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Welcome to the Newsroom! :) The newsletter is published at the end of each month. The deadline is the 28th of each month. Submissions are welcome from anyone involved with Wikipedia/Wikimedia and education. Click the edit tab at the top of this page to add your news. Concerned about your English or your writing skills? We can write your article for you! Click here for help.. If you have any questions or need help with the newsletter editing, please reach out to Samir Elsharbaty at selsharbaty﹫wikimedia.org. Thank you for contributing to This Month In Education. :)


Add your story here![edit]

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Please include a photo or a video from Commons. Like this: [[File:GLEE_GS_Meerkat.jpg|thumbnail|right|300px|My favorite meerkat]]

Snippet: a 1-sentence, tweet-like summary of your article. (see examples here)

What happened? Who was involved? When did it happen? Where did it happen? Why was this important, noteworthy, memorable, special, awesome?

Please include links to wiki pages, user pages, web sites, etc.

Greek Adult school completes wikiexpedition on Greek villages[edit]

By Marios Magioladitis (Wikimedia Community User Group Greece)

Second Chance School of Corfu presents a wiki project in the 5th Digifest in Corfu, Greece in April 2015

Snippet: Adult students with the help of their educators write Wikipedia articles in 2 languages and upload photos in Wikimedia Commons

The Second Chance School of Corfu; a school for adults in the Southern Corfu has implemented a Wikiexpedition about villages in the area of Lefkimmi. This is only a small school of approximately 10 learners and three educators who managed in a limited time to achieve great results and to render the small villages of Southern Corfu known all over the world. The project kicked off three months ago.

Logo of the school project

The target was to enrich the Greek and English Wikipedia with articles and photos, the team took more than a hundred photos and most of them were uploaded in Wikimedia Commons, along with a 6-minute video that they presented in Digifest in Corfu Greece that took place in April 2015 and was organised by the Ministry of Education. The tasks were implemented both in English and in Greek. The outcome was excellent but the experience and what everyone gained from it was even larger.

Most of the learners had limited or no internet access at home and all the typing, the translations and the evaluation of the photos was done in the School.

This pilot education program was supervised by Marios Magioladitis (long-time Wikimedian and educator) with the help of Amalia Pagkrati (teacher of Greek language) and Angela Hirdari (teacher of English). The pilot was monitored with the help of the Education Program Extension and was evaluated by surveys and personal interviews with the learners. It is part of a larger collaboration of educators in Middle School Education in Corfu to integrate Wikipedia and its sister projects in the school program.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Greece here.

Teachers and journalists of Armenian community in Lebanon joined Wikipedia and Wikipedia Education program[edit]

By Lilit Tarkhanyan (Wikimedia Armenia)

Western Armenian editors in Aghveran

Snippet: Teachers and journalists of Armenian community in Lebanon joined Wikipedia and Wikipedia Education program.

Western Armenian is one of the two standardized forms of Modern Armenian, which is mainly spoken in Armenian Diaspora communities. In 2015 Wikimedia Armenia began cooperating with Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for its "Wikipedia in Western Armenian" program. This program aims to establish and develop Western Armenian Wikipedia community, in order to improve the articles quality in Western Armenian and to create separate Western Armenian Wikipedia.

Why Lebanon? Number of Armenians in Lebanon is 156,000 which is around 4% of the population. As Armenians have strong community and strong presence in almost every sphere in Lebanon, we decided that it will be the first country of our program. Wikimedia Armenia with the support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation organized Wikipedia training week for teachers and journalists of Armenian community, in order to involve them in wiki editing process. The aim of the event was to teach wiki editing tools, to tell about wiki movement and to prepare wiki coordinators, who will spread wiki movement in Lebanon by involving new educational, scientific and other institutions.

On April 3, 12 participants arrived to Armenia from Beirut. During the training week a number of discussions were held, such as: where to start from, how to involve more people, how to spread the movement, what problems do we face and how to solve them, how Wikipedia Education program works in Armenia, how and when organize a wikicamp for students in Lebanon. The participants learned wiki editing tools after which they created their own articles in Western Armenian. The editors stated that Wikipedia is the best way of preserving Western Armenian, which is considered to be dying language in some countries.

One of the workshops in Aghveran

The participants discussed the organization of the Lebanon wikicamp in details. The teachers and journalists plan to continue their wiki activity, educators want to involve their students in Wikipedia Education Program after returning home. The best students will have an opportunity to participate in Wikicamp 2015, Armenia, which will be a great help and motivation for them. It is planned to have 15 students from Armenian Diaspora in the camps (June 21 - July 4, August 16 - 29).

During their stay the editors visited Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts - Matenadaran, which is a repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and museum in Yerevan. A visit to AYB high school was also organized, where the school manager Aram Pakhchanyan introduced their educational programs and cooperation with Wikimedia Armenia.

Western Armenian editors of Wikipedia returned home filled with enthusiasm to share their wiki knowledge with their students and surrounding.


Education Program Extension enabled on Latvian Wikipedia[edit]

By Anna Koval (WMF)

Education Program Extension on MediaWiki.org

In March 2015, the Education Program Extension was enabled on Latvian Wikipedia. The Education Program Extension was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation to assist educators and Wikimedians in their joint efforts to support classes of students editing articles on Wikipedia. It is currently enabled on 17 Wikimedia projects: 15 language versions of Wikipedia and on 2 other Wikimedia projects, including English Wikinews and German Wikiversity.

Latvian editors agreed to install the extension, and on February 18, User:Papuass made the official request on Phabricator. The extension has been deployed to the project and is already being used by the community. One institution -- Latvijas Universitāte -- and one course -- Sociālie mediji un digitālā kultūra -- have already been added at Special:Institutions with User:Papuass serving as an online volunteer. Writing for Wikipedia is an optional homework assignment for the course. Students would begin editing between April and May.

Read more about the education program in Latvia here.

Read more about the Education Program Extension here.

Education Program Extension enabled on Russian Wikipedia[edit]

By Anna Koval (WMF)

Education Program Extension on MediaWiki.org

In February 2015, the Education Program Extension was enabled on Russian Wikipedia. The Education Program Extension was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation to assist educators and Wikimedians in their joint efforts to support classes of students editing articles on Wikipedia. It is currently enabled on 17 Wikimedia projects: 15 language versions of Wikipedia and on 2 other Wikimedia projects, including English Wikinews and German Wikiversity.

Russian editors agreed to install the extension, and on February 15, User:Rubin16 made the official request on Phabricator. The extension has been deployed to the project and is already being used by the community. One institution -- Петрозаводский государственный университет -- and one course -- Интернет-математика -- have already been added at Special:Institutions. User:AKA MBG is the instructor. User:Rubin16 is the online volunteer. This will be User:AKA MBG's fourth year teaching in the education program, but this term will be the first time teaching with the extension.

Read more about the education program in Russia here.

Read more about the Education Program Extension here.

Wikipedia women in eduacation, a success story[edit]

By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)

One of Wikipedia Education Program conferences in Egypt, were nearly 90% of students are female

Snippet: The story of Wikipedia women efforts to support Wikipedia use in education around the world in the past four years.

Wikipedia Education Program started in 2010 with Public Policy Initiative to integrate Wikipedia in education for several reasons. One of the main reasons was to increase quality content on Wikipedia and to help narrow content gaps on it. The fact that nearly one of ten Wikipedia editors is a female was one of the motivations for the program participants to fight the gender gap on Wikipedia.

Since its inception in the United States, 46% of the Campus Ambassador program volunteers in the first term were female. The United States and Canada program exerted great efforts to increase gender diversity on Wikipedia where female users were a majority too.

In Egypt, the program was targeted to humanities schools where the majority of students are, originally, female. That was one of the factors that helped the program achieve a lot toward increasing female presence on Wikipedia. Nearly 90% of students contributing to Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt now are female. The program also brought to the Arabic Wikipedia Community many active female editors beside the first active female admin on the Arabic Wikipedia who is now the leader of Wikipedia Education Program in Cairo University. The Egyptian program is now totally run by Egyptian female volunteers with support from the Wikimedia Foundation.

In two years Wikipedia Education Program in Jordan too was able to attract so many female participants who joined as students and campus ambassadors. 50-70% of those who participated in the program in Jordan were female.

In other parts of the world, other activities are organized to target the gender gap. In Argentina, WM AR does research to understand the reasons behind gender gap beside holding different events to attract female participants. Last month Wikimedia Argentina held an editathon that witnessed strog presence of women. A big number of users wanted to attend but were not able to do, due to the limit set by IIEB Unesco, the co-organizer. This success and the obstacle of holding events for higher number encouraged the organizers to prepare for another one to be held online on the same topic. +1000 till now has registered to attend.

Read the post on the Wikimedia Foundation blog here.

Read more about the gender gap on Wikipedia here.

Articles of interest in other publications[edit]

Harvard professors' attitude to the use of Wikipedia by students is changing[edit]

Berkman-mar24-1.jpg

The fact that all professors always don't want their students to refer to Wikipedia in their research is no longer true. Some Harvard professors believe that university professors use Wikipedia in their own research so why should they warn students of using it. Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris believes that the old attitude toward Wikipedia lacking trust in it has changed into a new thought that considers it useful in some areas than others. Students use Wikipedia whether it was an accepted behavior by their professors or not, then professors should be guiding students on how to use Wikipedia than discouraging them from doing.

Read the full article here.

Prominent South Bend, Notre Dame women's stories edited for Wikipedia[edit]

Women edit Wikipedia - File photo

As part of the Hesburgh Library’s Women’s History Month, an Editathon was held with the participation of Notre Dame students and staff to write and expand Wikipedia articles about prominent women in Notre Dame and South Bend History. Kai Smith, a visiting assistant librarian, and Allison Stankrauff, Indiana University South Bend archivist along with the St. Joseph County Public Library and the History Museum, prepared a list of local prominent women lacking Wikipedia pages in order for students to help write and develop these articles.The editathon included both beginner and experienced editors with the help of Notre Dame librarians and volunteers. Students of both genders participated in the editathon and expressed the benefits they learn from editing and researching, they also expressed their desire of helping closing the gender gap and reach objective knowledge.

Read the full article here.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to study contributor demographics[edit]

Wikipedia-W-visual-balanced.svg

Peter Cannon and James Scholz, USF School of Information students, held an editathon on March 31, 2015 with the participation of students from different majors. Students were invited to participate in the editathom from the university library or remote through Google Hangouts. The organizers held this event not only to improve Wikipedia and free knowledge, but also to collect data for their study about the most important issues the encyclopedia suffer from like the large gender gap, and to get statistics about which demographics are the most regular and occasional contributors to Wikipedia. The editathon was held over three hours in a positive atmosphere that encourages new editors to edit and get the support they need from the community.

Read the full article here.

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