BarCamps Bring Tech Training to Cambodian Provinces

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អត្ថបទ​នេះមានជាភាសា៖ kmខ្មែរ

High school teacher Vuthy Ear receives tips on using his Android tablet from BarCamp Takeo speaker Davy Hak. Over 300 people attended the event, which was the first BarCamp to be host-ed in Takeo, a rural province 50 miles south of Phnom Penh

While technology is being adopted at a rapid pace in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, technology proficiency remains low in some rural parts of the country. In order to foster new skills and enthusiasm for technology in rural Cambodia, Development Innovations has been co-sponsoring BarCamps in provincial capitals (and Phnom Penh) since 2014. BarCamps are technology-focused conferences that are held around the world, and have been running in Cambodia since 2008. The majority of BarCamps organized by the BarCamp community and Development Innovations are oriented toward tech users rather than the tech creators who are usually the focus of international BarCamp events.

Development Innovations has hosted six BarCamps across Cambodia in Kampong Cham, Phnom Penh, Battambang, Kampot, Ratanakiri, and Takeo, and have attracted sponsorship from private sector companies like Cellcard, Sabay and Ezecom. Over 4,750 participants attended conference sessions including how to create a Facebook profile, how to blog, and managing basic Internet security. At the most recent BarCamp in Takeo, high school teacher Vuthy Ear learned how to set a Facebook password, use Google Maps, and get the most out of his Android tablet.

“Technology and the Internet enable [Cambodians] to view many places in the world, read the hottest news, gain new knowledge and learn about events around the world,” Ear said.

Ear plans to share his new skills with his students. Surveys conducted one month after BarCamp Takeo in mid-2015 reveal that 73% of participants surveyed have used their new skills in concrete ways, including creating their own blogs, improving Facebook security by creating better passwords, and using Google Maps for directions.

Development Innovations is a project that helps civil society organizations and technology companies to design and use information and communication technology (ICT) solutions that address Cambodia’s development challenges.

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