Wikimisiones 2016: teachers as creators of educational proposals on Wikipedia
During May 17th and 18th, Wikimedia Argentina carried out the second stage of the project Wikimisiones. Wikimisiones was an educational proposal that we started to articulate during 2015, through students and teachers’ participation and thanks to different training activities related to learning and putting forward educational proposals through the use of Wikipedia within the classroom.
Wikimedia Argentina came up with many innovative educational proposals during 2015. Wikimedia Argentina is always working to reach the highest possible number of teachers and students around the country and this commitment is present through different activities. Virtual courses are the answer we have found to date as not to leave any teacher or student out of any of our proposals. Argentina is a very large country and Wikimedia Argentina’s staff is small. Working with these characteristics, make us develop proposals that on one hand can cover most of teachers and students’ needs and on the other hand develop proposals that can be scalable and standardized.
Scalability through our ambassadors and standardization through proposals that can be replicated are two of the most important objectives for Wikimedia Argentina as to be able to answer educational needs and demands.
Wikimedia Argentina started working during 2015 with the province of Misiones and its Department of Inclusion of Technology of Misiones’ House of Representatives. It wasn’t casual that we chose Misiones. The team in charge of promoting the national program Conectar Igualdad and its work on the inclusion of technology in the classroom are referents in the country and work to give technological immersion to every classroom in the province, even at rural schools that up until the existence of the program had no access to the net. Following a year 2015 that started with training activities for referents from provincial teams and schools, we added 59 wikiambassadors from our programs, last year’s activities focused on students’ appropriation of the educational project. During two educational sessions, more than 1200 students worked in different workshops related to editing on Wikipedia and getting to know the rest of Wikimedia’s projects. Although the proposal may seem similar to an on-site training, it was innovative from these points of view:
- Inverse appropriation: for the first time, students were the center of the proposal and through their appropriation, teachers generated new activities through the use of Wikipedia in the classroom.
- Articulation through Wikiambassadors: working with students would not have been possible if it weren’t for the teachers’ support. They were the ones who received the proposal through one of the 59 wikiambassadors who worked in different schools of the province.
- Establishment of a network of schools: each of the students present represented a school that had been represented before by its teachers during 2016.
- School inclusion: Misiones is considered to be a province with high levels of vulnerability. The proposal meant the inclusion of 80% of the schools in the province, mobilizing even rural and frontier schools.
2016 has meant continuing with the project we started in October 2015. During May 17th and 18th, we worked in two teaching sessions with 260 teachers who represented the students we had worked with during 2015 and who had also been part of those teaching sessions with the children. The teachers’ proposal is the second stage of the project, functioning as a way to come full circle with the acquired capacities, this time with trained teachers and students. During the two day training sessions, teachers went through different working stages, as follows:
- Editing workshops: teachers learned how to edit on Wikipedia and how to use editing in the classroom as an assessment method.
- Images workshop: this workshop helped teachers learn about free culture and the use of images on their teaching material. The workshop based its explanatory logic through the use of Wikimedia Commons.
- Creation of teaching guides: teachers created teaching guides ready to be used in the classroom, through the use of Wikimedia projects.
The objectives regarding the proposal for the teachers were the following:
- Teachers’ appropriation of the proposal: just like students, teachers are the main articulators of the proposal within the classroom. Although we have switched the roles to consider the students as proposal generators, the implementation of the proposal requires necessarily the work done by teachers.
- Wikipedia as a resource: teachers were unaware of the fact that they could use Wikipedia as a teaching resource. Although it was common to find users and active consumers of Wikipedia among teachers, as well as among students, the workshops and training activities gave them new tools to use Wikipedia and the rest of Wikimedia projects in the classroom.
- Teachers as producers: educational public policies materialize because teachers take them and use them in the classroom. Teachers in Misiones are responsible for articulating and contextualizing the knowledge their students acquire. In this regard, we promote the creation of teaching guides by the teachers. These guides will function as referents for the rest of the teachers in the country.
Regarding this, for two days, teachers belonging to the whole province were the protagonists of Wikimedia Argentina’s proposals, through Wikimisiones. This project is yet to come to a closure with a final working experience, where students and teachers can work together without the hierarchical roles present in the classroom.
Likewise, Wikimisiones pretends to be the first educational project in the province to use Wikipedia and intends to be a model that can be standardized and replicated in other communities. Wikimedia Argentina believes it is necessary to create scalable spaces and proposals, that after a pilot trial as such, can be replicated and translated into good outcomes throughout the country.
|Number of female participants||207|
|Number of participants||260|
|Number of volunteers involved||59|
|% gender parity||79%|
|Number of women involved until the end of the activity||207|
|Number of assitants at the end/registered||97%|
|Number of women leading the project||1|
|Number of activities resulting from the project||Third part of Wikimisiones- October 2016|
|Media coverage||5 press articles|
|Number of counterparts involveds||200 schools in Misiones|
|Number of WMAR volunteers involved||1|
|Number of female trainers||2|
|Number of proposals designed by teachers||7|