School Wiki is a unique initiative by IT@KITE, 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features details of over 15,000 schools in Kerala and gives a bird’s eye view on the schools’ elementary data, historical references, infrastructure, renowned Alumni, School websites, School Map, Blogs, Class Magazines, supporting images and videos.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. SchoolWiki provides a platform for students, teachers and schools to showcase their areas of excellence like no other portal.
School Wiki has been prepared using Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikemedia software with the goal of facilitating Collaborative content development and its sharing. SchoolWiki also 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.
The aim of School Wiki is to bring out collaborative data building and to generate more interest among students to learn Malayalam and to generate more contents in various subjects. The portal provides a host of features including special privileges for District Admin, facility to merge old username to a new user, search articles alphabetically, facility to display pictures in Wikicomments directly in SchoolWiki, 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. SchoolWiki has been designed in such a way that schools can register into the portal using their school codes and upload their contents in their respective space provided under their district. Students, Teachers and even schools are encouraged to create their own ICT contents which form educational resources for the larger learning populace. Through SchoolWiki, these efforts of the students and teachers get a boost in terms of connecting with hundreds of other students and schools, contribute to the collective learning outcomes thereby enhancing the quality in student learning.
SchoolWiki has been positioned as a universal platform for collaborative learning for students. There are State Level, District Level, Sub district level, school level admins in place to assess the progress made in the portal by each school/ user. A group of students has been identified in each school who are titled Student School IT Co-ordinator (SSITC) who with the help of School IT Co-ordinator (SITC)- a designated teacher assigned in each school for overseeing the IT activities, ensure the updations of their contents in SchoolWiki. The contents which are uploaded in the portal are thoroughly checked for its authenticity and appropriateness. Student Club members are assigned to check on their school contents randomly. The District level team of IT@School provides necessary technical support for the schools. KITE has provided high speed broadband internet connectivity to all schools in the State, using which schools are able to upload their details in SchoolWiki. The portal also acts are a resource for ICT enabled contents which the students and teachers could access 24/7. Since SchoolWiki is completely made in Malayalam, it enables students from all streams to understand and learn the contents with ease. The best educational contents which are developed by students are chosen through a transparent competition and the selected resources are uploaded in the portal for the benefit of lakhs of students. The portal also enables the teachers to share their own educational contents with not only to the students of their schools, but also to many throughout the State.
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. Once implemented, 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.
SchoolWiki is envisaged as the largest comprehensive digital repository of schools- which is first of its kind in the world. The portal also acts as a resource pool to which students and teachers regularly contribute educational contents made by them. KITE has already initiated a student network titled ‘Hi School Kuttikootam’ in which Student School IT Co-ordinators (SSITCs) from all schools would be trained in 5 areas such as Animation and Multimedia, Hardware, Electronics, Language computing and Internet and Cyber Safety. Under language Computing, students would be given intense training on how to make use of SchoolWiki to the maximum. The shifting of the application to the new server would also help in hosting larger educational contents including videos and pictures. The Kuttikootam programme could be the largest students’ IT network in the Country, and would cover 1 lakh students this year and 2 lakhs by next year. This programme would also highlight on teaching the students on the importance of language computing, thereby giving the students an opportunity to undertake different language computing programmes.