Hi GN,

Thanks for elaborating. I'd wanted to convey that sense of potential.

One clarification that it seems is not getting through to our
concerned friends : There is no "ANY" material being distributed.
Neither are the full Indian language versions being shown or given to
anyone under 18 years of age. At least not on my end and if you do
find anyone doing that then please pass their contact and I'll explain
them why they should not. As I've explained earlier, Shiju made an
error (like, whoa!) in misreading an innocent email and assuming
completely wrong things, and so inadvertently caused anxiety among the
community when there was no ground reality in the concerns raised. I
hope it's fair to ask for sensibility, and honestly I'd apologize if I
was the one who made the error seeing the damage that loose words can

It is a proper package called "wikipedia for schools" created by a
reputed non-profit (SOS Childrens' Villages) that spent 2 years in
collaboration with wikimedia foundation making a collection of
articles that may be useful for school children. I have so far not
found any genuine reason to not trust these organizations, nor have
come across anything remotely qualifying as objectionable. If
anything, it is lacking due to obvious resource problems of the time.
It's a great effort and should be appreciated.

Anybody who wants to know what the Wikipedia for Schools collection
contains in present form, can kindly go to
http://schools-wikipedia.org/ . Please let us all know, with full
details, if you found anything wrong in it. I will pass that
information on to any teachers I've given the package to and hope
others do the same (has anybody else done anything yet? I didn't
inform this group just for kicks). Still, I do have a litte faith in
their own intelligence and discerning powers also, I would not be a
wikipedian if I didn't. For the things that are missing in it, Ashlin
has started work on and I urge you to show your enthusiasm and
positivity by joining that effort.

Anyways, for something that is essentially FREE, if there is something
really bad about it, a FREE thing can easily be THROWN away. That's a
no-brainer. But irrational fear of a threat that emerged from a gross
misunderstanding is something I for one cannot live with. I'd
appreciate it if this community does not commit the mistake of
negative speculation without proper data to back any serious statement
up. After all, if we are wikipedians we ought to have some standards
in our discussion group as well. My apologies if I was rude earlier,
but you have to admit - there was such a chasm between fact and
assumption, it's but natural to feel exasperated.

PS: It is not a CD. 2.8 gigabytes cannot fit on a 700megabyte CD. All
who are reading this, please stop calling it "CD" forthwith or you
might make people waste their money buying blank CDs and then they'll
blame you for it. It can come on DVD or USB devices or others of
larger sizes. Kindly refrain from using inaccurate terms, it indicates
that the writer in question really doesn't know what he/she is
expressing concerns about and takes away the credibility.


On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 11:05 PM, Nagarjuna G <nagar...@gnowgi.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 10:07 PM, Ravishankar <ravidre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Nikhil,
> > I register my strong objection for this. There are various concerns even if
> > the content is children friendly:
> > 1. The content should be free of typos, factual errors. If a school teacher
> > browses through random content and finds that the content is full of errors,
> > not much useful then he may not circulate the CD to students. Once people
> > get a bad opinion of Wiki, it will take lot of effort to get rid of that. If
> > the teachers do not take note of these and circulate it is still worse as
> > students get wrong info. Since there is a tendency for uninformed readers to
> > believe whatever they see in print, we have a responsibility here. I
> > understand you are not distributing  / preparing DVDs for sake of school
> > children. Nevertheless, why can't we make sure to distribute high quality
> > verified content to whoever it is?
> My approach is different.  we are teaching the teachers how to type in
> their language, and telling them how they can create wikipages.  We
> have told them that the wikipedia is not a completed project and needs
> their help.  The teachers and students are not mere consumers of the
> knowledge wikimedians and experts create.  They can detect edit, and
> correct mistakes on their own.  During the the process they will learn
> as well as become fellow wikimedians.  We are teaching them how to
> correct as well.
> If we are only distributing the content without making them aware of
> the background of the content, I agree with you, we need to be
> careful.
> Neither free software nor wikipedia succeeded without frequent
> releases.  Both the children and teachers can understand their roles
> and help themselves.  We can convince the administrators about this
> process as well.
> However, if we know that the current school zim files contain some
> pages with vandalism then we can remove them.    But, we can also let
> the teachers and students detect the vandalism as well since our job
> will never end.
> > 2. Articles need to be vandalism free. Any random zim backup you distribute
> > may have vandal edits in at least few instances. Imagine what will be the
> > reaction of media, academia and Government departments if a state leader's
> > page is distributed with vandal edits.
> When the teachers detect the mistake, they could edit the main
> wikipedia themselves.  It is time we tell them that education is not
> mere consumption of correct or perfect knowledge, but to participate
> in eternal perfection.  Correction opportunity gives a fantastic
> opportunity for the teachers as well as students to understand how
> society works.
> When they are connected they access the pages from full dumps.  When
> we give them offline version we need to tell them that the information
> is not guaranteed to be accurate.
> --
> GN
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