Education/Newsletter/December 2015/The collaborative production in open educational environments: Is Wikipedia an answer?

By Melina Masnatta, Wikimedia Argentina

Snippet: University professors become Wikipedians in an online course during just a week.

How to be a Wikipedian in a week (educactional MOOC for university professors)

Educators with different profiles and from different latin america countries, but most of them professors at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) from different faculties, have just participated in the online training and free course "Educational scenarios with technology. Among the real and the possible" organized by the Center for Innovation in Technology and Pedagogy (CITEP) of this university.

Different educational activities were carried out simultaneously. During the week and under the topic “Open movement”, Wikimedia Argentina participated with three different proposals: starting with an interview of Patricio Lorente accompanied with a short text to know more about the movement. To make an immersive experience we designed " Knowing Wikipedia by first-hand or Wikipedia in the first person" to work directly on the platform translating articles from english to spanish from a list created especially for that purpose. Along with this specific proposal, educators participated in a videoconference with Galileo Vidoni (available in Spanish), where participants could talk and learn more about how are the first steps to become a Wikipedian and the importance of the movement at the local and regional level.

A professor´s educational experience with Wikipedia explained with a tweet. He said: "I´m translating, enjoying and learning with Wikipedia". Know more experiences on Storify.

With only seven days and without being mandatory, different educators discovered how to edit on Wikipedia, indeed many of them mentioned that they had it as a pending to learn and participate on the free encyclopedia, but never had the time or the real chance. The enthusiasm was also present on social networks, where they shared the experience with the hashtag #escenariostec.

The result

More than 100 educators got involved and exchanged their experience in an online forum with more of 280 messages that reflected their learning process while experiencing with the activity. 80 of them were new users, and they created 61 new articles in spanish. An important fact: 78 of them were women, which means that working with educators is a key issue to continue closing the digital gender gap.

Finally from CITEP, they shared the following insights regarding the question that ran through all the activities that took place during the week dedicated to the open movement. Some thoughts can be sum up as follows:

The collaborative production in open environments: chaos or construction? (...) For the teacher also means accepting new challenges: encourage students to produce knowledge in an environment of divergent nature, it requires permanent operations and convergence. In a space that fosters interventions unmarked, the teacher needs to frame depending on the purpose of education and teaching purposes. (…) Wikipedia is the best example of the challenges posed by the digital era in the educational field, it forces us to rethink the relationship between technology and the production of knowledge and allows us to confirm that the collaborative work does not lead to chaos, if not to the construction. (. ..) [Authors: Angeles Solectic and Miri Latorre]

We share some of the voices of the protagonists in social networks with storify (available in Spanish).

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Argentina here.