Education/Newsletter/June 2014/Busy 2014 for Education at Wikimedia UK, so far
The first half of 2014 has been rather busy on the education front for Wikimedia UK. Since January, the UK chapter has organised and/or supported a wide variety of events. Here is an annotated list of all the Education-related events that have taken place until the end of May 2014:
- On Saturday 1 February 2014 Katherine Bavage and I led the training for the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Wikipedia Workshop at the V&A Museum Reading Room in London.
- On Tuesday 5 February 2014 Charles Matthews supported long-standing Wikipedian Luke Surl with a training session for postgraduate students at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
- A number of volunteer trainers led by Chris McKenna delivered a series of events called Wikipedia Takes UCL between 17-20 February 2014.
- Students at University of Hull in Scarborough participated in a WWI editathonn as part of their use of Wikipedia in the classroom.
- Magnus Manske spoke about Wikidata to the Cambridge University Wikipedia Society on Thursday 27 February 2014.
- As part of International Women's Day celebrations, on 8 March 2014 we supported the Women's Arts Practices editing event at Women's Art Library, Goldsmiths University of London. WMUK supported other events related to Women’s Month.
- A Wiki-Themed Symposium was held at Stirling University - entitled What I Know Is - with the participation of several academics and guest speakers involved in Open Knowledge, Open Education and Open Publishing, on 19 March.
- A second TaPRA Wikipedia Workshop was held at the University of Glasgow on Thursday 20 March; Ally Crockford helped me deliver this workshop.
- On 3 April WMUK supported a volunteer-led Editathon at University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth, organised by WMUK volunteer Harry Mitchell, along with WMUK-accredited trainers Doug Taylor and Chris McKenna who provided one on one instruction for the attendees.
These are the most recent events in a string of education outreach activities which will continue throughout 2014. My WMUK colleague Richard Nevell and I are in the process of collating basic information (mainly usernames and contact details, where appropriate) from all participants at these events to ensure appropriate follow-up and engagement through future education-related activities.
Aside from these various outreach events, at this time WMUK was also heavily involved in preparation for two major education-related events coming up very shortly; the Future of Education track at Wikimania, and the annual education conference EduWiki.
The Future of Education at Wikimania
Based in London ahead of Wikimania 2014, a The Future of Education workshop is to be held as a fringe event on 21-22 June. Attracting around 30 attendees, this two-day workshop will be held at The Barbican in London, and seeks to engage educators, education policy makers, instructional technologists, students, librarians (and anyone else) interested in the intersections between Wikimedia projects and education, in relation to the Future of Education track at the movement’s annual gathering.
Meanwhile, following on from the successful EduWiki events presented in 2012 (Leicester) and 2013 (Cardiff), plans are in progress for the Eduwiki Conference 2014, which will take place at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland on Friday 31 October. This event looks to raise awareness of the educational possibilities of Wikipedia and sister projects, and developing Wikimedia UK's academic engagement. A survey about WMUK's education activities around EduWiki was circulated in May 2014 to attendees of the EduWiki conferences organised in previous years. It is envisioned that the responses from this survey will help enhance the programme for EduWiki 2014 and further engagement with the event attendees over the years.
WMUK was also very pleased to see the EduWiki name adopted by our colleagues at Wikimedia Serbia, who organised a conference under that name in March. Brian Kelly, a volunteer of the UK chapter, was able to attend the conference through a scholarship organised by WMUK, and commented on how the conference only attracted small numbers compared to what we’re used to in the UK, however it will also encourage us to consider other ways of interacting with the mainstream community, and the potential use of social media as a means of engagement. Brian has posted the following blog posts about this experience: preparation + report.
WMUK’s engagement on education matters within the global movement took an interesting turn in March when I attended the Education Cooperative meeting in Prague. At this meeting, the WMUK joined other Wikimedia education programs (including Israel, Nepal, Czech Republic, Mexico, Ukraine, United States, Canada, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Serbia) and the Wikimedia Foundation’s Global Education Program team to determine a plan moving forward for sharing best practices and fostering collaboration among educational efforts on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia project. Members of this grouping are currently formulating two related presentations for Wikimania 2014.
Wikimedians in Residence
In closing, I’d like to also point out that in 2014 we have also been graced with three Wikimedians in Residence related to our education and outreach programmes here in the UK. Ally Crockford is the Wikipedian in Residence at the National Library of Scotland. Ally’s interests and disciplines vary, and while she has been recently been speaking about the value of GLAMWiki, she has also been doing considerable amounts of work in relation to Education, including the forthcoming EduWiki Conference 2014. Martin Poulter has recently finished his post as Jisc Ambassador, which focused on encouraging projects across various sectors relating to engaging educators with Wikimedia. And Coleg Cymraeg in Wales became the second university worldwide to employ a Wikimedia in Residence: Marc Haynes. He will be there for an initial period of six months, which may be extended further depending on how things go.