Through an innovative partnership between the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, the world's largest online encyclopedia, and Smart Communications, Inc., the largest mobile phone company in the Philippines, the mobile phone is becoming a useful tool for learning. Smart launches free access to Wikipedia promo until February 2015to promote growth.
Smart Communications Inc. and the Wikimedia Foundation are working together on a project called "Wikipedia Zero." From today, September 5, until February 2015, anyone can use Wikipedia for free and without limits.
The Wikimedia Foundation is a charity that doesn't make money. Its goal is to promote the growth, development, and distribution of free, multilingual educational content. The public can access the full content of their wiki-based projects, such as Wikipedia, for free.
The partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation will give the 68.9 million customers of Smart, Talk 'N Text, and Sun Cellular free, unlimited access to Wikipedia, the largest online encyclopedia, from their mobile devices.
Comscore says that 500 million people visit Wikipedia every month, making it the largest online encyclopedia in the world. It has more than 30 million articles in 287 languages that were written by 80,000 volunteers around the world. Ramon R. Isberto, Smart head of public affairs said:
We have always looked for and promoted ways to use technology and mobile communications to drive learning and consequently, development. 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 cell phone.- Ramon R. Isberto
We are excited to bring Wikipedia Zero to the country and help create a way to make learning more accessible to millions of Filipinos.- Ramon R. Isberto
Under the "Wikipedia Zero" project, all Smart, Talk 'N Text, and Sun Cellular customers can use their mobile phones to access m.wikipedia.org, zero.wikipedia.org, the Wikipedia apps (available for iOS and Android devices), or any other Wikimedia site without paying for data. The deal lasts from September 5, 2014, to February 3, 2015.
Carolynne Schloeder, head of global mobile partnerships at the Wikimedia Foundation, said:
Smart has been a terrific supporter of Wikimedia, and now we’re very happy to formalize our relationship with Wikipedia Zero. Smart’s emphasis on education is aligned with Wikimedia’s global mission, driven locally by Wikimedia Philippines.- Carolynne Schloeder
Filipino editors of Wikipedia are also taking part in Smart's Tap&Learn: Tablets for Education program. Subscribers to Smart can use Wikipedia for free, and Smart subscribers can also use Wikipedia for free.
This is Smart's most recent project in the field of mobile education (mEducation), where mobile technologies are used to help partner communities learn better.
Through Smart's Tap&Learn, representatives from Wikipedia Philippines are teaching teachers from public elementary and secondary schools all over the country how to use Wikipedia to help their students learn and improve their own skills.
Eugene Alvin Villar, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Wikimedia Philippines, says that the Tap&Learn program will give Filipino teachers the chance to learn how to use Wikipedia as one of the tools that can help them do their jobs better.
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.- Eugene Alvin Villar
It would also be great if they can encourage their students to contribute to Wikipedia as well.- Eugene Alvin Villar
Smart announced a new partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation today. The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit group that runs Wikipedia and its related projects. Smart announced that they launch free access to Wikipedia promo until February 2015.
As part of the global Wikipedia Zero program, the partnership will give the 68.9 million customers of Smart, Talk 'N Text, and Sun Cellular free, unlimited access to Wikipedia from their mobile devices.