wikiHow:OLPC and wikiHow Ongoing Collaboration


XO in Green_4145.jpg

"It's an education project, not a laptop project." — Nicholas Negroponte

wikiHow supports OLPC's mission to use the technology of low-cost laptops for children around the world to revolutionize children's educational experiences. In line with OLPC's goal to open up the opportunities for children to explore, experiment and express themselves in a collaborative and supportive environment, wikiHow adds its how-to and collaborative capacities to expand the horizons for children everywhere.

wikiHow aims to develop a thriving educational how-to portal. It is hoped that the addition and maintenance of high quality information will inspire youth to begin adding their own information and articles, tending to the education categories with pride and helping to spread this information to their friends and classmates as a good resource for their daily learning.

EditContinued Relationship with OLPC

wikiHow intends to further develop its relationship with OLPC through the following ways:

  • Ongoing provision of high quality how-to articles suited to children in developing countries aged 6 - 15
  • Development and maintenance of a mentorship scheme between young people using wikiHow and young people learning through OLPC
  • Development and maintenance of a teacher resource

EditOngoing Provision of High Quality How-Tos for OLPC

wikiHow aims to continue providing how-to articles to OLPC on an ongoing basis. The reasons for this include:

  • Good quality articles that will be of use to children around the world who are part of the OLPC project will continue to be added to wikiHow
  • Enthused wikiHow contributors, both existing and new, will continue to be enthused by the collaborative relationship between wikiHow and OLPC - this should be encouraged and sustained
  • wikiHow aims to be the best how-to manual for the world and the continued relationship with OLPC is a logical extension of the underlying philosophy of wikiHow to be universally accessible, universally applicable, universally valued and universally oriented
  • Mentoring as part of the project. Continued provision of articles is a logical extension also of the intended mentorship project, in that it provides the OLPC children with an opportunity to learn about how wikis work, how wiki writing evolves with the collaboration of many and how they can be involved directly themselves in this collaborative process in their own environments
  • wikiHowians are inspired by the OLPC project!

EditBenefits Flow Both Ways

While wikiHow is assisting OLPC, we will also be ensuring that wikiHow's Mission is fulfilled and we will be continuing to improve the quality of our site and its extent of articles.

Areas of particular focus will include:

  • Education category: sciences, languages, mathematics, learning skills, reading and writing, teaching resources, science aimed at children, computer and digital abilities etc.
  • Children's crafts: making things, learning from creating, encouraging play, encouraging learning through play
  • Arts: theatre, acting, drama, script-writing, radio plays, etc.
  • Communications: putting across messages, activism, using communication methods for causes, fundraising, use of digital and paper media etc.
  • Home and garden: sustainable living, construction of household items and interior/exterior elements, growing and harvesting food, innovative energy initiatives, water mechanisms to improve access to water and provision of quality water supplies, disaster management etc.
  • Food: Food safety and food preparation
  • Health: Safe health measures, hygiene practices etc.

Education: As we continue to improve areas such as science, mathematics, reading etc., wikiHow will aim to be a free repository of educational information for both youth and teachers. This can feed directly into OLPC as part of provision of our high quality how-to articles and as part of the mentorship project.

Science area: An initial area of focus, here it is hoped we can continue to add high quality science how-to articles that will be of great benefit to students and teachers around the world. In building up this area, wikiHow benefits students in both developed and developing countries and many new articles will be provided to OLPC. It is considered that in encouraging youth in science through wikiHow how-to's, we will be combining the interactive, collaborative element of the wiki with:

  • the enthusiasm of youth for technology,
  • the fast ability of youth to understand use of wikis,
  • the excellent classroom utility of a wiki; and
  • wikiHow's capacity to provide a structured and easy-to-use interface for children and educational specialists.

EditOLPC/wikiHow Mentorship Project

We are also going to develop a mentorship project between the OLPC children and wikiHow's 13 and over young people, to guide each other in how to use wikis, how to collaborate online, sharing cultural information/stories etc. and building up friendships across the world. It is hoped from this to develop long-lasting relationships of guidance, cultural sharing and to encourage knowledge about the different ways people live around the world.

EditTeacher Resources Project

Down the track it is hoped that wikiHow can develop as one interactive source of providing educational how-to information for teachers to use, add and share. This will feed into OLPC and other free educational/teaching initiatives and activities. While this is further down the pipeline, it needs to be kept in mind when considering the aims for building up the Education area of wikiHow. We've already had a number of teachers use wikiHow for class projects and it will probably be a good idea to try and develop this desire further.

EditTri-way OLPC/UNICEF and wikiHow Relationship

At this stage, wikiHow has two major Educational Outreach projects underway, namely, OLPC and UNICEF. Both OLPC and UNICEF already have close ties and wikiHow is keen to ensure that in providing information to one organisation, it also provides information to both where relevant. Care is taken to ensure that this cross-linkage is maintained and supported.


It is expected that the mentorship project will unfold in 2008.

The teacher resource scheme will be worked on with the hope that it can be launched in 2008 also. This aspect is dependent on development of mentorship project and success of ongoing provision of how-to's.

Article Info

Categories: OLPC