Education/Newsletter/July 2015/Single

By Shai Katz (Wikimedia Israel)

An expert panel at the Wiki Academy conference

Snippet: An annual conference and the visit of WMF guests contributes to the expansion WMIL'S educational program

Wikimedia Israel (WMIL) held its seventh Wiki Academy conference. This year, the topic of the conference was integrating Wikipedia in Israel's education system. The conference was attended approximately 100 Israeli teachers and key figures from the fields of education and academia. In addition, it was honored by the presence of Lila Tretikov, the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation as well as Katherine Maher Chief Communications Officer, and Tighe Flanagan, Wikipedia Education Program Manager for Middle East & Africa.

Tighe Flanagan meets WMIL's education team

The conference and the visit aimed at expanding WMIL's educational activities and strengthening the collaboration between the Wikimedia Foundation and the Chapter in Education-related matters. Tighe met with volunteers who carry out a variety of education and training initiatives in WMIL, and visited different university campuses in order to meet with students and professors who participate in these projects. One of the most interesting meetings had to do with Arabic Wikipedia editing and included Dr. Sharon Halevi – head of the Gender Studies Program, Arabic speaking female students of the program, and Hana Yariv who provides voluntary assistance to their WMIL project. Tighe's knowledge in the field of Arabic Wikipedia was a good addition to the meeting. He also used his ties with Arabic speaking Wikipedians to help interested students connect with them so that they can provide help and support in Wikipedia article editing. The meeting resulted in a decision to attempt forming a group that would get together on a monthly basis and foster new Arabic Wikipedia Editors.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Israel here.

By María Cruz (Learning and Evaluation, WMF)
Share your views on Community Health Learning Campaign!

Snippet: What does a healthy community look like to you?

The Learning and Evaluation team at the Wikimedia Foundation wants to capture community impressions on what makes a healthy community online. As educators, program leaders and wikimedians, we care about the way we communicate online. Are we helping each other learn? Are we blocking newcomers to the wiki world? What shared values bring us together to work online? These are some of the questions that we hope inspire you to contribute your views.

Participants can contribute a response to one of the six questions and/or submit a drawing. All contributors, provided they comply with legibility according to the rules, participate for a scholarship to Wikimania 2016. Find the instructions to take part and the complete set of rules on the campaign's page on Meta.

Contributions are welcome until August 23 at 23:59 UTC. For more information, please contact María Cruz, Learning and Evaluation Communications and Outreach Coordinator.

Go to campaign now!

Happy editing!

By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)

One of the Education sessions where 14 participants from 14 different countries talked about their programs.
WMF's education team was at the community engagement booth to answer community questions about the program.
Group photo for some of the attendees of the Wikimania Education Pre-Conference

Snippet: Wikimania 2015 was a good space for education program experts to share their experiences, for community members to discuss, and for newbies to discover how it works.

The education activity at Wikimania 2015 started before the main conference as an Education Pre-Conference was held this year. The Education Pre-Conference was a two-day event aimed both at educators interested in starting an education program in their institution, and at more experienced program leaders who were eager to learn from other people’s experiences and share their own good practices around using Wikipedia in education. The workshops, discussions and learning sessions were organized and run by program experts from around the world and attended by nearly 60 participants who varied from Wikipedians to educators or students.

The beginning of Wikimania brought more action as there were 11 education-related sessions among the different sessions of the three-day conference. Attendees were able to discover the relationship between Wikipedia and education through the eyes of the speakers who covered different topics including engaging students in new and innovative activities, practical sessions on how to build partnerships and how to communicate your program and others on the involvement of different generations in Wikipedia editing and many more.

When the first day of the conference was over, there was more time to meet the people with whom you work virtually on growing Wikipedia through the classroom assignments. The education meetup was held to continue building the personal connections that improve sharing of experiences and to talk about the future of their programs.

If you have been to Wikimania without wandering in the community village, you have missed a lot. It is the place where programs and countries are represented and where you can taste the sweets of South Africa, read about projects happening in China and meet Wikipedia Education Program representatives at the Community Engagement booth to answer any questions you have and learn about our available resources.

See more photos from the education activities happened at Wikimania 2015 here.

Browse the slides from the conference education sessions here.

Find the notes of the Wikimania Education Pre-Conference here.

By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)

Group photo from the last Education Collaborative meeting in Edinburgh

Snippet: WIkipedia Education Collaborative is changing toward more openness and more productivity, and we invite new program leaders to join.

The Wikipedia Education Collaborative is a group of experienced program leaders who have been running successful education programs for a considerable period of time. The group aims at helping other program leaders, educators and other program volunteers achieve their goals easier by providing the needed guidance and model programs. During the last year and a half, Collab members were trying to discover the best areas of need they can fill by their volunteer activity. This month, a new plan is deployed which aims at making the Collab work clearer for the members and more transparent for the wider Wikipedia community.

Joining the Collaborative is now easier and possible for any program leader who meets the membership criteria. The mailing list involving all member discussions is now open for anyone to join, follow updates, comment and share any thoughts with the group. There is also a new page that lists all tasks members are currently working on. Having this list will help members define clearer goals to work on achieving. Any member can add new tasks to the list as well as assign themselves any open task listed there.

Days after the new plan was announced to the members, they started to contribute to the new task list as well as a number of program leaders applied to become new members. The education Collaborative is happy to welcome four new members who joined this month: Alex Hinojo from Spain, Vassia Atanassova from Bulgaria, Sarah Mortsell from Sweden and Roxana Sordo from Uruguay.

Call for volunteers

Wikipedia Education Collaborative is inviting every program leader who finds her/himself meeting the membership criteria to join the Collaborative by adding their request to this page. Contributing to the Wikipedia Education Collaborative will help the Wikipedia Education Program around the world grow, expand and develop. Let's work towards a world where every student is able to edit Wikipedia and every professor assigns their students to edit it.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Collaborative here.

Request membership to the Wikipedia Education Collaborative here.

Wikipedia the granddaughter of encyclopedia Britannica breaks traditional concepts


This article in La Jornada, a Mexican newspaper, discusses how Wikipedia started with a very simple idea: sharing knowledge freely with everyone, then with limited resources it was able to be one of the most visited websites on the internet. This year Wikimania, the annual conference of the Wikimedia movement was held in Mexico, which has one of the most active Wikipedia Education Programs around the world. The Wikimania Education Pre-conference discussed Wikipedia and its use as a teaching tool in the classroom.

Read the full article here (in Spanish).

West Virginia University hosts a Wikipedian in residence to help increase gender diversity on Wikipedia


This fall, West Virginia University will host the first Wikipedian in residence working on increasing gender diversity on Wikipedia. This Wikipedian in Residence will encourage creating articles about notable women in West Virginia. WVU is looking forward to strengthening the women-related content on the internet with this project.

Read the full article here.

Harvard study: 'Free' Wikipedia photos worth at least $246 million a year


A researcher at Harvard University surveyed the Wikipedia entries for 362 best-selling authors. The study suggests that the free photos in their articles added around 77,400 USD to the value of those pages in 5 years which means around $246-$270 million/year for Wikipedia in general! The study also found that around 90% of the authors born between 1850 to 1890 had a photo in their articles compared to 50% only of the pages about authors born after 1920.

Read the full article here.