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Proposal:Wikimedia for Education

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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


Schools have generally looked down upon using Wikipedia for education. However many teachers fail to realize the potential of collaborative learning.

I propose sponsoring a huge open source project to make learning more collaborative. It will involve forums, chats, and other php scripts that will help students learn with other



Kid reads an article about dinosaurs. He doesn't understand a certain concept. Much like in Google Wave, he will easily be able to comment on a specific section with text or voice. In turn, teachers and volunteers will be able to answer these questions and incorporate them into the wiki. Eventually the page on dinosaurs will have near-flawless information with multiple resources such as videos, interactive games, etc which will help the kid learn whatever it is he needs to know about dinosaurs in the funnest (and fastest) way possible.


We are in an economic crisis. America's children are growing up idiots thanks to the ancient teaching methods used in schools. If America (and in general any country) wants to keep advancing in technology and science at an optimal pace it is obvious that children should be able to work in an open source collaborative environment.

This system will reduce teaching costs in the long run and provide the best possible education since the information will be coming from the top teachers in the world, and will constantly be adapted due to questions and research

Education is a global problem. We all need it and it is a major expense. I have watched Wikipedia develop and seen what can be done in a collaborative effort. Let`s shape a collaborative learning tree that adapts to the needs of each person. Aim at individual and community needs, not markets, political agendas or evangelism. Knowledge and information can be delivered at very low cost if it is what the consumer wants and needs.

Key Questions

  • How to teach children to collaborate with others to learn?
  • How to make learning more of a fun activity? (something children enjoy doing, much like volunteer wikimedia contributors)
  • What is the best approach for accommodating different grade levels, intelligent levels, etc.?
  • For a given subject have multiple levels, pictures (for not literate), large letters and simple vocabulary for elementary, resources for teachers, academic, projects, activities, audio support,etc.
  • Coordinate with the OLPC project.
  • Create teams, provide bonuses( access to teachers, friends, computers, etc.)
  • Give recognition for performance among cohorts.

Potential Costs

  • Funding for coders, servers, etc (shouldn't be all too big since I would imagine many people are interested in education). Possibly we can get a few grants from government and educational non-profits
  • Experimentation: we can't know the optimal way to approach this problem without doing a little field testing, meaning we would have to fund a project where we try out different approaches to this program with sets of kids. Funding for this can get rather pricey, as a lot of bureaucracy is involved
  • If we lead, the bureaucracy will have to follow.
  • The right approach is a moving target. We cannot afford to wait for testing. Better to build in measurement facilities to enable real time assessment. Identify the parameters to be adjusted and adapt them as data becomes available.
  • The cost of delay is global overheating, population growth, disease, violence and famine.


Community Discussion

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