Education/News/June 2018/Academia and Wikipedia: the first Irish conference on Wikipedia in education

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Academia and Wikipedia: the first Irish conference on Wikipedia in education[edit]

Author: Rebecca O'Neill

Academia and Wikipedia keynote speaker Dr Bernie Hogan

Summary: Academia and Wikipedia: Critical Perspectives in Education and Research was the first conference convened in Ireland solely focused on the role of Wikipedia in education. A day-long event, it took place on 18 June 2018 in Maynooth University, with a full day of papers from both Irish and international (from Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America) researchers and teaching professionals.

Maynooth University was host to the first conference on Academia and Wikipedia, with the aim of prompting conversation and reflection on how Wikipedia has been used as a teaching and research tool both in Ireland and internationally. The event was multidisciplinary, with 63 researchers and educators from diverse subjects both speaking and in attendance.

Some of the topics addressed during the morning panels included the assessment of and utility of medical content on Wikipedia, systematic bias on Wikipedia, digital and informational literacy, the experience of academics and students on Wikipedia. Papers on these topics presented varying forms of research assessing data available on Wikipedia, as well as case studies and professional experiences.

A well attended, and nationally relevant paper on the Irish language and Vicipéid was of particular interest to a number of attendees. As the teaching of Irish looks to incorporate more technology, the importance of Vicipéid in both formal and informal learning was explored. This panel and others looked to experience of other non-English Wikipedias to inform the discussion.

The question and answer sessions along with the breaks saw much lively conversation and exchange about the benefits and challenges of incorporating Wikipedia into teaching and learning at third level. Irish academics and teaching professionals were able to draw on the rich and diverse knowledge of the visiting delegates, and commented on how the while the disciplines were varied there was a strong common theme to the positive outcomes many had reported with students and fellow academics.

The event was supported by the Dean of Teaching and Learning of Maynooth University and Wikimedia Community Ireland. The Irish Association of Professional Historians provided additional travel funding.

Tags: Ireland, university, teaching