(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) A new initiative promoted by the Israeli Education Ministry seeks to have public school students produce Wikipedia entries.
The program was recently suggested during a meeting between Education Minister Shay Piron and Wikimedia Foundation Chairman Jan-Bart de Vreede, with the Education Ministry expressing interest in integrating Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that can be edited by any user, into its “meaningful learning” initiative.
A statement posted on the Education Ministry’s website read, “Meaningful language learning is characterized by its being active, constructive, authentic and cooperative. Learners are motivated when they have the opportunity to engage in activities that they feel are useful in their lives.”
Israeli history, geography or science teachers would undergo a professional training program that would instruct them on how to help students complete Wikipedia entries. Additionally, the Education Ministry is weighing whether to allow students who speak foreign languages to write entries on Wikipedia sites in languages other than Hebrew, with the goal of improving Israel’s image abroad.