Education/News/March 2019/Wikimedia at MLW2019

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Wikimedia at UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2019

Author: NSaad (WMF) (talk); Shani Evenstein (talk)

Summary: Wikimedia had a huge presence at MLW 2019!

Mobile Learning Week is an annual event hosted by UNESCO that convenes policy makers, NGOs, and other education professionals to share, learn and collaborate to demonstrate how ICTs can be used in education to help achieve the sustainable development goal #4. The past two years we’ve had a presence at MLW, but this year we came in force. We had Wikimedians from far and wide attend, we had a table where anyone could come and ask us about why Wikimedia belongs in education, and we had two presentations accepted into the conference program.

Conversations around AI in education centered around one key question, "Can/will robots replace human teachers?" Though most attendees and presenters answered this question with "no" and went on to demonstrate how AI can assist teachers in the classroom, some present still saw the need for completely automated classrooms. Two presentations highlighted Wikimedia projects in education: One presentation by Shani Evenstein about using Wikidata as a learning platform in Education, as part of the session "Artificial Intelligence and Frontier Technologies for OER’; And another presentation by Nichole and Melissa from the WMF education team about how Wikimedia uses AI to support learning. Both of these presentations highlighted the importance of the community, students as contributors and faculty / policy makers as facilitators of this process. They also highlighted Wikimedia projects as OERs (Open Educational Resources), as part of a larger agenda to bring the EDUWiki community and the OER community closer together.

Beyond the conference program, our table for Wikimedia & Education drew crowds who were interested in learning more about how the Wikimedia projects support [1]. We presented ourselves as Wikipedia, which helped people to understand us and talk to us and about Wikipedia and our other projects. We spoke with national ministers and other policy makers, heads of NGOs, and educators who were interested in collaborating with our movement on both local and global scales. On the last day of the conference UNESCO hosted a 200 person #Wiki4Women editathon supported by Les sans pagEs and Wikimedia France which further gave visibility to the Wikimedia movement at Mobile Learning Week.

We also connected with each other, spending time together at the table, sharing meals, and enjoying the time to bond as Wikimedians.

As next steps, we are following up with the contacts we made. We are also publishing a more detailed report on the outcomes of our presence at MLW, and setting up some guidance on how to get a table at such conferences.

Attendees of MLW 2019: (if you attended add your name here)

Social Media channels or hashtags: #MLW2019 #EduWiki