Education/News/September 2018/Wikicamp Czech Republic 2018

Wikicamp Czech Republic 2018


Author: Czeva

Participants of the 2018 Wikicamp, Czech Republic
Visiting Techmania
Finalizing the Wikicamp poster

Summary: The very first Czech Wikicamp showed that in five days, young wikipedians are able not just to learn the basics of editing but also to contribute with a surprising amount of work if supported. Moreover, the kids' enthusiasm and energy were contagious.

Full of expectation, seven children aged between 9 and 15 and five experienced wikipedians met at Wikimedia Czech Republic's office in Prague.

Tha camp had been prepared intensively since December 2017. The initiator was Gabriela Boková, the Czech Edu manager, who was joined by Vojta Veselý, Czeva, Martin Urbanec, and Jirka Dl. As weeks passed by, the counsellors adopted more specific roles. Gabriela logically became the main organizer, promoter and logistics manager, Vojta specialized in methodology, Czeva contributed with activity ideas, Jirka focused on the orienteering day, and Martin supported the team as an ICT specialist.

After months of preparation, both face-to-face and online, during which we discussed everything from the young participants' age, the venue, legal issues, food, timing, communication with insitutions, promotion and, most of all, the programme, the camp was ready to welcome the prospective wikipedians at 8:30 on Monday 16 June. On the first day, they shared their knowledge about Wikipedia and sister projects, registered and learned the basics of editing using the VisualEditor, which has been available at Czech Wikipedia since 2013.

As time went, the new wikipedians corrected typos, uploaded photos to WM Commons, expanded existing articles, and even created some new ones. They grew more motivated to contribute by visiting the Techmania Science Center in Pilsen, and got more information on resources and referencing in the local branch of the Municipal Library of Prague. To have more variety, Thursday morning was spent walking around one of the local parks, getting to know it better, and trying out orienteering. In the afernoon part of the programme, the kids uploaded photos and extended the Wikipedia article about the park. More fresh-air activities, done daily and organized in the nearby parks, helped the children to relax from visual-centered assignments on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons and to improve their physical fitness, offering also time to play.

From the counsellors' point of view, it was essential to balance well the time spent at computer and that allocated to other activities, to include variety, and to give lots of support. The initial decision to appoint the manager-of-the-day and his/her assistants enabled us to manage each day to suit the Wikicamp aims and the manager's specialization at the same time. Technical support, provided specially by one of the team members, proved absolutely crucial not only because some of the kids were using their own laptops, and Gabriela's background role was so time-consuming that she hardly ever had time to interact with the children.

To see more photos from the Wikicamp, go to its Commons page.

Tags: Wikicamp, Wiki Camp, Wikipedia, Wikimedia Czech Republic, young wikipedians, Wikipedia Education program, Prague