SURFING the Internet is part and parcel of a teenager's routine but now he is encouraged to design a website and sharpen Information Technology (IT) as well as soft skills in the process.
The first Websites Of Tomorrow Competition organised by Taylor's College, which was open to schools nationwide, saw 51 teams from a mix of national, private, international and smart schools taking part.
Team Blaze from SMK Aminuddin Baki, Jalan Kampung Pandan in Kuala Lumpur emerged as the winner with its entry, 15 For A Change.
The three-member team beat nine groups in the finals of the contest.
The opportunity for his students to venture into new fields prompted SMK Aminuddin Baki teacher Rofi Hussein to act as facilitator of Blaze.
"The contest provides a wonderful chance to learn to develop and manage websites, create content and discover the aspects of good web usability," says Rofi.
Blaze team leader Narrhveein Rajasegaran, who spoke on behalf of members Farouk Azim Abdul Rahman and Crystal Ng Pei Qi, says: "We were both delighted and shocked as we did not expect to be among the top three teams, let alone win the competition."
College president Lim Tou Boon says the institution is always looking for avenues to nurture the talents of youth.
"Through this competition, students not only develop IT skills but also learn to plan, work as a team as well as acquire problem-solving abilities," he adds.
Participants had a choice of five themes for the website, namely My School/My Class, My Club, My Social Responsibility, My Culture/My Interests and My Business Idea to cater to different interests.
To equip participants with the appropriate knowledge and tools for kick-starting their website-creating process, the college's learning technology unit conducted a tutorial workshop titled How To Build A Simple And Effective Website.
Teams submitted their entries by sending the website links to the Websites Of Tomorrow Competition Gmail address.
The list of websites, built on Google Site templates, were narrowed down to 10 finalists after review by a team of academics.
The judging panel at the finals consisted of Professor Zoraini Wati Abas from Open University Malaysia and Zaid Ali Alsagoff from International Medical University.
The entries were judged on creativity, content, presentation and smooth navigation.