Education/Newsletter/February 2017/Wikilesa: Working with university students on human rights

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Wikilesa: Working with university students on human rights[edit]

Author: Luisina Ferrante (WMAR)

First Wikilesa in Universidad Nacional de la Plata.

Summary:

During 2015-2016 we carried out four activities called "Wikilesa", designed to edit existing information on Wikipedia about the Human Rights Violations that took place in Argentina during the last Military Dictatorship (1976-1983). With our partner Cosecha Roja, a specialized news portal about justice and human rights, we trained teachers, university students, activists and researchers to learn how to use Wikipedia and how to edit existing information, improve and create new content.

Article:

During 2015-2016 we carried out four activities called "Wikilesa", designed to edit existing information on Wikipedia about the Human Rights Violations that took place in Argentina during the last Military Dictatorship (1976-1983). With our partner Cosecha Roja, a specialized news portal about justice and human rights, we trained teachers, university students, activists and researchers to learn how to use Wikipedia and how to edit existing information, improve and create new content.

In only one year, Wikilesa became one of WMAR’s main education activities. We designed specific trainings with students from different Universities to build, through Wikipedia, a social condemnation and to contribute to the processes of memory, truth and justice in our country. We also took Wikilesa to new institutions that were interested in working on the subject. We worked with them to replicate it in different educational and cultural spaces. This strategy gave it more visibility and promoted the Wikilesa project as a reliable activity when it comes to talking about Human Rights in the educational and research community. Our focus is to teach students and specialized researchers in how to edit Wikipedia. This audience is used to writing about this subject, so they are well prepared to create quality content. The editing day that usually lasts five hours, goes on using an edit-a-thon format that includes a main presentation of the subject and the participant’s work on Wikipedia. During these experiences, we realized that involving the educational community in sensitive issues such as the military dictatorship in Argentina generated a challenge to those who participated, as well as a way to use Wikipedia as a space for social demand. We had the opportunity to organize these edit-a-thons with the participation of human rights specialists, among them, survivors of the last military dictatorship and judges of the trials that are being carried out now in Argentina. This year we will continue expanding the experience of Wikilesa. We will make a special activity in a University on March 24th, meaning the 41st anniversary of the last civil-military coup in Argentina.

Wikilesa Editathon.
Second Wikilesa in "Memory Site"
- Results in terms of Learning[edit]
  • Gifted-students and university teachers become aware of the need to write and to value the recovery of  the historical memory Argentina Students and teachers improve their knowledge and skills in relation  to Wikimedia projects.
- Results in terms of changing action[edit]
  • Improved quality content on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects by giftedstudents.
- Results in terms of changing Conditions[edit]
  • New users: 82 editors participate along this experience and 21 are active in Wikipedia, proposing future activities to further extend the experience in the provinces.
  • 54 articles were improved and 21 articles were created.
  • New quality content in Wikipedia and Wikipedia Commons.
  • New giftedstudents network created, new editors retained.
  • Long term engagement from cultural and educational partners.
Example of articles created and improved during Wikilesa activities[edit]
Further reading:[edit]

-Experience “Wikilesa” in Cosecha Roja News Portal

-A collective and documented memory in Página 12 News Portal

-Wikilesa research presented in International Congress on Memory Policies in Latin America

Tags: Human Rights, Wikilesa, Wikipedia in Higher Education