One iPhone per child, forget laptops and broadband – Wikipedia on iPhone/iPod Touch

(note as of publishing this, Patrick’s site is down, oops)

Patrick Collison has created an app for the iPhone and with it that stupid debate about laptops in schools and maybe even the broadband in schools debate can be killed off. It will also be the best pubquiz hack ever too. For Patrick has created an offline version of Wikipedia with a search engine sitting on top of it.

iPhone iWiki

Handy if you’re not in a WiFi area which in Ireland is a lot of places. Why not give all the kids one of these instead of a laptop, since it’s an iPod and a phone too? They’ll always have it with them then. 2 Million articles of knowledge right there for them.

iWiki search

I know I’ll find it handy. And not just for pub quizzes. The install file is BIG. 2 gigs big because afterall it is the whole of Wikipedia really, compressed down. Don’t hammer his site too much. 🙂


10 Responses to “One iPhone per child, forget laptops and broadband – Wikipedia on iPhone/iPod Touch”

  1. Anthony says:

    Wow that’s pretty impressive. He’ll need to start distributing that by Bittorrent.

  2. For a more durable and less expensive device, the Asus Eee PC 701 delivers more value for money, in my first look at both devices.

    Both devices will run head-on into Irish schools’ policies of locking down their broadband against redistribution by wifi access points.

  3. Damien says:

    Asus 4 gig – €319
    No phone, half the storage of the iphone. No iPod. No fitting in a pocket.

    iPhone 8 gig – $399 or €275. Phone, touchscreen, fits in pocket. Doesn’t look shit.

  4. Sinéad says:

    You’ve overlooked a fatal flaw, with regards to giving offline wikipedia to school children… in order to use wikipedia as any kind of learning tool it is essential to be able to roam a critical eye upon the articles and a major part in this critical thinking is being able to access the article references (sources/citations).

    Also, teachers and lecturers do not condone using Wikipedia as a learning tool. At least, the ones that understand WHAT it actually is don’t condone it. Besides, will you actually find much information on topics from the irish secondary school sylabus on wikipedia?

  5. iPod with a crank handle on the back of it. cool.

  6. Patrick Collison says:

    @Damien — thanks for the write-up!

    @Anthony — no need for BitTorrent, thanks to the kind folks at HEAnet who are mirroring it. (I do, however, need a more reliable DNS host — but that’s another story.)

    @Sinéad — “The education world has pursued new technology with an almost evangelical zeal,” she said. “Too many students don’t use their own brains enough and just cite something they see in a ‘book’ or a ‘journal.’ We need to bring back the important values of critical reading and net forum discussion. Young people are finishing education with shallow ideas and need to learn interpretative skills before starting to use technology.” (

  7. Des says:

    I have an iPod Touch and it is a nifty device. Safari on it is much better than browsing the internet on my old Nokia 770.

    However if I was kitting out a school I’d certainly prefer the Asus – it is more robust and will last longer. So what if it looks rubbish – schools have to pay for this kit themselves so durability does win out over trendiness.

    Offline Wikipedia is handy – it has been around for other devices as well. It’s a useful product and perhaps might spur schools to add in topics that are relevant to the current syllabus.

  8. […] also: Damien Mulley, Avi […]

  9. Jim says:

    @Sinéad — While I absolutely agree with you…it’s just so dang cool! 2 million articles in the palm of my hand! Any time, anywhere. Oh, so cool!

  10. […] to my site using a feedreader or email. Thanks for visiting – Damien.Ages ago I mentioned that Patrick created an app for the iPhone that allowed you to have an offline and searchable version of Wikipedia. Well, […]