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Education Ministry and Wikipedia collaborate to write content for the internet site [Jerusalem Post (Israel)]
[June 10, 2014]

Education Ministry and Wikipedia collaborate to write content for the internet site [Jerusalem Post (Israel)]

(Jerusalem Post (Israel) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) In his latest initiative, Education Minister Shai Piron together with Jan-Bart de Vreede, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees have agreed on a collaborative program to train history, geography and science teachers to guide their students in completing missing or insufficient information on Wikipedia, it was announced on Tuesday.

"It is important for us that the education system in Israel will lead the innovation and collaboration with Wikipedia and provide a wonderful opportunity to think outside the box and allow students in Israel to do things which will also influence others," Piron said.

This agreement marks the first systematic collaboration between an education system and the Wikimedia movement. In addition to this project, the Education Ministry will examine the possibility for foreign language students to write entries about Israel in their mother tongue on Wikipedia.

"I am glad to know that Wikipedia in Israel has an open door to the Education Ministry," said de Vreede. "Israel is currently one of the leading countries in its integration of Wikipedia into education and academia and I welcome the desire of the Education Minister to adopt the website and act together - teachers, students and volunteers - to support the largest free content repository in the world." The Education Ministry and Wikimedia have already cooperated on a number of joint experimental projects, through which teachers receive training on the "wise use" of Wikipedia and content writing; excelling middle school students write Wikipedia entries and elementary school students are trained to properly use the site. Furthermore, hundreds of entries are written by university students as part of their course work in higher education institutions, often instead of a final exam or project.

"I hope that the common working model with the Ministry of Education in Israel will serve as an example for other education systems around the world," added de Vreede.

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