Education/Newsletter/April 2014/Jisc/ Wikimedia UK partnership

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The Medical Humanities editathon in London: one of three editathons supported by the project

Over the past nine months Martin Poulter has been working as the Wikimedia Ambassador for the educational charity/expertise body Jisc, jointly funded by Wikimedia UK. Jisc works with academics, librarians, support staff and management across the universities and colleges of the UK, supporting the use of technology in education and research.

Education has been a major focus of the project, with articles including Ten Ways Educators can use Wikipedia and 3 ways to use Wikipedia as an education tool. The latter article, hosted by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, has had 300 mentions on Twitter so far and prompted a discussion on Reddit. The project blog hosts case studies and tips including "One sentence on Wikipedia: a microcosm of information literacy". Another output is an "infoKit" online booklet to introduce managers to the wiki way of working and to the advantages of working with Wikimedia.

The project has also delivered workshops for staff in universities around the UK. Usually two hours long, these explored various ways of working with the Wikimedia projects, including educational assignments, and also warned against some potential mistakes. The workshops took place in the universities of Oxford, Sheffield, Newcastle, Bath Spa, and Coventry and at two conferences. So much interest has been generated that ten more events have been requested so far. Each attendee was asked what they would like to do with Wikimedia, what main barrier they face, and what help they needed. Out of about 120 attendees, 50 committed to do something new: most said they would edit Wikipedia themselves, and some said they would explore educational assignments.

A full report from the partnership is being written during April.