Education/News/April 2020/Education Webinars organized by Wikimedia México

Education Webinars organized by Wikimedia México

Summary: Education Webinars organized by Wikimedia México as COVID19 emergency response

In response to the current circumstances faced by Mexico and the world due to COVID19, Wikimedia Mexico presented the proposal to have two webinars about education that stem from the particular perspectives of the country and of other chapters of the region.

In the first webinar, Online Education and Libre Culture in Mexico, we had the participation of Dr. Guadalupe Vadillo Bueno from B@chillerato UNAM, Dr. Alberto Ramírez Martinell from Universidad Veracruzana and Lic. Diana Mireya Urrutia from “Prepa en línea” of the SEP. The goal of this webinar was to bring these topics closer to school communities and other interested parties in Mexico and to reflect around the educational reach that Wikimedia projects can have.

The webinar was developed from three main themes. The first theme was the importance of online education and open educational resources where we highlighted the great access available to these modalities nowadays and the tools that they provide for school communities; likewise, we posed an important formula to think about their use and implementation: digital autonomy, asynchronous teaching, and active communities. The second theme focused on educational models and systems, which means talking about the role and the rich diversity of education actors. Regarding this topic we mentioned the importance of having a common ground that implies access to address the digital gap and the teaching of digital skills in different education levels. The third and final theme posed the potential of implementing Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. During this theme, we talked about the relevance of Wikipedia as an invaluable project for access to knowledge, the acceptance outlook of the teaching community, and the idea of contributing to Wikimedia projects through action steps that contribute to their status and value within educational environments.

The second webinar was titled Wikimedia education projects in Latin America, we had the participation of Melissa Guadalupe on behalf of the Education team at the Wikimedia Foundation, Luisina Ferrante - coordinator of the Education and Human Rights Program at Wikimedia Argentina, and Rocía Aravena - coordinator of the Education program at Wikimedia Chile.

The development of this webinar started with an introduction of the education projects, the education experiences with the community, and a utopian vision from the Latin American perspective. We started with the presentation from the Wikimedia Foundation which stems from the relevance of education projects in the Wikimedia community as well as the responsibility and connection of collaborative education projects; likewise, their work is developed with different expert actors around the regions, thinking of how to engage participation and how to promote experiences from specific contexts, available resources and actors. An example of their work is the project Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom, which seeks to provide tools for information literacy. Then, we learned about Wikimedia Argentina’s Education and Human Rights program which hosts 5 projects that encompass their work in teaching-learning processes, which frame libre culture, open culture, and collaborative construction of knowledge. During the contingency period they have launched a series of webinars on “Education and creativity in times of Coronavirus” where collaboration was a relevant concept to bring together contents and reach different education communities.

The work at Wikimedia Chile started in 2011 through partnerships with different civil society organizations, cultural and educational institutions. In particular, the goal of their education program is to promote, contribute, and support a transition from being knowledge consumers to knowledge producers and they believe that education communities have the potential to do so. It’s an effort that transforms the pedagogical experience: more meaningful, collaborative, and democratizing. Likewise, in the context of the sanitary emergency they have created a space for virtual reflection through their Education Cycles “Challenges of pedagogy in times of mandatory virtuality” where they created a space for containment focused on thinking around collaborative strategies.

Some of the reflections can be framed around the challenges that connectivity entails, the access and skills needed by education actors, the opportunities for participation and promotion of open educational resources. Likewise, thinking about education and our social responsibility as an organization.

We thank our allies for their collaboration and participation in the two webinars organized by Wikimedia Mexico, they enrich our work and strengthen our bonds.

Social Media channels or hashtags: @Wikimedia_mx @BUNAM_mx @ComunicacionUV #QuédateEnCasa | @WikimediaEdu @wikimedia_ar @wikimedia_cl