Education/Newsletter/April 2017/OER17

Wikimedia at the OER17 conference in London


Authors: Sara Mörtsell and Martin Poulter...


Article: OER17 was held at Resource for London on the 5th and 6th April. The conference theme was "The Politics of Open" and had a strong presence of people associated with Wikimedia UK, as well as other Wikimedians.

  • The conference was co-chaired by Wikimedia UK trustee Josie Fraser and Creative Commons Poland co-founder Alek Tarkowski.
  • Wikimedia UK Chief Executive Lucy Crompton-Reid was one of the keynote speakers.
  • Sara Mörtsell, Education Manager of Wikimedia Sweden, presented on "How openness in mainstream K-12 education can advance with Wikimedia and GLAMs in Sweden"
  • Stefan Lutschinger, an academic and Wikipedia Campus Ambassador at Middlesex University, presented on "Open Pedagogy and Student Wellbeing: Academic Confidence Building with Wikipedia Assignments"
  • Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian In Residence at the University of Edinburgh, delivered a presentation on "Lo and Behold: Reveries of a Connected Campus: Reflections from the Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh" and a lightning talk on "Building bridges not walls – Wikipedia’s new Content Translation tool".
  • Martin Poulter, Wikimedian In Residence at the University of Oxford, gave a presentation on "Putting Wikipedia and Open Practice into the mainstream in a University"
  • Ewan and Martin jointly gave a lightning talk on "Citation Needed: Digital Provenance in the era of Post-Truth Politics" and ran a workshop on "Gamifying Wikimedia – Learning through Play (Workshop)" with support from Navino Evans.
  • Wikimedia UK volunteer Navino Evans gave a workshop on "Histropedia – Building an open interactive history of everything with Wikimedia content".
  • Alice White, Wikimedian In Residence at the Wellcome Library, ran a drop-in session for attendees to learn more about Wikipedia, sister projects and Wikimedians In Residence

Presentation slide decks

Feedback from participants

In the final plenary session of the conference, participants were invited to put anonymous comments on an electronic wall, to answer "What has been the: Most unexpected thing you learned at the conference? Most important/useful thing you learned at the conference? Most important question/issue to take forward from the conference (for you / for all)?" These are all the Wikimedia-related comments (out of just over 100 total):

  • Most useful: how cool Wikipedia is and could be used for educational goals
  • Most unexpected thing: Wikimedia as an interactive learning object
  • Unexpected: how games can spark conversation about OER. Taking several game ideas home! {Although this comment doesn't mention Wikimedia, I think the only games session was the one about Wikimedia games}
  • Wikimedia games, really enjoyed that!
  • How data from Wikipedia can do an amazing things and can add value to learning in ways we had not thought of
  • Most import{sic} Most fun was the Wiki media games
  • the world of wikimedia: to be able to contribute
  • Unexpected: Wikipedia IS an education tool
  • Hasn't seemed to be much disagreement on any topic. (E.g. It surprised me that no-one challenged the Wikipedia 'love' especially given Maha's keynote)

Also in the final session, attendees were asked to tweet what they will do next as a result of attending the conference. The Wikimedia-related tweets have been collected on Storify.

Blog post by Sheila MacNeil: "What is sure is that we need to keep extended the conversations, sharing our research, our practice, working with organisations like wikimedia to extend open knowledge creation and sharing, and seriously think about more creative forms of activism [...]"