Wikipedia for schools launched

By   |  May 30, 2007

Volunteers at the English Wikipedia and SOS Children have launched the Wikipedia Selection for Schools.

The selection’s articles have been cleaned up and checked for suitability for children, avoiding adult content. It includes the best of [1]Wikipedia[/1] as well as many thousands of pages of extra material specifically selected to be of interest to children who follow the UK National Curriculum and similar curricula elsewhere in the world.

The entire selection is said to be roughly equivalent to a 15 volume encyclopaedia with 24 000 pictures, 14 million words and articles on 4 625 topics.

Aside from being accessible on the site, it is also possible to download the entire selection via BitTorrent (2.5GB compressed with full size images, 792MB compressed with only thumbnail images).

Hilton Theunissen of Inkululeko said that they will gladly send copies to anyone who wants. Theunissen added that the digital encyclopedia will also be made available at all [2]tuXlab[/2] schools around the country.

Florence Devouard, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, said: “The Wikimedia Foundation aims to encourage the development and distribution of reference content to the public free of charge: this project is an excellent example of free resources being offered to a particular audience which we warmly encourage, and are proud to support.”

Dr Andrew Cates, of SOS Children and himself a Wikipedia administrator, said: “Wikipedia offers a fantastic learning resource. We are delighted to have been able to play a part in increasing the number of children who will be able to benefit from it. We are indebted to the volunteers in our offices and on Wikipedia who helped check articles and to the Wikipedia community for their help with this project.”

It is intended to extend and update the selection periodically.

The 792MB version of the Wikipedia selection can be downloaded from the bottom of the this page.

To request a DVD copy, email info@tuxlabs.co.za and put “Wikipedia for Schools” in the subject field.

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