Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Random Whale Wiki App - Android

Ever want to just stumple-upon random Cetacean information from Wikipedia? Here is an App for that!  I made it as a fun way to lazily learn about marine mammals on my tablet while in bed: just lie back and learn about the fascinating behaviour, evolution, phylogeny and all the mangled bytes on Wikipedia's Cetacean portal.

> Download the .apk file here
> Move the .apk onto your android device, via bluetooth or usb or whatever. Move it anywhere in the android file structure, but make sure you can find it again within your Android file manager (I use ES File Manager).
> Detach fron computer and turn on your Android. Browse to the .apk file and tab. Follow instructions to install!
> To locate the Random Whale Wiki icon, you'll need to manually drag it onto your 'desktop' through Settings--> Apps.
The app is admittedly primitive: just a refresh button to get a new marine mammal article, plus some facilities for directed browsing. Enjoy! The real engine is the Wikipedia Random project.

Personally, I think Wikipedia is great for learning about science. Recent innovations like the organized Portals are downright exciting! I like the Biology Portal. Who would want the linear bore of an intro college textbook, when you can have the organic cluster of articles that allow you to click-through and venture out into the Wikispace as far as you are willing to go?  Just be mindful of Wikipedia's biases and reliability.

Are you a fan of Wikipedia random-browsing? How do you use the web's 2.0 resources for edutainment?

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