InfoSlicer is a small application that enables you to download articles from Wikipedia, drag-and-drop sections of them to create new articles, and then publish your collection of articles for others to install or view on their own laptops.
The ideal of InfoSlicer is to support teachers in schools where access to books is limited. They can use InfoSlicer to quickly obtain content from the internet (maybe at a cybercafe rather than at the school or at home) and to create customized versions of the information that are suitable for their pupils and can be viewed with needing access to the internet.
Since completing the initial prototype, however, it’s become apparent that InfoSlicer could actually be more useful to the pupils themselves than just as a means to receive information created by their teacher. The children themselves could use InfoSlicer to download articles and then learn how to re-organise information for a specific audience or purpose and how to attribute someone else’s content without plagiarising it; the outcome of creating the articles is then less educationally important than the process of doing it.
So if you have Sugar, download the first version of InfoSlicer and give it a go (or just find out more) from: http://sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/InfoSlicer
Update 13th April 2009:
On re-reading this article (which was intended to be just a short intro to publicise InfoSlicer), it sounds as if I wrote the software myself! I didn’t. It was the outcome of the brilliant efforts of the InfoSlicer Extreme Blue team during their internship at IBM Hursley last Summer. Here’s a photo of the team at their Expo stand in Germany: