Rafi.ki the online Web 2.0 collaborative learning service which picked up a 21st Century Learning Environments Award at the Education Show in Birmingham last week, will be available as a service for primary schools, called Kidogo (Swahili for "little"), next week.
Gemin-i, the education charity which runs the service for more than 1,000 schools in more than 100 countries, has been conducting a pilot in for key stage 1 & 2 pupils in 130 primary schools in 34 countries for the past three months. "The pilot was a total success," says CEO Henry Warren, "and we are looking forward to replicating the huge growth we have enjoyed in secondary schools across the world in the primary sector.
"It's a hugely exciting time. It has never been so important for schools to have an international perspective. Schools love Rafi.ki because it's a safe, moderated community yet it provides all the sorts of facilities people have come to expect from Web 2.0.
This is what the judges of the Educational resources Awards had to say about Rafi.ki: "With the stress on global citizenship in education, and the need for young people to communicate in order to change perceptions and behaviour, the judges were impressed by this exciting environment that contains all the communication tools you need to collaborate safely with other schools. This is a not-for-profit online community designed just for schools, providing a series of structured, cross-curricula projects. With over a thousand schools from more than 100 countries on their database, Rafi.ki finds partner schools or works with education establishments to improve any existing links."
And this is what some of the educators involved in the Rafi.ki Kidogo pilot had to say about their version:
"On Kidogo, children can just log in and use it. It's a way to raise aspiration. It's a huge thing! Kidogo is a wonderful IT opportunity for KS1 to get stuck in and explore what's on the website." - Linda Alliband, teacher, Oakhill Primary School.
"Kidogo is great because it covers all subject, it really is cross-curricula. It's is nice for a free-time filler. When you have 10 minutes, pupils can just log in and see who is online." - Marie-Therese Brankin, teacher, St Laurence's RC Primary School.
"Teachers can cover the whole IT curriculum for KS1 by doing any of the projects on Kidogo." - Catherine Vaughan, teacher, Norfolk.
"What's great about Kidogo is the opportunity to share your learning with someone else on an equal basis." - Jim Oliver, Bedfordshire LA.
Organisers from Rafi.ki will be spreading their philosophy on gobal education on Monday (April 6) when they address the United Nations Alliance for Civilisation - thought to be the world's premier event on promoting inter-cultural understanding - in Istanbul, Turkey.