User:ConMan/NSW BoS Letter

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This is a letter that was sent to the NSW Board of Studies regarding their inclusion of Wikipedia as a text in the HSC English course for 2009-2012. The letter was sent in May 2008, but so far I have received no reply - and before anyone points it out, the version sent did actually contain my postal address and current date.


NSW Board of Studies

GPO Box 5300

Sydney NSW 2001


To whom it may concern,

I am writing with regard to the news that the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is to be included in the 2009-2012 Stage 6 English Syllabus in the Elective "The Global Village". I would like to draw your attention to Wikimedia Australia, the local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, of which Wikipedia is a project. The members and committee of Wikimedia Australia are all supporters of the Wikimedia Foundation, and include many experienced editors of Wikipedia, including myself.

As the sharing of knowledge is one of the key goals of both the Foundation and the Australian Chapter, Wikimedia Australia could prove a powerful resource for the Board and for schools that choose this elective, and the experience of its members can provide a useful perspective. This would be important particularly if any planned coursework involves actual editing of Wikipedia, as past experiences have shown that class projects are most successful and enjoyable for participants when the Wikipedia community has been contacted and involved at an early stage.

Given the increasing use of on-line tools such as Wikipedia and wiki technology in the classroom, I also feel that there is scope for collaboration between the Board of Studies and Wikimedia Australia outside of the HSC syllabus, and I would be glad to see communications opened on that front in the near future as well.

If you would like to get in touch with Wikimedia Australia to develop ideas, I will gladly pass on your contact details to the committee. You can also visit the organisation's web page, currently located at

Yours faithfully,

Chris Mann

Wikimedia Australia member