Education/Newsletter/April 2015/Single

By Sara Mörtsell (Wikimedia Sweden)

Two of the students behind the MOOC on Swedish Wikiversity.

Snippet: The first Swedish student generated MOOC stands a chance of winning national prize for web publication in education.

Some students at secondary school Katedralskolan in Skara, Sweden, have been nominated for a national prize celebrating the use of web publication in education, called "the Web star". They have produced an MOOC, Massive open online course, on Swedish Wikiversity including articles, podcasts, quizes, badges and resources they have authored and collected as part of their coursework. Their MOOC is called "Power and rebellion" (Makt och uppror) and the project has been instructed by the award-winning teacher Ylva Pettersson, Wikipedian and Wikimedia Sweden board member.

Read more about the nominated schools (in Swedish).

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Sweden here.

By Lilit Tarkhanyan (Wikimedia Armenia)

Western Armenian editors in Aghveran

Snippet: Teachers and journalists of Armenian community in Lebanon joined Wikipedia and Wikipedia Education program.

Western Armenian is one of the two standardized forms of Modern Armenian, which is mainly spoken in Armenian Diaspora communities. In 2015 Wikimedia Armenia began cooperating with Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for its "Wikipedia in Western Armenian" program. This program aims to establish and develop Western Armenian Wikipedia community, in order to improve the article quality in Western Armenian and to create a separate Western Armenian Wikipedia.

Why Lebanon? Number of Armenians in Lebanon is 156,000 which is around 4% of the population. As Armenians have strong community and strong presence in almost every sphere in Lebanon, we decided that it will be the first country of our program. Wikimedia Armenia with the support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation organized Wikipedia training week for teachers and journalists of Armenian community, in order to involve them in wiki editing process. The aim of the event was to teach wiki editing tools, to tell about wiki movement and to prepare wiki coordinators, who will spread wiki movement in Lebanon by involving new educational, scientific and other institutions.

On April 3, 12 participants arrived to Armenia from Beirut. During the training week a number of discussions were held, such as: where to start from, how to involve more people, how to spread the movement, what problems do we face and how to solve them, how Wikipedia Education program works in Armenia, how and when organize a wikicamp for students in Lebanon. The participants learned wiki editing tools before creating their own articles in Western Armenian. The editors stated that Wikipedia is the best way of preserving Western Armenian, which is considered to be endangered language in some countries.

One of the workshops in Aghveran

Participants discussed the organization of the Lebanon wikicamp in details. The teachers and journalists plan to continue their wiki activity, educators want to involve their students in Wikipedia Education Program after returning home. The best students will have an opportunity to participate in Wikicamp 2015, Armenia, which will be a great help and motivation for them. It is planned to have 15 students from Armenian Diaspora in the camps (June 21 - July 4, August 16 - 29).

During their stay the editors visited Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts - Matenadaran, which is a repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and museum in Yerevan. A visit to AYB high school was also organized, where the school manager Aram Pakhchanyan introduced their educational programs and cooperation with Wikimedia Armenia.

Western Armenian editors of Wikipedia returned home filled with enthusiasm to share their wiki knowledge with their students and surrounding.

Watch an Armenian TV news report (with English captions) about the training here.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Armenia here.


By Mykola Pryhodko (WM UA) - Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)


Snippet: +100 articles were edited by WikiStudia students in the first round of the project.

WikiStudia is a project coordinated by the Ukrainian Wikipedia community and Ukrainian universities aiming to gathering the students of each field of study to edit the related articles on Wikipedia on the basis of Wikipedia Education Program.

This month, students in Ukraine wrapped up their first WikiStudia course. 36 students from T.H.Shevchenko Chernihiv State Pedagogical University enrolled in this course with 6 teachers who assigned their students to edit more than 100 articles on the Ukrainian Wikipedia. Throughout the course, teachers held 7 extensive lessons and seminars to give students the needed guidance on encyclopedic writing for Wikipedia.

The workshops were over by the end of April and the organizers are now getting the certificates ready for students. At least 16 students were able to qualify for the project certificate. A certificate will be awarded to any student that was able to add at least 3 Kilobyte content and make +50 edits to the article namespace on the Ukrainian Wikipedia.


Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Ukraine here.

All Photos from WikiStudia

By Marios Magioladitis (Wikimedia Community User Group Greece)

Second Chance School of Corfu presents a wiki project in the 5th Digifest in Corfu, Greece in April 2015

Snippet: Adult students with the help of their educators write Wikipedia articles in 2 languages and upload photos to Wikimedia Commons.

The Second Chance School of Corfu; a school for adults in the Southern Corfu has implemented a Wikiexpedition about villages in the area of Lefkimmi. This is only a small school of approximately 10 learners and three educators who managed in a limited time to achieve great results and to render information about the small villages of Southern Corfu accessible all over the world. The project kicked off three months ago.

Logo of the school project

The target was to enrich the Greek and English Wikipedia with articles and photos, the team took more than a hundred photos and most of them were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, along with a 6-minute video that they presented in Digifest in Corfu Greece that took place in April 2015 and was organised by the Ministry of Education. The tasks were implemented both in English and in Greek. The outcome was excellent but the experience and what everyone gained from it was even larger.

Most of the learners had limited or no internet access at home and all the typing, translation work and the evaluation of the photos was done in the School.

This pilot education program was supervised by Marios Magioladitis (long-time Wikimedian and educator) with the help of Amalia Pagkrati (teacher of Greek language) and Angela Hirdari (teacher of English). The pilot was monitored with the help of the Education Program Extension and was evaluated by surveys and personal interviews with the learners. It is part of a larger collaboration of educators in Middle School Education in Corfu to integrate Wikipedia and its sister projects in the school program.

Watch a video about the project here.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Greece here.

By Karen Mazanec (Wiki Learning Tec de Monterrey)

Author demonstrates how to add subtitles to a Commons video

Snippet: English professor and first-time Wikipedian Karen Mazanec shares her experience in teaching with Wikipedia for the first time last term.

My name is Karen Mazanec, and I am an English (as a foreign language) professor at the Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico City – one of the top-ranked universities in Mexico. I have taught at this institution since 2004. I am originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.

I have wanted to get my students involved in Wikipedia projects for several years, but the demands of the English program (achieve a certain score on the TOEFL exam) consumed all of our class time (and more). There was simply no class time to spare for other endeavors, such as Wikipedia.

This semester, however, the focus of the English program changed to concentrate more on language skills and abilities and less on passing a standardized exam. As a result, I have been able to bring new, more communicative and real-world related activities into the classroom, including work with Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons.

We started the term by assigning our students to translate short articles from the English Wikipedia to the Spanish Wikipedia. We were motivated by the excitement of holding the first Wikipedia edit-a-thon at our school this term, in which a number of my students would be participating. It was a challenging task as much for me as for my students. I attended the same training session three times (and translated and uploaded two articles myself) until I finally understood all of the technical details. In the end, my 44 students successfully translated articles on the English Wikipedia and edited articles on the Spanish Wikipedia over the course of one school week. The project required them to extensively look up new vocabulary in English and chose the appropriate translation to Spanish, according to the context. Many discovered that a proper “translation” is not simply substituting word for word from one language to another, which is what happens in their brains each time they attempt to speak or write in English.

Shortly after this project finished, I participated in the edit-a-thon at our school and was able to help student participants with a variety of technical and translation questions. It was great to finally become a real part of the Wikipedia project at our school after years of not being able to find time. It was also interesting to learn how few female Wikipedia contributors there are, especially considering that all of the participants in the edit-a-thon from my groups were girls. It was nice to help boost participation in this area as well.

As the semester was coming to a close, I really wanted to do one more Wikipedia activity with my students. I had noticed that some were more interested in and adept at translation than others, and it is important as educators to offer different types of experiences to students in order to tap into the different abilities and learning styles they possess. One of the educational benefits of Wikipedia is that people can contribute in many different ways and formats. Creating new articles and translating existing articles are just two of many different types of activities possible.

I consulted with Leigh Thelmadatter, the Wikipedia guru at our school and a program leader in Mexico. She suggested students try adding subtitles in English to some of the English videos on Wikimedia Commons. While a couple of my students had worked with photos on Wikimedia Commons in previous semesters, I myself had no experience with Commons to this point, and neither Leigh nor anyone else on campus had attempted a subtitle project. Leigh and I sat down, opened some videos and sifted through the existing instructions as to how to add or modify subtitles to videos. We discovered the process was relatively simple, and I went ahead and planned an activity for my students.

The activity took two and a half class hours over the course of two sessions. Leigh came to our first session to observe and take photos to document the experience. Daniel Ulacia, a media arts teacher in our high school division, came to the second session to take video for a video documentary about all the work with Wikipedia done at our campus this semester.

In the first session, I began by giving a brief explanation of the benefits, especially as language learners, of having subtitles to video in the same language as the audio, versus in their native language. I then demonstrated the process for creating subtitles in Commons videos, and the students were given time to select a video. They had the option of working with a partner or working alone. Most were able to find audios with clear and quality English audio. A few did more in-depth searches and came across videos of old cartoons or movie trailers that, while having the appearance of being more “fun” material, were actually quite difficult for them to understand given the low quality and nature of the audio. In the end, most of these students ended up changing their video choice for one with much clearer audio, for example: a presidential speech.

Student transcribing audio on a Commons video

Given the limited time for the project, the students were asked to only add subtitles to the first 30 seconds of the video. Some struggled to understand the audio and had to repeat the segment many, many times. Others had easier videos or better listening skills and were able to easily do subtitles for a minute or more. One of the wonderful aspects of working with Wikipedia is the flexibility it gives teachers to customize tasks according the ability level and interests of individual students. It is possible to make every student feel challenged and at the same time successful.

Almost all students needed me to help listen to a difficult word or phrase at some point, and everyone wanted me to check their work for errors. They were very concerned that what they uploaded would be good because, as with the translations, they knew others would be seeing their work. Another incredible aspect of Wikipedia is that it provides students with a “real world” connection they can make without even having to leave the classroom. There is no greater motivation to do a good job than knowing that your work is going to be displayed publicly. As one student wrote, “It’s so nice to realize that we can help other people to understand some videos just by putting the subtitles. We can also apply all our knowledge and skills in the project because it’s something real. We are really doing real work. So that’s why we have to give everything and work harder than ever.”

After two hours of class time, most students had finished with their 30 seconds of subtitles. I then had them exchange places with another team to view their video and check for errors, including vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and capitalization. I gave each team a form that they could use to write down the errors. Again, this was a difficult but worthwhile task for students. Many had difficulty catching the aural errors (hearing the correct words) but were able to catch the visual problems (punctuation and capitalization). Finally, I had students write a brief reaction to the subtitle project. Most students indicated that they enjoyed and got something useful out of the project. The biggest complaint was simply not having enough time to complete the whole video or that it took them one hour just to create 30 seconds worth of subtitles. However, another great aspect of Wikipedia is that it can be done anytime and anyplace. I have a feeling there will be students motivated enough to continue working on their projects and even start new ones well after the semester is done.

In the end, my main goal with these two projects was create awareness of how Wikipedia is created, the different formats in which people can contribute, and the importance and impact of those contributions. My second goal was to learn how Wikipedia works and to become a collaborator myself. Both of my goals were definitely accomplished, and I am very pleased with the work and enthusiasm of my students. I certainly plan to continue to engage my students in Wikipedia projects in the future – taking steps to improve on the ones we have already tried and looking for new challenges.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program at ITESM here.

By Anna Koval (WMF)

Education Program Extension on

In March 2015, the Education Program Extension was enabled on Latvian Wikipedia. The Education Program Extension was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation to assist educators and Wikimedians in their joint efforts to support classes of students editing articles on Wikipedia. It is currently enabled on 17 Wikimedia projects: 15 language versions of Wikipedia and on 2 other Wikimedia projects, English Wikinews and German Wikiversity.

Latvian editors agreed to install the extension, and on February 18, User:Papuass made the official request on Phabricator. The extension has been deployed to the project and is already being used by the community. One institution -- Latvijas Universitāte -- and one course -- Sociālie mediji un digitālā kultūra -- have already been added at Special:Institutions with User:Papuass serving as an online volunteer. Writing for Wikipedia is an optional homework assignment for the course. Students would begin editing between April and May.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Latvia here.

Read more about the Education Program Extension here.

By Anna Koval (WMF)

Education Program Extension on

In February 2015, the Education Program Extension was enabled on Russian Wikipedia. The Education Program Extension was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation to assist educators and Wikimedians in their joint efforts to support classes of students editing articles on Wikipedia. It is currently enabled on 17 Wikimedia projects: 15 language versions of Wikipedia and on 2 other Wikimedia projects, including English Wikinews and German Wikiversity.

Russian editors agreed to install the extension, and on February 15, User:Rubin16 made the official request on Phabricator. The extension has been deployed to the project and is already being used by the community. One institution -- Петрозаводский государственный университет -- and one course -- Интернет-математика -- have already been added at Special:Institutions. User:AKA MBG is the instructor. User:Rubin16 is the online volunteer. This will be User:AKA MBG's fourth year teaching in the education program, but this term will be the first time teaching with the extension.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Russia here.

Read more about the Education Program Extension here.

By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)


Snippet: Upates from the education team quarter3 2015 in supporting programs around the world.

In quarter 3, January to March 2015, education programs witnessed great success made by Wikipedia community and supported by the education team. In this quarter to the education team joined the new Community Engagement team.


In three months the 4 education team members were happy to reach out and be reached by 100 community members in 53 countries around the world. Nearly half of these connections were initiated by the team members while the other half were initiated by the community. The constant connection with volunteers led to better plans, advice, contact sharing and news sharing. Wikipedia Education Collaborative volunteer members also participated in mentoring their fellow volunteers in the movement as four of the collab members were able help 11 volunteers during this quarter.

Arab World

Arab World students continued to add massive amounts of content to the Arabic Wikipedia as well as raising the number of featured and good articles. Also, in WikiArabia 2015, the first ever Arabic Wikipedia community conference, big part of the event program was dedicated to education as it was of great interest to both the speakers and the audience. By the end of quarter 3, the education team was getting ready for a visit to Oman that will take place in early May to research a possible government partnership and a pilot education program there.

Spanish-speaking countries

Staff paid a visit to Mexico to attend a series of successful editathons held at Tec de Moterrey and to participate in celebrating their great success throughout the last year. Volunteers in Tec de Monterrey are also getting ready to help coordinate for the Wikimania education pre-conference held before Wikimania 2015 in Mexico city. In Uruguay too, the first edition of Wikipedia Education Program was wrapped up with remarkable results. Other countries were exerting other notable efforts in supporting Wikipedia in Education.


Inspired by program leaders and by the help of their collaboration, the L&E and the Education teams were able to launch the Education Program Toolkit, with 22 content pages and 46 learning patterns. The education toolkit is meant to be a helping tool for program leaders and initiators regardless of the amount of experience they have with Wikipedia Education Program.

Increase in newsletter page views

The education newsletter has developed dramatically throughout the last year in terms of content, participation and readership due to the great effort community added into it in collaboration with the education team that helps coordinating and publishing it. Number and size of posts has grown in Q3 compared to the same quarter last year. Also the community participation witnessed a 125% increase over 2013/2014. The most significant number came from the pageviews of March this year which has recorded a 900% increase compared to March 2014. Wikipedia Education Program joined facebook in February with a group that found a significant turnout by the program participants from around the world.

Wikipedia Education Program signs agreement with National Library in Chile

National library in Chile

Wikimedia Chile signed an agreement with the National Library of Chile to increase content on Wikipedia. For the occasion of the singing of the agreement, Wikimedia Chile organized a conference for educators and librarians, that WMF Education team staff attended. Wikimedia Chile is building out their Wikipedia Education Program, which so far consisted of four different experiences that included 215 students. With the help of the library, Wikimedia Chile hopes to grow the Wikipedia Education Program.

Read the full article here.

University Challenge winner: I learned my answers on Wikipedia


This article in The Telegraph interviews Ted Loveday, a student in Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, led his team to a great victory in the University Challenge final. Loveday referred the secret of this win to Wikipedia. Ted expressed that he has been extensively reading articles on Wikipedia before the final stage to prepare himself with the biggest amount of information he can get. The team members divided their preparation duties by making each one responsible for a certain branch of knowledge to read Wikipedia articles and watch videos about it. Ted advised everyone looking for general knowledge or certain information to read Wikipedia.

Read the full article here.

Now, learn about Bidar in French, Arabic and Sanskrit

Historic town of Bidar

Bidar Wikipedia Project is an initiative supported by Bidar district administration to add more articles about the historic Indian district to Wikipedia.The initiative has led to creating several articles by Wikipedians around the world. As part of the second phase of the project, an editathon was held on April 12 with the participation of students and university staff to get training on Wikipedia editing. Invitations were sent to many universities in the district to participate. The initiative started back in January this year with a meeting between a group of 20 students headed by Channaveer Patil, faculty from the GND engineering college. These students started editing and creating 50 articles which were translated afterwards to 30 languages by editors around the world.

Read the full article here.

Harvard professors' attitude to the use of Wikipedia by students is changing


The fact that all professors always don't want their students to refer to Wikipedia in their research is no longer true. Some Harvard professors believe that university professors use Wikipedia in their own research so why should they warn students of using it. Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris believes that the old attitude toward Wikipedia lacking trust in it has changed into a new thought that considers it useful in some areas than others. Students use Wikipedia whether it was an accepted behavior by their professors or not, then professors should be guiding students on how to use Wikipedia than discouraging them from doing.

Read the full article here.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to study contributor demographics


Peter Cannon and James Scholz, USF School of Information students, held an editathon on March 31, 2015 with the participation of students from different majors. Students were invited to participate in the editathom from the university library or remote through Google Hangouts. The organizers held this event not only to improve Wikipedia and free knowledge, but also to collect data for their study about the most important issues the encyclopedia suffer from like the large gender gap, and to get statistics about which demographics are the most regular and occasional contributors to Wikipedia. The editathon was held over three hours in a positive atmosphere that encourages new editors to edit and get the support they need from the community.

Read the full article here.

Prominent South Bend, Notre Dame women's stories edited for Wikipedia

Women edit Wikipedia - File photo

As part of the Hesburgh Library’s Women’s History Month, an Editathon was held with the participation of Notre Dame students and staff to write and expand Wikipedia articles about prominent women in Notre Dame and South Bend History. Kai Smith, a visiting assistant librarian, and Allison Stankrauff, Indiana University South Bend archivist along with the St. Joseph County Public Library and the History Museum, prepared a list of local prominent women lacking Wikipedia pages in order for students to help write and develop these articles.The editathon included both beginner and experienced editors with the help of Notre Dame librarians and volunteers. Students of both genders participated in the editathon and expressed the benefits they learn from editing and researching, they also expressed their desire of helping closing the gender gap and reach objective knowledge.

Read the full article here.

Students combat gender imbalance online with Wiki Women Edit-A-Thon

Women edit Wikipedia - File photo

In the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) Library, University of Cincinnati, an editathon was organized by three design students with the participation of 30 students aiming to add information about female artists, designers, architects and interior designers to Wikipedia. Students researched, wrote, and edited already existing articles about prominent female artists and created new articles for those lacking entries on the encyclopedia. The editathon was held over 48 hours and was attended by both male and female students.They were happy to help building objective knowledge on the internet.

Read the full article here.