About WikiFundi

…an offline Wiki that bridges the digital divide

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Have you ever wanted to work on a document with others, contribute to Wikipedia, or teach your students how to do so?

What is stopping you? …

Is data too expensive?
Is access to the internet unreliable?
Is your electricity supply unstable?
WikiFundi is your answer.

WikiFundi is the offline editing environment that mimics the experience of editing Wikipedia and provides a bridging experience for training, writing, article creation and collaboration.

WikiFundi is an open source software that provides an off-line editing environment that mimics the Wikipedia ‘on-line’ environment. It allows for teaching and content creation when technology fails, access does not exist or is too expensive, and electricity is unreliable. With WikiFundi, individuals, groups and communities can learn how to create and improve articles on a wiki, and can work collaboratively to build articles and other content.

Three ways WikiFundi can help you

WikiFundi has been designed to facilitate three distinct sectors:

1. Education

An easy-to-use teaching tool for schools and education programmes to teach how to read and analyse Wikipedia or Vikidia articles, or to teach how to create and contribute, transferring digital and academic skills. Resources are included in the package to assist students and teachers.

2. Outreach

As a tool that facilitates usergroups and volun- teers when building the Wikimedia movement by providing a way to collectively edit in offline situations. Resources are included in the package to assist Wikimedia leads.

3. Entrepreneurship

A simple wiki platform used by individuals or small groups of digitally skilled entrepreneurs in poorly connected areas to create CVs, business plans, take meeting notes, produce reports, etc.

WikiFundi for teachers : bridge the digital divide and teach information literacy and writing skills.

WikiFundi is an easy-to-use teaching tool. It is used by teachers in schools and education programmes where students explore and practice vital digital and academic skills, such as reading and analysing articles, article creation, research and citation, collaboration and content contribution. WikiFundi also has resources to assist students and teachers.

WikiFundi in the classroom

UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy (MIL) framework highlights three main competencies that can help foster critical engagement on digital platforms and develop responsible digital citizenship. These three competencies are:
• access,
• evaluation, and
• the creation of information.

Teachers use Wikifundi or Vikidia to help their students develop MIL competencies by learning to:
• understand their information needs,
• search for information from diverse sources,
• evaluate and analyse information and media content, • understand how knowledge is created.

Students benefit by:
• gaining agency in the digital space,
• improving their information consumption habits,
• acquiring the skills needed to contribute content online, especially to platforms like Wikipedia, in their future, and
• transitioning from passive consumers of information to active creators of knowledge for the common good.

Learning to be a responsible digital citizen is much harder when internet access fails, is too expensive or is not available at all.

WikiFundi is important in three powerful ways:
• WikiFundi provides a wiki-based platform that is similar to Wikipedia, where students can discover, experiment and become experts in editing wiki-based texts.
• It provides examples of good Wikipedia articles that teachers show learners to study and analyse.
• It provides offline resources to support the teaching activities and implement a thorough teaching program.

WikiFundi needs a small portable local server (such as a Raspberry PI) to work. This device provides a local wifi network that students connect to and then work on their articles. Once the articles are finished, the end result can be transferred to an online wiki page on Wikipedia, another Wikimedia project or Vikidia.

WikiFundi for wikimedians : facilitates the training and contribution by volunteers to Wikimedia in whatever offline situation

WikiFundi is a tool that facilitates the work of usergroups and volunteers when building the Wikimedia movement by providing a way for volunteers to collectively inform, train and edit in offline situations. There are training resources included in the package to Wikimedia outreach activities.

WikiFundi use in Wikimedia Outreach

WikiFundi is intended as both a short-term solution for unexpected interruptions to power or data in the middle of a Wikimedia session or as a long-term solution in situations where power or data are not accessible.

WikiFundi facilitates and provides for:
• the technical skills to set up and operate a wiki-based environment that moves beyond the challenges to internet access;
• the editorial skills to create text within a digital environment, how to insert images, apply formatting styles to content, implement fact-checking, researching and citations activities, etc.
• the development of collaborative and communication skills in working with others on multi-authored texts; and
• the ability to write real articles in an encyclopedic style for a global audience and thus know that their knowledge is valuable and valued.

WikiFundi provides the environment to teach, collaborate and contribute to knowledge about local cultures, experiences, and concerns in whatever Latin-alphabet language they require. They can be used by collectives of Wikimedians or when working with GLAM, Education, and other content partners. Although the interface will be in English, French, or Spanish, local language articles can be created. For example, articles in isiXhosa, chiShona, or Kiswahili can be written and transferred to those respective language Wikimedia projects once created in WikiFundi.

WikiFundi for entrepreneurs

You love Wikipedia. This is such a cool website. You often thought you would also love to have your own wiki environment, for purely personal use or to use within your own group or within a small business.
A digital space where you could take notes during a meeting, write future Wikipedia articles or blog posts, or draft a proposition for a partner, collaboratively write a report. Any of those uses are practical on a wiki.

You may have tried to set up your own wiki in the past. And you may have tried to set up Mediawiki (the software powering Wikipedia) on your own computer.

Perhaps it turned out to be very complicated to install and you gave up.

Or perhaps you managed to set up MediaWiki, only to find out that the vanilla version lacked many of the cool functionalities and templates available on Wikipedia. Those templates make a wiki website look and feel like Wikipedia.

Or perhaps you set up Mediawiki on your PC, but can not use it with your colleagues and partners because it only operates on YOUR PC.

Or perhaps you find access to the internet unreliable, data too expensive, electricity supply unstable.

WikiFundi as a solution

1) WikiFundi is the wiki environment you can use within a group to do what is usually done on a wiki. Prepare Wikipedia articles, write collaborative notes, draft reports, prepare documents.. at your own pace.

2) WikiFundi is initially based on Mediawiki, just as Wikipedia is. So you will find yourself in a known environment.

3) WikiFundi is set up so that it looks very much like Wikipedia, with a simplified interface. Many of the cool templates you are used to and love on Wikipedia (such as infoboxes) are there.

4) WikiFundi is designed to work using a Raspberry PI and a SD card. Set up is simple and straightforward. Download the software, flash an SD card, insert the card in the Raspberry, switch on the Raspberry. When prompted, join the network and launch the app. That’s it!

5) It’s portable: once initial set-up has been done … put the Raspberry in your pocket and carry it with you everywhere. Create a local wifi network on the fly by simply starting the raspberry and access and share with your group your very own wiki environment!