Education/Newsletter/June 2016/How to survive the Big Bang in your education program

How to survive the Big Bang in your education program

By Gabriela Boková (Wikimedia Czech Republic)

Seniors Write Wikipedia at Masaryk University during a course organized by Wikimedia Czech Republic

Snippet: How the Big Bang happened in Wikimedia Czech Republic's education program.

During the last three months, our activities are growing all over the Czech Republic. There are several fields where we expand.

The first one is our project Seniors Write Wikipedia. Our courses began in Prague and are now organized in three more cities around the country. This is a major shift from our mostly Prague-centered activities last year. We already had very good feedback on these courses and now new cities are interested, and so we are starting new collaborations to kick off in autumn this year.

We are also actively cooperating with different kinds of institutions. In February, we signed a framework agreement of collaboration with the National Library of Technology. In March, we started to collaborate with the University of the Third Age at Masaryk University. And in April, we became part of a working group focused on digital education strategy. At the same time, we continue with our already established partnerships. We believe that cooperation with major public institutions will help us promote Wikipedia more and carry out various projects with their support (for example, free space free, advertising, human resources).

An explosion of different Wikimedia events has happened this year in the Czech Republic – such as various workshops, edit-a-thons, wikiconferences, wikiclubs (where people regularly edit together), and others. Most probably, that's the reason why Wikimedian communities are developing also in different cities. After Prague and Brno, the two largest Czech cities, we are happy that a new community is now developing in Olomouc. There are also more and more Wikimedians who want to become public speakers about Wikipedia.

Scaling up is challenging us in terms of professionalization. Currently, we have two employees who establish new practices, support the volunteers and help with organization of our activities. There is a special project called "Mluvkové" (which could be translated as "Talkers"), which is focused on the professionalization of our courses and lectures. The working group designs new learning materials and syllabi, and last week we held the first training on developing teaching skills for public speakers of Wikipedia.

We hope that we will now be able to pause for a moment after the Big Bang that has happened in the educational activities of Wikimedia Czech Republic to realize where we are and where we would like to go. Wish us luck :-)

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Czech Republic here.