Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999
Subject: Africa Web Project -- an invitation to help
I'd like to invite you and your students to help with a new project to catalogue Africa-related sites on the Internet. This is an opportunity for students to learn about particular African countries or topics and Africa-related resources, at the same time that they learn more about computers and the Internet. In addition, they will have the experience of contributing to a project that will be useful to people around the world, one in which people from around the world are also participating -- and they will have the satisfaction of seeing their contributions go on-line almost immediately.
A good class project would be to choose a particular African country, for which the students can search the Internet and submit as many interesting links as they find. (Or you can suggest a target, for instance 5 links per student.) Students can start by following existing links from our pages, or they can use major search engines such as Yahoo and AltaVista. You will find an easy Add-A-Site submission form on the top of every page at http://swahili.africa.yale.edu/links.
You can either write to us at email@example.com if you would like us to suggest a specific research assignment, or your class can jump right in and start submitting links. We've designed a site that is neat and organized (and advertisement-free!), but that is also dynamic and easy for you to add to. Our ability to list and sort links is only limited by what's out there, and by how interested we all are in building a comprehensive Africa-related Web source.
Any site suggestions will land on the editor's desk, and as soon as the site is checked to make sure the link is valid and has appropriate content, it will be added -- usually within about 12 hours. (It's easiest to add links by keeping two browsers open, one for surfing and the other for submitting.) We already have quite a few links, and over 10,000 hits a month; even if you can't contribute, you may want to bookmark the site for future reference. With your students' help, we can build a resource that will be comprehensive and current.
I'm hoping that this project will be both fun and informative for students. Please forward this letter to any colleagues you think may be interested, and if you have any questions or suggestions (including additional categories, or thoughts on other Africa-related school projects), please let me know.
Martin Benjamin, Editor
Internet Living Swahili Dictionary
Yale Council on African Studies