Uruguay • Czech Republic • Egypt • Israel • Argentina • Mexico • Articles of Interest
By Fernando da Rosa (Wikimedia UY) - Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)
Snippet: Wikipedia Education Program in Uruguay starts a new edition expanding to new bigger classes
In November 2014, Wikimedians, professors and students in Uruguay gathered to celebrate concluding the first edition of Wikipedia Education Program there. The first edition of the program headed by Prof. Fernando da Rosa held events attended by 1676 people of which nearly one thousand students created accounts to start editing on Wikipedia. The 899 articles that have been created and nearly 30,000 edits that have been made, were the most prominent numbers in this edition.
In the following couple of months, the program leads spent longer time preparing for a new edition aiming at retaining their past success and expanding to new classes with larger numbers of students. The new edition’s plan aims mainly at raising the awareness of students toward Wikipedia. In this phase, three new courses are planned to start at "Facultad de Información y Comunicación, Universidad de la República, Uruguay" with expected number of 300 students divided into two shifts, each of 150. By the end of these courses all students will have a clear idea about Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement and how to join it.
In detail, two of these three courses will be mainly theoretical, titled "Introduction to ICT" and "Multimedia I" with more than 100 students in each. In these two courses, students are asked to understand Wikipedia and edit if they want, which is not mandatory to pass their courses. The third course, "Multimedia II" is expected to have around 60 students who will understand the basics of Wikipedia and how to edit. In this course, students will need to edit Wikipedia as part of their syllabus in order to succeed.
Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Uruguay here.
Snippet: This year is all about scaling up the success of the Czech senior citizen program and attracting more participants in different cities.
Czech senior citizen program "Senior Citizens Write Wikipedia" The program that started last year with great success, which has already been featured on the education newsletter and on the WMF blog too in December 2014, is starting its second year by trying different methods of establishing growth, promoting the program and stabilizing the infrastructure and funding. Eighty participants have signed up for our course so far, with 75 % completing them and 25 % becoming, what we call, independent Wikipedians.
The Czech project catches a lot of media attention, with professor Jan Sokol giving frequent talks and a full-page interview in the Friday's edition of a nationwide newspaper. The program also made its way into a primetime of the Czech TV.
We try novel approaches in reaching out to senior citizens and engaging them in Wikipedia. A three-day Wikipedia scanning workshop for seniors has been organized in senior centre Elpida. Senior citizens were invited to bring their pictures from their family archives - many of them were of high encyclopedic quality and were immediately uploaded, resulting in 120 pictures on Commons, including historical pictures of Czech athletes Emil Zátopek, Karel Šebek and various places of interest throughout the world too.
We also gave a lecture for librarians in the historical building of the Czech National Library. The course was full within 10 minutes of its announcement - two more had to be organized for those who could not come to the first lecture. 15 most motivated librarians will be invited to an advanced course, in a hope to recruit senior citizen program mentors or at least our partners in regional libraries. Beside these lectures, a short interview between professor Jan Sokol and one of our senior participants was also broadcasted live to libraries all over the Czech Republic. The program will also be featured in the Parliament of the Czech Republic during a conference on modern education approaches.
These activities are all done aiming at scaling the program up. We hope to diversify the funding for the program in a near future and, besides allocating some funds in the Project and Event Grant (PEG) of our chapter, we also apply for other grants. This will help us to organize new courses outside Prague as soon as this summer.
Examples of pictures uploaded during the scanning workshop:
Nursery in Prague, 1950s
1st May - Labour Day in the 1970s
A woman in Kosovo
Trenches of the 1st World War, Balcan
Emil Zátopek, 1968
Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Czech Republic here.
By Walaa Abdelmonem (Wikipedia Education Program Egypt) - Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)
Snippet: Another successful term of Wikipedia courses has just ended in the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University with great success.
This term the program started in Cairo University with promoting posts on Wikipedia and social media websites to help new participants understand the general idea of the program as well as holding meetings with professors from the departments of English language and Spanish language. Walaa Abdelmonem, the program leader in Cairo University, has held some workshops for the English translation students but they did not show great interest and stopped soon. On the other hand, Prof. Abeer Abdel-Hafiz has exerted great efforts with her students in addition to introducing Walaa to new classes of senior students for whom she has organized general seminars about Wikipedia and the education program. At the same time Walaa was assigning her Spanish department students of the first and second year to edit Wikipedia.
Abeer and Walaa started the workshops with students who has been excited to the idea of contributing to Wikipedia. Abeer was recommending to her students translating articles about Spanish female celebrities from the Spanish Wikipedia to the Arabic Wikipedia or working on articles about history. Most of students worked on articles about female writers, novelists, athletes, etc. Their classes are achieving great success in the direction which the program is taking around the world, i.e. increasing gender diversity. Walaa has held 2 online webinars to follow up with her students in addition to the workshops held at the campus. Regarding numbers, 64 students joined this course, of which 56 are female and 8 are male students. They worked on 55 articles adding more than 1.8 million bytes to the article namespace on the Arabic Wikipedia.
See the course page of this group on the Arabic Wikipedia here.
Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt here.
Snippet: Wikimedia Israel organized an educators' conference together with the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Center for Educational Technology.
Wikimedia Israel (WMIL) together with the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Center for Educational Technology organized an educators' conference dealing with educational use of Wikipedia. The conference was a successful conclusion to the first round of teachers' online courses about the use of Wikipedia in the classroom that was developed by the three organizing bodies.
The conference hosted about 100 teachers who had participated in the course together with senior officials from the Israeli Ministry of Education, WMIL representatives and the Hebrew Wikipedia community.
Various educational applications developed by Israeli educators were presented. A high school history teacher presented a multi-disciplinary project led by both English and history teachers. Students were asked to read articles dealing with historical events on the Hebrew Wikipedia and then compare them to the matching English articles. Then they were invited to discuss the differences and share their insights with the class. The teacher noted that this process encouraged critical reading, development of language skills in Hebrew and English and the demonstration to their peers of the development of a fitting product.
Two high school teachers from another school presented an educational game, Naraview, (based on the game Wikirace) Students compete using their smartphones, and teachers follow their progress on central screens together with the whole class.
Other educators emphasized the relevance of Wikipedia to various elements of the curricula. A teacher of the Rabbinic literature compared the collaborative creation of content in Wikipedia to the traditional Jewish process of learning in which scholars challenge each other.
Michal Lester, WMIL Executive Director, described inspiring educational projects from Armenia, France, Sweden, Argentina and Greece. Later, a panel discussion was held in which members of the Hebrew Wikipedia community responded to educators' questions. The conference ended with a fascinating talk of Lior Tzoref, a lecturer and a strategic consultant in the field of crowd wisdom.
The conference and the courses are part of ongoing collaboration between WMIL and the education system in Israel. As a part of this collaboration, WMIL intends also to launch a project with language teachers who will instruct students in writing entries for the Hebrew Wiktionary.
Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Israel here.
By Melina Masnatta (WM AR) - Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)
Snippet: Wikimedia Argentina celebrates WikiWomen history month and International Women day with several events targeted to increase gender diversity.
This month, IIEP UNESCO and Wikimedia Argentina organized several activities reinforcing gender diversity on Wikipedia believing that such events are not only held to commemorate the day. Various research activities are being done at IIEP-Unesco Buenos Aires. They provide information and analysis of important aspects of the educational system in Latin America. The output of these studies helps with educational policy planning and implementation processes in line with current social, political and cultural changes. Wikimedia Argentina is also collaborating with the ITC educational research area aiming at studying the gender and digital gap. The goal of these studies is to find the challenges of strategic factors in the educational system and how to replace them with good practices for students such as editing Wikipedia.
The first activity was a breakfast meeting between leaders, educators, and politicians from different places to discuss the results of the recent research on the use of technology and its effect on women and young girls, including their decisions concerning careers they do after graduation from their school. The second activity in this series was an editathon attended mostly by women of different ages. Many of the participants did not have any idea about the basics of Wikipedia, i.e. how to edit, what are the rules, etc. This helped creating a collaborative spirit between users to share knowledge. Unfortunately, IIEP Unesco Buenos Aires limits the attendance of each of their events to less than 50 participants for safety reasons. The Argentinian chapter is now planning a new event in that same series targeting gender gap, but this time it will be an online event; a webinar on "digital rights from a gender perspective". Nearly, 1000 people have registered to attend the webinar until now which is indicating great results. Also, this month Wikimedia Argentina was present at the launch of the national chapter of girls in tech. Melina Masnatta is a member of the board of girls in tech Argentina. At the event, Melina spoke about Wikipedia Education Program role in empowering women to express their voice by editing Wikipedia.
The education events targeting the gender gap on Wikipedia in Argentina are of high priority and many more events are planned to be held soon.
Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Argentina here.
By Jocelyne Perreard - Martha Gomez - Artemisa Martinez (Wiki Learning -Tec de Monterrey)
Snippet: Massive three-campus editathon with Tec de Monterrey (Wiki Learning) yields some interesting ideas.
From 4 to 6 March 2015, three campuses of Tec de Monterrey were involved in a large-scale editathon as part of a program called “Experiencias Retadoras” (Challenging experiences) with the school. (More information about this event in the Wikimedia blog.)
Most of students worked on general translation and article correction projects, but teachers at Campus Estado de Mexico (CEM) and Campus Ciudad de México (CCM), came up with a pair of ingenious ideas. Despite lacking an experienced Wikipedian and with only basic wiki training, a meeting of the CEM campus School of Humanities came up with the idea of creating photographs and short videos/animations with topics related to social issues such as poverty, traffic safety, nutrition, tattoo discrimination and more. The uploaded files (over 100) varied from images from real scenes in the area around the campus to dramatizations to short video essays. See the photos and videos here. Various files have been integrated into Wikipedia articles such as Persona sin hogar, (homelessness) Ciberadicción (Internet addiction) and Embarazo adolescente (teen pregnancy) One photo was picked up within three days of uploading to Commons and published by Science Times magazine here. Currently, there is a student survey underway to evaluate the event on students in order to assess its impact and how to develop for the next Experiencias Retadoras event in September 2015.
The second event was also photography-related and was the brainchild of professors Martha Gomez and Artemisa Martínez. This activity was called Tepoztlán en mi mirada (Tepoztlán in my view) and was the first wiki-expedition done with an academic institution. Tepoztlán is a small town 2 hours south of Mexico City in the state of Morelos. It is known for its colonial architecture, a small pyramid at the top of the neighboring ridge line and existence of curanderos and other alternative medicine. It has been named a Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) by the Mexican federal government. The aim of this expedition was to bring a group of 29 students from the Campus Ciudad de México for a one-day guided tour, taking photographs. These students were from countries such as Brazil, Canada,the Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Slovakia, Finland, France, Mali and Sweden. Once in Tepoztlán, the group was divided in two: one to explore the town and the other to explore the surrounding ecosystem, which consists of mixed conifer forest and low tropical rainforest. In this area the students were guided by an expert, Javier Mugica Morales, who gave students the background of what they saw. Major landmarks that were documented include the Tepozteco pyramid and the 16th century La Navidad church and former monastery.
The tour lasted one day, returning to Mexico City. The following day, the students met again on campus to share with others what they had experienced, then begin to upload and document their photographs onto Wikimedia Commons. With a spirit of camaraderie and mutual support, the students worked together on creating and checking each other's descriptions, not only in Spanish and English but also in Russian, German, Slovak, Finnish, Czech, French, Portuguese and Swedish. They also helped each other figure out technical issues with the site. The results of their hard work can be seen here.
Read more about the Experiencias Retadoras event on the Spanish Wikipedia here.
Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program at ITESM here.
Wiki Gender Gap to Be Discussed in Morgantown
In West Virginia University, a panel discussion titled “Where Are All the Women? Wikipedia’s Gender Gap” was held on March 4. The event is free and open to public to attend and is sponsored by the Reed College of Media and WVU Libraries. This article stresses the reason of holding such event by identifying the gender gap issue. having this large gap between male and female editors led to flourish of articles addressing men’s interests while those addressing women interests or introducing significant female figure were poor or absent.
Ready, set, edit!
The Varsity, the student newspaper of the University of Toronto is running a campaign to invite students to edit Wikipedia. The author believes that almost all students use Wikipedia, whether, they like it or not, and regardless of how their professors would acknowledge citing it in research, they do refer to it as a first general source at least when there is no time. Based on that fact, students should be the highest contributors to Wikipedia as they are between the highest readers. On the other hand the article gives special attention to the gender gap on Wikipedia encouraging female students to help narrow it as well as working on the content gap that exists in articles about women.
Edit-a-thon aims to highlight notable women in Notre Dame
One of several events held around the world to celebrate WikiWomen History Month and the International Women Day this month, in which Hesburgh Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship was open to students and faculty staff on Tuesday March 31 between 12 PM and 5 PM, to join old and new Wikipedia editors who planned to create and expand pages about prominent women in Notre Dame and south Bend history. Participants will work on a list previously prepared by the organizers with names of notable women of Notre Dame who don't already have an article on Wikipedia. All participants will have access to all the Library and University resources so that they can find the information needed for their editing session.
University of Amsterdam, FMG Wikipedia Editathon
In the week of Open Education (March 9-13), an editathon was organized by The University of Amsterdam focusgroup Open Education. The editathon was scheduled to be held every afternoon of that week in the university campus. This editathon was expected to introduce academic staff to the rules of editing Wikipedia, highlight the impact of editing Wikipedia on both education and research and increase contributions regarding academic and research areas, particularly those of the UvA and FMG.
Wikipedia's medical errors and one doctor's fight to correct them
Dr. James Heilman, an emergency room physician in Cranbrook, B.C, set a goal to edit and improve the accuracy of the top 200 medical articles on Wikipedia. since he realized that he could fix the misleading medical information on the internet through one of the largest online sources, he has been editing Wikipedia. Heilman says that many medical students use Wikipedia as their second most used information source, especially during their first years. He argues that doctors and medical students use the encyclopedia as it contains easy access information in simple language that remind them of what they periodically forget, all the more reason to encourage him to edit and improve the accuracy of those medical information on Wikipedia.
Creating Black History one Wiki page at a time
In Feb 19, an Editathon was held at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center with the participation of educators, historians and students from Howard University to fill in the gaps in Wikipedia entries of some of the most significant African American figures. Howard Dodson, the director of the Spingarn Center, said that the absence of information about African American figures is a disservice for them. He also suggested that these editathons are held annually as they also serve as a learning tool for students in addition to their role of adding important historical facts to one of the most important sources on the internet.