Education/Newsletter/January 2015/Senior citizens learn to edit Wikipedia in the Czech Republic

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Summarized by Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)

Snippet: A successful experience of senior citizens training on Wikipedia editing in the Czech Republic.

In spite of several discouraging responses to the idea of training senior citizens on editing Wikipedia, all based on the thought that they don't use the internet as well as younger generations, Wikimedians in the Czech Republic insisted on implementing this project. Senior citizens are often more qualified for editing Wikipedia than others by the high education, experience and free time they have when they get retired.

At the very beginning, the organizers were aware of the challenges they may face and how training senior citizens is different from ordinary students. Program leaders thought of new methods to reach out to senior citizens since they do not go to school everyday. Age-targeted Facebook ads and library newsletter were the advertising tool and municipal libraries replaced classrooms. 37 new users joined the program. They attended three sessions per week till the end of the course. Participants have created 18 new articles and added 84,828 bytes to the article namespace on the Czech Wikipedia. The great part is that nearly 50% of the participants continued to edit Wikipedia after the end of their course which is much higher than those who continue from high school and university students.

The passion and activity of both the participants and organizers promise of higher success from the project if it is repeated in the future.

Read the post on the Wikimedia Foundation blog here.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Czech Republic here.