Education/Newsletter/January 2015/Articles of interest in other publications
Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt on Euronews
An episode of the weekly TV show Learning World on Euronews discussed open sources of information, like Wikipedia, and how they help change the usual education process and open new ways to the world of knowledge. The footage was filmed during one of the Wikipedia Education Program workshops in Cairo with the students and volunteers. Dr. Abeer Abdel-Hafez, one of the founding professors of the program at Cairo University, indicated how the program helped students build their personality through contributing to a free and collaborative source of information. May Hachem, a student leader at Ain Shams University, indicated the important role that female students play to raise quality through their participation. You can watch the episode and read its summary on the Euronews website in 13 languages, including English and Arabic Read the full article here. Watch the video here.
Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority and Liberal Education in the Digital Age, by Thomas Leitch
This article in Times Higher Education, reviews Thomas Leitch's book Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority and Liberal Education in the Digital Age. The book discusses Wikipedia being used widely and whether it is an authoritative and reliable source as an academic tool or not being edited and run totally by volunteers. Leitch collected in his book a set of stories about authority in the liberal education world as a reply to common calls against the use of Wikipedia in research. Read the full article here.
Jimmy Wales: Students should be taught how to use Wikipedia
This article on v3.co.uk pays attention to statements Jimmy Wales gave at BETT 2015 event in London. Many professors warn their students of using Wikipedia at all in research, something that Wales denies. On the contrary, Wales believes that students must be trained on how to use Wikipedia. He argues that they all use Wikipedia, and this is a fact educators must put into consideration. What students need would be some guidance on how to do so correctly. Wales agrees with most of educators who don't want students to cite Wikipedia but he believe that they should be taught how to refer to it which would lead many of them to editing it! Read the full article here.
Armenian resort town hosts Winter Wiki Camp
This article in PanARMENIAN.net covers the winter camp Wikimedia Armenia hosted from January 7 to 11, 2015. Student editors aged 14-20 years old edited articles on Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikitionary and other sister projects. Participants, during this camp, helped the Armenian Wikipedia jump from the 42 place to the 41 one between all Wikipedia editions around the world. Wiki camps are events organized in Armenia were teenagers dedicate their time to editing Wikipedia with other scientific, sport, art and fun activities. Wiki camps were first organized in Armenia in Summer 2014 and more camps are being prepared for 2015. Read the full article here.
Academia should find a place for Wikipedia
This article in The Daily Northwestern elaborates how many professors warn their students about using Wikipedia in their research at all. The author notes that while Wikipedia is not perfect and should not be cited in academic research, it is still the largest free source of information and it has unlimited sources, including some articles that contain more than 400 references, many more than most libraries have for one topic. The article also refutes the common belief that Wikipedia is full of wrong information as a result of being open to anyone to edit, stating that "error[s] will be fixed in moments." The author suggests that Wikipedia should not be the end point of academic research but a place to begin. Read the full article here.
In India, Over 100 college students volunteer to upload city data on Wikipedia
This article in The Times of India covers a two-month project in which more than 100 college students upload information and photos of their home city Nashik, India to Wikipedia. The students attended a two-day workshop to get introduced to Wikipedia and its essential editing techniques. Many tourists will be visiting the city to attend Kumbh Mela and so many will use Wikipedia to get information about the city during the event. The project aims at developing, correcting and expanding the available information about the city on Wikipedia. Read the full article here.
University of Victoria announces new Honorary Resident Wikipedian
The University of Victoria announces its first resident Wikipedian, Christian Vandendorpe. Vandendorpe is a professor emeritus at the University of Ottawa and a former magazine editor and author. Vandendorpe's role will be helping raise awareness about Wikipedia and encouraging more academics join Wikipedia and to improve it by sharing their knowledge with everyone. He says academics usually have interest in introducing their disciplines correctly to the public, and he believes that professors have a responsibility to their society to spread knowledge. Read the full article here.