Education/Newsletter/December 2014/Single

An activity of Wikipedia Education Program in The IPA
from left to right , Melody Garcia, Maycol Perez, Roxana Sordo, Mercedes Villalba and Fernando da Rosa

By Fernando da Rosa (Wikimedia UY)

Snippet: Wikipedia Education Program in Uruguay celebrates the end of their first successful edition of the program.

In November 10th, 2014, the closing celebration of the first edition of Wikipedia Education Program in Uruguay took place. The program has been active for two years now, and was organized in collaboration with the Centro CEIBAL (Conectividad Educativa Básica para el Aprendizaje en Línea, in English: Educational Connectivity/Basic Computing for Online Learning), an organization representing the particular Uruguayan version of the OLPC Project, and the CFE (Consejo de Formación en Educación, in English: Education Training Council), a public organization responsible for the formation and training of secondary education (both academic and technical), as well as primary education teachers in Uruguay. The mentioned organization currently has 2,671 teachers and 20,391 students. Throughout the two-year program it was able to develop and was counted with the involvement of 32 CFE dependent institutions across the country.

Participation in the workshops was voluntary, and complimentary to curricular activities, so motivation for CFE students and teachers to take part in the project was one of the main points to consider. The project was drawn up and headed by Prof. Fernando da Rosa.

Four educators prepared the live workshops that were done with remote assistance. 1676 attended them, of which 910 created accounts on the Spanish Wikipedia. After processing the user accounts using Wikimetrics, we collected the following numbers: 899 articles, and 29,960 edits, all in the article name space of the Spanish Wikipedia. It is important to note that one of the motivating elements was giving course completion certificates, which more than 244 of the participants obtained. To get the mentioned certificate, there was two conditions beside participating in all of the project’s activities; participants must create at least one article in the Spanish Wikipedia, to be approved by the teacher, and at least 50 edits. It’s of significance that there are many students and teachers made over 200 edits, and created three or four new articles, the best case of a student was someone who have created over 163 new articles and made 1744 edits. This is notable.

Now, our main concern is monitoring and following up with the students and teachers involved with the project, as well as maintaining its sustainability. To achieve this, a new edition of the project is being drawn up, reformulated to include what’s been learned since the project was first planned two years ago.

To conclude, it is worth mentioning that the closing celebration of the project lasted almost a whole working day, had over 100 guests including teachers and students of the program attended, and was held at the IPA (Instituto de Profesores Artigas, Teachers Institute Artigas), in Montevideo. Among the speakers present were Prof. Laura Motta (member of the CFE council), Eng. MSc. Fiorella Haim (Assistant Director at the Centro Ceibal), and lectures by Prof. Fernando da Rosa, Mgr. Melina Massnata, & Prof. Patricio Lorente. After the conference, four workshops were carried out simultaneously, deepening the knowledge in the use of Wikipedia as an educational tool, with lectures by educators involved during the whole project, Mgr. Prof. Roxana Sordo, Prof. Melody García, Prof. Maycol Perez & Ms. Mercedes Villalba.

Watch Prof. Da Rosa's lecture at the event here.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Uruguay here.

By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)


Snippet: Students in Egypt celebrated the end of their 5th term on Wikipedia which witnessed their highest contributions ever!

In November, students and Wikimedians in Egypt gathered in Cairo University to celebrate their achievements in Wikipedia Education Program during spring and summer 2014. In this term, students added their highest contributions ever to Wikipedia since 2012 when the program had its first inception there. More than 12 million bytes were added and 836 new articles were created by students of 13 classes in 2 universities.

The Egyptian Program continues its efforts to increase gender diversity on Wikipedia by encouraging more female students to join. 88% of the students who participated last term were female and 28% of the content added came from the women research courses. Program volunteers introduced to the Arab World community the first courses specializing in women-related topics and the first writing contest about women which resulted in massive amounts of high quality content added to the Arabic Wikipedia about women. Simple prizes helped raising the competition spirit between new users who did their best during the contest time to develop the article content and to see their names in the first places.

Successful program leaders, the new user group supporting Wikimedia projects in Egypt and the new WikiWomen competition are some of many factors helped the program recruit new volunteers, retain existing ones and expand to new courses and universities.

Read the post on the Wikimedia Blog here.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt here.

By Ivana Madžarević (WM RS)

Nikola receiving his certificate

Snippet: This year Wikimedia Serbia has its first Wiki Ambassador at the University of Belgrade.

In order to better implement its education projects in secondary schools and faculties, Academic Board of Wikimedia Serbia appointed Nikola Spasojević as the first Wikipedia Ambassador. The idea of this program is to primarily help students edit Wikipedia and to introduce them to other projects of Wikimedia Serbia, which can provide a wide range of opportunities for personal progress. Also we want to achieve higher quality and quantity of articles on Serbian Wikipedia in specialized fields.

Nikola is a student at the Faculty of Mathematics, who has been editing Wikipedia for many years now, and has experience in similar projects in other organizations. He is very enthusiastic about the project and currently is working on preparations that involve the creation of plan and program, preparation of promotional and advertising materials and gathering a team of students who will serve as Wikipedia ambassadors at their education institutions. This time three Wikipedia Ambassadors have been selected: Jovana Milošević - Faculty of Philology, Marko Adam - Faculty of Mathematics and Vukašin Živković - Faculty of Security.

"With this project we want to increase the visibility of Wikimedia Serbia and draw attention of young people regarding the importance of free knowledge and its further expansion. I would like to emphasize that the people who do not edit Wikipedia also can get involved. This is just a pilot edition that we want to use for the thorough preparation and a better designing of the project."- Nikola said.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Serbia here.

Wikiminauts at Vallhamra school showing off their Wikipedia T-shirts.

By Sara Mörtsell (Wikimedia Sweden)

Snippet: School children instruct their younger peers on how to edit Wikimini.

Swedish Wikimini celebrated its first anniversary in October. WikiMini is a Wikipedia-like website for children aiming at raising there awareness of sharing free knowledge and helping build a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. 1340 accounts were created on the Swedish website since its inception. The new website is targeting students aged 7-13 in particular. One of the contributing schools is Vallhamra outside of Gothenburg where teachers in March 2014 jointly assigned their group of 100 students to create and extend articles on organs of the human body. In October, this team of experienced teachers and Wikiminauts (see photo) followed up on their previous project -- in which all students instructed their two-years-younger peers on how to edit Wikimini -- to mark the learning and sharing culture of Wikimini and free knowledge.

Read more about this event and the teacher's story in this blogpost here (in Swedish).

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Sweden here.

Some of the attendees at the EduWiki 2014 Conference in Edinburgh

By Toni Sant (Wikimedia UK - Education Organiser)

Snippet: Wikimedia UK held its 3rd EduWiki Conference in Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh on Friday 31 October 2014.

EduWiki is an annual conference organized by Wikimedia UK focusing on Education projects. The conference aims at raising the awareness of the use of Wikipedia and its sister projects in education and Wikimedia UK's engagement in academia. Following the 3rd successful round of EduWiki Conference in UK, EduWiki 2014, we are happy to share the following facts and numbers:

80 people registered for this one-day event.
61 registered delegates attended (51 male / 17 female)
23 delegates work in educational institutions in the UK (have email addresses ending in
15 students from the University of Stirling registered to attend; 10 showed up.
15 members of the Wikipedia Education Collaborative were present for at least part of the event
12 delegates declared their Wikipedia/Wikimedia username at registration.
Non-UK delegates traveled from 9 countries: Armenia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Israel, Serbia, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, USA.

Feedback from participants is being gathered and this will be circulated in time for the next edition of this Education Newsletter in January. CETIS Assistant Director Lorna M Campbell wrote an informative review of the event too.

Further details about the 2014 EduWiki Conference can be seen on the event page on Wikimedia UK.

See more photos from EduWiki 2014 on Wikimedia Commons.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in the United Kingdom here.

CEE 2014 Education Program Session

By Anna Koval (WMF)

Snippet: Education program leaders share experiences and discuss best practices at the annual meeting of Central and Eastern European Wikimedians.

At the third annual meeting of Wikimedians from Central and Eastern Europe, Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2014, education program leaders from around the region shared their experiences participating in the Wikipedia Education Program as well as their advice for others in the region interested in participating too. This panel presented many successful models from different countries that could be used to design or reimagine education programs in the region. The session was moderated by Anna Koval, Manager of the Wikipedia Education Program in Eastern Europe. The meeting took place in Kyiv, Ukraine from 19—21 December 2014 and was organized by Wikimedia Ukraine.

Local perspectives were presented by Filip Maljković of Serbia, Kaarel Vaidla of Estonia, Vira Motorko of Ukraine, Snezana Strkovska of Macedonia, Susanna Mkrtchyan of Armenia, Greta Doçi of Albania, Marek Stelmasik of Poland, and Vassia Atanassova, Ph.D. of Bulgaria. Global perspectives were presented by Anna Koval from the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Atanassova presented her experiences from teaching a university elective course on WIkipedia and Wiki Technologies. Her presentation called "The Wiki Educator's Survival Kit" is available on Wikimedia Commons, along with her Survival Manual for students.

The session concluded with this video from Wikimedia Armenia about Wikipedia in Ayb High School.

As it stated in the programme, "Undoubtedly, engaging students to participate in improving Wikipedia not only helps improve Wikipedia in the first place, but also educates more people about it: the way it works, how to properly use it, how to make it better." This may be why the Wikipedia Education Program is one of the most quickly developing projects in our communities. :)

Read more about this session in the notes on the Etherpad.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program on Outreach wiki.

Wiki co-founder shares $1m Knowledge Award Knowledge


Jimmy Wales co-founder of Wikipedia shared with the web inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the first Knowledge Award in Dubai, UAE. In the first Knowledge conference, Wales shared how the encyclopedia started as a simple idea. The idea changed and developed with time until it became the biggest encyclopedia in world history with more than 32 million articles in 287 different languages. Khaleej Times, a local newspaper in UAE covered the ceremony. Read the full article here.

Piotr Konieczny wins best pedagogies essay


Piotr Konieczny's essay "Rethinking Wikipedia for the Classroom" was named by Contexts Magazine as one of its best contributions on pedagogies, winning one of the 2014 Claude Awards. The Claudes Award aims at recognizing the best contributions to the magazine during the last three-year editorship. Piotr is one of the outstanding professors in Wikipedia Education Program in Korea, participating since 2006. Piotr is also one of the most acive users on Wikipedia; he has been editing since 2003, and he has developed 22 featured articles, 52 good articles and many others of high quality contributions. Read Piotr's essay here and see a list of the winning works here.

Medical Students Learn to Treat Ailing Wikipedia Entries


Voice of America discusses how medical students participating in WikiProject Medicine use their knowledge of medicine and trusted medical sources to develop the medical content on the encyclopedia. Dr. Amin Azzam at California University encourages his students to join the course he leads in the project. He explains the importance of medical student participation in Wikipedia. People refer to Wikipedia whenever they need medical information and thus, having high quality and well-cited information will help them. The article includes examples of different professors and students participating in the project. Read the full article here.

Wikipedia's Gender Problem Gets a Closer Look


Livescience investigates the reasons behind the gender gap on Wikipedia, the male oriented community on the internet in general, and the efforts made by the Wikimedia Foundation and individual volunteers to help increase gender diversity on Wikipedia. The article displays examples of these efforts, such as women-related edit-a-thons and the Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt with its high percentage of female students participating .The article also features researchers around the world who are interested in studying this issue on Wikipedia. Read the full article here.

The Lives They Lived


The New York Times pays a tribute to the most influential people who passed away in 2014, including Wikipedian Adrianne Wadewitz. Adrianne was a scholar of 18th century British literature and one of the most prolific editors of Wikipedia, who worked hard to promote the use of Wikipedia in classrooms, recruit new editors and increase gender diversity by encouraging more female users to join the movement. She died on April 8, 2014 from head injuries sustained a week earlier in a rock climbing fall at Joshua Tree National Park. Read the full article here.

'Wikibombs' redressing gender imbalance of online encyclopedia


An article in the Citizen, a publication of the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne, features the local efforts done in Australia and the role Australian universities play to increase gender diversity on Wikipedia by hosting editathons, or "Wikibombs" to edit articles on women-related topics. Three Wikibombs were held recently in Australia to support women presence on Wikipedia; Women of science editathon in the Australian Academy of Sciences, University of Sydney editathon, and Women of neuroscience editathon at Florey institute. The three events were attended by 190 people and resulted in creating 191 new articles on Wikipedia. Read the full article here.

Royal Society of Chemistry grants journal access to Wikipedia Editors


In this article the Royal Society of Chemistry announces granting 100 RSC Gold accounts to Wikipedia editors who develop articles about chemistry. The project aims at enriching the science-related content on Wikipedia, which is an important source of information for the new learning generations, according to the article. The Royal Society believes that helping Wikipedia editors find reliable sources of information is an investment in a future generation of well-educated scientists. The Wikipedia Library will be the coordinator between RSC and Wikipedia editors and will distribute the accounts to the most highly-contributing users in the science field. Read the full article here.