Writing and Speaking and Mathematic Calculation, Learning to Code, with the use of social media with mobile technologies, assisted by their parents.

During this critical situations, the citizens can use the mobile technology to do e-commerce to buy goods and foods such as Tesco, without going out from their house to the supermarket in order to avoid close distances with the communities.

Anything related to finances such as payment of bills and financial transfer and donations via bank such as MayBank2U can be done with the use of mobile technology without the hassle to go the bank or departments.

Citizens can join the group for social media such as Telegram, Instagram, Facebook, provided by the National Security Council (MKN) and the Ministry of Health (KKM) for COVID-19 information that is trusted rather than from other unknown sources with the tendency to falsify the facts.

It is also vital for the citizens to abide to and understand the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act.

Section 211 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 provides: “No content applications service provider, or other person using a content applications service, shall provide content which is indecent, obscene, false, menacing, or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person.”

However, it is the citizen responsible to filter and double check whether the information is from valid sources and which one is not.
The Telco should reconsider seriously to provide unlimited data access particularly for the post-paid plan. It can assist the students and citizens to overcome the cost burden.

The government and Telco should also consider upgrading their internet facilities especially in rural areas. This is to enable the internet to be used widely particularly for matters related to education and daily life.
Thus, these citizen generated activities using mobile technologies presented can be practised during the lockdown to fill the free time with effective and quality activities.

*Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shamsul Arrieya Ariffin, Faculty of Arts, Computing and Creative Industry, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI).