Whether by providing you information for an assignment you almost forgot doing, or telling you what Harajuku fashion is during a lunch conversation with your crush, Wikipedia has probably both educated and saved you from awkward situations at one point or another. It therefore comes as great news that Smart Communications, Inc., in partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, brings Wikipedia Zero to the Philippines – a program that aims to use the popular information platform for free education.
From September 5, 2014 until February 3, 2015, all Smart, Talk ‘N Text, and Sun Cellular subscribers will be able to access m.wikipedia.org and zero.wikipedia.org via their mobile phones without incurring data charges. With over 30 million articles in 287 languages, this proves to be great help especially in a country where mobile devices are a more popular than computers.
“We have always looked for and promoted ways to use technology and mobile communications to drive learning and consequently, development,” says Smart Public Affairs head Ramon R. Isberto. “Wikipedia Zero is relevant in a country where access to both computer terminals and Internet connectivity is still relatively low, but where almost everyone owns a cellphone. We are excited to bring Wikipedia Zero to the country and help create a way to make learning more accessible to millions of Filipinos.”
In addition to this, Smart has also invited Filipino Wikipedia editors to participate in “Tap&Learn: Tablets for Education”, which aims to train teachers on how to use tablets in the classroom. Representatives from Wikipedia Philippines are given the chance to share their knowledge about the intricacies of mobile education to primary and elementary school teachers.
“With the Tap&Learn program, Wikimedia Philippines is very excited to partner with Smart in training teachers in using Wikipedia as one of the tools they can use in their profession,” explained Eugene Alvin Villar, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Philippines. “While we all know that students should not simply copy from Wikipedia when doing assignments, we hope that through Wikipedia, teachers can impart to their students the value of using reliable sources, adding proper citations, and using critical thinking when reading anything on the Internet. It would also be great if they can encourage their students to contribute to Wikipedia as well.”
For more information, please visit this page: http://smrt.ph/freewikipedia.