Long Term Projects

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Long Term Projects

joseph seddon
I would like to say something. I don't wish to alienate the old board neither do
many others. Yes ok, there were issues and we were all disappointed with the
lack of noticeable advances, however, I think that we should simply move on
from that. If those who took part previously wish to work together with us in
making this chapter I see no reason why they cannot. I think that whilst our
board deal with the company and charity status, the rest of us can get on with
stuff that doesn't require us to be a company. Lets get some brain storming
going, and lets not hold back with ideas. Lets just see what idea we have build
on them and see where it takes us. I know that David gerard was working on a
wikipedia for schools project. I'm unsure where that is in terms of progress. Any
other long term ideas that we can get started on?


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Re: Long Term Projects

David Gerard-2
2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:

I know that David gerard was working on a
> wikipedia for schools project. I'm unsure where that is in terms of
> progress.


It's not mine, it's Andrew Cates' (User:BozMo) (cc'ed). It's going
strong :-) It's pretty much the best practical realisation yet of
"let's write an encyclopedia for people in poor countries who really
need one." 2008 edition coming soon.

(Andrew, please join this list and comment! WMUK pushing the Schools
Project is the sort of thing it'd be great for.)


- d.

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Re: Long Term Projects

joseph seddon
I think that its not just one for people in poor countries. I think stable versions of the
encyclopedia could be used in many schools within the UK. Versions could even be tailor
made for various curriculum.



> I know that David gerard was working on a
> > wikipedia for schools project. I'm unsure where that is in terms of
> > progress.
>
>
> It's not mine, it's Andrew Cates' (User:BozMo) (cc'ed). It's going
> strong :-) It's pretty much the best practical realisation yet of
> "let's write an encyclopedia for people in poor countries who really
> need one." 2008 edition coming soon.
>
> (Andrew, please join this list and comment! WMUK pushing the Schools
> Project is the sort of thing it'd be great for.)
>
>
> - d.




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Re: Long Term Projects

David Gerard-2
2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:

> I think that its not just one for people in poor countries. I think stable
> versions of the
> encyclopedia could be used in many schools within the UK. Versions could
> even be tailor
> made for various curriculum.


It's based on the English National Curriculum, so certainly. The point
is, SOS Children put this together as an encyclopedia specifically for
their *own* schools in poor countries. They're not just doing
something they think might somewhat fit the idea, they're actually
using it as a real encyclopedia.


- d.

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Re: Long Term Projects

joseph seddon
> > I think that its not just one for people in poor countries. I think stable

> > versions of the
> > encyclopedia could be used in many schools within the UK. Versions could
> > even be tailor
> > made for various curriculum.
>
>
> It's based on the English National Curriculum, so certainly. The point
> is, SOS Children put this together as an encyclopedia specifically for
> their *own* schools in poor countries. They're not just doing
> something they think might somewhat fit the idea, they're actually
> using it as a real encyclopedia.

Do you think that WMUK would be able to help?


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Re: Long Term Projects

David Gerard-2
2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:

>> It's based on the English National Curriculum, so certainly. The point
>> is, SOS Children put this together as an encyclopedia specifically for
>> their *own* schools in poor countries. They're not just doing
>> something they think might somewhat fit the idea, they're actually
>> using it as a real encyclopedia.

> Do you think that WMUK would be able to help?


Certainly in publicity and lending the good name of Wikimedia locally.


- d.

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Re: Long Term Projects

joseph seddon
> >> It's based on the English National Curriculum, so certainly. The point

> >> is, SOS Children put this together as an encyclopedia specifically for
> >> their *own* schools in poor countries. They're not just doing
> >> something they think might somewhat fit the idea, they're actually
> >> using it as a real encyclopedia.
>
> > Do you think that WMUK would be able to help?
>
>
> Certainly in publicity and lending the good name of Wikimedia locally.
>

 Anyway technically?



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Re: Long Term Projects

Ross Gardler
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

> 2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
>
>> I think that its not just one for people in poor countries. I think stable
>> versions of the
>> encyclopedia could be used in many schools within the UK. Versions could
>> even be tailor
>> made for various curriculum.
>
>
> It's based on the English National Curriculum, so certainly. The point
> is, SOS Children put this together as an encyclopedia specifically for
> their *own* schools in poor countries. They're not just doing
> something they think might somewhat fit the idea, they're actually
> using it as a real encyclopedia.

I am on the advisory board of a newly funded BECTA project (called the
Schools Open Source Project) that would probably be able to make real
use of this. The committee sits next on Oct 9th.

I'm also connected (in a lose way) to Schoolforge UK who may also be
interested.

I'm also the service manager for a national advisory service with
respect to open source software in HE and FE (not open content, but
there are overlaps). It's unlikley that HE will be interested in this,
but I imagine some FE colleges would.

I can't, personally, commit resources to the development of this.
However, I will gladly act as an evangelist for such a worthy project.

Ross

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Re: Long Term Projects

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by joseph seddon
2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
> I think that its not just one for people in poor countries. I think stable
> versions of the
> encyclopedia could be used in many schools within the UK. Versions could
> even be tailor
> made for various curriculum.

Absolutely. A lot of schools have very restricted internet access and
block pretty much every site under the sun, sometimes including
Wikipedia (or so I'm led to believe, the schools in my local area
don't have it blocked, but I'm told others do), so being able to hand
out an offline version to such schools would be very handy.

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Re: Long Term Projects

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by joseph seddon
2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:

>> > Do you think that WMUK would be able to help?

>> Certainly in publicity and lending the good name of Wikimedia locally.

>  Anyway technically?


If there's something they need WMUK can do!

It's largely worked on by the Wikipedia 1.0 wikiproject on en:wp.


- d.

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Re: Long Term Projects

joseph seddon

> >> > Do you think that WMUK would be able to help?
>
> >> Certainly in publicity and lending the good name of Wikimedia locally.
>
> > Anyway technically?
>
>
> If there's something they need WMUK can do!
>
> It's largely worked on by the Wikipedia 1.0 wikiproject on en:wp.

Prehaps working the WP:1.0 people would be a good start?


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Re: Long Term Projects

Theresa Knott
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 10:17 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
>
>>> It's based on the English National Curriculum, so certainly. The point
>>> is, SOS Children put this together as an encyclopedia specifically for
>>> their *own* schools in poor countries. They're not just doing
>>> something they think might somewhat fit the idea, they're actually
>>> using it as a real encyclopedia.
>
>> Do you think that WMUK would be able to help?
>
>
> Certainly in publicity and lending the good name of Wikimedia locally.

I didn't even know this project existed! As a schoolteacher myself, i
really should get involved.

Theresa




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Re: Long Term Projects

Theresa Knott
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 10:30 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
>> I think that its not just one for people in poor countries. I think stable
>> versions of the
>> encyclopedia could be used in many schools within the UK. Versions could
>> even be tailor
>> made for various curriculum.
>
> Absolutely. A lot of schools have very restricted internet access and
> block pretty much every site under the sun, sometimes including
> Wikipedia (or so I'm led to believe, the schools in my local area
> don't have it blocked, but I'm told others do), so being able to hand
> out an offline version to such schools would be very handy.

However, handing out an offline version will give some schools who
currently do not block Wikipedia a reason to do so :-( It's something
to think about.




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Re: Long Term Projects

joseph seddon
> On Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 10:30 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > 2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
> >> I think that its not just one for people in poor countries. I think stable
> >> versions of the
> >> encyclopedia could be used in many schools within the UK. Versions could
> >> even be tailor
> >> made for various curriculum.
> >
> > Absolutely. A lot of schools have very restricted internet access and
> > block pretty much every site under the sun, sometimes including
> > Wikipedia (or so I'm led to believe, the schools in my local area
> > don't have it blocked, but I'm told others do), so being able to hand
> > out an offline version to such schools would be very handy.
>
> However, handing out an offline version will give some schools who
> currently do not block Wikipedia a reason to do so :-( It's something
> to think about.

I would imagine that most kids in school would only get a small amount of time
to edit wikipedia in school. I gather most kids who edit, edit from home. I think
in terms of children's learning it would be advantageous to them. It may even
get more kids involved in wikipedia in their later schooling years. I think that it
would be easy to tailor articles for GCSE student's. Seen as GCSE's arnt exactly
the most complex thing. I would say that the net gain by helping these kids,
would outweigh any loos in editing time they would get from wiki. Also I do not
think that it would result in too many further blockings. We could get in touch
the education authorities of each county and discuss with them directly. Perhaps
even specifically targeting those that block wikipedia. That would be the best
damage limitation approach and increase the net gain from this.
 


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Re: Long Term Projects

Andrew Cates-5
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
Okay, David, I have joined this mail list. Thank you for the invitation.

For background, the 2007 Schools Wikipedia is a big success: it was
distributed via (amongst others) the "hole in the wall" project for
rural Indian kids, the Shuttleworth fundation to South Africa Schools,
SOS Children offices in India, Pakistan and Southern Africa, various
local Wikipedians who burned copies for local schools and its listed
all over the place (e.g. local and state gov sites etc). It even had
distributers in Australia and New Zealand. We given thousands of free
downloads (we have moved this to Amazon's download service), and
mailed just under two thousand DVDs on request to all over the world.
Schools are running it on intranets and even running mirrors on school
websites (google for "2007 schools wikipedia selection"). We do not
have an accurate user count but are fairly confident it is well over a
million users.

Even the online copy (which wasn't really the point) is rapidly moving
up Alexa and will soon be the leading "checked content from Wikipedia
online" site. Offline that's been us for quite a while.

The 2008/9 version will be available for general view for final checks
next week and for download and DVD two weeks after this. The article
list has gone up to 5400 articles with about 2000 added and 600
removed from the 2007 version as more relevant articles for kids have
reached adequate quality thresholds. Pretty much all of them have been
updated to more recent versions since the 2007 version. They will
still be sorted by curriculum topics with some portal pages for
curriculum subjects added. Still this will be free by any route. We
might skip "Torrent" which wasn't a great success.

That do for now?

Andrew

On Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 9:55 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2008/9/8 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
>
> I know that David gerard was working on a
>> wikipedia for schools project. I'm unsure where that is in terms of
>> progress.
>
>
> It's not mine, it's Andrew Cates' (User:BozMo) (cc'ed). It's going
> strong :-) It's pretty much the best practical realisation yet of
> "let's write an encyclopedia for people in poor countries who really
> need one." 2008 edition coming soon.
>
> (Andrew, please join this list and comment! WMUK pushing the Schools
> Project is the sort of thing it'd be great for.)
>
>
> - d.
>

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Re: Long Term Projects

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Theresa Knott
2008/9/9 Theresa Knott <[hidden email]>:

> However, handing out an offline version will give some schools who
> currently do not block Wikipedia a reason to do so :-( It's something
> to think about.


It's a very cut-down selection - 4000-odd articles and pictures. Mind
you, that fills a DVD. (This gives you some idea how HUGE Wikipedia
actually is. I still can't really say I have my head around its size,
though I can quote numbers as well as anyone.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_CD_Selection
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/SOSChildrenUK2007
http://schools-wikipedia.org/


- d.

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Re: Long Term Projects

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Andrew Cates-5
2008/9/9 Andrew Cates <[hidden email]>:
> Okay, David, I have joined this mail list. Thank you for the invitation.
>
> [snip]
>
> That do for now?

Excellent stuff. Anything WM UK can do to help once we're up and
running? Distributing it to UK schools, obviously, but anything else?

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Re: Long Term Projects

Andrew Cates-5
Thomas,

I am sure that WM UK could help. Please excuse my stupidity and give
me a little while to work out exactly who is on WM UK before I suggest
more.

Clearly, any kind of contacts with technical or schools journalists
would be good: we will send out review copies (probably on USB
drives). WMF are supporting the launch with quotes etc.

Andrew

On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 11:10 AM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2008/9/9 Andrew Cates <[hidden email]>:
>> Okay, David, I have joined this mail list. Thank you for the invitation.
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>> That do for now?
>
> Excellent stuff. Anything WM UK can do to help once we're up and
> running? Distributing it to UK schools, obviously, but anything else?
>
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Re: Long Term Projects

Thomas Dalton
> I am sure that WM UK could help. Please excuse my stupidity and give
> me a little while to work out exactly who is on WM UK before I suggest
> more.

There are no official members yet since it's still in the planning
stage. We have a list of interested people at
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK_v2.0

> Clearly, any kind of contacts with technical or schools journalists
> would be good: we will send out review copies (probably on USB
> drives). WMF are supporting the launch with quotes etc.

Liaising with the press is certainly something WM UK could do.

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Re: Long Term Projects

Ross Gardler
In reply to this post by Andrew Cates-5
Andrew Cates wrote:
> Thomas,
>
> I am sure that WM UK could help. Please excuse my stupidity and give
> me a little while to work out exactly who is on WM UK before I suggest
> more.
>
> Clearly, any kind of contacts with technical or schools journalists
> would be good: we will send out review copies (probably on USB
> drives). WMF are supporting the launch with quotes etc.

Andrew,

I think my mail went to the list before you arrived so I'll mention a
few potential points for collaboration here (sorry to duplicate for
everyone else). I'll let someone else tell you about WM UK, I'm very new
here.

With respect to "contacts with technical or schools journalists". I'm
not a journalist (although I have a small number of connections in that
area and have already forwarded your mail to a couple that may be
interested).

Instead I would like to highlight a few of my day job activities as they
are relevant to the WIkimedia Schools project and, potentially, to WM-UK.

Here in the UK there is an new project funded by BECTA [1] to collate
materials relating to open source for UK Schools (not open content, but
I think the overlap is strong enough in this case). The project is
callend Schools Open Source Project and is only a couple of months old.
They do not have a public site yet.

I'm a member of their advisory committee and would be happy to make them
aware of your work at the next meeting (Oct 9th). I'm thinking they
would be an excellent vehicle to raise awareness of your work in UK schools.

I'm also the service manage of OSS Watch [2], a JISC [3] funded national
advisory service to UK Higher and Further Education sector. Most of our
activites are related to IPR management and open source project
sustainability. However, I think we would be able to spin the open
source angle of your work to make it suitable for our audience (we
already carry a case study on MediaWiki so it would be a good complement
to that).

I doubt HE would be very intested in your work, but I'm pretty sure some
of the FE colleges would be.

OSS Watch would be really happy to commission an article about your
project (and any other similar work using open source software). If you
are interested please contact us via [hidden email] mentioning
that I suggested you contact our content editor to discuss our
requirements and payment schedule (you can copy some of this email of
course).

NB others with good writing skills and an idea for a case study are
welcome to propose it to [hidden email] (perhaps someone would
like to do something as a fund raiser for set-up costs of WM-UK).

Furthermore, we are always looking for decent giveaways for conferences
and the like. Would you be in the position to sell us a number of the
USB keys pre-loaded with the 2008 version?

Finally, do you have any case studies or similar materials that you use
to promote your work? We'd be very happy to carry them on our website.

If we may be able to do to help in some other way please feel free to
contact us via [hidden email].

Of course, I'm hanging around here until I figure out if we can help WM
UK too, so I'll be watching any plans that emerge here.

Ross

[1] http://www.becta.org.uk/
[2] http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk
[3] http://www.jisc.ac.uk

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