Education/About/Education Team/Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom

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Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom

Wikireaders in Sinenjongo High School, Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa



Worldwide, using Wikipedia in the classroom is still a taboo. Though it has been found to be as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica[1][2], teachers still perceive Wikipedia as a low quality resource. These perceptions of Wikipedia ignore its true potential as an educational resource--not only as a source of information, but as a tool for information literacy.

In the age of “fake news” information literacy is a vital life skill. Students need to understand how information is produced, how to evaluate knowledge integrity, and how to understand biases and knowledge gaps. Furthermore, much of the world, especially the Global South, hasn’t even been exposed to Wikipedia as a source of information[3]. Helping teachers understand its educational value will grow readership in low awareness regions, and help students learn how to critically evaluate and engage with information online.

In FY19-20 we will create a resource for teachers to turn reading Wikipedia in the classroom from a “no-no” to an “oh-yes!” and help students understand the value of free knowledge from an early age.

Learning how to read Wikipedia should be as integral to the education experience as learning your abc’s. It should be included in national curricula, teacher education programs, and global conversations about how to teach information literacy. This pilot is a stepping stone to achieving that vision.

     

View an information session about this project!

      




Open Call for Participating in the Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom Pilot[edit]

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We had an open call for selecting participants for the Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom pilot, after receiving many applications, we have selected three affiliates from Bolivia, Morocco and the Philippines.

Affiliate's Role

Affiliates have agreed to support the Education Team to secure partnerships within the school system, and support the local coordinator to carry out project activities to conclude by June 2020.

Education team Role

We will provide funding for a local community coordinator, on-site capacity building workshops for your affiliate staff, and ongoing project support.

We are asking for affiliate partners to meet these criteria
  • Supporting a Wikipedia with at least 100,000+ articles (exception may be made if there are at least enough good quality articles to align with the school curricula)
  • Located in an emerging community in the global south
  • Capacity to host and support part time local community coordinator funded by the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Interest in Wikimedia Education work, and desire to build capacity around the development of educational materials, building partnerships in the school system, and teacher support
  • Willingness to collaborate on the design and dissemination of materials
  • Willingness to support data collection
  • Willingness to support the translation of materials



FAQ[edit]

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Why only 3 affiliates?

We only have the capacity to support 3 affiliates in this initial pilot. We expect this project to scale in the coming years to include many more geographies and languages.


Why only affiliates in emerging communities in the global south?

We want to develop materials that are contextualized to local languages, curricula, and realities. To ensure we are able to do this well, we want to first work with those who are underrepresented in our movement, and where school systems have challenges providing quality education to all. The materials and localization guidelines we create will help others to adapt them to their own contexts.


How are we defining emerging communities in the global south?

We want to test our ability to design materials in contexts that are often overlooked, have to overcome significant challenges due to infrastructure, attitudes, or school/teacher capacity, and where cultures and norms differ significantly from one another. This is the basic criteria for our selection of the 3 partners.


How will funds be disseminated?

Through a contract arrangement between the Wikimedia Foundation Education Team and the participating affiliates.


What will the local coordinator do? What are the time requirements?

The local coordinator will support the project on the ground by liaising with partners, coordinating with participating schools, providing the materials to the schools and teachers, providing initial training and ongoing support in the schools, and collecting data. We expect this to take about 100 hours of work over the course of the project. This is not a full time position, but a flexible, part time position. It’s a great opportunity for someone who might already be on staff but could spare the time to support the project, or a community member with a flexible schedule who wants to gain experience working in education.


What are the project stages?
  • Stage 1: Information gathering
  • Stage 2: Materials development
  • Stage 3: Pilot materials in schools
  • Stage 4: Evaluation
  • Stage 5: Revision for scale



My affiliate is already developing successful education projects but we are interested in this initiative as well. Should we apply? Will we still be considered?

If you meet the listed criteria, you should still apply!


What is the timeline for this project? What are the deadlines for applications, development, and evaluation?

We’ll accept applications from October 10-20. We’ll decide on the 3 partners by Oct 31, 2019. The project implementation will begin in November with data collection and research, and end by June 30, 2020 with the publication of an evaluation report.


Are the target audience (age, level of education) and goals for this project already defined?

Yes! We’re aiming to work with teachers who teach 12-14 year old students, or lower secondary school students.


Notes[edit]


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