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Surfing the Internet for self improvement

Over a decade after the arrival of the Internet in Cambodia, net users are finally enjoying wider access thanks to competition among more than 30 Internet Service Providers who are battling for customers.

In early 1996 the Kingdom got connected to the global communication network, and made it available to the public. However, only a small number of people were willing to pay for the pricey, painfully slow and unreliable connections.

While the Internet has transformed the way people communicate, from snail mail to email for instance, it is also regarded as the world’s largest library and a global cafe where people can have access to a wealth of knowledge and talk with an ocean of people.

2010 welcomes yet another evolution in the way young Cambodians connect with each other, with the ability to go online instantly over mobile phones and PDAs.

Another major change made possible by the Internet has been the shift in how we acquire ideas and knowledge. While students used to spend hours in the library to do research, they can now get their homework done with several clicks and a little help from a giant search engine such as Google.
But how can people really make the most out of the World Wide Web, which is infinitely powerful but also vast and vague?

Through enrolling in specific courses online and trying to grasp new ideas from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, you can make the most of your time spent online, developing your own intellectual capacity and having some fun while your at it.
In 2002, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched OpenCourseWare (OCW) for all net users to get access to its free educational materials, which include lecture notes, exams and videos. Their site is a “free publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT”.
Devoted to ideas worth spreading, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) “offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most celebrated thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other”. Its annual conferences “bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives”. To make these resources widely accessible, contains more than 500 TEDTalks in video format ( 18 minutes each), with more being added every week.
Poynter’s News University is one of the world’s most innovative online journalism and media training programmes. It’s open to journalists, bloggers, freelance writers, journalism students or anyone who wants to improve their journalism skills. You can find courses, tutorials and tools for writers, as well as an engaged group of fellow journalists to communicate with. LIFT



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