Education/Newsletter/December 2014/Wikipedia Education Program Celebration in Uruguay

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.