Education/Newsletter/April 2017/Western Armenian WikiCamper promotes Wikiprojects in his school

Western Armenian WikiCamper promotes Wikiprojects in his school


Authors:Assadour Basmajian, Azniv Stepanian (Wikimedia Armenia)

Assadour presenting Wikiprojects to his school

Summary: After 2 years of experience, and participating in 4 WikiCamps - an educational project organized by Wikimedia Armenia and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to encourage young people aged 14-20 to edit Wikipedia - Assadour Basmajian, a senior high school student and Armenian Wikipedia editor, presented WikiCamps to Armenian Catholic Patriarchate’s Holy Cross Harboyan High School of Lebanon on the 31st of March 2017. The audience consisted of the school’s staff members, including the school’s Armenian language and history teachers, media coordinator (Ms. Lucy Deukmejian), and principal (Mrs. Rita Boyadjian).

Article: During the presentation, Assadour Basmajian talked about Wikimedia Foundation and its Armenian chapter. He gave a general overview about Armenian Wikipedia and its unique educational program; the WikiCamp. Throughout his presentation, Assadour, shared his memory and experience at the WikiCamps. He started with Beirut’s WikiCamp that was held in 2015 when 46 students from 11 Lebanese-Armenian secondary schools participated. Also, he talked about the WikiCamp in Portugal that took place in the Cadaval region of Lisbon that was held in 2016. The 12th grade student also presented videos of the previous Western Armenian WikiCamps.

He emphasized the importance of the educational WikiCamps, where students from the Armenian diaspora were invited to attend. The interesting part about these students was their different backgrounds which blended Western and Eastern Armenians. The students attending the WikiCamps had a memorable time participating in the program. First, they had the time to learn about the Wikipedia editing process. Then, the students participated in recreational activities, including sightseeing the Cadaval region and downtown Lisbon by visiting the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s headquarter and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. In addition, they had the opportunity to meet new friends and have a great time during the 9-day stay.

“The people I met during the WikiCamps became not only close friends, but also brothers and sisters to me. Until now we’re constantly in contact and try to help each other through social media in editing new articles”.
—Assadour Basmajian
Assadour Basmajian

At the end of the presentation, the teachers had the chance to raise questions about the editing process behind Wikipedia and Wiktionary. Assadour promised that a Wiki session would be organized by the school to allow its teachers to have access to Wikipedia editing and gain the required skill. Steps will be taken to introduce Wiktionary editing to the Armenian language curriculum for elementary students through assigned homework and classwork that will create a good atmosphere to motivate, encourage and appreciate students.

Assadour believes that Armenian Wikipedia and WikiCamps gave him an extra push and new skill, in not just editing and enhancing his Armenian language, but also giving him the power and confidence to continue his contributions for Wikipedia. He hopes to motivate other students in his school to join the WikiClub at Holy Cross Harboyan High School, that started in February 2015, after Assadour’s arrival to Beirut from the Winter WikiCamp in Armenia.

The number of articles written in Western Armenian grew very fast thanks to the WikiCamps program. Currently, there are 5596 articles available on Wikipedia in Western Armenian. Assadour expects that by joining WikiCamp in Lyon, France this year, the number of articles will increase, and with the help of Wiki experts, the articles will be "wikified" and nicely introduced to readers around the world.

“The whole Wiki experience will always stay in my teenage memory and after I accomplish my life goal of becoming a doctor, I promise myself to edit and create new medical articles in the Western Armenian Wikipedia”.
—Assadour Basmajian

Tags:WikiCamp, Western Armenian Wikipedia, Wikipedia Education Program