This page presents the background for why this trip took place and how it was organized.
According to the World Bank, when thinking about new uses for technologies in education, we should look to the East. Asia has the potential to be a thought leader on how education activities in the Wikimedia movement can grow and strengthen local communities, as well as contribute to education development. Yet, at the foundation, our awareness of the context of implementing these types of activities in the region was limited. On our Education Portal on Outreach Wiki, Asia regional country pages are underdeveloped, there are fewer newsletter articles, and fewer individuals sharing their work with the rest of the education community. Additionally, there are fewer regional conferences, and opportunities to engage with program leaders locally.
In 2017, an opportunity arose to extend planned travel in the region to include site visits. Nichole, who was invited to present at BETT Asia about “creating digitally minded educators,” reached out to program leaders in the region to express interest in local site visits. Three countries were chosen due to the capacity of local focal points to organize activities: Nepal, India and Taiwan. The local focal points were:
To boost the morale of program leaders in the Asia region through recognition and direct in-person support
To document Wikipedia education activities in Asia to provide a baseline for regional support and accomplishments
Additionally, the following outputs were set for the site visit:
100 photographs of Education Programs in Asia
6 on site events
1 report of site visit activities and outcomes
3 additional Case Studies on education program in the region are published within 1 year
Further background and context about specific country visits is provided below. The information was provided by the main focal point for each site visit.
Wikimedians of Nepal/ Nepali Wikimedia Community has been organizing Wikipedia Education Programs since 2013. Programs in Nepal have been run in a silo with not much sync with the international team and the Wikimedia Foundation. The visit by Nichole Saad, Program Manager from Wikimedia Foundation, tried to bridge the gap, train the wikimedians developing the program plannings and reached out many educational institutions to know about the educational system and where the Wikipedia Education program could add value. This was also the first official visit from the Wikimedia Foundation in Nepal. This visit aimed to boost the motivation level of the Wikimedians in the country.
Ms. Nichole Saad’s visit was organised to address three major issues faced by Indic WIkimedians and CIS-A2K.
To spread awareness about the Global WEP activities and cultivate a sense of community kinship amongst the partnering institutions and WEP editors.
Design and develop training programs focused at capacity building and retention of faculty members at the partner educational institutions.
Train CIS-A2K team processes for effective documentation and sharing of challenges and best practices with Global communities.
Wikipedia Education Program in Taiwan has been running for several years. However, the program is basically in a passive and small scale manner. During the visit, we wanted to address the following issues:
Teachers are interested in teaching with Wikipedia but lack an easy way to understand the method and culture of Wikipedia.
Wikipedians in Taiwan do want to engage more people in educational institutions and increase the survival rate of education programs. We also want to share our local experiences to the global community, but the language barrier was difficult to make the local experiences across the community.