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Education Pre-Conference/Safe school sandbox

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom
This session will not now form part of the Education Pre-Conference: it is being adopted as more suitable to a hackathon. Contact User:Charles Matthews for the latest

The need

Different jurisdictions have laws, e.g. under-13s are not allowed to use public web sites, which make it difficult to use WikiPedia in education. A solution to some of these problems could be a sand-box that is only accessible to students in a collection of schools. This session will be a combination of hack-session, to start prototyping such a thing, and a discussion opportunity for teachers, to talk about what is required from such a site, and to experiment with the prototype, and discover what still need to be done to make it a tool that could be used with classes.

Issues to solve

  • Seed the sand-box with an initial amount of content, copied from, say, Simple English wikipedia. Probably initially this is manual copy-and-paste.
  • Authentication: how can we get the target students in as simply as possible, but only those students and teacher.
    • SAML/Shibboleth/LTI/...
  • A skin so it is clear to students when they are in the safe sand-box where then can edit, and when they have followed a link to elsewhere.
  • How would this be used by teachers and classes?


  • Time: This could be a one-day session.
  • Target audience: MediaWiki hackers, teachers.
  • Facilitator: Wikimedia UK developer/voluteer.
  • Next steps: Charles will reach out to Wikimedia UK tech list
  • Space requirements: Try to connect it to existing hackathon