Education/Newsletter/November 2014/Single

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By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)

María Fernanda López Narváez

Snippet: María is a student from Mexico who used her knowledge of education history to edit related articles on Wikipedia.

María Fernanda López Narváez is a student of History in The National Autonomous University of Mexico. She was doing her research on female education in New Spain when her professor Dr. Adriana Álvarez Sánchez encouraged her to join her course to edit Wikipedia. Dr. Sánchez suggested several articles to her students to edit when Maria was influenced by an article about history of education in Mexico. The article was full of mistakes in terms of language, citation, format, and style. At this moment, Maria decided to work on the article that needs more work. It was an eye-opening experience for Maria as she made friends in the Wikipedia community when they worked together exchanging ideas about the article. In order to develop the article and tackle all its issues, Maria used a lot of references that helped her not only with the article but with her studies too.

Although her course has ended in the Program, Maria is still editing Wikipedia, participating in discussions with the Wiki community to develop its content and encouraging others to join the project. Maria wrote a blog post on Wikimedia Mexico website about her experience with Wikipedia telling us a lot about it.

Read Maria's blog post (in Spanish).

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Mexico here.

By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)

Abdel-Rahman Elsakka

Snippet: Abdel-Rahman Elsakka, a student at Al-Azhar University invites his fellow students to join Wikipedia Education Program after his successful term in the program.

Abdel-Rahman Elsakka is a student in Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He is major in Turkish language and translation and so he wanted to make use of the language he studies to edit the Arabic Wikipedia by translating articles from the Turkish Wikipedia to its Arabic equivalent. He joined WikiWomen Prize, a contest to edit women-related articles on the Arabic Wikipedia. He enrolled in the Turkish translation course in Ain Shams University to learn the Wikipedia editing basics with our Wikipedia Ambassador there, May Hachem, who invited him to join her course since there were no Wikipedia Courses in his campus last term. In his first weeks on Wikipedia, Abdel-Rahman created 16 articles on the Arabic encyclopedia and developed 6 bigger articles. The articles are listed the summary page of his contributions to the competition (in Arabic).

As a result of his great contribution, Abdel-Rahman was awarded the second place in the WikiWomen prize. Abdel-Rahman is now serving as a Wikipedia ambassador in his campus to help his fellow students edit Wikipedia. Al-Azhar University is one of the first universities in the world, was founded in 970 or 972 A.C. It is the oldest degree granting university in Egypt. Starting a Wikipedia Education Program course there is an asset to the program and is hopefully a start to great contributions coming from this heritage institution thanks to Abdel-Rahman's hard work.

Have a look at Abdel-Rahman's course page on the Arabic Wikipedia.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt here.

By MatsWMFr (Wikimédia France)

Snippet: Wikimedia France recognized as an educational institution by the French Ministry of Education

On 9 October 2014, Wikimedia France received from the French Ministry of Education approval recognizing the association as a complementary educational structure of public education. This approval is issued for a period of 5 years.

The entity which granted us this approval is called The General Directorate of School Education (La direction générale de l'enseignement scolaire or DGESCO) and their mission includes the updating of school education programs for teachers and students.

In practical terms, this partnership improves the visibility of Wikimedia France as an Education Institutional and also erases misgivings about Wikimedia projects.

A national exhibition about education is planned for the end of November. This will be a good way to know the mindset of teachers and trainers.

We have printed more than 200 flyers highlighting this approval so that it is understood by visitors.

If other chapters have already received such approval legitimizing their action, please let us know!

Read the partnership announcement (in French) here.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in France here.

By Sara Mörtsell (Wikimedia Sverige)

For best new article of the month on Swedish Wikipedia.

Snippet: Faculty at Linnaeus University presented their recurring Wikipedia assignment project at national conference, and student contributions are celebrated by the Swedish Wikipedia Community.

The conference for Educational development of Higher Education, NU2014 was held in Umeå in October and a team och educators from the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at The Linnaeus University were invited to present how they, now four years running, design Wikipedia assignments as part of the Biology undergraduate course. This year's assignment was on the topic of parasites and parasitic diseases in animals. What's interesting is that 12 of the students took the opportunity to thoroughly extend various articles on the topic created by Lsjbot by around 12, 500 byte each, see for example Hjärtmask. Other students created new articles and some of them were voted best new article of the month by the Wikipedia Community, e.g Flavobacterium columnare

Read the blogpost by Wikimedia Sweden, in Swedish.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Sweden here.

By Thelmadatter (Tec de Monterrey/Wiki Learning)

Snippet: Three campuses, eight classes (seven new), Day of the Dead photo contest, first student donation of video and more!)

Tec de Monterrey is in the process of wrapping up various important and expanded projects as the semester winds down to a close. Community service projects (servicio social (undergraduates) and CAS (IB) are in their fourth semester at the Mexico City Campus with over 100 articles either translated or written in and over 2,500 photos uploaded to Commons. 2014 also saw the third edition of Día de Muertos Estilo Wiki (Day of the Dead Wiki Style) a photo contest aimed at adding photos of traditions related to this holiday to Wikimedia Commons. This year, the contest was expanded to include three campuses: the original Mexico City campus, along with the Santa Fe campus and the State of Mexico campus.

Almost 600 photos were added to Commons due to this contest and three of which so far have been accepted at "quality images" by the Commons community.

On Nov. 18, the winners of the contest were announced.

Best photo prize went to commons:User:Jordicueto for:

Most original photo prize went to commons:User:EmilianoMexico for:

And the prize for the participant with the most entered photographs went to: commons:User:Dega86.

In addtion, the first videos donated in this program can be found here.

The most exciting news this semester has been the development of Wikimedia projects in nine classes at the Mexico City campus doing various projects. Most students opted for translation assignments and uploading photographs. One class tried something new for us: the correction of Wikipedia articles as part of their class on basic writing skills in Spanish. Twenty eight articles were worked on [1] with at least one student, es:Luicheto, furiously continuing to work on articles long after the assignment ended. This exercise also sparked interesting discussions the cultural appropriateness of some of the article content, especial the article on es:Acoso sexual (sexual harrassment).

Review stats for servicio social students and courses on the Dashboard here.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program in Mexico here.

By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)

Collab members meet to work together on their plans for the coming six months.

Snippet: Wikipedia Education Program leaders and the Education team at the Wikimedia Foundation have the second Wikipedia Education Collaborative meeting in Edinburgh.

Education Program leaders from 10 different countries traveled to Edinburgh, together with the WMF Education team, were they attended EduWiki Conference 2014 on Friday 31 October and had their second meeting on Saturday 1 November. (Their first meeting was held in Prague in March 2014.) Collab members share the belief that Wikipedia belongs in Education and their goal is sharing successful experiences and helping new programs start and develop.

Leaders worked together on reviewing the results of their work since their last meeting and defining their goals for the next six months. They worked in small groups to study the application of these plans. After the first meeting in Prague, some new members joined the Collab. Together they worked in the areas of education program resources, communications, mentoring, and recognition. This work will help pave the way for new programs seeking guidance and materials. Read the blog post.

By Samir Elsharbaty (WMF)

Group photo for the participants of Iberoconf

Snippet: Iberoconf, the fourth Ibero-American Wikimedia Summit, gathered Wikimedians from across the globe to develop regional programs and projects with special attention to Wikipedia in Education.

Iberoconf is the annual conference of Ibero-American Chapters of Iberocoop, the regional cooperation initiative for Ibero-America. The purpose of Iberocoop and its annual conference is having the space to exchange experiences and share views on planning and implementing local and regional projects to support the wiki movement. The initiative also aims at solidifying the presence of the Wikimedia movement in Latin America. This year the members of Iberocoop gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 3 days to continue their efforts as an integrated cooperation network supporting the projects of its affiliates.

This year, the conference gave special attention to Wikipedia in education, aiming at improving skills in project management in order to design a strategy on education with a plan to support a regional education program. The conference included a presentation about Wikipedia Education Program presented by Floor Koudijs, senior manager of the program at the Wikimedia Foundation, other presentations and workshops about the Education Program in the University of Buenos Aires and the experience of Wikipedia Education Program presented by the Argentinean and Mexican local chapters and finally a workshop about Iberocoop joint Educational Program.

The conference was attended by several volunteers and representatives of local chapters and user groups in Ibero-America and four Wikimedia Foundation Staff who attended for help and support (Floor Koudijs, Asaf Bartov, María Cruz and Edward Galves).

Read more about Iberocoop's Iberoconf 2014 here.

By Anna Koval (WMF)

Please join us in welcoming three new members of the Grantmaking team who support Wikipedia in Education initiatives around the Movement by capturing your stories, sharing resources, and distilling best practices.

Samir Elsharbaty, Communications Intern
Samir Elsharbaty

Samir Elsharbaty joined the WMF in November 2014 on the Global Education team as Communications Intern. Samir will help report all the great stories from volunteers worldwide with regards to the Wikimedia projects in education. Samir works remotely from Egypt.

Samir was born in Damanhour, Egypt and currently lives in Cairo. He studied English Language and Literature in Ain Shams University in Cairo. Samir has worked in teaching and translation since 2009 and volunteered in/ co-founded/ and led non-profit campaigns in the Education and Development fields. He joined Wikipedia as a volunteer editor in late 2011 with an article about a historical wall in Egypt. He joined Wikipedia Education Program in Egypt as a student in late 2012 and volunteered as a campus ambassador in February 2013. He has been Egypt's Education Program Leader since October 2013 and was a co-founder of the Egypt Wikimedians User Group in May 2014, which was recognized by AffCom in July 2014.

Kacie Harold, Program Evaluation Analyst
Kacie Harold

Kacie Harold joined the WMF in April 2014 on the Learning and Evaluation team as a Program Evaluation Analyst. She evaluated the impact of the FDC and PEG grant programs (read the full report on Commons here).

Kacie has been working with the Education team since September to identify best practices and develop toolkits for educators and program leaders using Wikimedia in education. These toolkits will draw from experiences and learnings shared in surveys, reports, blog posts, the education mailing list, as well as interviews that Kacie conducted with members of Education Collaborative at their meeting in Edinburgh last month. Please keep an eye on the Learning Patterns Library on Meta wiki in the coming weeks to endorse, to add, and to discuss the learning patterns in the education toolkit. Kacie shares her time with the Learning and Evaluation team, and works from the WMF's San Francisco office.

Kacie's work at WMF combines two things she cares deeply about: international education and improving access to information. Throughout her career, she has supported higher education access programs both professionally and as a volunteer, most recently planning student leadership development programs for , an organization that connects high-achieving, low-income students with full scholarships at top universities in the United States. Before that, she spent several years working for the founder of the , where she gained a deep understanding of the importance of facilitating free access to information. Kacie learned firsthand about differences in education systems as an exchange student. She began with the as a teenager, completing secondary school in Belgium. In university, she spent a semester studying in Buenos Aires. She earned an in Social Policy and Development in London.

Jake Orlowitz, The Wikipedia Library
Jake Orlowitz (User:Ocaasi)

Jake Orlowitz joined the WMF in September 2014 on the Grantmaking team. He works remotely from Philadelphia but spends a lot of time in California.

Primarily, Jake's work will be to expand The Wikipedia Library|The Wikipedia Library, a program that helps connects editors to published research and library professionals. The Wikipedia Library (TWL) approaches publishers to request donations of access to academic research; TWL also operates a Wikipedia Visiting Scholars program that affiliates top editors with universities where they are given full, online library access to improve Wikipedia articles. Jake earlier received an Individual Engagement Grant to develop The Wikipedia Adventure, a playful onboarding game which teaches the core dynamics and spirit of Wikipedia through an interactive tour of the project's universe. With the University of California, San Francisco, and Wiki Project Med Foundation, he co-started the first Wikipedia editing course for credit at a North American medical school and continues to be involved in making the case for the importance of Wikipedia in all kinds of education. This winter Jake is going to be sharing some of his time working with the Wikipedia Education Program, reaching out to new editors, distilling best practices for building positive relationships with professors and with the volunteer community, and looking at ways to integrate tools into the onboarding process.

Jake's background post-college at Wesleyan University was running an academic tutoring company in Colorado. He speaks regularly (and enthusiastically) at Open Knowledge events about how Wikipedia's mission is very much aligned with the goals of academics, librarians, students, doctors -- pretty much anyone who cares about sharing knowledge.


We hope you will join us in welcoming Samir, Kacie, and Jake! We are so happy to have them as part of the team!

Maastricht University awards honorary doctorate to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales

Maastricht University in the Netherlands is awarding an honorary doctorate degree to Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, for his exceptional contribution to education and research. Jimmy Wales was recognized for establishing a universal online encyclopedia that became "an infinite source of information which is impossible to imagine life without" and necessary for everyone, especially students. Read the full article here.

Spark of knowledge starts with Wikipedia


An article in the Myanmar Times about Myanmar Wikipedia, where a core group of 10-20 active editors helped create nearly 33,000 articles and in spite of a font problem and a military presence. They say, "Each time a celebrity dies, a Myanmar Wikipedia page is born." It's a joke, but they can justify it. Included are interviews with Zaw Thet Aung and Maung San, two veteran members of the Myanmar Wikipedia community, Anna Koval of the Wikipedia Education Program, and Carolynne Schloeder of Wikipedia Zero. Read the full article here.

Digital Inclusion: The Vital Role of Local Content


A report from the MIT Innovations Journal and the U.S. Global Development Lab's Digital Development team, this issue examines how content is produced, distributed, and consumed in the emerging digital economy, including a section on lessons learned from Wikipedia Zero and the Wikipedia Education Program. Read the full article here.

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