Wikipedia for Schools
“Wikipedia for Schools has been really useful in public schools of Nepal. The students of remote corners of Nepal, where there is no internet access, now know about the diverse culture, religion, art, science and lifestyle of the countries around the world. All credit goes to the team that built this wonderful repository of information for schools. One of the teachers of the remote far-western Nepal said that the information in this Schools Wikipedia is a never-ending progression. The more you dig in, the deeper it gets.”
Subir, from Nepalese online learning project E-Pustakalaya
Wikipedia for Schools is a selection of articles from Wikipedia, arranged by curriculum subject and designed as a resource for school children around the world. Created by SOS Children and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, it gives those who can't get online access to free Wikipedia content. It can be downloaded or used online, or obtained from SOS Children on USB.
Wikipedia for Schools is aimed at children aged 8-17 years old, with a focus on Key Stage 3. It is based around the UK national curriculum, but can be used by anyone in the English-speaking world.
Its primary aim is to provide children in the developing world with access to a valuable learning resource. It has also proved popular in the UK, the US and Australia, where it has helped schools avoid difficult child protection concerns surrounding full Wikipedia access.
Today, you can find it on the intranets of many schools in the developed world - and the online edition of Wikipedia for Schools currently receives around five thousand visits a day.
How do we keep Wikipedia for Schools up-to-date?
We review and update content regularly to ensure that content is constantly in line with the high standards expected of a working educational resource. From the outset, the project has aimed to select rather than amend Wikipedia content. The wider Wikipedia community have been helpful in creating content for specific needs, such as “portal pages” on periods of history coinciding with curriculum topics. We have also added curriculum-based categorization.
While changing nothing, we remove content we feel is unsuitable for children.
The new 2013 edition of Wikipedia for Schools is now available. You can also download it using a BitTorrent Client (more details in the next section). A host of articles have been reviewed to include up-to-date information, new pages added and the whole package given a visual overhaul to improve the look and feel. We are very excited about the new version and we hope you like it as much as we do!
Accessing Wikipedia for Schools
You can access Wikipedia for Schools in three ways:
- You can browse the online version at http://schools-wikipedia.org.
If your schools' internet connection or internet access policy is limited, you can download a copy to use offline on your school intranet. Please see below for instructions.
- SOS Children is preparing offline copies of Wikipedia for Schools on USB memory sticks if your school isn't able to get online at all. Please get in touch if you would like one.
The full Wikipedia for Schools 2013 edition is available to download via BitTorrent. You can use our torrent file:
If you don't have a BitTorrent client, we recommend qBittorrent. Use Google to find their website. We have more detailed instructions for downloading Schools Wikipedia using BitTorrent.
A brief history of Wikipedia for Schools
SOS Children began work on Wikipedia for Schools in 2005. We wanted to make articles from Wikipedia available freely for use in schools and educational projects across the developing world, where internet access is often non-existent.
In April 2006, the first edition was released onto CD as "A World of Learning, and shipped to schools in developing countries by SOS Children and others. SOS Children bore most of the production and distribution costs, although some of the distribution was funded by other charities such as the Shuttleworth Foundation in South Africa. At the time, Wikipedia was not available in offline, making Wikipedia for Schools uniquely positioned to provide a vital learning resource to children across the developing world.
In November 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation endorsed the project, and a year after the project's first release, it was relaunched as “Wikipedia for Schools” and moved to www.schools-wikipedia.org. Ever since, we have continued to enjoy the support of WMF.
In 2006, “A World of Learning” fitted onto CD-ROM, with 2006 pages of text and 8000 images. The much-expanded second edition was the size of a 15-volume encyclopaedia, with 14 million words on nearly 5000 topics, and was released onto DVD. For the 2008/9 version, Wikipedia for Schools was expanded and improved yet again.
In July 2013, we celebrated the online launch of the fourth edition, complete with a visual overhaul to give Wikipedia for Schools its own unique look and feel. It also has a broader spread of core content and a wider range of additional material, from Wallace and Gromit to Pirates of the Caribbean. Not only is the new edition a better tool for learning, it is also more in touch with the trends and interests of young people around the globe.