Talk:Activities/Schools project

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Schools project


The idea of the Schools project is to get WMUK / Community representatives into schools (primary & secondary) and give a course of instruction to staff and/or pupils on the correct way of using Wikimedia projects in their school work, along with showing staff and/or pupils how to effectively and constructively contribute to the various projects.


This will benefit the projects as we may be able to, as an example, get a journalism club in a secondary school writing for Wikinews, or primary school children contributing to the Simple English Wiktionary / Wikipedia. Photo projects could contribute to the Commons, and we could instruct on how to use the Commons to find appropriate pictures for school work. Sources such as Wikipedia and Wikiquote could become well used in school projects, without the stigma associated with Wikipedia usage in schools.

Financial requirements

  • Travel costs for travelling to remote sites
  • Equipment costs (A laptop will probably be required - Wikimedia UK Branded?)

There is, of course, the possibility of inviting people to a conference centre and holding a larger conference, instead of visiting individual schools.

This exists in my locality, for instance, where the school I am employed by has a large conference suite and ICT suite, capable of holding and catering for 75 delegates at a time (one PC each). --Skenmy 19:17, 1 April 2009 (UTC)


  • Skenmy
  • Ironholds; not involved in schools at the moment, but happy to volunteer and I've been vetted to work with children.

Do you work in or near a school and think you can help? List your name and your ideas for the project!


We need to make sure we fully consider the controls required for working with children including whether this turns the chapter into a "childrens charity". AndrewRT 19:17, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

At no time would we be responsible for any children, so I don't think there is much to worry about. Some CRB checks might be a nice touch, but even they wouldn't be essential. --Tango 22:03, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (which is not currently in force) will significantly extend the groups of people who need to be checked. When we start doing this the Board will need to look into it with great care. The Act requires all those carrying out a "regulated activity relating to children" to register; Sch4 1(2) would probably catch the WfS volunteers themselves as they would likely do volunteer work in schools more than 2 days in 30 and would have an opportunity for contact with children. All trustees might then be caught by Sch4 4(1)(g) as WMUK may be defined as a "children's charity" - something so broadly defined that it captures every charity which has at least two volunteers who are regulated themselves. So, if we had ten regular projects, one of which was WfS which had two people working on it, it looks like we might be caught. AndrewRT 23:09, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Some parts of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 seem to have already come into force: [1][2][3].

Funding was requested for this as part of the "Kick Start" grant application to the WMF here. Mike Peel 11:51, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Definitely support this-this is how Wikimedia can grow. In schools there is a lot of untapped potential, especially for writing for Wikinews etc. Dottydotdot 18:37, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Where would you start, London schools maybe? Every London school, and many London libraries are hard blocked on Wikipedia. You cannot create an account, even if you have an established account, you can not edit when logged in. Is the first thing you want to teach these kids the use of IP Block Exemption? What sort of message does that send out? What sort of message are the hardblocks sending out already?

See [4] and [5] for places where I've unsuccessfully asked for an unblock. [6] gives you an idea of the blocked IPs, there may be more. I googled the "Avril Lavigne vandal", and it turns out they were editing high visibility templates - maybe you should protect those instead of killing off write access to schools and libraries in London. 15:52, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Schools should be soft blocked, if at all. I expect any hard blocks would be removed if the chapter said we were going into the school to educate them about Wikipedia. If massive logged in vandalism from that school happened afterwards, then the block could be replaced, but hopefully educated school children won't want to vandalise! --Tango 03:48, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Because of one person's activities, all school and some (possibly all) libraries are hardblocked in London. Good going - see here and here. 12:07, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
We can deal with that if we want to go into one of those schools. We can create a handful of accounts in advance and get them ipblock-exempted at the very least. --Tango 02:14, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia for schools

Would not a complimentary addition to this being to host a download of the Wikipedia for Schools project? If you're talking about non-secondary pupils they're not going to want them loose on the uncensored Wikipedia. --Brianmc 16:36, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Good idea. We can take along some CDs with us. 18:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I have a suspicion it's a DVD now, but you'd also need good setup instructions to turn a DVD backup back into a wiki.
As a side-note, here's coverage of WP for Schools from Wikinews wikinews:2008-09 Wikipedia for Schools goes online. --Brianmc 07:02, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
You wouldn't want it to be a wiki. What is the point of editing an out-of-date snapshot? The CD/DVD comes with a dedicated browser. I do, however, support taking a stack of CD/DVDs with us to these schools. We should make sure the laptop we buy has a CD/DVD burner (although we could easily borrow one from a member if necessary). --Tango 03:34, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Couple of other comments: (1) Schools seem to like loading the DVD onto intranets (2) On a project to do with schools one thing I think would be popular is to create a Portal page on a curriculum topic (we get requests for portals). Portal pages are particularly good with kids because hey do not have to be too detailed and give the children the chance to talk about all the things related to someone they know. A portal page also has the highest chance of surviving AfD and the highest chance on a curriculum topic of making it onto the Schools DVD. --BozMo 10:12, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

File format?

Which file format shall resources use? Whilst ppt might not be free, it is much more portable than the similar open file formats. Same goes with PDFs vs DJVU etc. Computerjoe 16:12, 4 August 2009 (UTC)


My concern with this remains scalability. It does not make sense in terms of benefit per board member hour for board members to be going round to schools. Our efforts should be focused on producing packs that schools can use and doing whatever is needed to push them into large numbers of schools, e.g. by interfacing with the LEA or with companies running teacher training days. --Cfp 12:32, 29 December 2009 (UTC)