What Is Internet?Assess Its Advantages and Disadvantages

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The Internet as a Learning Tool: Planning Perspectives (the Singapore Experience) Jeremy Tan <jeremy@ncb.gov.sg>
National Computer Board, Singapore
Sam Wong <wpm@moe.ac.sg>
Ministry of Education, Singapore
Background
In 1991, Singapore came online through her first Internet service provider (ISP), Technet Unit. This unit was part of the National University of Singapore, with funding by the National Science and Technology Board (NSTB). Internet access was then limited to R&D. In 1993, Internet access was extended to the educational sector in Singapore. This landmark decision paved the way for schools to come online. The Ministry of Education (MOE), together with the National Computer Board (NCB), Technet Unit, and NSTB, began the Internet Schools Project with the objective of introducing the vast resources of the Internet to the schools. A total of six schools took part in this project. The project was carried out from July 1993 to February 1994. It was a mentorship-based project with seasoned Internet users from various bodies assigned to the schools to teach and provide technical support in using the Internet. Lessons learned from the project contributed to the implementation of Internet for MOE's officers and schools. In May 1994, MOE's corporate network was linked to the Internet, making every PC Internet-enabled. In June 1994, this connectivity was extended to cover all junior colleges. A second ISP, Singnet, began operation in July 1994. This is the first commercial ISP and is presently operated by Singapore Telecoms. As more Singaporeans demanded Internet access, the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore (TAS) decided to further open the market and allow for more ISPs. A total of three licenses were awarded. In October 1995, Technet Unit ceased operation. It was bought by a consortium comprised of Sembawang Media, Singapore Technologies-Computer Systems and Services, and Singapore International Media. Technet Unit was renamed Pacific Internet and became Singapore's second commercial ISP. In March 1996, the third ISP entered the arena. Cyberway, a joint venture between Singapore Technologies and Singapore Press Holdings, aims to make themselves "the preferred and most successful Internet access service provider in Singapore." The Singapore government has also expressed full support for the Internet. The Ministry of Information and the Arts, Technet Unit, and NCB launched the Singapore Infomap, a World Wide Web service acting as a directory of resources based in Singapore. This service was made available on the Internet in March 1995. Immediately following the launch of the Singapore Infomap, NCB launched the official government Web server, GRIN, which stands for Government Resources on the Internet. The objective of this service was to enhance the power of the Internet in providing better public services. IT 2000 and Internet for education

The vision of the IT 2000 plan is that Singapore will be an "intelligent island" with an advanced nationwide information infrastructure in the 21st century. This vision will bring about new national competitive advantages and enhancements in the quality of life of the people of Singapore. In order for Singaporeans to cope with and derive new capabilities in the information-driven world, it was imperative that MOE strategically plan for the prevalence of information technology (IT) in our mainstream education. The effectiveness of IT in boosting pupils' learning, pupils' readiness for workforce skills, teachers' productivity and cost effectiveness are some of the prime concerns being addressed. The key to the development of these new capabilities is the global network, the Internet. The vast amount of resources available almost instantly from all over the world via the Internet will enrich the curriculum content and the instructional approaches of teachers. This mode of learning will also evolve to one that is independent and engaged through an...
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