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A Joint Initiative by Malayalam Wikipedia Community and IT@School Project[തിരുത്തുക]

Introduction[തിരുത്തുക]

The Government of Kerala's Department of Education has an program to improve information technology education and the use of information technology in education called IT@School Project. IT@School and the Malayalam Wikipedia community have been working together in a pioneering way for the past 3 years in a mutually beneficial partnership to pursue common goals through joint projects.

IT@School helped Malayalam Wikipedia grow by providing platforms for WikiAcademies and supporting the publishing of select articles of Malayalam Wikipedia in a CD project. (IT@School sponsored the production cost of the CD - and this was the first CD project of any non-Latin language Wikipedia!) The Malayalam WikiCommunity supported IT@School to create a School Wiki - which included the details of schools in Kerala. The community also provided directions when Wikipedia was included as a study topic in the school curriculum. A healthy number of active editors on Malayalam Wikipedia are teachers and students (including school children) who were introduced and familiarised with editing through the efforts of IT@School.

The Malayalam WikiCommunity is pleased to announce that this strong collaboration is now being taken to the next level by initiating the Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme.

Genesis[തിരുത്തുക]

School Wiki and Local Encyclopedia[തിരുത്തുക]

The genesis of this project was IT@School's earlier to create a local encyclopedia within School Wiki. The idea was that encyclopedic articles about the topics associated with schools and their local areas (panchayat, town, district, etc.) would be developed in School Wiki and this content, after confirming reaching a certain level can be transferred to Malayalam Wikipedia. School students would collect data related to their locality and publish them on School Wiki.

But the local encyclopedia project could not be taken forward as students and teachers did not have working experience with wiki. Also, there was inadequate effort to structure a Malayalam Wikipedia Education Program to introduce, teach, support and motivate participants to edit on wiki.

Collaboration between IT@School and Malayalam Wikipedia[തിരുത്തുക]

The Malayalam WikiCommunity recognised the potential of the School Wiki idea of IT@School and realised that there was an opportunity for a closer partnership that would support both parties as well as help build quality content for all Malayalee speakers across the globe. The best medium to share knowledge with the global Malayalam Community is the internet, and the best platform for it would be Malayalam Wikipedia.

The Malayalam WikiCommunity proceed to discuss how this partnership could be built and how the Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme could be designed. It was extremely useful to have teachers and students in the community as well as experienced and new editors. It was invaluable to be able to have access and constructive conversations with the Director of IT@School and other officals.

Plan[തിരുത്തുക]

Aim[തിരുത്തുക]

There are multiple aims and potential benefits of this project, including to:-

  1. Help share free knowledge
  2. Enrich Malayalam Wikipedia with quality content about local subjects
  3. Teach students the value and values of sharing knowledge in their mother tongue
  4. Encourage students to edit on Malayalam Wikipedia, and encourage them to remain as active editors beyond their school terms
  5. Facilitate computing in Indian languages
  6. Build free software culture

Design[തിരുത്തുക]

The basic idea of this Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme is to create articles on Malayalm Wikipedia with the collective inputs of students and teachers of a selected school in Kerala. The school selected for this project is Government Higher Secondary School, Anchal West, Kollam. This school was selected because the students and teachers of this institution showed interest in participating with Wikiprojects during the WikiAcademy conducted in Kerala in April 2012, as a part of WikiSangamotsavam, the annual meetup of Malayalam Wikimedians. Also, a few faculty members of this school are already a part of Malayalam Wikicommunity as active editors.

The project will be led by the IT Co-ordinator of the School and will be under the supervision of the Principal of the School.

Duration[തിരുത്തുക]

The Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme started on 1st June, 2012 and is expected to run for about 6 months - ending around 15th December 2012.

Number of Participants[തിരുത്തുക]

50 selected students from Eight, Ninth and Tenth Standards and interested faculty members of will potentially be part of the Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme.

Stages[തിരുത്തുക]

Stage 1: Initiate[തിരുത്തുക]

  • Identification of school, teachers and students who are interested and willing to contribute to Wikimedia projects.

Stage 2: Design[തിരുത്തുക]

  • Launch a Wikipedia Club at the school
  • Conduct editing classes for the selected students and teachers
  • Select articles for editing jointly by teachers and Wikimedians
  • Seek local support from interested individuals and organisations, and build working parnerships

Stage 3: Edit[തിരുത്തുക]

  • Create and expand the selected articles
  • Add references to the selected articles using local resources,
  • Assess progress of the Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme and make changes as necessary

Stage 4: Review & Broadcast[തിരുത്തുക]

  • Evaluate and record the outcome of this Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme
  • Include the contents created throught the Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme to IT@School's School Wiki
  • Create an offline version of the articles shaped through the project
  • Advertise the success of the project

Expectations[തിരുത്തുക]

IT@School[തിരുത്തുക]

  • Give directions to the co-ordinators of the project
  • Provide assistance to students and teachers in using computers,
  • Provide Internet and camera to students during free periods and extra study hours

Malayalam WikiCommunity[തിരുത്തുക]

  • Guide and assist participants of the program in working with Wikimedia projects
  • Create user guides for helping the students to edit Wikipedia
  • Assign and divide responsibilites to the people involved in the project
  • Provide prizes to the participants who take part actively in the program

Conclusion[തിരുത്തുക]

This program is expected to help the students and teachers utilize their free time effectively in understanding and sharing topics of regional importance. The insights gained from the project are expected to be groundbreaking - and will serve as the foundation for expanding the Malayalam Wikipedia Education Programme much wider within Kerala, and to other communities across India (and indeed the world.)