School Wiki is a unique initiative by IT@School, which was launched in 2009, to foster a culture of collaborative learning among students. School Wiki currently features details of over 15,000 schools in Kerala and gives a bird’s eye view on the schools’ elementary data, historical references, infrastructure, renowned Alumni, School websites, School Map, Blogs, Class Magazines, supporting images and videos. It has over 30,997 articles and 13,000 users and increasing day by day. Made completely in Malayalam, SchoolWiki features educational contents made by students, teachers, alumni, and public.
Problem that the initiative aims to solve
There has been a prevailing situation with an absence of a suitable online collaborative resource portal. Schoolwiki fills this void. The concept of a comprehensive database of all schools in the state are also materialised by way of implementing Schoolwiki as a massive institutional project.
School Wiki, prepared using Wikimedia Foundation’s Mediawiki software, host various educational contents prepared by the students as well as teaching materials collaboratively developed by the teacher communities. The geographical details of every school locality in the State have also been made available through School Wiki. School Wiki aims at collaborative data building and to generate more interest among students to learn Malayalam. The portal provides a host of features including special privileges for District Admin, search articles alphabetically, facility to display pictures in Wikicomments, Wiki Editor, School Mapping using of Open Street Map, facility to search in Malayalam and English languages. In addition to these, School Wiki also has specific extensions such as prettyURL, Upload Wizard, Editcounts, Checkuser, Gadgets and Thanks.
Impacts or Benefits
Prior to the rollout of SchoolWiki, there was no such application or portal which included details of the entire schools of a State. Eventhough some schools had their own individual pages in Wiki or their own website, they were limited to contents which were not uniform or relevant. With its implementation, SchoolWiki has become a portal which is not only a database of all schools, but also helps in creating a uniform structure in displaying the details of each school. The portal has been well taken up by the students and teachers which is evident from its 30,000 + articles and 13,000+ users.
Sustainability and Scalability
The sustainability of SchoolWiki depends on the integration of the core idea of repository of schools and resource portals which could be useful for students. Periodic training for students and teachers in uploading contents, proper monitoring system at school, district and state level etc ensure the sustainability of SchoolWiki. SchoolWiki model can be replicated if it is conceived as a dynamic repository of schools as a well as a resource portal. Necessary requirements such as a high capacity server, technology expertise, trainings for students and teachers should also be taken care. Necessary funding for procuring Servers, ICT equipments at schools, trainings etc have to be found through various sources.