Education/Newsletter/February 2017/Opportunities to grow in Oman
Opportunities to grow in Oman
Author: Tighe Flanagan
The WEP was represented by Tighe Flanagan at the Free and Open Source Software Initiative, hosted by the Sultan Qaboos University in Oman in February 2017. The organizers and attendees were eager to learn more about using Wikipedia in the classroom as a teaching tool. The presentation focused on some unique characteristics about Arabic Wikipedia.
I recently had the opportunity to present the Wikipedia Education Program at the Free and Open Source Software Initiative, hosted by the Sultan Qaboos University in Oman (SQU). The organizers and attendees were eager to learn more about using Wikipedia in the classroom as a teaching tool.
The presentation focused on some unique characteristics about Arabic Wikipedia. For example, according to research by Dr. Mark Graham and colleagues at the Oxford Internet Institute, the Middle East and North Africa region is both a net importer of edits and net exporter of edits. This means that people in the region are writing about other regions like Europe and North America. It also means that people in North America and Europe are the ones describing the MENA region on Wikipedia. Long story short, it would be great to have more people in the region involved in describing their own culture and history on the projects, and involving students is one way to do so.
I was also able to highlight the fact that nearly 10% of the good and featured article content on Arabic Wikipedia is from student contribution over the years. You can see the the full list of articles here.
I also was able to meet with Dr. Khaled Al Shehari who teaches English translation at SQU, and has used Wikipedia with his students to translate articles from English into Arabic. His course has been hugely popular with students. You can learn more about his course on their project page on Arabic Wikipedia, or follow Dr. Khaled on twitter.
Tags: Education Team, conferences