Kiwix4Schools Project Nigeria: overcoming the limitations of internet access, and bridging the knowledge gap Using Digital Literacy.

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I had the opportunity to present and install the Kiwix4Schools App for the first time ever in any Nigerian school on November 8 at Federal Government Boys College Garki (FGBC), Wuye, Campus Abuja, Nigeria.

It was another means of advocating for digital literacy among our young scholars, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to strive in technologically-driven society without the hazel of internet connectivity.

Students of Federal Government Boys College Garki Abuja Nigeria. Oby Ezeilo, CC BY-SA 4.0

Some concerns

What is Kiwix?

Emmanuel Englehart VGrigas(WMF)CC BY SA 3.0
Renaud Gaudin Rgaudin CC BY SA 1.0

Kiwix is a free and open-source software developed by Emmanuel Engelhart and Renaud Gaudin in 2007

When Kiwix was first introduced, it allowed users to browse Wikipedia offline. However, it has subsequently grown to incorporate public domain works from Project Gutenber and other initiatives from the Wikipedia Foundation. It also allows users to access and download free content from the internet and view it offline. It is particularly useful in areas (Nigeria) where limited, no or unreliable internet connectivity hinders smooth access to educational contents and other contents.

Who can Use Kiwix?

Its for everyone, Teachers, students, instructors, professionals, children, senior citizens, organizations, institutions.

Project Kiwix4Schools is a creative innovation to help teachers and students who struggle to access online learning resources by providing offline access to educational information. This project was initiated by Open Foundation West Africa Ghana and was introduced in Nigeria through a mentoship program. You can read more in this Diff post.

The Mentorship program, which lasted for over 2 weeks, came with a lot of excitments and positive posibilities which includes improving my digital skills, helping my students through kiwix cut cost of data, introduce new initiative of control content without unnecessary interference from the internet, networking with other mentors from different counties thereby promoting diversity, Enhance my Educational leadership and coaching skills.Generally the mentorship programme created a positive ripple effect throughout, impacting individual professional development, organizational culture, and overall success.

Oby Ezeilo CC BY SA 1.0

How can Kiwix help in the classroom?

Obtaining Educational Content Offline:

Kiwix gives teachers and students offline access to a multitude of educational resources in places with spotty or nonexistent internet service. This is especially helpful in isolated or rural locations where it could be difficult to get internet access or too expensive to source for data.  it also acts as a control measure, preventing unnecessary distractions from the internet during study sessions.

Research and Education Resource:

A range of educational resources, such as Wikipedia articles, textbooks, and other reference materials, are accessible through Kiwix. Even without an internet connection, students can utilize Kiwix for research and self-directed study.

Decreased Internet Dependency:

Kiwix facilitates less dependency on the internet to obtain learning materials. In circumstances where internet connectivity is costly or irregularly accessible, this is advantageous.

Advancing Computer Literacy

Introducing Kiwix to pupils can be a chance to improve their digital literacy. Pupils can pick some useful skills for navigating digital content, using offline resources, and conducting successful research.

Personalised Adaptable Content:

Teachers can tailor the content on Kiwix to meet the unique requirements of the school curriculum, this will give Students access to materials that are both age- and topic-appropriate.

How does Kiwix Operate? It operates in two ways

a. Kiwix Reader

b. Kiwix Content

Kiwix Reader

Kiwix Reader is the software part of the Kiwix project that enables users to interact with and read the offline content they have downloaded with the Kiwix software. Kiwix is available on a wide range of devices and compatible with multiple operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.[Our mopile phone, Labtops, Ipads, and others]

The Kiwix Reader is designed to open and display content in the ZIM file format, which is the format used by Kiwix to store offline copies of web content. ZIM files are streamlined and compressed to store and retrieve web content more effectively.

Kiwix Content

Kiwix content refers to the offline, downloadable material that users can access using the Kiwix software

One of the most popular contents used by Kiwix is downloaded offline copies of Wikipedia articles, Wiki books, Wiktionary, However, Kiwix is not limited to Wikipedia, and users can download a variety of content in the ZIM file format for offline use. Others are Project Gutenberg, Ted Talks and many more

Any Challenges? Yes Nothing is perfect

Content Restrictions:

Kiwix is dependent on ZIM-formatted content being available. Even while Kiwix supports Wikipedia and a number of other sources, not every website or online platform might be reachable with it.

Requirements for Storage:

Certain content can be quite huge, particularly large databases like whole Wikipedia editions. Limited device capacity might provide a barrier for users who download large volumes of content.

Issues with Copyright and Licensing:

It is impotant for users to acknowledge and adhere to copyright regulations and licensing terms while obtaining and utilizing content via Kiwix. Not all content may be accessed offline, therefore users must be sure they own the permission to access and share any downloaded files.

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