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Wikipedia Education Program


The newsletter is published at the middle of each month. Please add your contributions to the next issue below. Thank you.

Consolidation of Portals and newsletter for the Global Education Program[edit]

Work has begun to improve communication and other information available to those working with Wikipedia in education. The new Education portal brings together or replaces the (at least) 8 different education-related landing pages on Outreach wiki. Changes have already been made to the design of the portal and work in being done to update and keep updated the information it contains. This new design is intended to bring together the latest list of education projects and programs across the world, information for starting a new program or joining an existing one, the best resources for instructors or volunteers working on education projects, and an easy to get in touch with program leaders. The Education Cooperative will be working to complete and update the portal, and help in improving it is most welcome. Some specific ways to help include:

  • Improving the set of images in the main photo wall of the portal, and adding captions to them;
  • Selecting the best existing education resources for the Resources tab of the portal; and
  • Making sure the information about any projects or program(me)s you work on are list on the Programs tab and have up-to-date information.

There is now also just one official global newsletter (this one!), primarily to support those already working with Wikipedia in education in some form. Please add suggestions or questions about this newsletter to its talk page at Talk:Education/Newsletter/Newsroom

LiAnna Davis joins Wiki Ed as head of communications and external relations[edit]

LiAnna Davis

LiAnna Davis left the Wikimedia Foundation and joined Frank Schulenburg and Jami Mathewson at the Wiki Education Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and Canada, as the the Head of Communications and External Relations. As the WEP's Communications Manager, LiAnna contributed more than 50 blog posts for the Wikimedia blog and facilitated more than 150 articles about the education program for publications around the world, including the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Wired, and NPR. She supported many of the chapters and volunteers around the world in publicizing their own education programs. She also developed a series of popular brochures explaining best practices in using Wikipedia as a teaching tool and created numerous help resources for our students. LiAnna has been the face of the education program globally, and we will miss her.

Welcome, Anna Koval![edit]

Anna Koval

A warm welcome to Anna Koval! Anna has joined the Wikipedia Education Program team as Global Education Program Manager. Anna is an award-winning educator, with a master's degree in education and more than a decade of classroom teaching experience, ranging from middle school through graduate school. She was a Walt Disney Teacher of the Year nominee, an American Library Association Emerging Leader, and was even featured on the cover of California Teacher magazine. Anna began work at the Wikimedia Foundation in July 2013 as a Community Advocate and supported several teams, including Grantmaking (on IEGs and gender gap work), Legal (on the new Trademark policy), and Product (on the VisualEditor roll out). Anna lives in Sonoma with her husband and two dogs, and looks forward to supporting Wikipedia Education Program activities all over the world. You can send her a welcome message at akoval﹫ or on her talk page.

Remembering Adrianne Wadewitz[edit]

Adrianne Wadewitz

Adrianne Wadewitz, known on-wiki as User:Wadewitz, passed away from injuries sustained during a rock-climbing accident. Adrianne served as a Wikipedia Ambassador supporting more than 20 classes over the last four years, taught two classes as part of the Wikipedia Education Program, and served as a board member of the Wiki Education Foundation. Adrianne was a dedicated, brilliant Wikipedian whose work lives on in hundreds if not thousands of articles on the English Wikipedia. Active in gender gap issues as well, Adrianne taught countless new editors how to contribute, and she was featured in the new "Editing Wikipedia" brochure in recognition of her outstanding voice for helping newbies how to edit. Adrianne has been memorialized by the Wiki Education Foundation's board and staff, the Wikipedia Signpost, her colleagues at HASTAC, and by Wikipedians around the world on her talk page.

Remembering Cynthia Ashley-Nelson[edit]

Cindamuse - Cynthia Ashley-Nelson

Cynthia Ashley-Nelson, known on-wiki as User:Cindamuse or Cindy, passed away in her sleep while attending the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin. Cindy was one of the first Wikipedia editors to become an Online Ambassador in the U.S. program. In the first three terms of the program, Cindy supported students in more than 15 courses. She also served on the Wikipedia Ambassador Steering Committee, and was instrumental in crafting a good support structure for student editors. Although recently Cindy had focused more of her attention on other areas of the Wikimedia movement, she still supported the education program, helping student editors at the Teahouse and directing people she thought might need more help to the resources the Wikipedia Education Program provided. Cindy contributed to a wide range of topics on Wikipedia and was an advocate for closing the gender gap. She was also active on the Grant Advisory Committee and had just been elected vice-chair of the Affiliations Committee. Tributes to Cindy can be added to her talk page.

Happenings at Tec de Monterrey, Mexico City Campus[edit]

Kleiman and some of the Wiki Borregos after the screening
Clark Murray and students

Sponsored by the campus library and the Wiki Borregos, on 18 March, documentary director Michael Kleiman premiered his film "Web" on the campus. While not specifically about Wikipedia, one of the film's highlights is a group of primary school students creating their village's Wikipedia page. About 250 students and faculty attended the event and after the screening, there was a question-and-answer session with the director. Although Michael is a fluent speaker of Spanish, the audience decided to take advantage of the opportunity to speak in English and the questions sparked debate on the ethics of introducing new technology, the role of Wikipedia in education and more.

On 28 March, students from Clark Murray's Advanced English class worked to improve articles related to small municipalities in Mexico by adding sections about their histories. The improved articles include: Pihuamo, Cocoyoc, Catemaco, Mazatepec and San Luis Acatlán The exercise began with an example done on the first week, improving the article Ixcatepec, Oaxaca and analyzing what was done. The next task was to find stubs about municipalities that lacked information on their history, in order to take advantage of the online research Enciclopedia de los Municipios y Delegaciones de México, published by the federal agency INAFED. The students then had a week to create between 100 and 150 words, paraphrasing the information in the "Enciclopedia" On the final day of the project, the students uploaded their paragraphs into their respective articles, added the citation and checked each other's articles online. A few advanced students figured out how to update the population figures on the articles as well.

Exploratory research started for setting up a Wikpedia Education program in the Netherlands[edit]

The Dutch are moving slowly towards starting with an Education program. Wikimedia Nederland tendered a research/consulting project to explore possibilities and challenges in the Netherlands. A bureau has been selected and has started. The researchers have reported their progress in a first steering committee meeting. In the next phase they are going to interview a range of professors, students and policy makers. Goal is to start a pilot program in September. The consultant are going to report their interim results on a WikiSaturday May, 24st, 2014.

Educational programming continues on Wikinews[edit]

For a fifth semester, a university-taught journalism class is participating on English Wikinews as part of the project education program. Chad Tew is using the education program extension with his course found at Education Program:University of Southern Indiana/Online Journalism (Spring 2014). The United States journalism class is the first university class to use the extension on English Wikinews. This is the second time Tew, a journalism professor at the University of Southern Indiana, has used Wikinews as an online journalism lab. Another university that has been using Wikinews is the University of Wollongong in Australia.

Featured work: The USI journalism students have collaborated, as well as worked on individual reporting projects. This semester, they have produced one Featured Article and another nominated article. Featured Articles is a collection of the best work published in Wikinews. Students collaborated on a Featured Article report about a trend in Andy Warhol photography exhibits around the United States and used their USI campus exhibit as an example in the news item Warhol's photo legacy spread by university exhibits. The nominator of the Featured Article, Blood Red Sandman, wrote, "I love this. Expansive, collaborative, with original text, photos, video, and audio." Students also collaborated for a Wikinews exclusive interview with Indiana state senator Mike Delph. Around the time of the interview, Senator Delph was a news maker and appeared frequently in the media throughout the state of Indiana. A portion of Wikinews interviews Indiana State Senator Mike Delph was used in syndication by the WSWI AM radio station. At this time, the interview has been nominated as a Featured Article at Wikinews. The nominator Pi zero wrote, "[Covers] the news event comprehensively, and without rambling." In early April, the journalism course reported about the death of the last female Sumatran rhinoceros at the Cincinnati Zoo. The Wikinews original report Death of captive rhino halts propagation efforts in US was constructed around a lecture appearance on the USI campus of researcher Dr. Terri Roth within a week of the rhino's death. Roth is the director of Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at the Cincinnati zoo and worked on propagation efforts there.

Currently, both USI and UoW students are submitting individual reporting projects at Wikinews.

Wikimedia Deutschland: Summary of activities in March 2014[edit]

Wikimedia Deutschland on board of the exhibition ship MS Wissenschaft

Wikimedia Deutschland will be on board of the exhibition ship MS Wissenschaft (“MS Science”). Under the heading „Digital unterwegs” (digitally on the move), the converted cargo ship will be on its journey through Germany and Austria for about four and a half months, starting its tour in Berlin on 6 May 2014. We will have our own exhibit on the ship, an interactive touchscreen that gives the visitors the opportunity to follow the route of the ship and read the Wikipedia articles for different points of interests along the way. In March we continued developing and testing the prototype in cooperation with our software team and started planning a public an event in Bremen, where the ship will lay at anchor from 30 May until 1 June.

HIVE Berlin Learning Network

In March we officially launched the website for the HIVE Berlin Learning Network. The project that we initiated together with Mozilla aims to create a platform for people of all ages and population groups in order to make them aware of the possibilities of digital learning and the benefits of free knowledge. In mid March the project team met in the office of Wikimedia Deutschland to exchange ideas and to discuss the further planning for 2014, inter alia a maker party at the Open Knowledge Festival 2014.

cMOOC initiative of the German speaking chapters: Wiki Dialog (Wiki Dialogue)

In March we continued working on our project “Wiki Dialog” (“Wiki Dialogue”) that aims to improve social processes in Wikipedia through cMOOCs (connectivist Massive Open Online Courses). We recently launched a project website (German only) with more information about the project for those who want to participate. The contacts for the project are: Julia Kloppenburg, Dirk Franke (WMDE), Raimund Liebert (WMAT) and Muriel Staub (WMCH).

Action group “Free Education”

The action group we started together with Creative Commons and the Open Knowledge Foundation in order to increase awareness for and acceptance of Open Educational Resources in Germany started its work in March. We started contacting potential partners and planned a networking event in April. Moreover, we initiated a collaborative work process to develop political positions on OER in Germany. Also, we launched the website (German only) that will be expanded with more content throughout the year.

Jisc/ Wikimedia UK partnership[edit]

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 too 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.

Articles of interest in other publications[edit]

Louisiana State U faculty Becky Carmichael profiled

If you teach in the science department at Louisiana State University and want to incorporate a Wikipedia assignment into your classroom, Becky Carmichael is the person to meet. She began volunteering as a Wikipedia Ambassador in the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States in 2011, during her graduate studies and work as a teaching assistant for a Conservation Biology course. Now, she's helped 13 classes at Louisiana State University use Wikipedia as a teaching tool. Read a profile of Becky on the Wikimedia blog.

Wikimedia Sverige: New resource for Swedish teachers on Wikiversity[edit]

SFI-students learn to edit Wikipedia in Sweden.

The Education Programme in Sweden has been involved in a project with the Swedish for Immigrants programme since the middle of last year, we're now at the point where things are coming together and we can share some of our insigts. We first did this in a post on the Wikimedia Foundation Global blog we're you can learn more about the background. In March, we presented the project to a lively crowd of educators and we're due to present at another conference in May.

In order to encourage more teachers to learn from the project and to use Wikipedia with their students, we now have a learning resource available on Swedish Wikiversity focusing on developing the students' intercultural communication skills, as well as media and inforamtion literacies. Currently, it's made up of six consecutive exercises and with valuble input from the teachers' community we're exited to see this resource develop further and hopefull that their efforts will provide the global Wikipedia community with new editors and content.

[link to website] Add photo if possible.

Engineering students in Panama work on Spanish Wikipedia[edit]

Students during the introduction to Wikipedia session

In a four week assignment during March and April, forty one students improved seven articles on Spanish Wikipedia related to the topic of Software Engineering. The course "Ingeniería de Software I" was managed with the education program extension which was recently installed in Spanish Wikipedia. Professor of the course, Jeanette Riley, was one of the fourteen professors that took part in a 20 hour workshop on how to design a Wikipedia based assignment given recently at the Technological University of Panama (slides from the workshop available here and here). A paper describing the experience was presented for consideration to the V Jornadas Internacionales de Campus Virtuales conference, which will be held in Panama on October, 2014. If you are a professor in Panama interested in knowing more about how to use Wikipedia in the classroom please contact Mónica Mora(Ayaita)